Going Deep: Adrian Lux Talks New 'Make Out' EP
Not many male models have successfully made the transition to global DJ and critically acclaimed producer, but Adrian Lux has done it in style. With a full artist album under his belt when we last spoke to him in our September issue, Lux has since played B2B with Ferry Corsten, released collaborations with Marcus Schossow & Cash Cash, and embarked on his ongoing Make Out West Tour of the U.S.
Today marks the release of the Swedish DJ/producer’s Make Out EP, a quick six-track jolt through intricate soundscapes, emotive vocals, and impeccable sound design. We chatted with Adrian about the new release, his studio approach, and his varied influences.
DJ Times: This EP seems a bit more subdued than your first album. What went into the creative process for it? When did work begin on it?
Adrian Lux: I wanted to make something where all tracks weren’t too alike to each other. I’m trying to tell a story with it while leaving some parts to the imagination, like a short film. Some passages of it go deeper and some are more pop. I’m not a huge fan of being stuck in a genre, so that’s why it goes into different worlds. I’m a big fan of soundtrack music and I always made my songs watching movies I love. On this EP, I really think that was the main inspiration: a cinematic vibe! I began to work on it like 1.5 years ago; it’s been work here and there but a lot of it was made in Australia on my last tour there. “Sooner or Later” was almost done completely there.
DJ Times: The single “Sooner or Later” is pretty big departure from your previous work. How did the track come about and how did you change your approach?
Lux: To me, it isn’t that big of a leap. I do play a lot of techno and stuff like it in my shows and have always done that. I grew up only playing more on the deep end so I wanted to show that in my production as well. I love diversity; a lot of people who inspire me have changed styles instead of creating new aliases. I think it gave their fans a wider artist perspective. No one is only always feeling in one way so why should we make music that sounds the same all the time?
DJ Times: You worked with Lune again for “Rain.” What brings you two back together?
Lux: I will always work with Lune, she is a close friend of mine and is the real deal. She’s no boring pop sensation; she’s only sincere with what she is putting out.
DJ Times: You produced for her album, as well?
Lux: Yes, me, her and our mutual friend! It was a long process; since Sebastian Ingrosso was the one putting it out it had to be perfect. It took about three years and 30 trashed songs but I’m very happy with how it came together in the end!
DJ Times: “Lauren Conrad” is one of your first instrumental tracks. What went into your approach for it?
Lux: This was kind of made to be like a soundtrack tune! When I was younger I loved listening to sets by DJs like John Digweed, Hernan Cattaneo—like the old progressive league. Their sets always were like fairytales telling different stories, so when making this tune I had a lot of that expression in mind! Dance music is all about closing your eyes and enjoying the ride.
DJ Times: There are a lot of unique vocal tones throughout the EP. What went into selecting artists?
Lux: I just go with what I feel is right, I want to feel a sincere tone in the voice. I don’t like when vocals feel super cheesy or when a top liner just did a lousy job because they didn’t care about the finished product. I came into this game a lot because of my vocal work, so writing and recording and it has been my one of my trademarks ever since! We will see what the future holds though, I might go more to the non-vocal side for a while. I feel everything is so pop these days and we need more amazing instrumental music.
DJ Times: Are you still working toward a second album?
Lux: I’m working on a new EP right now, and just finished some in-the-middle singles. I think the EP format and singles are better than albums. There is so much music that comes out anyway that it’s better to get rid off the fillers and focus on the killers.
DJ Times: Is there a specific piece/type of equipment that you focus on?
Lux: Yes, I love acoustic guitars, I don’t know why. I think it’s the feeling off simplicity that it brings. Just bringing something organic into the mix always does wonders in my opinion. The thing with organic instruments and analog recordings is that they will always have their own life, so instead of pushing the humanizer key in your music software just try and record something weird. I’m not saying you have to have a big studio or fancy equipment for this: every computer has a microphone somewhere, it’s just about getting creative.
DJ Times: What is your approach to writing/what inspires you? Are you humming melodies on the go or seeking out vocalists to work with?
Lux: I love to just experiment a lot in the studio. I like to be on my own when doing this though because I want to try everything and there will be a lot off bad sounding stuff before something good comes along. It’s a lot like a search for me being in the studio: you don’t know what you’re searching for but if you give it enough time you will find it eventually.
DJ Times: There seems to be a marriage of pop, indie, and dance running through your productions, but your live sets are pretty uproarious electro. How do you tie them together?
Lux: I do a lot of edits or extra production of my own music so it keeps the same character. It’s all about the vibe for me though; everything I play still represents where I’m coming from. Sometimes to make a song last longer I don’t put too many timely-fashioned sounds in them. I always try to keep the original mix of my tracks very simple and clean. It doesn’t always pay off doing that—there are always positive and negative aspects—but I like it like that!
DJ Times: You’ve been working with The Chainsmokers over the past few months. what have you guys been up to?
Lux: There was a time when I thought all EDM music was boring and I couldn’t really relate to any producers. Then suddenly a email popped up from [The Chainsmokers], they sent me some music and I instantly loved the way they took amazing indie music and made extremely amazing remixes of it! We were in contact for a while and just sending music back and forth while I kept playing their stuff and finally decided to hook up in New York! We started a song last year and now it’s finally coming together! It’s a perfect blend of our vibes, I’m super excited for it!!
DJ Times: You worked on Rebecca & Fiona’s new album Beauty Is Pain. What tracks did you work on and what went into the process?
Lux: I made one track called “Heavy.” It was mostly via the internet this time; they did the recording and finalizing on their own. I have some more co-writes and lyrical contributions on there too, so that feels cool! Hope it does well!
Make Out is available today via Ultra Records. Stream the lead single “Sooner or Later” below.