Gladkill: A Conversation with SIA Contributor Devin Taylor

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Devin:  You were born in Russia, grew up in New York and you now reside in California. How much has the drastic change in scenery effected the creation of your music?

Gladkill: Growing up in NY and now living in CA, I have been surrounded with many cultures and people. It has definitely helped me develop a special sound growing up in that type of environment. I had the freedom pick and choose influences from all over the place rather than just be streamline to one thing.

D: Growing up, who were some of the artist you were listening to that inspired you to make music?

GK: When I first started my career in CA, I definitely found myself more influenced by the electronic music sounds on the west coast. But growing up, I listened to a lot of random electronic music I would steal from my brother and sister’s collection like The Prodigy, Aphex Twin, and some older 80’s stuff. I’ve always sort of related more to the west coast electronic scene at the start of my career.

D: When you compare your style of production to others in the dance/electronic genre, your sound is untraditional in the best way. As someone who refuses to confine their sound do you find it difficult to raise the bar for yourself with each project?

GK: Of course! Doing this for as long as I have, I’ve learned the only way to stay sane is to cater to my own taste and interest. Just really trusting in what I find to be cool. It would drive me crazy to keep up with the flavor of the week. NOT saying that popular music doesn’t influence me though. At the rapid pace music is evolving and being created, I feel like i’m also inspired by the uniqueness of new music coming out today as well. It’s just important to keep pushing forward and stay inspired.

D: With any genre, there’s always another artist who inspires or challenges another artist to take things to the next level. Who would you say that is for you, if anybody?

GK: It really depends. There’s artist like Machine Drum who have been around for awhile and have managed to create every type of sound ever over their 20 year career. Just doing whatever they wanted to at the time. Relatively new artist do as well like Lido, Cashmere Cat, and the homie KRNE.

D: What has been one of your most favorite projects to create over the years?

GK: I definitely would have to say my most recent album, “After Death”. It was my first piece of music that was a conceptual album. I was able to tell a story and have each song fall in a specific order for a reason. It’s really fun to work on a project of that scope and I learned a lot doing it. You really learn a lot about not only the music but yourself in the process of making this type of conceptual music.

D: I think the last time you were in a Denver was in last August at Cervantes. How does it feel to be back in the Mile High but this time at one of Colorado’s most promising new venues? (The Black Box)

GK: You know I love coming to Denver when I get a chance to. Denver has always had one of the strongest contemporary/electronic music scenes and I feel like I have fans who have grown with me and my sound over the years. It’s a huge pleasure and honor to come here especially at a more intimate setting venue like The Black Box. It’s my favorite type of party and much more like a family vibe.

D: From playing at small local venues to playing at Coachella, what has been the most exciting venue to perform?

GK: Every single show has its own special things that make me fall in love with it so I really can’t chose just one.

D: What would you say is the most important lesson you have learned over the years throughout your prosperous music career?

GK: The two most important things I tell people who are doing anything is: #1. Always do it for a pure reason. Do it for the passion of the music or because it is the happiest you feel. #2. You have to learn to trust yourself. You can’t pay attention to what is popular or what people expect of you. Stay true to yourself. It is what makes you unique. Put your passion in front of people. You can’t fake enthusiasm.

D: 2016 was a pivotal point for your career. After rockings shows all round the country and releasing your first concept album “After Death”, what is the next step for Gladkill?

GK: I am definitely working on new and exciting music. I have a couple of different projects I am planning on releasing music with this year that won’t be just Gladkill. There are several EP’s I’m looking forward to releasing this year; one which should be releasing in March or April entitled “Zeros”. Plus, the successor to “After Death” should be coming in the Summer. It’s entitled “The White Witch EP” and I’m excited about it. There is a harder sound involved in this one. You are actually the first person I’ve told about it too.

Don’t miss Gladkill headline The Black Box tomorrow! Grab your tickets!