Q: Who would you consider as some of your influences both musical, and non-musical?
Thelem: Well I try and draw influences from lots of different things. So musical wise I try not to draw from one specific genre, or one specific artist or sound. So I might try and draw influences say from like hip-hop stuff, grime, trap, dubstep, and the last couple of years try and incorporate lots of different styles into one sound. Non-musical wise, that's tough, I guess non-musical wise I try and take influence from a lot of films, so when I go to cinema I'll always be listening to sound design in films or kind of like how their doing stuff like the effects their using, stuff like that. So I guess film is kind of a big influence to be honest. As far as artists, there's too many too mention. So many artists I try and draw influence from.
Q: We were wondering about the future direction of your music, because we noticed when it first came out it was more dubstep, and now it's moving more towards bass in general...
Thelem: Yeah, well again, it's like drawing influences from that but also incorporating it with the UK sound. The dubstep and UK grime sound, with the American kind of bass music sound, to try and kind of combine a bit of both. It's really cool actually, because a lot of people in the UK haven't heard like the American bass music kind of trappy sound I guess. It's really exciting because when I play those tunes for producers over here for example Bleep Bloop, or people like that, some of them are really open to it. And it's cool to see that it works really well with the UK sound as well. So, it's a good direction, and I think that's the way it's kind of going, it's more hybrid, rather then solely dubstep or solely this. It's just like a hybrid of sounds, and I think that's the direction I'm aiming for.
Q: How did you discover dubstep?
Thelem: I discovered dubstep through my mate Tom. A guy I was living with, he was heavily into drum and bass, and he had been into dubstep a while, since like the beginning of it. And he showed me it in his room, we had a little sound system in his room, and we played tunes. And he took me to my first dubstep night as well, and yeah, first time I heard it on a proper system, I had never heard a system like that, or bass like that, so I actually instantly fell in love I wanted to go out the following night.
It's kind of like that with dubstep...
Thelem: It really resonated with me for some reason. Growing up I was really into hip hop. And some of the first tunes my mate showed me was Loefah. And I think his earlier beats were actually quite hip-hop influenced, just the grooves of them were quite hip-hoppy in a way. And when I heard them on a system I instantly fell in love with them.
Q: What made you decide to become a producer/DJ?
Thelem: I didn't really kind of decide that I wanted to be a producer and a DJ. It was like, I got into the music, and then I used to watch my mate make tunes in his room, and I kind of just wanted to have a go. And then once I got into it, I fell in love with making tunes. But when I started it was never my intention, or my goal to be like right I'm going to be a producer, I'm going to be a DJ. It just kind of happened kind of naturally. Like the more I did it, the more I got into it, I started sending my tunes about, and it was just kind of like a natural transition, rather then kind of being like I want to be a producer and a DJ. It just kind of happened naturally.
Q: What advice would you have for young producers and DJs who might be considering making a career out of music?
Thelem: Always do it for the love and the fun, of course. Like, personally I don't think it will always turn out the best if your kind of going in their with the intentions of trying to be a superstar DJ or make loads of money at it. Their isn't much money in it really, unless your doing like I don't know like the superstar level, maybe then. But I guess, keep it for the fun, and the love really. As long as your having fun, that's the main importance. Because when your doing it for the money, it's not going to work out as well.
Q: How do you achieve the ethereal, otherworldly quality of some of your music?
Thelem: I think that might be to do with the samples I use, and the way I make sounds. I use a lot of granular synthesis. It's kind of like almost 50-50, fifty percent sample based, fifty percent sythesizers and stuff like that. A lot of the kind of granular synthesis I use, has a weird tone and a weird feel to it. And I think, the last couple years, all the weird kind of sounds I've been using in my tunes, I think that's really kind of helped build my sound and the character of my tunes.
Q: What are some of your favorite styles outside of dubstep or grime?
Thelem: Hip-hop, like I was saying I kind of grew up on hip-hop, and I've actually got really back into recently. And trap stuff, as much as a bad word that is, some trap tunes, their so creative man. They use some really cool sounds, and they're really free in the sounds that they use, a non-specific sound set, and that's kind of really inspirational, like yeah hear what they use, and it's kind of like I can use whatever I want, not just this palette of sounds.
Q: If you could collab with anyone, who would it be?
Thelem: I'd have to say, way out of my league, but probably Amon Tobin. If I could collab with anyone that would probably be the first.
Q: Name a few artists we should keep an eye on.
Thelem: I'd say artist wise, no specific order, Soloman, Commodo, Eva 808 from Sweden, she's doing some cool stuff. Tsuruda I think his music is amazing. Bleep Bloop, he's really sick. Mesck, Sleeper.
Q: Sub.mission's .mission is moving people through sound, what is your mission?
Thelem: What is my mission? My mission is, to make music that I like I guess, and hopefully other people will like it is as well. I get them dancing in the club, nothing makes me happier then when I play a new tune, or another DJ plays a new tune of mine, the reaction, people love it in the club, that's a great feeling to me. So I guess my mission is to make music that I love, and hopefully other people love it as well.