Interview: Britton Galland (Noise Revolt | Minimal Sessions)
We’ve been fans of Britton for a few years now, and we thought it’d be fun to delve into the background of a guy who we believe to be one of the hardest working, not to mention one of the nicest individuals in the underground community.
Luis: First let me say thank you for agreeing to do an interview. All of us at CUE are long time supporters and its really cool you are going to be the first interview we conduct for the blog.
Britton: Of course man. I’m honored you guys would consider me interesting enough to be the first interview!
L: Tell us a little bit about yourself. Where are you from originally and where do you live now?
B: I was born and raised in North County San Diego it was there I grew up surfing. It wasn’t until I was 15 or 16 that I got into DJing and eventually, when I turned 20, I moved to LA to go to school for Audio Engineering. I then met my Noise Revolt and Minimal Sessions family. After school was over I had to move back to my sleepy beach town to keep me grounded.
L: How old are you now?
B: I’m 25 now.
L: 10 years in the scene and going strong! What would you say brought you into the world of electronic music?
B: I used to attend a lot of concerts as a kid. I saw what music did to people and I loved it. When I would find remixes and edits of my favorite artist’s songs and I started to make mixes and post them on Soundcloud. I was hooked at that point.
L: No kidding, there is truly not a whole lot in this world that brings us all together like music can. It brings down barriers between people, offers an escape from the stresses and hardships in life, and so much more. I can definitely understand why you'd want to delve in and create all those types of special moments only music can provide.
L: So what attracted you to minimal techno?
B: Well at first I was into that old school electro, super over saturated and huge sounding. Then I went to some random underground party with a girl I had just met. All the lights were off and they had brought in a Funktion One sound system that absolutely blew my mind. There were no lights at all except for the DJs headlamp. It seemed like he was playing the most perfect kick and high hat. I was locked in this groove with everyone in the room. I’ll never forget that feeling, it still inspires me today!
L: Dude that sounds pretty intense. I don't think I've ever been to an event where the DJ is rocking a headlamp and its just pitch black like that. Sounds like you got dragged to some serious underground stuff that night.
B: It was so necessary. After that I knew that techno had a place in my heart. I don’t think I realized how complex it was till I actually tried making it.
L: What about the genre do you enjoy the most?
B: Right now I love that super sexy minimal tech. It almost sounds like slowed down psytrance. I love it because it covers both side of the spectrum. The bass and percussion are groovy and feminine while the vocals and leads have more of a masculine feel. I don’t like condemning techno or stuff those anxiety loops everyone’s all about, it’s more about bringing the whole room together.
L: Awesome, any artists right now who you are digging in particular? Anyone we should be on the lookout for?
B: For my sound in particular I’ve been really digging what John Haden, Elmer Strathe and MRDIE have been producing. It’s super dark creepy minimal that has a great groove. As for artists that inspire me I’d have to say Tyler Rouse, Shmitty and the whole Noise Revolt crew. It seems like everyone’s been having a great year and it’s really cool too see their progression.
L: It certainly has been a pretty great year and it's only just getting started. I (just like a whole bunch of others in the underground community) kicked it off with you, the rest of the Noise Revolt crew, Terrakroma, and Moontribe for the NYE celebration in the Mojave. How was that experience for you? I know it was certainly one of the best New Years I've had in a long time! Your set was stellar, it really set the bar high for the whole event.
B: Ah man, that was insanity! Seeing how many people actually showed up to that gathering got me pretty anxious at first but hanging out with all of my close friends before my set really helped me shake the nerves. I can’t thank MT and TK enough for the support they’ve shown the NR crew and letting us showcase our music at such a prime time in the night. It was a pretty surreal experience to say the least!
L: Its well deserved by you and your crew. It takes a special something to ever get me to consider driving through the concrete jungles of LA, but somehow if I ever find myself at an event up there it's you guys who are at the helm. Speaking about Noise Revolt, how did your involvement with them begin? Were you there since the inception? How did you come to be a part of the crew?
B: I actually was a later addition to the crew. They had been doing events for over a year before I was introduced to DaVoid, Jesta, and Raskal. After working with them once I knew they were the type of people I wanted to be around. They give every style of music a platform to be expressed. Just because we don’t understand it doesn’t mean it’s not great music, and that’s why I love them.
L: Nice, its refreshing when you can experience a plethora of different styles of music. I think it really helps to make things not get stagnant. A lot of crews get so caught up in their one style there is sometimes an elitist attitude that develops. I'm glad you guys like to branch out.
While we are on the subject of affiliations, tell me about Minimal Sessions. What is that all about? What is your involvement?
B: Well I met Tyler Rouse and Matthew Smit when I worked at Exchange LA. We used to do a lot of promoting for Insomniac’s techno nights until it was realized that we could throw our own events. After a very successful year of King King parties we knew the next step would be to become a label. At that point I moved back to San Diego but that doesn’t keep me from staying busy with signing artists, throwing their San Diego events and releasing my own music on the label. It’s been an amazing learning experience to see what goes on behind the scenes and it definitely helps with my own direction as an artist
L: So the three of you started the whole project together?
B: It was us three that started it but Tyler and Shmitty really put everything they had into it. It’s their baby for sure I’m just the creepy uncle that gets to hang out
L: Uncle Britton with his creepy techno music!
B: It fits right!?! Hahah
L: I wanted to ask you a question I often think about in regards to event production. As someone who attends tons of events and as someone who has produced them as well. What do you think are some of the most crucial elements to create a memorable party? If you had to boil it down to say 3 to 5 things. What do you think are the things that are essential in creating a special event?
