FOSSA

by the partae
What is your name and role within FOSSA? Hey! I’m Nick, and I compose, produce and perform synths and bass with Fossa.  How did you first start playing music? I started playing music back in primary school with piano and the recorder, before moving on to clarinet and sax in my later school years. Having had an upbringing with jazz music, I followed this path to study jazz saxophone at uni, before more recently diving into the realms of production and syntheses which brought me to creating Fossa in 2017. How did the band form? Fossa was initially a bedroom project taking huge inspiration from Tycho’s album, Epoch, as well as Bonobo’s Black Sands, and our debut EP, Bamboo, almost never saw the light of day. Following on from some tough curveballs that life threw at me and my partner, and some positive words of encouragement, I finally took the material it to Greenmount Studios in Leeds to track all the parts. At this point it was simply a studio band, but when we heard the final mix, we knew we had to turn it into a live project.  What's been happening recently? We had a good run in 2018, playing our first headline show, supporting Australian band Cub Sport, and taking stage at our first festival, Beat-Herder. We have put out two singles, 53rd Street and Tamar, and have recently just finished another week in the studio with producer Tom Orrell, tracking some brand-new material. We hope to have another single out by the end of the year.  I hear that you've just been in the studio recording three new tracks of which you plan to release a double single and a single within the next 6 months or so, what influenced the sound and songwriting for these tracks? These new tracks have definitely taken a different sonic path to our previous releases. I’ve learnt a lot more about synthesis in the past year, and this music definitely demonstrates that. It’s darker and more progressive in a more electronic sense than before. I’ve certainly taken a lot of influence from some of the incredible music that’s been released in the last couple of years by Floating Points, Jon Hopkins, Bonobo, Flying Lotus, to name a few.  How did you go about writing the music? I’m an Ableton nerd through and through, so that’s where nearly every idea starts. I’ve tried asking myself this question many times in the past actually, and have never landed on a specific method or routine. Sometimes I’ll have a melodic idea, or bass line, sometimes a drum groove in mind, and I’ll transcribe it to the DAW. I usually know within an hour if the idea is a good one and whether to pursue it though, and if I do, the rest kind of comes naturally through experimentation and more often than not, good luck with pressing buttons and twisting knobs!  Where and when did you record and who with? Everything that’s out at the moment has been recorded at Greenmount Studios in Leeds by our good friend Lee Smith. Weirdly enough, we always tend to get in the studio in the autumn, with our Bamboo EP being recorded in September 2017, our singles 53rd Street and Tamar in October 2018, and our most recent session being a few weeks ago, in September 19. We took our latest studio venture to a new studio however, The Nave, where it was captured by long-time university friend, Tom Orrell. We don’t have the final mixes back yet, but the first drafts are sounding incredible.  How did you approach the recording process? This time we did things very differently. Previously, we’ve gone in, recorded drums as a whole kit (why wouldn’t you right?) and gone from there. This time, we wanted a more electronic sound to the tracks, but without losing Tom Higham’s (drummer) awesome feel. We therefore went about recording each part of the drum kit in a separate take, which isolated the sound, and allowed us to manipulate the wave form as you would when sampling for example. The Nave studio has an incredible synth room which we had a lot of fun in as well, sending our parts through and experimenting with new sounds to the ones I initially came in with.  What programs/instruments did you use to record? Ableton all the way. A lot of my syntheses comes from a great synth plugin called Serum, amongst many others, and used a hardware Moog for a lot of the bass. The drum kit is all live, played by the ridiculous Tom Higham.  Who are you listening to at the moment? I’ve been pretty obsessed with Floating points recently, his new stuff is really opening my eyes to a lot of things in the electronic world. I’ve always been a Bonobo fan, and have also gone deep into the Jon Hopkins rabbit hole as well. All of these guys put on an incredible live show as well, which has always been a focus of mine, and is probably why they’ve ended up being such influences for my recent works.  What do you like to do away from music? I love to cook. It really relaxes me and I take a lot from the creativity of it as well. I also love to travel as much as possible, and It’s been a dream of mine for many years to own a taco truck and travel the world in it! What's planned for the remainder of 2019 going into 2020? We have one show left in 2019, headlining a local venue called The Lending Room, alongside our good Leeds friends, Slow Loris (check them out!). We’re going to put out a new single as well, as well as a couple more at the beginning of 2020!  Favourite food and place to hangout? Has to be Mexican. Tacos for days. I’m not really one for going 'out out' that much anymore, but really enjoy the company of friends at home or a good local pub!  https://www.facebook.com/fossamusicuk

What is your name and role within FOSSA?

