Daniel Davis, Bruce Karlsson, Chad Newbold, and Bill Hamel make up one of trance’s biggest up-and-coming groups. I am of course talking about the Grammy-nominated quartet of FATUM. The group has seen releases on Anjunabeats, Armada, and Ride Recordings, respectively. So when we had the opportunity to chat with Daniel about what makes FATUM tick, we couldn’t pass up the opportunity to allow our followers to get to know them a little better.
Everyone always has a story to tell. With you guys coming from all different backgrounds, what brought the four of you together and how did you remain so close?
FATUM: Honestly, it was the music that brought us together. I know it sounds cliché but if it weren’t for our passion for dance music, we probably wouldn’t have met. We all have a long history in the music industry, so when we decided to work together, we not only utilized our strengths but also acknowledged our weaknesses. That allowed us to fully focus our individual talents and efforts in the correct areas and it enabled us to work together as a unified front. This is what kept us so close. We know what we are good at and we defer to each to keep a balance.
I think everyone can agree that making music is like creating art, and art can be influenced by so many things. Who or what have been big influences on your music and how are these influences incorporated into your music?
FATUM: Because there are four of us, we have a broad perspective on musical influences. The age gap between Bill and Chad versus Bruce and myself allows for a wide variety of musical inspiration, however, we always seem to agree that we love the 80’s synth-pop era. So, you will hear a lot of our musical influence coming from that decade. A good example of that was our single, ‘Love On A Real Train‘, which was a cover of the famous 80’s synth band, Tangerine Dream.
There are only a few groups in dance music that consist of four people, let alone produce music at the level you guys do. What is the dynamic like in the studio with the four of you working on one project?
FATUM: The dynamic is phenomenal. With FATUM having four well-established producers, everything moves rapidly. Ideas come quicker and tracks are finished quicker, which allows for the original musical idea to be preserved in its most true, original form. We still have all the common roadblocks, but working together helps alleviate the majority of stress and pressure. It’s a really great system we’ve established.
Back in 2016, you were nominated for a Grammy for your remix of JES’s ‘Hold On’ and your song with Angel Taylor called ‘On My Own’ was recently nominated for an award in the Hollywood Music In Media. What do these nominations mean to you and how will they influence what you produce moving forward?
FATUM: Nominations are great! We love that our work has been recognized amongst our peers and fans alike. If anything, these nominations help affirm who we are as musicians, which leads us to do bigger and bolder things. We are proud of the work we have accomplished together, and it’s a good feeling to have these acknowledgments from the industry.
2017 has been a stellar year for you guys. ‘On My Own’ and ‘Stained Glass’ along with a dual-track EP that includes ‘Pharaoh’ and ‘Superfecta’ have all been huge hits this year. What can you tell us about what’s to come in the near future from FATUM? Will there be any varying sounds coming from you guys?
FATUM: Yes, we are definitely making a shift in our sound. Nothing too drastic, but our fans will see hints of sounds that speak a little more to us as musicians and to the evolution of what inspires us right now. We always want to push the envelope and the future of our sound has evolved into a fresh new way of approaching dance music.
The FATUM sound is one of the more distinct sounds that stand out in trance. How has your sound evolved since creating FATUM? How do you adapt to the styles of different labels that you have worked with like Anjunabeats, Armada, or Ride?
FATUM: The evolution of our sound has come quite naturally given the current climate of dance music and how things are moving more “underground” in terms of style. Trance has always been the genre where we have received the most love from our fans, but we have never really considered our music as being typical trance. We feel it has a bit of everything, and now even more than ever. A lot of our new music is more groove-oriented and written for our live sets. The labels have been great to let us do our own thing. That level of confidence and support from them has helped us evolve our sound. It’s going to be really fun for our fans and we are excited for everyone to hear what we have to come.
Being around so many producing geniuses such as Above & Beyond and Armin van Buuren, what are some of the biggest takeaways you guys have learned from working close to these types of producers?
FATUM: I think we have learned how to trust ourselves more. Armin and A&B (amongst others) have really shown an immense amount of support for our productions. It’s good that we are able to bring that level of confidence into the studio, which helps us push the boundaries within our productions and within ourselves.
Being touring music producers is a demanding job. When you guys have those rare moments of downtime, what are some things you like to do outside of making music?
FATUM: We are pretty simple guys: Netflix, video games, being outside and enjoying nature… oh yeah, and cars, when it comes Chad! [laughs]
What new releases does FATUM have coming up?
FATUM: We currently have a new release coming out called “Chocolate” on Anjunabeats. Above & Beyond debuted the track at their ABGT 250 celebration at The Gorge Amphitheater. It went down very well and we’ve had a lot of requests for it. Right now, it’s got a November 24th release date.
Whenever a producer(s)’ popularity grows, the fans love to be able to connect with them. What’s one interesting thing about yourselves that you want your fans to know about FATUM?
FATUM: I think the one thing that fans should know is that we are all good friends. The name “FATUM” means fate, which pretty much describes how we all came together but it also encompasses who we are as a group. We’re just a group of guys who love music and love working together as friends.