Seven Lions On Taking Time Off From Touring, Upcoming Productions And More

Posted by on November 6, 2013

Seven Lions

There aren’t many guys who have created trends and styles in dance music today. Seven Lions’ patented brand of melodic dubstep has quickly become one of the go-to styles for a throng of copycats and established producers alike. After transitioning from metal to electronic music, Jeff Montalvo made his presence felt in a huge way with his Beatport competition winning remix of Above & Beyond’s “You Got To Go”, that would launch his career and open doors that were not even on possible for him to reach before.

We caught up with Seven Lions on his tour bus before he was slated to go on at Pier 94 on Halloween with Krewella, Gareth Emery, Candyland and Cash Cash. We chatted about his upcoming plans, including taking time off from touring next year, touring in general, releases he has coming up, music piracy and much more.

His set at Pier 94 was vintage Seven Lions. The set felt like it flew by in 5 minutes, as he blended together trance tracks from Juventa, Myon & Shane 54 & Tomas Heredia, with plenty of his own material, including some unreleased tunes. Though he said the kids didn’t have the patience for the long epic trance builds, one of his most well received tracks was Tomas Herdia’s remix of Armin van Buuren’s classic “Communication”, showing that not every crowd is a bunch of kids who don’t know the difference between Tim Bergling and Avicii. Catching up with him briefly after, he seemed very pleased with the show and how his trance selections did. Read below for the interview.

FNT: A lot of guys have won Beatport competitions, but few wins have helped launch careers like yours (Zedd being another obvious example). What made your remix different?

Seven Lions: I think Above & Beyond took a chance on it, big time, you know being dubstep and not in their normal style, so I think that really helped it. It was so unexpected and it was even unexpected for me, so that definitely helped for sure. And then after that all of the trance people hit me up to do more remixes.

FNT: How has trance influenced what you do with your productions?

Seven Lions: A lot of the melody and the sound design that I use is very based upon old school trance.

FNT: You play some of that in your sets…

Seven Lions: Oh yeah, for sure. Maybe less now being on tour with Krewella and Candyland, the kids right now don’t have the patience for some epic trance, even though I love it. I will still play it when I headline for sure, but I am opening up like this, I am not playing super long trance songs.

FNT: When you made “Strangers”, did you make it with the soundtrack in mind?

Seven Lions: Not at all, that came in after the song was already done. After the song was done an offer came in from them and they have done a great job with it so far, and the soundtrack was just an added bonus for sure. It wasn’t like we were thinking about the movie, we had no idea that was even an option.

FNT: Where do we see your love for fantasy novels, art etc in your productions?

Seven Lions: I guess, just in the music that I make, I try and make it very ethereal — music that takes you on a journey. That’s what I like about fantasy, it takes you out of your day-to-day. I try and make that come off in my music.

FNT: How do you try and do that?

Seven Lions: I just use a lot of texture and layers in my songwriting and don’t make it so predictable. You have to pay attention, like a good book. It’s not on autopilot, you know, and regurgitate the same shit that everyone else is doing, you’ve got to actually put some thought into it.

FNT: Some producers are taking off time from touring, Knife Party, Feed Me, Bassnectar to focus on production. Would you ever consider doing this?

Seven Lions: Haha, I think about it all the time. That’s the plan. So, the rest of the year, I am finishing up this tour and then gonna do some out of state stuff. In January I am going to head to New Zealand. then once I get back from that I actually am going to not take any shows for quite a while, until I am really ready. I have a new EP already done, its not like I don’t have the music ready to come out, but I have a bunch of music that I could probably stop producing for a year and still have stuff constantly releasing. But just for my own sake, I want to get back in the studio, I can’t stand being away from it. That’s the plan, I am definitely going to take a lot of time off, I am not sure how long, probably 2 or three months…maybe more.

FNT: Could you afford to do that?

Seven Lions: I don’t live off of a lot of money, I haven’t changed my lifestyle. I know a lot of people, they think they get a new career and they are going to make a ton of money and become a millionaire overnight, and then they spend money like that. I live conservatively, so I am not trying to make my cost of living so high, like buying a Ferrari everyday, so I have to work and do a bunch of bullshit I don’t want to do.

