Artist Ded Sheppard has provided listeners with a new journey through the deep and darker realms of music via his new concept album titled, "You Can't Take It With You", being released by Onset Audio. Filled with plenty of layers and setting the mood well, this is a solid listen from beginning to end. Andy was able to talk with us regarding his latest musical project and what helps keep him inspired.
It appears that you have a put together a new musical experience titled, "You Can't Take It With You", out now via the Onset Audio label. Can you give us some of the background idea or maybe your vision so to speak, behind this project?
The vision was to embark on a cinematic journey with dystopian themes that contemplates mortality and what we leave behind. Centered around the spirit of dark jungle and halftime DnB, it has many different themes as the journey unfolds. It features chase scenes, discovery, doom, drone rave, and the finale - a reflective ballad “You Can’t Take It With You”. As an artist I don’t want to leave anything behind musically and for this album I wanted to see how far I could push myself and my habitual structures and formats that I’m accustomed to working with.
The soundscapes and textures throughout the full listening are great as it unfolds and explores the halftime aspects while continuing to dig deeper. Are you musically trained?
Kind of, but not in the traditional sense. I grew up in a music-centered family, so as a kid I learned to play piano, violin and sing but I never really felt like these were instruments for me to grow with. When I discovered DnB/jungle, I found what felt like my musical home. I started out producing drum and bass with some studio advice from the more established DnB producers in Toronto and the rest was largely self-taught. So my first set up was a computer and an emu e6400 ultra and a soundcraft board and a DA30. With this simple setup I had to learn how to make everything from scratch and manipulate sound so that sounded like how I imagined.
Did this all come together pretty smoothly for you, no real issues?
It was certainly challenging, as I really wanted to keep a unified aesthetic, thematically as well as sonically. I approached the album like I was scoring a movie. One issue that I did come across was the question of endings, so I spent quite a bit of time on the endings giving the endings as much importance as the intros.
What helps keep you inspired and motivated to make music?
I take inspiration from a lot of places, I often channel places in my imagination or memory and I take a lot of inspiration from my home in Vancouver, BC, Canada. The landscape of BC and the Pacific Northwest in general are home to vast forests, ocean, mountains and huge old growth cathedral trees that have a certain mysticism that I can’t put my finger on and I think the mystique of my surroundings have been a great influence on me. The Pacific Northwest has a unique halftime sound and the landscape is no doubt an influencer. In the studio the fuel that drives me is the feeling when I create something that is new to me. I love to experiment and create new sounds that I haven’t heard before and figure out new ways of approaching sound.
What music have you been listening to lately, any genre, that we should also check out?
I have been re-listening to my collection of 94-96 dark jungle on vinyl. Fierce & Nico’s “Input” is definitely one that people should check out.
Is there any other news or updates you would like to share with readers?
There are couple remixes in the works for Run Baby Run as well as The Youth from my previous e.p Skizma
Any closing thoughts or shout outs?
Big shout out to Onset Audio. And Seth/Grym for his incredible artistic interpretation of my music, his cover art is always on point.
Keep updated with Ded Sheppard at any of the following links.