Growing up in a family of four boys in the most Southern part of Boulder, Colorado, Dan Bombard, has always had a knack for music. At an early age, Dan learned the piano and soon after learned to master the guitar. “I’ve always played guitar in bands,” Dan says about his musical past, but more recently he has turned his musical expertise toward his newest project, Dinosaurus Rex. For Dan, Dinosuarus Rex is a chance for him to experiment with all the ever changing world of music has to offer. By blending together the genres of chillwave, downtempo and funk, Dan has created something that is truly extraordinary and worth every second of listening time. Below, I had a chance to discuss with Dan, his new album Cosby Sweater, his future projects, and the rapidly changing world of electronic music.
West Coast Leak: How did you get started making music? What shifted your interest toward producing electronic music?
Dinosaurus Rex: I grew up playing piano, guitar, and even the trumpet for a bit. I have always played guitar in bands. I currently play bass in the band Cotton Keys also. I love learning new instruments and my taste in music spans most genres. It’s like a new instrument. If it were up to me, I would play drums in a rock band, guitar in a jazz band, bass in an indie band, and produce beats on hip hop albums. I just want to do it all.
WCL: When you sit down to write new music, what is your process? Do you work mainly on a computer, or do you incorporate the use of instruments as well?
DR: It’s pretty much all on a computer or pads and keyboards. I mean, sometimes a chord change hits me right and I have to stop what I’m doing and figure it out on the piano. But in short, I find groovy b-list 80s records, find a song that vibes right, chop up about 50 clips, use about 10 of them, add drums, synths, filters, etc. I love hyper-technical music that’s hard to follow. But simplicity is so much more important to me. My good friend once said that the space between notes is much more important that the notes themselves.
WCL: Your newest album Cosby Sweater has a very cool chillwave/down tempo feel, but you also incorporate a soulful funkiness into the music. What inspirations did you have when making Cosby Sweater?
DR: I was listening to a lot of Shiny Disco Club records while making this record, which is most likely why I keep all of my drum stuff “four on the floor”. Justice is an example of that simplicity and four on the floor. As for inspiration, I listened to Lapalux’s new EP a lot too. His use of perfectly-imperfect drums is fantastic. Perhaps the reason I used sloppy drums in “Getting Up”. – If you haven’t bought that Lapalux record, I highly recommend it.
WCL: Cosby Sweater to me seems to be a welcome departure from the massive amount of Bass Music that is being produced in Colorado these days. What are your thoughts on the CO music scene and how do you think the CO “basshead” generation will respond to your new sound?
DR: Haha I like that we are addressing this, Clay. I don’t think the CO “bassheads” will ever stop listening to 140bpm womp womp long enough to respond. (Besides, isn’t there an STS9 tour that we should be following around?)
WCL: I’ve heard that you are currently working on producing an EP for CO rapper Brent Smith. How is this project going? How did this project come about? Is it a different production sound from Cosby Sweater? When will this project be ready for the masses?
DR: Brent Smith is a local MC for Denver-based rap group Team Latch Key. Like I stated earlier, I want to produce hip hop. But rap these days is—simply—lame. Everyone and their mother is a rapper. All of my white friends from Colorado all of the sudden have “swag”. I just wanted to come across someone who had a real sound. Brent has that. As for production, we are actually going to use some throwbacks from EP and DREX EP for the beats—when making those albums I actually had Brent in mind. This has been in the works for some time. Expect to see it drop within a month or so.
WCL: The electronic music scene is going in so many directions these days. In the past few years, we have seen both electro and dubstep gain a massive rise in popularity, and with this we have seen saturation of these two genres with a multitude of new producers. What you have created with Cosby Sweater is something fresh and original, but you are competing with what is currently mainstream. Tell us your views on electronic music today. Where do you think its headed in the future? Are the masses ready for what you have to offer, or is your music gear toward a more esoteric group of electronic music fans?
DR: I think my music is geared toward just about anyone who has a toe to tap. But I’m not too concerned with dubstep and mainstream stuff. I don’t have a big plan about gaining market share and dropping videos on TRL. I just love weirdo music and want to associate with those acts. As for the future of electronic music; Cascade Records, Soulection, Juicy Tunes, Shiny Disco Club — these are labels that are putting out fantastic electronic and hip hop.
WCL: You have started off 2012 in a big way with the release of Cosby Sweater. What can we expect to see from you for the rest of 2012?
DR: Definitely expect more D REX – definitely expect a mixtape I am compiling with about 12 artists from around the globe – definitely expect a hip hop album from me and Brent. Expect my sophomore album to blow this one out of the water.
Check out a few tracks from Dinosuarus Rex’s newest album, and if you like what you hear, head over to his BandCamp and grab the full version. It’ll be the grooviest 5 bucks you’ll ever spend.