Terra Marotz aka Terabyte is a producer/singer/songwriter that has strong self reliance with her own musical independence. Her creativity jumps out of the screen and speakers, screaming all good vibes into your soul. Dark Beauty expects to see big things for Terabyte and we can’t wait to see what she does next!
Interview Meikee Magnetic
Where were you born, where are you now and where are you going?
I was born in Kalispell, Montana, I live in Los Angeles now, and I plan to stay here for a while—ultimately I’d love to end up back in Montana part time with dogs, a garden and a recording studio.
Your a one woman production machine! Your music video ‘HACKABOY’ was produced and directed by you and it’s glorious. How satisfying is it to create this all on your your own?
Thank you! and very. It is the most exciting thing to have a vision, to produce the vision, and see it come to life. Samuel Reeves of Sammakesmedia shot and edited the video. All of the people in the video are friends of mine that I met while living in Oakland, and one of them is actually from my home town in Montana. It’s my first music video and I plan to make many more. One of my favorite things about the video is that it runs at 5:10 and it was totally unintentional, 510 is also the Oakland area code. It’s kind of a fabulous keepsake from the short while I lived in Oakland—which I love. As for the track, I produced and mixed it in my home studios while living in Santa Cruz + Oakland, and my friend Tucker (from the SF band Pretty Handsome) did the final mix down. Producing this track took a really long time, and the song changed a lot, but I’m happy with where it landed—kind of a moodier direction than the previous album.
Tell us some fun behind the scenes on the shoot:
The video was shot at my friends’ house in West Oakland. The video was done on a tight budget, and was also one of two music videos we filmed that day, one for Terabyte and one for Pretty, Handsome. So we worked within the parameters of the house to make everything. It was like a sauna in the room, we filmed in because it was, like, the top floor and the middle of summer. So we had the fan going so hard, it worked well with my friend Jen standing in the corner blowing bubbles. I felt bad for Sam cause he’s just in the corner with his camera sweating the whole time—we were all sweating so much by the end—many of us were also a *few* mimosas deep. The grand finale of the shoot was us throwing a bunch of circus animal cookies everywhere and licking electronics, so there was sticky frosting and sprinkles on everything. I was wearing white-out contacts the whole time, so I couldn’t really see anything that well and was definitely creeping everyone out, which was amazing. I also couldn’t apply makeup very well. Side note: It’s also worth noting that the whips my neighbor, Jelousy, is using in the video were hand made by my Montana friend using tires, pretty neat.
How would you label your music?
Always a tough question, but I would say broadly electronic dance music, and more specifically nu-disco, trip hop, pop, and synth wave.
What inspires you?
Natural disasters and the power of nature in general. Science, climate change, augmented reality, dreams and the psychic power of the mind. Mass die-out, sex and the masculine feminine power dynamic, technological advancements, vulnerability and connecting with people. I love creating a mood based on dreams or ‘future memories’ that I’ve had. There’s an entire dreamscape that I have created subconsciously, and I have visited many parts of this world multiple times. There’s this made-up town by the ocean that I go to a lot, it’s completely fictional, and for some reason, I have had many dreams in this place, or places near it. And then of course, I’m inspired by music like Goldfrapp, Junior Boys, Sade, Jessy Lanza, Tame Impala, Massive Attack, SASSY 009, Radiohead, Bea1991, Santigold, Neon Indian, Tornado Wallace, Fever Ray and many many more…
What are some musical tools you work with?
Ableton Live is wonderful. I also love Logic Pro, and various external plugins, like Serum. I love me some good presets I can mess around with. I also love creating my own drum sounds and drum racks. I like Operator in Ableton a lot, and really enjoy synthesizing my own bass sounds especially. I love arpeggiators of all kinds. I’m also a sucker for glitching things out using the ol’ cut and paste method. I use a keyboard midi controller and an Ableton Push mostly. I also have a Roland XP-50 that I’ve been using for years and love the presets. Lately I’ve been recording a lot of friends on live instruments and mixing them in. I’m a huge fan of the live/electronic hybridization.
What has been your best live performance so far and why?
I’ve played all up and down the west coast, but perhaps my favorite show of all time was playing the Craggy Range Bar in Whitefish, Montana with my little brother Nate on the drums. Whitefish is a small ski resort town just north of my hometown. If you’re in the right places in Montana, the people there will get the fuck down to some good electronic music. My brother hadn’t broken out his drum kit for over a year and had just committed my beats to memory after listening to a recording of the live set for a few months. He didn’t set up his drums until I was home visiting, we literally practiced a total of 6 hours before the show. The actual show just went 100 times smoother than our practices which were dope to begin with. We communicated well on stage and people responded really well, having a live drummer really brought the music to it’s full potential. The thing is, Nate is a brilliant drummer, the utmost finesse in the genres of R&B, Funk and HipHop – that style of drumming fits really well with the music. My parents were stoked to see their kids on stage together!
Describe your personal style:
I would say I live in the cyber punk, goth, vapor wave and Euro-trash arenas. I’m also honestly a big fan of camp. To be “extra” is just always the best choice because it’s the most expressive and exciting a human can be. To me, it stems from a place of pure comfort and all your basic needs are met You are exercising self-love, you *get* to feel fabulous, it’s such a display of gratitude. I also love how, at the same time, camp has this almost nihilistic approach, the meaninglessness of life becomes entertaining and glamorous.
Where would you like to be in your career one year from now?
I want to have just finished touring. I’m planning to tour the west coast and some other cities next summer. I am also releasing my next EP on a small record label called Qentaro Records based out of Frankfurt, Germany some time early 2020. They’re going to make a bunch of techno remixes of the songs. I’m hoping to do a handful of shows in Europe next summer as well. I would also like to have figured out where I am recording my next album, I have a lot of music I want to re-record and spruce up. I think working in a studio setting with more live musicians and fancier signal paths is where I’d like to be.
Releasing a music video to my song “Pleasure Center”. I want to do lots of touring and collaborating also, more music videos! A little further down the road, I’m going to make a full length album paired with a VR video game that I helped design. Ultimately, I plan to have my own recording studio and home somewhere pastoral, I would like to run my own record label.
What does Dark Beauty mean to you?
Dark Beauty is actually my favorite thing. To me, it describes the radiance of the complete chaos and madness that is existence. Our lives are constantly surrounded by impending doom, every single day, and in the meantime, every little thing that happens is beautiful.