In conversation with Verasect

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Verasect is an electronic producer currently based in London, originally from New York City, you can find him creating music all over the world, combining both classic and modern elements flawlessly with his dark, brooding sound, ultimately creating something that is both old-school industrial inspired in it’s delivery, as well as crisp and modern in it’s true nature.

Breaking down the boundaries of darkwave and vocal-led electronic music with his intricate compositions, Verasect’s music immediately grabs attention, while still paying homage to the building blocks of the alternative electronic scene. Verasect’s latest single ‘Stitch’ begins with an electrifying synth-bassline and concise, deep beats which slowly build into powerful peaks of glitch, which you can stream below.

We caught up with Verasect on collaborating, equipment and heartbreak-sparking creativity:

Set the tone for us. Why the arts?

For me, it’s not a choice. If I have a musical idea in my head, I have to get it out or it will drive me insane. For me, making music is a mentally exhausting process and I’ve given up on it up countless times. But as miserable as writing songs can make me, not writing them makes me more miserable. And in the end, when you have something finished that you are proud of, it almost makes it worth it.

Which comes first when you’re producing – the sound or the idea?

Absolutely the sound. For me, the mood of a song is everything and the sound design sets the mood. I almost always start a song sitting in front of my keyboards, away from the computer. Analog synths just beg to be experimented with and when I zero in on a sound that makes me feel something, I know I have the beginning of a song.

Verasect’s forthcoming self-released EP titled Sleep Stories will be released on September 28th, could you detail this recording process process and how it may have differed to past studio experiences?

Verasect is a major departure from my previous projects. After years of writing aggressive music for stomping around a dance floor in an East Village basement club, I wanted to create something more nuanced and balanced. The rawness was dialed down and I brought in pop female vocalists but kept the dark haunting atmospheres that is integral to my sound.

Does your material feature any collaborations?

Every Verasect song is a collaboration with a unique vocalist. I don’t sing but when I write music I naturally write vocal melodies to accompany it. But I’m not comfortable with just writing the music and handing off the lyrics and melodies to a vocalist.

I have stories to tell and experiences to share so I need to take control of my music’s narrative. So instead I sought out different vocalists from around the world and shared my lyrics and melodies with them as a starting point. They would change up it up or rewrite whole sections and in the end we had something that sounded good and was true to what I wanted to say.

What’s on your current playlist?

Jon Hopkins’ Singularity and the Glitch Mob’s See Without Eyes both dropped in May and have both kept me busy. They are both masters of their craft and I’m always amazed by how dynamic and nuanced their sound design is. You can get lost for days!

But I also tend to listen mostly to older music. I’ve been on a ‘Depeche Mode and The Cure kick’ lately.

Take us through a day in the recording studio.

There are no days in the recording studio, only nights.

For each session I will set a goal. I’m either brainstorming new ideas, composing, mixing, writing vocals/lyrics or just learning new techniques. Each one requires a different mindset, so unless I have a deadline, I just do whatever feels the most natural at the time.

Was there a specific moment in your life where you thought, “this is what I want to do”?

All my friends in high school were in metal and alternative bands. I was just getting into electronic music but it never occurred to me that I could make it myself until I went to the music store with them. They were testing out guitars and drums and I was drawn to the keyboard room. There were some synths and headphones so I decided to mess around while I waited for them to finish.

From the first note I was hooked. I was blown away with the sounds you could create and mesmerized by all the knobs and buttons. They had to pry me out of that room and I started saving up for my first synthesizer.

Any emerging artists on your radar?

I tell everyone I meet about Luna Shadows. She has two amazing EPs out and is going to make it big I’m sure.

What gets your creative juices flowing?

Heartbreak, unfortunately. Happy people write shit music.

Could you detail the inspiration behind your latest upcoming single, ‘Catch Your Breath’? Where do you usually seek inspiration from when composing or writing?

“Catch Your Breath” is about a relationship I had nine years ago in New York. More specifically it was about the very moment when you know something is over and your life will become very different from that point forward. Sometimes a breakup is slow and drawn out but sometimes an event transpires that just changes everything and you know there is no going back.

With writing I don’t like to focus on too large of a concept. I prefer to limit myself to a single memory and focus on the details surrounding it. Where was I, who was I with, how was I feeling and what lead up to that moment. Just like when composing, limiting yourself will often force you into directions you wouldn’t have gone naturally.

Take us through your collection of gear, tech or software that accompanies your creative expression.

I know we are in the “produce entire albums on a MacBook” generation but I start everything on analog synths.

My collection now is a Dave Smith Pro 2, Dave Smith Tempest, Moog Sub 37, Novation Peak, Arturia MatrixBrute and Roland System-8. I have an MPC Live for gigs and a big suitcase of Eurorack modular. I limit myself to one wall of gear and I have to sell something if I want to buy something.

My good friend has a pretty crazy studio so I have access to tons of other synths though. He has some really rare stuff like a Yamaha CS-80 and a Schmidt so I can lay down tracks there if I want.

I keep my software pretty simple because you drown yourself in plugins and never get anything done.

Any side projects you’re working on?

I’m quite a serious travel photographer as well, so I spend a lot of time shooting around the world.

Recently I started a fundraising team for RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network) to raise money to help victims of sexual violence.

You’ve spent some time back and forth between London and NYC throughout your career. Do you feel more at home where you are now in London?

I strongly self-identify as a New Yorker and there is an energy in its streets that just can’t be replicated anywhere else on Earth. Whenever I visit and see the skyline rise in the taxi ride from JFK, I feel like I’m coming home.

That being said, I’m warming up to London. It is a truly beautiful city, rich with history and international culture.

What does the future hold for Verasect?

I have four more songs in the works for my next EP which I hope to release in 2019. The plan is do an EP each year and explore something different thematically. The EP format really appeals to me and don’t think I have the patience to amass a full album worth of material without releasing.

Order Stitch’ Single by Verasect on iTunes 

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