Diving into Robert DeLong
's musical world can be a little overwhelming, as we learned when we recently invited the electro whiz-kid by our place for a quaint, holiday version of Bands + Brews in the Baeble basement. When all the gear started rolling in, I must admit...I was a little worried. Drums and keyboards and cage-like hardware contraptions filled our tiny subterranean jam space (where would we put our opener, Panama Wedding
?). There were also two very large flat screen monitors going up to provide the visuals that would accompany his furious live performance. It was all very impressive. It was all very daunting! But, as someone close to Robert later told me, when he rolls into to ANY
space, he doesn't mess around. Doesn't matter if it's 1000 people or 10. Robert is doing it his way...and aren't we thanking our lucky stars he did.
Next week we'll release our capture of Robert's incredible, one-man show. Before performing though, we had the chance to catch up with the Seattle native. We were mainly curious about how all his electronic hocus-pocus started. Turns out he mixed an initial love for the drums with the fact that he could, "play game controllers pretty good, as any kid of the late 80s would."
Those game controllers are a real big part of RDL's world. "The Robert DeLong project started as too many controllers on a table, a couple of microphones, a couple of drums", he told us. "Now it's out of control". That means in addition to the drums, keyboards, sampler pads, cameras (yes cameras...for those giant flat screens I mentioned), and microphones, Robert carries an array of Wii, Sega Genesis, and old computer joy sticks, all hacked for maximum, musical possibilities. "Years ago I discovered you could hack these things and use them as midi controllers...basically the same thing as knobs and sliders. It's a lot more novel and it's a lot cheaper too".
Such 8-bit inspired origins combine with more modern elements on his new 4 song EP, Long Way Down
, which is now available via Glassnote
. As DeLong told us, "'Long Way Down' is the single and it's more of a hip hop thing. The rest of them are more dance tunes." The dance thing DeLong refers to is something he gets a lot, admitting one could describe some of what he does as EDM. "But it's a lot more songwriter and performance focused than I think most electronic dance music is." Still, DeLong adds, "you can definitely shake your ass to it".
Indeed you can, as you'll see in the release of our Bands + Brews Session with Robert next week. Until then, check out a little snippet of the action and our interview with the rising star.
we're in the basement at the Bands and Brews session here with Robert DeLong, EDM artist.
Do you like to describe your music as EDM? of my music.
So that's fine.
But, yeah, I mean it's, you know.
It's a lot more song-writer and, you know, performance focused than I think most electronic dance music is.
But you know, you definitely can shake your ass to it. So... - What was the initial thing when you first started making music, you didn't have that whole set up, I'm imagining.
So, what was the initial thing that you started with? - Totally.
I mean, I first started just as a drummer and then over time, you know, I started messing around with electronics and stuff.
But drums are the instrument I'm good at, I think.
- So aside from drums, what other instruments can you play, and what's your favorite one? - I play keyboard sort of remedially.
Like, well enough to perform with them.
I play game controllers, I think pretty good, you know, as any kid in the late 80's would.
The Robert DeLong project started as, I think, about too many controllers on like, a table and then, you know, a couple microphones and a couple drums and stuff like that.
Now, it's, it's out of control.
- Yeah, actually out of control and into the hands of a video game controllers that you've added.
Can you tell us about that? - Yeah, totally.
I use a bunch of different video game controllers.
I use a Wii remote, a joystick, game pad and some other stuff.
And they all do different things.
You know, it's just years ago I discovered that you could basically hack these things and use them as, you know, midi controllers basically, the same thing as knobs and sliders.
But it's a lot more novel and, you know, it's a lot cheaper, too.
- You just released an EP, Long Way Down.
And why don't you tell us about it? - It's a four song EP.
I don't know, I released it mid-November and it's like, you know , a Long Way Down is the first tune on it, which is kind of the single.
And it's more of a, kind of hip-hop thing.
And the rest of them are kinda more, you know, dance tunes like, you know, fall on the floor kinda, you know, different things ranging from, like, movement tone to straight house stuff.
So it's fun.
It's good stuff.
- All right.
Thank you so much.
- Yo, what's up? This is Robert DeLong, and you're watching Baeble Music.
Los Angeles-based electronic musician Robert DeLong mixes dance music with his own singer/songwriter style of craftsmanship. A native of Seattle, DeLong relocated to Los Angeles where began performing his innovative style of electronic music. Utilizing MIDI interfaces and mixing live while he performs, DeLong plays keyboards, drum pads, drum set, laptops, and even gaming controllers to create his songs. Though his music falls into the category of experimental dance, his lyrics and melodic sense often borrow from more classic pop influences such as Paul Simon. DeLong released his debut solo album, Just Movement
, in 2013.