When the Coronavirus shut us down, clubs and festivals ceased, and everyone was essentially forced inside with no definitive end in sight, DJ Times wondered: How is our tribe coping? How are DJs getting by?
So, we sent out our “Coronavirus Questionnaire” to DJ/producers from all musical genres to find out. During this period, DJ Times will continue presenting the questionnaire responses from talented music-makers from all over the world. Here’s our latest entry, this time from Sweden, the Stockholm-based electronic duo Dimitri Vangelis & Wyman (aka Dimitrios Vardelis and Andreas Wiman).
What’s it like where you’re living? How did you spend most of your time? Sweden was never really locked down. They were kind of controversial in their handling of the COVID-19 situation. We, on the other hand, pretty much locked ourselves down because of various close family health reasons. To be honest, our daily lives didn’t change that much from pre-COVID. We usually spend most of our time making music and learning new things in terms of sound design, mixing etc. We do miss touring, hanging out with friends and having dinners out in restaurants.
Did you lose important gigs, or income-producing work? Gigs, for sure, and we saw a lot of good friends suffer greatly – big and small promoters, same for agents, and let’s not forget everyone else, roadies, lights, effects, etc. It’s sad we didn’t get to perform at Lollapalooza and a few other festivals, but we are sadder for all our friends and colleagues that have taken much greater financial hits then us. Our production work hasn’t really suffered at all.
Are you doing anything now that can or will produce music-related income? Have you learned anything in the downtime? We are always working on new music. Those things haven’t changed at all, and we are constantly working on improving ourselves. Ultimately, what we have learned during this time is that nothing comes for granted, cherish the moment, and spend your money wisely.
What are you doing now that’s ultimately constructive to your music life/career? For example, any releases during this period? We have a lot of unreleased music that we have previewed during the last year. We kind of take it slowly with the big releases and, when time comes, we might even do an album, just for the fun of it. We know our most loyal fans would love that idea. We recently dropped our newest remix of Serhat Durmus’s “My Feelings” featuring Georgia Ku. It was all pretty simple with the remix. We felt the original melody had the right stuff and emotion to fit our format and style. We could clearly hear how it would work on a bigger stage, so we remade all the leads and finished it rather quickly.
In the studio, what’s your set-up? We work primarily in Cubase, but also Pro Tools for mixing. Fab-Filter and Omnisphere are great, and we have been using them for 10 years now. They are not leaving our studio anytime soon. In terms of hardware, we have some cool stuff –Virus, SSL G Series, Looptrotter compressor, Moog Slim Phatty, and a few new badass modern hardware synths that we are digging deep into at the moment.
What’s your creation process in the studio? It depends on the type of track. We have developed a very fast way of working during the years, and usually when we give feedback to each other we always think of the same things or concerns. A track that took maybe weeks or months to complete in the past might only take three or four days now. And that is the whole creation process, mixing and mastering. But let’s say we work on a melodic track… we start with the melody, and when we feel that it’s strong enough we finish and arrange the rest of it, mixing along the way. Once the track is “finished,” in terms of arrangement and general mix, we start fine tuning and putting the last touches on the mix and master. That’s the easy way of explaining it.
What’s your typical DJ set-up? Nothing fancy here: One set of headphones, two or three SD/USBs (two back-ups). And then we usually switch position behind the mixer after one track. We have done this since Day One, and it’s kind of a tradition.
What’s the most surprising thing you’ve realized during this period of social distancing? That’s a hard question, but one thing is that we have never been as healthy as in 2020, not even a simple cold or anything. So whatever social distancing means, some things are actually pretty positive, and we will continue doing them.
Have you done anything online recently? We stayed away from most of it – we just didn’t feel like doing any – until the day Summerburst Festival asked us to be a part of their virtual festival. There was a big budget for stage design, effects, lights etc. It was a 4,000-5,000-cap indoor festival with any crowd – obviously. We got the best slot, a lot of effects and fire – very important. And we took the chance to showcase almost an album’s worth of unreleased music. It was great and we didn’t charge them one single penny.
Any advice on staying sane & relatively positive through this situation? It will all be OK again. Continue following the instructions of our governments and we shall all rave again!
To check out more Life in Lockdown interviews, click here.
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