Jake Stanczak, known by his stage names Kill the Noise and Ewun, is an electronic music producer from Rochester, New York. He co-owns the label Slow Roast Records alongside DJ Craze, which is distributed by Fool's Gold Records. In 2006, he recorded a DJ mix for the Barcode Recordings LP "Shades Of Black" that was featured on its CD release. He has also appeared on many compilation albums under the name Ewun. In 2011, he produced and was featured on "Narcissistic Cannibal", and "Fuels The Comedy", from Korn's tenth studio album, The Path of Totality. "Narcissistic Cannibal" was released as a single on October 18, 2011, with the album following on December 6, 2011. On February 3, 2012, Stanczak took the stage with Korn to perform for Jimmy Kimmel Live!. Stancazak was on the radio show DVDASA on January 15, 2014. His collaboration with Skrillex, Fatman Scoop and Michael Angelakos, "Recess", entered the UK Singles Chart at number 57. The song is the title track from Skrillex's debut album Recess.
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My name is Jake Stanczak, I write music and perform under the alias "Kill The Noise". I've spent the last 10 years or so writing music, and playing electronic music all over the world. My debut album "Occult Classic" comes out today on Skrillex's (and friends) record label OWSLA. I've been lurking on Reddit for years, and am a big fan of the IAmA sub. Hangin in Nashville today looking forward to having a weird, interesting, and fun conversation with you!
You can listen to my album here: https://soundcloud.com/killthenoise/sets/kill-the-noise-occult-classic
You can purchase it here: https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/occult-classic/id1032867940?app=itunes
EDIT: sorry i forgot to say, I'm on tour as well right now playing music with my friends across USA and Canada. GETTER, WUKI and AWE you can check out the tour dates here:
EDIT #2: hey im not leaving but i gotta pack my bags real fast to drive from nashville to knoxville, but ill anser more in the car give me like 30 mins brb! i also gotta pee!
You and Mat Zo collaborated as Kill the Zo before. Part 1 was an incredible song. Will we ever see a Part 2?
yes sir! we're workin on it!
Who can do more coke, you or feed me?
hmmm. this is a tricky question lemme just say this though, both of us have a similar stance on drugs, if u wanna do drugs, just be careful to not let the drugs do you.
Hello Jake! Been a long time lover of your music and I want to thank you for taking the time to answer the questions here in this AMA! :D
What was the last skill or technique you learned that really took your productions up a notch?
There is lots of advice on the internet for music production. What is maybe one or two pieces of advice you see a lot that you personally disagree with?
A lot of your songs have a high amounts of "energy". How, and maybe why, do you go about approaching a track where you want to convey high amounts of "energy"?
What was the most important(s) tip/trick that really changed your workflow and songwriting process?
Again, thanks a lot!
1. man hanging out with some new friends in the studio has helped me "hear" things differently. I've spent a lot of time working on stuff with Madsonik (who is on the album!) he is also known for his film composition as Brian Tyler. We've become great friends over this past year, and we've learned a lot from each other. Mostly just listening to music and talking about it. Talking about space in a mix. Where things go sonically. How music makes you feel. Getting philosophical with your friends about why you make music and how it makes you feel makes you better. Learning your tools makes you better. Above all listening to music deeply... makes you better. Our long talks makes me realize making music for film isn't so much different than making dance music. It's all about making people feel emotion! That's the most important bit right there!
Making music shouldn't be a formula. Making a synth patch or mixing a song shouldn't be like putting together a ikea table. Or completing a video game. Watching tutorials is awesome but they should always be a starting point. All of the cool stuff comes from stepping outside of the boundaries and discovering ideas that may be unconventional, stuff that people might consider wrong. I've been in the studio with lots of amazing producers and have seen them do things and I've said "hey why are you doing that?" "that seems WRONG to me". Over time I've learned to be quiet and watch when I'm working with someone cause some of the crazy stuff they've discovered is so bizarre. Its just stuff you wouldn't think of doing if you are following the rules!
energy is good! energy is life. shrek is life.
