With the music scene being as diverse as it has grown to be these days it’s not too uncommon to stumble across slightly unknown producers that are making waves but it’s another thing entirely when an artist takes a few more duties under his belt (aside from producing). These DIY artists have an ungodly amount of versatility when it comes to their skills and talents but their knack for multitasking completely bewilders people like myself! If you couldn’t have guessed by now our guest today Mindelixir just so happens to be one of these talented individuals. I won’t go about disclosing to much about him yet, seen as there’s plenty of time for him to do that himself but if you’re unfamiliar with Mindelixir’s producing style don’t hesitate to get a few tunes bumping as you peruse this little Q&A we gathered up thanks to our friends over at Level 4 PR. On top of all these goodies we also are glad to let you know we’re hot on the heels of Mindelixir’s most recent release on Outside US this past month entitled ‘Lunology’ where he bends and warps the fabric beneath each track into a unique journey through time and bass.
TD: You’re no new face to the game but would you mind getting things rolling by introducing yourself for the possible unknowing viewers on the other side?
Mindelixir: My name is Bill Schimel, I’m a music person. I’ve been a booking agent, an artist manager, a label A & R, a promoter, a producer, a DJ, a curator, a guitarist, and an MC. Above all, I’m a lifelong fan of music and art. I try to do whatever I can to add value to the scenes and cultures that I study and work in. Currently I’m known as a DJ/producer first, a promoter second and an A & R guy third.
TD: Your style of music has been very influential to much of the SE scene, was it your intention to change up the game or did things kind of just fall into place?
M: My intention has always been to try and make the situation I’m in, the best for all parties possible. I want the fans to be happy, I want the artists to be happy, I want the club owners and the security guys to be happy. We all have to work together to make things exciting and interesting. I’ve always been most interested in how things evolve and develop. I wouldn’t say I intentionally changed the game around the SouthEast, but I’ve been lucky enough to work on the forefront of what’s happening artistically around here.
TD: We just saw the release of ‘Lunology’ on Outside US a few weeks back have you been pleased with how it has been being received so far?
M: I am blown away to be honest. The LP was kind of a last call type of record for me. I had become somewhat frustrated with how fast “mainstream EDM” had developed and it seemed like it was going to eat the underground scene alive. I thought the air had been sucked out of the room a bit by the aggressive nature of “industry” artists and their ruthless booking agents and managers. Turns out I was just looking at the glass the wrong way. It was half full. As the scene gets more and more unbearable to the underground people as investment types and corny half assed artists get involved, it actually creates a vibrant desire for something else. I was nervous that the label (Outside US) put a bit of money into making sure the record got some exposure, I honestly didn’t think that the record was the type of release that would chart or get radio play. I just tried to make the best possible version of how I was feeling at the time, I spent a lot more time on sound design and historical research of music arrangement and structure in order to put something out that I felt would last. I didn’t really want to chart or have a “popular” record or do well in the industry or scene with this one. I just wanted to ignore all of that and write some heart wrenching music about dealing with reality from the perspective of an alien(ated) human. I totally underestimated the demand and I can’t say enough how grateful I am that the record is being supported.
TD: Bass Church is a local party you are the founder of, can you elaborate on what Bass Church actually is and how it got started?
M: Bass Church is somewhat of an anomaly. Basically I started a party with my good friend Tim Parsons (Deformati) and the idea was to have a platform for experimental artists to test out their new work. We wanted to do a small room and focus on the music. I think the word got out and it turned into a monthly bash pulling 1200-2000 people consistently for about 3 years. We started with local artists only, including a few who ended up blowing up a bit (Clicks & Whistles most notably, always been a huge fan of their work), and by the end of the party I was booking people from all over the world ranging from Photek to Skream to Goth Trad. I’m a music fan, and an artist, so we tried to design an experience that catered to my tastes as a fan and my wishes as an artist. We would bend over backwards for the artists out of respect and I think that people understood that and really supported the show in deep way.
TD: We saw you just added a few North Carolina dates to your summer schedule, how has summer been treating you thus far? Any big plans for this last month?
M: Did a few smaller music festivals earlier this summer, I’ve been keeping it pretty low key to finish up the album, but the gloves are off now. Did a sold out show in Asheville, NC with Pantyraid recently and my newer sound went over well. I was worried that people were going to think I would play hard dubstep and I still sprinkle a little in, but I’m playing more dark UK house type of stuff more than any other style at this point. The newer sets are all over the place, from trip hop to drum and bass with nearly everything in between, juke, footwork, grime, whatever. If its good i’m not going to be ignorant about it because it doesn’t fit into a gridlocked set plan or a set of expectations about what I’m supposed to be. The last Charlotte show we did was sold out and I think people are really ready to take the journey so we’re gonna branch out a bit. Just added an Atlanta show, Knoxville TN, and finalizing some stuff for Nashville, NYC, LA and a few other cities as well. I’m still working as a promoter in Charlotte, NC and a label A&R so I’m not really in a position to just go out on a massive tour at this point, I’m doing more like Thurs-Sat type of shows and then getting back home to focus on making more music. I have a TON of respect for those dudes that can go out for 2-3 months at a time and somehow manage to produce new material as well, but for me I really have to dive WAY in on the production side so I can’t even imagine trying to do that on the road.
