Interview: A Conversation with Robert Delong

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Robert Delong

Live performances vary between the lines of an engaging DJ set to the eye-popping live performance. Robert Delong definitely lives in the live performance realm and his shows are truly unique. He's basically a one man band. Although he claims he's not a spectacular multi-instrumentalist, his live shows reveal a different story. We had a chance to chat with Robert Delong discussing his unique style of performance, his favorite artists and what he thinks the state of music production is today. Here is what he had to say...

Magnetic: As a multi instrumentalist - how many instruments can you actually play?

Robert Delong: I can barely play keyboard and guitar, but enough for live performance. I am a drummer and percussionist by trade, and have been singing since I was a kid, and additionally am most focused on my producing, composing, and computing.

Do you feel producers nowadays focus on the computer production more than the actual instrumentation of the tracks?

I think production sonics have taken a front seat in recorded music, for better or worse. There is a certain beauty to this in my mind, in that the music has moved more towards a sense of timbral composition which allows for more variance in creativity in my mind, as opposed to the intense focus on some of the tropes of harmonic and melodic songwriting. Some things are lost, some things are gained, I suppose.

The Robert DeLong sound is extremely varied. How would you best describe your music & what genre would you put slot it into?

I think of my music as incorporating an eclectic amalgamation of indie-pop songwriting meeting modern electronic production and sounds, that appropriates a variety of genres as vessels for different song messages. Or something.

Can you remember your first track? How has your sound developed since then?

My first song was written when I was 3, but it might be a bit too derivative to mention here. My first recorded track was undoubtedly some sort of pop-punk song, though my first electronic track was something akin to a bad rip-off of Sigur Ros. Nothing worth listening to, I think.

Where do you draw your inspiration from as an artist?

Everything that happens to me inspires some level of creativity, but I am mostly fascinated with older sci-fi writing (i.e. Asimov, Ursula K. Le Guin, Arthur C. Clarke, etc. ), listening to other live acts (I love Mystery Skulls, the Kite String Tangle, and the Diamond Light), and listening to dark techno (like Donato Dozzy, Lucy, etc.)

As an artist yourself - who are your favorite top 5 artists of all time?

Brian Eno, Radiohead, Modest Mouse, Talking Heads, The Denouement, and Boards of Canada

What can we expect from your upcoming album?

An eclectic array of fucked up pop-songs about fate, lost love, religious hypocrisy, and insomnia. Uplifting stuff, for sure! Honestly, though, there are a lot of great, fun jams with a pretty wide tempo and sonic variety, all tied together (hopefully) by my vocals and songwriting.

Where can the Magnetic Mag audience next see you live?

I'll be doing a brief European tour in mid-October, followed by a headlining tour in the states. I am super excited to play these new tunes for people!

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Robert Delong