It's nearly that time of the year again, and we have a special Q&A here from several featuring artists on Lurid Tales 4. Answers from DOOM THESIS, DREER, IT LIVES, Korva and Passcde!
Q1. What's your favourite thing about Halloween?
DOOM THESIS: My favorite thing about Halloween is definitely the dark but somewhat fun atmosphere. OH and scaring whoever comes and knocks on my door to ask for candy haha.
DREER: Honestly, it's probably the autumn-y mood it puts people into, over here in Australia its spring time when Halloween comes around so I'm always happy to be wanting for a colder season! Seeing how people celebrate and immerse themselves in the season is really nice, I've got friends who are celebrating pagan holidays; others who dig into their horror movies; and some like the whole celebration of the westernised Halloween that is more widely known. I personally celebrate with watching Halloween movies or horror films that have scores I like in them! IT LIVES: I don’t really celebrate Halloween itself anymore but it has become kind of an annual thing for me and some old friends from me to hang out at Halloween and play games, drink and just enjoy the good times. Sometimes I visit themed shows though.
Korva: The atmosphere, honestly. Halloween’s never been about anything supernatural for me, I just really enjoy the aesthetics and the lighthearted spookiness of it all. No matter how cheesy and corporate it can get, there’s still some kind of magic in the air when the sun goes down on Halloween night. Passcde: Ok, so this is pretty hard because as a kid Halloween was treated as the second most important holiday after Christmas. Screw Thanksgiving, Easter, 4th of July, all of them. My mom would put a lot of emphasis on Halloween and it ran in my family as a whole that you just absolutely loved Halloween. My brother would go work at haunted house attractions as an actor playing everything between a chainsaw killer to a runaway mad gorilla. I in turn also took it very seriously and would dress up for Halloween with very intricate costumes sometimes doing more than one costume and then would also later in my life help walk my nieces and nephews around for trick-or-treating. But, if I had to pick one thing it would be going out with my family and looking at all the houses that have super cool and intricate Halloween decorations. Something we also do for Christmas.
Q2. Did you go out trick or treating as a youngster and if so, what was the worst treat you got from trick or treating?
DOOM THESIS: Yeah! The worst treat I got was a carrot… I mean come on it’s Halloween, give me the CANDY. If you’re one of these people that gives out “healthy” stuff on Halloween, then prepare for lots of tricks.
DREER: I think I did once when I was little but don't remember much of it. Although I think if I was the one giving the treat I'd give the trick-or-treaters an avocado seed and tell them to thank me in a few years after planting it. IT LIVES: We once visited an old and kind of strict dentist and he gave us toothbrushes and held a lecture about mouth hygiene… definitely not a mistake I would make again years after.
Korva: There was a house that gave out religious pamphlets one year. Passcde: Yes, every single year from the moment I could walk. Even to the point where as I said in my first answer I walk my nieces and nephews around for trick-or-treating nowadays. As for the worst treat, that requires a little bit of context. As a kid my family wasn’t very well off so we didn’t live in places that had a lot of people trick-or-treating so we would go to developments and neighbourhoods with people that were more well off. Some even being rich people. The people in these places usually give normal stuff BUT every so often without fail someone would give so-called “healthy alternatives” like raisins, nutri-grain bars, fig newtons and all that stuff. If it were me that would be illegal. I’m joking of course but let the kids have some fun and give them some candy man!
Q3. What's your favourite song from 'Lurid Tales 4' and why?
DOOM THESIS: That’s like asking me to pick a favorite child haha. However, if I had to pick one that nails the Halloween theme perfectly for me, it’d be “Sludge” SAPISVR.
DREER: Gotta love the Doom Thesis track Malediction! The tearout they make has a very cool tone, sort of a quasi-minatory sound which is fresh at least to my ears. Not to mention the snare in it is off its rocker! IT LIVES: Passcde - Loathing has to be my favourite. I'm super into deep atmospheric dnb lately and that tune definitely is a vibe on the way back from work or in long coding nights.
