Updated: Sep 24, 2018
Today, in our first ever session of our "Extreme Psytrance" interview series we have the talented producer Dead Can Trance who will talk about his personal experiences as a producer and his new genre "Newtech Psytrance". Enjoy!
Hi Vlad thank you for joining us for this interview, we are happy to have you here at TERA.
Hi guys, thanks for having me.
I feel that this is going to be an interesting Interview. So let’s kick off. When and how did you get into making Music?
Since I was a teenager, before I even discover psytrance, I always had this persistent desire to understand what people do when making a track, and how they created all those interesting and weird sounds, I was always finding it so fascinating. Then around 2008 I went to my first Psytrance party, that was in Athens Greece, I think Dark Elf and few other artists were playing. The moment I first experienced Darkpsy, I immediately realized that this is the shit I wanted to start producing, because it was the only music I could feel that there are no set limits. But then the hard part began, I did not have even the slightest clue about music production and did not know anyone who actually produced, so I had to make it happen somehow.
After started being active in the Greek psytrance scene I met a guy who knew a little bit about music production, so long story short, we ended up living together, and I finally got my first chance to produce music. Around 2009, I discovered high tech psytrance at a time when, Furious, Psykovsky and Kindzadza where creating the next level stuff compared to just regular darkpsy producers, at that time my production skills were still limited to my shitty 2 core - 1GB RAM computer and my bad understanding of sound engineering.
Luckily around 2010 I started organizing high tech parties in Greece, which gave me the opportunity to spend some time learning more advanced production techniques with artists like Crazy Astronaut, Dark Whisper, Will o Wisp, Kasatka, Jesus Raves and so on. Soon after I started my first project called mEON.
Why did you decide to stop producing High-Tech and what is "Newtech Psytrance"?
I am not sure I was ever producing pure high-tech, but in any case, soon after I started playing my first live sets I realized that I was missing something from my sound, and that was actual music. At that time, around 2013 I moved to London and I was finishing my university studies (completely irrelevant to music). So I started trying to make my tracks more musical, which ended up in complete frustration because I stupidly thought that I could make melodies and harmonies just by trial and error – I was completely wrong. So the only way out for me was to actually start spending time understanding music theory and harmony. I spend 1 year reading and experimenting with this stuff so eventually I ended up creating a track which was nothing close to the regular high-tech or even normal psytrance. So at that time I decided to give up my old project and I created “Dead Can Trance”, because the result was so different I decided to call my music “Newtech” which for me basically means new high-tech, but whatever it doesn’t really matter. What matters is that I finally could express myself better.
Do you produce music every day? – Approximately how many hours per week do you spend on that?
It depends on how much free time I have, I try to produce as much as possible because it is something I love doing. How many hours per week? – I have no clue.
What is your most favorite Psytrance track of all time? and Why?
I think it is Penta – Lost in Space, considering the amount of time I spent listening to it when I was a teenager.
Let talk a little bit about music production. Which DAW do you use? Have you ever considered switching to a different DAW? Why?
Cubase. I tried Studio One too, but realized that I work much faster in Cubase so I switched back.
What are your all-time favorite VST plugins and why?
Fab Filter Pro Q, because is all about EQ and Spire because is very light, easy to work with and has a nice warm sound.
What are your 2 most favorite sound processing techniques?
First technique is using the delete button quite frequently, I try to not spend too much time on sound that does not sound somewhat right from the beginning, it is faster to delete it and create a new sound which will usually will sound much better with less hustle.
Second, creative stereo layering, basically when send you sounds in fx channels and you focus on creating cool stereo textures, for example if you want a lead to sound a bit cooler, when you send the main signal to two separate Fx Channels and you make each channel focus on each side of the stereo spectrum (L R) then if you even use just stack a simple delay and reverb on one side and a similar modulated combination on the other side, you usually get nice results and it is fun to work with.
How many hours on average it takes you to finish a track? How do you know when a track is finished?
Depends on how lazy I am. I know a track is almost finished when I start getting sick of it.
Do you think Newtech Psytrance will become a popular Psytrance genre?
I don’t know and I don’t really care. It is always nice seeing people recognizing your work, but newtech psytrance is just a label. High-tech is like red apples, and Newtech is like green apples, at the end of the day it is all apples anyway.
What is the most embarrassing/ funny situation you experienced as Artist?
Spilling Coca Cola on my old ugly laptop the night before playing a live-set in London, the laptop survived but the keyboard stopped working so I had to plug a very old and filthy external Microsoft keyboard which looked bigger than than the laptop itself, and during the live set my shitty laptop crashed. I was lucky that I used a backup CD playing in the cdj because I was too scared not to have it after spilling the Coke on my laptop, so I turned it back quite fast. The last 20 minutes of that live set was me standing in front of my huge keyboard looking absolutely lost and with my laptop rebooting at a speed of a spreading cancer. But yeah, it is a good memory.
What is your opinion about the psytrance scene? What keeps you in it, and what pushes you away from it?
Generally speaking I see psytrance growing day by day, it is still a relatively fresh genre when you compare it with more traditional forms of electronic music like techno or house. I believe there is a lot more room for it to grow, because people are always looking for new experiences, and Psytrance is really making a good job offering them. What keeps me in psytrance is that most people involved in it are quite open minded and I have always been a rebel myself so I think I fit well in it. Generally I don’t feel that I am pushed away by psytrance, maybe sometimes because of the fact that I make music which is not exactly the type everyone expects. But I guess that is normal, you cannot try making something different without realizing that many people will spit on it.
Thank you for joining us on this interview, is there anything you would like to say the Psytrance community before we go?
Thanks for having me. Love & hugs to everyone!
Don't forget to check out Dead Can Trance's Soundcloud!
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