Now some people wont agree with me, but something I learned from skrillex. once you have a song in a good place where you are feeling it but start getting stuck. Bounce it out! Listen to it in the car, listen to it on your phone. Bring the .wav into your sequencer and play with different arrangements chopping the song into pieces. Try looping different sections, put stuff in different orders. When your project becomes this huge mess with 50 tracks and automation and all this shit everywhere, it becomes overwhelming. You start hearing things differently when you chop it up you cant go in and fiddle with the details your brain starts focusing on the bigger picture and you kinda refresh your perspective! once you've got your destination back in focus open the project back up and get back on it! Try it out! ;)
Hey Jake, It was awesome meeting you at North Coast, ever find the flash drive I threw at you?
dude send me ur soundcloud! i remember talking to you about that!
How many versions of Recess did you and Skrillex go through before you settled on the final version?
that one went down relatively quickly but we did try a couple different versions. at one point he slapped an old fat man scoop accapella we had lying around on top of the demo and it felt pretty good. So thats what kinda inspired asking him to come down and record with us. Once we had his vocal and Michael from passion pit on there, it was just a matter of getting the arrangement together and tightening up the mix and sound design. He did a lot of work making that main lead noise kinda sound "plucky" there's older versions of that song that had a kinda phase mod sound i made that didnt sound as cool as it does now. we did an equal amount of sound design on that one but i think he killed it with that sound in particular, it makes the track in my opinion!
Within the first 10 seconds of listening to any song..what is an instant giveaway that it is amateur or professional?
i can tell if someone needs work for 1 reason. I can tell what they are going for and they didnt get there.
How long were you writing music before you realized you were making some solid tracks and could do music for a living?
it kinda happened gradually. 2004 i was in community college just dicking around really, taking a bunch of random courses writing, philosophy, some art classes. I spent most of my time DJing and making tunes. I started hanging out on a messageboard called "dogs on acid" interacting with other guys like me and i met some guys from atlanta: mayhem, evol intent, and some others really early on. They were the first guys that listened to my stuff and started giving me feedback on my work. They were a couple steps ahead of me with some record releases and a bit of a international reputation. I stepped my game up big time trying to impress those guys haha. There was a 5 year period or so that I still worked a day job and tried to spend as much time as possible making tunes. Just taking a year at a time asking myself "am i making progress?". Little by little i got better released more records. All the way up till 2010 when i started a new project called "Kill The Noise". It's been a slower more steady growth over a decade. Which kinda seems rare in our environment now. It wasn't an over night thing that got me to where im at now.. where ever that is.
do you use serum? if so, what are your favorite wavetables and techniques?
love your sound, thanks man.
serum is awesome! its grown on me a lot! I used it quite a bit in "fuk ur mgmt" (on the album)
it took some getting used to mainly because im used to the filters and routing in massive. They have a similar feel for sure, but there are some differences that you gotta feel out.
my favorite thing you can do in serum that you should play around with is routing oscillators into eachother (using the FM mode like FM from B etc) you can get some really weird sounds that kinda remind me of the "phase Mod" in massive. There's just a lot more flexibility with sound in general in serum. Its a very powerful and versatile synth! For example every time i've hung with mat zo, i see him use it in a totally different way than i do. We are all starting to really dig into that synth and figure out what it can do!
Will we be seeing more dolphinstep in the future???????
Also, how did Dolphin on Wheels come to be? Was it Dillon's idea or yours or a bit of both?
((Ps I love Occult Classic!))
I came to see Dillon play last year at the shrine and he kept pushing this dolphin noise button while he was playing haha. I was like man there should definitely be a song like that. I made a demo and sent it to him and asked him if he wanted to work on it since it was inspired by him and his dolphin button haha!
Do you have plans for a track breakdown with future music or some other magazine? I'd love to see one
perhaps, i've been thinking about doing something along these lines. maybe even something with Splice. Or maybe do some type of stream based thing with some friends. I'm thinking about it glad your interested in seeing something like that.
