I wanted to create a track that was both uplifting and energetic, but also a bit dark and cold, so it would have an abstract futuristic quality. My original title was “dream tank” (hence the tank on the cover), but I soon realized that the kind of dream I was referring to was actually a nightmare, and I considered “nightmare tank” to be unfit for a title. After waking up in the middle of the night feeling all warm and fearing I had picked up Covid (which i did not), I decided on “Fever Dream”.
“This song is a serious jam… you’ve built out a spacey, cold, dark and industrial banger. (Carter Reeves from SKIO Feedback report)
YMX: Hey Sub Caesar, thanks for talking to us. How have these gloomy times been treating you?
SUB CAESAR: Not too bad, there’s less fortunate people I can think of. Our family is all healthy, our jobs still exist. My girlfriend suffered a couple of days from Covid-19 last year, but other than just being very, very tired for about a week she recovered well.
YMX: How did you decide music was something you wanted to pursue? Are there any particular episodes that inspired you in doing so?
SUB CAESAR: I can’t remember not messing around with mixing decks, cassette tapes or CD’s, speakers and equipment in general. I love technical stuff and I like to tinker with electronics. And although I absolutely suck at it, I love to DJ at your local small time party. Creating music was always just a dream, but a couple of years back I updated my stone-age music software and I was completely blown away by what had become possible in the 10 years or so I had not been paying attention to it. I realized all practical hurdles that had kept me from creating music before (like: I can’t play or sing) were now gone, and there were just no more excuses. It had become so easy and so much fun to create, I was hooked. And then it became a mental challenge to finish stuff, and next a challenge to finish something actually playable, which hopefully I just did.
YMX: Here’s a fun game: name 3 artists, or bands, that inspire you and influence your work, and explain why:
SUB CAESAR: That’s impossible, there are just so many… Well, at the moment, I a listen a lot to Camelphat & Elderbrook (“Cola”), Camelphat and Art Bat (“For a Feeling”). It’s melodic, it’s emotional, it’s danceable, and just so, so well produced it hurts my stomach. One particular track that sort of stood out for me was Fisher’s “Losing It”. He makes it sound easy, and achieves so much with so little in that track. Again, extremely well produced to my ears (and of course not easy at all). But it’s a good track to dissect and analyse. Then we skip back and Chemical Brothers is a name that pops up from out of the 00’s. And now i’m leaving out a gazillion of names from the 80s and 90s, varying from disco, to gothic and alternative rock and a lot of synthesizers. All stowed away in my neural net somewhere, influencing what I do now. Or rather: what I want to do, because I have only just started.
YMX: You recently released (or will release soon) ‘FEVER DREAM’. Can you tell us how that project came about?
SUB CAESAR: So, my first track “Fever Dream” is out now for about 2 weeks. I had been working on this December last year and it had a working title “Dream Tank”. That’s not an actual tank, but sort of the idealist version of a political think tank. I had been reading how some of these think tanks have millions and millions at their disposal to influence public opinion and politics in favor of their agenda, and I was very troubled about this. In the track I wanted to create a shift from something dark and threatening, to something more positive and hopeful. So, while I was working on that, I woke up one night from a nightmare in which I had caught the virus and I thought I was suffocating… I decided on the title right there and then.
YMX: How did the pandemic affect your personal music recording experience? Was it easy adjusting to working remotely?
SUB CAESAR: This did not affect me at all. I’m just someone producing from a home studio. No cancelled tours or studio dates. Working in isolation and online collaboration are my primary modes of operation.
YMX: Professional livestreams seem to be really taking over these days. Is it something you would consider doing?
SUB CAESAR: One step at a time. All my focus is on creating at the moment. I’m not one for the limelight and I need to have more to show for (or listen to) before I can think of anything else.
YMX: Since pandemic began, online music promotion has become crucial for an artist’s growth. How important is that for you, and are there any strategies you are willing to share with our readers?
SUB CAESAR: (Let’s leave this one out. I am only beginning to discover how this works myself.)
YMX: Finally, what are your plans for the future? (releases, gigs etc.)
SUB CAESAR: I am working on two tracks right now, more classic house productions, but with an actual vocal and not just your basic ‘oh yeah’ sample. For this I am looking for online collaboration, to see how that works. It that goes well I have two more track ideas worked out that I would like to develop further with a seasoned vocalist.