Interview with BT
Brian Transeau aka BT is an American producer, composer, singer and business owner. He has collaborated with artist in nearly every genre including pop, trance, house, and hip hop proving that his talents and skills in production are not limited to only electronic music.
He has released countless tracks and remixes and a total of six albums. His recent album 'These Hopeful Machines' was reviewed recently on 365Mag and has receive much praise claiming it could very well be one of 365Mag's top albums for 2010.
We gathered some inquiries in regards to his lifestyle both past and present mainly picking his brain on the topics of technology as well as his refined music genius.
As you were growing up, which musician did you look up to the most, and why?
I aspired to be, studied, and idolized more composers than musicians, so some of my favorite composers were people that I studied a considerable amount of their work if not their entire bodies of work are Debussy and Bartok. For musicians I would have to say Peter Hook (the bass player for New Order), and Martin Gore (the songwriter from Depeche Mode).
In your younger years were you the nerdy type, a bully, or something in between?
(Laughs) This is a very funny question; one that I've never been asked before, although I like it. I was definitely very sort of bright and introverted. I took a lot of solace in my own company. I started playing the piano when I was 4. I was practicing 6 hours a day by the time I was 6 years old so that doesn't leave a lot of time for socializing and playing. My life was pretty much consumed with academics and practice.
The snow has been a major factor in the cancellations of some of your recent gigs. How did you weather the storm?
It was actually really beautiful. We did a lot of sledding and drank a lot of hot chocolate. A wonderful time was had by all, but it was very inconvenient as far as travel. I love living in a place where there are seasons. I missed that a lot. Living three years in California I think that your body can acclimate to something like that but you always remember the smell and the feeling of the place that you were raised. For me having seasons is a really important part of my internal reset mechanism. It makes me feel creative and keeps me checked in.
Can you tell us what equipment is involved in a 'Laptop Symphony'?
Yes, I can. I use two laptops, a Macbook pro with 8GB of ram. Super pimped out Mac Book pro. I am starting to use a shuttle PC for live visuals. I use a bunch of USB controllers, some Korg nano's. I am now using an Akai APC40 to control both audio and visuals. God willing on a good day, and a bunch of proprietary software and plug-ins developed by my company Sonik Architects, and I use Ableton Live as a host.
How important do you believe it is to embrace new technology?
I'd say it really depends on what it is. That is such a broad question, and it's a good and thoughtful question too, but I am going to answer it from a compositional vantage point. It is very important for me compositionally to embrace new technology as it really informs and inspires me to push the boundaries of what's known in the kind of modern macular music. There are new methodologies and modalities of ways of perceiving and doing things, and new techniques, new ideas, and new technologies all the time. You really can do things that haven't been heard before. Literally on a daily basis there are things coming out so it really something I enjoy keeping abreast of and I find it very inspiring.
The Mac vs. PC wars have been a constant topic amongst the tech savvy. What do you personally feel are the benefits of owning a Mac?
I must say that I do use PC's as well so I am sort of computer agnostic or non-denominational. I don't know what the right word to say here is. (laughs) I love the Macintosh, I love the aesthetic design of the Macintosh but on my Mac I have 5 operating systems. I have OS X. I have Sheepshaver Rompler Emulation of OS9 which I use routinely. I have windows which I use all the time for sound design, and DOS which I also use all of the time for sound design, and Linux as well.
Are you concerned about your image? If so, in what ways?
That's an interesting question and no one has ever asked me that before. I wouldn't say I am necessarily concerned about my image more than I am sort of my legacy in a way, which is weird, a big word to use when you are not 40. I do think about my body of work as a whole quite a bit, so that is something I think about. The consistency, my artistic output, and how it will be viewed as a whole in a hundred or two hundred years from now so that is what I think about, my image not so much. (Laughs) If I did I wouldn't have such stupid haircuts!
What kind of car do you drive?
This is a funny question. I drive a Prius.
Are you addicted to Twitter?
That would definitely be affirmative, although the text book Merck's manual definition of addiction you would have to ask my mother whom is a clinical psychiatrist.
What is it about Twitter that holds your interest more than other social networking sites?
That's a really easy one for me to answer honestly. It's the authenticity of it. It feels like a very authentic way to exchange with people. It's the first social media that ever had that kind of feeling to me. I like FaceBook too, I like both of them but I like the immediacy of Twitter.
What are some of the things that would compel you to dislike a fellow producer or musician?
One of the reasons why I think there's been such a tremendous amount of success as if were for the entire community of hip-hop music is because there hasn't been all that sort of BS bickering back and forth that we have, and that sort of snobbery and elitism in Electronic music where you see people making double decaffeinated, half caff, half step, drum and drill, or whatever. Then that person and three of their friends make music just like them and they are the only people that listen to it and if you don't make that kind of music then you are ousted from the chin stroking intelligence. (Laughs) There is not really anything that would make me like a producer or musician unless they were just an ass. I find something to like about almost everyone's work. Some of the large portion of which would never interest me on a creative level trying to create myself but I can find things to appreciate about just about everyone's work from the Electronic music community that are pro's that I hear in many different idioms of Electronic music. I'm kind of a perpetual optimist in always finding things to like about people in general.
If you could address each and every one of your fans right now, what would you tell them?
If I could give them two bits of advice one of them would be to not just believe that anything of your choosing is manifest able but to experimentally go out and seize that yourself. The other thing I would say is that the best thing all of us can do at all times is to just be here, kind of in the now.
Do you have any other comments for the readers of 365Mag?
No, I don't but I really enjoyed this interview. It's cool, there were some really thoughtful and interesting questions in here, so thanks so much for this!
365Mag would like to thank BT for his time and answers.
Electronic Night Life
Last edited by euphoria on Mar-10-2010 at 14:16