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Interview with Saadin Dassum
What got you into music, and if you had not gotten into music what would you be doing today?
I heavily credit this dude called Francis Porras for me still being a musician today. He was the head of music at my high school. At the end of 9th grade, my school would have you choose between music and art, and the guy gave a hell of a speech for music. The one line I remember clearly was “When you mute the volume on your television, it’s not the words that you miss, it’s the music.” And that phrase bounces in my head to this day.
If I weren’t making music, I’d probably be doing film. Everything’s cooler when it’s cinematic. Regular phone-like shot? Meh. Low angle closeup? Ooh!
What do you like to do when you are not playing music and how does that influence your creativity?
Music is by far the main part of my game, but I also code and like to do film stuff. Coding helps me get ideas for programming synths, and I think the enthusiasm I have for analyzing scripts has helped me figure out whether my lyrics are saying something cool or whether they’re staying in the same boring spot.
Where are you based and how did that influence your music?
I’m currently based out of Miami, and man, it’s been a time. Rock isn’t big here, and it allows me to keep drawing inspiration from Hispanic cultures as much as I could have when I lived in Ecuador (you know, when I was a wee lad).
If you could play any show with any lineup, who would be on the ticket?
Liz Cooper and the Stampede, Queen, David Bowie, The Rolling Stones, Fleetwood Mac, Charly Garcia, Soda Stereo, and Daft Punk. At the end we’d all come out to do one long song as a diabolically genius electro-rock orchestra. Perfection.
If you could go back in time and give yourselves advice, what would it be?
“Surprised to see me? Yes, that’s right, I’m you from the future. That’s why I look all cool and have fingerless gloves and a cool jacket and long hair that waves in the wind.
Listen kid, and listen closely because I don’t have much time, I’m not supposed to be here. They’re onto me. On May 28 of 2016, there will be an event that absolutely destroys the timeline. I need you to go to the Cincinnati zoo and stop a child from falling into the gorilla enclosure. At all costs. If you don’t, then a gorilla will get shot, and then, well… Then we’re all doomed. I DON’T CARE THAT YOU’RE A PENNILESS CHILD WITH ZERO AUTHORITY! DID YOU NOT HEAR ME? GET THERE AT ALL COSTS! THE FATE OF THE UNIVERSE IS AT STAKE. If you fail… then all else fails... And we’re doomed. I must run, before they triangulate my location. Godspeed kid. Godspeed.”
Of your songs which one means the most to you and why?
About 10 Seconds is probably my most personal song. It’s a weird, weird song, and it had to be. It’s a very personal peek into my head, and a fight between superficiality and what people expect me to be versus who I want to be. If you hear it, listen to the Mercy of the Moon album version. That production is more faithful to my original vision.
What kinds of messages do you like to get across in your music?
I’m a firm believer in the death of the author. I can ramble on and on about why I wrote my songs, and I will (seriously, just call me). But I’m always going to ask you first. What message did you get?
What are your plans for the future, and do you have anything that you want to spotlight that is coming up?
I currently have a massive backlog of projects I’m working on, including a crazy action short film/music video for one of my songs. It’s gonna have aliens, it’s gonna be bombastic, it’s gonna be emotional. I have a bunch of new music in my backlog too, including a rock in Spanish track. And I’m also working on a cool app. But all of that will take a while to come.
In the meantime, you should check out my new song, Forgot My Name. It’s my favorite self-production thus far, and it’s a ton of fun. Go jam to it!