I just saw on Facebook that you’ve bought a monster mixing desk. What is that and what are you going to do with it?
Yeah it's my new baby. It's an Allen & Heath Saber mixing desk from the late 80s, in fully working condition, bought from a friend of a friend who really loved it. I haven't actually got space for it now, but it was one of those moments where I decided to get it and build a room around it in the near future. I've been collecting bits of equipment over the years so I can build a working studio for all my projects. I've been tracking a lot of drums and guitars in various studios recently so it makes sense to have these facilities available whenever I need them.
So of all the ones you’ve bought, what’s your favourite piece of equipment and why?
I've have to say, boringly, Ableton. Just because it allows me to design synths and integrate bits of hardware together to create my sound. I've also been having a lot of fun with Novation's Circuit as I'm lucky enough to have been given access to some of the new features early. My flatmate, Will Plowman, also has a clone of a Moog System 15 modular synth which is ridiculous. With everyone obsessing over Eurorack stuff at the moment, it's nice to hear what truly rich oscillators actually sounds like.
Of all the producers you’ve spent studio time with, who has inspired you the most and why? Or who did you learn most from?
Although I collaborate with a lot of people, but most of the writing goes on in different studios. I've probably learnt most from the afore mentioned Will Plowman, not in terms of technique but in terms of process. Just watching him create a sound and then let the inherent manipulation limitations dictate the finished piece is really interesting. In terms of pure fun, I had a lot of fun writing drum machine tracks with Octa Octa and a guitar amp at RBMA in New York. It reminded me to forget the business side of music and just enjoy the buzz.
What’s your musical background? Which parts have you bought forward into your own music?
My original background is playing in heavy bands, but John Peel opened my eyes to eclecticism. I now love a huge amount of disparate types of music and I try and draw on them all sound wise. It's more about the dynamics for me, so music with tension and release always resonates with me. In addition to that sub bass, polyrhythms and dissonant melodies are consistent themes.
Brendan Bennet directed your recent video and built the visual aspect for the live show – how did the collaboration come about and what made you want to add a visual element?
I had a really strong aesthetic for Axioms, basic rules were used to create complexity. I wanted the same thing to run through the artwork and visuals. Snowflakes are created from simple rules but are always different. This hybrid theme has fractal dimensions so I asked Brendan (via Houndstooth) to make repeating loops using basic rules and snowflakes. When I play live I wanted to link the music to repeating patterns so that the audience could just lose themselves.
Ah yes, Houndstooth - you’ve been releasing with them for some time. Personally we love the label for it’s eclecticism and attention to detail - each release seems almost luxurious. What makes them so great for you?
They have given me a lot of freedom to do things how I want from packaging to the music....but even more importantly they are nice guys who have become genuine friends.
Any future plans for your own labels?
At the moment, I'm too busy to fully throw myself behind releasing someone else's music. I have to be 100% focused on them otherwise it's not fair to take someones creativity and potentially squander it. I do however have a few things up my sleeve.
OK, we can’t wait to see! Which new artists are you tipping at the moment?
Otto Lindholm, Otto Lindholm and Otto Lindholm
And finally… what’s your favourite snowy destination?
Either home to Weardale in County Durham or Iceland (I fell in love with that place after playing Sonar this year).
Check out Throwing Snow’s ‘Axioms’ on Houndstooth - http://store.houndstoothlabel.com/axioms.html
Throwing Snow plays at Submit on April 15 with Troy Gunnar, Alex Crescent and Room 2 hosted by Dream Diary