Published on April 26th, 2012 | by Ilenia Cangelosi0
EDM Insider Interviews Tritonal at Pacha NYC
After only three short years as a trance duo, American natives Chad Cisneros and Dave Reed have gone from being labeled ‘newcomers’, to top names in the trance and electronic music industry. They’ve made a name for themselves on major labels such an Armada, Flashover Recording and Anjunabeats, as well as their own label ‘Air Up There Recordings’ and they have found a comfortable spot on the DJ Mag Top 100 DJ’s List.
EDM Insider 1: Where did the name ‘Tritonal’ originate from?
Tritonal Dave: There’s actually a really cool story behind that. When we started getting into the whole collaboration we wanted to come up with a name. We came up with so many terrible names. We needed to find something that described us. We needed something that was very energetic and, you know.. musical. So we stumbled upon Tritonal. The triton is a diminished fifth of a piano and it also relates to an explosive, so there’s a little bit of us in there and there’s music in that; we were like this clicks, this works , this is cool.
EDM Insider 2: Trace back to the beginning: What are some of your most memorable moments when you were first discovered as staples in the trance community?
Tritonal Chad: Looking back, some of the coolest moments had to be opening for Above & Beyond and then holding up the vinyl copy of ‘Lights Over Austin’ which we signed to Anjunabeats, that was cool. That gig was in Austin, we played for our home crowd and it was like, we hadn’t made it yet, we weren’t touring yet. We were still hitting the streets lined up with promoters, but at the same time we had records on Flashover, Armada, etc. Another one was not even a year into our project and we had opened for Ferry Corsten in Austin and he was really, really gracious to us. We gave him a couple of tracks and he signed them the next day. I don’t know, three or four months later we were playing with him in LA at Vanguard for the Flashover Showcase. It was sold out and it was like our first BIG show, it was 2500 people rammed wall to wall in LA and it was amazing. We had such a good time. So yea, those are two of our very memorable moments during our first year.
EDM Insider 3: How does it feel going from newcomers, being newly introduced on ‘Trance Around the World’ and ‘A State of Trance’ radio shows, to becoming house-hold recognized names with your very own loyal following of “Tritonians’ in just three short years and having your own label?
Tritonal Dave: It feels rewarding, I mean we’ve done a lot, we’ve done like 15,000 hours of work in the studio, and not only that but reaching out and getting gigs. Chad would go online and try to find out who else to hit up. We’ve done a lot of work on all ends, I mean not just music is what I’m saying. Now what it boils down to, we’ve attracted so many people on so many levels around the world, it’s now developing into this really cool, ‘Tritonians unite’.
EDM Insider: It’s like an army.
Dave: We never would have thought that was going to happen. It’s like a very cool, very unique click that we have with our fans.
Chad: It’s really cool, they’re devoted, and we’re devoted.
EDM Insider 4: So how did you guys come to collaborate?
Tritonal Dave: It was an online thing. We met online; we were a couple of nerds. We met on an audio design forum. We started talking about a synthesizer, it’s called a ‘CI’, the thing came out, it was supposed to be amazing. It really was but at the same time it wasn’t. But the technology, I don’t want to get into the details, but the technicalities of it… it had problems.
Chad: And a big part of us on that forum, figuring out how the hell this thing worked properly, and through that we became friends. We shared tracks, became friends on IM. And listened to radio shows together, talked about what we led, what we didn’t like, and Dave eventually came down to Austin. We wrote a few tracks together, the synergy happened and Dave was blessed to have a family that supported him, that young, in making that move. When he came we were full time in the studio, and that was the beginning. And now it’s four years later…
EDM Insider: And it’s going wonderfully….
Tritonal: (With big smiles) Yeah….
EDM Insider 5: How do you try to differentiate yourselves from industry leaders like Armin van Buuren, Markus Schulz, and Above and Beyond who have been in the dance community for ten or more years? And how do you try to differentiate yourselves from constant flow of new artists in the EDM community?
Tritonal Chad: That’s actually a really good question because we’re already making the same beats, our rhythm is still always one, two, three, four….it’s all about vocals and melodies and hooks, and it even comes down to our image, what we look like, how we are on stage, things we do and how we interact with our fans.
