Terravita

 

After reviewing their new single, “Bach Off”, a couple weeks ago, we were lucky enough to get to talk to a member of the Drumstep trio, Terravita. Jon Spero was nice enough to take some time and answer some questions about their lives and their music (Big thank you to Jon!). Read about how they got started, what their inspirations are, what their thoughts are on the recent spur of drug related deaths and many more bass related topics.

 

How did you three meet and start producing? Did you always produce dubstep?
We met in the early 2000’s just being out at all the same events in New England. Chris was throwing shows and DJing for Jungle Sky. Matt was DJing for Volume productions and Jon was MCing all over the place. Us producing Dubstep is a large misconception as we don’t ACTUALLY produce much Dubstep. We’ve been producing Drum n Bass since 2001, Drumstep is basically a hybrid of Dubstep and Drum n Bass at DnB speed so as we have produced a Dubstep tune here and there it’s not a real normal thing for us although easy to misconstrue. Moving forward we’ll be trying out some different things at a few different BPM’s.
How old are you all?
Old enough to party.
Where are you based? Has it changed at all?
Everything has changed drastically for us. We all had been living in Boston for the past 7 or 8 years and grew up in the area. Now we all live in Los Angeles so it’s been a bit of a culture shock for us but I think collectively we’re all happy where we are now. Sometimes it’s just time for a change of scenery. We’ll always love Boston but LA is our home now.
Can you tell us a little bit about your work process? How do you work together as producers? Do you always see eye to eye or are there times when you don’t agree on something?
These days Matt does most of the writing and engineering on his own with creative input from Chris and I. I’ll write and perform all the lyrics from full verses down to one line samples, whatever the song needs really. We’re on the road so much it’s hard for us to all get together in the studio as much as we’d like but we’re working on changing that for the next batch of stuff we do. We don’t always see eye to eye but we always make things work. We’re like a dysfunctional family we scream at each other and cuss each other out all the time, but we love each other so it never kills us.
What are each of your musical backgrounds? What are your biggest influences and inspirations?
Matt comes from a very experimental background. He grew up on Aphex Twin and Squarepusher, guys like that, his mother is also a musician so I think that helped him a lot. Also Video game soundtracks were always something that drove him I know he’s taken a lot of inspiration from that as have I. Chris comes from a Metal background. He plays guitar his influences are bands like Pantera and Slayer although I can get him into some grown and sexy RnB every once in awhile haha. I come from a hip hop background at least until I discovered Drum n Bass I’ve been writing lyrics since I was 11 ghost wrote my way through my teens and played drums and the saxophone I don’t play much anymore, probably because I wasn’t any good at either of them. My influences vary so greatly it’s hard to put them down. I’d say Eric B and Rakim had one of the strongest influences on me, guys like 2pac to El-P, I’m all over the spectrum. Mo town is my favorite era of music I also listen to a lot of Jazz and Classical stuff.
Are there any EDM artists you want to work with in particular?
Not specifically we like to have collaborations work organically so when we meet people if our personalities vibe together then we can work on making music together. Sometimes you can have a great idea and think someones perfect for it but if you can’t work together it’s a disaster.
You’ve been around since 2005, right? What are some of the biggest changes that you’ve seen in EDM and Dubstep?
We had actually been together for 2 years before we signed anything so ya it’s been a long time haha. The changes in electronic music are so vast I could write you a book on them. First of all no one called it “EDM” haha The easiest way to sum up the changes of this music is that everything evolves and changes. Nothing stays the same and change is necessary and good. As it grows and becomes more popular obviously things will become more mainstream and there will be a HUGE range of opinion on whats good and whats not. I personally just don’t give a shit. I like what I like vice versa. I don’t feel the need to go around hating on the shit I don’t like because that’s just my opinion and the hate seems to be a real common thing these days but to be honest that’s not something that’s changed. The internet just makes it easier for people to be assholes now. There are tons of people who like the shit I don’t so who’s to say its bad? People say Dubstep is dead which cracks me up because Dubstep artists are selling out arenas right now. I guess what I’m trying to say is enjoy what you enjoy and leave it at that. There is no good or bad music because it’s just another persons opinion at the end of the day anyways. The one thing I would like to say is back in the day people in this scene looked out for each other and helped each other make the right choices. Dance Safe was a big thing and with the rash of deaths and overdoses lately I just want to send a message to everyone out there to please be safe. Don’t buy drugs from strangers. Test your drugs. Drink water.  If you see a person who needs help fucking HELP them. I’m not peoples mom so take it how you will but when life can that easily be lost or saved…why not just take that one extra step to be safe? Believe it or not we actually care about this music and all of the people who are involved in it from our friends as producers to the security guards to the promoters to the very last kid standing in line and we want every to be happy, safe and enjoy themselves. So from us to you Please take care of yourselves! I’m rambling…I’ll stop…
What was the biggest turning point in your career?
Well we’ve had several I guess haha. You think a lot of things are turning points at the time but everything is an event that turns you in a different direction so I guess they all are. The first time an artist you love tells you your tunes are great, in our Case the boys from Bad Company UK. The first record you ever put out, ours was with Technique recordings and Simon Bassline Smith. The first time you get an agent, Thanks Circle Talent. The first manager you get, Steve Stimpson from Concrete in London. The first time you get booked for an event Like EDC playing in front of 30k people for the first time feeling like you’re going to throw up the whole time and then getting done and being so fucking stoked about it. Finding a family in Firepower records with some of our closest friends as a vehicle to release the music we want. Then being 10 years deep in the game and going to an event like Shambhala and realizing you can still experience things you never thought you would and being inspired to do something totally out of your comfort zone musically and feel like you’re just starting out again. Every moment is a turning point you just need to point it in the right direction.
Do each of you have any side projects that you are working on?
Not currently Matt did a side project as Tremorz  and Jon does vocals for some people under his Jaws moniker but we’re all focusing entirely on Terravita right now. Maybe sometime soon we may hop back in the Delorean for some new Hot Pink Delorian stuff but who knows. It’s all Terravita right now.
What is your favorite thing about being a successful EDM act? What is the hardest thing?
Just being able to do what you love for a living is the most amazing thing in the world. We never thought it would get this far but we feel extremely blessed to be where we are now. Hardest thing I think is not being able to see your family. Maintaining a relationship is extremely difficult but hey grass is greener right?
What does the future look like? What can you tell us about upcoming projects, albums, tours, etc? 
Future is bright! Our songs “Bach Off” and “Robot Rippin” just came out we have about 6 or 7 songs already finished and ready to go in the release line. We’re also working on Collaborations with some of our good friends like Datsik, Born of Osiris, KJ Sawka of Destroid, Getter, and Gamble and Burke to name a few. We have our tour coming up Tentatively starting in November all across North America that’s still in the works now so we’ll have more info in a few weeks. Keep an eye on our FB page and twitter for announcements!

 

Go check Terravita out on their social media!

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/terravitabass

Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/terravita

Firepower Records: https://www.facebook.com/FirepowerRecs

 

Read about and listen to their latest single, “Bach Off”: HERE