Hi Jake, I really like your music, thanks for the great tracks. One of my favorites is "Deal With It" Were did you get / who is the guy the talking in that?
What's your favorite type of venue to do a live performance?
i played sound check in dc the other night. That felt great! I played the hoxton in toronto last sat. That was great! i'm feeling the 500-1000 person rooms. The real heads are there, they know the tunes. It feels like we're all there for the same reason. That seems to become more rare the bigger the room gets. You know what I mean?
FYI, I had to listen to Dolphin on Wheels at least 6 times to appease my 5 year old daughter in the car yesterday.
Thanks for that.
Awesome I'm having a kid in January I can't wait to play him the dolphin song :)
Do you think it's a "bad" thing if you can tell what they're going for? Just generally speaking, I find myself loving the songs that really catch me off guard with their sound. Not like an "unrelated drop", but a really cool/satisfying/well-designed patch, or unique percussion setups that pull it all together.
Yea I mean think of it like this. Listening to a half ass song is like watching a half ass actor. Yea I get the point but I'm not convinced. A great actor, a great film, is immersive, you forget you are watching a film. If I have time to stop and think about what you are trying to do instead of in the song, that means you aren't convincing me!
I am listening to OCCULT CLASSIC for the first time as I just saw OWSLA posted this on Facebook. I like the album a lot. Any crazy stories from the road?
well the tour just started last week and so far nothing too crazy has happened, tonight i play with Getter in knoxville... he's a pretty crazy guy so ill let you know what happens
Love the new album, and been a big fan of yours for a while!(Remember Dogs on Acid?)
Now that Feed Me did a Spor EP, will you do a Ewun EP? Please?
it would be awesome at one point to do another record that would have Spor, Evol Intent and Ewun on it, then do a tour around that. That would be really sick. I would be up for something like that one day!
edit: i remember dogs on acid of course, learned a lot on the grid! :teeth:
Have you read any books on sound design or music production, or learned everything by experimenting, tutorials and courses? If yes, any books you'd recommend?
i read synth manuals. You should at least browse those manuals. There are really good tutorials online for native instruments stuff in particular. I wouldnt concern yourself so much with watching "make a skrillex growl" tutorials if you are a beginner because there is so much more to synthesis than learning how to make 1 sound. It would be like wanting to be good at a fighting video game and only knowing how to do a finishing move but not knowing how to jump, or throw a punch haha! i learn a lot from screwing around to be honest. I take full days just to noodle around with a synth and just make noises. it has to become a tool that is an extension of yourself like a pencil. It's an art tool you use to make noises with!
Hey, man! I'd just like to start this by saying that you're a huge inspiration for me in music. Got a few questions for you:
Who are some of your biggest influences and inspirations in making your music?
Where do you think EDM is headed as a whole? Like, as we're sort of starting to move out of "future house" as a phase, what do you think may be the next new trend?
What genre of EDM would you love to make a huge comeback in the mainstream?
1. NIN, pink floyd, NES games, composers like Hip Tanaka have always been a kind of subconscious influence all my life. more recent influences, skrillex, richard d james, pendulum, eric prydz, deadmau5, jon gooch, there's a really long list there of electronic producers for sure.
I think its destined sooner or later to return back to more aggressive places. Seems like there is always this cycle in dance music. For the past couple years more mainstream stuff has reigned supreme, but I can see right at this moment that more aggressive dance music seems to stand out again in contrast to some of the tired formulas. Maybe its wishful thinking, maybe its just the kind of shows I've been playing and checking out... that's my vibe at the moment though!
I don't know... I don't usually try to think in terms of genre, and to be honest I try not to pay too much attention to what happens in the mainstream. In terms of trends in dance music, I'd love to see more fair weather fans and DJ's that aren't interested in "celebrity culture" a return to something more meaningful than that would be a relief in my opinion. (wishful thinking perhaps haha)
Whatever happened to your collab with deadmau5?
kill the mau5! we finished it. i dunno we were just screwin around. Did you like that one? I'd love to work on some more stuff with him obviously time will tell!