Korva: First time I heard 'Align' by Karraki, I knew this compilation was gonna be something special. That absolute manic energy gets me every time. Passcde: For me, I would have to say Karraki’s song Align. I love the four on floor style on the first drop and how it just progressively gets more and more chaotic and hectic. I love how the beginning goes from pretty but still sort of foreboding to some atmosphere that I feel like I would hear in the movie Eraserhead. Sort of Industrial in a way. The second drop is just pure chaos in drum and bass style, it’s great. Great tune.
Q4. Is Halloween an important day in your country?
DOOM THESIS: It depends on the region of the country. In the Flemish part of Belgium it’s an important holiday but not because of scary things. Because teachers treat it as a way to give kids some fun time at school. Kids & teachers are cooking pumpkin soup together, coming to school wearing their costumes and they’re having mini-Halloween parties during the classes. I personally think that’s dope.
DREER: Not particularly with most people in Australia from what I've seen, although as time goes on, I do see more and more houses with decorations and bigger and bigger crowds of kids trawling for sweets. IT LIVES: Depends. It's still a very popular day for children, but it's more of a thing you just do when growing up. The actual meaning behind it to ward off evil spirits is rarely important and that origin isn't really known anymore.
Korva: It’s pretty big here in the States, yeah. Halloween decorations have been up for the last month where I live and stores have been going full spooky since mid-September. Passcde: So, I live in America and I feel that it still is important but just not as important to some people as I feel it should be with how I was raised and how it was seen and shown to me as a kid with how much stock we put into Halloween. As I said in the first answer you can tell how much it meant to me and my family.
Q5. Do you believe in ghosts?
DOOM THESIS: Look behind you. BOO!
DREER: Not particularly just because there's a lot of scientific reasoning that disproves most of the ghost stories I hear about! Our brains also are experts at playing tricks on us in ways we can't imagine. Love to hear a good story though! IT LIVES: Not in a traditional sense, but I believe there have to be entities in higher dimensions or invisible to our eye that influence the world around us. Who knows, maybe some day well know the answer.
Korva: I don’t believe in the supernatural and never have. When those late-October vibes hit right though, I catch myself looking over my shoulder just in case. Can’t help it. Passcde: No. I understand why some people do though. Some people want to feel like the people in their life who have passed away are still with them and then some people just believe the dead can stick around in the form of ghosts if they want to. I however, just don’t think so and haven’t seen or been a part of anything compelling enough to say the contrary. There are things I do that are just little things that I use to remember loved ones that pass away such as always enjoying when birds like cardinals and bluejays are around, because my grandmother enjoyed feeding and looking at birds but never anything to the extreme of believing in ghosts.
Q6. How did you go about making your track on Lurid Tales 4?
DOOM THESIS: The idea behind the song was to blend the modern Tearout style and the old-school Deathstep style together to create something in-between. I combined the sound design aspects and atmospheres of these two genres to make something different. Maintaining the raw feeling and heaviness of the song was definitely something I found very important. Fruity Granulizer is a plugin that definitely helped me a lot while producing this song.
DREER: I made Lucid 2 years ago so my memory is a bit foggy (I've lost the project file somewhere). I know that Native Instruments' synth "Massive", as usual for my productions, is featured in the main basses such as the synths in the switches of the drops. I used Spitfire's "Labs" for some of the percussive elements in the track as well, also for the drowning synth pads that you hear in there as well! If anyone wants to make this style I will say: don't be afraid to use the sub as a more independent instrument with no other synths on top of it to follow. Writing spacious and vibes deep dubstep tunes thrive off it. It has that extra bit of swagger when done right. IT LIVES: I used ridiculous base sounds for my basses this time: a snare (first drop) and a Lil Texas up-tempo kick (3rd drop). On a more serious note, a lot of the atmospheres and textures are samples chosen based off a mental model of the setting this track would be in, if it were a story.
