Interview with Adam Deitch and Borahm Lee from BREAK SCIENCE; Playing NYC tonight and Albany tomorrow! @breakscience @realdeitchbeats @borahmkeys
Brooklyn, NY electronic duo BREAK SCIENCE are fantastic! Though the explosive popularity of Dubstep and EDM has flooded the musical market with many hard partying yet derivative mp3 jockeys, these Brooklyn boys offer so much more in terms of writing creativity, performance quality, genre blending, and musical innovation than most of their counterparts.
Living proof that EDM musicians press more than just “Play” when they perform, Break Science members Adam Deitch and Borahm Lee manage to engage their listeners with inventive percussion, heavy bass, and a mass of melodic textures and samples that create an invigoratingly emotional live musical experience. It’s an intellectual-party approach… You can either rage to it, or you can sit back and try to pull the elements apart. Either way, you’re going to love it!
Currently touring in support of their 2012 co-produced EP, Twilight Frequency, featuring a 5-song collaboration of Break Science and Michal Menert, the group made their way to Syracuse, NY on November 28th along with Michal, Paul Basic, and Keys N Krates for the Twilight Frequency Tour. I got a chance to speak with the guys to discuss their musician motivation, the new EP and current projects, and what we can expect from the group in 2013.
G- So, what’s going on guys?
BL- First of all, thank you for that amazing introduction!
AD- Did you write that?
G- Yea that’s me.
BL- You are the man! That’s probably the best write up to explain our music and our vibe.
AD- We appreciate that so much!
G- No problem. You guys just share it later! I’ve already talked to Adam via email for Lettuce, but now we’re on to EDM stuff, so…
AD- That’s what’s up.
G- You guys are currently on the road supporting Monolith Code and the Twilight Frequency EP with Michael Menart… How’s everything been going so far and what city has gone off the hardest so far?
AD- Oh man, there’s been a few.
BL- There were a few great ones down south that we hit. I think the most… There was definitely one that was the most memorable, but it’s hard to pick one out when you do one after the other every night and it kinda becomes a blur. But there was definitely one that was really raging!
AD- Last night was great! Baltimore was great.
BL- Yea Baltimore was really great… Pretty much sold out show.
AD- Thanksgiving. Yea it was crazy for sure. Denver is always crazy.
BL- Oh yea. That was our biggest of this tour so far, but we still have yet to hit Chicago and NY, and Chicago, NY, and Denver are the biggest theaters that were doing on this tour.
G- Did you guys sell out Irving (Plaza) yet, because you’re playing Irving down there (in NYC).
AD- We’re hoping people are getting ready to come down and rage with us. We’re gonna throw down, we’re going to have the full light rig, and we’re going in!
G- That place is going to go off, dude! You’re going to catch walk up from hell down there! You’re from Brooklyn… They better show up!
AD- Hometown! Hometown!
G- As long as the L train is working after Sandy.
BL- It’s all working now.
G- Everything is good now?
BL- Everything is good now. Back to normal.
G- Did you guys get hit at all?
AD- Little bit. I couldn’t leave the crib for 3 or 4 days. Just holed up with canned food, but luckily we didn’t get hit like Staten Island.
BL- Comparatively, we were alright. Thank God.
G- Dig it. Right on. Much love to NYC and hopefully all goes well down there and they do whatever they need to to get the rest back up to speed.
G- So if you can, how long has Break Science been around and when did you first get started and what was the impetus behind the creation? Is that a played out question or what?
AD- Nah… he knows the time.
BL- It’s vague, because we started playing music before Break Science was formed, and it’s roughly between 5 and 6 years at this point. I would say 5 years probably. Again, it’s hard to say, but we’ve been playing music for about 8-9 years together, and I’d say break Science is between 5-6 years old.
G- Do you remember that moment when you first really started clicking musically and thinking break science is going to be a real-deal project?
AD- We can’t remember our first gig.
G- (laughing) What were you guys doing that you can’t remember your first gig?
AD- We had a band with the bass player from Dub Trio; This guy Stu Brook. Phenomenal… We call him “Subby” as a nickname. It was him and 3 of us… We had a live DJ… DJ Gravy.
BL- And we had Schmeens from Lettuce.
AD- Schmeens from Lettuce and we played a lot. We were doing a lot of shows and little by little, me and Borahm had the concept of doing a ittle bit more electronic. We were hearing instruments and wanted to really get into it. Borahm was already a master of Ableton way back then, and we just decided to start working on Ableton and create, you know.
G- Dig it. And obviously, the music encompasses a lot of different things. You can pull jazz out of there, you can pull hip hop, you can pull electronic, funk and soul stuff… Were there any particular musical influences band-wise that you guys were listening to to pull inspiration for some of the songs, or was it just something that went along as it happened?
