Alparr Interview

In this exclusive Music Mondays interview we got the chance to speak with Alparr. We discussed everything from their latest releases, sound design and much much more.


Rei Low: What was the thought process behind writing BOXCUTTERR?

Alparr: Armored Core has just came out, and the aesthetic of that game brought me back to Drum and Bass music. I was super into it. I was like, “It would be really funny if I did that.” So, I basically wrote a song how I would normally write a song, but I used an Amen Break. I made the BPM 170.

R: Did you run into any challenges using a break? You usually don’t use them as part of your songs.

A: I’ve done it a few times before, but it’s not really part of the Alparr sound, the Alparr aesthetic.

R: It’s on the grid more than your other tracks. Was that because of the DnB influence?

A: I had to do it because I wanted it to be danceable. Alot of my songs aren’t. I think this is the single I dropped after NINETEENN.

R: What is the ideal environment to listen to an Alparr song?

A: Hell or maybe just like a warehouse with the type of strobe lights that make you see in frames. You need to have your all into it- absolute energy.

R: It’s almost more like a noise show than a bass show. Do you have any sound design secrets your willing the spill to the public?

A: Get the most out of one sound. It’s important to have sound design sessions, but alot of my songs are just one sound- it’s just how i’ve processed it. Honestly biggest sound design tip: Limit yourself. 

R: One thing I’ve been writing about recently is music which is minimal in instrumentation but maximal in delivery.

A: Yes. Also, one thing is to have a massive library of sounds. 

R: How do you see the relationship between your music and your visual artistry?

A: That’s a good question. They’re happy together. They’ve got a house and two kids. It’s very cohesive, very hand in hand. My visual stuff is about to get alot crazier. That’s all I can say. When I make a song, I have to think about a place, and that place is usually the ocean. Alot of my visuals of stolen ROV footage of whale bones that I’ve fucked up in After Effects. 

A: The ocean is completely separate. If your at the bottom of the ocean you completely separate from everything else.

R: There’s parts of the ocean we haven’t even explored yet.

A: It’s not even about that though. The biggest thing for me is to ignore everything else. My biggest philosophy about music is if I’m writing a song, I cannot think about how people will react to that song. It is only about.

R: So it’s like you floating in an ocean alone, and all you have is a speaker and a daw.

A: Yea a speaker and a daw, and you're in the ocean. I think it’s important to write music only for yourself.

R: I agree with that. When you get caught up in what people will think about it, your deviating from your creative vision. 

A: Yea, and not only that. Concepts in music- you need to ignore those too. I’m not saying don’t learn those- please do. I use music theory. I know the grid, but I don’t let them affect me when I’m writing a song. 

R: What video games if any influenced you?

A: Bloodborne- aesthetic, mood, everything. 

R: Have you used Bloodborne samples in your music?

A: Yea, I have a couple times.

R: What influence does anime have on your art?

A: I love Evangelion! I saw it in middle school. I was playing Bloodborne in middle school. I think there was a time when I was only watching Evangelion and playing Bloodborne. That’s definitely what fucked me up. Besides Evangelion, I watch alot of anime.

R: Name five anime.

A: Guren Lagen, Evangelion, Mob Psycho 100, Cowboy Bebop, JuJuitsu Kaizen. 

R: Certified. We’ve talked about the ocean, is there any other moods or emotions that come up when your writing?

A: Whatever emotion I’m feeling at the time. I like to think of music and sound itself as a different form of energy you put into yourself. Really, whatever I’m feeling at the time. When I was a kid, I spent alot of time in my room alone listening to music. There’s a certain feeling- like you dance like no one is watching. 

R: Where do you see the Alparr project going in the next two years?

A: Lots of live shows, that’s where I see the Alparr project going the next couple years.

R: A performance aspect?

A: Definitely a performance aspect because I’m nineteen now. I can see the world. Certified adult.

R: Speaking of listening to stuff in your room alone, what were you listening to when you were younger?

A: I had to be elementary school- 

R: Did you have streaming when you were in elementary school?

A: No, I was like Youtube. Like looking it up.

R: My brother came in with his iPod and he said, “You have to hear this drop.” And it was Flux Pavilion, I Can’t Stop. 

Both Laugh

A: He was like, “This is the sickest drop.”

R: Your little mind blown as an elementary schooler. 

A: I think I was into Skrillex, Deadmau5… stuff you would think I would be into.

R: I think most under 13 year olds were listening to the same dubstep stuff like Nero, etc.

A: Yea Nero is crazy. Knife Prty and them. When I heard Flume S/T the first time, that was a game changer. I remember finding that.

R: That blew my mind too honestly. It’s the way he took the tropes of bass music of the time and made them just gorgeous.

A: There’s a song on his 2016 album called Wall Fuck and you’ll see that had a huge effect on me. After Flume, I found out about Sophie. MSMSMS- that song I learned metal makes good sounds too? Then I got into Soundcloud, and that’s when I had the biggest inspirations.

R: Who are some people in the Alparr Soundcloud Universe?

A: Blood of Aza, JHL, FITNESSS, Lung and S280F. And Heaven Sight, my dubstep project with Neir. There’s another inspiration I haven’t reality talked about, and that was Burial. 

R: Was it Untrue?

A: It was Untrue, and there was another project he put out Anti-Dawn. Currently that is my favorite piece of music to have happened. I feel like Burial’s music to me is, “How can you make something this sad?” Since, then I’ve stripped my music back a little bit. 

R: I feel like with BOXCUTTERR-

A: BOXCUTTER is so fucking maximalist. 

R: It’s maximalist draws from a sound palette that’s well defined.

A: I think the biggest thing if your getting into music is to have a sound palette. For me it’s Silent Hill 2 and sounds from video games I use all the time. Take a couple days to be in Ableton, and make some sounds you really love. You don’t need new sounds for each project.

R: This is something that I’ve told people new to producing, if you want to find your sound: make your sounds. You don’t have to synthesize them, but your sound will emerge from that. 

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