The future is bright for this Dallas, Texas native. We at Electric Vibes were fortunate enough to talk to him after his amazing EDC performance at the Neon Garden. His unique sounds are known as “Surrealist Techno”, he describes it as his take on Techno music that incorporates his love for 90s Trance and IDM. Get to know Declan James with us!
Q.Congrats on your EDC set! What was it like performing at Neon Garden?
Thank you so much!! It was incredible; this was actually my first festival performance ever, so I was super nervous, but I had a blast, and I honestly don’t think it could have gone any better than it did.
Q.What does your creative process look like ?
To be honest with you, it just depends on the day. Coming from a Trance background, I have a tendency to write the melodic sections of a track first, but that doesn’t always yield the most interesting results in Techno, so I try to vary my approach every so often and maybe focus on getting down a solid groove or some sort of sound design loop then build from there.
Q. What music did you grow up listening to ?
From an early age I was really into classic rock and metal music, mostly thanks to my dad. I loved and still love bands like Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin, Iron Maiden, etc.
Q. When did music become more than a hobby for you?
I don’t know that it has ever really become more than a hobby. Obviously it’s my main source of income now, but I look at it more as a hobby that has just happened to yield financial results; I fear that if I start looking at it as a career my music will start reflecting that thought process and become very stale and corporate sounding.
Q. What is the Techno scene like in Texas?
The Techno scene in Texas is still very niche, but it’s getting bigger by the year, and those who are a part of it are very dedicated to the music, which is great! In many ways Texas still has yet to fully write its story, and to think that I have the power to play a small part in writing that story inspires me.
Q. How would you describe "Surrealist Techno"?
Surrealist Techno is my take on Techno music that incorporates my love for 90s Trance & IDM with the sensibilities of traditional Techno. It’s very heavy while still maintaining melodic elements, and typically stays between 126-130 BPM.
Q.Do you have any non edm inspirations or artist you look up to?
I love new-age artists like Vangelis, Tangerine Dream, etc. and draw a lot of inspiration from their compositions. I also love a lot of 70s prog-rock bands like Emerson Lake & Palmer, Yes, King Crimson, etc.
Q. How would you describe your fans?
My fans are all super dedicated and open minded, which I’m so grateful for. They’ve been super cool about my transition away from Trance music, and I feel really lucky to have such a solid group of people who support and trust my artistic vision.
Q.Looking through the rest of the year, what are some things you are most looking forward to?
I’m most excited to release all of the new music that I’ve been sitting on, and to get back in the studio and keep writing!