Thursday, 23 February 2012
Dropzone - Interview
Keen readers may remember Dropzone from our recent Sound Inbox feature. To recap for those that missed it, Dropzone is the musical guise of 23 year old Londoner Louie Denniston who makes exquisite guitar based tracks topped with rich vocals. We liked his music so much we grabbed an interview with the man himself, so read on as I quiz Louie on his influences, his recording process and his plans for 2012.
Talk us through the beginning of Dropzone. What made you decide to start making music?
I had been playing instruments for years with a love for a huge variety of musical genres. Ditching piano, I started learning the guitar and it’s been the core of my sound ever since. I started recording demos a couple of years ago that were of poor quality and no depth but were the stepping stones to finding my sound and interpretations of my influences.
What’s the idea behind the name Dropzone?
Well Drop Zone meaning a safe zone area into which soldiers or supplies are dropped into, I feel like that every time I make music as if I’m initially starting in a safe zone state of mind with the possibility of adventure and danger the further I go outside the safe zone, or without being too literal, it’s as if I’m going to war.
What’s your song writing process like? Is it quite lengthy and considered or do you tend to just record things more sporadically?
The music comes before the lyrics in most cases of my tracks, I record a couple of ideas per session and then listen to them for a while before choosing which idea to develop further, there has been times where I’ve brought a number of ideas together to form 1 track. Whatever artist/band I’m listening to a lot at the time always sneaks a hint of their influence into my tracks. I tend record a lot when I’ve recently been to a gig, inspired and buzzed to develop my ideas further. Some of the tracks on my e.p are from 2 year old demos that were very minimal in depth but had the potential to grow and there is still a lot of old material that I’ve recorded that’s worth developing further. For now I’m moving on with new ideas, also with the use of a kaossilator that I have, I’m looking to introduce that into my sound.
You’ve got some interesting covers on your soundcloud of SBTRKT and Cults songs. What is it about Abducted and Hold on that particularly appealed to you?
With SBTRKT-hold on, I knew exactly how I would interpret it with guitars from the first listen, for me it was always about the vocals as a central focus of the track so I wanted that also on my cover with the guitars to be loosely present in the background and a strong lead to enhance how fragile the song is. With Cults-Abducted, I wanted the challenge of keeping the energy and power of the track while covering it acoustically, in its simplicity it was fun to cover.
Do you think being from London influences your music in any way?
With a constant supply of amazing new artists and bands in London, there’s never a shortage of influences but I don’t feel like my music would be much different being from anywhere else. For me, my sound development comes mostly from within and less of what’s going on around me.
In terms of recent music, which artists do you particularly enjoy listening to?
I think King Krule is one of the most promising UK song writers in a while, I have been following KINDNESS for a long time and am looking forward to his LP and The Maccabees new album Given to The Wild is a masterpiece in my opinion which I listen to regularly.
Which one band/artist do you think has moulded you most as a person?
My fickleness with music genres, bands and artists makes it hard to pin point what may have moulded me as a person but as a true smiths fan It would have to be the Smiths.
Are there any artists or genres you enjoy listening to, that people might not expect?
I would probably say ASAP ROCKY, there’s great atmosphere and authenticity in his music and I like his shameless vanity.
What’ve you got planned for the rest of 2012?
Other than more recording, I’m looking to figure out how I’m going to play sound of my tracks live and play a couple of gigs to bring these tracks to life. I’m also in the first year of a Film Degree and looking to keep focused on that as well as my music.