Fresh off the release of his latest single ‘Wasting Time’, Kallaghan joins us to provide a behind-the-scenes look and share the journey of creating his new track.
Photo credit: Kallaghan – Website
In this interview, we delve into the artist’s inspirations, techniques, and approach to music production. We explore the fusion of rock and bass that characterizes his style, the process of constructing the captivating soundscape, and the specific objectives he had in mind for ‘Wasting Time’.
EG: Hi Kallaghan, how are you? Congrats on the release of ‘Wasting Time’!
Kallaghan: Bonjour! I’m doing great! Thank you!
EG: To begin, can you walk us through the production process of this new track?
Kallaghan: I’m all about that rock and bass vibe. Usually, I start things off with a riff and then mix in the beat and different lead elements to give it a cool, groovy, and choppy feel. I aimed to mix a heavy bass line with a breakbeat drum pattern to give the drums a different vibe from the upbeat whistled melody gimmick. Once I threw in those 90s/early 2000s elements, I made sure to give it a modern twist.
EG: How did you go about building the soundscape?
Kallaghan: I had that very ‘Chris Lake’ idea of a bass, but I wanted to bring it to be the centerpiece on my drops. I also wanted the second drop to feel like a rock drop into a riff and still keep the elements and accents of the main bassline, that was the foundation.
EG: Did you have a specific goal in mind when you set out to create this track?
Kallaghan: My tunes usually carry a dark or sarcastic mood, reflecting my musical journey: from cooking up Nu-Metal riffs in my bedroom as a teen to dropping techno beats at raves. For this track, I wanted to blend a thick bass lead inspired by Disco bass leads from Chic! with the energy of UK breakbeat like Prodigy to craft a one-of-a-kind piece.
EG: What did you enjoy most about the production process?
Kallaghan: That walking-disco bass line. Makes me feel like a cyber-James Brown throwing his best shuffle on the floor (laughter).
“My tunes usually carry a dark or sarcastic mood, reflecting my musical journey”
EG: How would you say this new release epitomizes your signature sound?
Kallaghan: I’m a sucker for those infectious riffs and epic melodic twists, but I also get a kick out of the repetition of techno beats. My tracks usually ride on this deep, dark, spacey vibe, so when I dive into making music, it’s all about kick-starting the process with a killer riff to set the tone for that groovy and edgy feel.
EG: ‘Wasting Time’ features dark sonic details that create a hypnotic and intriguing energy to the track. Which elements would you say are important to creating this sound?
Kallaghan: It’s about creating the contrast between very wet melodic elements and super tight and dynamic elements. That whistle I made sounds like a flute is absolutely washed out in a plate. I also added a lot of reverb on my bass pads on the melodic progressions during the verses.
EG: Did you incorporate any new techniques or experiment with any new equipment during the production of ‘Wasting Time’?
Kallaghan: I used the Allen and Heath 12Q to record my Moog Sub 27. I love how compact and easy to use this interface is. That’s one of my latest “on the go” adds on. I also incorporated Vocal Synth 2, an absolute beast of a plugin.
EG: The track features a powerful and bold low end; how do you go about crafting such mighty-sounding basslines? Do you have any go-to techniques or favorite plugins and effects to achieve this?
Kallaghan: So, for the low-end section, I use Serum, two oscillators, keeping it simple with basic shapes and syncing them up. The higher octave got a touch of detuning for that extra stereo flavor. After that, I threw on some tube distortion in post, slapped on a high pass up to 950Hz, and dropped in Kickstart 2 on the 1/4 note just a smidge after the beat. You need to play with a bunch of sound clippers like Fire the clip by Acoustica Audio to get your “right” balance between kick and bass. Then all your toppers need to be EQ’d and filtered as much as possible to make all the room for the bass/kick. That’s the secret sauce right there!
EG: Did you face any challenges during the production of this new track?
Kallaghan: I wrote the beat and bass part pretty quickly, but I had to work a bit more on that whistle gimmick to keep it simple and redundant enough so that it stays stuck in your mind without getting too annoying, haha.
“The goal is to keep pushing the boundaries of my creativity”
EG: ‘Wasting Time’ comes as the flagship production for your upcoming live performance at the Exchange in Los Angeles. Are you able to tell us more about this performance? What can the crowd expect from your set?
Kallaghan: I’m excited about evolving my DJ sets into full-blown electronic music live shows. I’ve always crafted tracks with live performances in mind, and I view my DJ sets as actual stage performances. The goal is to keep pushing the boundaries of my creativity.
Kallaghan’s ‘Wasting Time’ is now available via Grail Records. Download here.