Hey! I’m Nick, and I compose, produce and perform synths and bass with Fossa. 

How did you first start playing music?

I started playing music back in primary school with piano and the recorder, before moving on to clarinet and sax in my later school years. Having had an upbringing with jazz music, I followed this path to study jazz saxophone at uni, before more recently diving into the realms of production and syntheses which brought me to creating Fossa in 2017.

How did the band form?

Fossa was initially a bedroom project taking huge inspiration from Tycho’s album, Epoch, as well as Bonobo’s Black Sands, and our debut EP, Bamboo, almost never saw the light of day. Following on from some tough curveballs that life threw at me and my partner, and some positive words of encouragement, I finally took the material it to Greenmount Studios in Leeds to track all the parts. At this point it was simply a studio band, but when we heard the final mix, we knew we had to turn it into a live project. 

What’s been happening recently?

We had a good run in 2018, playing our first headline show, supporting Australian band Cub Sport, and taking stage at our first festival, Beat-Herder. We have put out two singles, 53rd Street and Tamar, and have recently just finished another week in the studio with producer Tom Orrell, tracking some brand-new material. We hope to have another single out by the end of the year. 

I hear that you’ve just been in the studio recording three new tracks of which you plan to release a double single and a single within the next 6 months or so, what influenced the sound and songwriting for these tracks?

These new tracks have definitely taken a different sonic path to our previous releases. I’ve learnt a lot more about synthesis in the past year, and this music definitely demonstrates that. It’s darker and more progressive in a more electronic sense than before. I’ve certainly taken a lot of influence from some of the incredible music that’s been released in the last couple of years by Floating Points, Jon Hopkins, Bonobo, Flying Lotus, to name a few. 

How did you go about writing the music?

I’m an Ableton nerd through and through, so that’s where nearly every idea starts. I’ve tried asking myself this question many times in the past actually, and have never landed on a specific method or routine. Sometimes I’ll have a melodic idea, or bass line, sometimes a drum groove in mind, and I’ll transcribe it to the DAW. I usually know within an hour if the idea is a good one and whether to pursue it though, and if I do, the rest kind of comes naturally through experimentation and more often than not, good luck with pressing buttons and twisting knobs! 

Where and when did you record and who with?

Everything that’s out at the moment has been recorded at Greenmount Studios in Leeds by our good friend Lee Smith. Weirdly enough, we always tend to get in the studio in the autumn, with our Bamboo EP being recorded in September 2017, our singles 53rd Street and Tamar in October 2018, and our most recent session being a few weeks ago, in September 19. We took our latest studio venture to a new studio however, The Nave, where it was captured by long-time university friend, Tom Orrell. We don’t have the final mixes back yet, but the first drafts are sounding incredible. 

How did you approach the recording process?

This time we did things very differently. Previously, we’ve gone in, recorded drums as a whole kit (why wouldn’t you right?) and gone from there. This time, we wanted a more electronic sound to the tracks, but without losing Tom Higham’s (drummer) awesome feel. We therefore went about recording each part of the drum kit in a separate take, which isolated the sound, and allowed us to manipulate the wave form as you would when sampling for example. The Nave studio has an incredible synth room which we had a lot of fun in as well, sending our parts through and experimenting with new sounds to the ones I initially came in with. 

What programs/instruments did you use to record?

Ableton all the way. A lot of my syntheses comes from a great synth plugin called Serum, amongst many others, and used a hardware Moog for a lot of the bass. The drum kit is all live, played by the ridiculous Tom Higham. 

Who are you listening to at the moment?

I’ve been pretty obsessed with Floating points recently, his new stuff is really opening my eyes to a lot of things in the electronic world. I’ve always been a Bonobo fan, and have also gone deep into the Jon Hopkins rabbit hole as well. All of these guys put on an incredible live show as well, which has always been a focus of mine, and is probably why they’ve ended up being such influences for my recent works. 

What do you like to do away from music?

I love to cook. It really relaxes me and I take a lot from the creativity of it as well. I also love to travel as much as possible, and It’s been a dream of mine for many years to own a taco truck and travel the world in it!

What’s planned for the remainder of 2019 going into 2020?

We have one show left in 2019, headlining a local venue called The Lending Room, alongside our good Leeds friends, Slow Loris (check them out!). We’re going to put out a new single as well, as well as a couple more at the beginning of 2020! 

Favourite food and place to hangout?

Has to be Mexican. Tacos for days. I’m not really one for going ‘out out’ that much anymore, but really enjoy the company of friends at home or a good local pub! 

https://www.facebook.com/fossamusicuk

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