This past Sunday was the conclusion of Seasons Fest in Vancouver. Project 46 headlined the final night at Celebrities Nightclub in front of a hometown crowd. They have taken the progressive house scene by storm and were ready to show the crowd why they made DJ Mag’s top 100 list. With a number of remixes, bootlegs, and mashups under their belt Project 46 had an endless supply of tracks that would please any fan of theirs to hear live. Whether it was their song ‘Collide’ or playing a remix of Steve Aoki & Linkin Park’s ‘A Light that Never Comes’ the audience jumped to every beat and sang along every time they had the chance. We had the opportunity to sit and chat with the guys before their set.
Fingers on Blast: Kinda curious since you’re from Waterloo and you’re from Vancouver. How did your collaboration come about?
Fingers on Blast: Just internet?
Ryan: Well not really. It wasn’t really internet. It was a mutual acquaintance that introduced us.
Fingers on Blast: Was it somebody that you knew from Vancouver or from Waterloo?
Ryan: It was actually a patron from Beta. He was kinda checking out what I was doing and checking out Thomas. I was playing a dj set at Beta [Waterloo] and played a mashup that Thomas had made. “That’s the guy’s mashup!!” So I decided to call him. I called him and he sent me a track he was working on, a bootleg. We should do this and we should do this differently. That was like the first type of project we worked together. And we just kept working on it.
Fingers on Blast: Now is your home base Vancouver and Waterloo?
Ryan: Well home base is a relative term right now because we are never really home.
Thomas: It’s more like 30000 feet
Ryan: We are in the air more than we are in our house.
Fingers on Blast: How do you guys stay grounded since you spend a lot of time on the road
Thomas: With both feet. We have hobbies and I do a lot of golfing and exercise.
Ryan: It is hard when you are always traveling. It’s not all about being grounded. The actual process keeps your grounded. It’s a grind.
Thomas: The other thing too is not that you’re hopelessly travelling. You have goals. It’s professional. You’re not haphazardly flying around. You have a system.
Fingers on Blast: I’ve read interviews where you’ve had a musical background [Thomas]
Thomas: I’ve been in music since I was singing in the shower at 4 years old.
Fingers on Blast: And for you it was just something that you enjoyed the DJ aspect
Ryan: I was deejaying before anything in music. I downloaded FL and kinda screwing around. Thomas is more musical. He plays guitar and sings. He’s very musical and moderately talented and it’s taught us a lot.
Fingers on Blast: You’ve worked with a lot of artists recently like Laidback Luke and Kaskade. Is there anyone you’d like to work with?
Thomas: I always say for that question that I’d love to work with Red Hot Chili Peppers or like an alternative band. Whether they would be down for it or not, I don’t know.
Ryan: I mean I always like maybe like Alesso or Calvin Harris or similar type music. It would be cool to go through the process with them because they are doing a very similar thing to us at a higher level.
Thomas: It would be cool to see how our process would complement each other
Ryan: I’d hope that most people you work with teach a lot so we learn stuff, especially if you’re in a studio with people. When we first started producing one of our first collaborations that never came out was with the producer Adam K. He taught us a load in the week we were with him. Every time you’re in the studio with somebody else you’re going to learn something.
Fingers on Blast: Now growing up, was it that rock side that influenced your love of music?
Thomas: Ya. Obviously it was alternative, John Mayer, Rise Against, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Green Day, Metallica, Iron Maiden.
Fingers on Blast: Is that something off day you’d be listening to?
Thomas: For fun it’s something we would to ya. We’d listen to tech house or rock or stuff for fun. We stay true to our Project 46 sound.
Ryan: When we are making a Project 46 song we are in a different mindset than when you’re in artist mode. Thomas has been doing this deep tech stuff lately for fun. It’s like an artist mode just having fun. But when we are doing a Project 46 song sometimes you need to put yourself in that mindset. Our team is also business orientated and stay true to our fans.
Thomas: Our process is like we try to take a large spectrum and then focus it.
Ryan: Try to bring something new to bring into what fits in the progressive house scene.
Fingers on Blast: Anywhere you’d like to tour and travel to that you haven’t been to yet?
Ryan: Australia. We’ve both been to Australia but haven’t toured there.
Thomas: We both want to go to Australia,
Ryan: I want to go to Thailand. Hawaii is another place. There are a lot of places. We’re going to South Africa soon.
Fingers on Blast: I’m sure the travel schedule can get to you. You kind of have to reset yourself after traveling. I know for yourself [Thomas] it’s golfing. What is your one thing you do to cleanse your palette after traveling?
Thomas: For me it’s actually exercise. I just need half an hour in the gym. Golf is related to that. I’ve always been physically active. I used to do mountain biking, camping, fishing. Some of the best inspiration has been in the shower after a golf session. Now that we have such an intense travel schedule we don’t have time for that. We find it in different ways. You find it by peace of mind.
Ryan: Shows like this too. He’s at home. We’re here and it’s sort of a time out even though we’re playing a show. We’re around friends.
Fingers on Blast: Random question: Most artists have one album that does it for them. Do you guys have one?
Ryan: One of my favorite albums of all time is a Collective Soul album. The first album I purchased was Bryan Adams Waking Up the Neighbours.
Thomas: Green Day album.
If you were ever curious about how the house music scene has grown into the mainstream, all you would need to do is see Project 46 live. The energy and enthusiasm displayed would make any new fan of EDM want to jump into the crowd and dance the night away. With a strong work ethic and passion for the music, Project 46 is sure to be around the long haul.
Interview by DJ Kid A