When did you first start getting into music and producing music?
DAZE: It started with piano lessons from my mom when I was pretty young… which I didn’t really enjoy. Then the middle school and high school I attended required music classes, so I played the trumpet in the band for many years…. which I also didn’t really enjoy.
It wasn’t until my first year of college that I really got into music. I taught myself bass guitar and really fell in love with it. The freedom to play what I want and not have teachers telling me what to practice was really eye opening. Music became my life after that point. I joined an indie rock band called Junior Giant and played with them for many years. While I was playing with them, I started working at a local production music studio where I really started getting into the production of music.
The lead producer, Ryan Boud, took me under his wing and taught me how to produce music electronically. He showed me what was possible inside the box (computer). Ryan also really showed how much work goes into creating and producing a commercial sounding product.
Basically I have been playing music my whole life whether I wanted to or not. o_0
How did you come up with your name DAZE?
DAZE: I can’t remember exactly how it happened… But I know I was on my back deck with my brother and we had been throwing around ideas for a bit and one of us just said it. We googled it to see how many different DAZE’s came up and it was a lot less than anything other we had tried so I jumped on it. My brother is a graphic designer so he whipped me up a logo and it just kind of stuck. I like it. There’s nothing really behind it, it just is what is!
Who are some of your influences today when it comes to producers?
DAZE: I love Red One. His album with Lady Gaga is so awesome. I like all the pop guys like Max Martin, Dr. Luke, and Stargate. I love what Skrillex is doing. His new album ‘Recess” is damn good! I loved the whole thing! I really like what Jay Joyce did on Cage the Elephant’s newest album. I am still obsessed with ‘Come A Little Closer’ off that album. Such good emotion and energy!
I try to listen to as much as possible to see what’s out there and see what new things people are doing. Always looking for more inspiration!
Besides production do you ever put your own vocals on your music with singing or rapping?
DAZE: I do! I do a lot of sampling of my voice. Make it sound crazy ya know? And when the mood strikes me I’ll write lyrics to a track. I write a lot of dance tracks, so the need for a true vocal isn’t there all the time. But if I feel it I will definitely put words to a song and sing them.
What separates you from other producers today?
DAZE: I’m not actively trying to separate myself, I just do what I feel and what I think sounds cool. All you really have to separate yourself from others is you. Just be yourself. Be inspired and be yourself. If I hear something cool, a sound, or a tone or whatever, I’ll try to copy it. Inevitably though, it always comes out a little different, most of the time it comes out a lot different! That is me! If I like it I go with it.
How does making music come to you? Do you have a special place where you zone out first? Tell us your process!
DAZE: I love writing in my home studio. It is so comfortable. No worries and my dogs are here with me! I love having my puppies around!
It puts me in the right state of mind just being at home and relaxed.
As far as writing goes, I usually start with the beat. I love making drum loops. Somedays I’ll spend all day making loops. Beats seem to come easy to me most of the time. So, once I have the beat I just go for it. Whether its a synth, a guitar, an electric bass, or what have you, I just look for a cool riff or chord progression and build from there. I usually will do something cool that will inspire me and I will kind of start hearing the track. I just try and let it come to me. I’ve always found I write best when I have no pre-conceived notion of what I want my song to sound like. Just let the inspiration come when it may!
What are you working on for the new year? Any new projects?
DAZE: I just started working with Royaltee Management and they really have boosted my potential for exposure. I am releasing my newest single ‘Don’t Let Me Go’ with Royaltee doing the promo. So I have been working a lot on that release. Royaltee has been top notch and I would recommend them to anyone! I’ve got a few other projects going on as well. I am scoring a movie which I am stoked about! It’s a horror film so it will be a good time! I am always writing and collaborating and doing releases so keep your ears peeled!. Also, I will be moving out to LA by the end of this summer which I am also excited about! Just keep on keepin’ on!
Are you currently signed with any labels? If not, is that your plan?
DAZE: I’m not right now and I’m not really sure. I’m just going to let it play out how it will. If the right opportunity arises I will definitely take it! I just have to keep my head down and keep pushing – that’s all there really is to it. I love making music and I don’t do it for recognition or money. It makes me happy to wake up and make music! I’ve gotten this far doing it that way. I’m going to let the cards fall as they will and enjoy the ride!
What difference do you want to make in today’s industry?
DAZE: Hmmmm….. Really….. I’m not sure. Like I said before, I just love making music and all I can really do is be myself. What I want looking back on my career is to know that I was true to myself and did, for the most part, what I wanted. I know there is always going to be things that you have to give up, and concessions to be made. I just know who I am and what I want. Music makes me happy and it is my true passion. I can’t think of anything else I would rather spend my life practicing!