You can say what you like but I think that Electronic Dance Music producers/artist are some of the most interesting and fun people around. I mean these guys and gals have some of the funniest, interesting and often deep things to say when it comes to music and just life in general and Brisbane producer Tabrill is definitely one interesting person. He’s got that sarcastic tumblr generation wit about him which just makes him an interesting human being. I got to have a Q&A with him and learn a little bit about the guy behind the enigma and even learn his favourite memes.
Alex: So I suppose first off I’d like to know how you came to start in music? What is Tabrill’s story so far?
Tabrill: I’m going to do you a favour and skip talking about my Metal phase. No one needs to be reminding of my hair straightener days. I’ve been playing guitar for about eight years now, so that’s where I first began delving into music. But it wasn’t until the last two years of High School that I got into Electronic music. My first taste came from this weird compilation album Bring Me the Horizon put out, ‘Suicide Season: Cut Up!’ It had a bunch of BMTH’s tracks remixed into Drum ‘n’ Bass, Dubstep and straight up Techno. I didn’t realize until years later that my favourite track on the album was actually remixed by Skrillex, who at the time was still pretty underground. Anyway, it wasn’t until I heard Madeon’s remix of Deadmau5’s ‘Raise Your Weapon’ that it clicked in my head that music was what I wanted to do with my life. It was the first time I realised someone my age could create music. So ever since then I’ve been putting out music with the hope that each track is slightly less terrible than the previous.
Alex: How’d you come up with the moniker of Tabrill?
Tabrill: Basically, it’s a mixture of my old gamer tag ‘Table’ and stupid saying we had in High School ‘Brill’ (short for brilliant). It’s a dumb name; if I weren’t already so attached to it I would probably change it. I’m yet to hear anyone on the radio pronounce it correctly, which I kind of take pleasure in.
Alex: How do you approach a new track? Do you prefer to work freely without a restriction or do you prefer structure working with like beats or melody and build from there?
Tabrill: I literally have the worst workflow. I don’t really like working with a structure, although I probably should. I usually just listen to music until I find something that inspires me and then I quickly try get all my ideas out into Ableton before the inspiration is gone. It’s kind of like a race against time. If I don’t get enough done the song will get stale and the next thing I know I’ll spend a week working on the song and not get anywhere.
Alex: You worked with some different artist across the Revisions EP. What made you decide to work with these artists?
Tabrill: Everyone featured on my EP are all my friends. I chose them because they are each so incredibly talented and make me look/sound good.
Alex: Listening to the Revisions EP you can kind of see some kind of influence from artist like Porter Robinson. Would it be safe to say Porter is an influence?
Tabrill: I often tell people Porter is my Waifu, so yeah maybe he was a bit of an influence. His last album was a huge inspiration to me. Songs like Flicker and Lionhearted really impacted on me.
There were one or two tracks that ended getting cut from the EP that drew inspiration directly from the Worlds album.
Alex: What are your inspirations when it comes to your music?
Tabrill: I’ll just rattle off some names. Gorillaz, Porter Robinson, Flume, Chet Faker, Jack Garratt, Bonobo, The XX, The Chemical Brothers, Yppah, Ryan Hemsworth, Snakadaktal, What So Not, Chrome Sparks there is probably heaps I’m missing but you get the gist. I like to think I have an eclectic taste.
Alex: Electronic music seems to be the genre that is constantly reinventing itself and seems to be one of the more versatile genres out there. Artist like Porter Robinson have really challenged what our idea on the genre are. Do you have any views on artist who have moved away from their decks and are now playing “live” shows? Is that something you’d consider doing?
Tabrill: Well it’s something I have been trying to do for a couple of years now, since the start of 2013. Up until then I had been writing Dubstep/Electro House, but I was becoming bored with the genre. Everyone was pretty much writing the same song over and over. Whenever someone thought of something original everyone would quickly try replicate it, which defeats the whole purpose of being original in the first place. I try not to write music that pertains to any particular genre (wow that sounds pretentious), although people keep telling me my music is Future Bass. To be honest with you, I’m not even a hundred percent sure what Future Bass is. I’m currently trying to develop my live show into a more ‘live’ experience. I used to mess around playing on decks back in my Dubstep days but I feel the crowd appreciates a show more when they know what they are hearing is being made on the fly.
Alex: What would a Tabrill live show look like? Have you considered playing gigs now that the new Revisions EP is out?
Tabrill: I’ve actually got a few gigs lined up over the next few months! Although the thought of leaving the house is daunting. At the moment my live setup consists of me standing awkwardly on stage with my computer that could die at any moment, my Novation Launchpad I bought of a friend for $50 and an APC40 I borrow off of Feki, another Brisbane producer. I know, I know, I’m really good at selling myself. I do take pride in my performance though, I put as much effort into it as I can to make sure it’s as good as I can possibly do.
Alex: We’re from the Tumblr generation so if you had to choose a meme or gif to represent yourself what would it be?
Tabrill: There’s so many dank memes to choose from. I want to give a honourable mention to the Shitpost Generator for reminding us of how fickle life can be and teaching us that full time dank memers should not be taken for granted. However, I’m going to have to go with this picture of a happy dog wearing a hat. He looks like he’s got his life sorted. Good for him.
So yeah that’s Tabrill pretty sweet dude with a big future ahead of him if I do say so myself. His new Revisions EP is available on iTunes right now and it’s something so hot that is just track after track of pure EDM joy. Do you wan to know what’s even better? Right now you can stream the full EP bellow and then head over to his sound cloud and give him some love.