What was your most memorable dream or aspiration as a child?
I have been obsessed with dance music and rave culture since I was baby.
Back when I was way, waaayyy too young to go to parties I would obsess over trying to become an actual raver, instead of a poser in phat-pants and bracelets.
Eventually, in 2005 my dream came true when a friend convinced his dad to drive us out to a rave. We were only 15, which is probably still too young, but this is a dream we were chasing since age 5. The strings holding us back from getting into rave culture EVENTUALLY had to break.
How and when did you begin to learn music theory?
Far, FAR, later than I should have. I started (seriously) producing music in 2011. It took until 2014 until I finally figured out how to apply the circle of fifths to my music. Which may sound confusing if you consider that I wrote at least 3 decent songs by that time.
Before I understood music theory, I was a sample-based producer. I still am today, but I was then too. During my formative years, I thought audio files could only be blended with files of the same signature to remain in key.
The problem with music theory is it’s a bland, boring subject with a lot of confusing, dry literature that is difficult to read on your own.
Thankfully, YouTube can educate us in almost anything today in a much easier to understand manner, but a couple of years back, trying to wrap my head around “music-theory-for-dummies” damn-near gave me an aneurysm.
What have been your greatest challenges with creating music?
There are so many options, types of software, pathways to produce music; that overabundance and limitless possibilities becomes overwhelming. Selecting synths and samples in 2018 can throw a producer into an over-choice, in which we have a difficult time making a decision when faced with many options.
Who are some main influences on your journey of producing music?
Kirby Ferguson, who isn’t a musician but a filmmaker. He wrote a mini-series called Everything is a Remix. These videos propose that everything mankind creates takes inspiration from something that has come before. This less-than-an-hour documentary changed my entire perspective on art through explaining the derivative nature of creativity.
What are your plans over the next 5 years regarding your music?
In 5 years I will most be likely fighting the same fight I face today; trying to find some spare time to write music.
Although, the newest trend in my music is focusing on remixes. I swore off selling music, because it has always been free to me. Record companies and outlets that sell music are terrified of remixes and bootlegs because of copyright infringement.
My opinion of buying and selling music has (probably) made me immune to what scares a label off. As long as I’m not making a dime from ‘stolen’ intellectual property, I can fly safe under ‘Fair Use’. This way, I’m able to attract traffic from Spice Girls, Mario and Chumbawamba into my project.
Why do you personally choose to create music?
Originally, it was to create something that will outlive me. However, now that I understand how insanely fast electronic music evolves, I think I write music because I am always challenging myself to be better than the person I was yesterday.
Could you tell me a bit about your involvement with Flociety?
Flociety existed long before I met the team. Via music festivals, I met and grew to love a crew of hairy people who were really, REALLY, into fire-spinning.
In 2015, I proposed that we build a renegade stage at Motion Notion. Considering the bulk of friends that wanted to do the thing were already part of the prop-manipulating collective, it seemed natural to use the name.
The first gig went great, and the 4 we pulled that year all sold out.
For our first year, I was the director of the project, because I had the most experience at that time. As we grew, we have all become equally adept in the arts of throwing a killer show, and we pass the title of ‘leader’ around as the gigs come along.
How long have you been producing/DJing?
I spent my teen years trying to be a DJ, yet failing horrendously. I went about self-teaching all wrong. I started on vinyl and wasn’t able to mix the genre cluster of records I had because it was technically impossible. When I scored a pair of CDJs, I still was not able to get anything to sync up properly. Even today, after touring music-festivals all over Western Canada - I can not beatmatch.
Exiting my teen years in 2010, I decided to make the move to music production. Back then, music production was the ONLY thing I cared about, with zero interest in playing a show. Friends and promoters kept asking ‘Can you play our event?’ and all I could reply was ‘No. I don’t know how.’
Luckily, Ableton has a few ways for production-minded folks to play live even if they are horrendously bad at DJing. I was able to get my foot in the door with music festivals because I was already teaching music production workshops, and once I finished my tutorials - I would start playing live.
What is your favorite song that you have created so far?
My Favourite song because of her sound : The Roof is not my Son (But I will still Raise it)
My Favourite song because it was a turning point in my career : Calculate the Volume without the Weight
At what point in your life did you become a banana?
A DJ is a performer, (s)he is there to entertain.
While most of the time we may be too busy to unhook our Serato-face and dance around, it’s a reality that most dancers are facing the DJ and they need to be entertained.
This is where the silly costumes come to play.
I’ve experimented with A LOT of different costumes, but the banana is the one I’m known for.
There are a few reasons I wear the banana more than any other costume outside of having a brand :
I take a lot of time off work for S.GNAR & Flociety
My costumes get partied to death.
It’s breathable and light.
It doesn’t get too hot when dancing.
My arms are completely free.
Gotta twist knobs all over the place, I need free arms.
It’s tall and can be noticed from a distance.
And most importantly, it’s hilarious.
Where can people access your music?
I do my best to be accessible as possible, and I keep my music 100% free. The way it should be.