I recently had the opportunity to interview mashup producer DJ Flashard. Influenced by British rock and New Wave from from the 70’s and 80’s and is based in the UK he has been making mashups for over 4 years.
You’ve been creating mashups for a while now. What keeps you coming back and keeps it interesting?
I know it’s gonna sound cheesey, but it’s the love of music. I’ve always fancied the idea of writing my own songs someday, and I guess producing mashups is a way of airing my creative side and making something I can put my name to. Until I learn how it really write music, mashups seemed an obvious transgression from DJing and producing music I want to listen to. I just hope other people want to listen to it too!
In Canada, recent changes in copyright laws have made mashups officially legal for free distribution. How much of a concern are the legality issues from your own country for mashups? Does legal ramification have influence on what you choose to mash?
Yeah, I wish the UK was more like Canada in that respect. Our copyright laws seem a little outdated and convoluted. I’ve had a few mashups taken down from various sites (WordPress, SoundCloud, etc.) for copyright infringement and notices. It doesn’t really effect what I choose to mash with – I’m not in it to make money and my tracks are only for promotion use anyway! but I do wish the record companies would be a little more reasonable and understanding, and take onboard the US law regarding letting people use part of a track for not for profit purposes, etc. Unfortunately, there’s never a viable process for appealing against a copyright takedown notice, so you just have to comply with most sites wishes and remove them. Guess these crappy copyright laws are why most mashups producers prefer to be anonymous.
What is your creative process like and what tools do you prefer to use?
“Creative Process”? I wish I had one! Haha. Sometimes I can just listen to a track and hear similarities between it and another track – it’s then off to see if suitable sources are available online. Otherwise, I use Mixed In Key a lot to check whether the keys match between two sources. My whole source library is run through Mixed In Key, so it’s easy to check key matching and tempo. That’s probably where I start off. Obviously you can change tempo and move keys up and down (within reason), but I don’t like to alter things around too much – I try to be true to all original sources – there’s no point making a great mash that sounds like chipmunks on helium! The software I then use is Sony Acid Pro to mix the track, make all the cuts, move stuff around, etc. There are also a couple of Apps I use for EQing, adding tags, making cover artwork, etc, but Acid Pro is the main one I use for mashing.[colored_box color=”grey”]One of Flashards more popular mashups [/colored_box]
Final question; What are your plans for you mashups and musical career this year?
My only plans are to keep producing mashups that people like, and I like producing. For me, it’s a hobby not a profession, so I always have to enjoy the sources and process of making each track. I’d love to get paid for doing this, but unfortunately, that’s not where I’m at, so ‘fun’ is my top priority!