One way Colorado has distinguished itself in the music world is through the unwavering rise of live-electronic bands. With influencers like Pretty Lights, Big Gigantic, GRiZ, SunSquabi and more, young and aspiring musicians are crafting something fresh every day. This week, we sat down with Nick Vann of Nobide and Chris Weir of Weir to talk about Weir’s new track “Copper”, which is being released through Vann’s label Alias today.
So Nick, tell us about your record label Alias. When was it formed, what inspired the project, and what is your vision for the label?
NV: It started in January 2018 with my buddy Gunter- it’s a pretty similar vision to other Colorado labels in that we want to put out organic electronic music. Electronic music with live elements in there with really good branding. The vision is to make it a taste-maker label I suppose. Our slogan is “Global Taste, Local Face,” so it’s focused on the local element as well.
Can you give a brief overview of the other artists on the label? Are they all local electronic acts?
What is your or your team’s current process for choosing what music you’ll distribute through Alias?
NV: Pretty much, if it hits us sonically and “in the feels,” and if we sort of know the person.
This leads us into the next portion of our interview, which is Weir’s new single “Copper.” Nick, what excited you about “Copper” enough to distribute it through Alias?
NV: It was really different from Weir, not the stuff he’d been making prior. Cinematic and organic, a bit more instrument-based than his prior music. The arrangement is killer.
Very cool. And Chris, tell us a bit more about “Copper.” The song is intense and thick with emotion. What drove this project and what were your inspirations?
CW: Originally I had a friend reach out to make a track for a ski video that he was working on, so I wanted to experiment with more of a hip-hop based, slower tempo, and ended up developing it into something a lot more than a ski video. And by writing it through a dark time, I used that energy in the core progressions and in the sound I was picking out. I wanted to create a vibe similar to the mountains, or tie it in with nature in some way.
What’s the most experimental or exciting part of the song for you?
CW: Probably the overall hip-hop vibe because pretty much all I’ve written in the past has been more dance-house beats, so it was cool to take the tempo a lot slower and fill the space more.
Why did you feel Alias was a good fit to distribute and help promote “Copper?”
CW: It really was more up to Nick, but I saw it fitting Alias more so than my previous projects for sure, in terms of the organic soundscape that I was messing with.
Do you think “Copper” represents a shift in your musical work, and if so, where do you see this shift going?
CW: One hundred percent- I definitely see myself going towards more of a live performance and incorporating more instruments on stage. To me, this track has a lot more elements that I think I could play out live and develop more into what I see Weir being.
These last two questions are for both of you. What is your read on the thriving live-electronic scene in the Boulder/Denver area?
NV: It’s so all over the place in the best possible way. Every type of music is getting produced and there’s a really strong community vibe around it, where people just want everybody to succeed. At the end of the day, everybody just wants more good music.
CW: I think it’s just really cool that there’s so much variety both in Boulder and Denver, and all of Colorado. There’s obviously a huge pop of jam bands, soul and funk, but it’s cool to see more electronic and live-electronic acts popping up.
NV: It seems like Colorado may be doing that in a more forward-thinking way than other areas.
What do you mean by that?
NV: It seems that there’s more technological innovation with the blending [of] instruments to create more of a band. Geographically, we’re right in the middle of the country, so musically we’re blending everything together here.
Lastly, can we expect any further artistic collaboration between you two?
CW: I would certainly hope so.
All photos, videos, and embedded tracks per the artist featured and those credited. This feature was edited for brevity and clarity by BolderBeat.