Hot off the back of his ‘Hold It Down’ tour across Australia, Gold Coast producer and summertime favourite Paces lets us in on his creative processes, dream collabs, best and worst gigs, the furore surrounding Snowtunes and T-Swiz nearly toppling him and T-Kay Maidza for number 100 in Triple J’s Hottest 100.
You’ve just wrapped up your ‘Hold It Down’ tour, does the touring lifestyle agree with you? What does a typical day on the road look like?
For sure, I love it! A typical day on the road usually entails a few toasted sandwiches in the virgin lounge, a plane trip which I’ll either use to work on some music, listen to music and take notes, or sleep. Then soundcheck, followed by dinner at the local burger spot. I’ve been trying to visit a gourmet burger place in every city, it’s been amazing! Then it’s showtime, bedtime, and then time to fly to the next place.
How do you go writing/creating on the road? Would you prefer to be in one place when you're writing?
It can be good and bad. Good because if inspiration strikes, it’s important to get the idea down. But I prefer working in my studio. Often I’ll sketch ideas while on the road and then come home to flesh them out.
You've been getting around the collaborations as of late with some pretty prominent artists. Who would be your top three dream collaborations and why?
Singers would be: Grimes and La Roux, because I just love their voices. They’re my dream feature vocalists.
In terms of producers, I’d say Cashmere Cat. He’s been a big influence on my music. I’d love to see how he works.
Some of these aforementioned collaborations have included the likes of Kucka, Tkay Maidza and Reija Lee, are there any artists you’ve got your tips on to gain some serious traction before the year is out?
Feki from Brisbane has been making some big moves lately. I think he’s going to go a long way.
You haven’t had a lot of formal music training, do you play instruments as well as produce? What differences do you notice in producers who have had formal training?
I can play guitar and keys (sort of). Not really well though, just to a level where I can record it and then fix it all up haha! It definitely helps with producing music. The biggest thing for me was learning the theory behind chords and scales - I’d say that’s essential actually.
The music I like is usually produced by people who understand theory. I like tunes with lush chords and lots of melody. But there is definitely a place for producers who approach it from a more technical/sound design side of things. May as well learn both though if you want to stand out.
You can now claim a spot Triple J Hottest 100 club with your production on Tkay Maidza’s track ‘Switch Lanes’ however this did come in at literally number 100, what were your thoughts in the lead up surrounding the controversy and subsequent disqualification of Taylor Swift in the competition and how that would have affected you?
Yeah actually that’s true! If TayTay had been allowed in, Tkay and I would’ve been bumped out. At the time it didn’t even cross my mind because I wasn’t expecting to get in at all. In fact I was at the beach with my girlfriend and my dog when it happened. I came home and my phone was blowing up. I thought there was some emergency haha!
Included in the ‘Hold It Down’ tour was an appearance at Snowtunes. What did you make of the furore around Snowtunes and having been actually present, how did it all go down as opposed to what we read in the news?
Snowtunes was awesome!! I honestly didn’t see any of that stuff that made the headlines. I’m sure it probably happened, but it wasn’t like a sea of underage kids vomiting everywhere. It was just like a regular festival; most people behaving well and having a great time, plus a few people who fully cooked it.
With this gig not sounding ideal, what would be the worst gig you’ve ever had to play?
Before I started this PACES project I was in a DJ duo and we played more than our fair share of weddings. They’re always tough work because you can’t please everyone, but everyone wants to have a say in what you’re playing. Grandad wants to hear The Rolling Stones, the bride wants Beyonce, the super-pissed guy wants AC/DC and they all want it right now.
Having just wrapped up the ‘Hold It Down’ tour, what’s the plans for the coming few months?
I’m in writing mode now. So pretty much just spending every day in the studio, writing as many ideas as possible, then developing the good ones. Oh but first I’m going camping on Moreton Island for a few days to unwind and celebrate the end of the tour