A chat with Tritonal (Interview)

The duo known as Tritonal will be making their way back to Calgary this weekend to join Laidback Luke, tyDi, Tujamo, and more at the BMO Centre this Friday (Halloween) for Cemetery of Sound. The guys have been busy with the release of their Metamorphic III EP release, a recent massive hit with Paris Blohm called "Colors", and a brand new album on the way. I managed to talk to them while they were working on new tracks in their studio and we managed to cover a lot of ground, enjoy: 

1. Who are Tritonal?

Tritonal (Dave and Chad): First off, the definition of “Triton” is a diminished fifth step on a piano and Tritonal also relates to an explosive with 80% TNT. When we can came upon the name Chad and I thought it was described really who we are as individuals and act in our daily lives.

2. What kind of style do you guys play?

I don't know that it's necessarily one style, but we keep it pretty energetic, melodic, sometimes emotional and sometimes full-on. It's a lot of different things.

3. Tritonal have undergone a transformation from mostly trance to almost anything now. How deliberate was this move? Was it a natural progression or were you just sick of sticking to one genre?

I don't know if it was very natural as it was very conscious. It was a pretty severe departure and that was pretty conscious as well. I think we still straddle the fence a lot but we didn't really want to do that. We didn't want to be wishy washy, we are not wishy washy to what we think is good music, and we didn't want to be wishy washy to what we are and what kind of sound that we're going for.

I can say that we were super bored with what we were playing and producing. We had finished producing the album “Piercing the Quiet” - loved the album, loved the remixes but we're over that sound. We were already loving what was going on in progressive house and wanted to change. That's why the title of our last three EP's have been the Metamorphic EP.

Looking back now, maybe we could have gone about it a little smoother and kept a foot in both worlds and tried to bridge that gap. But I think Dave and I like to rip the band aid fast and that was kind of our approach to it. To be honest a lot of the elements that we loved then are still in our music now. It's not like we left the things we always loved about not just trance, but music. We still make uplifting melodies, we still love sexy, sultry, ethereal vocals. I don't think that stuff will ever change.

In the terms of what we play and produce, it's definitely not trance.

4. You said that you pulled off the band aid quickly from your switch from trance, can you pin point the time when that change occurred?

I think it was 2 years ago when we were working on “Bullet That Saved Me”. I remember playing the Fedde Le Grand remix of Coldplay and Alesso's “Years” and “Calling” - and they were the most biggest and baddest moments in our set. Dave and I just had a lot of conversations about how we love this big room melodic sound, and some of the big room electro stuff.

We wanted to do a number of things at the time: one was re-brand the radio show so it had a more impactful meaning to our fans, the Tritonians. So we renamed it “Tritonia”. We re-branded the logo and the icon to have a triangle and itnow looks more mature. We changed the radio show, we changed the website, we changed the logo. We stuck our feet down and changed the sound. It all happened over the course of 3-4 months. We had conversations with our management team and internally with Dave and I where we made a decision to make a right turn. And that's just the truth of the matter.

5. What's your view of the current state of the big room scene?

Big room is a lot of fun to play, it's full of energy and we really enjoy it. Tritonal means explosives, and that's what we are on stage. Chad and I are up there going crazy, and we're jumping up and down. It's big room music that we like to play and we like to take the bigness of it and make it into something more musical in the studio. I think we love it to use it as more of a tool but as far as producing it and putting it into our studio workflow – I don't know if that's what we are. We come from a rich background of core progressions and you don't hear too much of that in big room house.

 "I think big room has had its run now and it's probably on the other side of what's coming next."

You don't hear a lot of big room electro drops coming out of our singles and that's pretty intentional too. We try to keep our releases pretty musical. Again, we are taking what we love about trance and all things melodic, and musical. Now do I love to drop a R3HAB or a W&W record? You bet your ass because those are big big tunes.

What's the state of big room at the moment? I don't know, but I think big room has had its run now and it's probably on the other side of what's coming next. It feels like other things are coming up like soft deep tropical house. Deep house is huge in Europe and will it have the same impact in North America? I don't know. Big room has had its fun and it's probably going to end at some point soon. For Dave and I we don't have to worry because although we have been playing that stuff, our singles have remained musical. If you look at Colors, Anchor, Now or Never, Electric Glow – these are all big songs and if you write good songs I think that's what people really care about.

6. Your latest release on Metamorphic III included a track called “Seraphic”, which reminds of the stuff Seven Lions and Minnesota is doing, can you tell me about it?

It has nothing to do with Seven Lions although Jeff is a big friend of ours and huge influence. It's more an ode to Blackmill, Jon Hopkins, and The Glitch Mob. It's more chill-dub, that's what it is. I don't know if people know how much chill out music that Dave and I listen to everyday but it's a hefty amount. That consumption has led to inspiration on this record.

Mr. FijiWiji is a young talent who's got some cool tracks that we love listening to. We reached out to him and thought it would be cool to do a record together. It really came together quite quickly and organically. I think it will be the first of many experimental chill out tracks from Tritonal. It will never be our lead singles but it sure does feel great creatively to do something like that.

7. Is there a chance that we'll get to hear more chilled out bass driven Tritonal material in the future?


8. You're playing at the Cemetery of Sound Halloween event in Calgary on October 31st – excited? What can fans expect from your set?

We're definitely going to show up and suit up with the good sound and take everybody on a really energetic show. We'll be playing loads of new tracks where some of them we haven't even played in front of a crowd yet. It will be a good time, and it's always great to play in Calgary. We're also bringing new visuals so that's different as fans will be able to see some sick new visuals.

9. What is Tritonal up to for the rest of 2014 and the beginning of 2015?

We just finished a really big remix of Surrender for our boys Cash Cash. Tritonal is working on new material for a possible album. When that's going to land, nobody knows but we sure are working hard on new material.

My thanks to Chad and Dave for this excellent interview! You can catch Tritonal playing live this Friday at the BMO Centre as part of the Cemetery of Sound lineup. For tickets, click on the poster below: