20 Nov Quiet Bison Talks Nightfall EP & Music Production
Quiet Bison is the alias of Portland native, Quinn Brown. At only 18-years-old, his innovative and experimental sound has already earned him critical acclaim.
With an opening set for What So Not and a spot on Flume’s “Hi This Is Flume” Spotify playlist already under his belt, 2020 is shaping up to be a breakout year for the upstart electronic music producer.
I recently had a chance to speak with Quiet Bison about his career thus far, as well as what he has in store for us in the year ahead.
Why did you pick your artist name, Quiet Bison?
I’m a big fan of Little Dragon and I wanted something like it. Plus my initials are QB, so it stemmed from that.
How has the town where you grew up, Portland, Oregon, influenced your music?
I think with Portland, being a rainy place, has made me want to make more vibrant sounding music. I want to take people away from the dreariness, and draw them into a unique feeling separated from reality.
In your short career, you have already released three EPs – Trials and Tribulations, Sequence, and Nightfall. How did your creative process for each of these projects differ from one another?
Creatively, I usually just do whatever I’m feeling at the time. So, for the most part, my EPs are an expression of my mood or thought process during the time of the writing.
You recently remixed What So Not’s track, “We Can Be Friends” and he has since opened many of his sets with this remix. What were you trying to achieve when putting together this remix?
I wanted to keep the original vibe of the track but make it an energized version that gave people a euphoric experience.
Which DAW do you prefer to use? Why?
I use FL Studio, but not actually because I prefer it. I’m just slow at working in Ableton so, for now, It’s FL. I do think that anyone can make anything with any DAW however. Your mind is your greatest instrument.
What is your process like in terms of crafting the perfect sounds for your music?
I wish I had a better answer, but I usually just wing it and make all my sounds in the moment. Some people have a very thought out scientific method of sound design, but I just do it by ear and see where it takes me.
The final track on Nightfall, entitled “Godrays,” is an ambient closer that features no drums. This is a bit of a departure from the rest of the project (which features frantic percussion on every other track). How were you able to create such a dynamic track without any sort of drum sounds?
I approached this track the same way I do with any other track on the EP or any past project. My main goal is always to convey a specific emotion. So, with “Godrays” its meant to take the listener to a place where the sun is rising and something new is beginning.
I think, “How can I help them visualize that, and what will the song need to be to do that?” So I thought about it, and I realized adding percussion affected the emotional experience – so I left it as an ambient track.
Your Nightfall EP was inspired by insomnia. How has being a night owl both positively and negatively impacted your music?
Positively, it inspired Nightfall. I’m not too sure if there’s a negative side, because most of the people I know are either night owls also or Australian – so the time zones work out.
Your album art is typically abstract and features bright, vibrant colors. How do these qualities relate to your music? What do you want them to say specifically about your brand?
In general, I think giving the listener something abstract alongside the music allows them to make it their own experience and attach their own feeling or narrative to it. I think the interpretation of art is healthy, and it’s what keeps it going.
On the r/Flume subreddit, you gave advice to someone who wanted to produce music telling them to ask themselves, “Would I do this if I had no audience?” What exactly did you mean by this?
I think that if you enjoy creating enough, then you would do it for yourself. It will show, and people will respect what you do and root for you.
If you could go on tour with any artist, who would it be? Why?
I would love going on tour with any of my friends. I think the stuff they’re doing is amazing, and I would love to bring them along and make the tour a family experience.
Which vocalists would you like to collaborate with someday? Why?
An odd list, but I would really love to work with Thom Yorke, Gotye, Yukimi Nagano, and Fka Twigs. A bit of a long shot for all of those, but I really enjoy what they are making and they seem open to new ideas creatively.
What is your main goal for 2020 in terms of releasing new music? How do you plan to achieve this goal?
I’ll just say keep your eyes out for a lot of new stuff, and I’m really enjoying working with various artists.