LessThan3: What’s it like working out of Texas, which typically hasn’t been a big haven for the trance scene?
It’s actually getting quite amazing. Texas is a massive state, with really impressive cities like Houston, Dallas, Austin and San Antonio. All those cities regularly host some of the biggest festivals and clubs in the world, including Electric Daisy Carnival
, and Spring Love Festival. Other than that, the economy is strong, the cost of living is down, and Austin is absolutely gorgeous. We live there, and it’s a vibrant, clean and very contemporary place.
LessThan3: What would you say the advantages are of playing together in a duo? Are there any disadvantages of being a two-man team?
Dave: Quite a lot of advantages actually! Especially for the things we both want to accomplish, having two heads helps get everything we want to get done, done. It also works out great for all the traveling we do. However, there are the creative parts where anyone would hit heads on, but we always tend to come to a middle ground.
LessThan3: What challenges did you face while starting your label “Air Up There Recordings?”
Chad: To be honest, a very difficult concept was deciding on the logo and branding scheme. We went with something slick and simple in order for it to really gel with our sound. We were fortunate to team up with Enhanced Recordings label boss Will Holland to really help us get it off the ground fast. As far as releasing tracks, AUT is focused primarily on pushing Tritonal’s sound, and as an offshoot we get loads of submissions from top notch producers.
LessThan3: Piercing the Quiet releases May 9 after two years of hard work. Out of all of the amazing tracks that made it onto the album, which tracks in particular mean the most to each of you?
Dave: I really enjoy listening to everything we’ve put down on our album, but I’d have to say that my absolute favorites are Ever After, Broken Down, Still with Me and Murakami. In the first three, the vocals are mysterious and give off the initial vibe of the album with our latest twist on our sound, whereas in a track like Murakami we brings back the love for more of our classic trance styles.
Chad: Easy! Still With Me feat. Cristina Soto and Broken Down feat. Meredith Call are hands down my two favorites. I am head over heels in love with both vocals, and honestly prefer the mixes without beats. It represents why Dave and I joined forces to begin with, which was a passion and love for all things uplifting. We have ventured away from uplifting sounds bit by bit in order to really rock dancefloors, but we both know deep down why we do what we do; it’s because we love the way an amazing piece of music can make you feel.
LessThan3: How does your songwriting approach change for songs with and without vocals?
Chad: I can break this down into pretty simple terms, actually. When a track or piece of music is written for vocals, it needs to be written in such a way that the vocals can be the lead or main element on top. Something really busy or that has a lot of movement will be harder to gel with vocals usually. Instrumental tracks need to focus on the lead riff, hook, or overall main idea before beginning the arrangement phase, so we spend more time just messing about in the piano roll or keyboard.
LessThan3: Are there any crucial factors that contribute to the overall vibe of a set? Do you ever know before you get on stage that a set will rock particularly hard?
Dave: Usually, we like to sit down and discuss the night over dinner. It really also depends on where we are and the vibe of our audience. Sometimes through trial and error we’ll discover how hard or melodic we need to take our sets. So now I feel it’s safe to say that most of the time we do know what works well on the dancefloor.
LessThan3: Trance in America has been growing fast, and we’ve seen a surge of interest by Europe’s biggest names and labels. If you could offer up-and-coming American trance artists any advice on how to succeed, what would you say?
Chad: Work on making big tracks! Big tracks equal big gigs, bottom line. Today, it’s important to be consistent, and that takes a lot of work, talent and dedication.
LessThan3: Compared to a few years back, where do you think EDM’s place in the global community is now? Where do you see it going?
Dave: Great question! In everything that we’ve learned coming up, I’ve been seeing the dance and trance sound become more and more infused with that commercial, mainstream sound—you may have already noticed! It’s a good movement in my honest opinion because there are only so many people that enjoy the dance genre. Involving the 4/4 beat with pop and R&B will bring a whole new audience and open up a door for the community! So all in all, I see the electronica industry taking a turn for the greater in terms of exposure it deserves.
LessThan3: We featured Forgive Me, Forget You on our Top 20 Trance Tracks of 2010. To what extent does getting this kind of attention help you in your career?
Chad: Every little bit helps! Exposure is the best thing to have for one’s production/ DJ career. So now, if someone were to Google that track, it would be yet another search result. Rock on I say, and thank you!
LessThan3: Do you ever set any goals for having songs played by certain DJs? Would you still be producing the music you are if you never received any recognition?
Dave: Dave and I would both still be producing music in some shape or fashion just on the pure passion we have for it. That said, if there was no recognition or success, there probably wouldn’t be enough gigs to financially support a six-day-a-week approach to production. We produce full time, and without the international recognition and success, we wouldn’t be where we are today!
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?
LessThan3: Describe your sound in LessThan3 words.
Dave: Organic, Driven, Melodic.