Ariaan and Peter – as founding members of Cubicolor – where did your musical journeys begin? When did you start producing?
We both started producing in our teens. I guess we both had a love for playing around
with computers and synthesizers. Back then computers weren’t powerful enough yet to play audio, so everything was done via MIDI. You could say that when it comes to computer-based music production, we were there from the very beginning.
How has the Cubicolor sound developed since you guys started out in 2014?
It took us a little while to figure out exactly what we wanted to do. One of the main ideas we had was to bring songwriting more to the front and focus on songs within the ‘electronic deep’ context we had established. As soon as we hooked up with Tim D we were able to start realising this idea. We wanted Cubicolor to be a project that didn’t only have nice music and nice sounds, but also great lyrics and great vocal performances. Working with Tim D has enabled us to go down this road. We’re very excited to see where it will take us!
With the debut album about to launch, what were the main influences behind the
There are too many influences to go over. We’re three artists all with different backgrounds and different tastes. However we all love music from all different styles, we all love electronic music and we all love a good song. Also we just wanted to follow the inspiration wherever it would lead us and make something that had its own unique sound and feel. Something that didn’t sound like another copy of a copy of a copy.
How are you feeling about the launch? Are you excited for the release or more nervous? Or a combination?
Well, things have been going very very well so far, which is a blessing. I can say honestly we didn’t have any idea how this music would be received. When you take risks, the outcome is more uncertain. However, we’re very proud of the music we’ve made and also the risks we took.
Having now officially brought Tim Digby-Bell on board after your brilliant collaborations on ‘Falling’ and ‘Mirror Play’, how has that shaped the creation process of Cubicolor?
Tim is now a full-fledged member. So we focus on writing songs and just let the songs take us wherever they lead. We’ve become more free and more confident in what we do. And working with Tim is a great pleasure, he is a great artist and a great person who brings a good vibe into the studio.
Given the releases so far off the new album, there is real variation in the sound across the different tracks; was it your aim to showcase your diversity as an act on the album?
Not really. The aim was to just be free and make the music that comes out naturally. Before we were still thinking too much in terms of boxes and fixed styles. Once we let that go our music became more diverse. But showcasing our diversity wasn’t the goal, the goal was to be as honest and unrestricted as we could be. Whatever came out, came out.
Brainsugar is a particular favourite track of ours, can you tell us more about the creation of the song?
In all honesty that one only took a few hours to make. It was quite an effortless birth, so to speak. Aad had made some beats based on samples he had recorded while on the road, and I finished the track using those beats. We didn’t really think about it, but people seemed to like the track so we kept it.
You’ve seen great successes under the Anjunadeep label and been heavily supported by a range of heavyweight DJs and media, did you anticipate this success or has it come as a surprise?
We never really anticipate success. We try to do our best to create music. Once it gets out there then what will happen will happen. It is out of our control. Of course, we love to reach as many people as possible with our music. But it’s not something that can be anticipated to happen.
You’re playing at The Warehouse Project in Manchester later this year and we understand you’re currently developing a full live show, what else can you tell us about what you have in store?
Yes, we’re currently developing our live show. We’re hoping to take the show on the road starting somewhere early next year!
As a final question, given we are an arts-based magazine of all mediums, if you could recommend something to us, (besides your music!) to either listen to, read or watch, what would it be?
(Peter) There are 2 songs plus videos by Steven Wilson that I personally love, quite heavy but beautiful at the same time. Check out Steven Wilson – Drive home and Steven Wilson – The raven that refused to sing.
(Tim) I was just up at the Edinburgh Festival and saw this amazing Ukrainian Folk-Opera called Counting Sheep (http://countingsheeprevolution.com/theplay/).
Also I’d really recommend Ben Lerner’s novel, Leaving the Atocha Station. And for a film try Yorgos Lanthimos’ excellent, The Lobster.
Interview by Tom McGivan