’Lane 8 – Hot As You Want ft. Solomon Grey’

Among the new wave of House producers who have popped up recently, Lane 8 has stood out as a favorite of ours for quite some time now. The Bay Area-bred, Germany-based producer’s style spans across sub-genres of House, from progressive to bass, all the while displaying an appreciation for genres outside of electronic music. In the last year, Lane 8’s been picking up some serious momentum crescendoed by a performance at Coachella’s DoLab. Following that crucial career moment, Lane 8’s poised to continue what’s been a breakout year with his upcoming debut album, Rise. The singles from the album thus far, “Hot as You Want” probably being our favorite, have seen his sound mature and fill out wonderfully proving some of his strongest work to date.

We had a chance to chat with Lane 8 about his musical background, career trajectory and the making of Rise among other topics. Check out the full Q&A below–you can purchase Rise now here. 

TMN: Being from the Bay Area originally, how did you end up living in Leipzig?

Lane 8: I was living in San Francisco and I fell in love with a girl—a German girl—and it was getting to the point about a year and a half ago where I was playing most weekends and starting to get some decent bookings. It seemed like everything was pointing in a positive direction and I was ready to take that leap so we decided to move to Germany and give it a shot here.

TMN: Has living out there had any impact on your music? What’s the scene like in Leipzig?

Lane 8: Yeah, Leipzig is kind of known as the little Berlin, or some people would call it a better Berlin. The mentality can be sometimes a bit similar and the music scenes are quite similar in a way. They’re very techno focused at the moment. It’s not so much being in Germany for me but being in Europe in general and playing these cool little shows that I would never have gotten to play being from San Francisco that has influenced me the most. A lot of the music I play in my sets that I really like at the moment has been coming from Europe so it’s good to be out here and kind of rub elbows with people.

TMN: What was your first musical memory?

Lane 8: My dad is such a music nut. He has thousands and thousands of records. So, I literally had no choice but to be exposed to music from when I was born because my dad listens to music constantly. I have a weird memory of playing the cello in my garage and I know that must’ve been one of the first ones because the first instrument I ever tried was cello. Then I took up piano and that was what I stuck with. So, yeah, garage cello.

TMN:  What was the first song or artist that got you into electronic music?

Lane 8: Well, I could answer it in 2 ways. I consider a lot of hip-hop technically electronic in the way it’s put together and that what was really got me into production in the first place. When I was like 11, 12, 13 years old, I was listening to stuff Pete Rock and DJ Premiere were producing. I really wanted to make music like that so I got a keyboard and drum machine. That was my introduction because before that I was just playing piano and guitar.

But proper electronic, four-on-the-floor kick drum music, wasn’t until quite a bit later. It was a combination of Tiesto’s ‘In Search of Sunrise’, the first few of those compilations; and, also, I always found music on the Internet and I somehow I came across Kompakt, the German label. I just devoured their entire back catalogue. At the time I was 18 years old and just went through it all. I don’t know how I got onto Kompakt but that was a huge one for me.

TMN: What was that transition like, musically, going from hip-hop to electronic?

Lane 8: I was producing hip-hop stuff, I mean terribly though. I was 13, I had no idea what I was doing but I was super into it. My dad just gave me a CD the other day of 80-100 demos that I made in the garage over one summer. I would make a beat every day and that’s just what I did all day. That’s lucky my parents were cool with me just hanging out in the garage and jamming on the keyboard because that’s exactly what I wanted to do. That was purely just joy and fun, not taking it serious at all or doing much research on how to get better. Taking it on as something to study and really improve, came much later more when I started producing dance music around 18.Img-281248

’ODESZA – Bloom (Lane 8 Remix)’

TMN: Did you get into DJing around the same time you got into producing?

Lane 8: More or less, yeah. I always DJ’ed just for fun in college, if we had a party, I’d DJ for a little bit. I had a bunch of friends in college that had decks, which was fortunate because I got to sort of learn how to DJ. Yeah, I guess it was about the same time, but I was never too fussed about being the most amazing DJ. I was always focused on making music. Once it came time to actually go and DJ for real, that’s when I started to look at it a bit more critically and kind of work on improving that side of things because it’s an important one. To the point where, now, it’s a huge focus. I think I’d say I think about making music as much as I do about DJing. It’s very important to me.

