Interview: Joey Coltrane

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As much as I love the big names electronic gurus, nothing beats an über-talented local artist with a killer SoundCloud. That’s just what I found in Joey Coltrane (well, minus the local part), a California-native pushing the limits of electronic with his unique abstract sound. Coltrane mixes various styles and genres with some good old guitar and vocals to give us a California spin on deep house trance. The result is truly unique. Nearly two months after releasing his newest album, “Blue Pastures,” Coltrane took a moment to answer some questions for LSD readers, and to share his newest video, Dreams. Watch first, enjoy the ominous trance it puts you in, and then read on.

LSD: Where did the inspiration for the “Dreams” music video come from?

“Dreams” was never really about a particular idea rather than a feeling I was trying to provoke. The song is supposed to make the listener feel a little uncomfortable. I came up with the idea for the video with my buddy who filmed it for me down in L.A., and it’s supposed to represent thinking about things without being able to act on them. In my own life, I believe in many things, but I’m not necessarily able to follow through with some due to external pressures. In the “Dreams” video, I’m with a girl who I don’t necessarily want to be with, and end up going along with everything that I’m not exactly up for. I guess the main message is being true to yourself and not conforming to the system.

LSD: Your musical style has evolved from your first tracks on SoundCloud, which were more hip-hop oriented, into the unique, hypnotic sound we hear on “Blue Pastures.” How did this sound come about, and do you see your style continuing to evolve?

Yes! Part of the reason why I love making music is because I enjoy so many different styles and have a lot of fun trying to blend those styles together. For example, I love guitar and rock, but also really love hip-hop and music that has a lot of swing in it, and it’s really exciting trying to mesh these two disparate sounds together. The outcome is always unique. I also really enjoy deep-house/tech-house and slow tempo, moody music, which is what you see more of in Blue Pastures, especially on the tracks On and Off and Cognitive Dissonance. Also, I always try to fit in instrumentation or synthesizers, especially where it’s typically not expected. I play my own guitar in all of my songs. I never make a song with a specific style or genre in mind, so it’s almost guaranteed that my style will continue to evolve. My sound tends to match whatever I’m feeling or experiencing in life at the time.

LSD: What can we expect from Joey Coltrane in the next month, year, and five years?

Like I said, I’m always trying to mesh and blend different genres and styles — the fun of that never gets old to me! Definitely keep expecting an influx of different styles and hopefully some more collaborations in the near future. I want to start performing more in California, but maybe in five years I’ll end up in Europe — who knows?

LSD: Finish the sentence “My life mentality is…”

Right now, I’m just trying to keep growing and accepting change. So I guess my life mentality is to have the courage to continually switch things up whenever it feels too safe, whether in my music or my daily life.

Check out Joey Coltrane on SoundCloud, and download Blue Pastures on iTunes.