A trip to the place beyond time

Tell us about yourself and your music

My name is Fred and I am the one-man army behind Gizm0. I am responsible for writing, arranging, mixing, and mastering all songs. I also design artwork, videos, I orchestrate ads, social media and I fetch my own coffee.
I was fascinated by music from a very early age. Played clarinet in the high school band. Bought my first synthesizer when I was 16. In the early nineties, I learned bass and joined a band composing original material. At that point, I discovered how much fun it could be to play live in front of an audience. We got some airplay on college radio but did not get signed by a record company. A few years later, I joined a The Cure tribute band and later a cover band with my original guitarist, finally getting back on playing keys. We have been playing Montreal major scenes and festivals for the past 15 years.
I enjoy playing live, but I felt something was missing. I started to feel this need to try writing my own stuff, taking full responsibility for what would work and what would be not so great. I gave myself the goal to publish the material on streaming platforms to force me to complete songs with the appropriate level of polishing from the mixing and mastering angle, but also from the music writing and sound design perspective. Needless to say, I have learned a lot and still am learning every day.

Talk to us more about your latest release

Sleepingdiving is a made-up word that I came up with based on skydiving. I was trying to get an image of getting to bed and falling in a half-awake/half-asleep dream world. The theme would be escaping reality through dreaming.

What inspired you to write this release?

I guess it reflects the mood I have been in past months with the Covid-19 reality. In Montreal, where I live, social restrictions have been quite strong so I have been spending most of my time home, feeling a need to dream and escape this Groundhog Day reality. I miss playing shows and traveling to other countries.

Describe the writing and recording process

I work a lot by trial and error. I will start developing an idea that I feel excited about until I exhaust the excitement or unlock the potential to expand on it. A Landscape of Skyscrapers was the first song that I liked enough to complete and include on the EP. But it is true when I completed Sleepdiving that I got the direction for the EP (and a title track!). At that point, I realized I needed an introduction song so I wrote a simple electric piano melody that became the central point for The Place Beyond Time. At that point, all that was missing was a proper conclusion to the album. I was very happy with the fourth and final song called Departure Time. The experience is over, got to get back to the real world even if a voice is asking: “Can you just stay?”

The one thing that helped the recording process is that I tried to separate the composer and mixing engineer roles as much as possible. When I focused on musical elements and melodies, I tried to refrain from thinking too much about EQ or compression. I find that jumping from one role to the other too often can be counterproductive when developing material.

Any plans to release a video?

Any plans to hit the road?

I would love to perform my music in front of a live audience. I hope to get the chance to open for bigger acts in the electronic scene. At this moment, all venues are closed so there is no opportunity. But I am currently experimenting with keyboard controllers and some software to prepare for a show where I will play some portions live.

As an indie artist, how do you brand yourself and your music to stand out from the rest of the artists out there?

I find it very cool that you can release your own material in this day and age. You don’t need to get signed by a label first. However, it also makes it difficult to stand out in the crowd. For this release, I have reached out to some bloggers who like what I write, and that included my music on Spotify playlists. I also created 30 seconds of videos to promote my upcoming release on Facebook and Instagram. The ads have generated some interest and have helped me get more streams. I have also reached out to Artist PR to get some help on promotion (Press Release, proper bio, etc.)

Who have you been listening to lately?

Kidnap is the artist that got me interested in this music genre. His work is diverse but very personal at the same time. He usually includes samples of his own voice in his work and is adamant about making your work be uniquely yours. Took a masterclass with him. Very interesting artist.

Ben Böhmer is another music producer that I look up to. I love how well-crafted every portion of is music is. I also identify with the fact that he is a musician that performs portions of his music live, and not a DJ. This is exactly what I would like to do for live performances.

Who are your biggest influences?

My electronic music influences go way back to masters like Tangerine Dream and Jean-Michel Jarre.  But I also feel inspired by movie directors like David Lynch, Christopher Nolan, and Denis Villeneuve. A secret dream of mine would be to hear my music used in a movie.

Tell us about your passions

I love good stories in all forms: video games, books, movies, etc. I like to think that there is a cinematographic quality to what I write. I like music that makes you travel, which can take you elsewhere and that resonates with the listener’s emotions.

What else is happening next in your world?

I am looking forward to live venues presenting shows to reopen.



Thanks for an awesome interview, Gizm0



Connect with Gizm0

Website: https://www.facebook.com/Gizm0MusicFacebook: https://www.facebook.com/Gizm0MusicInstagram: https://www.instagram.com/gizm0_music/Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCSuA6IWgB2rli7BNG-VkYHgSoundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/gizm0_music

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