Local Suicide Q&A

photograph by By Tibor Bozi

Welcome to Magazine Sixty, Local Suicide. Your debut album, Eros Anikate, has just been released. Can you tell us about the influence the play written by Sophocles, ‘Antigone’ had on the title, where and how you first discovered it?

Vamparela: I am Greek, so I’ve been very well acquainted with Sophocles’ works since I was a child. ‘Eros Anikate’ is a phrase I’ve always felt deeply connected to because it entails the meaning of life; that love wins. When we decided to finally produce our debut album, Brax said, “We need a title, maybe something Greek?” and somehow, the first thing that came to mind was Eros Anikate. Nothing is more important than love, and the album is a product of our love for each other, the music and our audience, the scene and the artists we collaborated with.

The album features a wealth of collaborative artists. How does that process work in practice – are you all in the same studio, or are ideas exchanged online? How long did it take to make the album?

Local Suicide: Every case was different!

High Buildings began with Lee Stevens in his home studio in Vienna. We were visiting Vienna for a gig and ended up jamming at his home.

We started Whispering at our studio in Berlin with Curses. We originally wanted to do a Nine Inch Nails edit but made the basis for Whispering instead. We then worked on it from a distance during the lockdowns, with Curses adding guitars and vocals on top and us adding some production elements.

Moustache was created at our studio with Skelesys during the first lockdown. He was the only person we saw for quite a while, and we ended up making many tunes together that will hopefully be seeing the light of day soon.

Jam Bounce Release was produced with Theus Mago at our studio during his last visit to Berlin. He works super fast, so the main part of the track was done in two days.

Like Follow Subscribe was produced by us during a lockdown call with our friend Begum Karahan. We asked her to say “Like, Follow, Subscribe” in Turkish and English and just recorded it over the phone. In September, we met Hard Ton while visiting Italy and spontaneously asked them if they’d like to do some disco vocals on one of the tracks. We sent them a few, and they chose Like Follow Subscribe, writing some fantastic lyrics about digital love.

We collaborated with our friend Joel Gibb of The Hidden Cameras for Homme Fatal. We have been big fans of his music since forever but only properly started hanging out together after meeting at a mutual friend’s wedding in Spain. We wrote the lyrics together and recorded Joel’s vocals at our studio.

Cobra Wave with Kalipo originated when testing a new VST plugin that allows you to collaborate and create music in real time in different locations.

Agapi was produced by us, and our friend Sissi, whose voice is like a siren (humanlike beings with alluring voices), wrote the lyrics and recorded the vocals in her studio in Athens.

Finally, for the title track Eros Anikate, we contacted Lena Platonos, an artist who has heavily influenced our sound and whom we admire a lot, asking her to contribute to our album with a vocal feature. We were stoked when she said she liked the album and agreed to do vocals on one of the tracks. She recorded the vocals reciting a section of Sophocles’ tragedy, Antigone, from her studio in Athens.

Local Suicide have a very distinctive sound. Who has inspired you most as artists both within music and from outside of it (any painters, writers, movies etc.)?

Vamparela: We both listened to many different genres while growing up. We loved new wave, italo, synth-pop, alternative rock, indie rock, dark wave, and EBM, the amalgamation of which somehow gave birth to our sound.

If I had to pick a writer, it would be Jack Kerouac and his novel ‘On the Road’, although when I was a teenager, I was obsessed with Greek mythology, Jules Vernes, sci-fi fiction, books about vampires, paranormal phenomena and Agatha Christie. These themes keep coming up in the lyrics I write.

In terms of movies, my favourite directors are Tim Burton, David Lynch and Tarantino. I’m trying to add their surrealism to our music and our music videos. Also, one of my favourite painters is Dali, and Moustache started off as an ode to him and his moustache. Others are Hieronymus Bosch, Van Gogh, Monet and Malevich.

Brax Moody: While recording the album, I read a lot about 20th-century architecture by Le Corbusier & Bauhaus and USSR architecture after studying Frédéric Chaubin’s photo books. I have also been a huge fan of Andy Goldsworthy since childhood.

Talk us through how you made one of the tracks from the album – do you work from a vocal idea, or a bassline etc.? Do you have any favourite hardware/ software you like to use to achieve your sound?

Local Suicide: We usually drafted the tracks on this album with a simple kick-snare-hat combination before recording a bassline with either the Sub 37, 303, Arp Odyssey or Jomox MBass. We then added melodies with a D50, Minilogue, Prophet, Juno or VSTs, followed by vocals and then going back to more drum elements, pads and other fillers. Once we had about 30 elements, we usually started cutting them out one by one and then went into the final arrangement, fine-tuning and mixing etc.

