Infectious Magazine caught up with Celldweller to discuss the benefits of being self-taught on various instruments, getting TV spots, and the scoop on upcoming movie/video game scores that are in the works! You can check it all out below.
Infectious Magazine: “Wish Upon A Blackstar” recently came out. How has the media and fan response been?
Celldweller: Better than I could have hoped. An album that’s been in the making for 7 years could eventually get lost in obscurity but my fans are amazing and supportive and the public response overall has been incredibly positive.
IM: You’ve said you were self-taught on several instruments. Do you attribute your style to having to figure out various rhythms and timings on your own?
Celldweller: Actually I attribute my style to being musically schizophrenic. I love many styles of music and I want to put them all in a blender and make them work together. It’s what I’ve always done because it makes perfect sense in my head and to my ears.
IM: Do you ever wish you had the formal training, or wonder what your sound would be if you had?
Celldweller: Absolutely not. I studied music theory for one semester in college and dropped out. All they wanted to tell me is what I could and couldn’t do according to the laws of music and I couldn’t have cared less. I want to do what feels good and sounds good, theory be damned. I signed my first record deal during that semester and I happily dropped out to pursue creating the sounds I was hearing in my head.
IM: How would you advise other musicians to really find their sound and their niche?
Celldweller: Write write write!!! Most musicians start by imitating something they like but eventually develop and come into their own. The only way to do that is to keep writing and exploring.
IM: You’ve had a lot of success with having your music in film. Are you working on any other projects, film or otherwise at the moment?
Celldweller: I am. I’ve done a few pieces for some upcoming movies that I can’t announce yet as well as currently working on scoring a video game that I can’t announce, due out next year. Sorry, bound to secrecy for now.
IM: Celldweller had TV spots airing on G4, Cartoon Network and FUEL TV, correct? What can you tell me about those?
Celldweller: They were expensive. What many people don’t understand is that Santa Claus didn’t give those commercials to me for Christmas – I pay for these things out of my own pocket. It’s all part of the price you pay to be an “independent” artist. It’s rewarding to meet people at my shows or Facebook/twitter who have discovered me through the commercials. Makes it all worth while.
IM: You have an incredibly supportive, interactive fan base and several of them have joined the Celldweller street team. What do you think makes a successful street team?
Celldweller: Of course it starts with dedicated fans themselves. Without them, there is no street team. Another part of it is enabling them to be effective by giving them promo materials and giving them specific missions.
IM: You’ve talked about the evolution of the music industry and the industry not always adapting as well as it should to the changes. What do you think the next big technological change in the industry will be?
Celldweller: I don’t think anyone knows. The beauty is I don’t care. I have been fortunate to control my own art and build my own company (FiXT) through the entire uprooting of the traditional music model. We have built our own systems and dictated our own terms and are growing and thriving by leaps and bounds – all this with no input from the music industry, both in direction or financially. I’m more concerned with being a great and reputable company – we pay our artists and we do exactly what we say. No bullshit here, thank you very much. I want to set the trends, not follow them.
IM: Thank you for taking the time to speak with me. Is there anything else you’d like to add?
Celldweller: Sure. You can get my brand new album “Wish Upon a Blackstar” and my brand new live DVD/BluRay “Live Upon a Blackstar” right now from http://fixtstore.com/celldweller. All kinds of other merch too. A few new Celldweller singles are dropping in the next month and a new album of music for film/tv/video games “Soundtrack for the Voices in My Head-Vol 2” will drop in September. Looking forward to playing Boston on July 17th!!