Thanks again for taking time out of your busy schedule touring to chat with us for a little bit. What style of music or artists influenced you growing up and as an artist? What inspires you to produce the type of music you make?
Dan: The first time I heard dance music, I was hooked. While most of the 1990s and 2000s music was cool, it didn’t make sense to me, and it didn’t connect with me. When I first heard artists like 4 Strings, Tiësto, Paul Oakenfold, and Paul van Dyk, the trance gods, I was totally hooked. I was introduced to trance and the podcasts like Global DJ Broadcast by Markus Schulz, A State of Trance (ASOT) by Armin van Buuren, were all inspiring to me. Musically those were the artists I looked up to and who influenced me. A lot of classical music also influenced me, composers like Ludovico, and Olafur Arnalds, influenced me by piano, and that helped me learn melodic structure. For two years I lived in England, and Andy Moor, was a huge mentor with me, and he took me in my early years of music production.
Chris: You know, I listened to a lot of music before EDM. I listened to bands like Ben Folds and Weezer, and lots of 80s music like Depeche Mode. They were big influences on me. I remember the first album I bought was probably Lisa Lashes, and it made a lot of sense back in the day listening to that type of music in your car bumping the stereo loud with subwoofers in the car. I really liked the Gareth Emery Podcast, Trance Around The World (Above and Beyond), and even certain ASOT episodes.
How did Fatum come about and what is the difference between them and Judah?
Dan: Judah actually started first. Chris and I had already been friends for fifteen years. We grew up down the street, and we used to hang out with each other after college. In 2012 we started the project now known as Judah. About two and a half years ago I was introduced to Bill and Chad, two of the guys of Fatum. They are two guys who just love making music, already in their own professions they were very successful. I met Bill Hammel via Andy Moor. They had already been nominated for a grammy and wanted to have some young talent, so they brought me on, and I thought I would introduce them to my friend Bruce Karlsson, who had just finished up the Norin & Rad, project. Bruce had already started his Bad Royale project, and I was already deep into working on Judah and with his help we all just started playing. It was easy because we had four guys playing and it was fun and easy, we all got along, and I introduced them to Chris.
Judah is much more of a progressive and techno sounding project. We absolutely love the grove bass melodic style, whereas Fatum, is more of a harder and peak of the moment trance. We (Judah) want to move more to the more pop-friendly tunes, but more of a synth-pop that lots of people look forward to with the progressive chunky tech sound. Our music sounds a lot closer or more like Eric Prydz, instead of the trance you associate some artists to.
What is it like touring with Grum or any other members from Anjunabeats and who is your favorite to tour with?
Chris: We hang out a lot with guys like Jimbo (Jaytech), who is one of our closest friends. He came and hung out with us in Miami while we were there with the other artists. We also have a close relationship with Jason Ross, before he was “Jason Ross”. We actually were at an opening party where Grum opened for Steve Angello, way before Grum was as popular as he is now.
Dan: That was the first time we all started hanging out, and the first time we met Grum we met Pierce Fulton, and everyone was so warm and welcoming and nice. As we have built our brand we have become much closer with the crew, including Paavo, Jono and Tony.
How is it possible to go on a big tour and go from city to city in different areas and continue to do it like some artists like Markus Schulz?
Dan: It has to be sustainable for us. We have our 9 – 5 days. Chris actually has a full time job. Chris is a software engineer for Dow Jones. We have devoted so much of our life and energy, so you need to know your limitations, especially the older we get. We have also learned that partying (as in the sense as clubbing, drinking and doing drugs) is not part of what we do. We don’t not condone it, but we just don’t do it, and it was never part of my life. We really want to be the best version of ourselves.
What do you listen to while traveling or before going on stage?
Dan: I’ve been heavily influenced by the progressive giants in the dance world like Eric Prydz, Fehrplay, Jeremy Olander, so in between flights I will listen to music like that to be inspired, but i’ve also become desensitized to the music, so before I just like relax and almost meditate.
Chris – Yeah, the same, ABGT, Radio One (Eric Prydz) and even Black Gummy, and Spotify, finding random music to listen to is inspiring, and thats how we found Holly Drummond.
What is an essential thing to travel with besides gear?
Dan: Believe it or not, my backpack. Its not a duffel bag, but a true backpack. I can pack literally everything in it. I’ve lived out of it for the past four months. I pack my phone, extra batteries, and clothes.
Chris – USB stick, noise cancelling headphones (not the ones to DJ with), and I love my Nintendo Switch.
Would you consider record label bosses like Armin van Buuren and Above & Beyond mentors to yourselves?
Chris: Jaytech and Boom Jinx
Dan: Andy Moor, Jaytech, Boom Jinx, Super 8 & Tab, Max Graham and all other artists before Judah, yes. That in exchange, by proximity they have all helped out Chris and I. Chad Newbolt from Fatum is one of my biggest mentors, and in an intimate relationship I would say the A&R team at Anjuna and the people at the label Zero Three.
What is your favorite sport or team?
Dan: I’m not that much into the traditional sports in America like basketball, baseball and football. I enjoy watching soccer, and I mean the World Cup is coming up which is important to watch. Recently I have been getting into hockey as one of the anjuna family members is a former Stanley Cup champion who I enjoy watching with, and living in Minnesota it is fun.
Chris: Football season is my LEAST favorite season of the year. It is always about who’s fantasy football team, or its about the rivalry between the Minnesota Vikings and the Green Bay Packers. I am more of a board game player and video games, we are kinda geek-like. I’ve got over probably 70 board games.
Dan: yeah we are geeks, and Chris has lots of board games.
What video games do you play?
Chris – Okay so for PS4 we play Skyrim, Fallout, and other than that I have a lot of couch co-ops where people come over and play board games.
Dan: Yeah I like Fallout, however lately, I have been playing a mobile game Vainglorious. It’s funny, whenever I get angry, and Chris laughs at it, especially if I am frustrated in the studio I will play for hours before I can go back to the staid. I got so into it that I watch it on Twitch and then I would get angry and play more, but I eventually got away from playing it and got heavy into the studio, and now I am slowly getting back to the game. I also get a lot of inspiration and thoughts from taking long walks, like a few miles, people in the neighborhood will look at me strange when I am humming music into my phone or a beat or so.
Lastly, what should everyone look forward to tonight?
Dan: So tonight is going to be different than most normal opening shows. We are so happy that there are fans coming out tonight to listen to the progressive techno sound. We are trying to go towards playing a lot of new originals. Usually opening acts will play something to lead to the headliner, and we have worked very hard on original visuals, which are new and we are going to debut for the first time tonight, so watch and enjoy. Even though we are the opening act, we are going to take you on a journey, along for a ride, where from act one to the final act you can see what we can showcase, we really hope everyone enjoys the journey leading up to Grum.