With hit collaborations with Kaskade, Laidback Luke, Paul Oakenfold and more int he works, Project 46 continues to rise up and make a big impact on the progressive house music scene. Ascendance Radio had a chance to catch up with Project 46 Miami for our second interview with this talented duo.
Project 46 Interview:
Dayanna Ramirez (Ascendance Radio): We’re here at WALL for the APA WMC Kickoff with Thomas and Ryan of Project 46! So guys, its been a year since our last interview with you. Last time we met, Thomas had significantly underestimated the power of the sun. As you kick off Miami Music Week this year we thought it would be fitting to provide you with some much needed sunblock for the rest of your days here in Miami. So this is our gift to you. Please sunbathe responsibly.
Thomas (Project 46): It’s so funny because I was telling people that, I was like last year I got so sunburned! And I packed sunscreen too, so it’s perfect! Thank you!
Dayanna Ramirez (Ascendance Radio): You’re welcome!
Ryan (Project 46): That’s awesome!
Dayanna Ramirez (Ascendance Radio): If you notice the five is crossed off and there’s a six. [Laughter]
Thomas (Project 46): [Laughter] SPF-46. Perfect! Thank you.
Dayanna Ramirez (Ascendance Radio): You’re welcome. So you both have been working non-stop recently. Whether its touring, working on collabs, or finishing up the new album, you tend to have your hands full. In between the mayhem and music awesomeness what do you guys do to relax or have fun?
Ryan (Project 46): I mean, Thomas does a lot of golfing [laughs].
Thomas (Project 46): Anything physical is my ticket.
Ryan (Project 46): I just enjoy singing at home when I’m relaxing, nothing crazy. But Thomas is into more on the physical activity side and I’m just into lying on the couch and relaxing on my time off.
Dayanna Ramirez (Ascendance Radio): Hey! Work those fingers [laughs]. So in a past interview you were asked how long it takes you to create tracks. In your response, you also stated that when working on a collab “the songs where you let the political bullshit happen have a chance to be really big.” Could you elaborate on the process and explain why songs that undergo this kind of process have a chance to be bigger tracks?
Thomas (Project 46): Well just, you put more time in it when it’s supported by bigger people. In any process, when you work with other people, the more people you add into the equation the more complicated it’s going to get. That being said, the more people that are working on something, there’s more people working on it so there’s no chance to succeed.
Ryan (Project 46): There’s a bigger picture: the big labels have a process and they also have a schedule, too, they already have stuff they’re committed too. So you have to kind of play with their schedule, and other artists have their release schedule as well. So there’s a lot of negotiating and waiting on a big song, but our biggest songs, “Last Chance“, and “You & I“, and “Collide“, I think I remember talking you about a big collaboration coming out and that was “Collide” (at the time).
Thomas (Project 46): Yeah that “Collide.” That was a year ago.
Ryan (Project 46): And that just came out a couple of months ago, so that’s how long it takes. And we have another big collaboration coming out as well, and that’s going through the same protocol.
Dayanna Ramirez (Ascendance Radio): With? With?! Who is it with?! [Laughs].
Ryan (Project 46): Can’t say what, again, but..
Dayanna Ramirez (Ascendance Radio): You guys are such teases!
Ryan (Project 46): So yeah there’s a lot of politics on the business side of it, but those tracks seem to pay off in the end.
Thomas (Project 46): Yeah.
Dayanna Ramirez (Ascendance Radio): It makes sense. So you started Pancake Fridays a while back and from there this “Pancake” theme has really taken off with your fans. You’ve even named your podcasts Pancake Radio! For those who don’t know, what can they hear on these podcasts and do you ever see yourself channeling your inner “Steve Aoki” and throwing pancakes at the crowd?
Thomas (Project 46): [Laughs]. Well, everyone always makes that joke, of course. We’ve never really done it.
Ryan (Project 46): We’ve never really been into gimmicks or anything, it’s more about just music with us.
Thomas (Project 46): Yeah, just music.
Ryan (Project 46): The pancake thing was obviously, we told you before, a big joke, a big troll, I don’t think you’ll see us– plus we can’t compete with Aoki, his arm is amazing- he’s too good at it!
Dayanna Ramirez (Ascendance Radio): Well, you have that golf swing. You never know, that could work. You’ve worked with many iconic music artists such as Kaskade, Paul Oakenfold and most recently, Laidback Luke, who’s song you collaborated on “Collide”, hit the Beatport Top 10 in early February. At any point during your journey did you just kind of look at each other and have that “holy shit” moment? And given your success in the industry, do you think there’s a new aspiration or goal that will give you that “holy shit” moment again?
Ryan (Project 46): I mean, the holy shit moment for me was– in Toronto, we have a big radio station called Z103, and hearing that song, “Last Chance”, on rotation on that mainstream radio stations– just going into my car and hearing Last Chance and having family members message me things like, ‘I’ve just heard your song on the radio!’, that’s kind of a cool moment. Because a lot of people in our family and our friends don’t really understand what we’re doing, but then they hear something as simple as a play on the radio and they’re like, “oh, it make sense now! It’s actually big!”. So I think that’s big for us. For me, at least.
Thomas (Project 46): It didn’t make it on radio in Vancouver, so for me…I don’t know. I feel like every time we play as show and there’s fans there, like we’ve had a sold out show, whenever you played a sold out show, and whenever we played some of our songs — everyone’s here for us!
