Interview // Doc Brown

Doc Brown landed on SNOE again this year with his mesmerising “Sympathy Symphony”, a track we loved to play out in the clubs this fall. Doc is a force to be reckoned with, showcasing impeccable taste in sound selection and groove creation. The tune bounces and shakes with proper drive, serving us an addictive groove combined with thrilling synths and on point percussions. And now he took some time to chat with us!


Hi Doc, so nice of you to take the time to chat with us. Tell us, how would you describe your music to someone who has never heard you before?

This is a bit of a tough one for me because I typically don’t think much about genre or sound–I just make what I feel like & worry about the rest later. But, even though that is the case, a lot of people seem to feel that I have a cohesive sound, despite the fact I think sometimes I’m all over the place! Mostly it’s energetic with dark rolling grooves, the kind of thing you’d hear at a seedy afterhours spot where people are there strictly for the music. The underground!

What do you love most about being an artist?

Whether or not I had achieved any success, writing songs has always been my first love, so aside from the fact that I get to wake up every day & make music I think the most rewarding part is creating connections between people. Whether it’s connections between myself & fans, between myself & other artists, or seeing fans of my music connect with each other, I feel like connection is one of the most universal & basic functions of music. Being able to facilitate that through my creations is & always will be one of the most valuable results of the process; it makes me feel very proud & yet is also very humbling. I’m very grateful for all of it.

We love your new track. What was your inspiration for it?

With “Sympathy Symphony” I wanted to write something instrumental & based on melody, specifically where I could create a hook that wasn’t reliant upon vocals. So, in this case I started the track with the melody, whereas I normally start with a kick & melodic bassline. The track really began just as a writing exercise to get out of my comfort zone but I found myself humming the melody over & over throughout the day when I wasn’t working on the track, so I knew at that point I was on to something with the melodic idea & it needed to be finished & shared.   

Tell us a bit about what you have been up to lately?

This summer & fall has been the busiest of my career. Whether it was playing summer festivals or throwing parties for my own label, Unlearn:Records, it seemed every weekend was full of commitments. I was also fortunate enough to have a number of originals & remixes released that all did quite well, including a remix of my friend Francis Davila’s hit song “Rise” & a new one called “Heard The Bass Drop” on Gene Farris’ label that got a ton of support across the board including from the legend Green Velvet. The highlight, though, had to be attending my first ADE where I got to meet a bunch of people I’ve been working with but had never met in person, including Andreas & Beth from SNOE. Andreas even dropped “Sympathy Symphony” at the Dirtybird party a few weeks before the release, which was the first time I had heard it played out by someone other than myself!

What is the one thing you can’t be without in the studio?

I think the very obvious answer is the machine itself. I still use a mid-2015 MacBook Pro & find it to still be very competitive with even the latest computers in terms of productivity & speed. But moving on from that, aside from EQ, the only plug-in I use on every track is Nerve from Xfer records. I’m a big fan of Steve Duda’s software, the only one of his I don’t have yet is Serum. I told myself I’d buy it when I feel like I reached the end of using U-he’s Diva, but I guess I’m just not there yet!

What is your favourite Norwegian word? 😉

Unfortunately I don’t know much Norwegian, but one word I do know is “takk”. In general, I feel like thankfulness & gratitude are the most powerful of all emotions. I have found when I consciously try to incorporate them into my daily life, happiness comes in much more abundance. It’s certainly not easy to feel thankful all the time, especially when life is difficult, so it’s something I need to work on every day. It’s very easy to fall into the trap of cyclical negative thoughts, especially as an artist where you are facing rejection daily–but that’s also why it’s so important! In any event, it seems a trip to Norway might be in order to learn some more vocabulary!


You can check out Doc’s latest track:

And we just got a fresh mix from him for our SNOE Affairs series, enjoy this ride of grooves and wicked synths:

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