Have you seen any lasting effects of the Covid epidemic, either positive or negative, on club culture when you have been DJ’ing recently?

Local Suicide: We feel that people are more hungry for clubbing than before the pandemic. Unfortunately, the prices for club entry fees and drinks have also increased a lot. Still, the overall atmosphere has been very positive in all the places we have played.

The downside is that many concerts and festivals were less busy this summer due to the price increases and because everyone is currently touring. Also, the fact that you can get covid at any time means people aren’t planning as much as before and take last-minute decisions.

Many people looked for jobs in other sectors, so clubs have also been understaffed. The same happened to the aviation industry, which has caused huge flight chaos with delays and cancellations in the past months.

How would you describe the importance of DJs in today’s world, given the amount of technology available where anyone can become a DJ?

Local Suicide: For us, being DJs in the electronic music scene was never about the technical aspect. Of course, a DJ should be able to mix, but it is much more than that. DJs should have broad musical knowledge, not only of the current trends and charts but also of music history; the quest for new and old gems should never stop. Apart from that, a Dj should be able to read the crowd and find the line between pleasing and educating them. They need to keep people on the dancefloor with music they enjoy while sneaking in more difficult tunes to get acquainted with or that the Dj personally likes. It’s also great when a Dj is interacting with the crowd. We love DJs who dance and look at people instead of just staring at the decks. If it was just about the perfect mix, we wouldn’t need DJs; a computer could do it for us.

How do you see the future for artists in the ways they will be able to make a living with streaming and so on?

Brax Moody: Especially in the last 30 years, the music industry has undergone enormous changes each decade, but I think streaming will stay for a long time. It’s already helping loads of labels by finally generating a decent income from their back catalogues, which they can use to help grow new artists. It’ll also be much easier for artists with many releases to make a living and hopefully guarantee a nice pension. Still, streaming services (and collecting royalties) need to switch to a pro-rata payment system as soon as possible to make it fair. Streaming services must also ensure they help all music be heard by setting up and pushing more niche editorial playlists so that the music productions don’t get more streamlined.

And finally. Do you think music has the power to change the world (or society) or just people as individuals?

Local Suicide: Totally! Music has a huge influence on everything. It can affect our actions, moods and emotions and even help build our personality. Especially young people, they are very easily influenced by their favourite artists. Music has the power to change our mood, make us happier or sad, more pensive or active at any time of our lives. A song can remind you of specific times and make you feel nostalgic, the lyrics can help you escape a difficult situation, like depression, and the music itself can make you dance, move and let those endorphins take over. For sure, music is our life, a part of our everyday life and the soundtrack of our life.

Magazine Sixty proudly present the premier of the video of Cobra Wave by Local Suicide & Kalipo. Directed and produced by French artist Jade Prevost.

buy Local Suicide – Eros Anikate – Iptamenos Discos https://bfan.link/eros-anikate


Moderna Q&A

12507218_1055621821148443_6439125897373802955_nYour excellent new single is the Chloe curated ‘Lumiere Noire 03‘ (out now on Kill The DJ) and is co-produced with Theus Mago aka Mateo Gonzalez. How did you team up with Mateo and can you tell us about the Chloe connection plus Kill The DJ?

I was on tour in Mexico last June. When in Mexico City I was told my gig was cancelled due to “Ley Seca”, also known as Dry Law, which is when the Mexican government shuts down all bars and clubs for voting purposes. There were several other djs in the city at the time that were also gig-less, so it ignited an impromptu “illegal” house party set up by some of the local heroes.  The party was dubbed LEY SECA–the roster included Mijo, Sanfuentes, Andre VIII, Max Schmitt, Watty, Samsi, Soni Ceron, Bufi a.k.a. Theus Mago, and Myself. Each DJ got to play 30 mins– it was streamed live and the party was packed.  Mateo and I connected there and met up at his studio a few days later, and Dog is Calling you took shape. I continued my tour and returned a few weeks later to perform my makeup gig, which was a Rockets party booked with Chloé.  Her and I kept in contact and I sent her some mixes, along with Dog Is Calling You. She loved it and asked if we wanted to release it on her Lumeire Noir series. Of course we wanted to, Kill The DJ was a perfect fit for this sound. So we got back in the studio and worked on the creating the EP.  It’s been super cool, sometimes when things happen out of your control good things come of it. So heres to Ley Seca.


Can you walk us through the creative process between you and Mateo for this EP?

I feel Mateo and I have a unique flow when we are in the studio together. There is never any ego, we typically agree on each other’s ideas, and consistently have a creative balance.  Mateo is absolutely amazing with beat/percussion. He starts a track with drums, sketches a bassline, then I integrate synth sounds and vocals. We work on the arrangements, atmosphere sounds, and the mix together. It feels good when ideas happen organically and you both just get it.

