Since Seven Lions first launched his Polarize EP on Viper Recordings in 2012, followers knew there was one thing particular in regards to the Santa Barbara-born melodic dubstep producer. In fact, on the time, melodic dubstep wasn’t even a factor, coming to gentle throughout the heyday of brostep and the murmurings of lure within the US.
By the point he launched Worlds Aside in 2014, nevertheless, Seven Lions had amassed a loyal following and ‘melodic dubstep’ was up and working, because of others like Illenium, MitiS, Skrux, Rameses B, Dabin, and others.
Now, a decade after his first main EP, melodic dubstep has practically run its course, and Seven Lions is in some settlement, however extra on that later. After 8-9 robust years, it wouldn’t be shocking for a style as thematically limiting as melodic dubstep to achieve some degree of saturation, the identical as brostep or future bass. Although lure, spawned across the identical time, appears to be having a resurgence this yr.
Nonetheless, Past The Veil, the debut album from Seven Lions, out right this moment, doesn’t play on previous tropes, nor does it attempt to reinvent the wheel. It’s simply Seven Lions, as he’s at all times been. Solely three out of the twelve songs on the album had been launched as singles, leaving a lot for followers and listeners to find. And with collaborations that includes Vancouver Sleep Clinic, So Beneath, Eli Teplin, GG Magree, JT Roach, Dia Frampton, Mija, and Lights, there’s a lot to take pleasure in.
I believe probably the most fundamental query I can ask is why now, after just about a full decade because the inception of your challenge. What about this yr or this era in your life made you go, “Okay. It’s time for an album.”
I believe the pandemic type of allowed it simply because that was the primary time I had virtually two years off from touring, So it simply type of made sense to, um, I don’t know. I imply, I simply had numerous music on the time, however then I type of realized simply what the state of melodic music and numerous dubstep that I felt like I wanted to place out a press release. Sort of in a method that was, you recognize, no collaborations with different producers and artists. I used to be fortunate to have the time and it additionally simply actually felt like the correct time.
Okay, so even when you have got you recognize, as an example, GG Magree or Mija. They’re simply doing vocals for the tracks and never doing any manufacturing?
Yeah, they’re simply locals.
Fascinating. Okay, That’s actually that’s actually fascinating.
One of many tracks on the album is “Past The Veil,” which shares the title of the album. What precisely is the veil to you? What’s past it?
I imply, that’s an enormous query. I really feel like that’s type of the core thriller of the entire thing, proper? I imply, past the veil is one thing unknowable and uncrossable. And I believe that’s a number of the romantic beliefs behind the message. These are like past the veil and when the veil may be crossed, and loving any individual you can’t be with and that it’s an entire – I imply the idea is definitely, it was made to be a thriller, a bit ambiguous.
It might imply various things to completely different individuals. However throughout the context of the Seven Lions mythos, it does type of have a extra significant, particular context. It’s like, actually decide up on that and determine what it means to them, I’d say.
Did you make a few of these tracks with a vocalist in thoughts, or had been any of them vocalist demos that had been delivered to you first? When did you start to consider possibly which vocalist would go along with which tune?
There’s some that went each methods. Nearly all of them had been demos that I began after which went for particular vocalists. However there have been just a few that got here in that had been like this vocal is wonderful. And it matches with the album and that is like one thing that I’m gonna take and construct the tune round, however most of them began from simply instrumentals. Typically I might simply be listening to numerous completely different artists on Spotify and be like, “Oh, wow, this particular person is wonderful.”
With So Beneath, I simply type of randomly bumped into her on Spotify and was like, “Wow, She’s acquired an incredible voice, and this is able to be excellent for her. A few of them went like that. A few of them that had been already up and coming I knew, like Vancouver Sleep Clinic I used to be already aware of for some time. So once I began the tune, I wasn’t instantly like, “Oh, that is excellent for Vancouver Sleep Clinic.” However then after I acquired decently far in I spotted that might be a great one to ship over and we did, and he was into it. With JT Roach, I despatched him a demo, and he wrote to it, and his voice was incredible. He’s a fantastic author and has a fantastic voice. However it simply wasn’t proper for that tune in the important thing that it was in, so you recognize, we went and really attempt to discover numerous completely different singers to sing that individual tune. It was really the final one which acquired completed on the album as a result of we had such a tough time discovering somebody.
Had been there any songs particularly that had been created out of any particular occasion or feeling the place you thought, you recognize, “I have to make this tune for that reason”?
The entire album actually [laughs]. You type of really feel like that in a method as I used to be saying, simply so far as an artist. Making music proper now and the present state of issues I’ve felt like I actually wished to indicate who I’m. And what I sound like, you recognize, like what my music means to me. I’d say the inspiration for a number of the songs got here by me simply strolling round. Throughout the pandemic I used to be spending numerous time alone, like a ton of time alone.
Yeah, I’ll say the album, there’s rather a lot much less of the bombastic parts that you just might need had up to now, and numerous the tracks are extra somber and virtually melancholic.
Yeah, I’d say so for certain. It undoubtedly comes from a spot of solitude.
Was there any a part of the album course of particularly that you just actually loved? Possibly it was you recognize the place you the place you recorded it or who with or possibly it was one thing that simply occurred throughout the course of, like only a enjoyable studio session or one thing.
I’ve at all times been extra eager about being within the studio and anyplace else. As an digital music producer in 2022, there’s like a lot touring, and there’s a lot being away from dwelling and, like, simply the flexibility to remain at dwelling and roll off the bed daily and work on the identical challenge was wonderful. I really feel like I actually acquired to discover completely different sounds and various things that I’ve been eager about.
Doing numerous vinyl re-sampling was actually enjoyable. I might go to the file retailer and flip by information and attempt to discover cool indie stuff, older stuff that I’d pull little samples out of, and I went to the thrift retailer and purchased some previous shitty audio system and reduce them up and get numerous revamping stuff simply to get a cool natural texture out of a number of the issues that I don’t actually really feel like I might have been capable of do.
That method is extra like engaged on an EP as a result of I’m making songs that individuals wish to hear. Like I’m gonna make a banger, and I do take pleasure in doing that as nicely. However it is a way more private and experimental type of vibe I’d say.
Are there any examples of the vinyl thrifting that we may hear and acknowledge within the album, or is it so chopped up and form of melded into just like the core of the piece that we wouldn’t actually be capable of decide it out?
I do know it’s throughout. “Name On Me,” for certain. I’d say that one has it in all places. “Between” has it rather a lot. Then additionally “By no means Study” there’s a ton of it. The revamping you undoubtedly hear in “Past The Veil.” Within the very starting, it offers it this bizarre distortion that you just simply couldn’t get from a plug in the place you hear the thrill and it’s an fascinating type of sound for certain.
In order I discussed, it’s been just about a full decade because the inception of your Seven Lions challenge. What are a number of the classes you’ve realized alongside the way in which and something you would possibly wish to point out to new producers, new recording artists who’re both simply beginning out or wish to advance their capability as producers?
There’s so many issues to say. I might say, clearly, the very first thing is do it since you like it. You understand, it’s an extended highway and I really feel just like the reward on the finish of the day is definitely making the music. If you happen to take your time in how a lot you benefit from the course of versus what you’re on the lookout for the result to be, then I believe you’re in a great spot. I’d additionally say being very conscious of what you let into your thoughts on the subject of social media and what you’re taking a look at as a result of it’s very easy to get misplaced, evaluating your self to different individuals and get down and get knocked off your path. The way you examine your self to different individuals is essential.
Photograph by way of Dawndra Budd