What happens when an EDM king departs from the dance scene to find his own signature sound? In our exclusive SHK interview, we found out everything we ever wanted to know about Porter Robsinson, and got lost in the dreamscapes of his new album “Worlds”.

porter robinson worlds album

SHK: WHAT WAS YOUR BIGGEST FEAR WHILE YOU WERE REINVENTING YOUR SOUND AND CREATING A GENRE OF MUSIC THAT WAS DIFFERENT THAN YOUR EDM STUFF?

Porter Robinson: I was really trying to cast off as many worries and fears as I possibly could while I was writing it. I really let myself get in the zone and I was producing really loud, so I would like it more because I’m a very sort of self conscious and self-critical person. I was drinking lots of coffee just to kind of sell myself on everything that I was doing and give myself a little bit more confidence about my direction because I knew it was good, and I knew that it was exactly what I needed to be doing, and sometimes you just need that extra push. I think if I had been more fearful or more timid than I wouldn’t have written this album I would have done something a lot safer. I don’t know, I’m not afraid of losing the life style because I don’t really take advantage of it at all. I live at home, and the only thing I spend money on is clothes… I don’t drive a cool car. The other thing I spend money on is I order too much food when I’m at a restaurant. I order double the amount of stuff I need and waste a lot of it just because I want options but I think if I was more dependent on lifestyles of the rich and famous I might be more worried about it but I don’t know that shit does not really interest me. It’s interesting but I don’t feel like I need it. My need to do something sincere was a lot greater than my need to pop bottles. I was underage for most of the time I was producing, I wasn’t going out and partying. I brought the music to the party.

HOW WOULD YOU WANT YOUR FANS TO LISTEN TO THE ALBUM?

I don’t know if this is a liability but I think a great way to listen to an album is to go and drive while you listen to it. Driving to me is the perfect amount of distraction without causing the listener to stop paying attention. Another way that I enjoy albums is I listen to them while playing a really simple game like a stupid little tetris game, just occupying my hands so I’m not doing something else that would be more distracting like trying to communicate with other people. It’s hard to get people to listen attentively to music and that’s why my first instinct is to seriously just go on the internet and say “hey, just listen to my music in the car. Just do expressly that.” But I think that’s a liability I don’t think you can tell people to do that. I used to want to tell people to drink a lot of coffee before they listen to my music and that might hurt somebody.

WHAT WAS YOUR STATE OF MIND WHILE YOU WERE CREATING THE ALBUM?

Intropsective for sure. I was really trying to look inwards and find my own taste. My bet was essentially that I wanted to have a signature and I wanted to do something that was really unique and that sounded very much like me. I’ve done some stuff in the past that was all over the place and for this album I really wanted a signature sound. I wanted something that was distinctive and wasn’t afraid to kind of repeat itself because a lot of my favorite artists are really willing to repeat stuff. My mentality was introspective because I was betting that that would help me sound unique and just do something more sincere and personal, and honest as well.

WHAT’S THE MOST FUN PART ABOUT CREATING A FULL LENGTH ALBUM?

I don’t know if it was the most fun part of it, but I really enjoyed the fact that a full length album signals a real clear commitment to an aesthetic or an idea, whereas I think if I had just released one of the songs off the album by itself a year ago I think people would have just been like “Oh, he just uploaded something experimental to his soundcloud” and not have taken it seriously and assumed I was going to carry on doing the same things as before. I felt that doing an album was absolutely critical to showing people that this was sincerely what I want and not some little deviation. This wasn’t me just fucking around, this was serious and absolutely the album that I want and the music that I want to be known for.

WHAT MADE YOU DECIDE TO CONTRIBUTE VOCALS TO WORLDS?

I think necessity was the first thing that got me doing vocals because I had some vocals that were recorded by some of the artists that I work with but I would find that they needed a few extra layers or something. I don’t even have the ability to record vocals in my house so I would just hit voice recorder and just sing into the ass-end of my iphone really loud and record it twenty times over. Then I would distort them in my program and layer them all up and by the time I was through with it you would never know that it was recorded on an iphone. So I was like layering my shitty iphone vocals and I found that I kinda liked the timbre that I had. I wanted to send the song out to other artists to do like a top line and I just hated what I was getting back, it was just really stupid. I didn’t feel like they were really expressing what I wanted it to sound like. So I just booked a nearby studio and drank a beer and just belted my heart out and I actually think it turned out really well. I thought it was just a cute notion of a duet between a human and a robot. Nobody else was doing it right so I just did it. That was the last song I recorded for the album so it’s not like the record is full of my vocals… but I’m not closed off to doing it again in the future either.

SINGING WITH A ROBOT GIRL IS…

It’s great. It’s fun. In the moment it was stressful, because I needed to finish that song really fast and had zero time to finish it.

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