|All photos by Kristen Abigail|
In the process of producing his second record, EDM artist Robert DeLong is still making waves as a one-man band using instruments like video game controllers to anything he can hook up to his computer. The 29-year old originally from the suburbs of Seattle has successfully made his way through the EDM world since his debut record, Just Movements, dropped in early 2013. We had the chance to chat with DeLong just moments before his Nashville show last week. We were surrounded by his friends lounging around, doing yoga and painting each others faces in neon paint. While DeLong takes his music seriously, you can tell that he has a relaxed atmosphere around him before each of his sets.
Since your debut record back in 2013, you’ve been putting music out pretty consistently. What keeps inspiring you to put out new music so frequently?
I’m constantly producing music, and I think it’s important in this age to get as much out there as you can. To me, I really like sharing the things that I do. I wish I could put out music more frequently. I put out a lot of free stuff, remixes, and stuff like that. But hopefully my album should be coming together pretty soon.
I know you’ve had some different dates floating around.
Yes, I keep lying to everyone.
Is that the reason why you put out the EP, just to give everyone a preview?
Yes. I think that the EP to me to is, that I had this material that I felt like would bridge to what I would do next with what I’ve done before and it’s a connection there.
Without spilling any details, what can your fans expect from your next record?
It’s going to what I wouldn’t say is a departure, but a growth. It’s different in a lot of ways. There’s a lot more funky stuff, a lot more variation of tempos, things that are like drums and bass to super slow jams to house stuff. It’s content wise more consistent. It’ll be dark but more consistently pop songs, things that are really easy to digest in that way.
Just as easy for people to dance their asses off.
That’s what it’s all about. That’s what’s up.
What do you think is different besides those details from this coming record to your last record?
If I think about it, the last full length I wrote most of those like now, it would be five years ago. It feels like content wise, it’s very removed. I sing differently now. For the last 2 and a half years, I’ve been touring and doing 300 shows. Sonically, it’ll be different, but it’s still me at the core because of the way I write songs and with all the sounds. Hopefully I won’t piss anyone off. Who knows, maybe no one will like it.
It’s stupid for people to think that an artist will put out the same record twice.
Right! I’ve always liked artists that have been eclectic in the way that they put out records. Even if it’s something that I don’t like, I’ve always appreciated people following- like David Bowie, Beck, Radiohead- just people that have done different things over the years.
So I know you’re playing a few music festivals over the summer like Big Guava, Hangout and a few others. What’s your favorite part about performing at festivals?
I love playing festivals because you get to have a lot of new people hear your music. It’s always you’re going in with a really good sound system and a cool video and lights. People are there just to have a good time. Not that people at club shows aren’t doing the same, but it’s like people that are new to you, are coming there to like you. It’s an easy audience to win over sometimes.
I know that you’re pretty much one of the best “one-man shows” of our time. What made you want to go into EDM music rather than any other type of music?
It just kind of fell into my lap. I was writing a lot of tunes and they were really indie pop with a lot of electronic stuff going on. I loved making electronic music because I loved using my computer. I was in a lot of bands at the time, and it was just something different to do. But then my girlfriend took me to a couple raves and it changed the way I thought about stuff. A lot of the sounds that I do have not been procreated in this context and I thought it would be fun to try. As far as being a one-man band, I guess it just comes out of that I was in so many bands and I was tired of having to organize rehearsals anymore. That’s kind of how it started and then it just grew into this big performance piece that is now unique.
So I know that last year you toured with St. Lucia some, which is really cool. If there was any artist that you could tour with right now, who would it be?
If I could just choose, one of my all-time favorite bands is Radiohead. It would make absolutely no sense for me to be on that bill, but still, it would be fun for me to say that I did it. I think it would be fun to do a tour with classics, that are similar in a lot of ways, for the electronic dance-y kind of stuff, I like Flume. That would be super fun to tour with them. I’m up for whatever. Let me know if you’ve got anything.
What has been one of your most memorable moments from tour over the years?
That’s so hard! Most memories I have are just filed in like a giant mess. It’s so hard to recall things from tour.
Is there anything that you can really recall from over the last few months?
No, I don’t remember anything. Actually, I just remember like little snippets. There are so many things like walking around a city before a show and seeing people going to my show and seeing how cool the city is. Playing on stage and seeing someone dressed up as a dinosaur with LED lights on in the crowd. You see so much on tour within such a small amount of time. Every night is a heightened experience for people. Everyone is there to party and have a good time. But that’s my every night.
Are there any musicians that are influencing you while you craft your sound?
Robert: I listen to a lot of music. And I think that all the music I listen to somehow informs me to what I do. Anything from people I see all the time like The Mowgli's and St. Lucia and things I listen to a lot like Donato Dozzy, more like experimental techno from Italy. I try to steal everything from everybody and really take things from it. I think I’ve always had an eclectic mindset with music. I’ve never felt that genres are helpful. They really don’t matter. Especially those sub genres. I fell like my approach is “fuck it."
DeLong's untitled second record is in the finishing touches and may be available sometime this summer. DeLong will continue to tour through this spring and summer with various openers. You can keep him with his music news by following him on Facebook or Twitter. Please enjoy these photos below by Kristen Abigail from DeLong's show at Mercy Lounge last week.