Pierce Fulton drops live version of ‘Kuaga,’ talks plans on involving instruments
A unanimous DA staff favorite of 2014, Pierce Fulton’s “Kuaga” is taking a turn… and for the better. Creating a live version of his original production involving an array of instruments, Pierce involves even more styles of sounds. In tow from the original remains its vocal, now slowed down to fit a new tempo, and being introduced is Pierce live on guitar and bass. Breaking down this process and talking about future plans, Pierce spoke to Dancing Astronaut in depth; track and interview below.
Where did the idea of doing a live version for Kuaga come from?
“I decided to do this live version of Kuaga because I have released some experimental/downtempo songs in the past and as I’ve further developed myself as a dance music producer, it’s hard to place different styles of music between my releases. I luckily came up with a formula that allows me to put out different styles of music but not cause confusion: create live versions of my music. It can also be called “remixing” my own song, but in this particular case I re-recorded all of the elements from the original and created an entirely different version. I grew up playing the guitar, and various other instruments as a result of a young and curious mind, so it’s been fun working with a project that allowed me to reintroduce my past into my current music. “
Take us through your process of creating the live version. Did you record all of the instruments yourself? If so, what instruments were used?
“I played around with the track on various instruments and narrowed down which ones fit for this version of the song. The only element that is taken directly from the original version of Kuaga is the vocal which I just exported from the original project file and put into my Maschine for a bit of resampling. From there I slowed it down to fit the new tempo of 100 bpm and chopped each hit so they could be triggered individually (also helped the timing). Then I recorded a guitar to cover both the main lead and some of the background arpeggios from the original, I also recorded live bass to cover the low end. Sadly I couldn’t record drums at home so I just chopped live takes from sessions I’ve had and put them in an EXS24 sampler and mapped them out to be played on a Octapad drum pad via midi. I also recorded a glockenspiel, a synthesizer running through a talkbox (the sound coming from the hose of the talkbox, spun around by hand) and some background vocals that I sang. I also managed to record my acoustic guitar fairly well (usually a tough one to get sounding really great). Then later I added some additional production to spice up the whole thing. I’m still pretty surprised that I got away with recording all of these elements in my little home studio, it all turned out a lot better than planned luckily.”
Is this something you’ll be doing more often?
“The main reason I did this live version is so that I can continue to put out different styles of music without confusing my audience. As I said, I’m known for dance music so I don’t want anyone thinking I’m abandoning my style for something new. I’ve just found a way to release alternative styles of music by making them a part of my dance music releases. I’m planning on doing a live version for every big single I release in the future and they will cover all sorts of different styles. For example, I’m finishing up my next single right now and I’ve just started working on the live version and already have different 2 directions: either RJD2-style electronic hip hop or something super 80’s style with cheesy synths and fat drums. It’s exciting because I make all sorts of random stuff in my free time and now I can actually apply that to my style. Eventually, once I have about 8-10 live versions, I’d love to be able to create a live show where I can perform these songs by myself, even including older releases modified to fit this new show. I’m pretty excited to start testing out some setups for a live show but I need to put out a few more live versions of my songs first.”
What are your future plans for this live version?
“Well the Kuaga live version is a free download so we’re gonna try to spread the song all over and see what people think! I also have some additional content that will hopefully come next week…something I’ve never done with a song before so it’s quite exciting.”
What else should we be expecting from you in 2015?
“As I said I’m literally just finishing my next single right now and I’m hoping to find a release date for it in the next couple of months and I’ve just started some ideas for the live version of it. I have about 5-7 additional projects that are in that 70%-90% finished pocket that I need to finish up and see which I can put out. A lot is going on for 2015 on the music front which is fun but I’m really looking forward to continuing working on these live versions. And who knows, if all goes well maybe that live show will be ready for late 2015, gotta get working.”