On the evening of Thursday January 30, 2014 MMIBTY Co-Founder Jon Gilman and friend Steve Saltzman sat down with Adam Deitch and Borahm Lee who, together, are the duo that is Break Science. The interview took place at Boston’s Paradise Rock Club while Break Science and Paul Basic were there as part of the Seven Bridges Tour. The show was a homecoming of sorts for drummer Adam Deitch, who spent several years in the city studying at the renowned Berklee College of Music. Paul Basic and Break Science both threw down and showed us why they’re rising stars in the world of Electronic Music, supported by the influential Pretty Lights Music family. Read about how Break Science came to be, what their writing process is like, what some of their favorite cities to play in are, and so much more!
MyMusicIsBetterThanYours.com (MMIBTY): How did you guys meet and form Break Science?
Break Science (BS): We met through a mutual friend who’s a bass player. We were playing in NY in front of nobody, playing in the city every week for like two years, full band, and after a while we decided to go just the two of us. And that’s how Break Science formed basically, keys and drums and tracks.
MMIBTY: Do you have one particular kind of writing process you go through when you’re in the studio?
BS: We have a lot of processes; we definitely don’t stick to one fixed way. A lot of times one of us will bring in an idea, lately we’ve been working a lot in the van just cuz we’ve been on the road so much and that’s the only time we have. We’ll be in the van or the bus or at the airport or wherever with our units out just trying to find the inspiration to help us power through the hours that it takes to really sculpt, to create a song that we’re happy putting out into the universe. It definitely takes a while. We need to make sure it feels right, it sounds right in every way before we put it out to the masses. It takes a lot of time, but we get it done. We’re already working on the next record. We’re doing several remixes for different artists. We just cranked one out for Derek [Pretty Lights] that we got to play on the Pretty Lights tour, it’s a remix from the Grammy nominated album A Color Map of the Sun. Sometime’s we’ll just jam though, we get on the piano or the drums and we’ll record it on an iphone or on laptop speakers then we’ll take that, sample it, chop it up, lay some drums over it. There’s a million different ways [the writing process] could happen. We enjoy not having a set thing, like you send me a track and I send you a track. We have done that, but that’s just one way.
MMIBTY: In listening to your latest album Seven Bridges it’s easy to see Break Science has varying sounds and musical influences.
BS: Yeah we love a lot of different types of music ranging from traditional music (Reggae, Afro-Beat, Funk, Vintage Soul – unknown records and stuff) all the way up to the beginning of Electronic music back in the 80s and 90s. We can do it by decade, we can do it by every five years, we just love it all and we just filter it and do our thing and try to come up with an unidentifiable term that is Hip-Hop based, but it’s gotten past that. It’s gotten somewhere else.
MMIBTY: How do you decide when you want to bring in someone like Redman or Chali 2Na or any other vocalists on your tracks? How do you decide one song is going to be an instrumental and another one is going to have lyrics on top of it?
BS: All the vocalists on our records we have a relationship with, it’s not just someone we don’t know that we hired to sing for us. We either made a song with someone in mind or we created the song and realized they would sound really great on it. And then have the rapport with them to be able to bounce it back and forth with them and make sure they’re into it. But it would only happen with people we’ve worked with before – we’ve been working with Chali for years. We’ve worked with Talib Kweli for years. Before Break Science I [Adam] did a Dilla tribute that I played drums on and eventually I was like “check out this electronic band” and he was completely into it. Talib has a lot of connections and we’ll send him a track and if he digs it he’ll send it off. And we like working with people too, we had Talib come in and start rapping to some of our songs. We work together and help guide the flow and the vibe of the song with the lyricists, what the lyrics are and that kind of thing. Certain songs need vocals and certain songs don’t and you just gotta know when you have enough and when you need more.
MMIBTY: In terms of live shows are there certain cities that you get amped on?
BS: There are definitely several. We love playing in Boston, NYC, Detroit, San Fran, Chicago, New Orleans. And of course Colorado, the base of our record label and a lot of the sounds the genre is operating in blew up around Denver. We definitely have love Boston for sure, I [Adam] spent seven years here and all the guys I went to music school with, Berklee, I love that energy. I got my percussions with me tonight, my boy Atticus that I went to school with, he’s here tonight and we’re going to do some real heavy percussion stuff on stage for all those drummers and dancers out there.
MMIBTY: I highly respect all the Berklee kids out there. They work so hard, you’ve obviously worked so hard throughout your career.
