SPL is Sam Pool of Los Angeles, an EDM artist who has been producing mould-breaking music for over a decade
Local crew Collateral Damage are throwing a post-Valentine's Day Massacre at Noise Bar in Brunswick, which will feature many great local DJs, including Ctoafn, Nanotek and J.Nitrous, topped by SPL. We talked to Sam Pool, aka SPL, ahead of the show.
You've been identified as a dubstep artist by many people. Do you see yourself as a dubstep artist?
Not really. I suppose a majority of what I make could be classified as EDM and a lot of my recent work I would consider to be dubstep. I first released drum & bass and made a lot of random stuff before and since then. I'm kind of all over the place right now, I like so much different music; it would be hard for my to limit myself to one style. I'm sure I'll do many different things in the future.
What do you consider to be bass music these days? Is it too broad an umbrella term to be utilised?
It's a broad term, but I like just about every take I've heard on bass music so I don't think that's a bad thing.
How does the American way of producing bass music differ from UK roots? Can they be seen as being related or are they two seperate niches?
I think they are very related. Of course the music has changed a lot since the time when it was mainly UK-centric. Ever since I have been into EDM, I hear producers from all of the world producing many different flavours.
Many people are now looking towards trap music as being the new “buzz” genre. What is it and have you embraced it?
I embraced trap style music years ago, the original of Pistol Pants was released a few years ago and the drums are primarily trap style in that. I've always been a fan of hip hop and dirty southern styles have been dope for a long time. I have incorporated 808 and hip hop style beats in my production for years now. I wouldn't say it dominates my sounds, but flavours it a bit. I've been excited about people embracing trap and I think it's opened up bass music to even more styles. I like to blend it all, especially the older I get.
If you were a set genre, what would it be?
What bands do you like?
I like so many different bands. It changes all of the time. I've gone through phases where I was really into NIN, then the Beatles, then Tool, and I'll turn around and listen to artists like Curtis Mayfield, or Elliot Smith. I really like what people do with music. I'm a sucker for a good melody, harmony, rhythm or lyrics, no matter the style. I think it's beautiful. The last two weeks I've been on an '80s kick. My tastes are very diverse.
How does the scene back then differ from the scene now? Are things going stronger for EDM in general?
It seems like things are stronger for EDM, especially the commercial side of it. The amount of EDM in the mainstream is greater than ever and it seems like the underground is strong too. It depends on where you are, there are different scenes everywhere.
How do you play out as an EDM artist, and what defines “live” music in electronica?
Currently I DJ when I perform using CDJs and a mixer. Everyone has a different take on performing live. The most improvised purely electronic music I've ever seen live was Autechre. Definitely worth checking out if you ever have a chance.
Where are you looking most forward to playing out in Australia (apart from Melbourne)?
Earth Frequency Festival should be great. Touring Australia has been different every time so I don't really know what I'm looking forward to. It will be great to hang out with the friends that I've made along the way in Australia.
Have you heard of many Australian EDM artists and who are your favourites?
There are so many! Of course my buds J. Nitrous, Killafoe, Chewie and NZ transplant Nanotek. My current favourite might be Tommy Trash, I really dig what he's doing. but aside from that it would be Dirty South, Opiuo, Pendulum & Knife Party. I'm probably forgetting someone important to me hahaha.
What else do you creatively? Any neat hobbies?
I've been getting into some graphic design lately. I like spending my time outside, being active when I can and cooking. I also like reading and playing video games. Girls are great but I'm so busy that part of my life gets neglected these days. Music probably consumes most of my time though.
What makes you happiest outside of music?
Sunshine, people, food.
If you had one track left to make before you died, what sort of track would you make?
Probably an orchestral piece. Something primarily melodic.
Do you see yourself as making a difference to EDM?
I don't really know about that. I suppose it would be cool if it happened. I just try to keep my nose to the grind and express myself without thinking too much about it. I know of many artists who have made a more significant impact. I'm just happy to have the fan base that I've accrued over the years.
What's something large for the world you wish you could make happen in the future?
World peace! Haha. I'd like to somehow change the way people approach making music. I would have to have a lot of influence for such a thing to happen.