L ocal EDM trio ill-Mannered — made up of producers Tyler Crawford Unland, Matthew Stafford and drummer Eric Imbrosciano — have been working well beyond overtime on their upcoming EP.
The record is due out for free download on Tuesday, and Unland said he thinks it’s their best yet. The first single off Illusions Of A Sleepless Mind was released Tuesday.
We got a taste of the new EP, and it’s definitely on a new level — still working in hip hop, funk and dub, but with a more epic feel. When we caught up with Unland the day of the single’s release, he was still putting in work in the studio.
So I hear you’re in the studio right now.
I don’t leave. I basically kind of lock myself up here in the woods and they’re always something to do, that’s for sure.
Working on anything in particular today?
Today, what I’m working on is releasing this single off of our new EP that’s coming out next week. I’m just in the real final steps of mixing and mastering that. Work on it ’til it’s perfect, right?
You guys came together from all over — Philly, New York and Atlanta.
I moved to Colorado and finished up school, and I’ve known Matthew for about six years, and we used to tour around in different bands on the electronic scene, and we would always cross paths and work stuff as we could together. He went to CU. I met Eric through the music community out here. He’s from New York. I’ve always respected him. He’s one of the scene’s best drummers. We’re good friends and always had mutual respect and wanted to put it to use.
Did you end up in Colorado by coincidence or was there a reason you settled here?
I moved out here for snowboarding. I used to run around and compete with that. One time I was out here when I was 15 or 16 and I decided I was gonna stay here.
How does the writing collaboration work with two producers and a drummer?
It’s not exactly always possible (to work together). Everyone’s a working musician or something else. Essentially, what we do is we all prose ideas, and some of them are more developed than others, and as they develop or whatever, it’s typically myself and Matthew that are doing most of the composition. I’ll go to Matthew or Matthew will come to me with what we would consider the start of an idea. Sometimes the tracks are close to finished but we have to meet a mutual agreement about what works. We get a coffee and get all jacked up and sit down and write.
Tell me about the new EP.
This EP, specifically, has been an enormous consumption of all of our time. Just in the creative process alone there’s been close to 12 or 15 hundred hours that’s gone into it. It’s knit-picky for each of us because it’s our first really official release. Other stuff has been well received, thank God, but this is the first thing as an entire project from start to finish that all of us have to sign off on and say ‘That’s the best that we can do.’
This EP is all about finding a balance for us…. We always pursue our creative desires, but keep in mind that the end result should cater slightly towards what people would like … I know that I can kind of speak on behalf of everyone for this: The kind of overproducing thing, often times, gives it this stale appeal, and our whole aspiration that we like to aim for is trying to balance that kind of production and pristine, clear sound with something natural and organic that gives just a certain aesthetic. Like modern versus primitive. If we have something beautiful and clean, making something that gives it some trash and some grit and some warmth, you can grasp it better.
What’s the live show like?
The live set up, obviously there’s three of us, and you can obviously expect that Eric is going to be on point and just be a pretty cool spectacle to watch. He’s amazing. As far as Matthew and myself, we share a laptop and trigger samples and mix in and out of tracks. With the live show, overall what we’re trying to do is provide the atmosphere that we like when we go to shows. We like to go to shows and get rowdy and be with all our friends. Potentially get into some irresponsible stuff.
You can catch ill-Mannered live, opening for Juno What?! at the Fox Theatre on Sept. 27.