If you’ve ever been on SoundCloud, you’ve probably heard of Chrome Sparks, the electronic project of Jeremy Malvin. The Brooklyn based producer & music maker has been making waves online for a minute now & it’s no surprise he sold out his Toronto show, the first of his new tour. We caught up with Malvin before he played at The Drake Hotel, his first live show in a year. Check out our photos and interview below.
Sidewalk Hustle: How is your 2016 so far?
Chrome Sparks: So far it’s been very productive & not very fun. I’ve just been working on the live show and not hanging out with any of my friends. Hopefully this sets me up to have lots of time to hang out with people on tour, on a tour that I’m prepared for, because I wasn’t hanging out with friends for the first two weeks. So that’s what I’m going through.
SH: How would you describe your 2015?
CS: Uh… Transformative! I spent a lot of time working on stuff that I didn’t put out. Just experimenting with different ways of recording, practising the keyboard and screwing around with synthesizers. Just getting weird without a set goal in sight. I really just got to explore, have fun and learn.
SH: Moving forward, how do you think you would describe your 2025? How do you envision the future?
CS: What is that? That’s almost 10 years! That’s 9 years! I got 9 years. I’m 34…gosh! Well I might be married with children? I want that at some point, and at 34… I have no idea. Who knows! That might not even happen. I have no idea.
SH: Are you on the moon?
CS: No, Mars is actually more of a realistic idea. I’d really like to be the first person to play a concert on Mars. I was told by my friend, who is working towards becoming an astronaut, that’s it’s much more realistic then playing the moon at this point. So yeah. 2025, I’m gonna be colonizing Mars with my brand new wife and our one child, another on the way (first one’s name is Alvin Malvin, second one’s name is Calvin Malvin) and I’m gonna play the first show simulcasted via Periscope from Mars.
SH: Beautiful. What are your thoughts on the use of technology in music? What do you say to those who argue that because something isn’t solely made from old traditional tools like guitars & drums it’s not “real” music?
CS: Well it’s not black and white. There’s a lot of in-between and there’s no right answer. I think whatever suits your style, whatever is the right thing that you like to do is the right idea. Whether it’s DJing or playing classical guitar or DJing your classical guitar piece on a pre-recorded mix – it’s all a grey area. Whatever you want to do is the right thing to do & instead of complaining about something like that, someone should just go to the thing that they would rather see. It’s fun to have all the possibilities that we have now, to be able to mix live stuff with technology. For example my show, I play synthesizers which are “real” but then I’m putting them through a computer which is “fake” to some people, but I’m able to loop them with that which is not something I’m able to do without the digital aspect. It’s all over the board. Whatever makes you happy is what you should focus on.
SH: Do get any anxiety when it comes to digital connection? The need to be connected at all times?
CS: Well something that happened during my transformative year of 2015 was on January 2nd I lost my phone and I didn’t look for it for the day. It was very empowering. I found myself actually thinking about things as appose to just looking down. The next day I decided that maybe I should find my phone and I couldn’t find it. It was lost for two weeks and it was one of the most beautiful two weeks I’ve ever had. Whenever I wasn’t sitting on my laptop, connected in that way, I had to connect to the world around me and I just started living at a different pace in which I could appreciate my surroundings and the people I’m with a lot more. When I finally did find my phone in the lining of bathrobe, no joke, I started using it a lot less frequently. I felt the anxiety at first, and everybody in this generation has that anxiety when they don’t know where their phone is or you lose battery or something, which is just built in now, but I think it’s really important to also look up sometimes.
SH: To unplug!
CS: Seriously! I found myself remembering things from my past that I hadn’t thought about. It was really screwed up!
SH: What do you like to do to relax and vibe out?
CS: Go bowling! I go bowling with my friends every couple weeks and it’s one of my favourite things on the planet. I’m very competitive so it takes care of that and you get to throw something heavy and fuck some pins up and drink! We’re rarin’ to toss. Toss some balls with the boys.
SH: What is your favourite way to consume music right now?
CS: My favourite is definitely listening to a record because it forces you to pay more attention. You can’t just leave it, you have to flip it & you’re much more involved in the process. I listen more carefully with vinyl, in addition to the whole it sounding better thing. Other than that, I’m always on Spotify when I’m out of the house, checking out new stuff. I generally only listen to music on Spotify or vinyl.
SH: Do you have a hot streaming take? Any qualms?
CS: No! I love it. Music’s for the people. Maybe to a fault I don’t really care about that stuff very much at all. If you wanna illegally download my stuff cus you don’t wanna pay for it, I don’t really care. You do you.
SH: Last record or act that got under you skin? Made you pause?
CS: I’m not sure of the name of it but the newest French Fries. I remember hearing some stuff before and thinking it was dope, but the newer stuff is on such a different level of production and sound. I’m obsessed. Plus, I can’t stop with the new Tame Impala. “Eventually” is my song.
SH: What’s your dream show? The most extreme show? Logistics don’t matter.
CS: Well if we’re not worrying about logistics, off the top of my head I’m thinking free falling would be amazing. Or underwater.
SH: Wait so everyone else is also free falling as you’re playing?
CS: Everyone is free falling! Or maybe it could be a free falling festival, where there’s different bands falling at different altitudes and rates. You could wing suit from zone to zone. “Hey bro, wing suit over to zone 6!”
SH: “It’s going down!” Literally!
CS: “Come fold your wing suit and fly to zone 6! Chrome Sparks is playing and he’s falling fast!”
SH: Okay, speed round. Favourite food?
SH: Favourite texture?
CS: Very, very soft.
SH: Favourite smell?
CS: My mom’s spaghetti sauce. It’s not sandalwood.
SH: That counts! And then closing up, final words of advice?
CS: You’re not gonna remember this in 10 years.
Grab Chrome Spark’s latest EP Parallelism via iTunes here.
Photos by Kate Killet