Interview with Austin Eterno HISS Mashup Winner

After we had such a good time with Hooked in 60 seconds, MashupCiti had an opportunity to talk to the 1snd and 2nd place winner, Austin Eterno. On to the interview.

Tell us a little about you, where are you’re from, interests etc;

I’m from Easton, CT and am currently completing my sophomore year at the University of Vermont in Burlington.  I’m 19 and I’ve been DJing/producing “seriously” since January of ’09.  I started DJing for an independent study project halfway through senior year in high school.  My buddy Andrew Ross (DJ Kojack) decided to join me (our group is known as Sonic Friction), and we did the entire project on turntablism and production. Our final product was an album and a live DJ team show on vinyl.  Before the DJ/production phase I was in a couple metal bands playing guitar throughout middle school and high school.  I started classical guitar (which was my first big musical focus) when I was 5 and continued through high school. I enjoy guitar, but I think electronic music is where I can express my ideas the best.  I’ve been doing a lot of mashups and remixes lately but I am hoping to do some original productions as well as get into the live club/college party setting more often.  For years I have been introduced to amazing music by my father who has really given me a huge musical advantage. He’s always DJing family and friends’ events.  I was originally under the name of DJ Plaidapus.  I released a full mashup album under that name called “Nature’s Best Mashup”.  I thought the name went well with the album, but for now I am just going by my birth name…people tell me it sounds like a superhero’s name, my parents did a great job with that!

2nd Place Track

1st Place Track

What attracted you towards making mashups and ultimately to the HISS mashup contest?

The first thing I did when I decided to do my senior project on turntablism was to buy a pair of turntables.  I started mixing vinyl into sets, but sometimes the transitions between tracks sounded good alone and significantly different than the originals.  I liked these transitions so much that I decided I should turn them into full listenable tracks.  And that’s where I turned to the production side of mashups.  Once I started, I was hooked and started recording every idea I had to combine similar tracks.  Now I have playlists of hundreds of paired songs waiting to be combined.  As I started releasing these mashups I was looking around on the internet for places to get feedback and mashupciti seemed like a good place.  I started checking the site every so often and eventually came across the HISS competition, which was a win-win situation– no entry fees and a cash prize.  Why not enter??

What are your thoughts on the future of mashups?

Right now, most people that I know enjoy hearing mashups, but I think there is still a bit of resistance from the structure of the more commercial/legal aspect of music.  In the future though, I expect mashups will become more of an accepted art form, and will be widely tolerated by the record industry because after all, it is free promotion for the sampled artists. For example, something I really enjoy about multimashes is finding new music or rediscovering old tracks.
Taking this promotional mashup idea a step further, maybe in the future big labels will regularly commission mashup artists to combine a group of artists’ new material multimash style and hand it out as an alternative to conventional sampler CDs.  Something like this could be a great way to hype an entire label.

Also, there are many ways producers can approach mashups, some of which I don’t think have been explored yet.  There’s a project I’m currently working on that seems to be a new style of mashup, maybe even different enough to start a new subgenre. I’m excited to release it (probably late 2011) to see if other people agree.

Awesome! Last questions, what is next for you?

I’m going to continue to put out mashups and remixes as I have been for the next few months, but I’m trying to get into the live scene and back on the turntables more now.  Summer/fall 2011 I will be taking time off of school to solely produce and perform along with DJ Kojack, so I expect a ton of solo work and collaborations will come out of that. I am also planning on making some original productions during that time which I am excited to get back into.

Listen to more of Austin from his soundcloud account!

1 Comment

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