Dave: I also think a big part of it is interaction too. Its like, how can you get everyone to be a part of you, where they can feel like they’re interacting with you and making a contribution to what you’re doing? And that is one of the biggest things that we’ve done a lot…
Chad: And another thing that makes us unique, you don’t hear the same Tritonal records and tracks over and over. It’s all weird and different, you can hear and tell its Tritonal because maybe the writer, the melodies, good vocals. We try to keep it weird. That’s the theme of Austin and that’s kind of our theme too. And going forward, differentiating ourselves… It’s tracks that stick out to you, when you hear it you know its a Tritonal record because there’s something about it that just doesn’t sound like anything else. We’re not gimmicky, we don’t have anything that we try to pull off like a hat, or something on stage, a suit or anything like that. We want our music to speak for itself and come across as classy. And have the fans devoted to the music and not some weird thing that were doing, does that make sense?
EDM Insider 6: Yes, absolutely. I know you don’t necessarily consider yourselves trance artists; You throw some electronic in there, a little of everything. How did you work together to develop your specific sound which is very great and very unique?
Tritonal: Laughs. In synchronicity, “That’s very hard.”
Dave: That’s funny because originally we were trance heads, that’s how it started. Like 138…full on Trance. We’ve gone from way back to now… it’s fair to call ourselves musicians.
Chad: We’re not settled to any one specific genre. You listen to our album, the sound is all different. We love that kind of stuff, it’s different. We want to step out a little. It shows that we are artists, like we were talking about earlier. Where that came from, that evolution wasn’t a conscious decision of us trying to be any one thing. It was like, us playing in clubs, playing all kinds of records trying to figure out what the hell we like to play and what we got a great reactions from, and combining those two things. We like this, they like this, let’s go with this. Yea, this works, we can all be happy with this. I think that’s where the club mixes really came from. It takes the melody of this track you love and it takes the vocals that you love, but it puts it into something like, cool. And early on, that just wasn’t the case. We would write tracks like ‘Walk With Me‘, and ‘Lights Over Austin‘, and All these songs…(Laughs.)
Dave: A lot of experimenting…..
Chad: Yea like, these songs are great to listen to, but they just…I can’t imagine playing those records on the floor now. You might chill out to them, but you don’t necessarily….
EDM Insider: It takes time and much development over the years, it’s a process.
Chad: “Yea, it is. That’s the point, right? I think that’s why we’re not so typical, it’s because we’re trying to keep it new, as something that works on the floor.”
EDM Insider 9: Your latest single alongside Ben Gold entitled “Apex” will be releasing on April 23rd. Where did the idea for this follow up track to your first collaboration “Slave” come from? How did you and Ben Gold begin producing together?
EDM Insider 10: How was your experience in being part of the two closing parties for ‘A State of Trance 550’, in both Miami and Den Bosch? How was each event different?
EDM Insider 11: You have produced tracks with several powerhouse vocalists such as Cristina Soto, Jeza, Jenry R., Fisher, and Meredish Call, as well as collaborated with artist Ben Gold. “Slave” was a chart topper and I don’t doubt that “Apex” will be as well. What can you tell us about your experience doing collaboration work and what can we expect in the near future?
Tritonal Chad: Well, it’s always awesome with Cristina because she lives in Austin. And because, we’re great friends so we can be like (jokingly) ‘Cristina… That was horrible.’ Laughs. It was harder with some of the other ones, like with the collaborations made online like with Fisher and Jenry R., because they’re in another state and another city, and we’re having to communicate back and forth and send samples back and forth, it was more hands on.
Dave: It was a little more difficult, communicating with them online…it was different.
Chad: Each collaboration was different. With Fisher, she has her husband who is an esteemed and established writer and the communication went through him. With Jenry R., we paid for him to get in the studio. Meredith was in Austin, so that was really cool. Jeza was in Hong Kong when she wrote her lyrics; she would write them on the laptop and we would send them back and forth, and then she finally went to the studio and laid them down. It’s really different with every person. We’re going to try to do some different stuff going forward, not as typical as we’ve done in the past. We’re going to try and do some stuff with vocalist that we HAVEN’T worked with because we always want to keep it moving forward and keep it fresh. We don’t just want to hag out the same stuff. Keep it Fresh.
EDM Insider: Well we are very excited for the remix album and all that Tritonal has in store for us in the future… I look forward to seeing you guys at Pacha later tonight.
Interview by: Ilenia Cangelosi
About the Author
Ilenia Cangelosi Ilenia Cangelosi is a native New Yorker with a passionate "MBA" in Electronic Dance Music. A long time connoisseur of dance music having been exposed to New York City nightlife at a young age, Ilenia loves everything EDM from Trance, Minimal, Techno, House, Drum&Bass and all things world festivals. Follow Ilenia (@miSziLenia) on Twitter & Instagram to stay up to date on the latest & greatest in all things EDM!