As one of the most truly innovative, versatile and sought-after producers in all of dance music, it’s undeniable that Seven Lions is on an exponential rise to international prestige. By garnering the attention of some of the world’s most prolific and well-respected artists, such as Above & Beyond, Paul van Dyk, Skrillex, and Ellie Goulding, among others, it’s clear that his powerfully emotive, visionary brand of bass-driven electronica has broken through the status quo to unveil a rare, one-of-a-kind musical experience. With his sheer technical prowess in the studio and behind the decks, Seven Lions brings new meaning to the art of music production. Currently on The Journey Tour across the United States and Canada, find a show near you.
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Michael Mazzeo: Coming from Santa Barbara, California, describe the city and it’s atmosphere a bit. What stands out and makes it special? What’s one sight you would suggest for a first-time visitor?
Seven Lions: I’d say laid back and sunny. Upscale probably would be a good word for Santa Barbara. But, if you’re just going for the first time I would go do all of the touristy stuff like going to State Street and then the pier. That’s the main thing that people do anyways, but it’s a good thing to do.
© Michael Theis
MM: It must be refreshing to walk around out there.
SL: Yeah, it’s just a really nice area, for sure. The beach is really good there and it’s a nice pier.
MM: When you were younger where were some spots that you vacationed to?
SL: Big Sur and Mammoth Mountain probably were the most memorable trips that my parents took us on as kids. We did snowboarding at Mammoth. Then, for Big Sur, we were just camping in the trees. We used to try to do that yearly, so I remember that quite a bit.
© Łukasz Lech
MM: What was your first introduction to music?
SL: My dad is a musician, so he was always around instruments and had them up around the house all the time. That’s really where that came from.
MM: What did your dad play?
SL: He plays a little bit of everything — saxophone mainly, but piano, guitar and drums.
MM: When did you realize music was something you wanted to do with the rest of your life?
SL: I don’t think there was any point that happened like that. It slowly, over time, turned out to be a viable option to make a living, but I always did it as a hobbyist. So, even if it was never my number-one thing, I always made music. It was a gradual progression.
MM: Nice, it’s really cool when careers are bred out of love and enjoyment. Now, how’s The Journey Tour been so far?
SL: It’s been awesome. We’ve been trying to do stuff every day. Lots of adventuring, skydiving, surfing and hiking.
MM: You picked a good time to go on tour with the seasons changing in the northern states. Where’d you go skydiving?
SL: Yeah, a little bit of everything. It’s nice. Down in San Diego. I think we’re going to go snowboarding once we pass Vermont. So, that’s going to be cool.
© Chad McDonald
MM: For sure, Vermont is definitely the spot on the East Coast. When you’re searching for a personal getaway are you a beach guy, or are you looking for something more active and adventurous?
SL: It really depends on the mood. This tour we’re trying to be adventurous and do a lot of different things. But, my ideal “chill place” would just be to go eat, sleep away for a week and be off my phone or the Internet.
MM: How does traveling influence your creative process?
SL: I don’t really do much on the road to be honest. It’s really about being home for me. So, I don’t think it does actually. It’s more about finding time for the studio.
© Poly Images
MM: Everyone has a list of places they still have to hit. What are some places you haven’t seen or been to yet?
SL: I want to do some castle tours starting in Austria. Then, head down to the Carpathian Forest after that and cruise around all that area. I like old, creepy castles and I think that would be very cool.
MM: That’s a very fitting visual for your sound. When you have downtime, and you’re not working on your own stuff, are you listening to dance music? Or, do you like to switch it up?
SL: Yeah, definitely. Mostly metal to be honest. I’m into Scandinavian metal — melodic and progressive stuff. Lately, I’ve been listening to Steven Wilson or Porcupine Tree, but generally a lot of metal.
MM: You have a new collaboration with Echos, how’d that come about?
SL: I hit them up a long time ago, because I wanted to work with Lexi. She’s a great vocalist. Then we started talking about doing a collaboration and it just slowly came about through a year of talking. It finally came together pretty quickly toward the end.
MM: Looking forward to the rest of the tour, you’re shooting through the East Coast before you finish the tour in Chicago. What are you looking forward to most?
SL: I think the snowboarding trip in Vermont should be fun, because I really like snowboarding. Then probably the biggest show will be Terminal 5, so that will be exciting. I always liked New York City, so it will be great.
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