Recently we had the opportunity to speak with Jon Hopkins. Read up on a lot of interesting things you may not have known about Jon.
Hello Jon, nice to have you on MaxMuzik! As this is your first interview with us, let’s start off with a little background. How did you get into music? Please tell us about the beginning of your career as an artist.
I’ve never really been into anything else, certainly not in the same way. I was obsessed with it from an early age, particularly electronic stuff i would hear on the radio. When i left school i auditioned for Imogen Heap’s live band, and toured with her for a year, then started making my own solo stuff when we went our separate ways.
For our readers who’ve never heard your music, explain your sound in 5 words.
Cinematic, instrumental, heavy, gentle, melancholic
Can you offer insight into some of your musical inspirations? And who is your favorite artist from Electronic music outside your own specific genre?
Predictable answer but it would have to be Brian Eno – I’ve been a fan since i was a teenager, particularly of his early 80s ambient records, and his collaborative records with Harold Budd. I still listen to these things all the time, they are a big part of my life. I also have been a fan of the underrated album Quique by Seefeel for a long time – they got me hooked on this idea of music as a hypnotic thing.
You are releasing your forthcoming album “Immunity” on June 4th, how was the experience working on this album like for you?
I definitely enjoyed writing this album more than i have enjoyed writing any other – i carved out a good 9 month period to work on it and just got really deeply into it. It felt like a luxury to be able to really focus on one thing only for so long – really just nurturing these new songs into life.
You’ve collaborated with art director & typographer Craig Ward and biochemist Linden Gledhill for the “Immunity” video. How was the working experience with them on this project?
It was great. The results are beautiful, and i love how it’s impossible to tell what you’re looking at, but yet it’s clear that you’re not looking at something made with computer graphics. I really only came onboard at the end to help the editor match each clip with each track. It’s incredible to think that chemical reactions of the type that go on around us all the time look so complex and beautiful when examined through a microscope.
Jon Hopkins & The Creators Project Premiere “Immunity” Video
Could you tell us about your music production process? Also your equipment and the setup you use in your live shows.
I write with Logic on a Mac combined with a virtual PC via Parallels. I use no virtual instruments, just a few vintage synths, a korg trinity and a piano, and occasionally some strings. For live shows, it’s impossible to take these things on the road, so i have recorded lots of different takes which i then re-structure live using a simple Ableton set-up, combined with a DJM, a Remote Zero, a Novation Launch Pad and 4 Kaoss Pad 3s. I find i have great flexibility with this setup.
Speaking of shows, you are going to have your record release party on June 4th in Brooklyn. What are your touring plans for the rest of 2013? Are you coming to Toronto, Canada as well? :)
I have a lot of shows booked, right through to november. The full list is on the live page of my website. I’d love to come to Toronto but I haven’t been invited as yet! i played there before with Royksopp and once with Four Tet, it’s a great city.
What artists would fans be surprised to find on your iPod/music player?
Abba. And some nice 16th century choral music.