vrijdag 21 juni 2024

Interview met Isaac Waldron

Via Facebook ontdekte ik recentelijk de muziek van de Amerikaanse trance producer Isaac Waldron. Zijn nummers deden mij direct herinneren aan de trance muziek van einde jaren ´90/begin jaren ´00. Helemaal te gek en fantastisch dat de klassieke trance sound, in een modern jasje, nog steeds wordt uitgebracht. Ik ben dan ook zeer verheugd dit interview aan jullie te mogen presenteren.

I recently discovered the music of the American trance producer Isaac Waldron via Facebook. His songs immediately reminded me of the trance music of the late 90s/early 00s. It's absolutely fantastic that the classic trance sound is still being released, in a modern guise. I am therefore very pleased to present this interview to you.

Isaac Waldron Music

Isaac, thank you for having this interview. Can you please introduce yourself?
Sander, thank you for offering me this opportunity to connect with your audience; as a small artist I was pleasantly surprised when you reached out to me about my music. I am a “serious hobbyist” trance music producer based in Florida, USA. My interest in music started with electric guitar in middle school and that culminated in playing in a small band in college for a couple of years. Once I left college and started my career (I’m an electrical engineer by day) I mostly dropped that until 2011 when I decided I wanted to try my hand at the Electro House sound that was popular then. I spent a couple of years learning this but then dropped it when I hit a moment where I was good enough that I realized I was not good, if that makes sense. At some point, I discovered trance through the popular A State of Trance weekly show and then I got the bug again in late 2021 to start making music. Since then, I’ve been developing my style and regularly releasing tracks on first SoundCloud and since late 2023 on all the major music platforms

You just released a new track called ¨The Call¨. What can you tell us about this track?
My music is very much driven by the process I have built, where I try to quickly create the backbone of something and then flesh that out into a whole track. As a result, I often don’t have a particular direction, theme, etc. in mind when I start a track; instead, I let the music come to me and then see how it makes me feel before choosing a title; I liken my process more to “discovering what’s already there” than “creating.” With “The Call,” there is a large, somewhat distant horn sound that plays periodically throughout the track. This sound to me represents the inner direction in all of us that drives us to pursue our highest ideas and interests. This inner force is “The Call.” While I hope my listeners hear this in the track as well, I’m also a big believer that the meaning of music depends as much on the listener as on the artist’s intent, so whatever it makes them feel I just hope it makes them dance! 

How would you describe your style?
Though they are around the same tempo (134-142 bpm) and often similar in track structure, there are two distinct styles that my music tends to fall into.  The first is a more subdued style where both the drops and breakdowns are primarily made up of sustained or rhythmic chords and a classic pluck sound. Examples of this style are my tracks “Sunday” and “Trançonata No. 1.” The second is a harder style, generally with a prominent rolling bass and more aggressive lead synth sounds; I also often use heavy doses of the classic TB-303 acid sound in these tracks and in these cases I call it my “low pH” style. “Acid Sunrise,” “Hyperdrive,” “Sunstorm,” and an upcoming track I’m working on now are in this style.

I am very curious in what way the Dutch and German trance sound influence(d) your way of producing music. Can you share some of your thoughts on that?
I think this answer may surprise you. Throughout my life, my musical influences have tended to come from music that was not the current style. When I was a teenager in the ´90s (I’m 41 now) I was drawn to the progressive and classic rock sounds of the late ´60s onwards; Pink Floyd are my leading influence from that time. This was the time that the original trance sound was growing up as well, but I wasn’t really aware of it then. I discovered it through listening to A State of Trance, which occasionally would play a remix of some classic track that I would really vibe to and which my own style now draws from.  A great example of this is the Mark Norman track “Phantom Manor,” which I first heard MaRLo’s remix of but then loved the original track as well. 

What is happening right now in the world of trance music in the USA?
Since I have a young family, I’m unfortunately not that connected with what’s going on in my local music scene and I don’t have much time to attend live shows, but I hope to correct this in the near future. 

Several producers like Blufeld, Push and Robert Nickson have a big background in trance/progressive music. Over the last years they released some synthwave albums which had great reviews. Do you know synthwave music and what do you think of it?
Though I had heard of this genre through participating in music production discussions online, I had not listened to it much before you reaching out to me inspired me to take a listen. I love the classic synth sounds from the late analog and early digital era that artists are using in synthwave, and I think that the relatively simpler sound design that is possible with these devices really puts a focus on the most important elements of music to me: the beat and the melodic hook. Most of what I’ve heard has a generally slower tempo than my own music, but there are some faster tracks out there too that I think would blend well with my style in a set. 

What are your plans on a musical level further for this year?
Since late last year I’ve been trying to produce and release a track every two weeks, which I’ve mostly kept up with other than one short break in February-March. This has really helped me refine my process and I think improve the overall quality of my music, so I hope that’s resonating with fans out there. As I mentioned earlier, I plan to get into my local music scene this year as well. The first step of that is learning to beatmatch/DJ so that I can start playing out at some open mic/open deck nights. 

For the electronic music producers reading this interview, can you give us a look in your studio?
Absolutely. I do everything “in the box” on a computer in a completely untreated room using headphones. I use Ableton Live as my DAW and usually Serum, Spire, and Sylenth1 for sound design. I am a one-man shop so I produce, mix, and master all my own work at the moment. I’m sure this shows in some ways but it’s where I am in my musical journey today. If I may offer one bit of advice, what really helped me was dedicating myself to finishing complete tracks: there are a lot of skills you have to acquire to do this, and having something “out there” afterward is good motivation for the work required. 

What are your dreams for the future?
I hope to play at a few local music festivals within a few years. After that, the sky is the limit but we will have to see what the future brings. 

And finally, any last words?
Sander, thank you again for this opportunity to share my story with your audience. I really appreciate it. 

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