Chrome Sparks Interview - Digging Deeper
Meet Chrome Sparks, one of greats pushing the boundaries of electronic music. We had a sit down with Jeremy, the man behind the Chrome Sparks project to talk about his self titled debut album, history, and touring. Of course, it wouldn't be a Futuremag Music interview without a chat about cocktails.
You can Stream/Download the Chrome Sparks LP, HERE.
Futuremag Music: How's your relationship with music been like over the years? How'd you move into production and launching the Chrome Sparks project?
Chrome Sparks: Starting back to the beginning, when I was two I would bang on everything on the dinner table, so my parents bought me a drum set as a way to get it all out of my system. Since then it’s been my favourite thing to do, to play drums. That turned into writing songs, playing guitar, and recording on cassette tapes. Eventually that turned into writing electronic music in high school, which turned into the Chrome Sparks project. I started up posting on Myspace, in my final years at school, before I went off to college. I’ve always been really into playing instruments, writing songs and making music. It’s always been my favourite thing to do.
Futuremag Music: You were saying you’ve always loved playing and music. How’d you move into producing electro?
Chrome Sparks: It was a matter of discovering that electronic music existed and that it was possible to create. It happened in high school when I first heard Justice and Daft Punk, much like many other people’s introduction to electronic or dance music. When I attended a performing arts high school in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania they had a music tech class and I was really lucky to have that opportunity to use some programs before eventually moving onto Ableton. I’ve always been into the juxtaposition of electronic sounds and the recorded sounds and how they intermingle.
Futuremag Music: Your debut album is due out soon. Can you please talk us through the journey of writing the LP? What has been your favourite aspects of the album to work on?
Chrome Sparks: For this album, I spent a month in a cabin in up-state New York with no cell phone service, no WIFI. I really isolated myself. I’ve never done this before, but I’ve heard from friends, and artists that I’ve spoken with that it would be a helpful and cleansing experience to make new stuff. I didn’t have to worry about everyday things, and it really opened me up to dig a bit deeper into myself to find new inspiration for new music, and to use the equipment I have. Most of the music in the album was created in that cabin, while being in an extremely relaxed state.
My favourite aspect of the album process was definitely the cabin. The early stages of not having to worry about all the particular nitty gritty aspects, but just getting down to the bare bones and my favourite parts to work on. It’s undoubtedly the best part for me, if I could continue my music career with starting tracks and not finishing them I’d do it! It’s certainly the most exciting, and enjoyable part in production.
Futuremag Music: Fans have had a taste of your debut album with 'Still Think', what can they expect from the full release?
Chrome Sparks: Definitely more twists and turns. It’s got a lot of different kinds of things on it. I hope that other people feel tied together, like I tried to make it. I’ve done more with my vocals and manipulating them, recording live instruments, and in addition to all the mix stuff. I’d say expect the unexpected!
Futuremag Music: With the album releasing soon, can we expect an Australian tour?
Chrome Sparks: I think we’re looking at some time soon, but I can really say much more than that, out of a combination of not really knowing what the plans are, and not wanting to be incorrect. It’s definitely on the list of things to do.
Futuremag Music: When you do come to Australia, what would be your favourite piece of gear to bring on tour?
Chrome Sparks: I don’t think I brought it last time… No, I didn’t, I used the other two synths. I’d bring the third synth. If I can find a way to fit it in the flying rig; it’s my modular synthesizer. It’s a funny thing to bring on tour because its somewhat complicated to change sounds. In addition to changing nobs and turning stuff, what you’d do on a regular synth, you’re also plugging different wires into oscillating filters to change the sound. Often, it’s a little complicated to do live during a set while trying to play other keyboard parts. Besides just sounding incredible, I think a modular synth is something exciting to have in a live set, because I can’t properly reset it between songs. If I tinker with it throughout a song, then move on to the next song, I won’t be able to remember the exact way to reset it, so it’s a bit unpredictable, and it might start up when the modular part comes in and could sound quite a bit different than I anticipated. I love that. Everything else is pre-set and I’ve programmed the sound just right, but the modular I never really know what it’s going to sound like from song to song.
Futuremag Music: If 'Chrome Sparks' was a cocktail what would be in it to best describe yourself and your music?
Chrome Sparks: I personally love scotch with not many other ingredients. That said we’re talking my music translated into a cocktail… I guess I’ll have to capitalise on my use of instruments and electronics, so it’s got to have whiskey, and rosemary to signify the recorded elements because its earthy. I love adding glittery textures to fill out the high end of the track. We gotta get absinthe in there because that just trips it out! I’m not sure how absinthe and whiskey would mix… It might be a disgusting drink hahaha! I might try it on the weekend.