Interview

The Lone Wolf: Eco Talks About His Return to Music

The Lone Wolf: Eco Talks About His Return to Music

Trance music has always had a special place in the hearts of New Yorkers. It’s been a mainstay here in the club scene for the last 15 years or so and the tried and true fans always come to show their support. There’s one particular artist though that has captured the hears and minds of fans for years. That artist is Eco and he’s regarded as one of the top trance producers ever to come out of the NY area. His skills behind the deck are second to none, the shows are always packed to the brim and he’s an expert at pulling on the heart strings of anyone lucky enough to catch him perform.

It comes as no surprise to us that took all of a few hours for his latest album, Wolves, to spread like wilefire through the ranks here. Loyal fans have waited over 3 years for him to resurface as a face for the scene and he delivered on every level. Not only are we humbled here to call him one of our own, but we’re over the moon that he’s taken the time to speak with us about just when into his latest creation. No frills here, this interview is for true trance fans have followed and waited patiently for their guy to return. Check it out!

 

 

wolves1Congratulations on the release of Wolves! It seems to have taken the trance scene by storm the last week. How do you feel about it?

Oh man, how do I not feel about it, would be the shorter question to answer! Overwhelmed, but definitely in a good way. So much work has been put into it, and when it releases, of course you’re always nervous on how it will be received. But I have nothing but amazement and awe in reaction to how it’s been received by the fans. Everything from how it’s charted in the iTunes and Beatport charts, to just exactly the kind of words and reactions people have given me, gives me chills. I knew on the first hour of the first day that all the time I put into it was worth it.

So why did you go with the name ‘Wolves’? Is there significance or a connection to that animal?

I did not have a previous connection to the animal, but I do now. I wanted to tell a story about a kid running away into the wilderness; and early on, I chose the wolf fairly arbitrarily to be the symbolic antagonist in this story. The wolves would be chasing this kid through the forest; or if you’re digging deeper for some meaning, the wolves were symbolic of the kid’s past, haunting and attacking him during his time in the wilderness.

We’re used to hearing a lot of vocals in many of your tracks but they seem to be few and far between with this album. Any reason for the mix up?

No particular reason, other than I chose very early to incorporate electric guitar throughout. I think some of the guitar throughout each of the songs filled a certain void that would usually exist and cause me to want vocals. I guess I heard the guitar as that added depth in the songs.

The lyrics you do have sound more like poetry than traditional lyrics. What was the creative direction of that?

I’m glad you think so! I wrote all the lyrics except for the Jennifer Rene tune “Running”. I’ve written many lyrics before over the years, but this time, I think I’ve matured and my vision for how these vocals should be sung was extra clear. The workflow would be that I’d produce the song, THEN write AND sing the lyrics, THEN choose the vocalist and send them my sung version. Before that, I would warn them that what they were about to hear would be my terrible voice, and that I expected them to sing a lot better haha… And luckily I was right: Chris Severe, Gordana Markovic, and Ariah Noetzel did a fantastic job. Jennifer Rene needed no direction by me, and she was her usual incredible self.

Is there a story that you’re trying to tell? Or perhaps a message that you’re trying to deliver?

Absolutely; sometimes we feel like things are so bad that we want to run away. This album tries to paint the sonic picture of what we would encounter once we do.

It’s taken 3 years for the album to be produced and now released. Now we’ve heard that the time off and the delay in production was due to your disconnect with the way the trance scene has unfolded in recent memory. Can you tell us a bit more about what some of your thoughts are?

I wouldn’t say my time off was due to that, it was more a driving force in numbing me to the whole process. It took 3 years because I no longer felt the pressure to try and “stay relevant” or pump out singles and get songs charting or get a DJ Mag spot. As I worked more and more on the album, I decided to just have fun with it, no matter what the critical response would be. The more fun I had with it, the longer it took, as the less pressure I felt that I use to put on myself; to release singles, get songs played, etc.

How does Wolves help bring not only you, but your listeners back into the fold?eco

Oh man, I’m most excited for my fans and listeners, more than myself. I’ve left them hanging for many years with only very few songs of mine to keep themselves satisfied with. They’ve hung on and have really taken to the album tremendously. 15 songs of completely new music is a lot for people who’ve waited years. I’ve been excited to see it supported so heavily by the heavy hitters like Armin, Ferry, Markus, Cosmic Gate, etc… People are labeling this as a “comeback”, but the feeling of love and support I’ve seen in the past few weeks has me feeling like I never left.

When you started producing the album, what pieces came together first? When did the floodgates hit for the creative process?

The melodies took shape first. They were very basic initially, like a big collection of samples/ideas. The creative process really went full-steam once I bought my guitar and began recording from it. The songs began to take on a life of their own, as I intended. Things went really into high gear earlier this year in January-February, once I realized 100% that I *could* and *should* release this year and not a year later. I realized many of the songs were still just nice melodies, but without any real structure. So this year was the hardest part, adding structure before and after the breakdown/melodies so these songs could begin to take shape. Even all the way up until June/July, a good 1/4 of the album was still not complete, but I went on a production spree and finished everything up just in time.

Going back to the story and message, you released a paperback in tandem with the album. What was that
experience like?

It was an awesome experience, especially working with someone so talented in writing like my friend Gabriella Petrillo. She was fully in sync with the picture I was trying to paint with the album, and really crafted the story so well (and quickly too). What was extremely interesting to me was the production aspect. I know what goes into making a CD, but in this case, because I have no production team (it’s just me), I had to do a lot of the production myself; putting the book together, securing a publisher, preparing the artwork. Gabriella of course was extremely engaged in this as well, and it was an incredible collaborative effort. It’s a short 38 page short-story, priced at $8.00, but took so much work and we think the story it tells truly makes it worth it.

wolves-bookSo now that you’ve release the album and have re-asserted yourself right into the thick of the scene, can we expect to see more productions coming from you?

Oh yes. I’m already fully involved in producing the next album. That one won’t take 3 years either, because I’ve got my guitar/recording/workflow all figured out. I am excitedly at work writing that one right now!

What’s next for you?

That’s probably the only one question I can’t answer haha… I’m taking things as they come; I don’t know what my future is in DJing or performing, don’t know where I’ll be playing. I’ll see what kind of journey the response to “Wolves” takes me on, and answer this for you later!

You’ve got a ton of fans here in the tri-state area, anything in particular you’d like to say to them?

Oh yeah, I couldn’t have done any of this without them. From some of the very first gigs I played in the area as a 17/18 year old, I’ve seen so many of the same faces over the years coming to my shows, and interacting with me online or in person. The love is real, and I have nothing but love for them. The New York scene gets a bad rap. All the DJs, in the progressive and trance scene at least, are a big family and we all support one another. I’m very proud of the accomplishments of others, and over the years, the New York area fans I’ve played for have always been proud and supportive of me. I couldn’t have asked to hail from a better place or scene than the one we have here.

 

First and foremost, a HUGE thank you to Eco for taking the time to answer a bunch of our questions! So happy to see he’s back in the fold and picking up right where he left off. If you haven’t done so already, you should 100% go grab yourself a copy of Wolves on either Beatport or iTunes. His first single, Darkness In the Light, is the hottest track in the game right now so check it out below.

Of course you can always interact with the man directly through all forms of social media:
Facebook | Twitter | SoundCloud

 

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Greg Starr

October 24th, 2016

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