Having recently released yet another extremelyÂ wellreceived album, Lovers Do, on his thesongsays label,Â Blisspop had the pleasure of interviewing Steven Ford, aka Bruno Pronsato, to talk influences, collaborations, and naturally, speed metal vs. techno. Don’t miss his live set at U Hall this Friday. Locals Jubilee and Lxsx Frxnk will handle the warm-up duties. Advance tickets can be purchased here.
Kind of an obvious question, but what was the catalyst for your transition from speed metal drummer to techno producer? Despite how different these genres might appear at first glance, do you find there to be similarities? I take it your background in percussion helps with programming, for instance. Did you have anyone mentoring you as you made the transition or are you mainly self-taught?
Well the catalyst was a long one actually. About five years after my sort of departure from speed metal, I started really getting into the stuff coming out on Mego. Then started to slowly make way into the Raster-Noton stuff. It wasn’t until I heard Pantytec’s Pony Slaystation that I really decided that electronic music was going to be my next step musically. As far as similarities go, I would say that being on the fringes and being, at some times, absolutely outrageous is the most common similarity. Randy Jones from Orac was a huge mentor for me. He kind of led me in the direction of using max/msp, showing me more weird stuff and also showing me the basics. My first record on Orac was pretty much ‘directed’ by Randy Jones.
You were originally based in Seattle. When and why did you decide to make the move to Berlin?
It was really just the next step for me. I was playing in europe a lot around 2004/2005 and pretty much decided that rather than travel I should move over to Berlin.
Once you got to Berlin, how did your collaborations with Sammy Dee and Daze Maxim come about? Did you, or they, play a more active role in making those happen or did it all come together pretty organically?
I actually met Sammy Dee in Holland. We really hit it off immediately. I think by the end of the night (we were playing together) we had already made a studio date. As I said before, Pantytec was huge for me, so it was a real honor to even be discussing working together.
Daze is one half of Hello?Repeat so we have always had a mutual respect for each other’s music, but we never really hung out much. But over the years we have become really, really good friends. He’s just such a phenomenal producer that I think I proposed the idea to him and he reluctantly agreed 😉
You eventually started your own label – thesongsays. What was the impetus for this? Were you trying to promote a certain sound or asthetic which you felt were underepresented? How would you rate the success of the label thus far?
Well, I pretty much started thesongsays as platform to release The Make Up The Break Up. I was fairly certain that there was no label in technodom that would wanna release that. I mean, it was really aÂ super long track divided into 7 parts, so I really didn’t try to bother anyone with it. I knew that the dance floor success was zero, and keep in mind that at this time vinly sales were REALLY taking a dive. I mean they had been for a while, but this was at a time when labels were really tightening their beltsâ€¦
thesongsays has been doing incredibly well in my eyes. All of our releases pretty much sell out and most of the reviews seem to be favorable. It really has done much better than I ever thought it would.
As with your past productions, Lovers Do was greeted with really positive reviews this spring. Did you sit down with a concept for the album or more of a blank slate? Were you using a lot of ideas you had archived or is most of it all brand new material?
When I make an album, and it’s not like I have made a million, but these last two, I really just wait until one track comes along that really sets things in motion. So, yes, it was a very clean slate. After I had finished “Lovers Do” (the track) I knew which direction I wanted to go.
NDF, your recent collaboration with Sergio Giorgini (of Benoit & Sergio), produced some really amazing results. Any more similarly unexpected collaborations on the horizon that you can let us in on?
Hmm, unexpected – no. There is a Public Lover record coming out very soon. Also an Others record coming out on Hello?Repeat with Daze. Sammy Dee and I are working on an album, and Thomas Melchior and I have one track almost done for a new single.