If you aren’t familiar to Blanke, it’s time to get hip! The Australian superstar is encapsulating fans around the world with his genre blending music. We had the opportunity to chat with him about what he has going on in the upcoming year as well as what he’s been doing to stay busy in 2020.
He’s toured with the likes of Illenium and Black Tiger Sex Machine and has collaborated with REZZ, 1788-L, GG Magree, ATLiens, REAPER and loads more over the years, becoming a force to be reckoned with in the Midtempo-Bass subgenre. He’s released multiple times through Zeds Dead‘s esteemed bass hub and label, Deadbeats, and has continued to break boundaries within his music, never afraid to experiment with new subgenres of dance music.
Blanke recently reprised his emotional 2019 banger “Flatline”, gracing fans with an acoustic rendition of the infectious gem.
This young artist has a massive future ahead of him and we can’t wait to see what’s next from the extremely impressive producer. Enjoy our brand new, exclusive interview with Blanke below. We hope you enjoy reading it as much as we did chatting with him!
Thanks so much for chatting with us – it’s been a tough year for everyone around the world, how have you been making the most of this stressful time?
It’s been a bit of a wild one that’s for sure. From debating whether or not to go back home to Australia to taking on a whole new form of content making with streaming and starting up my own Patreon. It’s been full of new adventures and challenges that keep arising which is definitely keeping a lot of us on our toes. I spent the majority of the year in LA after the last month of a bus tour I was on with BTSM was called off due to the pandemic. Lots of personal growth too, meditating, reading, cooking… lots of cooking. Spent a lot of time and focused on myself, no better time to do it really. Now I’m back home in Australia with my family, recouping and regenerating before heading back over in the near future.
Tell us about your time quarantining, what lead you to create Project 1543?
So when I came back to Australia i had to quarantine in a hotel for 14 days. No fresh air, no balcony, no leaving the room. So my manager and I had the idea of turning that time into a creative project. Making a piece of music that was made of up of the ideas and creations that I had every single one of the 14 days. The quarantine was actually made much more bareable by the project. Having something to do and work on during that time was my saving grace. It made it feel purposeful. Otherwise it might have been a bit harder. It wasn’t much of a relaxed time off though, expending creativity like that every single day was much a much more taxing exercise than anything I had done before.
What was the difference creatively between working on something like Project 1543 versus other full-length projects?
There were a couple of differences. One being that I couldn’t and didn’t spend more time on an idea than what I was allowed, which was a day. The idea was to get down what i felt that day and move on to the next and not pander over it. Which was a great exercise because that’s a trap a lot of us fall into. And secondly, the freedom to make whatever I wanted, no matter the genre or vibe. As an artist you tend to stick to a style that you’re good at and that people grow to expect from you. That’s not necessarily the case 100% for me as I make a few different things as Blanke, but this really opened me up to write much deeper sounds, more experimental sounds and just shifting my creative perspective on a project as a whole as well as at an individual track level.
Who are a couple of your musical inspirations?
Pendulum always has and always will be for me. From melodies to arrangement to sound design etc. they just do it so well. The bands Tool, and A Perfect Circle. Tool more so for creative timing and rhythms, and A Perfect Circle for more hooky melody ideas and intervals. Metrik, Sub Focus and Dimension have been inspiration for me lately also.
Who would your dream collaboration be? It can be with a DJ or a vocalist/band!
This is always a hard question! Ideally, collaborations are about two peoples artistic styles complementing each other. I like to think of them as insights to learn from. Would love to feel good enough to work with Rob Swire one day as a vocalist and songwriter.
What is your dream venue or festival to play? What about favorite set you’ve ever played? That might be a hard one.
Always wanted to play EDC, like perfect stage, perfect set time. I think that would be epic. Plus it was one of the first epic festivals I was ever excited about. I would love to play Electric Forest, that festival has become my absolutely favourite to attend. It’s such an incredible experience.
I have lots of favourite sets. I feel like I say that after so many of my shows that I don’t have a true favourite! Red Rocks, and the Temple Denver show have been standouts though. Most shows on the Illenium Ascend Tour were huge and some of the best vibes I’ve ever played for. And the BTSM Bus tour as a whole was just an absolute milestone and incredible experience.