TMN: What were some of the first gigs you got? Were they in San Francisco?

Lane 8: Yeah, exactly. I remember the first gig I ever had was at this place called the Pork Store, I don’t know if it’s still open, but it’s like a restaurant basically. These guys, oh man, they had a small record label called Our House Records and they were trying to throw parties in San Francisco so they got the Pork Store to agree to let them do a night there. So, we turned up at 9:45, and we were supposed to go on at 10, but people were still eating. The restaurant was still completely full so we just waited for everybody to finish eating. Then literally the people who were playing and ten of my buddies who came to laugh at me cleared all the tables out of the room and we set up the speakers. We didn’t have a mixer so we had to wait another hour—it was such a disaster. But then we got everything set up and a few more people showed up. It actually turned out to be a pretty fun party so it wasn’t all for nothing.

Actually, even before that, I played in the storefront of a club called Temple. They have a little storefront and they stick DJs in there. You would just be DJ and the music would go out on the street for people walking by. It was the most humiliating thing I’ve ever done because people don’t want to listen to your music, they just want to go about their day. And there I am just playing records that nobody wants to listen to to nobody.Lane8_AlbumPackshot1

’Lane 8 – Ghost ft. Patrick Baker’

TMN: Let’s talk a bit about your upcoming album. The songs we’ve heard thus far, comparing them to some of the early stuff on your Soundcloud page, it seems like your sound has filled out so much. Can you talk a little about how long the process of creating the album has been going on and how you think your sound has evolved in that process?

Lane 8: It took about a year and three months to make. I think, for me, before I started doing the album, I was really focused on making good music that singers can take and put their vocals on and make a song out of it. So, it was really focused on getting good features and writing songs with Patrick and Solomon Grey, who are both on the album. At the time, I was into a lot of what I call bass line deep house type of stuff so that’s what I was trying to make as well in a way. And then it sort of became a thing that I wasn’t that into anymore and sort of wanted to do something different. This album was sort of a step away from that. Trying to put a foot in the indie world as well as trying to get back to some of my more roots, which is more in progressive house. I also wanted to get more into instrumental music because everything I had ever done had a vocal on it, even if it was just a small sample. I wanted to challenge myself that was strong without having that sort of crutch to lean on, for lack of a better word.

TMN: Some of my favorite work that you’ve done has been your work with Solomon Grey but their music’s definitely a lot different than yours. How did that collaboration come about and when you guys are working together are they part of the production process or is it mostly just Joe Wilson’s vocals that are being contributed?

Lane 8: They had asked me for a remix a while ago, which I didn’t end up doing, but that was the first time I had heard their music was through that request. I wrote them back saying, “hey, I really like your stuff. I can’t do the remix (I can’t remember the reason) but let’s stay in touch” and then we wrote “Diamonds.” On “Diamonds” they weren’t that involved in it. That was just me sending the track and then we got in the studio and worked out the vocal for it, recorded it, then finished the track. On the album, they’ve been more of a part of it. It’s also because we did a live session for “Diamonds” as well, which Tom (Kingston of Solomon Grey) got more involved in, and so now it’s more of a three-way collaboration rather than making a track and Joe singing on it. Everyone’s more involved in it.

TMN: Yeah, you can definitely tell.

Lane 8: Yeah, I hope so. Tom’s an amazing engineer and, in a lot of ways, has such a more complete grasp of the technical side of things than I do so it’s great to have his expertise there as well. Those guys are just great to work with in general.

TMN: I did want to ask a bit about your experience playing at Coachella because I feel like that’s always such a momentous occasion for any artist. What was that like?

Lane 8: I went to school in LA so I went to Coachella as a fan and hung out at the DoLab. I was so blown away by that whole experience and the big stages. That was one of the thing’s that really kicked my ass to up my game and work on production and get better and all that. So, to come full circle and play there was really great and something I really appreciated because you don’t get to play those kind of gigs that often—like that you’ve literally dreamed about. Everyone always says that but I went there when I was 18 years old and it was the greatest thing I’d ever seen. Then I got to play there, it’s very surreal.

TMN: If an extraterrestrial or alien came down to earth and asked you what music was, what song would you play them?

Lane 8: “A Day in the Life” by The Beatles

Special thanks to Lane 8 for taking the time to chat with us! The second image in this piece is from the DoLab’s blog.

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