Members: David Lopez, Carlos Cruz
Occupation: Producers, DJs
Current Release: Motorik EP on Suara
Recommendations: “Dark Paintings of Goya”
Any poem by Edgar Allan Poe
A piece of music “The Valkiries” by Wagner
If you enjoyed this interview with Lopezhouse, visit their facebook page or soundcloud account for everything you ever wanted to know about them.
When did you start writing/producing music - and what or who were your early passions and influences? What what is about music and/or sound that drew you to it?
Hello! Firstly we want to say thank you for the interview! Here we go ... We started as Lopezhouse 3 years ago, when Carlos bet for the project! Carlos and I have a lot of similar influences and complementary differences. For example we love Depeche Mode, NIN, Massive Attack, and Spanish bands Like Los Planetas ...
For most artists, originality is first preceded by a phase of learning that often emulates others. What was this like for you? How would you describe your own development as an artist and the transition towards your own voice? What is the the relationship between copying, learning and your own creativity?
Obviously in our case when you begin to make music you have your reference points where you start to develop or mimic your sound. For us we are aware that this is just a start. That we needed our own original sound.
We don’t copy, but sometimes it is hard to get away from the subconscious that has imprinted all the music you’ve heard in your life. This is why, when we are making new music, we do not listen to new music during the creative process.
What were your main compositional- and production-challenges in the beginning and how have they changed over time?
The main compositional-production challenges in the beginning are to find out our own sound, and taking a style that we like and in which we can work comfortably. We try to add something unique to the scene, which we believe is crucial at a time where music is massively produced.
From the start we’ve felt drawn to mixing electronic music with live band organic elements (guitar, drums, bass ), You can get a taste of this in our tracks like “Trust in Me” and “Future In Your Head”. Personally I think our music has evolved so much more since those releases. Now we are finishing our latest project with our band LOOZ and we will continue the LOPEZHOUSE project with sounds that are more pure and techno!
What was your first studio like? How and for what reasons has your set-up evolved over the years and what are currently some of the most important pieces of gear for you?
Our first studio set had just a computer, a small mixer, a couple of loudspeakers, a headphones and a condenser microphone. Throughout the years, we basically have the same equipment with a better quality and some synths. Devices as JOEMEEK VC1 mic-preamp and Solid Tube condenser-mic are essential elements in our recording set.
Now we are considering to upgrade the studio with new synths and software.
How do you make use of technology? In terms of the feedback mechanism between technology and creativity, what do humans excel at, what do machines excel at?
Machines provides us tools for working in an easy and cheap way. Thanks to digital production you don´t need to spend a big amount of money on synths which are a necessary resource in electronic music. Nevertheless, humans are the source of ideas, the soul of the music!
Production tools, from instruments to complex software environments, contribute to the compositional process. How does this manifest itself in your work? Can you describe the co-authorship between yourself and your tools?
We work with organic elements like bass, drums, guitar, synths and electronics elements with software. We fuse everything. As to software, we work with Ableton, Reason, and Cubase to record instruments and produce!
Collaborations can take on many forms. What role do they play in your approach and what are your preferred ways of engaging with other creatives through, for example, file sharing, jamming or just talking about ideas?
Of course, listening and talking about music we like is a good beginning to break the ice. From there we develop ways to create a nice relationship. Utterly, music makes friends!
Could you take us through a day in your life, from a possible morning routine through to your work? Do you have a fixed schedule? How do music and other aspects of your life feed back into each other - do you separate them or instead try to make them blend seamlessly?
We have two home studios. Sometimes we work separately, but always together - if you know what I mean. Everyday we start around 10 o'clock am with a cup of coffee and discuss the tasks of the day. Today for example, we are working together on mastering our new album!
Since we work at home, our family is always near and sometimes demands our attention. For this we make allowances to take breaks. Lopez has a baby and she requires his attention. She is the boss!
However, music is present 24 hours a day! Our families are very supportive and love to listen to our new music always, also our manager Nicole is based in Miami so our 8 hour time difference allows us to speak with her in the early evening hours.
Could you describe your creative process on the basis of a piece or album that's particularly dear to you, please? Where did the ideas come from, how were they transformed in your mind, what did you start with and how do you refine these beginnings into the finished work of art?
Our next project features a track very dear to us titled “Montelobos”, which will be on our debut album. The inspiration for the album started during our stay in Tulum, México, two years ago, and thanks to its rich history and experience. Since that trip we have been working hard refining the tracks and the album. We’ve made a lot of changes especially with the bass and vocals. We were crazy about the track we mentioned, but now we feel it is definitely one of our best pieces.
“Mude Tod” which we released on Dirtybird Records, was the exact opposite. The track was made in one week. The idea for the track peaked in just one day! Don’t know why for sure. We suppose that it depended on our states of mind at the time.
There are many descriptions of the ideal state of mind for being creative. What is it like for you? What supports this ideal state of mind and what are distractions? Are there strategies to enter into this state more easily?
We don’t need to travel or do Yoga to get going. Perhaps a cup of coffee before studio time and oh a comfortable chair! We try to leave any problems outside the door. The mind must to be clear.
How is playing live and writing music in the studio connected? What do you achieve and draw from each experience personally? How do you see the relationship between improvisation and composition in this regard?
Always in our DJ sets or live performances, we are already intuiting new ideas for future tracks. The live act is important because you can see and feel the reaction of the people. This provides a guiding light for our next productions. From there, we can bring the pieces of inspiration and experience together for the start of a new sound or track. In the end, we write our music in the studio and work hard to bring our productions to life.
How do you see the relationship between the 'sound' aspects of music and the 'composition' aspects? How do you work with sound and timbre to meet certain production ideas and in which way can certain sounds already take on compositional qualities?
The sound we want for our production is as important as the composition. Concretely, in electronic music, the sound prevails over the composition. The timbre and it's envelope shows how it works in different tones that can lead us to the development of a very interesting and complex idea.
Our sense of hearing shares intriguing connections to other senses. From your experience, what are some of the most inspiring overlaps between different senses - and what do they tell us about the way our senses work? What happens to sound at its outermost borders?
Certainly, senses aren't isolated among themselves. In fact, senses of hearing and touching are connected or overlapping when we are listening to music. Like when you are at a concert or playing an instrument. It's a matter of psychoacoustics. Something implicit in music which we sometimes aren't even aware of.
Art can be a purpose in its own right, but it can also directly feed back into everyday life, take on a social and political role and lead to more engagement. Can you describe your approach to art and being an artist?
In our opinion the word “artist” is used very lightly by people. Because of this we prefer to say ‘producer’ or ‘musician’. A person who loves to make and play music can apply to all of the above, however. A person with artistic and political restlessness, lent to our search for our own way of musical expression.
It is remarkable, in a way, that we have arrived in the 21st century with the basic concept of music still intact. Do you have a vision of music, an idea of what music could be beyond its current form?
Music is at a pretty advanced point. Important tool that are still helping music to move forward are synthesisers and electronic devices. Without them, we are not sure there would have been such giant leaps in musical evolution. In our view, mixing old with new styles will continue to prompt future musical movements.