SHA Interview // Tone Of Arc
We have another exclusive interview for you tonight on SHA and it is the turn of Derrick Boyd, who answers the questions Craig has posed on behalf of his act, Tone Of Arc.
TONE OF ARC
Hello Derrick and Zoe and welcome to SHA. How are you both today?
We are tired. Well at least I am. I just got back from my month long tour in Europe. It was amazing. I feel wiser for it.
You have a new EP ‘Goodbye Horses’ which was released this week on No.19 Music. Tell us about this release and the story behind it?
Well this cover I did is kind of a big deal for me. I always said my whole life I would never do a cover. I always thought it was cliche and the worst thing you could do if you want to stand original. People that do covers just bugged me and still do. They change the songs too much and never do the songs justice. The one who hit the mark was Jonny Cash with his cover of Hurt that is how you change the song and do justice – he made it better. Even Trent agrees.
About 6 months ago Jonny White said you should do a cover and for some reason I was ready form inside my bones and thought this is going to be fun. So I let the old ways down and put my ego aside. I had one already in mind. 6 hours later I finished GBH. It was easy and used no samples or loops. Sound Sail is a tune that Zoe and I wrote together. The vibe, lyrics, layout, we did as one. You can tell it just has that good feeling that hits a deep spot in your soul. With out sounding too cocky, as soon as we finished it we knew we had made a gem. Deniz Kurtel did what she does on the remix. She made a sweet after-hours floor groover. I like what she did cause it’s what I would have done. She actually used the stems I gave her.
This record follows on from the success of ‘Shaking The Sky’, also on No.19 earlier this year, a track and EP you (Derrick) have yourself described as your eureka moment. When was the point you realised you had created something worthy of such a high accolade?
Thats a tricky thing to realize. I usually make a song and its just a song to me. I usually don’t know that I have a bomb until a couple years pass and find that it’s still good.
Every song is different in that sense. I can’t force anything and sometimes make the best stuff under really heavy pressure. Shaking the Sky had four different versions all sounding unique with different vocals and bass lines and drums. It took a while to dial in using all live shakers and high hats and turning three bass lines over top of each other that has a moving, living bass line with only three or four notes.
The word is these two EPs are the pre-cursor for a full artist album on the label early in 2013. What information can you share on this at this point in time?
Well there is another couple ep’s coming out actually before the album. One on my old and dearest friend Lance Desardi aka Land Shark and Brett Johnson’s label Bang the Box call “I know Who You Are” with 2 tracks I did 4 years ago coming out any day now and another dance ep on NO.19 in December I think with 4 more big floor songs I did in the past three years till recent.
The album is a full length expression of inspiration that just came through me mostly like band songs. It’s been a long time in the making. I’m still redefining it to make it perfect. I’m shooting for a birthday album release on February 7th of 2013. Its hard to explain what it sounds like cause each song is so unique.
While Tone of Arc may be a relatively new platform, Derrick you are no stranger to the scene having released as Dead Seal and enjoyed success on labels such as Crosstown Rebels and My Favorite Robot Records. All has gone quiet on this front since the rise of Tone of Arc, is this moniker now laid to rest?
Yes Dead Seal rests until born again. It’s a name that people don’t understand. Thinking first of a dead animal. Its a symbol representing my past, present and future lives. I needed a name that represented what I am doing to the fullest and can reach out to people with an inspiring vibration rather than a cool name thats rough and edgy.
So how did you both come to be working together?
I started dating Zoe 4 years ago and she thought me being a DJ was cliche and laughed saying “of course you are” in a condescending tone. Like most women who are bad ass movers and shakers make fun of us and our part life styles. Thinking stuff like when are you gonna get a real job. I was able to rope her in though and found out she likes to sing.
We started a moniker called “The Machine Forest” and made some really cool shit that turns out is coming out as Tone Of Arc. One song after another wee kept working to perfect our dynamic. I’m more 80′s and she’s more soul. It’s not easy to make those work all the time cause I want her to sing all weird and as corky as possible.
Both being musically talented with the ability to sing and play several instruments, how does this filter into your live sets?
Well the filter is really heavy right now. We can’t perform in clubs everything that I can at home. I need a hand full of minions to carry around all my gear. I need to spend money on a lot of new live equipment for multiple channels and effects so we can play bass, guitar, drum pads and both sing at the same time. Right now its one at a time. When I did my first live show I was playing bass, guitar, clarinet, vocals, keys/vocoders and mixing all the songs with cdj’s. It was like juggling chain saws but I can do it. I just can’t carry all this stuff on my own and the costs when an airline loses or breaks your gear is scary.
Tone of Arc has received massive support from the No.19 collective, especially the label boss Jonny White and you are now established as an integral part of the roster. How was this link first established?
Over time after meeting the crew I slowly started giving songs to the guys 1 by 1. I have a huge collection of work and never thought they would like a lot of the stuff. Turned out they love it all so when they asked for an album I was reluctant to send my artistic pieces. I think that led to the reason why the album was postponed for a year, because they had to figure out how to put this together and figure out what the best road to take. I think I threw them a loop and they supported me to the fullest giving me a gigantic space of attention for the label.
At the turn of the Year you were tipped by Maceo Plex as one of his 5 to watch in 2012. To turn the tables, who have been your breakthrough artists of the Year?
Safeword, Dave aju, Pillowtalk, Aquarius Heaven, Francis Harris aka Adultnapper.
Finally, I have to ask, your Facebook page describes Derrick as a UFO chaser. What successes have you had in this vocation?
I see them a lot. But not as close and often as I used to in the mountains of Truckee /Lake Tahoe California where I grew up. You could watch sometimes 13 in formation floating on a buttery but sporadic back and forth motion emitting a bright white light over the whole ship. So bright the light shines like your eyes are seeing things so you squint or rub them to clarify. If they were high enough in the sky you would just think them as stars or planes or satellites. But nothing emits a white light like these particular ships from the Pleiadies and Sirius. When they come so close that you can see the lines that separate the lower and upper parts of the ship is when you really have your mind and heart open up to the possibilities that lie in an infinity of space beyond space much closer than you could imagine.
A lot of my friends and I would go out and watch them. Non believers were scared and I would have to calm them down because it totally challenged their belief systems. These ones were not there to harm us I had to explain. I am connected to them and believe it or not so are you. If you want to see them, they want to show you. They love us and care for us and want us to evolve so they can start speaking with an invitation from us. They will only show them selves if you want them to. The good ones at least. And guess what ? They have humanoid bodies !! du du daaaaaa. Big suppress right? You can laugh or judge me but it doesn’t change or take away my experiences I have shared with my friends. If they existed and someone said I see them all the time, wouldn’t you want to as well? This is a different world and changing every minute. If we don’t change with it you get left behind.