B: Well I might be biased but I think the number one thing (and often most overlooked) is sound, even if the crowd doesn’t know it. People tend to stay longer when it’s a comfortable listening environment. 2nd on my list is having a strong core in the group. Those dance floor generals that bring the weird out in people and spread the vibe of your collective. Sometimes events get very popular, and the core people get outnumbered by the new, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing but that’s when I see great gathering turn into another “pull out your phone and stare at it” type of party.
The third and final thing I think is crucial is to figure out what your intentions are. I would advise against throwing an event If you’re only trying to make money. But if you want to create a space for people to express themselves and maybe even help find out more about who they are, then you will see the support of a very tight and genuine community. Usually the groups that try to look at it as a competition don’t last very long.
L: That sounds like some sound advice (pun intended). I think you are onto something about having a strong core group helping to spread the ethos of the event. I believe your crew has done a really great job of inspiring creativity of all sorts of different mediums or even across musical genres. Also it seems like the crews who are in it for the sheer passion of it all, and don't fall into some sort of competitive mindset seem to flourish the most. I believe the fan base can feel the difference between a completely financially driven endeavor vs. a production whose team just truly loves what they do.
I think you picked some solid ingredients for your “Dope party recipe”.
B: Yeah it’s been great to help bring a platform to so many different mediums. We even have a tap dancer!! (Dante Lara)
L: No way, that is so legit! Inspiring art of all kinds.
Okay circling back to you as a musician. How long have you been producing music now?
B: My buddy JP Woodhead and I started dabbling in Logic when we were 17. We made the track Spinner some time after that and ever since then it’s been a constant learning process with each release. It’s been about 8 years of making tunes.
L: Any other musical talents of yours the readers may not be aware of?
B: Not really to be honest! I’m more of a circuit bender making happy mistakes and looping them! I did go to school for audio at LA Recording which helped me learn the rules of engineering and how to break them.
L: You've been known to throw down on vinyl every once in awhile. What do you enjoy most about spinning on wax?
B: I really love it in intimate environments, when people can look over the booth it’s cool see the physicality of throwing a record on the platter, dropping the needle, and hearing the elements come in. It can be expensive and it comes with a whole new set of problems to worry about but it also makes you slow down and really listen to the mix. All the screens and visual aids can distract you from that.
L: That is actually really cool. I'm happy you are helping to keep the craft alive.
What are some of your current goals and aspirations in your music career?
Well I actually did accomplish my ultimate dream this last New Years celebration. So I’ve been basking in that bliss this last month and a half. In the scope of things I’m very happy with where I am at the moment, there’s no stress or expectations plus there's plenty of time to go surfing.
If I can stay in this little sweet spot I’m stoked.
L: Fair enough, you did sort of kill it! There has been a whole lot of push from your friends in the community to get you on the lineup for Desert Hearts this year. They even made a hashtag right? I'd certainly love to see you perform there.
B: Yeah it was really cool to see that! Desert Hearts has blown up so it’s pretty wishful thinking but it felt great to see the support, regardless of what comes of it.
L: Well, we are rooting for you. I think DH could use a healthy dose of Britton techno. What was that hashtag anyways?
B: I believe it was #BrittonHearts or something hahah you’ll have to ask Lexi or Amy. They’ve been very creative in spreading the word.
L: I like it, we will try to spread the word too.
B: Much appreciated, Triptych has always supported me so thank you for that
L: Recently you've jumped head first into running sound with Astral Audio & Energy. How has the experience been? What have you learned as a sound engineer? Has running sound made you a better performer?
B: It’s been a crazy experience working with Adam Astral and the Ohm Guru John Cooper. They took what I thought I knew about sound and completely flipped it upside down. It’s been a long process but I’ve gotten to the point where I’m finally contributing instead of just sitting back and learning. I like to think it’s helped me with producing music, not everyone gets to demo their WIPs on a massive rig before sending it to the mastering guy.
L: Yeah that is a nice little perk of the job.
L: Before the interview you mentioned you make your own surf wax?
B: I do! My dad did it when he was young and I took on the trade to help support my music and events. I do a lot of private label wax for businesses that operate close to the beach.
L: A true jack of all trades! Are you working on anything right now that has you excited? New tracks or events you are producing coming up, we should keep an eye out for?
B: Well I’m definitely looking forward to March 10th with you guys. I have two remixes coming out that I’ll be playing, one for John Haden and one for Griffin Paisley. I’ll also be testing out my new unsigned EP to see if I’ll be sending it out to labels are scrapping it and starting over.
L: Oh nice you'll be debuting some new material? Way cool, now I'm even more excited! We are definitely looking forward to having you join us!
Thank you for your time Britton, I know between producing music, running sound, performing, and everything else you have to do in your day to day, you are a very busy guy. We really appreciate you taking some time to do an interview with us. We are incredibly eager to have you behind the decks on March 10th at Kava. It's gonna be a ton of fun working with you again my friend.
B: Thanks so much, I can’t wait for March 10th and future CUE events!
Join us March 10th at Kava Lounge for special guest Britton Galland who will be joined by Ghost Strype and the CUE residents as we venture into a jam packed evening full of some real tasty techno beats. This concludes our first CUEmmunity interview and we hope you enjoyed it! Lets not forget to spread the message of #BrittonHearts so our friends over at Desert Hearts might consider Britton for their Spring Festival