Synthwave Sunday: An Interview with Mellow Fields

Back in June Mellow Fields dropped his self-titled EP on RetroSynth Records. It’s a 5 track powerhouse of bold synth based music that has bite. It sticks with you, even while you’re not listening, begging you to come back for more. The soundscapes are vibrant, full of life, and just waiting to be explored multiple times, just like the best music should. RetroSynth have another winner on their hands here!

You can snag this gem over at Bandcamp right now, and if you’re near in Canada you can see Mellow Fields live soon! Hopefully we can woo him down to Atlanta for next year’s 2nd Annual Echosynthetic Fest (nudge, nudge).

Welcome, and thanks for talking to us! Why don’t you give us a little bit of a back story on Mellow Fields for any new listeners out there.

Essentially Mellow Fields is a project that I started earlier this year, and I came across this name when I watched the cult classic film Brazil. I wrote and released electronic music under a different name, but I figured with this release I needed to rebrand entirely. At that point of my life, I was going through a lot of changes and personal growth and it just made sense to go with Mellow Fields.

You’ve got new music out! Can you tell us about it?

I released my debut E.P a couple months ago now, and I’m pretty stoked about it. I’ve had writers block for quite some time and it was getting frustrating. Anytime I wrote anything, I ended up hating it eventually, so I never released any new music. I think what changed with this release was I stopped overthinking every little detail and started writing and enjoying myself during that process. This E.P means a lot to me and  for the first time in a while, I was content with what I created. This is just the beginning though, and I think I still have a lot to learn and I’m hoping to explore new avenues and collaborate with other musicians.

What is your writing process? Is it organized chaos…divine inspiration? Or do you just tinker until something sounds right?

I think when it comes to my writing process it just really depends on the day. There are days that I just mess around with my gear or try some new VSTs until I find a sound I like and just tweak that until I’m satisfied. If I like the idea I just try and build on that.  I have so many ideas that are just partial songs or just ideas I gave up on, and that I guess can be considered organized chaos?!? There’s also days where I randomly get an idea when I’m like halfway across the city and no where near my studio, so I have to keep repeating the melody  in my head until I get home and get that idea out. Like I said it just depends on the day and mood haha.

What is your recording set up?

My setup is pretty basic right now, and I use two main synths to record. The Novation Ultranova and BassStation 2, which is running into my Motu 4 pre interface. I use Ableton Live as my DAW, and I have a ton of random virtual instruments like Massive and the Arturia JUP 8 V3 which I use to get ideas out. Im hoping to invest in some more analogue gear but I’m pretty content with what I have now. I feel like I can still get a lot out with my current set up, but I’m always looking to try new sounds.

What got you into music in the first place?

I’ve been playing music since a very young age, and I studied classical piano for years. I’ve always been in bands up until a few years ago and that’s when I started writing, producing and learning how to record music. I had so many ideas that I couldn’t get out when I played in bands, so it really wasn’t until I bought my first interface and started messing around with software  when I realized I can write at my own pace. I really wanted to have fun with music and production and that just transcended into something I just do on a daily basis. I’m at a point where I honestly don’t know what I would do with my free time if I didn’t play or listen to music.

How do you transition your music into a live show?

I had my debut show a few weeks back in Toronto, and I’m looking into playing shows in other cities in Canada and the U.S. It was a little tricky to figure out exactly how I would do it live, as I didn’t want to just “DJ” my set. Essentially what I did was have to mix my tracks without certain parts such as the leads and drums. I ended up playing those parts live while having a live drummer, which added another aspect to the performance. I think the hardest part was trying to get the set to sound almost exactly the same as the last release, but it also gave me some freedom to change a few things, which was fun.

What’s it like working with RetroSynth Records?

Working with RetroSynth Records is pretty great! I’m still new to the roster but Scott has helped out quite a bit. Not only has he introduced me to new artists, but he’s  very easy to communicate with and works efficiently especially when it comes to putting out content on social media. Its helped me stay organized and pushed me to work towards putting out new material and thinking about other things like merchandise.

If you could only listen to 3 records ever again for the rest of your life, what would you choose?

This is probably the hardest question to answer, just cause I listen to a lot of music and I still listen to artists that I did 10 years ago. But I guess the first record would be Teen Dreams by Beach House. I can’t tell you why but this album is just very well produced. Its simple, yet complex in its own ways.  I’ve been listening to this album on repeat for  a solid few months now. The other two records would be It’s Complicated Being a Wizard by Portugal the Man and Night Drive by Chromatics. These records are just great and they always take me elsewhere. No matter how many times I listen to them I always find something new, and I love it when you can listen to a record a thousand times yet it still manages to surprise you.

What’s on the horizon for Mellow Fields?

I’ll be filming my first music video for Wage of Destruction which should be out in a couple months. I’m also writing new material and preparing for another release either by the end of the year or in the new year. Its hard to tell right now just because I want  to release content that I’m truly happy with it. Along with a new E.P I’m expecting to start touring in Canada and the U.S and have my website out next year!

Anyone you’d like to thank or shout out before we go?

Yeah! First I wanna say thanks to Scott Forte from RetroSynth Records whose been super helpful and supportive since I joined the label and Tonebox who mixed and mastered my last E.P. Finally, Derek Rudy for doing an awesome job on the album art and everyone who has supported me!


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