Cameron Argon, a.k.a. Big Chocolate
Reno, Nevada USA
When and how did you discover your passion for music?
– Was exposed to a lot of music growing up on the home stereo. Both my parents are music lovers with their own individual tastes. Both my parents also can read/play music on a piano, something I can’t do! haha. Was always into sounds and songs when I was little. I vaguely remember E.L.O. , The Doors, The Beatles, Sting, and Celtic music (my mom’s Irish and a huge geek). I for sure found my own love for music with a Walkman and a handful of CDs which includes Rage Against the Machine, Blink 182 (“Take Off Your Pants and Jacket”) and Pantera. I should mention that my intro to heavy metal started with playing guitar. I picked up my first guitar when I was 11 and was introduced to Pantera by my guitar instructor (who was badass), which started my own lick of music playing and getting me more into metal/rock music from a guitar player’s standpoint. I do remember being really into the songwriting as a whole having an interest for drumming and vocal flow/tone. As I grew up — so did my tastes. By high school I was a big fan of all the various sub genres of extreme metal, huge fan of electronic music (trance/DnB/hardstyle/ambient/breakbeat), hip-hop/rap and various other bands and movie soundtracks.
How come you ended up making electronic music?
– I got into making electronic music as soon as I got Logic at some point in tenth grade. Very inspired by Moby and Thievery Corporation type of stuff. I was mainly inspired by all the possibilities of Logic. Originally obtained the program/computer/interface to record bands I was playing guitar in, but quickly (almost instantly) started dabbling with electronic music and hip hop composition. By the end of high school I made a couple full length albums (no longer obtainable) of experimental music under various names and various hip hop beats for all the local rappers looking to record/beats. Along with all the early Disfiguring The Goddess material. Fast forwarding till after high school, I was further pushed into music when I took a semester off my first year of community college to do a record vocally with the band Burning the Masses – along with a european tour. After the tour, I wasn’t really feeling the path of a death metal vocalist musician and continued solo on my own material. I was linked up with Suicide Silence vocalist Mitch Lucker to do my first remix for his band. We clicked really well and after the remix was done – he approached me to make more of this music My experience in EDM has been very eye-opening and inspiring to learn about all the bass/dance culture there is in the world. I was learning about dance music as I was “doing it”.
How would you describe your style and do you normally draw inspiration from across genres?
– I would have to put most of it under “bass music” although I have a lot of music in my catalog which I consider simply experimental or hybrid electronic music. Also a big fan of house and techno, which rarely seeps its influence on my tracks over all, it is still inspiring to me. I draw inspiration from literally everywhere. My environment plays a big part. Music gets pretty personal most of the time and I’m trying to find most of these vibes from myself.
What’s the best thing about working as a musician and songwriter?
– I feel a large sense of self worth when I’m “doing my thing”. Whither that be on stage throwing down a groovy DJ set or spending hours upon hours in my studio working. Love what you do — do what you love. I love meeting people too. Music lovers and music makers alike. The people I meet really add a lot to my life and my life experience. So, if I’ve met you! What’s up!
Is there a typical formula or scenario that keeps repeating itself when you write? Walk us through how you usually go about writing.
– My tracks are start differently a lot. Sometimes it starts with a jam session on a guitar, sometimes it starts with a key sample – and sometimes it just starts with a beat. I seriously never know what to expect most the time when I set down to create something new. Usually includes mass amounts of coffee and a good nights rest to help me put the hours in to see my demos come to life. Really enjoy jamming with other musicians to start beats too. I can form all kinds of great textures off of some guitar takes.
What are you currently working on and what’s next on your agenda?
– I’m currently hard at work on my “Midways” series which is a bi-weekly free release. All the tracks have been different so far. It’s a way for me to get some clarity on a lot of the new sounds/tracks I’ve been working with, all the while give back to all the Big Chocolate fans. I’ve got a GOOD amount of music set in progress for projects I’m planning throughout the rest of the year as well.
Name a few career highlights so far.
– Movement (DEMF), Ultra, Getting my tracks played out by A-list DJs. Getting my tracks placed in Hollywood movie TV spots. Buying my house next to desert and building my studio in it. Simply getting to do what I love and connect with people who resonate with that is really all I could ask for– and to keep me happy.
How does Toontrack tie into your songwriting process and what Toontrack products do you regularly use?
– Haha!!!!!!! LOADED QUESTION. I’ve been using EZdrummer (Claustrophobic EZX and Drumkit From Hell EZX) since 2008 to help me start tracks. I’ve used Superior Drummer 2 on numerous projects, but since EZdrummer 2 came out, I’ve mainly resorted to using the various EZX packs. I use EZdrummer 2 in just about every project I’ve ever done. Big fan of the Reggae, Hip-Hop, Jazz and the Latin Percussion EZX as well as the 4 mic setup in The Classic EZX. EZmix 2 is also a huge plug in for me. I use it as an effects processor most the time. The guitar amps and processing sound really great on so many elements – you can really experiment with different sounds at a really really fast pace. Since it’s a preset-driven plug in, it’s really hard to like over tweak and over think. Works really well in my Ableton workflow.