It seems as though electronic music producer Seven Lions, aka Jeff Montalvo, was always meant to create music beyond the confines of traditional genres.
First gaining popularity by winning a Beatport remix contest back in 2012 for Above & Beyond’s track “You Got to Go,” the Santa Barbara, California born DJ and producer has since gone on to play shows around the world from intimate clubs to the main stages of major EDM festivals like EDC and Ultra.
With a strong background in metal, the producer works in elements of the seemingly out of place genre with trance and dubstep to make soulful, deep, hybridized creations that are distinctly his own.
Fresh off of the release of his latest EP, Creation, Montalvo is scheduled to go on an extensive North American tour starting with a sold out show in Vancouver. Luckily, we were able to touch base with the artist to talk about everything from his new digs in Seattle, Washington to his involvement in the North American EDM scene as a whole.
Yeah thanks, I love it so far!
I don’t feel like I’m involved in the scene as far as like hanging out with people because I’m kind of a home-body. I’m not one of those LA people who you know, get together and party with everyone and make sure they all show up on each other’s Instagram’s.
I think my contribution is more so trying to push genre barriers to where people aren’t so hung up on genres. I hope my legacy will be kind of tied to that in the sense that I don’t make music in one genre and that my sets are kind of everywhere because I like all kinds of music. And I know it’s not like that everywhere; I don’t really play in Europe but the first time I did, I realized that they don’t like their drum n bass mixed with their trance.
Yeah, I love it. I mean, when I first started going to parties they were straight up trance only parties and I guess they’re still going on. I think generally people are becoming more receptive to everything though, which is great.
Not really because I’m not really into rap or anything, and I know it’s heavily influenced by that. I mean, some of the snare sounds are cool so I’ll use some of the percussion elements that are really popular in that genre. The song “Cusp” is like a weird psy-trance, big room track and there’s definitely a trap breakdown in there… but I would never make like a full trap song.
I think when I first started doing dubstep, I was making trance and then dubstep got really popular so I just decided to try and blend them. It wasn’t because I was the hugest fan of dubstep, it just kind of made sense at the time because it was everywhere.
But when I started making it, coming from a metal background, it started to make more sense to me rhythmically, so I just kept with it. After that I guess I also tried making 120 BPM house music just because it goes over really really well at shows, so I started making a few more songs like that just to have those high energy songs for my sets.
Yeah, thanks I really appreciate that. I wish I could write songs like that all day but, it’s really hard to have a career based on making really experimental left field listenable tracks as opposed to heavier songs.
Some of the songs, yeah. Like the song “The Journey,” I probably spent two or three years working on that song on and off.
It really depends. Like half the time I’ll work on one song and finish it completely, and then the other half I’ll start something and won’t pick it up again for like a year or so.
I’ll be like, ok I think it’s finished, and then I’ll put it away for a little longer. Then I’ll listen to it again, and then I’ll be like ok. I think for me, taking a break from listening to something and then listening to it again is really the ultimate test. If it feels done after I haven’t heard it for a month or two then I’ll be like yeah, it’s ready to go.
Where: The Commodore Ballroom – 868 Granville Street
When: Thursday, October 6
Time: 9 pm – 3 am