Q+A: Five Minutes with Moose with a Scarf


Kansas City based American producer Moose with a Scarf (Anthony Sabatino) returns with a variation of his energetic EDM track ‘Won’t Let You Go’, released on the 13th of October. A graduate of Berklee College of Music and USC, he has composed music for over 100 different film, game, and television projects, with Moose with a Scarf existing as his EDM moniker. A sonic veteran of the game, he’s also developed an interactive music app Tabletop Tunes, writing and producing all the music for the application. We took some time out to speak to the evocative electronic producer on all things life, creativity, and music after his release. 


Set the tone for us. Why the arts?

Honestly, its something I can’t NOT do haha. I tried briefly to do something other than music, and just ended up in a deep depression. I’m not making art because I want to, I’m making it because I need to.


Which comes first when you’re producing – the sound or the idea?

I’m not sure these are mutually exclusive, because in many ways a sound could be the idea. With that being said though, I almost always work from a conceptual side of composition first, and then dig to find the sound that inherently lies underneath that idea. As Michelangelo said “The sculpture is already complete within the marble block, before I start my work. It is already there, I just have to chisel away the superfluous material.”


Does your material feature any collaborations? 

Won’t Let You Go – VIP features my friend and collaborator Lauren Richards. We’ve worked together on basically all the songs (non-instrumentals) I’ve released. My Christmas album has a ton of collaborators from all over the place. Greensleeves features incredible classical guitar performances from Andrew Synowiec, Deck the Halls and We Wish You a Merry Christmas feature the Christmas Carolers of “Voices of Christmas” and White Christmas is sung by Baraka May (huge recording artist for Hollywood films).


What’s on your current playlist?

Recently I’ve been listening to Dylan’s Dad by Geena Fontanella quite a bit. Other than that, I’ve actually been jamming out to my own music quite a bit. Not only listening to make sure the mixes are of the highest quality, but also because I make the kind of music I want to jam out to all the time. If you aren’t gonna choose to jam out to the music you make, then how could you expect anyone else to do the same?


Tell us about the chemistry you have with your fans on stage.

I honestly don’t do live performances as much as I like, although a year ago I was doing a ton of virtual performances through TikTok and Twitch, and we had a fun little vernacular of back and forth.


What techniques do you experiment with to get your original sound?

I try to be streamlined with my workflow, just because I have so many projects I’m working on all the time, that I can’t always afford to get in the weeds with super esoteric sound design methods, but typically when I am designing a lead or a bass or something like that, I sometimes will start with a preset, find elements I like about it, and then strip it down A LOT, until I have exactly the elements I want, and then I start building up from there. I will also sometimes cycle through presets or samples, find one I like, and then try to build it up from scratch so I can have my own version of it, and make it my own sound that I can flexibly control.


Take us through a day in the recording studio.

Honestly every day is pretty different depending on what kind of work I need to get taken care of, but typically I start with simple administrative stuff like going through my inbox and checking notifications. Then I check my work queue of things I need to work on and take care of. I usually like to start with shorter easier tasks, like editing a video for tiktok, or making a few tweaks on a mix I exported the previous day or week. That will start the momentum of getting things going. Then once I’ve knocked out some of the more menial tasks, I’ll start either writing/producing on a new or current project, or write a script or film/record a new video for social media. Depending on how sucked in I get on those, I’ll usually chug away on that stuff for about 1-2 hours, and once I’ve hit I stopping point I go to the gym. After my workout I’ll get cleaned up, make lunch, and then slowly get back to work. The afternoon is typically when I do a larger chunk of my actual writing/composing, because the creative juices tend to be flowing more after a workout in my experience. Usually in the afternoon is when my family will come down to visit in the studio and I’ll show them what I’ve been working on (as long as it’s kid appropriate) and then maybe we will play a little Mario Kart as a family.


Was there a specific moment in your life where you thought, “this is what I want to do”?

Honestly hard to pinpoint and exact moment, but I think it was a gradual culmination of factors, mostly resulting from the goosebump inducing moments I would get from listening to songs like Jump by Van Halen, Levels by Avicii, or watching films like Star Wars, the Dark Knight, or the TV Show 24. The music just gave me such a high and I wanted to be able to create that exciting feeling for others around the world.


What do you keep close by while you’re playing a set?

My water and a towel. Performing like I do gets warm fast haha.


Any emerging artists on your radar?

Geena Fontanella like I mentioned above, but also Geoplex and Complexive. I really enjoy both of those guys. Serena Z is also a buddy of mine


What gets your creative juices flowing?

Taking walks with my dog, golfing, working out, or doing crosswords. Video games sometimes help as well, really any sort of active leisure activity that takes me away from work where I can relax, and then let the creative juices flow without the pressure of having to put something to paper so to speak.


Take us through your collection of gear, tech or software that accompanies your creative expression.


Oof where to begin haha. Well my studio is pretty heavily rigged out, we built it out custom in our basement, and went all in: ATC50s, JL Subs, a DSP Processor for Room Tuning, Art Novion Accoustic Panels, Fireface UFX+, 2 UAD Apollos, Mac Pro, and 2 PCs. I also have a small growing collection of analog synths/electro accoustic instruments: CS-80, Moog Grandmother, MakeNoise Shared System Gold, Folktek Resonant Garden, and another rack of modular gears. For software I use Cubase for all my composing, mixing, and mastering, but I use Pro Tools for recording vocals, voice over, or any other live instruments. For my live rig setup I’ll use Ableton because it’s the most flexible for swapping instruments/patches in real time. I love Serum, and have been using it for a really long time. I’ll also use Omnisphere, Analog Lab (and the other Arturia Synths), Chip Synth MFD and SFC, Most of the Fabfilter plugins, Ozone and other iZotope plugins, a bunch of different UAD plugins, and a few miscelanious plugins here and there like Shaperbox and Trackspacer. My template is built to be a swiss army knife: everything i may possibly need is there, or can be easily imported and set up. I’m a big fan of efficiency, so i’ve mapped everything out to be as smooth and fast as possible.


Any side projects you’re working on?

About a million haha. I’m constantly working on and looking for film, game, and tv projects to write music for, but I also have my interactive music app Tabletop Tunes I’ve been working on. It’s an interactive music app for tabletop gaming, for games like Dungeons and Dragons.


How have you refined your craft since you entered the industry?

Lots of mentorships with various people I look up to in the industry/community. Youtube tutorials can take you only so far, but I truly believe the one on one interaction with a mentor is the proper way to improve your craft, because you can dig deep about your specific journey and ask questions pertain specifically to your craft.


Breakdown the news for us: what can we expect from you this year?

Well i’ve got the Christmas album which I’m really hoping can make some serious waves! Otherwise, I’m just gonna keep churning out music and content and see what people resonate to. My whopper video that went viral back in January has really changed a lot of things for me, so you really have no idea whats going to blow up haha. Just know that whatever I’m putting out there is unapologetically authentically Moose.


Famous last words?

I love my family.


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