Name: Alexandre Corchia aka Trudge
Occupations: Producer, DJ
Current event: No More Motivation, Alexandre Corchia's debut full-length album under his Trudge alias, is out via Lobster Theremin.
Recommendations: I would like to mention two albums that marked me a lot: Ohms by Deftones. And Portrait With Firewood by Djrum.
If you enjoyed this interview with Alexandre Corchia aka Trudge and would like to know more about his work and music, visit him on Instagram, Facebook, twitter, and Soundcloud.
When did you start writing/producing/playing music and what or who were your early passions and influences? What was it about music and/or sound that drew you to it?
I started to get interested in music production quite late, at the age of 20. I started DJing before that, which wasn’t a success to be honest!
What led me to it was probably the parties I went to at that time. I listened to a lot of dubstep and drum n bass and I think that's reflected in the way I arrange my tracks now.
Some people experience intense emotion when listening to music, others see colours or shapes. What is your own listening experience like and how does it influence your approach to music?
Music has always been a powerful vector of emotions in my life. It is the reflection of my current mood.
The crazy thing is that, depending on how I'm feeling in my life, there are styles of music that I'll like or not. So thanks to this I've been able to get into a lot of different styles.
That's probably why I've always been versatile in production too. I've never been satisfied with staying in one specific box.
How would you describe your development as an artist in terms of interests and challenges, searching for a personal voice, as well as breakthroughs?
I always considered music as something secondary in my life. As a passion. Something I would do alongside another profession. But I gradually understood that if I wanted to really invest myself in it, it would take me a lot of time. That's why I decided to dedicate myself 100% to it a few months ago.
And it's really nice to be able to spend all your days on it. Of course, you have to deal with the lack of inspiration and learn to relate. But it taught me a lot about myself and my ability to face some problems in music that I had a bad habit of putting aside by lack of rigor.
Tell me a bit about your sense of identity and how it influences both your preferences as a listener and your creativity as an artist, please.
For me it's very important to be able to stand out in an industry that is saturated with so many artists. The more you stand out from all this, the more the listeners will be able to pay more attention to what the artist will produce and remain faithful.
I think that today many artists have lost this concept of identity and tend absolutely to make something that sells under the pretext that it is popular with the majority of people
What, would you say, are the key ideas behind your approach to music and art?
Music has always been a way for me to express strong emotions. I have never been very talkative and I am rather introverted by nature. So it has helped me to express myself fully in another way than talking.
My tracks are therefore mostly based on emotions felt at the time I produced them.
How would you describe your views on topics like originality and innovation versus perfection and timelessness in music? Are you interested in a “music of the future” or “continuing a tradition”?
It is very difficult to make music that will last in time and I think that few people manage to do it.
But everyone knows those artists like Aphex Twin or Telefon Tel Aviv to name a few, who managed with their own style to make tracks that were at that time avant-garde and that today have not aged at all. They probably inspired me in my research for new sounds.
Over the course of your development, what have been your most important instruments and tools - and what are the most promising strategies for working with them?
I think I tried too many things in my production process ...
I first thought that the instruments would help me to be more productive. So I bought a lot (too many) synthesizers that I ended up selling because I don't use them or not much. Same thing for drum machines. 606, 707, 909 ... I tried almost everything!
Today I'm back to the classic duo of my beginnings: Ableton Live and headphones. I understood that with my way of producing all that was not compatible at all. And I really like my minimalism, it helps me to feel comfortable in my productivity.
Take us through a day in your life, from a possible morning routine through to your work, please.
Every day is really different and I have no real routine! But if I could sum it up it would go like this:
I wake up in the morning looking at the news of the day, on Twitter. I also like to check out what's new on Soundcloud. So I spend a long time listening to a lot of tracks. I also try to listen to the new stuff on Spotify. This platform is not really appreciated in the underground music scene because it is true that it pays the artists very badly. But I have discovered so many tracks through Spotify that I am now very attached to it.
Then after lunch I either go for a walk near my house or I spend my afternoon producing. If it's the latter, I don't take a break until the evening. In the evening I really try to get away from work and watch a show or a movie. It's not very original, but I think everyone needs to get away from it all in the evening.
Then if I'm lucky (or unlucky if you look at it from the point of view of my sleep) I get a lot of inspiration in the evening quite late. So sometimes I can go back to making music after all that.
Could you describe your creative process on the basis of a piece, live performance or album that’s particularly dear to you, please?
Often the idea for a track comes to me by listening to others. I come across an album that inspires me a lot and it gives me a strong desire to produce. I start from similar bases to what I listen to and it very often leads me to new and different things.
But it's true that my inspiration is really based on my listening. This way of doing things comes from the fact that I learned to make music in that way. I practiced technically by reproducing tracks that I liked. I have since developed my own style which is based on all my influences.
Listening can be both a solitary and a communal activity. Likewise, creating music can be private or collaborative. Can you talk about your preferences in this regard and how these constellations influence creative results?
I have never been good at making music with someone else. I tried it a few times, it's really not something I'm comfortable with because I tend to be too picky and demanding with myself and I don't like to impose it on others.
So for me it's a very personal thing. Just like listening to music for that matter. On the other hand it is very important for me to share music I like.
How do your work and your creativity relate to the world and what is the role of music in society?
Music has this strong power to bring people together. I like to think that my music has done the same thing and that it may have helped to bring people together.
Musical tastes are so varied that it's bound to touch you when you find someone who is musically similar to you.
Art can be a way of dealing with the big topics in life: Life, loss, death, love, pain, and many more. In which way and on which occasions has music – both your own or that of others - contributed to your understanding of these questions?
I realized recently that my music was really influenced by the events I experienced in my life. If they are directly linked to emotions, they will necessarily be transcribed through the music I produce.
My album No More Motivation takes an important part of this process because it expresses the difficulties of life that I have lived through in the last years. It was for me the best way to pay tribute to all of this
There seems to be increasing interest in a functional, “rational” and scientific approach to music. How do you see the connection between music and science and what can these two fields reveal about each other?
I'm not sure I'm the best to answer this question because for me music has always been something extremely emotional. And it is driven almost entirely by that. But I totally understand this other approach of the music which seems to me really interesting!
It is true that music and sounds are just the result of vibrations that directly reach our ear and our brain. Just thinking about this I imagine that there is a lot of experimentation to be done on this!
Creativity can reach many different corners of our lives. Do you feel as though writing or performing a piece of music is inherently different from something like making a great cup of coffee? What do you express through music that you couldn’t or wouldn’t in more ‘mundane’ tasks?
Being really introverted and not very sociable, music has always helped me to express what was deep inside of me, and has quickly turned into something almost essential for me. Without it, there are probably a lot of people I would never have met or talked to, which would have been a shame, honestly ...
And that, I think, a cup of coffee can't give!
Music is vibration in the air, captured by our ear drums. From your perspective as a creator and listener, do you have an explanation how it able to transmit such diverse and potentially deep messages?
In the same way as dreams, human beings have always been fascinated by interpreting simple things from nature and transforming them into something more like themselves. Namely in the case of music, emotions, everyday feelings. Memories too.
Music is like moments engraved forever in the brain. All this can be explained in a scientific way. But I like to be naive and prefer not to know what to do.