Where did the title for the track, ‘Dog Is Calling You’ come from?

It’s not as mysterious as it may sound, but it is quite endearing. The back story is that Mateo and his wife Pamela call each other Dog as a nickname.  I was in the studio recording some vocals and Mateo was out of the room. I saw his phone ringing and it said “Dog” is calling – so I naturally in the microphone started saying Dog is calling you, call her back.  We liked it and it worked.


Buy vinyl : http://shop-killthedj.com/vinyl/108-o…
Buy on beatport : https://pro.beatport.com/release/lumi…
Buy on iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/album/id1093…

12743642_1073989582645000_6442899527862547467_nWho first inspired you to get into electronic music? And what attracted you to producing?

I grew up immersed in music, my parents were a big influence on my development as a musician.  My dad had an amazing record collection and my mom took me to several rock/new wave concerts at a young age. I was lucky to have young liberal parents, considering I grew up in Utah.  When I was 17 I joined a noise band called The Static Cult, which is when my passion for analog and the electronic sound began. I played on a Korg Poly 800, a 303, and we even had a space echo. We wore gas masks when performing live– it was definitely an acquired taste. We put out an EP only available on cassette called Tardive Dyskinesia, and that’s where it all began.

How would you describe your studio set-up? Do you have a favourite instrument or piece of software?

I’m in the midst of building a studio and sound therapy lab in Joshua Tree.  In the meantime with me being on the road as much as I am I have been utilizing other studios,  I just recorded a remix in a shed turned studio on a nursery in Utah and made my last track in a house in the mountains in Northern California,  I’ve worked in studios from Cologne to Barcelona to Paris.  Playing out of different spaces brings different results and gives me ideas for what I want my studio to be like. It’s great.  I’m finally feeling confident about producing in Abelton on the road and I love it.  I have a few favorite things like the TAL baseline 101 some cool pedals and effects like Strynmon Time Line and the Eventide H9.  I like to sound design and mess around with basic sounds then manipulate them to my liking, especially with my vocals.


Tell us about your involvement with Ghostly International?

When I was running my music magazine RE:UP we did a cover story on Ghostly.  Shortly thereafter I started working with them on various events and projects. This was in 2006, back when they were still finding their business direction as a label. I continued to manage and assist in multiple departments, i.e. organizing international showcases, artist brand collaboration, online store reconstruction, and several other fun things such as doing art shows, boat parties, and whatever else we could come up with. I also managed tours for Matthew Dear and other artists on the label. It’s great to see how far Ghostly has come and I’m really proud to be a part of it.  After 6 years of working with the label I decided to focus back on myself and pursue my passion in being a full-time artist.

12495003_1050346795009279_7407344065986028118_nWhich artists have inspired you from outside of the world of Dance Music?

So many – David Bowie, Talking Heads, Prince, Pink Floyd, Dead Can Dance, Cocteau Twins, Sonic Youth, Concrete Blonde, Bauhaus, Joy Division, Kate Bush … I mean I could go on forever.

From your perspective what do you think of the increasing dominance of Festivals compared to the past when it was more about resident DJ’s / Undergrounds?

I’ve always believed that electronic music and the culture surrounding it is ever evolving and the progression of it is key.  However I also feel that keeping the underground authentic is vital for the true experience and appreciation of it.  But due to several factors like it’s growing popularity, legalities and djs turning this once rare passion into a lucrative career while demanding higher fees and playing to larger crowds it is unavoidable for the scene to be coveted.  So throwing large festivals to sustain the industry that it revolves around is important in both aspects to find a balance.  I believe in achieving this we need to respect the origin yet foster the future.

avatars-000218674436-lvmj8p-t500x500What are your plans for the rest of 2016?

I have some exciting things coming up, Moderna Y Theus Mago will soon announce a South American tour for this summer.  I will get in the studio again with Theus Mago to finish some tracks we started, as well as working on a new project with amazing producer and fellow Lumiere Noire alumn. Markus Gibb, he and I will play together in Australia for a few dates in August.  In the fall Moderna Y Theus Mago will to go back on tour to Europe.  During my down time I will be organizing ‘The Hawkeye Project’ which is an off grid artist compound with a studio and sound therapy lab that will be built on property in Joshua Tree, CA that I am co-developing with eco architect Cameron Sinclair.  So I have quite a full year ahead, But I’m really looking forward to working on the new projects and collaborating with some of my favorite humans.  I never forget how fortunate I am to be able to live my passion.