ill.Gates: Infidel Interview #80

First off, just want to thank you for participating in this edition of Infidel Interviews. Could you start off by giving a little information about you to the audience? Whatever you feel comfortable with, but name, age, and where you live would be pretty standard?

My name is ill.Gates and I'm a bass droppin', educatin' oscillator modulatin' space genius from the future.

What do you feel separates your music from the rest of the music in the Electronic Dance music scene? Do you consider yourself to be part of a particular sound or scene? What is your thoughts on the nature of genres and styles, and do you have any particular ones which you find to your enjoyment more, listening and/or production-wise?

My music is a mirror of my own experience. It communicates who I am, what I feel, my values, my experiences, my dreams and my hopes for the future of humanity. My style is all about communication. Genres come and go but my message is reflective of my individuality. 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 you musically self taught? Or have you had mentors along the way to help you develop? I started sampling farts when I was 7 and never looked back. I've always loved a wide range of music, everything from Wu Tang to Skinny Puppy to Chopin to Aphex Twin. The sound I follow is somewhere in the middle and any time I think I've got a hold of it it wriggles out of my hands and mutates into something else. My father is also a professional musician, and he showed me the ropes when I was a kid. Then later I guys like Tipper and Bassnectar would stay at my house when they had gigs in Toronto.

When you write music there is a lot of trial and error. Would you consider yourself a person who goes into production with a defined sound in mind, and you work at it until you achieve the closest to the results in your head? Or would you consider yourself more of a person who feels and grooves music, letting songs progressively evolve and define themselves throughout the creation?

I try to do it differently every time. My style is that I have no style. My method is that I have no method. I have tools, I have strategies, I have templates, but I pointedly try to move past all of that every time and just get lost in the sound. The sounds will tell you what they need if you just shut up and listen.

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? When you make music are you primarily a hardware or software oriented musician? Or do you do a fusion of both? Are there any particular instruments, programs, or effects that you would say are vital to you making music?

I spend a lot of time doing everything. If i don't have strategies to move forwards quickly I'll get stuck in whatever interests me at the moment. It's important to keep moving forwards. You can get stuck in the quicksand of doubt if you let it take you over. Speed kills thought. Quality comes from momentum, not from overthinking. Current favourite instruments are: The Make Noise Black and Gold Shared System, Access Virus TI, UAD effects + soundcard, Meyer Amie monitors, Moog Subs, Omnisphere, NI Komplete, NI Maschine, Push 2, Razor, FM8, Nexus2.

Playing live shows, recording new tracks, attempting to go live the life that gives you the experiences that inspires it all... it can be difficult to balance the time. Do you have any particular methods that you use to keep yourself focused or balanced in your direction? Sacrifice everything else that takes time away from music. Write in a journal. Feel the wasted time slipping through your fingers. Front load the pain and effort. Invest in yourself. You've had an opportunity with your rising success to play a series of concerts and festivals with some other high profile bands. What are some of your favorite places to play, and bands to play with, and why? If you could play any anywhere, with anyone, in the world, dead or alive, who and where would it be?

Burning Man, Shambhala, Outlook, Subsonic. I would do it all again.

What do you see in the near, and far, future for your creative output?

I'm coming out of an incubation period where I was learning a lot, but not releasing much. Now I've got way more music than I know what to do with and it's all coming out at once. I just released a full length album 'Terminally iLL', and I've already got another one done called 'Departures'. Currently working on a third one beyond that called 'The Arrival'. 'Terminally iLL' was all super approachable and happy. 'Departures' is all weird and deep. 'The Arrival' is a new style entirely. What would you say are your favorite themes and topics that inspire you to compose? What draws you to those themes? I like to try to write music that makes people happy. It's a lot harder than expressing discontent with the world.