Korva: Nearly all the main basses in Something Wicked are resampled and pitched around with the beats warp mode in Ableton. Slap some vocoder/disperser/erosion over that and you get some really strange organic sounds to mess with. Passcde: It was pretty straight forward, nothing too special. Some little things is that for the vocals saying “Loathing” I used three different text-to-speech voices and a random woman pronouncing the word and it made it sound cool, monotone and deadpan but each voice being different was cool to me. Almost like multiple people were saying it. Something cool that I did for the piano part in the bridge was I took a more standard straight up piano and a more closely recorded, more intimate sounding piano and mixed them together where it made for some small details that I love hearing in pianos like the mechanics of the machine itself. But having a bog-standard piano mixed in with it keeps it sounding like a normal piano and not too overbearing on the intimate sound. Other than that, Vital, Serum and lots of distortion.
Q7. Is there a meaning behind your featuring track?
DOOM THESIS: Malediction means “calling down of evil on someone; curse” and that was the theme I went with. I wanted to write a song that would feel like a spell or a ritual, that you’d play in order to curse someone…. *Muwahahahaha*
DREER: The track was made for a songwriting competition which you had to build a story and theme around. I wanted mine to be about a dreamscape that turns to a nightmare so that's why there's a dreary and ethereal sort of quality to the track, the breathing sample you hear as the pre-drop sample was too illicit the effect of someone having a death rattle, sort of implying that it's a dream you don't wake up from. IT LIVES: Not a meaning, but this time I wanted to tell a story expanding of a story i thought of for my EP “Antipattern EP”. The setting is a future in which an AI ran by a megacorporation runs amok (Antipattern EP) and hijacks a biotechnical research facility, opening a contaminated section (Hazard Sector).
Korva: I decided I wanted to make something that was just fun this year! A lot of the early 2010s music I like to take inspiration from would be very blunt about its themes and sampling, so I leaned into that.
Though since the broader story of all my music takes place in the same shared setting, the Something Wicked in question exists in it as well. I’ve been thinking of it as a malfunctioning military construct, but who really knows what it is? Nobody’s seen it and lived to tell the tale. Passcde: Not really. The inspiration for track was actually off the back of another tune I was working on called “Loath” and both of those projects got their name from the fact that loathing is such an intense emotion akin to hatred but also from “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas” and not just the movie. The multiple different cover arts of the book by Hunter S. Thompson also inspired the song because they are so nasty and destitute. As for the sound of the track many, many drum and bass artists influence my music but also score composers do as well. Especially Cristobal Tapia De Veer, Mick Gordon and Hildur Guðnadóttir.
Q8. In a zombie apocalypse, what would be your weapon of choice? (Get creative!)
DOOM THESIS: I’d get the “Enigma glaive” which is a type of glaive that also has a frenzy gun built in it. These zombies ain’t getting anywhere near me.
DREER: I'd grab a slingshot (or as a makeshift replacement, a rubber dishwashing glove where you can pull the finger sleeves back to shoot objects with) and a heap of those metallic SanDisk USB'S you can get from hi-fi or office supply stores and just snipe heads off zombies that way... IT LIVES: I would invent a machine that can convert organic matter into energy, and attach it to a armored vehicle. Then i would simply roll over the zombies, refueling the vehicle and maybe even running a little fridge inside. Realistically though, I'd probably move to a deserted island and live the rest of my life there
Korva: Given the choice of absolutely anything, I’d spring for a flamethrower. I’m not leaving anything up to chance, if it’s undead it’s ash.
Realistically, I’d settle for anything long and pointy. Passcde: This is easy, I thought about it as a kid a lot because of games like Dead Rising 1&2. I would get a motorized skateboard like the one in Tony Hawk’s Underground 2 that Bigfoot uses (shoutout to you if you know this). Not some longboard with a motor or a OneWheel. Go look it up: “Bigfoot THUG 2”. Then attach saw blades to the sides to chop ‘em down to their knees and smack their heads with the Fallout 4 speciality. A baseball bat with two saw blades on it. Easy. I’m undefeated in a Zombie Apocalypse clearly.
Thanks to DOOM THESIS, IT LIVES, DREER, Korva and Passcde for answering our Halloween related questions. We hope you enjoyed this blog post and get ready for Lurid Tales 4 to drop on the spookiest day of the year, October 31st!