Ryan (Project 46): The next thing to me that was our big moment was the release of our first album.
Thomas (Project 46): Yeah, to have that CD in our hands.
Ryan (Project 46): Yeah, it’d be cool just to have that big body of work that’s taken almost a year to put together.
Dayanna Ramirez (Ascendance Radio): So, you’re both very musically talented but if life hadn’t taken you in this direction where do you think you guys would be professionally?
Thomas (Project 46): I have no idea.
Dayanna Ramirez (Ascendance Radio): You’d be a golfer, right?
Thomas (Project 46): No way.
Thomas (Project 46): I was in school for Computer Science, but… I really don’t know. I don’t know what I’d be. I figured out that I just– I don’t know.
Ryan (Project 46): I mean, I’ve always liked marketing and business, kind of business challenges and stuff, so I’d probably be doing maybe something like that in a different kind of business. But other than that, I’m not really sure. Lots of change in the last two and a half, three years, so I can’t really see myself doing anything else right now.
Dayanna Ramirez (Ascendance Radio): Yeah. You’ve started your “Collide” tour with a sold out show at the University of Florida. If it’s any indication at all of how your next few stops are going to go, then I’d say the pancake meter measuring awesomeness will be broken by the end of the tour. With that said, is there any particular stop along the tour that you are looking forward to?
Thomas (Project 46): Well, for me, obviously the hometown we always get excited for. We’re excited about the U.K..
Ryan (Project 46): Yeah, South Africa.
Thomas (Project 46): Just places we haven’t played before. I’m always excited for new places, meeting new people, and finding new venues, and…
Ryan (Project 46): Actually, we just found out yesterday that we’re playing the opening party at Space Ibiza, and that’s something that I’m wrapped really tight about.
Thomas (Project 46): Yeah! So, those kind of things are going to be cool parties to check out.
Dayanna Ramirez (Ascendance Radio): Nice! So, you have a new album coming out soon. Given your busy schedule, how long has this album taken and how do you feel about where it is at now?
Thomas (Project 46): Well, it’s taken us a year and a half, a year?
Ryan (Project 46): I don’t know, if you look at the– what I look at, our Soundcloud, looking up private links, because that’s how we keep track, I think the oldest track on there, eight or nine months old, that’s actually to be on the album– but, I mean, obviously there was a process before that, too. So the album’s been three years. I mean, us developing as artists has taken three years to peel open an album together. But I’d say that by the time the album’s done it’ll be a good year process.
Thomas (Project 46): Yeah, a year process, yeah. But having said that, I’d say we’d finished fifteen or twenty tracks for it that we’re chopping out to..
Ryan (Project 46): Twelve, thirteen, fourteen…
Thomas (Project 46): We haven’t figured out the final number yet.
Ryan (Project 46): But we have a lot of songs picked for them.
Thomas (Project 46): Personally, I’m pretty proud of the album, I think it’s a true reflection of what our musical preference is and what we feel is our sound and our music and… like it’s us.
Ryan (Project 46): There’s no songs on there that we’re like, “I’m not sure that’s a good track”.
Thomas (Project 46): There won’t be.
Ryan (Project 46): Yeah, all the tracks but one both me and Tom have put on the album, so, there’s one big room song on the album that I want to do as kind of a reflection of the current sound, and I just kind of want to have it on the album that Thomas isn’t a really big fan of, but…
Thomas (Project 46): Yeah.
Dayanna Ramirez (Ascendance Radio): Like, you know.
Thomas (Project 46): But we have veto powers and we go back and forth, so, if he wants it on we’ll be alright.
Dayanna Ramirez (Ascendance Radio): Do you have a name for the album yet, or is it still to be determined?
Ryan (Project 46): No, not yet.
Thomas (Project 46): TBA.
Ryan (Project 46): I think it’s going to depend on the first single, too, right? Because a lot of the time the album name associates with the first single.
Dayanna Ramirez (Ascendance Radio): Okay. You’ve had a very exciting past year, what does the rest of 2014 hold for Project 46 and how do you think it will compare to 2013?
Thomas (Project 46): Well, our tour schedule is a lot fuller. We’re going to busy. And I think what’s going to be important for us to focus on because still being able to keep the pace at which we make music, even though we’re on the road. Because that’s been one of our strengths, I find, to make a lot of music. So whether it gets released or not, our sets when you hear them, they always have something new that we finish– we finish track every week, or try to. Like a new song for a new set. I think we just got to keep doing that while playing the shows, so, it’s hard, but…
Ryan (Project 46): And I think a cool thing that’s been happening now is that we’re playing a lot of new shows in new markets like overseas. Like Europe, and a couple shows a year coming up in South Africa, more Asian stuff happening. It’s kind of cool to break out of North America area.
Thomas (Project 46): I think last year we did a decent job, but the world’s a big place. I think for us, our biggest next step would be Australia, Europe. We already did India, we already did South America, we already did a lot of things like that, but getting those other places we haven’t been to.
Ryan (Project 46): Australia is a big one. We have a lot of fans in Australia.
Thomas (Project 46): Yeah!
Dayanna Ramirez (Ascendance Radio): Alright, you guys. So thanks for sitting with us!
Ryan (Project 46): No problem!