Breathe Carolina is on a roll, and the latest and greatest news is their recently released single, “Hero (Satellite).” Out now on Spinnin’s Oxygen label, “Hero” is a huge progressive track with a great combination of melancholic electro melodies and sweet vocals. Coming off the great momentum from their highly successful dance debut, “Anywhere But Home,” this track is ready to move its own way into the spotlight.
I had a chance to chat with Tommy Cooperman from Breathe Carolina and learn more about “Hero (Satellite),” what’s up next for the band, and how they’re ready to take the EDM world by storm.
EPIC PRODUCTIONS: We’re so excited about your latest release, “Hero (Satellite)” – what was your inspiration for the song?
We have a lot of vocals-driven tracks coming out and we’ve done a lot of that in the past, so we wanted to do something more club-friendly, DJ support-friendly, a bigger dance track. Something focused on instrumentals, but keep it progressive, and then maybe add on some vocals. So we kind of just started writing it. Then we had this a capella for a while, which is the one in the second verse, and we just threw it in there, pitched it up and it sounded cool.
EPIC PRODUCTIONS: Where’s the a capella from originally?
We just did it with our friend Karra, who’s really cool and actually on our next single coming out called Platinum Heart where she sings the full song. So we’ve worked with her in the past; we weren’t quite sure what we wanted to do with the vocal, and it wasn’t in the same key as this song, but when we tried pitching it up a bit we really liked how it sounded, so we kept it in there!
EPIC PRODUCTIONS: What was it like working with Y&V?
It was cool! We hadn’t met them – they’re like 16 and from France. They did this EP on Armada and it came in our promo, and I loved the track. I feel like the track didn’t get as big as it should have, since they’re so new and young, so I hit them up and said, “Hey, we should do something.” So we started sending ideas back and forth, which was kind of fun doing that between us and guys in France, MIDI ideas and sessions, and it kind of just sparked naturally from there.
EPIC PRODUCTIONS: What about the music video? Can you talk about that a bit?
Yeah so we just did a tour with Feenixpawl and Apek, who was on our last song, “Anywhere But Home.” We did a bus tour with them and we bring our videographer with us pretty much everywhere, who caught a bunch of live stuff from the tour. Like we did a big show in Japan, filmed it and threw the footage in there. Our fans are our heroes to us, so it was kind of like our thank you to them putting them in the video. The whole tour we did a free meet and greet for every fan who bought a ticket, so we’d meet like 500 fans at the beginning of shows. We wanted to portray that in the video as a thank you to all the fans who continue to support us, all the changes we’re going through, and the fans who bought the single off of Beatport.
EPIC PRODUCTIONS: Very cool, I love how much you guys are all about your fans!
Of course, they’re super important to us!
EPIC PRODUCTIONS: So you mentioned the changes you’ve been going through, and it’s been a shift more and more to EDM. What would you say is the sub-genre of EDM you’re gravitating toward?
It’s mostly progressive house. I feel like we’ve always made electronic music, but with more of a pop structure, and progressive house is essentially a poppier form of dance music. So we naturally go toward big vocal parts and catchy melodies. And that’s just what we’ve gotten into producing. We’re not the big room house producers, as much as we wish we could do that it’s just not what we’re good at. But we have some stuff coming out with some big room guys where we wrote the melody and they made it into a big room sound. So we have some clubby, big room tech stuff but for the most part everything we have is super vocal-driven, progressive house.
EPIC PRODUCTIONS: Comparing the days back when you were more of a rock band to who you are now, has your creative process or approach changed?
No it’s pretty much the same. Dave produced our album in 2008 on GarageBand, we’ve never really recorded real instruments it’s always been on the computer, electronic. I think we have maybe three songs total where we added guitars on them. So it’s still the same – still us writing on a laptop, we’re just better at it now I guess haha….we just dive into it so much harder now. Being on labels in the past, they would put us in with pop producers and we didn’t have as much control. But now it’s just us and we don’t have to do it with anybody, we just do it ourselves. In the past it was us standing over these “mega pop producers’” shoulders and it would be, “Hey do this, do that, move over let me do it,” haha and now we just get to do it ourselves.