AD- We’re influenced by lots of different stuff. You know, everything you mentioned is definitely a big influence of ours, and we just like to try different tempos and different vibes, different swings and different things, you know, because I feel like the drum patterns have to be varied. That’s what makes Break Science… Everything is going to be a different vibe and drum sound and tempo.
And combined with that all the wizardry that Borahm comes up with and all the amazing sounds and everything he’s got, you know, that’s what it’s about.
BL- The inspirational process never stops. Like, you know, we’re musicians since we were just little kids… Toddlers. We’ve always known that taking it and trying everything that comes, we’re not going to limit ourselves to just a few band influences. We’re always hungry and looking for more sound, different sounds, different things to inspire us. New techniques technologically, or just musical inspirations, you know… It’s a never-ending process of always looking and being inspired.
G- Alright, and how would you say your writing process flows when you’re in the studio?
BL- Well, studio is a luxury. Like, our lives are so crazy and ther’es so much travel involved that we need to make it wherever we can, whether it’s in the bathroom, or in our bedroom, or in a van, or inside of a plane. It’s like we just have to pick and choose and find our spots as much as we can to make music.
When we get in the studio, which we do when we have time, it’s a great thing, but we make music everywhere. Basically.
G- Nice. I dig that. So all Break Science releases are currently available for free via download at your Band Camp page, and that’s awesome, but for the vinyl junkies, do you plan on any for physical copies? I’d like some vinyl!
AD- Absolutely! We’re on our management to do it. It’s overdue.
G- I’ve got money that ready for you.
BL- It’s long overdue, and yea.
AD- We’re sorry it’s taken this long.
BL- Pretty much.
G- (laughing) Alright! To talk about gear for a second, (pointing to Adam) drummer, (pointing to Borahm) everything else…
BL- We need to set the record straight… Adam is doing half of the compositions at least, and programming, and he’s a producer in his own right. He’s done numerous hip-hop records with people like 50 Cent and Talib Kweli just on his own, so he’s not just playing the drums as some people may have a preconceived notion. But we’re really writing and producing and mixing all of the stuff together and we both have… We both have equal say in intricate parts and everything that goes down, and we love to just bounce the ideas off of each other. It’s not just like one person…
AD- It’s kind of like this: Borahm writes 3-dimensional and in color, and I write in black and white and borahm helps me turn the black and white into color.
G- Nice! Now, about gear, since there are junkies out there and cats following you guys, I’m sure you’re both endorsed by somebody, but I’d like to know what kind of gear you guys are playing and give the companies a shout, and just to let the fans know what you’re hitting on to make it sound good.
AD- I’m really excited to be with Tama drums. They just gave me a beautiful kit…
G- Star Classics?
AD- No. I actually just got the new vintage series they just put out. There’s kinda like, really 1960’s vibe, so I want to send a shout out to them. And also Korg keyboards… Shout out to our friend Adam. He’s the rep there. They hooked us up with the new MicroKorg.
BL- We work with Korg, with Nord. We have a good relationship with Moog as well. These different companies that we have sponsorships with has definitely helped us along the way.
We also love old school analog gear, and we use those things for our tracks and for recording purposes. But when we play live, we have our live set up. I have the MicroKorg and the Nord. I have a Macbook pro and I run Ableton with an APC…
AD- We’re doing the Vocoder live now, which is really cool, for a lot of the vocal parts in the songs.
BL- We also have a drum pad and where we program sounds on that as well as the acoustic drums.
AD- And he plays melodica, too. So, there’s a lot of analog visual conversion on stage.
G- Right on! It’s like a full band with 2 guys.
AD- That’s what we’re trying.
G- Now, for the fans that haven’t heard you guys before, what should they expect of the performances when you guys take the stage?
BL- Expect to hear not just one thing. Expect to kind of go through a lot of different types of urban music, of electronic music, and expect to dance and be hit in the chest by the bass. Expect your feet and your hips to be moving with the rhythms, and just expect the unexpected, I guess.
G- Now, my personal favorite track right now is “Move Ya Body,” and I’ve been listening to it at work left and right. It’s great in the car, it’s great on the stereo…
AD- It’s a crowd pleaser. It’s definitely a crowd pleaser.
G- No question! Now, do either of you personally have a favorite song Break Science have written, or to go a bit further… If you were to give one song to someone who’d never heard Break Science before to make a new fan…
BL- Well, we’re 10 songs deep into our new record right now, and I’m really feeling the new stuff.
BL- You know, if you ask any diehard fan of us, you know, they like our first record, they like Monolith Code more, and they’re going to like this even more! It’s a progression. We’re progressing as producers having the knowledge of what we want to do in this world, you know?