How do you feel about your music being leaked? I know Skrillex has said that he doesnt care if people buy his music or pirate it so I just wondering how you feel about that.
someone just posted this but i talk about it right here
but lemme elaborate.
i discovered the leak right here on reddit. the initial leak happened on 4chan and someone decided to post it over here. The mods were nice enough to take down the links, but you know how it goes with leaks. Once they start, if people want the music, you aren't gonna really be able to stop them. I'm ok with that. I have my suspicions how it happened. It doesn't matter though, bottom line is that if you don't want something to leak you have to keep it off the internet. Thats just the age we live in for now. There's all kinds of way stuff can get out! I appreciate people trying to keep it low key though. It does make a difference to me. At the end of the day I'm not selling millions of records, so it helps if people do buy the album. Ultimately, I agree with most musicians, i want people to hear the music so in the end I'm happy that people care enough to pass it around. I make most of my living touring, but putting out records helps keep us going too. Running a record label and stuff in 2015 isn't easy. When you buy records from labels like OWSLA it makes a difference in the music scene. If you believe in what they are doing and you feel good about the effect they are having on the music scene throw em some suppor they are a label that in my opinion are helping keep diversity in the "EDM" game supporting and discovering lots of new artists. I think that's a righteous cause for sure. Same thing with vst software companies.. those guys are artists too that need support!
How'd you get your following? I know it's probably because people just love your music, but how'd you get out there for the world to see you?
I've been doing this for a long time. So its been a slow process and its still a process. I'm still building. You said it, the answer is simple, wanna be a musician? Make music. I know thats a frustrating answer but you gotta believe that if you keep trying that people are going to start noticing. Might take a year.. might take years. You will get frustrated over and over. Thats the important part.. its understanding that you will always have tough times in life. It will seem impossible sometimes, but thats part of life in general isnt it. You gotta remember to give yourself credit for not giving up. The difference between people that have a career in music, and those who don't really boils down to that. I grew up with people that were so much more talented than me. So much more creative than I was. The more people I meet on my path the more I realize that we all have one thing in common for sure and thats that we never give up. There is no manual to becoming a professional creative person. You just have to be creative and determined! Everytime you hit a roadblock you have to say to yourself, this is where most people give up, what is a creative solution to this obstacle?
If you could colab with any producer who would it be?
easy one! trent reznor or kevin parker
You're probably my favorite person on twitter to follow. Have anything to say about this tweet?
Any other interesting diary entries?
Man I dunno what the hell im talking about sometimes. It's a good feeling to just let off some steam sometimes or just share a random thought. Helps me think straight for some reason. I'm glad you appreciate reading that random stuff haha
Hey Kill the noise! How did you end up meeting Skrillex and releasing your album on Skrillex's OWSLA?
what do you think of the Dutch? (your coming to ADE right!)
I met Skrillex years ago when I first moved to LA. We had some mutual friends in the scene 12th Planet was really the guy that introduced me to him. Right around this time he had already put out "my name is Skrillex" ep and was just about to put out "scary monsters and nice sprites" I had just put out "muscle rollers" a collab with feed me. to give you an idea of the time period. I was working on lots of electro house and dubstep and some drum'n'bass stuff. I think the song that caught his attention was "talk to me" it wasn't long after I sent that to him he started working on he Owsla idea. So he asked me if I was interested in putting out some music on the label. The rest is history really. Just a bunch of guys making tunes right place right time. He gave me a lot of cool opportunities early on, most importantly a solid platform to put my music out on.
Who's your favourite artist out right now? As well as song?
kevin parker from tame impala. currents is my life soundtrack at the moment!
What are your Top 3 music festivals you've attended / played at in North America? Thanks!
