Monday, October 27, 2008

Interview #1: Le Castle Vania

For our first interview ever on Fancy Sounds we were lucky enough to talk to the amazing Le Castle Vania. Most of you probably know his stuff by now, but if not get ready to learn. Here's a big old dosage of Q & A for ya. In case you can't figure this out while reading, our questions are in italics, and his answers are typed regularly.

Ok. Ready to get started?

Sure.

So your real name is Dylan. How did you come up with the name Le Castle Vania?

It sort of came from the video game Castlevania. At first it was just a joke with some friends about making a band named after the game, but then I did a remix for Snowden of the song Black Eyes, and I needed a name. I decided to change it up from the video game name, and make it Le Castle Vania just to make it sound a little cooler. I wasn't thinking it would become my long term name, but then the remix really blew up so I was like I guess my name's Le Castle Vania now. Haha

How's it feels being a popular electronic artist? Having your music all over blogs, playing great venues with other great artists. Good fun?

Yeah of course. I mean I feel very blessed. I've put in a lot of work, and have been DJing a long time so it feels good to have it all pay off, and to see people really getting in to my music.

What kind of music did you grow up listening to?

Hmmmm. Well mainly rock. Violent Femmes, Smashing Pumpkins, Pixies, Nine Inch Nails. Also stuff like Depeche Mode and Massive Attack. Later I got in to stuff like Crystal Method and The Prodigy. Then when I was about 15 I got in to DJing. I was spinning drum n' bass. I was really in to stuff like Kemal, Dom and Roland, Tech Itch, Ed Ruch and Optical, and so on.  

Do you think that stuff still inspires you today?

Oh for sure. My music is all very rock influenced. Another one of my favorites is Refused. I have sampled a lot of things and ideas from various rock bands that have influenced me as a musician over the years. I have samples from Smashing Pumpkins, The Refused, and a few Violent Femmes that I work in to my live DJ sets. But in a way that is still true to the whole indie electro vibe. I try to make my shows like the rock show of dance parties.

Very cool. How would you describe your music?

hmm. It's just a fusion of all the music that I love. It has a strong disco vibe, and of course some rock thrown in there as well as drum n' bass, indie, trip-hop, just whatever I am inspired by. 

What was the first piece of DJing/music making equipment you ever purchased?

My first of gear was a roland MC 505 Groove Box. Haha. I still have it, but never use it. I did a sample of a cool rave stab off of it though not too long ago.

Who's your favorite super hero?

I'm not really much of a super hero guy. More of an anti-hero kinda guy. Like the character in Sin City. Stuff like that.

You're based in Atlanta. What's your opinion of the electronic music scene there?

It's small, but growing. There are some very talented artists coming up from here. Treasure Fingers is from here. I made him the resident DJ for my monthly party here in Atlanta called Fuck Yesss. Klever is also from the ATL as is RRRUMP, a  group of really dope producers I am putting out on my label ALWAYS NEVER. 

I always thought of it as more of a hip-hop place, but that could change I suppose. How about the electronic music of the world in general? Headed in the right direction?

Well I don't really think there is such a thing as a "right direction". The right direction should be in the eyes of the person creating it, and there is more or less a market for all sorts of things. So in that sense I do feel like electronic music is continuing to grow in that way, although I do also feel like this is a genre that is being flooded with mediocre producers and DJs that aren't really doing anything special.

Agreed. Have you played outside of the United States before?

Yeah, I've toured across Mexico, Canada, Australia, and some parts of the UK. I'm off to Paris as well as Holland in about a month.

Anywhere you haven't played yet that you're really looking forward to?

Japan of course. And more parts of the UK and Europe.

Any part of the U.S. you enjoy playing especially? Better crowds... better clubs... whatever reason it may be.

L.A.

Yeah, we seem to have that affect on people. Haha. From a DJ standpoint do you know intuitively which songs to drop based on the crowd/where you're playing or does it take you some time to figure out what they like?

Well at this point in my career I feel like most of the people coming out to my shows are there to see a Le Castle Vania show. By that I mean they are there to see me do my thing and my sound. I more or less just do my own thing, but of course as I go through the set I catch the vibe of what's working and what's not and I adjust to that and roll with it.

Do you have any songs that you love, play often, and know will really get the crowd going? Your songs or not. Either way.

I have an exclusive edit of Robot Rock that I have done, which always works. Zero Machine always gets people pumped. Black Eyes is a fan favorite and classic for me, and people usually get really pumped on the Go Back remix I did.

Ohhh secret Daft Punk remix. I saw The Bloody Beetroots and they had a few of those as well. Any chance of releasing that?

No. Haha. The only way you get to hear it is if you come see me live. I have quite a few of those exclusives. Zero Machine was on of those for a while, but I gave it to a few friends and somehow it leaked. So now I have shared it with everyone.

On you website it says you've played with Soulwax, Justice, MSTRKRFT, to name a few. What was that like? Do you get inspiration from these artists?

It's always cool to see other artists in the same genre as me do their thing. I don't take much influence from those artists though. Except for Soulwax. I think those guys are geniuses, and I do like how the new Justice stuff has really big drums. I mean I respect all of those artists work, but it's not necessarily stuff that inspires my work. 

Have to agree. Soulwax is unbelievable. What's your favorite track that you've made so far?

My personal favorite is the Go Back remix because I did the vocoder vocals on it, and it just has everything that I want my songs to have. It's got fun catchy parts that are kind of funky, but it also has some total rock out banger parts.

What equipment do you use to create your tracks?

I write most of my music in Logic.

and what do you use to DJ?

Serato with two turn tables.

So take us through an average day in the life of Le Castle Vania.

There is no such thing as an "average day" in my life. Haha.

Aha. So give us a few good upcoming artists to watch out for?

RRRUMP, Computer Club. I also dig Fukkk Offf. Most people already know D.I.M., but he's killing it.

Ya Is You has been and still is one of my all time favorites.

Ya I have the parts to it and have been playing around with remixing it, but haven't focused in on it yet. I'm also remixing Rave Is King by Fukkk Offf.

Love that song as well. Would absolutely love to see either of those remixes i the future.

Rave Is King will be the next tune I drop so hold tight.

And a few songs and/or albums you're really in to at the moment?

Mars Volta - Deloused In the Comatorium. 
Mars Volta - Frances the Mute.
Soulwax - Nite Versions.
I'm starting to work on my full length album so I have been listening to a lot of whole albums both rock and electronic.

Any last words?

Just want everyone to keep an ear out for the full length album. Can't talk too much about it right now, but I am closing a deal with an awesome label that I really believe in, and I have some really cool collaborations planned for the album.

Alright! Thanks so much, and can't wait to hear some new stuff from you soon.

The End.

So there you have it. And what kind of blog would we be if we didn't leave you with a few amazing tracks?





Hope you had fun. We sure did.

4 Responses to “Interview #1: Le Castle Vania”

Anonymous said...

Nice interview, I really enjoyed reading it!

chucked you in my links

Anonymous said...

lol

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Z said...

Thanks man. Love the blog!