So, I think the newest record is really focused and amazing, and there’s all kinds of vibes on it. But as far as what’s been released, I like “Whole World Locked.” It’s a really good combination of what we do together. We both co-write and start the track from scratch together, and it’s a good. It’s a great song!
G- Dig it. You sir?
AD- Yea it’s definitely on the top of the list. I guess it really kind of depends who we’re playing it for. Also, if we kind of know they’re from a Hip Hop background, or if they’re more of a straight dubstep fan, or if they’re a crazy drum and bass head, you know.
And because our different tracks go in different directions, so if I know that there a super Hip Hop head, then we’ll play a track like the one with Talib Kweli, something like that. But if it was more drum and bass, it would be “Whole World Locked.” So, it kinda varies. The setting is kind of dependent on what I would play as the first song.
BL- All of those different styles of music are part of our personality, so we like to do it and we like to see the reaction of the people that only like drum and bass when they hear our version of drum and bass, or people that only like dubstep. Check out OUR version of dubstep. So, it’s kind of like we’re just dabbling a little bit.
G- Alright. Now, I wasn’t there this year, but everyone I know who heard your set at Camp Bisco this year said it was fucking nuts!
AD- Thank you.
G- They loved it! I wasn’t there and this will be my first time seeing you tonight, so…
AD- Right on.
G- So, what I’d like to know is out of all the shows that you’ve played, do you have a particular favorite show or craziest show or most memorable show?
BL- There’s been a couple of memorable ones in the last year. We got to play with the whole Pretty Lights crew at Red Rocks for Derrick’s shows. 2 shows at Red Rocks, and that was pretty incredible. And, of course Bisco always goes off. I mean, we’ve been playing that for 8 years running now, straight…
AD- Shout out to Brownie and Forden for having us. We love you guys!
BL- Those guys have really given us a great opportunity to play those every year, and it was great! We also just did Bear creek recently, which is another one of those family festivals where were really close with the promoters and the people who put it on, and all the other acts playing, so that was also really memorable as well.
And we’re looking forward to a couple coming up at the end of this year. For NYE, we’re doing Lights All Night in Dallas, and we’re also going to be doing a huge after party for the Hampton Coliseum parties at the Norva with Michal Menart as well. SO, just a lot of stuff on the horizon.
G- So having fun, but still working.
AD- Oh yea.
BL- Oh yea. We’re not resting on our laurels at all. It’s not like that.
AD- We’re hustlin’… Making it happen!
G- Excellent. So, I’ve asked Adam this already with Lettuce, but it’ll be different considering the EDM scene. You guys are still building in the music industry, but you’re both successful on your own with other projects and things like that. EDM is getting huge, and dubstep is getting huge…
AD- It’s already peaked.
G- Kind of, but there are a lot of kids out there that want to do exactly what you’re doing… They want to be on the road, they want to try to go pro, and they want to be doing what you’re doing.
From your personal experience, what advice can you give some of the young, up and coming musicians that want to try to make it in this game, specifically EDM, because it’s getting flooded by the day, and folks really need to stand out.
AD- I would say, you know, have your musical concept set in what you plan to offer. Be aware of everyone’s music as much as you can be, so that way you have a better idea of what you want to do as an artist. And when that is taken care of, you create a product, and you have to have your online game. Be on top of it with your social media.
And also have a team consisting of a manager of some sort, even if it’s a friend that you trust. You know, me and Borahm come from a team that’s had our backs for a while. And eventually, it will come together. Having all those pieces in place will help solidify you and let promoters and club owners know you’re professional.
BL- One thing, me and Adam have been playing music and playing live kind of before the whole social media/internet phenomenon happened, so we’ve kinda watched the whole process happen. But the social media and Youtube and Facebook is a real game changer, so you can be a nobody, you can have no connections at all, but if you have a strong enough concept, and even a small amount of marketability, you can put it out there. And if you garner enough interest and enough hits, everything will come to you. All the management, all the fans, it’ll just fall into place.
So, it’s really like… For the people that aren’t connected, they’re in the middle of nowhere on a farm or something, work real hard at your craft, and put it online. If it’s hot, people are going to check it out. More and more people are going to check it out, and that’s going to garner attention. Everything else will come from there. You know, we didn’t have that back in the day, and you really had to take a grassroots step with everything and really have connections to make it anywhere.
AD- Take every blog seriously. Take every interview seriously.
G- (laughs) Even this one?
AD- Everything. Don’t ever refuse an interview or anything. The whole point is that it’s grassroots. This whole thing is grassroots. It’s word of mouth, and this is how it happens.
G- Dig it. Well, thank you very much for taking the time to speak with Live High Five today and I’m supper pumped to see you guys perform tonight!
G- And we’ll wait for more good stuff in 2013!