Saturday Night Session 024: Tritonal opens up about what could be their most personal body of work to date and craft custom mix to celebrate the release of ‘U&ME’
Few moments are more sacred than the reprieve Saturday night provides from the daily grind of school and work. Its importance is meant to be emphasized, and thus, a feature dedicated to “doing the night right” was born. Saturday Night Sessions are set around energizing mixes meant to get the party started. New or old, each episode has one cornerstone thing in similarity: they serve as the perfect backdrop for the weekend pregame.
Producers Chad Cisneros and David Reed of Tritonal are known for creating some of the most uplifting songs electronic music has to offer. Their ascent into notoriety is thanks to their ability to blend a catchy vocal with a hard-hitting progressive drop that resonates in a night club and still maintains radio appeal. Over a decade into their careers, Cisneros and Reed have cultivated an avid fanbase dubbed ‘Tritonians,’ and their productions are as popular as ever.
Whether it’s through their music or their in-person presence, Cisneros and Reed emanate an infectious positivity that has come to define the Tritonal brand. Those who know their stories know their hardships make their uplifting moniker the ultimate irony. Both artists have faced their own demons, and being DJs and music producers wouldn’t be the first career choice for many who have faced similar setbacks.
Cisneros faced a severe drug dependency during his youth, and even ended up incarcerated for a time. As many can imagine, being a DJ after facing addiction isn’t an easy life, which he is the first to admit. There are few careers that are as physically draining and provide as much temptation as being a touring artist. Cisneros has maintained his sobriety, and he is now the co-founder of Infinite Recovery in Austin, Texas. He and co-founder Michael Dadashi have worked to create a place that provides a path forward for those looking to beat addiction. To Cisneros, helping others is his way of nurturing his own sobriety.
Cisneros comments on the battle he and co-founder Michael Dadashi face on a daily basis, stating, “He and I are both in long term recovery, and my role outside of Tritonal is primarily to help others who are suffering from addiction. I balance this like most people- sometimes very well and in stride, and sometimes I feel like I’m absolutely losing control! Ha! Life can be as serious as you make it, or as trivial.”
Reed too has found himself in a career that exacerbates his severe fear of public speaking, which he has battled since he was a kid. Being in front of a crowd and engaging an audience isn’t just important in this line of work, it’s vital. He continues to work through this fear when it comes to both live performance and press opportunities, and he is the first to admit he is still very much a work in progress.
Reed notes, “It does make it a taxing job internally. I honestly tend to overthink things or say the wrong thing when in my head I know better. I will say though, I was much worse before I was exposed to being in live environments such as this kind of career. So in a way it has helped me to grow more aware of myself, which helps me accept that this is just the way I am. I will do my best each time to have a good interview, to not be awkward, but yet be as real as possible. So yes, it is a fear of mine, but I have no fear in showing that public speaking is my weakness.”
While many artists lead with their hardships to define their brand, Tritonal has historically embodied hope and happiness. Both Cisneros and Reed are very focused on wellness of the mind, body, and spirit, which is where the concept for their third and newest album was born. The duo released 19-track U&ME, which takes the listener on a journey through the group’s best. Trance, Progressive house, and even some drum and bass is featured throughout the compilation.
Cisneros and Reed give insight into their inspirations for the album, stating, “U&ME is a pointer towards Unity. So much of humanity is based in dualistic mentalities – ‘us vs them.’ We wanted to flip that base level unconscious mindset, to a title that reminded us that at a core level we are all the same. This body of work was made in Love.”
Unity points towards the ultimate balance, and when asked how he finds balance, Cisneros jokes that his answer makes him sound like someone reading from a wellness page. He maintains that sobriety, exercise, meditation, and living out their truth are key to both artist’s happiness. Given the duo currently tour, run a record label, produce music, and have families with young children at home, their tips are certainly worth listening to as they continue to prove they can do it all.
Tritonal’s Saturday Night Session is the perfect representation of what fans can expect from U&ME. The hour long mix takes the listener through album highlights and blends their newer releases with the energetic drops that fans have come to know and love from the duo.
Chad, the fact that you’ve started Infinite Recovery is amazing. How do you balance being a musician with your work at Infinite recovery?
Well, I should start by saying that I’m an investor & co-founder of Infinite Recovery, but all of the hard day to day work and credit should be given to my long time friend and CEO Michael Dadashi. He and I are both in long term recovery, and my role outside of Tritonal is primarily to help others who are suffering from addiction. I balance this like most people- sometimes very well and in stride, and sometimes I feel like I’m absolutely losing control! ha! Life can be as serious as you make it, or as trivial.
David, how do you maintain such an extroverted job (and heavy tour schedule) given you have battled with a severe fear of public speaking for your entire life? You’d think this would make performing a very taxing job for you.
This is something I definitely do struggle with, especially when it comes to live, on camera, on radio.. it does creep up on me at times, and other times it doesn’t depending on the environment. You’re absolutely right, it does make it a taxing job internally- I honestly tend to overthink things or say the wrong thing when in my head I know better. I will say though, I was much worse before I was exposed to being in live environments such as this kind of career. So in a way it has helped me to grow more aware of myself which helps me accept that this is just the way I am, and I will do my best each time to have a good interview, to not be awkward, but yet be as real as possible. So yes, it is a fear of mine, but I have no fear in showing that public speaking is my weakness.
What is the best and worst thing about this career?
Chad – stepping into the studio at 10am w/ a fresh cold brew and a good nights sleep – ready to get weird.
Dave – I think it’s safe to say the worst thing about this kind of career, although there’s much gratitude for seeing the world, the amount of travel and late nights can be pretty fatiguing and taxing on your body! We try to rest as much as we can between travel and studio production!
How do both of you balance young kids, a heavy tour schedule, your radio show, producing new music, and maintaining your sanity?
Chad – Well, as stated before we both undulate in and out of what we consider “balancing well”, ha! Hard to feel balanced sometimes when you’re upside down from a flight back home from China. That said, sobriety, meditation, exercise, responsible diet, and living our Truth are KEY points. They sound like something read off of a wellness page, but in reality meditation is crucial to building presence and awareness moment to moment. Sobriety while touring enables faster recovery times from jet lag, or lack of sleep. Exercising daily rejuvenates serotonin, and resets the body.
Can you tell us more about the title U&ME and what this album embodies for you?
U&ME is a pointer towards Unity. So much of humanity is based in dualistic mentalities – “us vs them.” We wanted to flip that base level unconscious mindset to a title that reminded us that at a core level we are all the same. This body of work was made in love.
Can you each tell us your personal favorite track off of the album? It could be because of the track itself or the process that went into making it!
Chad – Mine is “Medicine!” This record at a fundamental level, reminds me of why Dave and I fell in love with Trance – even though it’s got a Drum & Bass beat and bpm.
Dave – “Medicine” as well for me! I also really enjoy “Diamonds.”
Photo credit: Oh Dag Yo