FNT: You will probably hear this a lot but how is the ear, and how has it affected what you do?

Seven Lions: The ears are fine. It was really scary though to lose hearing like that, it was gnarly. It took about a week to get back to normal.

FNT: What would be your ideal show?

Seven Lions: I just like being or playing at Burning Man or being with my friends at Burning Man.

FNT: Would there be a time of day?

Seven Lions: 2am, the peak of the night, but a little after the peak where people more into it and ready to take the journey. It’s not like they are just getting there are like “Oh Fuck I want to party”, its the here and they are really focused on it. It depends on the crowd and it depends on the night. An all-nighter, I think 2am would be and the middle of the Playa for sure.

FNT: What has been your favorite moment of the bus tour so far?

Seven Lions: Oh man It has been such a long tour so far, that’s a tough question. It has been such an experience in general, I don’t know just one thing.

FNT: If you want to sum it up in one small phrase…

Seven Lions: I guess the tour is just very disorienting. I have no fucking idea what day it is. I just wake up and do what I have on the schedule.

FNT: It’s Halloween.

Seven Lions: Yeah it is Halloween, so it must be the 31st, but I don’t know what day it is.

FNT: It’s Thursday.

Seven Lions: Ok its Thursday. Haha, shits just so weird right now. (His wife chime in in, “What about yesterday’s show, across from the world series”). Oh yeah, the world series. It was cool. I was hoping there was going to be some rioting, but there wasn’t. We all wanted to set some cars on fire, but it never ended up happening.

FNT: These bus tours always seem to create songs between the artists on the bus. Anything between you and the other artists?

Seven Lions: We are all kind of separate and I really like Candyland and I really Krewella, but I am not sure musically we really mesh. But yeah, we have talked about possible collabs. Working on music isn’t happening right now, especially not for me because when I work on music, I am at home and in my own zone. There is just absolutely no private time, it just not even an option.

FNT: Is it too crazy in here?

Seven Lions: There is just too much going on. There isn’t a crazy party or anything, there is always people and there’s always shit going on. Even on the days off, somehow there manages to be a show I have to fly out for or I broke my hand, so I had to go home and deal with that shit. It is constant, there is never a moment to yourself.

FNT: Have you gotten used to being on the road in general and touring yet?

Seven Lions: I guess I would say I am used to it, it’s my life right now. It is just one of those things. It’s weird, its weird.

FNT: Did you think you would get used to it?

Seven Lions: I knew I wouldn’t really be a fan. I came into it knowing that it would be a big step because I like being at home. I like shows too and I don’t want to come off as ungrateful because I have had some great times and met a lot of really fucking awesome fans for sure, and that is really humbling. But I can’t wait to get back home.

FNT: What do you have coming up?

Seven Lions: So I have two singles coming out and one of them very soon. And then a 4-track EP that I am wrapping up.

FNT: Is there a label for the EP?

Seven Lions: The singles will definitely be OWSLA, the EP I am not totally sure. It is trying to find the best label. It’s a task for sure.

FNT: Your Röyksopp “Running To The Sea Remix”, is that ever going to come out?

Seven Lions: It’s been such a pain in the ass to be honest. I am really glad they hit me up to do that remix, but I don’t know what the fuck they are waiting for, it is really annoying. I don’t even mind saying that anymore because it has been such a long time. I think it will be coming out soon. I believe they are trying to make some progress on it. I think the problem was the publishing in the US for the right avenue of releasing, that’s what they are working on because they are a European label. I mean I am glad they are figuring it out because I did Superbus [All Alone Remix] and they never really released it in the states in like a big kind of way, so I’d rather them take their time and get it right, but it is frustrating.

It might as well be released with a proper package not just well it came out in France and not in the US, so I might as well download it for free. I don’t really mind when people download my music for free but I feel like it should have a proper release, if people want to buy want buy and get the art and everything.

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