A few weeks ago we had the oportunity to interview Fred Everything at the Om Studios about life,the Universe,San Francisco and his upcoming project in Om Records.
This was the result ;
AV ; Welcome Fred:
I’d like to start to talking about San Francisco.
You are originally from Montreal but you have been living in San Francisco for almost 3 years.
Which are the main differences that you see and what do you think about the current San Francisco scene?
FE; I think that San Francisco is a great city for so many different reasons.
The scene here is really good, and probably one of the best in the States, but there is so much more to the city. So much outdoor activities ,great restaurants, museums, music etc….. It’s a very complete city and i love the diversity you can find in the different neighborhoods. Each neighborhood has its own identy (and even micro-climate) yet it all remains “San Francisco”. Unlike LA where I find it hard to get a feel of, San Francisco has a more personal feel which reminds me of Montréal.
AV; During the 90´s San Francisco had a very solid scene with a very characteristic sound.
How do you see things now?
FE: I know that it’s changed and people who’ve lived here all their life might say : it’s not the way it used to be, but when you think about it, things are not the way they use to be anywhere. There are new generations of people with new tastes and new needs and it’s up to us to adjust to this, without losing touch with who we are. Generally speaking tho, I think it’s a very healthy scene. In two weeks I´m playing at Temple. The same night, Greg Wilson is at Triple Crown , Jimpster at Mighty and Mark Farina at Supper Club! All of these clubs will have hundreds of people attending. Considering there are less than a million people San Francisco, I think it’s pretty impressive. You couldn’t have so many parties catered to the same crowd in most big cities. It also amazes me how there are very little politics considering amount of promoters, djs and clubs in this city. It’s good to have the freedom to play in different clubs all the time without worrying about local politics.
AV: But do you still think that the San Francisco scene has an identity as it used to have?
FE ;It’s not as “hippy” as it used to be but there is still a free spirited vibe about it I think. The music has evolved into something a little more experimental but It seems that House is back more and more. In fact I’m quite pleased of what I hear in the Techno scene, some nice fusion, more musical and slower music.
AV; You have been into the music business for quite a few years and you probably started producing electronic music with synthesizers, midi cables,old sequencers and lots of vintage hardware.
Now a days,you can buy a 500$ laptop and become a famous “musician”. How this fact has affected to you?
FE ; The music industry has changed drastically in the past few years where production has become more of a business card for touring.
It’s very hard nowadays to even justify recording musicians and singers or buying new equipment for the studio. I still do because I love it and this is what I do. Before, you could easily justify the expenses related to paying musicians, studio upgrade, etc. Nowadays it’s a lot harder as there is very little money in the production. We rely a lot more in the trade factor, where there is a lot of swapping. Unfortunately, not everyone wants to work for free and you can’t pay your rent with a mixtape! I manage the situation with passion and hard work because Im always making music and I always will. It’s just a little harder to juggle with. You can’t take 6 months off tour to write an album anymore, it’s just not possible.
AV ; And what is the role that technology plays in all this in your opinion?
FE ; Technology has democratized music a lot. I bought my first synthesizer as soon as I was able to work as a teenager, washing dishes in restaurants. At the end of the summer, I was able to afford only one keyboard. You couldn’t do much with just that. You had to spend thousands of dollars to just be able to make a decent demo.These days,kids are very spoiled. For a few hundred dollars, you can get Logic and make tracks from A to Z in it. This means that there is a lot more music out there, well produced but often lacking in a certain “je ne sais quoi”.
AV : I was some time ago in a conference listening to Francoise Kevorkian complaining about the amount of time that he usually spends trying to find music he likes in between the avalanche of weak releases on the digital portals. Do you think that so much music is something positive or negative for the market?
FE : Both. It’s good that people have access to the medium. It should´t be only accessible to people with money or with certain equipment but on the other hand so many tracks floating around, It’s overwhelming. Everybody is using the same equipment and everybody is starting to sound very similar and even if there are still different ways to work your sound into something unique, using the same technology, often people rely on presets and a certain “recipe” sound.
Before, every producer had his own signature from the equipment they were using and the way they were using it.
I think that back in the Disco days when everything was so much more difficult to do, the production was so much more amazing.
I was just listening to some old Gino Soccio record (he is actually form Montreal too) and his production sounds so amazing and so current that is incredible.
I’d love to just go back in time and being in one of their sessions and see how they were doing this with all the old vintage gear, tapes, Fx, etc…..
I still use a lot of old equipment but I mix it with new technology.
AV: Lets talk about your label ; what is Lazy Days?
FE ; Lazy Days is a Record Label that I started in 2005. I started the label as an outlet to release my own projects and eventually release other people’s music. I was frustrated to have to please certain labels with a certain sound and wanted to have more freedom about what music I wanted to create or release. At the time, I was shopping “Friday”, our first release, and nobody wanted to release it. It was a blessing in disguise as it sold 4000 copies on vinyl and got licensed to 10 compilations. A lot of people told me that It was the track of the summer in Ibiza that year.
The name came from a beach bar in Grenada (in the Caribbean) named Lazy Days where they had these big ply wood-carved letters spelling Lazy Days placed on big speakers. I took many photos and it became an inspiration for the label. It felt right with the philosophy of the label which is to release music at a slow pace, only when great stuff comes around. I also considered myself a Lazy Workaholic. I work all the time but at my own pace. Since then we have been releasing over 15 releases and throwing parties in different places all around the Globe like in Montreal, Fabric in London and Miami WMC. In the fall there’s gonna be a special release for the 20th single and 5 years of existence. We will have 4 great remixers doing their versions of their favorite track from the catalog. There’s also gonna be a retrospective mix compilation as well as a tour.
AV ; You are about to release a new project on Om Records which is the first installment of a new line of products called Om:Master Series. What is behind the concept behind it?
FE ; It’s a mix cd/showcase including all music that I’ve been involved with. It could be an original song, a collaboration, a remix that I did for someone or a remix that somebody has done for me. I’m really excited about the project and I think its good once in a while to be able to put a collection together especially since a lot of people not necessarily get to hear a lot of this music.
AV ; What has been the criteria to select the tracks?
FE ; Anything that I’m proud of or that I think stands out in my catalog.
I decided to concentrate on the past few years rather than doing a full retrospective. I also decided to only do one concentrated cd rather than a double or triple album. I’m gonna do a worldwide tour for it from May to September to promote the project. This is an in between albums project, until my next full artist album.
AV ; Your last album is a great collection of very solid pieces of music. What are you intending to do for the new album? Can you speak about it?
The last album, Lost Together, was written over 3 years ago already. Music has changed, my life has changed, I have different influences. I don’t think It will be a shocking change but more like an evolution. Unfortunately I can’t say how it’s going to sound until it’s done, as I don’t know myself. I know I’ve been slowing down the tempo slightly and looking at new collaborators. I’m planning on writing this year for a spring 2011 release.LOOK FOR OM:MASTERS by FRED EVERYTHING ON SALE FROM MAY 2010
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