Oct 17, 2011
interview
Michael Woods

Master of progressive Michael Woods has a knack for making festival showstoppers that retain a distinctly musical feel. Michael spoke with LT3 about his musical background, what he looks for in a label, & what he views to be the biggest stumbling block for new producers.

Michael Woods - Fruitcake (Original Club Mix) [Toolroom]
LessThan3: What element of your music do you view as most distinctly “Michael Woods?”
Michael: It’s a fusion of all elements working together which I believe make a good club track, those elements being a good musical hook, a solid beat and a heavy bassline. There is no one particular element that is “my” sound, but more a collaboration of sounds working together in a certain way.
LessThan3: Many of your productions, First Aid in particular, feature progressive sections building into dark techy electro drops. Is this a production style that you developed by experimentation or by a more theoretical analysis of what you wanted the listener to feel during the track?
Michael: I’ve been studying music all my life, so I love to make songs with great chord progressions, but I also love dark and interesting drum beats, and I love experimenting in the studio to try and find a way of getting these two opposites to gel. This it what I was doing when I made First Aid. I started off with the nice chord progression and then created the slightly darker sections and worked on getting the two to fuse seamlessly into each other.
LessThan3: What was the most difficult skill for you to acquire during your initial productions?
Michael: The most difficult skill for a producer to acquire is patience, without a doubt. There will almost certainly be a time in every producer’s career when they get a mental block, or whatever they do doesn’t seem to work. the key is patience and perseverance–keep plugging away and it will come.
LessThan3: What genre outside of EDM do you explore the most for inspiration?
Michael: I listen to a lot of classical music for inspiration, which helps me come up with new and exciting chord progressions and interesting musical hooks.
LessThan3: What is the most difficult hurdle in your career right now?
Michael: I guess the most challenging thing is to keep coming up with new and exciting material–music that sounds good yet has not been done before.
LessThan3: From your experience, what needs to change in the music industry today?
Michael: I’m not sure anything needs to change in the music industry itself. Right now the music industry–especially the EDM scene–seems to be booming; it seems everyone wants a piece of it.
LessThan3: Tell us about the today’s label landscape as you see it. What’s the overall feeling about labels for hot up-and-coming producers such as yourself? In your considerations of joining a label, which aspects or services they provide are most important to you?
Michael: For me to sign to a label, I need to know they have a good reputation amongst music lovers and will be able to plug my music into a large fan base. They need to be able to get the major players into my music and be able to invest the time necessary to work and market my music properly, and this can only come if they have a deep passion for the music itself.
LessThan3: What does your family think of the music you produce?
Michael: My sister loves it; my parents don’t really know too much about it, although they know I’m successful in what I’m doing.
LessThan3: If the world were ending in LessThan3 minutes and you had an iPod with every song ever made on it, what would you listen to?
Michael: Face to Face by Daft Punk.
LessThan3: Describe your sound in LessThan3 words.
Michael: Big & Uplifting.
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