T.H.E Interview – Couros
By Akshay Bhanawat – December 18, 2022 0
Couros reflects back on 2022, talks about the creative process behind “Plan A”, and more.
T.H.E – Hello Couros! We’re glad to have you for this interview. We’re at the end of 2022, how was this year for you?
Couros – It has gone so fast, it’s kind of mad. Everything felt back to normal, I got to travel again, I worked more than I ever have and learned so much. I can’t complain.
T.H.E – I had a listen to “plan A”, it sounds terrific! What was the creative process behind this track?
Couros – Plan A was one of the first songs I had started for the album. I’m not even sure if it was even an album in my head at that point. I was feeling a bit down and needed something high energy to lift me back up so I picked up my mic and got to working on lyrics, melody and the beat kind of in that order. I built it up until I felt like I got the emotion right then It stayed that way for about a year while I continued to make other ideas for the album. It ended up staying mostly the same, I added a few more guitars whilst I mixed it but essentially it was as it was made on the day I wrote it.
T.H.E – Your debut album is coming soon, could you share more info on that?
Couros – Yeh i’m actually finishing it all right now. For me personally it feels like a long time coming. Going to be continually releasing it track by track up until the middle of next year. I’m so excited to show where I’m heading and where the sound has gone. With “I don’t feel the same” it’s definitely a conscious nod to my older sound, and felt like a nice warmup but yeh some of the songs coming next year really push what I do into new areas.
T.H.E – How long has it taken you to produce this album? From scratch to master.
Couros – I try to not overwork an idea. It might technically be a couple years since I had started Plan A maybe.
I like working really fast on the first day of a song, running off instinct as much as I can to make it as close to a finished record as possible. Then I like to come back to it after I’ve almost forgotten what it sounds like with a fresh perspective so I can mix and finish it. All in all each song would have an average of 3 to 4 days spent on it before it goes to mastering. But yeh, about 2 years from the first track until now!
T.H.E – You’ve released amazing live videos for each single, can you describe how they came to be?
Couros – Ive been wanting to do my music live since the start. When I started in music I was a guitarist, playing live was all I did and I learned so much about what I do and don’t like about that scene. Been to too many electronic shows where you’re just watching someone stare at a computer too, and that’s boring! So yeh Id been saying to my manager Declan that if I do live shows or videos we have to do it right, no click tracks or in ears, just like actual people being present in the room playing off each other. I’ve always been a fan of Francis and the Light’s one shot videos and his video “darling it’s alright” totally got me hooked on a live one shot performance. I just booked a studio 1 at RAK Studios I love working in, found this great DOP and called up my friends and we just jammed it all out in a couple days and that was that. No rehearsals or real planning, which in hindsight was a bit of a risk, but then again not really because when you have a team that good maybe not planning yields better results. At least in my opinion it did!
T.H.E – You are a self-taught musician, could you speak about the challenges of learning instruments by yourself?
Couros – I was a little lucky in that while I wouldn’t say I had a traditional music education, I did have a period of time where I had a teacher that taught me how to teach myself. He didn’t teach me how to read music, or the 12 bar blues. But you could bring a song to him and he would show me how to use my ears and find the notes, and after that I was able to just listen to something and learn it that way by myself. So from then on out I would learn all my favourite songs, then later on I got a MIDI keyboard and did the same with piano and most other things. I definitely get a kick out of figuring something out and learning, if anything its become an addiction, I just have to keep it directed towards music if I can otherwise I might spend a couple months obsessing about something not very helpful to my career and it’s tougher to work when all you want to do is go out and take 1000 photos with a new camera lens haha.
T.H.E – Who are your influences and why?
Couros – Blake Mills, Jai Paul. Imogen Heap, Shawn Everett, Jamie Lidell, Mkgee, Trent Reznor the list goes on and on! I find it super inspiring when someone can make your favourite records whilst it also just being like a DIY mainly one person operation. I guess also, because of that their vision isn’t ever getting watered down so there’s something so confident and pure about the music.
T.H.E – What’s your studio setup like? Any specific gear/plugin you cannot work without?
Couros – The studio is growing/changing all the time but right now I’ve got a sort of hybrid setup going. I have a couple analog valve preamps, a few tape machines, guitar amps/pedals and some analog synths too. I could probably be almost as happy without all of it but it does make life easier when you can physically see your options.
Always making small changes here and they’re but constants throughout my career would be the Universal Audio Apollo interfaces, Soundtoys plugins, Amphion Monitors and my SM7B Mic.
T.H.E – Any tips you’d like to share with beginners?
Couros – Use your ears not your eyes. Try stuff you find interesting, you don’t need to do something the way it’s supposed to be done. Almost everything we like in record production was invented for another purpose originally.