Kicking off his tour, the electro-pop DJ and producer Stephan Pruett has established a name for himself called The Guidance. Crafting a reflective approach to making electronic music that he has termed "Future Grunge". This aural concoction is the convergence of electronic synth sounds, driving beats, and dance elements representing the aesthetic and energy of 90’s grunge, but all sequenced digitally instead of live instrumentation. The Guidance is on tour and just performed in Detroit and stopping at cities like Fort Atkinson, WI, Omaha, NE, Lincoln, NE, Phoenix, Arizona, Pittsburg, PA, and ending in Atlanta, GA, and Durham, NC. It was a pleasure interviewing the talented artist, The Guidance discussed his inspirations, more information about his tour, and the story behind his new single ‘She Likes The Dance Music’.
How did you discover your style of sound?
“It was through a process of dealing with a lot of death and having a close relationship with it thus. I think a lot like life evolving so does sound and how we create or capture it so I'm not sure there was any particular or 'defining' moment of discovery, more just a process of it coming through life, pain, death, relationships, being both a shitty and awesome person at times LOL”.
You are performing in Detroit tonight, what's your favorite part about the city?
“Harpo's Concert Hall! Man, I played a show there the last time I was in town and holy shit, it was like being time-warped back to a decade I def did not live through! But the real hidden gem is the Heidelberg Project; I went there years ago on my first tour and fell in love instantly. It's a really special place and taught me a lot about myself.”
What other artists do you look up to or inspire you?
“Oh, so many! But I guess the go-to's are: Fugazi, Joy Division, New Order, Talking Heads, Chemical Brothers (whose new album is a headbender omg!), Shinichi Osawa, GOGOGO Airheart, Heaven 17, OMD, and Brian Eno. I'm kind of old school I guess, still searching for that damn Jesus Jones box set!”
You're about to embark on your Guidance Tour, what city are you most excited to perform at?
“Every city! Lol, traveling is the language of learning the world! I'd have to pick New Orleans. I've been/played before but my parents live in Lafayette, LA for a while so Louisiana/the south holds a special place in my heart. Runner up would be Austin, TX fo sho!”
What's the story behind your new single She Likes The Dance Music?
“Haha, funny you should ask...if I may be candid, it was a total fluke/joke. Truthfully I had gone into the studio to record what was meant to be a more pop-driven jam but I hadn't fleshed out the lyrics yet. So, my friend and collaborator, Jeremy Dawson turned to me and said, 'what else ya got?' A night or two before I had been listing out bands that I loved and admired in hopes of being able to kind of parody or poke fun at them in some creative way (or maybe it was a musical existential crisis, who the hell knows), so I pull out this list and show him the original demo I scrounged together on logic (which an ex and friend of mine told me was a bad idea and I shouldn't use) and we went to town taking the base of those lyrical ideas and bending them to peruse the various eras of dance/electronic music! It was really fun and a bit challenging so everything in return and the joy it's created has been incredibly rewarding!”
When on tour, what food do you strive to eat the most?
“Anything vegan. I'm deathly lactose intolerant and I've never eaten much meat growing up so I stay pretty true to the vegetables and fruits of the land :) maybe that's just a metaphor for all of us tho lol.”
How does it feel that you've released 'She Likes The Dance Music' on Tommie Sunshine's Brooklyn Fire Recordings?
It honestly feels crazy. No one knows this but the night before I found out he was in and gonna release it I played an extra in a friend's music video as a zombie (not my forte at all!) My phone was stolen amidst all this and I had no way of getting home so caked in zombie make-up and a ripped to shreds shirt looking absolutely demented I had to walk 15+ miles home asking every stranger danger for directions along the way. It was actually thrilling, challenging and hilarious! I highly recommend it if you'd like to get your head out of the digital ass and into the realm of the real. It's unfortunate all of our being in touch is only halfway on both sides these days. When I finally made it home I checked my laptop to see what I had missed and low and behold there was the e-mail stating that she likes the dance music would be released through Brooklyn Fire! Hallelujah!!
What has been your greatest accomplishment yet?
“Honestly managing to stay alive I think. But musically, I'd chuck that she likes the dance music's way...a lovely beast that is out of my hands and in the universe now.”
Any new music in the works?
“Oh yeah, many many new songs/demos/lyrics culminating to worthy headaches, bouts of self-doubt and hair loss!”
Festival season is here, what are some festivals will you be performing at this summer?
“I played ultra this year which was beyond an honor and also a total blast! Other than that nothing lined up, but watch the fuck out 2020!!”
What's on the Horizon for The Guidance?
“In the great words of Peter, Bjorn & John: Eating well, sleeping well...and spreading this wild energy throughout every crevice of this planet! This is Guidance, this is now.”