John Roberts is undoubtedly one of the biggest and best things to happen in the deep house circuit over the past couple of years. The young American born, Berlin based producer has established himself a loyal following with his outstanding debut LP on the infamous Dial imprint late last year titled "Glass Eights".
John will be playing Live alongside Octave One and Fritz Kalkbrenner Friday, December 16 @ Brown Alley on behalf of the smalltown/novel community.
Butter: We read that you used to produce on a basic tracker sequencer when you where starting out. Whats you setup like now? has it changed much?
John: I still actually use the same tracker to do the final sequencing for most of my tracks. Over time I've borrowed and sampled a lot of my friends synthesizers and drum machines, but haven't really kept many around for any extended periods of time. In my studio I have lots of small percussion instruments, a violin, cello, MPC, and some effects pedals….I've enjoyed holding onto all of these and seem to find continued uses for them.
Butter: You've stated that you like making music in bed. How did this happen for the first time?
John: This started mainly from living in Berlin, which can be really cold and depressing in the winter. I was trying to force myself to get out of bed and work on music but was having a tough time, so I decided instead to just move all of the equipment into bed with me and work from there.
"I'm taking this winter off from touring to work on the new album"
Butter: We understand the move to Berlin has caused you to become more self motivated on the music side of things. How do you find Berlin over America on the lifestyle side of things?
John: When I first moved to Berlin I found it incredibly exciting, probably because it was so different from what I was used to in New York at that time. I was able to focus primarily on music, create my own schedule, feel less pressure to make money for rent, etc. Berlin has lots of amazing qualities, but as a foreigner who doesn't speak the best German it can also feel pretty alienating and solitary at times, so I've been spending more and more time in New York lately.
Butter: Glass Eights was quite a remarkable album for you that put you in the spotlight. Do you have another LP in mind? Do you feel any pressure to follow up Glass Eights?
John: I've been thinking about and planning a new album for awhile now, but I wanted to give myself some time away from producing so that when I came back I'd have something interesting to say. I definitely feel a pressure to follow up Glass Eights, and I have a lot of anxiety about making something worth listening to! I'm taking this winter off from touring to work on the new album though, so I should have something interesting next year if everything goes as planned.
Butter: Could you talk about the creative process on one of your latest tracks?
John: I've mostly just been doing lots of experimenting and sampling lately, which is sometimes more entertaining for me than actually compiling everything into a listenable piece of music. I recently borrowed an old Korg Workstation from a friend and recorded lots of really loose drum patterns onto a 4-track recorder with his help. He played a few of the keys and I played others…Some of these recordings sound really nice and loose, while others sound really terrible.
Butter: Your playing along side Octave One and Fritz Kalkbrenner down in Australia in December. Will this be your first time is Australia?
John: It will be! I'm really excited and I honestly have no idea what to expect. I've been told there will be sun and good food though, so I'm looking forward to it.
Butter: What can we expect to see in the live show? What kind of gear are you using?
John: I'll play some versions of songs from my last album, as well as some new and unreleased tracks. I'm using an MFB drum machine, my computer, and some midi controllers.
Butter: What are 3 of your favourite records at the moment?
V/A - From Brussels With Love
Colin Potter - A Gain
Arthur Russell - Tower Of Meaning
For tickets to see John Roberts Live alongside Octave One and Fritz Kalkbrenner Friday, December 16 @ Brown Alley Cotacnt us at firstname.lastname@example.org or head to the Novel Website >> www.wearenovel.com.au/buy/smalltown-presents-octave-one,-fritz-kalkbrenner-john-roberts/