UFO Network had the absolute pleasure of chatting with talented Los Angeles based Producer, DJ & Musician Rob Tirea about his latest release ‘The Storm Front & the Sea‘, Covid19, Coachella and more. Check out our Exclusive Interview below and connect with Rob Tirea on social media platforms and stay up-to-date with the latest in new music and events.
Hey Rob, Thanks for your time! Tell us about that first track that put you on the map in the electronic music scene and what has the journey been like since? How did you get started?
I guess the first track that really got my career started was one I put out in April 2018 called ‘Imagine’. In February of that same year I went to Dancefair in the Netherlands which is a really awesome conference for music producers and managers etc, for anything electronic music related. It really helps you learn how to navigate the industry. Whilst I was there, I played my demo of ‘Imagine’ to the guys at 2Dutch Records, which is owned by Showtek, and followed up with an email when I got back home to L.A. They wanted to sign the track to The Greenroom which is one of their sub-labels and subsequently it was premiered by Nicky Romero on his Protocol Radio Show, as well as being picked up by Morgan Page, Brookes and a few other DJs.
Listen to Rob Tirea – ‘Imagine‘ on Spotify
Tell us more about ‘Rob Tirea‘. Is that your real name or your stage name and does ‘Rob Tirea‘ have an alter ego that comes forward in your production and performance?
Rob Tirea is actually my real name. Robert is my full name but I shortened it, as Rob Tirea seemed to roll of the tongue a little better that Robert Tirea. I wouldn’t say I have an alter ego. With me, what you see it what you get, I don’t know if that’s good or bad haha. But I always try to be 100% me and as raw and real as possible, so my personality on stage or during production is how am all the time and I will always try to keep it that way.
Do tell us more about your most recent single ‘The Storm Front & the Sea‘ and the deeply perceptive concept behind it all? What does this song mean to you and would you mind going into detail with the message you’ve perceived in this powerful piece of production?
The idea for ‘The Storm Front and The Sea’ came to me one day whilst driving down Pacific Highway. For those of you who don’t know it, it’s exactly like you’d imagine; a road in California along the coast of the Pacific Ocean, which is truly beautiful and has the most amazing views. It was on a rainy day but it was interesting because the storm was so intense and the water looked so beautiful in contrast and I thought that was an interesting picture, because it also represented the current time we’re going through with the pandemic and how even when there’s a lot of darkness, a lot of beauty can come out of it. I think that’s the case with a lot of things that are happening at the moment, especially in the music industry. A lot of great art is going to come out of this period and I thought it would be interesting to write about this concept.
Listen to Rob Tirea – ‘The Storm Front & the Sea‘ on Spotify
2020 has been one hell of a year! How would you say the Covid19 pandemic has affected you in both your private life and your music career? Have you been able to produce more music & has the thought process changed in your production at all because of it?
A lot of people are going to write a lot about the pandemic, being quarantined, little social interaction etc but I don’t think my life has changed a whole lot, other than not being able to socialise much or go out and grab a coffee/beer. For the most part, being a producer you learn to really enjoy being by yourself and the process of making music. If you can’t sit by yourself and listen to the same sounds over and over again on the same loop then you’re probably not going to be able to be a producer haha. So, I’d say I’m pretty used to it and if anything, it’s given me more time to hone in on and refine some songs that I’ll be releasing in the coming year.
Would you kindly tease us with some information on any upcoming projects you are currently working on? What do you have lined up for the rest of 2020 considering the times
I am working on an EP which will come out mid-summer, I want to say August, this is tentative but it should be sometime around then. The EP includes some songs that have been in the works for a year or more so there are a lot that I’m really proud of and can’t wait for people to hear them. It definitely feels like this is some of my best stuff so I’m excited to share it with everyone.
If you could perform at any festival or event what would it be and why?
Coachella is up there, in fact it’s probably the top one. I’m sure it’s the top festival for most people in terms of its variety in genres and amazing lineups. It’s such a benchmark gig for artists because everyone performing there is at the top of their game, and not just in terms of electronic music, but for all genres. It really speaks to your fanbase and what you’ve been able to achieve if you get a spot there, so among other reasons that’s why it’s such an amazing festival. ULTRA Miami would also be up there for me and in terms of European festivals, my top would have to be Glastonbury and Tomorrowland.
What single night out would you say is the most memorable for you and why?
That’s a truly interesting question! Usually a memorable night out wouldn’t be so easily remembered hahaha, but I guess the most memorable would probably be what kicked off my interest in electronic music. I mean I had been dabbling about with FL studio before, but then I saw Tiësto at Outside Lands festivals in San Francisco in 2003, as well as watching the Arctic Monkeys the next day on the same stage, and it changed my perspective on electronic music completely. I was blown away by the production and the energy levels were just unparalleled compared to any other genre. I was perplexed as to how the music was made and after that went directly home and set about trying to figure it all out.
Give us the name of one track that never gets old for you no matter how many times you listen to it?
It’s funny because I’m in electronic music but I actually grew up inspired by indie and alternative rock, and I’d say it’s been a big influence for some of my music now, even though my productions are more electronic-based than the stuff I grew up listening to. But one of my favourite bands is a band called the Editors and they have this song called ‘Munich’ that, for some reason, every time I listen to it I can vividly remember the CD I had and how I would listen to it for an entire summer. Obviously, we don’t have that kind of experience with music anymore because it’s so easily stream-able but at that time I have such vivid memories from my childhood from listening to that specific song. The level of nostalgia is unparalleled.
How do you get a track started? Tell us a bit about the thought & production process that takes place for you. How long does it take you to complete a track on average and do you ever get writer’s / producer’s block?
It really depends but most of the time I’ll have a melodic riff, phrase or refrain in my head that I’ll get out in one way or another, be it on guitar, vocals, bass etc. I start a lot of my songs with acoustic instruments and then translate them electronically. I’ll put the melody out and then build the song around it. Sometimes it depends on what inspires me but I’ve found that I really need this initial melodic phrase to get a track started. I’ll build tracks half-way, leave them and start working on something else, then by the end of the month I’ll have 15-20 different ideas that I listen back to and pick out the ones I think have potential. Some tracks take longer than others but on average I’d say the best ones are the ones that don’t linger and come to fruition quickly within a couple of hours or so. If it’s taking me days and days to figure out then it’s probably not something worth pursuing but if I can listen to it on loop for 30 minutes and still not be sick of it, that’s how I know I have something. I do get writers block occasionally but I try to watch videos, read different books, watch travel documentaries on Netflix. I find this really helps inspire me; there are so many things around us that are a great source of inspiration that it’s hard to blame writers block for not allowing you to finish a track.
The relationship between the audience and the DJ / Producer is crucial, and yet it seems to be a fragile one – How do you see the balance between giving the crowd what they want and treating them to something new?
I think it really depends on what show you’re playing. If you’re doing a Vegas set for example, then half of the crowd are there because they like you and the other half just came for a party and to have a good time, so you have to find a happy medium. You have to really figure out how you can mix in your own music with what people want to hear. DJs are interesting, because you have your open format DJs who aren’t necessarily producers but will play everything, but then you also have DJs who are producers first and foremost and if you see one of their headline shows, they’ll be playing their music from start to finish for the whole 90 minute set. It is an interesting balance I guess but of course it also depends what kind of venue you’re playing at, what the setting is etc. For me, if I were doing a headline show, I’d want to show people my music exclusively.
Rob Tirea – ‘The Storm Front & the Sea’ Out Now! Download >HERE<
Connect with Rob Tirea