Perhaps the most rewarding thing about being involved with the chipmusic scene is seeing new talent emerge from the fold, young minds inspired by those that came before them and ready to prove themselves worthy. Under his new alias, Nanode, my great friend Sam Sher has done exactly that with Loopy. I was lucky enough to sit down with Sam for an interview, so press play on the album and enjoy as we look inside the mind of a promising up-and-comer:
Ben: What inspired you to join the chipmusic scene?
Sam: A little known artist by the name of Necrophageon III came along on my recommended videos one day on YouTube– specifically the song Cast Adrift (On the Sea of Time)— and I was just completely in awe that someone was making music on a damn NES! I thought, “Hey, why the fuck not?” and I started my first project Metatronaut. The rest is history, as they say!
Why did you use Nanoloop this time around?
Famitracker and LSDj were mixed bags for me. It was a great place to start, as I got my bearings in sound design in LSDj, and my composition in Fami, but I just wasn’t where I wanted to be. Even though I had the basics of composing down, I was certainly not the best, and I just didn’t have anything that really stood out among the crowd of newcomers. I decided that Nanoloop would be a good change of pace and to be quite honest, it may be my number one pick for chiptune DAW.
The one good thing about Nano is that it taught me why I wasn’t doing well in LSDj or Fami, and I’ve finally gotten to a point where I feel like, “Yeah, this is where I want my music to be!” In short, Nanoloop is a breath of fresh air.
So, no plans to return to LSDj?
Oh, heck no! As much as I’m a fan of Nano, I still can’t say no to LSDj. I’m working on an LSDj EP that will probably be out next summer! I can’t say much more than that though ;)
Does Loopy have an underlying theme or inspiration?
The first time I heard about Nano was through Out-House #12 by Henry Homesweet. The last seven minutes are possibly my favorite of any Nanoloop producer’s music. I’m still heavily inspired by artists such as Auxcide (a HUGE inspiration for Skybound) and Boaconstructor (another big inspiration for Pulsar and Virgo). And generally, the entire time I made the album, I was just inspired by the community I’m involved in as a whole. Everyone is just here to have a great time, and I want to contribute to that good time!
You mentioned Boa, who makes very dancey music, and that style definitely comes through on the album. What is your opinion of non-chip EDM as it stands?
2. Teenage Engineering’s OP-1, which I’m getting soon.
‘Nuff said. However, if I had to expand on that, I find it VERY inspiring. Let’s face it, not everything can be done in say, Nanoloop or LSDj, sometimes you just gotta open Ableton and mess around! I’ve been working on small WIP’s of EDM and Glitch-Hop style music and it’s just so much fun. So yes, I adore traditional EDM.
Who are your favorite chip artists right now? Besides me, of course.
Trey Frey, Cheapshot, Boaconstructor, and Knife City. (You were gonna go here.)
You flatter me! The feeling is mutual, my friend. Any “big picture” plans for the future?
I love music a LOT, and although I’d love to do it for a living, I don’t think it would be easy for me. I’m planning on the next best thing, though: studying to become an electronic engineer in music technology! I really want to work for companies like KORG, AKAI, and especially Teenage Engineering.
If you could say one thing to a newcomer considering getting into chipmusic, what would it be?
PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE! You’ll start off thinking, “Hey! I can be next level shit!” But unless you’re Trey Frey’s long lost brother, you’re not going to be great when you start. Sometimes you’ll just want to quit and never touch a Game Boy again, but the magic of chipmusic is that you keep trying, you keep innovating, and one day you’ll find something that makes you stand out. I still don’t have a definite style, but I’m still learning, and I’m still trying. Keep at it and you’ll have a great chance at being the next big thing!
In other words: Holding a Game Boy in your hand for two seconds and making a square wave isn’t going to make you easily popular. You gotta work for it.
Now for the most important question of all: What’s your favorite Eevee-lution?
It’s gotta be Umbreon.
You can grab Loopy right now on Bandcamp name-your-price, and I highly recommend tossing Sam some cash for his hard work and quality results. You can also follow Nanode on Soundcloud and Twitter.