When and how did you discover your passion for music?
– My brother started playing the drums when I was like 10, since I thought whatever he did was cool, I started too and quickly fell in love with drumming to bands like Linkin Park etc. I was hooked since then!
How come you ended up making electronic music?
– After listening to bands like ‘Animals As Leaders’ and ‘Liquid Tension Experiment’ almost exclusively for a couple years, I heard a tune from a dubstep artist called ‘Datsik’ that was using sounds I’d never heard before, I had to find out how to synthesize them myself so I got a copy of cubase and got to work, I haven’t looked back.
How would you describe your style and do you normally draw inspiration from across genres?
– Always hard to describe sound with words I find.. I’ts changed a lot over the years but currently its usually aggressive dance floor music with a focus on sound design and (hopefully) solid riffs. Having come from a metal/rock background I find myself drawing that into my tunes a lot. Often the wider the variety of inspirations you draw from the richer I find the output becomes.
What’s the best thing about working as a musician and songwriter?
– Well having come from a drumming foundation I found songwriting to be the hardest part of the music I was writing. Although having recently vastly expanded my piano/keyboard skills I would say that its now become the most flowing part of the process. The most enjoyable part of that skillset is that often the best pieces your writing do all the work for you, I find myself just letting the music clearly show me where it should go as opposed to forcing it like I used to.
Is there a typical formula or scenario that keeps repeating itself when you write? Walk us through how you usually go about writing.
– Well as I’ve recently been focusing on writing aggressive drum and bass, the tunes have a fairly rigid structure that is usually stuck to. For the sake of it being DJ friendly the Key of the tune, the note choices, the BPM, the bar phrasing and the sonics are all usually within a fairly narrow set of boundaries. So in a lot of ways the writing process is about how to be as fresh as possible within those parameters. Usually I start with the main hook sound, and let that dictate the tune, as often I find with DnB that If you try the other way round, the ‘drop’ suffers – and that first 16 bars of the drop is by a long way the most important part of this style of music.
What are you currently working on and what’s next on your agenda?
– Just finished the final touches to a 4 track EP that will be dropping within a couple of months, the next step is toward writing and finishing a larger set of tunes, maybe even a full length album. Besides original releases there are some remixes this year, a couple tours, festival goodness and weekend shows – its all GO!
Name a few career highlights so far.
– Hard to choose a few as always, being signed to one of my all time favorite labels ‘Shogun Audio’ was a big big one for me, besides that an early on trip to play in Puerto Rico when I was relatively unknown was an insane experience. And beyond that, flying out abroad and seeing people move to my music is endlessly rewarding, love it all!
How does Toontrack tie into your songwriting process and what Toontrack products do you regularly use?
– Having been a drummer for years, during the writing process I can get an instance of superior drummer 2.0 up and write in all the fills and grooves I would as if I were in a band. Being then able to route all the drums separately and process them just simplifies the process, having it all under one roof so to speak.
LISTEN TO JOE FORD’S “UNSAFE”.