First of, just want to thank you for participating in this edition of Infidel Interviews. Could you start off by giving a little information about both of you to the audience? Whatever you feel comfortable with, but name, age, what instruments you can play, and where you live would be pretty standard?
Thanks to The Infidels for giving me this opportunity to talk about my project THE KAN, my name is Vitesh Morarji, and I am 36 years old, and live in Lisbon, Portugal. I started music when i was about 16 years old playing bass in metal bands. I can play bass, do some guitar riffs, but nowadays I play as a dj/producer, doing live acts using the PC, DAWs, drum pads, groove boxes, midi keyboards and controllers.
When you first started making music, was there a particular sound or artistic/musical influence that you would say was your biggest inspiration to start pursuing the creative path yourself? Are there any bands that you would say are your "core" or "prime" inspirations when making music? Are there any new bands, or styles of music, that you are currently exploring that may possibly be evolving your sound? Yes I have a lot of different influences. When I started playing bass I was crazy about thrash metal bands like Slayer and Sepultura, and later on I developed an interest in electronic music. I love Prodigy and alternative artists like Tim Schultz, Juno Reactor, Dark Soho and so on. I guess when I first saw a Tim Schultz live act I decided that I would love doing something like that, electronic music with lots of metal vibes that was something completely new a the time. When I make music I can´t say that i'm inspired by one particular band or artist, as I listen to almost every kind of music and take influences from all of them.
How is the music scene is Portugal? Do you find there are lots of musicians who share similar tastes in music? Or is it a struggle to find fellow rivetheads? Portugal is a small country but has an strong underground scene. There are always some interesting projects going on. There are some bands like Blasted Mechanism that combines lots of styles. I can say they are an inspiration to me too. One of the new bands i'm listening to is Noidz. They are a Portuguese electronic metal band; there's Future Monkeys that is an Psy band that has some metal influences as well, this guys can defenetly rock a dancefloor; Ninja Core is a band that combines drum n bass with dubstep, hip-hop, rock, so yes I guess there are some bands with similar tastes, but the market in Portugal is too small.
What do you see in the near, and far, future for your creative output? What would you say would be you short term, and long term, goals for your artistic self?
Well in short term i'm working on the 2nd compilation of Extreme Alliance Records. This is a digital label created by me to promote artists from around the globe, to give music for free to our listeners. You can follow us at https://soundcloud.com/extremealliancerecords . I also release THE KAN's new EP Human Poison on the Brazilian label Speedsound Records. I hope to be playing live and streaming to the web to promote my work. In the long term iI hope to continue learning new production techniques and improve my songs, as I am always striving for the best.
What would you say are your favorite themes and topics to write about? What draws you to those themes? As an electronic musician I don't write a lot, but my latest productions have some lyrics, and the topics are usually extreme things, because as a metal fan I tend to like heavy/strong themes.
What sort of processes do you go through when making music? Do you have a formula(s) that you follow, or do you feel it out as you go along? Or is it more of a mixture of the two?
I don't follow formulas, if you listen to my music you will realize that. THE KAN is a project where I can produce music freely. It has no artistic boundaries. I can make a drum n bass song with death metal voices and riffs or a cinematic orchestral metal production. I like to be open to every style and not limit myself as an artist. THE KAN has a very experimental vein so I can´t limit my productions. I like to reinvent my style in every album. Ii don´t want to be a slave of one particular genre.
Would you say that your choice to pursue music has changed your life since you started? Would you say that creativity has evolved you spiritually, emotionally, or logically? What are some of the biggest challenges you have had to overcome in your musical career? Yes I can say music has made me evolve a lot spiritually, emotionally and logically. Music has had a big influence in my way of thinking and being. All the things i listen influence me, that's why I make alternative music. I don't see me fitting in a main stream band because of my personal convictions. I totally review myself in that Jimmy Hendrix phrase "music is my religion. I don't make music because its cool, or to be famous. I make music as an artistic way of expression. The biggest challenge to me was when I decided to produce electronic music and had to learn everything by myself spending hours and days of my life until I can create something innovative and original.
Are there any particular instruments, programs, or effects that you would say are vital to you making music? I produce in FL studio, I use lots of vst´s, i can say that Nexus, Sylenth and Kontakt. I also use AKAI LPD pads, BOSS drum machine and M-Audio midi keyboards.
Do you spend a lot of time crafting your own sounds? Or do you value song crafting and effects tweaking more? Or do you find it's a balance between the two? What's your relationships with presets? I guess its a balance between the two. Yes I spend some time in my productions. Not so much as I like because I don't live only from music. I have a day job, i'm a husband, and a parent, so its hard to find time for everything. I don't have any problems using presets if they fit well in the song, if they don't you have to tweak some knobs until it turns perfect for your song, but as i was saying some times I use loops, samples and presets to spare me some time. I guess there's no harm in that, i see them has an tool to my productions.
What sort of influences outside of your primary artistic expression help move or guide your artistic expression? I've often heard from musicians that their mundane jobs or family lives often provide a unexpected platform for inspiration.
For sure! My wife and son give me lot of inspiration. They are the most important persons in my life so they have a direct influence in my mood when i'm creating music. Movies, news, and the world itself has an powerful influence also. I have recently produced an epic metal track called "cruel" that was inspired by the cruelty of the human race. When I see the news every day and see terrorism, war refuges, political interests, children starving and shit like that its impossible not express my disappointment with the human race. I guess everything that surrounds you has an direct or indirect
influence on your art.
Is collaboration something that is actively important to you? Do you have any individuals you are particularly successful, or unsuccessful, in collaboration with? Has there been any collaborative based songs that you would say stand out to you?
Collaboration is always good, because you share knowledge, that's always a positive experience. I have some artists that made remixes of my tracks like Psykreatix an producer from Spain, and I also make some remixes of other artists. Nowadays with internet it's quite simple to collaborate with artists even if they live in other countries. I talk a lot with other artists that I like on Soundcloud. In Extreme Alliance Records I work with a lot of artists all based on the internet. In THE KAN project I would love to work with some bands or producers. I'm always opened to new experiences. There's been a lot of flack going around these days at the major labels for more or less all-but stealing a lot of the money from the artists on their rosters. More and more with technology artists have the capabilities to release music, and engage with their audience, without the need for major label support. I've seen you've released a lot of your music independently, and obviously with that comes the benefits and drawbacks. Where do you stand when it self-releasing versus working with labels, and do you see yourself working with any particular labels in the future? I've heard some independent labels, though offering less support, often offer a lot more flexibility.
Major labels have some good and some bad points for you as an artist, they can limit your work and take a big share of the money your music makes, but they can also take your music to places that you can't achieve by yourself, make your name bigger, promote you properly. So it all depends on what you want from music. If you have a family you have to think that you have to earn some money. In my particular case I earn money from my day job so I can create music freely with no boundaries because its not the music that puts food on our table. I guess that's a privilege doing your music with no impressions only making what you like. Nowadays you can release your songs independently and make your own promotion, its a hard way but I like it. I have my own free music digital label Extreme Alliance Records, we promote good artists for free, we have no commercial intent our aim is only to promote good artists and their music with no boundaries we respect their ideas and thoughts. I guess every artist deserve respect for their music.
Thank you so much for participating in this episode of Infidel Interview. Any parting words for your fans, or my audience?
Don't sell yourselves to the mainstream do what you feel.