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Tuesday 29th, November 2005
Second Sun

Raised in Montreal, now living in Los Angeles, California Adam and Antoine have been taking the world by storm with their trance-infused electro/pop/rock/breaks style productions & live shows. Since their first hit Empire which was released on Paul van Dyk's Vandit label the duo have enjoyed further successes with Crush; their co-production with PVD himself and also their new track Playground.

trance.nu: It was great catching your show in Toronto, Canada. I’ve never heard you play live before and was quite impressed! I noticed you were using an Access Virus C, and a Korg MS2000 modeling Synth. What other tools were you using? What portion of the track is run off the Mac?

second sun: Most parts are run off of Ableton Live and are triggered by our main mixboard. Then we choose the parts that we’ll play on a synth and delete them from the parts in Ableton Live. All the sounds in the synths (like the Virus) are our own presets, so that when I go to choose that sound, it’s the same setting as when we used it to record the track, so I can just play the notes and tweak away. The digital mixboard is also used for mixing vocals, instruments and sequences. It’s taken us a lot of time and practice to do this without messing up, but now we can really focus on giving a great show instead of worrying about the gear not working.

trance.nu: Why did you choose the gear you are currently using?

second sun: Choosing all of the gear we use both on and off stage felt more like a school project than a shopping spree. We had to take into consideration the versatility of the gear, the sound and the price. After listening to a lot of gear and reading a truckload of magazines, we used our gut feeling and picked what we thought was right for us. We’ve realized that it’s not necessarily how much gear we have, but how well we know how to use it - you can have the newest, fanciest piece of gear, but if you don’t know how to use it well, it’ll be useless in your studio. When you know your gear is when you get to the point where you can imagine a sound or a track in your head and then make it happen.

trance.nu: What portion of the gear is used both in the studio and on the road? What is left behind?

second sun: Well, all of the gear we use in our live set is also used in our studio, but there are plenty more toys in the studio to play with (like our Mac G5, on which we use the Logic program to make our tracks). There’s also a rack full of synths and modules from every time period spanning 3 decades. One of our coolest pieces is a Sequential Circuits Multi-Trak which belonged to New Order! When we go out on the road, we try to keep the gear list to the essentials to be able to travel around.

trance.nu: How much material have you guys produced that never made it to release and/or was simply meant for live shows?

second sun: We’re always working on new stuff, so it’s definitely played in our live show before the release. What’s great about producing and doing live shows is that you can finish work on a new track and play it in the club that same night and then come back to the studio and work on it some more depending on how well it went down. So in our live show, you’ll hear some tracks off our album “Inside Out”, some crowd favorites like “Crush”, some new tracks that are not yet released and some tracks that will probably never be released (like our cover of Depeche Mode’s “Dream On”)

trance.nu: What equipment was wrecked during the flight to casino @ Berlin?

second sun: Our dear Yamaha SU-700! When we took it out for our soundcheck, it was completely dead. Luckily, we had backed up the sounds that we were supposed to trigger in our laptop, so we just entered those sounds in one of our synths. It was really tough to adjust to the problem at the last minute, but in the end it worked out. Maybe we’re jinxed, but we’re almost always working on some last details or fixing things in our hotel room just hours before we go on. It’s scary in a way but in the end when the show is done and it went well, it’s a great feeling.

trance.nu: What was it like to work with the 80’s singer Tiffany on the track He Said She Said?

second sun: It was really cool and unexpected-a question of good timing, really. At the time, I was looking for a female singer for a duet, but in a banging trance format. We actually held auditions in L.A. because we wanted to work with someone that wasn’t known in the dance world; to bring in a new voice. At that time Tiffany heard we were looking for someone, so she contacted us. We didn’t say yes right away, just because we wanted to hear what her voice sounds like now, if she still sounds good. We were pleasantly surprised when we heard her voice on her more recent stuff, so we brought her into the studio. In the end, we’re really pleased with how she sounds on the track, so in the end it worked out.

trance.nu: Did Paul van Dyk ever finish the He Said She Said remix? (That was originally for The Politics of Dancing 2)

second sun: Wow, I’m surprised you guys even know about that! To be honest, I really don’t know. You’ll have to ask him happy

trance.nu: Will there be a proper release for the radio mix of The Spell? The additional lyrics were nice!

second sun: Oh, thanks. Well with radio mixes it can get tricky, because they’re not meant for club play so you probably won’t find it on vinyl, but after all these requests we’ll definitely find a way to make it available for you all.

trance.nu: I remember you telling me about your Luxury RV that you used to travel all across the U.S., any stories to share from these road trips? Do you prefer to travel by land or air?

second sun: Geez, we have so many crazy tour stories. It’s been such an adventure. Our idea was to try to avoid flying around too much to protect our gear, so we opted to take the road, thinking at the same time, we could keep doing our studio work while rolling around the country. No such luck; the RV didn’t make it through Texas. We were stranded for days in a junkyard mechanic’s place in the desert outside El Paso. No air conditioning and no power in the RV, so no studio. Good thing I had my guitar ; I spent the days playing and singing in the blistering heat. A few funny country songs came out of it, which I doubt will ever be released! lol Oh, and we had countless flat tires and drove through a tornado in Kansas. All & all, I think a quick flight will do us good next time!!

trance.nu: Were you guys influenced by Depeche Mode when producing Dawn? Who are some of your other influences?

second sun: Yeah, Depeche Mode is definitely an influence because they used new technology to make great music instead of just making empty synth music like so many people were doing at the time. About other influences, we have so many! Adam and I have been music lovers since we were kids, so all of that bleeds into our music. Wish I could show you my Ipod; there’s so much stuff in there from 60s soul music to Nine Inch Nails. By the way, we just saw their new show and it was amazing. It made me want to go around the neighborhood and kick down some trashcans! Oh yeah!

trance.nu: There was an announcement a while back from System Recordings saying that samples from The Spell might be released, is this still going to happen?

second sun: Actually, we decided to give the track away for free on download.com

trance.nu: What can you tell us about upcoming projects? We’re very curious to hear what’s coming down the pipelines!

second sun: Well, next up is the release of our track Playground on Vandit. Release date is December 8th and it includes a remix from our friends from Nu Nrg on the flip. We’re also working on our second album and more live shows.

trance.nu: Who do you plan on collaborating with in the future? There have been some rumors that BT might come into the picture.

second sun: haha, yeah that’s just a rumor. At the moment, we’re working on some stuff with Matt Darey and as for the others we have some stuff up in the air, but at the moment they’re not confirmed so we’d rather not announce it just yet.

trance.nu: It’s been great catching up with you guys, I hope to see you at another Canadian venue soon! wink

second sun: Thanks for the great interview. Toronto rocked, see you again soon!

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