BS: Yeah, that school will make you or break you. It’s like an oven. A lot of people there are playing so you need to decide if you want to put the work in to break through.
MMIBTY: The people you met at Berklee and the people you know from school, are you still playing music with some of them?
BS: Yeah, every one of them. Every one of them I still work with. All my best friends from those days are with me today. From the Lettuce [Adam’s other band] guys to a whole bunch of other dudes. The guys who run Interscope Records, my friend Neil Jacobson was there – he’s the Vice President of A&R at Interscope. Jeff Bhasker just won like 12 Grammys in the past two years, he’s the biggest song writer in LA, he went to Berklee. My Berklee crew is doing things. Keith Harris, the Black Eyed Peas drummer, is our boy from school… the list goes on and on. Everyone from all over the country, from small towns, we were just that music kid and we all came to one school. We all gravitated towards each other – that’s my clique, thats my illuminati.
MMIBTY: Do you have any collaborations coming out that you can talk about, or collaborations you’d like to do?
BS: We have a bunch of things in the works but we don’t want to say too much just yet. The next records are already in the works, we’re working on a couple remixes. We’re definitely going to re-collaborate with Sonya Kitchell who was on our first record, she’s a Grammy award winner. We have the new visuals which is big. We’re working with these guys that do incredible live visuals and they’re doing it on the fly and it’s hooked up to the drums so the visuals go with the drums and the beat of the bass drum. And you can see what we’re doing behind the drums and behind the keys on the screen so it’s going to be a whole different experience tonight. We wish we could watch it. It’s our first time debuting that whole thing tonight.
MMIBTY: Do you have anyone that you want to collaborate with who you haven’t yet or who you don’t even know?
BS: We’ll throw out Busta Rhymes – Busta if you’re listening holla at us. Kendrick [Lamar]. We won’t throw Kendrick off the record if he asks us. There’s a ton of artists we’d like to work with. Q-Tip. We’re open to working with anyone really but it’s important to have the relationship, the musical relationship, it always makes the flow of communication better when you’re creating music so you feel comfortable with someone so you can talk to them about more things. We know Busta and we know he’d be down, he just needs to hear one of those tracks that we have. We’re going to try to do something with the Wu Tang Clan guys, Method Man and Redman, there’s a connection there. We did Bonnaroo with Rza [of Wu Tang] and SchoolBoy Q – we can get anyone who was there that day – Solange, she was great we could do a song with her. A lot of options, they gotta be cool and the vibe’s gotta be right. We’re worried about the music first and foremost and we know if we make the music everything else will fall into place. No matter who the artist is, if they like it they like it. We’re looking forward to working with a lot of young artists too, like producing their albums down the road, if we like an artist that much. Eventually people start bringing us artists, we’re really looking forward to that. The sky is the limit.
MMIBTY: What are a couple defining moments as a group so far, what are a couple milestones for you?
BS: Playing at Red Rocks was big. The New Years stuff has been successively better and better. We opened for Bassnectar for New Years and then this year we did Decadence [Denver] and then we also opened for Derek [Pretty Lights]. For New Years we played in front of almost 20,000 people. We’re playing Bonnaroo as Break Science with a good slot this Summer, that will be big. That will be a milestone.
MMIBTY: What point do you hope to get to?
BS: We want to headline Red Rocks. We want to put together a bill that is really creative and everything goes into each other. Some kind of new kind of bill where it’s like, we take all these relationships that we’ve been forming with artists and we all jam, and we just want to give them a unique experience at some place like Red Rocks, it’s gonna be something they remember forever. We’re really into throwing a festival down the road and picking artists who don’t normally go together and make them do something that’s like a once in a lifetime event. We’re really into events and that kind of thing. But also bringing our show to another level with visuals and all that, maybe three nights at SPAC [Saratoga Performing Arts Center in upstate New York] or something like that.
MMIBTY: Maybe the igloo tour.
BS: Haha that’s what we’ve been doing. We just want to say props to all our fans who have been coming out in the cold on this East Coast tour. And to everyone who’s been traveling to see us thank you even more because y’all are risking your lives to come see us – it’s snowing, it’s icy. Drive safe, drive slow – we appreciate every one of you. It really does make the music better. If we know you’re traveling to come see us it really pushes us to make it that event you dreamed it would be. That’s what it’s about.
*Don’t forget to grab the Seven Bridges album below and support that awesome guys that are Break Science!*