12 Questions Episode 273: Sonderzug

The 273rd episode of our 12 Questions segment features producer Sonderzug.


1. How old are you, where are you living and how long have you been producing and Djing?

I am 21 years old, and I live in Vienna, Austria. I have been producing and experimenting with music from the age 13 and on. My first djing experience was at the age 14 in a small club. Since then I have been lucky enough to play in many clubs, larger and smaller ones as well around Europe.

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.”

If I have to think back, I remember when I was around 14, the new “Berlin Calling” movie came out with Paul Kalkbrenner, along with his album. Before that I was already experimenting, but when I saw the movie, and when I got deeper into electronic music and made many researches, I became fascinated with the feeling and the community underground music had. I felt connected, and I felt I want to be apart of that. I became familiar with many underground artists such as: Richie Hawtin, Dusty Kid, Maceo Plex, Trentemoller, Kollektive Turmstrasse and so on. Earlier I really wanted, that people get to know me, and become famous with my productions, but since I started my new artist name not so long ago, I rather focus on giving my feeling towards electronic music, and life experiences into my productions, and let my music lead me where I have to go in the future.

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?

I basically learned everything on my own, I didn’t take any lessons or courses. Back then I had some friends in school who were fooling around with music production and showed me some programs for making music like Reason and Ableton. (Till today I still use Ableton) I started making really basic sounds, and melody’s. Although the result was not a success at start, I discovered myself really enjoying the process of making music. This feeling drives me to be better since I started. It really just became a part of my life. I had one friend who was older then me, and he was trying to make me understand the concept of individuality. He always told me to write music that comes deep from you, to express myself, and don’t write what other people want to hear because that’s not real, and just makes your production black and white.  Best advice that I ever got regarding music production.

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?

Most difficult part in writing music for me is making an inspiration become reality. Usually if I don’t get at least a half concept of a track within an hour or two, probably it will never be finished. It’s very rare in my case that I start a track and finish it in the further future, without the half or more being done in the first hours.  If I hit a creative block usually a just let it be, because if I force my production, I can always hear that afterwards in my tracks. So to put it clear, It’s rare that I continue, or can continue after a stuck idea.

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?

I have a job, I am a receptionist in a hotel. It works for me quite fine separating music production from my work, but I also have to say I haven’t started this job long ago. A casual day for me is about making research over everything I’m interested in, involving music, science, producers and keeping up with the worlds news within my interest zone. I also love walking a lot, I normally go everywhere on foot, it let’s my thoughts fly, and gives me great inspirations on the way for my music.

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 effect on your own productions?

If I have to say something outside electronic music, I really rarely listen to opera music, and sometimes old artists such as:  Frank Sinatra, Johnny Cash and Michael Jackson. After I listen to them it gives me a great feeling, and helps me to put electronic music in a new perspective, that is in my opinion great for modern tracks.

7. What was the first and last physical (CD, Vinyl, Cassette etc)  piece of music you bought?

The first physical copy was a Gorillaz cd album, ” Feel Good Inc.” I Loved it back then. I recently bought a turntable due to the quality. Last vinyl I bought was “The Trentemoller Chronicles”, which I have to say is a unbelievable experience to listen to on good speakers and a turntable.

8. Tell us something about yourself that might surprise people?

I had a other artist name, which with I was writing minimal-techno music. With this name I was lucky enough to travel to other countries with to play in clubs with the help of a friend of mine, but I stopped producing music under that name, because my productions were not going in a way I wanted them to, I just simply couldn’t identify myself with what it was representing. The new artist name and the new style is much more my world, and I am really serious with keeping the freedom and feeling within the music and the name.

9. Which producers in your opinion get consistently overlooked?

I don’t know, because I don’t have much opinion about artists I have no interest in.

10. Which producers consistently inspire you? And where else does your inspiration come from?

At the moment Attlas and Flume amazes me the most, with the great in music atmosphere, and futuristic experimental sounds they have. It really gives me the chills when I listen to the music they make. Besides that my inspiration can almost come from anything. Tracks, events or sometimes just from nothing. But as I mentioned earlier, walking helps me a lot.

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 listen to what anybody says about success or what it means, or how big hits are written. It works different for every single person. You can only make interesting tracks, the ones that has an impact, if you are true to your music, and yourself. Let it come naturally with fun.

12. If the final DJ/live set of your career was next week what would your last track be?

Flume – Some Minds feat. Andrew Wyatt

‘Touch’ EP is out now on 238W Inc., you can purchase the release: here

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