Meet one of Australia’s most talked about bass artists - BLANKE
- the e is silent -
Sydney-based producer Blanke has had an EPIC year so far. From touring Australia and New Zealand with Illenium, to delivering a huuuuge remixes for Steve Aoki and Jonas Blue! You can usually find this guy either in his studio, tending to his beloved veggie patch garden, or taking some really beautiful pics of nature (if you don’t follow his instagram, we highly recommend it, it’s hella wholesome). We had a nice chat to him about the Blanke project, what’s coming up, and most importantly - gardening with Blanke.
What is Blanke? What’s the story, how did the project begin?
Blanke began when I had a change of heart towards the music I was playing and making at the time. It was my fresh start from my more amateur years I suppose. I felt like I needed to start over with this new vision. You could say it was like a 'blanke' canvas... ay ay ay. With new signings I had a bit of help from my label; whose support has been huge since the start of the project, and we've built the project up since then.
What are your musical influences?
I have a few different influences. I try to draw as much inspiration from Pendulum as I can. To me, their creativity, musicality, groove and technical abilities are second to none. I still try to derive some form of influence from my heavy metal days i.e. Tool, Metallica, Pantera. My dance music influences are artists like Porter Robinson, Knife Party (of course cos Rob Swire), The M Machine, Nero, Illenium, and really digging DROLOE's stuff recently too. Super unique and musical, and beautifully mixed. Great referencing stuff.
You recently toured Aus/NZ with Illenium! Which is HUGE! What was that like?
That tour was amazing. It was my first solid run supporting another major artist so I learnt a lot on that trip and it was really special to me. The team was amazing too, everyone was so talented and so kind. It's really awesome to continuously see that mix of qualities together in this industry. Every show ended up selling out too which was unreal. Plus I got to jam out with Dabin and Nick during sound checks haha. We went between drums, keys and guitar just for fun to loosen up before one of the shows. It was a huge vibe.
What’s your favourite release so far/why?
I think Destiny with 1788-L would be my number one. Then the Curiosity EP. Both meant a lot to me for their own reasons. The demo 1788-L and I started on was one i was super attached too, so sharing it with someone meant a lot, and it turned out to be something incredible. We worked really well together and came up with something we really cherished and were really excited for. My Curiosity EP was like a bit of a turning point for me. It was a body of work I put so much of myself into, and it always feels so amazing to be so proud of something you make no matter what anyone else thinks of it.
If you weren’t doing music, what would you be doing?
Haha I’ve always wondered this too. I mean, I've always wanted to start a cafe. A cool, quirky trendy specialty cafe with bangin coffee. I've been making coffee for like ten years and I've always loved it. So that'd be cool. I would have maybe kept going with my love of graphic design or photography. But anything could have happened. It’s always fascinating to think about.
We noticed you were recently in the US?
I freakin' love that place. I spent 3 weeks in LA, catching up with so many talented artists. It was incredible. It’s just an inspiring city. All you have to do is be there and things happen. I also got to stop past Denver to go to the infamous Red Rocks to see Virtual self which was ridiculous. Go see that show if you get a chance. Also stopped by HARD Summer Festival where I got to see VS again haha plus so many other artists. It was an INTENSE few weeks but now I'm addicted to that city.
What’s been the highlight of the Blanke journey so far?
The little moments along there way where I realise something new and exciting for my music. The relationships I've built with people. The journey I’m sharing with others that are just as invested in the project as I am. That in itself is something I still struggle to comprehend actually. The fact that I have a manager that works pretty much 24/7 for the project, stresses himself out over it and believes in me as much as he does is something I can barely wrap my head around. The physical moment highlight would be when I went on stage with Peking Duk at a sold out Spilt Milk to play my remix of one of their tunes. That was the most surreal moment of my life.
And now what everyone really wants to hear about - the infamous Blanke veggie patch we’ve all been watching on your instagram stories?
My veggie patch is a little strip of dirt running along my fence out the back. It’s a modest little bed but it contains all my trials and errors of seed planting and I’ve grown overly attached. It began when my girlfriend got me this book called ‘Grown and Gathered’ for my birthday and I became obsessed. It’s a book about self sustaining, growing your own produce, cooking your own meals and giving back to the earth. I grow using non GMO, non hybrid heirloom seed. Meaning they are like the OG of seeds. So no nasties. I sow my own seeds, watch them grow, then cook with them in my meals with my partner. No waste, no plastic, no bad stuff. Its the most fulfilling thing.
What are you growing at the moment?
At the moment I’ve got a massive couple of rocket plants, a few bok choy as they are fun, easy and delicious and almost buttery when you eat them, I can’t even describe it. I’ve also got an awesome couple of snow pea vines doing their thing at the moment and I get a handful or two of pods each week. I also have some flowers growing and some catnip, broccoli, a couple of tomatoes, not to mention my basil plant which I am currently documenting on my instagram story! So come check that one out and see how it goes hahaha. Coming home to see the tiny growths and new flowers and ripening vegetables is honestly such a thrill. My roommate planted his first seeds the other day and has seen some growth already and came running into my room screaming. I plan on growing wherever I am and eventually sustaining myself.