EPIC PRODUCTIONS: So you started on GarageBand – what’s your music software of choice these days?
I use Ableton, and we cut all of our vocals using Logic. And Dave uses Studio One. So it just depends on who starts the idea, if Dave starts the idea we’ll do it all in Studio One then bounce it out, bounce the MIDI, move it into my session in Ableton, kind of make it sound a little better, and then finish it. Whereas if I start the idea I’ll start it in Ableton, bounce it out to Dave, work a bit in Studio One, then bring it back to Ableton.
EPIC PRODUCTIONS: Do you guys get to work together in person a lot?
Yeah, we work the best when we start our ideas separately, but then once they’re in play we’ll work on them together. Dave is over at my house like every day and we’ll work in the studio that’s in my house; he lives down the street. We pretty much work together every single day. I think that we just work the best if we start our ideas separately, and then bring them together.
EPIC PRODUCTIONS: That’s cool you guys live so close to each other! What would you say your favorite song is that you’ve worked on?
We have this new song called “More Than Ever” that’s coming out – that’s probably my favorite song. Dave sings on it and we have a girl, it’s like a duet. It’s progressive house, but the drop is super big at the same time. That’s probably my favorite song that we have currently.
EPIC PRODUCTIONS: You don’t hear too many duets in progressive house!
I know! I’m super excited. The way we do it now is we’ll pretty much write the vocal in Dave’s range, he’ll sing the song, and if something we wrote is too high we’ll get a girl to sing it. For this one the verse was perfectly in his range, but the chorus was just so high. So we got a girl to sing the chorus and it’s just awesome how their two voices blend.
EPIC PRODUCTIONS: Can’t wait to hear it! As far as performing live goes, what’s your favorite aspect?
I think we approach live differently than a lot of our DJs since Dave is so used to being the frontman. So he’ll stay up front the whole time at the mic, sing over some songs. That’s my favorite part, seeing him pump up crowds to another level. Anytime we play with other DJs, it’s amazing seeing in comparison how when you have someone out there pumping up the crowd it just takes everything up a notch.
EPIC PRODUCTIONS: Definitely, do you have a favorite show memory?
We played at New City Gas in Montreal, which is like the biggest EDM club in Montreal, and we did that kind of show there. The owner came up to us after and was like, “That was amazing, we’ve never had anything like that, you guys have to come back!” So that’s by far been my favorite show we’ve played so far.
EPIC PRODUCTIONS: More and more DJs seem to be moving toward incorporating more live aspects into their sets, that’s awesome you guys have always done that.
Yeah I think you have to now. Fans are getting bored of the same thing, to stick out you have to do something a little bit differently. Even if it’s just a hype man, something so it doesn’t feel like they’re just listening to a playlist.
EPIC PRODUCTIONS: You mentioned some cool tracks coming out soon, what would you say is the future for Breathe Carolina?
I don’t know, I think we’re just going to keep pushing the boundaries as much as we can, we’re gonna try some new stuff, see what we can get away with haha. We’re just kind of going with the flow. We’ll write songs and if we like them we’ll put them out, whether they’re progressive house or hip-hop, whatever! We’re pretty much just going to do what we want, and see how it goes.
EPIC PRODUCTIONS: Last question: Since you have had a bit of a genre shift and are attracting a lot of new fans in addition to your old ones, what’s one thing you’d want your fans to know about you?
That we’re badass! Haha, no...just that honestly we’re just doing it to have fun, we do it because we love music, and it’s not for any other reason. That’s it. We’re doing it because we’re following what feels right and just love doing it, we love making music.
Special thanks to Tommy for chatting with us. You can listen to Breathe Carolina’s latest single, “Hero (Satellite)” below and grab your own copy here on Beatport!
AUTHOR CREDIT: RACHEL NOVOSAD