The 190th episode of our 12 Questions segment features producer Lateral Cut Groove.
1. How old are you, where are you living and how long have you been producing and Djing?
I am 34 years young. I’m currently living in the north west of Ireland in a place called Sligo, but I’m constantly on the move between Ireland and the UK. I’ve been Djing since I was 16 and producing with Propellerhead’s Reason and Rebirth since as back in 2002.
2. Where do your musical roots lie, what are your first memories of electronic music and when did you know you wanted to pursue it seriously? Are there any particular productions or artists from the past that really made you think to yourself ‘this is what I want to do.”
Well my Dad played the drums in a big show band called “The Sundowners” long before I made an appearance on this earth, where he and his band toured throughout the UK and Ireland, so I definitely know where my percussion and rhythm sides come from. Also when I was a kid I used to play his drums for hours on end in the spare room, which eventually paid off as it got me onto the school band as a lead drummer. I’ve also got a good history of Irish traditional music in my family and I started playing the banjo when I was just 10. I’m a little bit rusty on it at the moment but I can still play a good session if I wanted too.
I’d say my earliest memory was New Order – Blue Monday, Donna Summer – I Feel Love and Paul Hardcastle – 19, but the changing point was the Prodigy’s – The Experience. Once I heard that album I was just blowing away and I was hooked on from that point. Out of Space has still to be on of my all time favourite tracks. The Fourth Dimension were another band that made me think to myself that is what I want to do for the rest of my life. Once I got on the electronic path I fell in love with the music and all I wanted to do was produce it but this wasn’t possible as there were no budget DAWs or sequencing platforms and only schools could afford PC’s.
3. How difficult was learning to produce for you in the beginning? Did you take any Audio Engineering programs or production courses to help you out or are you pretty much self taught? And did anyone give any advice early on that really helped?
Starting out was hard. For years I only used Reason and when I saw other platforms years later like Cubase, Ableton or Logic I was too much of a die-hard Reason nerd to change. It was and still is a serious music production station. It worked hand and hand with another propellerhead program called REcycle which was used to slice up samples into parts. This automatically happens now when you drop a sample or clip into Ableton. The warp markers do it for you. How times have changed!
Producing was always something I wanted to do so I studied for a HND in Music Production in Derry City (Northern Ireland) and following that I continued my studies to peruse an honours degree in Music Technology in Leeds Met University (UK). The course helped me understand everything across the music industry and also enhanced my knowledge in relation to placing different sounds and timbres on the right positions on the spectrum.
4. What parts of the production process do you find the most difficult and what comes easiest for you? When you do hit a creative block what helps you through it?
I find the sequencing the most difficult part. I normally produce all the deferent instruments first and then I lay down the foundations. Having a note pad by my side is something I’d advise any new or old producers to have, as it is great for jotting down ideas for future reference (good or bad). When I hit that dame writer’s block I normally zone out, clear my head and go for a long walk. Take a break is probably the best this I can advise. The clearer your mind the easier things will flow.
5. What’s a normal day like for you? Do you have a job outside of electronic music? And what do you like to do when you’re not working on music?
Music is my life. I try and split my day into three. I’m not one for producing music in the morning. It’s not that I hate mornings, it’s just my ears can’t adapt to sounds too early, so I normally start producing at around midday and keep going till midnight or sometimes I’ll keep producing until 2-3am.
Outside of producing I’ve got my hands full with my wee boys who keep me very busy and on my toes. Otherwise I’d like to kick back and read a book.
6. Apart from electronic music what other genres do you listen to and who are your favourite artists outside of electronic? and do these genres or artists have a direct effort on your own productions?
Outside of electronic music I really love Irish Traditional music. I love bands like Lúnasa, Dervish Planxty to name but a few and yes they do have a massive influence on my productions and my DJ sets. I’m a massive fan of percussion instruments and when I can I try to add some to add flavour and texture to my productions.
7. What was the first and last physical (CD, Vinyl, Cassette etc) piece of music you bought?
1st: Cassette : Metalica Justice For All, last: Balance presents – Guy J
8. Tell us something about yourself that might surprise people?
I wear my heart on my sleeve. I still cry my eyes out when I see The Green Mile, ET and All Dogs go To Heaven. (What a pussy ‘eh)
9. Which producers in your opinion get consistently overlooked?
Your man who nearly had kittens when he forgot his DJ set list, which was on an SD card. I’m not going to say his name because that would be publicizing his name.
10. Which producers consistently inspire you? And where else does your inspiration come from?
Producers that have blown my mind have been Guy J, Lake People, Cid Inc, Muui, Todd Terje, Manuel Tur & Dixon.
11. There are countless producers out there trying to find their way and create their own unique sound, what advice do you have for them?
Don’t copy anyone. Try to be fresh. Experiment as much as possible and you will find your way.
12. If the final DJ/live set of your career was next week what would your last track be?
Sasha – Baja
Lateral Cut Groove’s remix of Beat Factory ‘Forgiveness’ is out now on Balkan Connection, you can purchase the release: here