I love HARD
I love EDC
I love the mad decent events
what do you think the future looks like for dubstep? is it going to be underground again or do you think it might make a comeback?
dubstep will continue to mutate. who knows what the future holds! thats why i love dubstep there's a lot of cool shit coming out now Must Die! Getter, Snails the list goes on and on, its a good time for dubstep
He seems to use Live, based on all his tweets and instagrams. I remember reading he likes Serum and Massive as synths.
yep i use ableton! i also use serum and massive. Some new stuff i've been playing with kinda random stuff here but fun!
Hey Jake! I'm a huge fan and I just saw you at your Rochester hometown show! What were your biggest inspirations for the album? And how did you decide what artists to collaborate with like Dillon Francis and Feed Me?
My biggest inspiration? That's a tough one. There was a lot of different inspirations. My main inspiration this time around was to have more confidence in the stuff that I was afraid to put out. Things that I wasn't SURE people would get right away. Hoping that if I put the time in and made them the best they could be that people would give them a chance.
Working with feed me and Dillon , that's easy I always work with those guys, cause they're my friends! We've done songs in the past together: More specifically though I like working with those guys because it's fun. I think in most of the stuff I've done with those guys always has some level of satire or something to make us laugh. Making music should be fun, I think it's hard to be super serious in the studio with people that you spend so much time laughing and joking around with in real life!
What's your deal with Dolan comics lol ?
Hey Jake, love your music. Your remix of Spitfire has to be my favourite.
How long did it take for you to start to put your music in a "professional sounding" category?
Any tips for people that have been producing for a few years and want to make it a more serious hobby?
My goal always had been and always will be to earn the respect of my peers if you can do that you will be considered a professional I guess. Things like that, money, recognition, fame... It's all the byproduct of being really good at something. That's my path tho that's what kinda motivates me to get better is the respect of the people I admire. Everything else happens around me and I only notice when I stop and look around!
Edit: you asked "how long" I have no idea somewhere between 7 years ago and today I've been touring regularly making enough money to support myself. I've been making and playing music since 1999.
Hey Jake, love your new album. I've been blasting it the last couple of days.
My question is: What are your thoughts on these new kinds of production/djing schools like Icon Collective? Do you see them as a growing industry?
I think those schools can be cool. Seems like a lot of talented dudes came out of some of those. Then again I didn't go to school. Neither did most of my friends. Even if you do go to school, that's not gonna make you an instant edm star. Just like tutorials or anything else it's a starting point...
What's the word on Kill the Zo Pt.2? Also, Can I ask why you didn't release Occult Classic on Slow Roast? Aren't you a part owner of that label?
Ktz is a work in progress. There will be more info about that soon for sure.
As far as me releasing on slow roast. I do own it with craze and I do put music on it (I just put far away out and some remixes in collaboration with Sotto voce) the reason I put it out on Owsla quite simply is because we don't have the infrastructure to do a project of this size on slow roast. We are building it slowly but surely. Smaller projects I am confident we can push through slow roast, EPs, singles, etc. Big projects like a 10 track album is a ton of work and OWSLA is equipped to nail it !
Hey jake, been a fan long before I 1st saw you back in 2011, opening before Knife Party in LA and just wanted to say I love your new album its completely shitting on everyone right now. My question is, what is most likely to happen: Kill the Zo part 2 or Dill the Noise part 2 ???
Kill the Zo part 2 already exists so there you go! And thanks :)
YO thanks for doing this AMA!
I'm a huge fan since the dawn of KTN and have been bumping your new album all day! Can't wait to see you at Liquid on Sunday!
My one question: if you could go back and give yourself one piece of advice for when you were just starting to produce music, what would it be?
Relax, don't worry so much.
Hey Jake, I love the new album, it's probably my favourite release this year.
Questions: 1) what does your shirt say?
2) what's you're favourite colour?
3) do you use any production techniques or tricks that are considered 'cheesy' but you dgaf and use them anyway?
Suck my dick
Sure! I am embarrassed to say... I've used nexus before