A Conversation with TETRAEON by myktoronto
Two young guys, an ocean apart, jointly pulsing the airwaves with sweet soothing trance... I give you one of my favorite duos on t61 TETRAEON !
mykroronto: I was reading your bio where it said you started with a gaming community of two and a theme song "Relentlessly Destructive and Corrupted". That’s a pretty cool beginning.
Raju: About a year ago me and Alex were playing on the same server in a game called Team Fortress 2. We were just messing around, singing strange songs, and screaming at each other, so we added one another as friends in the community after the game.
Alex: As we got to know each other more, we found out we had a lot in common, and started to get to know the other person more personally. We talked over MSN and soon were having regular video chats.
Raju: And that's when the "freaky shit" started happening.
myktoronto: I know your music has certainly progressed over the past year, what about the gaming community? Do you still play?
Alex: Ha, we still play the game, but the community (Random Destruction Clan) started going downhill, and we started focusing more on the music.
myktoronto: So, Raju, is that London, Ontario, Canada, or London, U.K.? I know that Alex lives in Toronto.
Raju: London, UK.
Alex: I wish it was London, Ontario. That would be a lot more convenient!
myktoronto: I think one of the greatest things about the internet is enabling artists and individuals the ability to collaborate in real-time. Have you guys ever met in person?
Raju: No, but it has been planned, and we are meeting this coming summer.
Alex: We're definitely going to be taking advantage of our time as a "musical group" in the same continent, so we're most going to take pictures and hopefully set up live gigs here and there. We'll keep you posted. :D
myktoronto: That would be great meeting you guys and hearing you at a venue. Being a photographer and a music geek I especially enjoy an opportunity to take concert shots. When did you buys get interested in playing and composing as opposed to just listening to the music you love?
Raju: First it started in year 2, when I was about 6 years old, and I loved the hymns and stuff, I joined the school choir, and when I got to secondary school I joined the boys choir. Around 2001 I began my love for trance, about the time when such songs as Delirium - Silence, and artists like DJ Tiesto were hitting it big. Since being 11 years old, I had played piano, and taken grades 1 till grade 5, and I continue to take my grade 8 next year. In 2005, with my love for metal and rock blooming, I took up guitar and bass, and in 2003 I took up clarinet, and moved on to the saxophone which I later gave up due to boredom. It has only been in the past year that my love for trance music has once again struck me, but this time I feel I need a new path with my love in music.
Alex: In public school, when I was 6 years old, I was in the choir and played the recorder like the rest of the kids. But my real musical interest started a few years after, when I got this really cool toy keyboard as a gift for christmas. I was playing around with it and, I guess it grew into a larger interest. Up through Grade 8, I played the trumpet in school, but lost interest as the guitar and piano appeared on my radar. My musical interest drifted from classic rock of the past decades to new rock, techno, and orchestrated songs at around 2005. I played the piano more as I grew older, and soon the guitar was set aside and my focus was solely on the keyboard. Then I became interested in music on computers, and started messing around with full programs such as Garageband and demos of others, such as FL Studio and Audacity. The more I played with these, the more I learned about musical composition, and how a track is arranged to make it appealing to the listener. Nowadays my interest is still on the keyboard, working with new synths and voices, and learning new techniques to play better.
myktoronto: So, why trance? What grabs you about it?
Raju: In trance, there is nothing that can hold you back, in terms of style and content, and in terms of the actual ambiance of the music.
Alex: To be honest, I didn't even know trance existed until a few years ago, when I was 14. When you hear it, it hits you. This music is the definition of freedom and customization. Anything is possible, and variety is everywhere. Trance is like the photography of music - it's pure, and it's real.
myktoronto: Are your family and friends supportive in your musical endeavors and aspirations?
Raju: Yeah, my friend friends all enjoy our music and cheer me and Alex on. My family is not into the kind of music we make, but they support us as well.
Alex: In Canada, trance isn't as popular, and many of my friends didn't know what it was we were making. Later on, they warmed up to it, and now interest is spreading. My family supported me from the beginning, and they actually seem to enjoy the music.
myktoronto:What was the first CD you ever bought?
