We are pleased to present to you this ARNTRE exclusive interview with the founding fathers of bass music, TERRAVITA. We were lucky to be able to chop it up with the boys as they made some time for us amidst their current tour. Check it out as we talk about the past, future and history of these bass legends.
1. In an industry where longevity among artists is rare, you’ve have established yourselves as the OG’s of bass music. I’ve got to know, from your perspective, how TERRAVITA has led the culture in such dominant fashion over the past decade.
Chris: I think it has to do with the fact that we love bass music. We are always immersed in it. Most importantly we are fans, so it’s not hard to stay excited about what’s happening and always try to push the scene forward.
Jon: I suppose it’s a mixture of an ever growing love for this music and also being able to adapt a sound to go with it. A lot of people are pretty hellbent on sticking to one thing where as I feel like we like to explore a bit of everything. At this point we’ve made almost every genre there is and we don’t intend to stop exploring sounds, genres and BPMs anytime soon, love it or hate it. haha
2. With all the different subcategories of music that you’ve brought together and hybridized over the years, I’d like to know where music started for each of you. Which instrument, song or style of music would you say is responsible for laying the foundation for what TERRAVITA is today:
Chris: I started off playing guitar and bass. My favorite bands were (and still are) Pantera, Primus, Slayer, Rob Zombie, Korn. I think some of that still pokes its head out every once in a while in our productions.
Jon: I suppose it started where everyones does, listening to the music my parents listened to when I was little. Artists like Phil Collins, Marc Cohn, Jethro Tull, Cat Stevens, Cyndi Lauper, Debbie Gibson hahaha. I grew into hip hop and RnB which is where my tastes lied for a good long time. I played the sax and the drums growing up, poorly I might add, I was always better with words. Now I listen to a bit of everything. Lately I’ve been into more singer songwriter stuff, Guys like James Bay, James Vincent McMorrow, Benjamin Francis Leftwich, A lot of Jazz classical to pop. I have a mood for everything. I think it helps to be open minded with music especially for the creative process, you’ll hear a lot of people make blanket statements like “I hate Country music.” I think that’s really closed minded. I can find something I like in any genre.
3. As one of the last standing Electro-MC’s, where would you say you pull inspiration from for your lyrics and vocals? During the creative process of making a complete song, which typically comes first, the instrumental or the vocals?
Jon: Well I started as a hip hop MC, then I was a Drum and Bass MC, then I did Electro house, then dubstep, So I suppose at this point I’m just an MC but when I write I like to have the instrumental first. For me When I hear a beat it immediately invokes an emotional response from me and 9 times out of 10 I’ll know exactly what I want to write about. If not I’ll usually ask whoever produced it what they were feeling at the time they wrote it and I’ll vibe off that.
4. With the constant evolution TERRAVITA has undergone throughout the years can you tell me what the difference is between the TERRAVITA that released “Damages” vs. the TERRAVITA that released “The Fallen”? (as far as your approach, your process etc.)
Chris: One of the biggest differences, is that in 2006, when we made Damages, dubstep barely even existed. Drum & bass was the only bass music there was really. As different genres came into the fold it influenced our sound. We have always tried to do something ahead of the curve and forward thinking, so as trends changed our influence and mindset changed.
Jon: Haha man, that’s a long time ago. Every artist goes through growing pains, ups and downs. I think the biggest thing is streamlining. The process changes constantly with the accumulation of knowledge. I don’t think the approach has changed much, that’s always been to just make music that we like. The process has definitely changed though. At this stage of the game we’ve used five different DAWS, we’ve gone from studio to laptop to studio. I feel the process will always change but hopefully we can just continue to make music that makes us, and our fans, happy.
5. Okay, now everyone knows TERRAVITA brings the heat when it comes to energy and tempo. Your music enthralls your listener in the same way Metal does where it serves as stress relief that your audience can release their inner rage in the best of ways. It must feel great knowing that your music provides that service to your fans, is this something you intended on from the beginning or did it come as a surprise to see how your songs are received?
Chris: We just try to make music that WE like. When that emotion that we are feeling gets passed to the fans, it is a good feeling.
Jon: I wouldn’t say it was intentional more so than that’s exactly what it was for us. Music is a release for us and it would only make sense that if anyone identified with it that it would be the same for them. So I guess to answer your question, it wasn’t intentional but I’m glad it worked out haha.
6. The passion you have for your craft is evident by your works; what is it that keeps you guys so hungry, what keeps the fire burning so to say?
Chris: The fire burns because we live bass music. We love music, the people, the scene, the industry, we love all of it. This is who we are.
Jon: For me it’s really that, well, this is what I do. I love making music. I love the people who appreciate it. I couldn’t really picture myself doing much else so when you get up everyday and say “Let’s go to work” This is the job we chose so I’d say half passion and half work ethic. I do think the work ethic is more important though, without that passion doesn’t count for much.
7. We at ARNTELA would like to thank you guys very much for making some time for us and letting us pick your brain a bit, before we let you go, is there anything you’d like to say in closing?
Catch us on the road on Safe In Sound. Thanks for taking the time to talk with us! Got a lot of new music on the way so keep an eye out!