Let’s chat about the Change & Decay: The Fall real quick, from back in September. What was your creative process like for that project? What about your personal favorite track from that project?
The EP had spanned across a bit of time; some tracks were a year old and some were very recent. But I had a sonic structure in mind for it. “Alchemy” is a real love of mine. It embraced my love of drum ‘n’ bass with the melodic aspect of music that I really enjoy creating. “Welcome” feels like a really cool step forward for me and is definitely one of my favourite tracks overall. “Zero” was a fun experimental type track for me which I made on the road, in cafes and such. The track “The Fall” had been in the idea stage for a really long time. It took a while to perfect it but i love how it came out.
We see a lot of the same imagery of leaves in your work, what do they symbolize?
Change & Decay symbolizes the constant, ever changing and evolving aspects of life. I try to depict that in the musical contents of the EP’s as well. There’s an evolution and dynamic that the leaves represent so well. New life, growth, change, age, death, and essentially rebirth. There’s a cycle to it all that I feel really in tune to.
Any fun stories from Black Tiger Sex Machine’s Futuristic Thriller Tour? Fans are fiending for a big tour like that and sharing some memories from that, one would mean a lot to them!
Julian (one of the members of BTSM) is an absolute character. Same with Emily (Vampa). A lot of the crew were French Canadian so Em and I would try and adopt their accent (very poorly). Julian was like the Tour Dad and mentor to myself and Emily. Every day we would go and work in cafes in the different cities we were in. Our work ethic during the tour was actually outstanding. The whole thing was pretty wholesome haha. Meeting fans after the show and spending time with them was always the highlight to be honest. It made everything feel super worthwhile.
Any collaborations in the works you can tell us about?
Always lots in the works. Jason Ross and I have a collab coming that I’m really excited about. But thats all I want to give away right now!
What about plans for 2021? Anything you can share with us?
Honestly it’s hard to even know for myself what’s going to happen next year. I’ll hopefully be coming back to America early next year with all guns blazing and playing shows to a safe crowd, writing music with awesome people, you know, all the good stuff. But who really knows! Though I’ve got lots of music ready to show everyone.
What’s one fun fact or hobby that someone wouldn’t know about you if they didn’t ask?
Well I love gardening and all things environmental. But if you follow me you probably know that. I have a nostalgic obsession with The Legend of Zelda which made itself apparent when I was little. I still hang onto it and I sure it’s just a way for me to hang onto my youth for as long as possible haha. Fun fact, I was a somewhat nationally successful track cyclist in my late teens, I was one of the fastest sprinters in Australia.
That is perfect, glad we asked that one and I’m sure our readers/your fans are too. Here’s another one they should love. Where did the Banana obsession/meme come from, specifically in Blanke’s Nobodies FB group? I think it’s been overlooked recently by your love of plants!
The banana thing came about at EDC a couple of years ago. It was after my first ever set there, and a bunch of fans and I were hanging out and watching the Circuit Grounds stage, and I decided to hand out bits of a banana I was hanging on to to everyone (not very COVID safe i know… lol), someone caught it on camera and the interactions with each person (one guy in particular was hilarious) was super amusing. It kinda just caught fire form there. I eat banans all the time so I was pretty stoked about it lol.
What made you want to do a reprise for “Flatline”?
It initially started out as a VIP for my Digital Mirage set. I really wanted to make something super special for an intro. So I got Flatline, redid some of the parts, the chord progression and added an extended guitar intro to it. I loved it. So much so that I wanted to put it out as a new version. I made a fully acoustic version to go along with it as well. It was really fun orchestrating an “EDM” song with no typical EDM elements. And I was able to fully write something with my guitar which I thoroughly enjoyed.
What’s one thing you’d like fans to know about your music?
It takes on many forms. I like to express myself in many ways through music, and this is made apparent if you listen to just a couple of my songs. I’m so appreciative as I know sometimes it might be hard to digest, but to have the opportunity to express myself the way I do and have the music be received the way it is is a real blessing. I’m going to keep doing me and keep getting better at it, for myself and for you guys.
Huge thank you to Blanke and his team for setting this up and taking some time to chat with us. Be sure to show Blanke some love on socials and support his Project 1543 here.
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