TD: Your music has very computerized astral vibe, where do you tend to draw a lot of your influences from when you sit down to create?
M: I’m 31. It’s hard to remember where it all comes from by this point. In the studio, I try to connect with a deeper level of my consciousness, where I can pull bits and pieces from everything I’ve ever experienced. From a very young age, I was really into the idea of living in a global community , so I really don’t discount anything in terms of taking inspiration. I read a lot of eastern philosophy and religious texts when I was younger and it seems to be a recurring theme in my work. I might take a BBC news article about cybernetics, throw in a bit of storyline inspiration from a new Square Enix game, add a dash of Blade Runner and The Godfather, bake it with some Confucianism and then top it and fry it up with what I’m feeling as a DJ at the moment (really digging Clicks & Whistles, Fracture, Dark Sky, My Nu Leng, Digital, I could go on for hours here…)
TD: This is a pretty standard question of ours; what kind of equipment do you sit down with to produce in the studio? What about in a live show setting?
M: In the studio I’m using Ableton Live, sometimes I’ll bounce out audio to Logic. I’m more of a composition based producer so I have a Maschine and a midi keyboard but I basically just use those to tap out ideas, sometimes I’ll get out my guitars or record myself beat-boxing or singing melodies, but I almost always go back in and write the notes, velocity information, automation, amplitude curves and whatnot with a mouse and keyboard. In terms of VSTs, I’m a bit of a freak. My most used tools are Native Instruments Komplete package which I’ve been lucky enough to have them send me to work with and I absolutely love it, but I also dig around and use some stuff from Tone2, u-he, Waves, Sugar Bytes, D16, Cakewalk, and Izotope. I try to synthesize from initialized patches as much as possible but I also have a giant library of samples (mainly drums and percussion) that I’ve been collecting since I was about 15 to pull from. I don’t really have a standard way that I produce, I read and try to update my sound every time I sit down. It’s all about evolution, artistic growth and breaking new ground without getting lost in the process. For a live show setting I’m a DJ, so I use 1200s, CDJs or an S4. I like Traktor and Serato for djing.
TD: With a hefty catalogue under your belt as it is how do you like to keep things fresh when it comes to pumping out new music?
M:I try to listen to as much music as possible and keep an open mind while living my life. For example I might stare at a tree for 30 minutes and imagine how a synthesizer sound could be structured to reflect the beauty of the tree branches spanning out from the trunk. The leaves could be sparkly reverb on the high end part of the synth. Then I run into the studio or jot notes down to take into the studio later. I also try to bring themes and concepts into the studio with me. My first album is about the idea that man might not be the most evolved life form on the planet and that maybe cephalopods are. My last album is about conspiracy theories related to the moon, the study of the moon and worshipping the moon. It’s harder for me to stay consistent in terms of not alienating listeners than it is for me to stay “fresh”.
TD: You have had the opportunity to share the stage with some huge names in the game as it is, is there anyone off the top of your head you would still liked to booked on a gig with?
M: I’ve just about completed by bucket list already with highlights being Flying Lotus, Photek, Joker and Skream. I’d love to play with Prince, The Winstons, Squarepusher, Aphex Twin, Boards of Canada, Dom and Roland, Lemon D, Dillinja, Goldie, Disclosure, TNGHT, Hudson Mohawke, Rustie, Dark Sky, and this could also go on for a few hours.
TD: When you’re not holed up in the studio what are a few things you do to keep yourself busy?
M: It’s kind of strange at this point for me to think of doing anything other than music related activities. Everything I want to list here somehow ties back into it. I’m an avid gamer (XBox 360, PS3, 3DS) and still have all my old school systems (NES, SNES, Sega Genesis, Sega CD, Sega 32X, Sega Saturn, Dreamcast etc…) I like to go on bike rides and explore nature (hiking, mountain climbing). I try to read as much as possible, I just bought a Phillip K. Dick box set that I’m really enjoying. Also reading Sonic Warfare by Steven Goodman and David Byrne’s How Music Works. I love films and tv shows as well, big fan of movies like The Godfather series, Blade Runner, A Scanner Darkly, Gaspar Noe’s stuff, City of God, as far as TV I’m currently excited about Breaking Bad, Boardwalk Empire, Orange is the New Black, and a few others that I won’t name since they’re kind of my guilty pleasures.
TD: Thanks for taking the time to chat with us, any last words for those people out there?
M: Work hard, believe in what you love, support art.
Last thing you worked on in the studio?:
Dark Side of Lunology
Last wild thing that happened this summer?:
Last time you attended a show you didn’t play?:
Last night (local dub DJ spinning old reggae and dub)
Last time eating something weird?
Depends on your definition of weird, weirdest thing I ever ate was a live scallop at a sushi bar in DC, that was a few years back
Last good music video you saw?
Some blues video that I ended up watching from a link on Joe Rogan’s twitter
Interview by Nate Fyffe