Raju: Hybrid Theory, by Linkin Park, probably the best CD on the planet. Around 2005 it was the first album I ever bought independently. I love Slipknot, they are my favorite band, but this album is probably the god of all albums. It has the techno, the metal, the R&B, the rave, it's just, ****ing in there.
Alex: I think it was Out of Exile by Audioslave. I still listen to that CD. Chris Cornell has an amazing voice, it really sticks with you after the songs are done. I guess it goes to show how a memorable voice can make or break an album, and in this case, it made it.
myktoronto: If I were just getting into trance what three tracks, new or old, and from any artist, would you recommend to introduce me to the genre?
Raju: Castles In The Sky by Ian Van Dahl, The Future by DJ Joop, and The Theme by Jurgen Vries.
Alex: Last Experience by Nu NRG, Ride (Remix) by DJ Tiesto, and Castles In The Sky by Ian Van Dahl.
myktoronto: With the amazing array of performance and recording software available, what kind of equipment do you use?
Raju: I use a DELL 720 XPS System, Goodman's UniDirectional Dynamic Microphone (ACC2011), Logitech Webcam (for microphone use), FL Studio, and Sony Erricson K850I's sound recorder.
Alex: A MacBook Pro 15" 2.4 Ghz Dual Core Laptop, Logitech ClearChat Pro 2.0 USB Microphone, Garageband 08, and a Yamaha PSR-E203 (YPT-200) keyboard are what i use.
myktoronto: Does one of you take the lead with creating a track or is it pretty much back and forth? Do you have areas you specialize in individually, like is one of you the percussion guy and the other more into the instrumental bits?
Raju: I am solely based in creating the music, although Alex contributes around 30% into the tunes used, and the beats made. The lyrics and names are generally 100% from him. I just have the technology, the knowledge and musical understanding, making me musically-apt.
Alex: I think of myself as a main sounding board. I come up with themes and ideas for songs, then Raju begins on a beat and the song. I contribute what I can, modify some areas, and suggest what I think will make the song better. I'm more of a lyricist - sometimes I can't believe the song names I come up with, or the lyrics that I write.
myktoronto: Where do you see yourselves or wish to see yourselves five years from now?
Raju: That's a difficult question for me, I know my families expectations, and my sensible expectations, would draw me towards a career in science, although my dreams have always dragged me towards a musical career. Although I feel it is a distant "dream", it is something I have always wanted, more than anything, and I'd give anything to have it.
Alex: I've always loved the film industry, and I'd really love to take up a career as a director in the future. I've never really seen myself as a complete musician, but as time passed with Tetraeon, I thought about what could happen. It's really cool, how that something that originally started out for fun turned into an event that we look forward to each week, an outlet for our creativity and feelings, and a way to introduce others to the genre. Really, you never know until you go for it, and there is always an event waiting to be found.
myktoronto: What's the funniest or stupidest thing to happen when you were making music?
Raju: It was when I stood in the pouring rain, in the middle of a thunderstorm, with my mom shouting at me to come back inside, as I was trying to record a thunder sample for one of our songs, which unfortunately turned out to be one of the worst ones that we have ever made (Epos035).
Alex: Hmmm... It would have to be either when we were recording the vocals for "Relentlessly Destructive and Corrupted", where we had to basically cry at each other for 5 minutes straight, in very strange voices, or when we had a "revelation" for a song name, in which mispronunciation transformed "The Reason We Came" to equal "Freezing Kaine".
myktoronto: OMG... that’s hilarious... well certainly no one could doubt your dedication to authenticity and creativity in your music.
***this interview was written a few months ago I apologize to Alex and Raju for the delay in getting this posted. It was the result of part circumstances in my life and part procrastination.
Certainly Tetraeon has not let the time go by idly as you can hear by visiting their MySpace and other social networks listed here and on their t61 profile.
Thanks so much guys for you patience and all the great tracks!
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