The month of March has begun and upon its commencement, travelers and music lovers from all over the world are beginning to prepare themselves for ULTRA and Miami Music Week taking place at the end of March. We at Your EDM were fortunate enough to be able to sit down with one of bass music’s most talented creatives who will be performing a special live performance at ULTRA. Danny Howland, better known as SVDDEN DEATH, will be performing at ULTRA this year as the VOYD. We were able to touch base with Danny to talk about his debut ULTRA performance plus much more a month before he takes the stage in Miami. The event will be live-streamed all over the world available at https://ultramusicfestival.com
Your EDM: Ultra Miami will be your debut VOYD performance in Miami, what can fans who are lovers of dubstep and bass music who have never been fortunate enough to see SVDDEN DEATH present VOYD, expect from your debut show?
SVDDEN DEATH: How I differentiate VOYD and SVDDEN DEATH sets, I guess it’s better to start off with saying what is SVDDEN DEATH. SVDDEN DEATH is, creatively, I’m trying to branch out in different directions with vocals. I’m writing stuff that isn’t purely just dubstep. Whereas VOYD is a lot more focused on bass music and weird heavy stuff. Last year coming out of quarantine I played my first VOYD set in a very long time. I basically wrote an entirely new set for that show about 50 songs. Musically I’m in the process of doing the same thing right now. So I am essentially writing an entirely new set for ULTRA. I have done similar things in the past. Every time I’m performing I’m at least coming up with 30 minutes of new material. Stuff people haven’t heard because it’s not released nor have I even played it out before. Other than that I try to do a lot more theatrics, [for example] the levitation stunt.
YEDM: Can we expect any surprises guests during your performance at ULTRA?
SD: So I have definitely thrown around a couple ideas for surprise guests, but it really depends because I haven’t been on the stage at the same time someone else was. Those are things I want to incorporate and we’ve been throwing around a bunch of ideas but nothing is set in stone in the sense that, it really does have to visually make sense.
YEDM: Do you envision in the future, separate alter egos for SVDDEN DEATH or do you see VOYD constantly evolving?
SD: I always have a bunch of weird ideas, where I’m trying to throw together music and performance concepts. As far as having different aliases I’m not going to necessarily confirm or deny. As far as right now, the SVDDEN DEATH project, I definitely would like to organize it musically into different parts. I definitely have a bunch of weird concepts related to VOYD that I would like to incorporate into the project.
YEDM: Your latest single, Transmutation Sequence was released on VOYD music. Do you have any intentions on starting your own label?
SD: I feel like there are a lot of really really good labels right now and I feel like instead of pushing my own label right now competitively. I would rather support the other labels and help the community out a little bit more rather than doing my own thing.
YEDM: When do you think fans can expect VOYD Vol. 2? This year?
SD: Ok (haha) I have basically said this exact answer, I feel like to a point where it’s kind of annoying on my end… soon. Ok so here’s the actual answer. To answer your question, is it coming out this year. Yes!
YEDM: Will there be any vocal performances on VOYD Vol. 2?
SD: I have left the majority of my vocal performances to SVDDEN DEATH. So basically all of the songs I’m going to be releasing under SVDDEN DEATH. I’m kind of debating on releasing EP’s or a full album. But all of the songs will basically have my own vocals or other peoples vocals.
YEDM: As far as VOYD Vol. 2 can you tease any collaborations or will it primarily be solo work?
SD: VOYD Vol. 2 will be all solo work.
YEDM: Are there influences outside of music that have helped shaped the SVDDEN DEATH project today?
SD: Definitely a lot of things. I listen to a lot of music and ingest a lot of art because it’s very motivating for me. Eventually I want to become a visual artist. Like doing random stuff like 3D stuff or illustration and painting. For VOYD I took a lot of inspiration from Berserk. Even before I read through all the manga. As soon as I watched the first anime I was really visually inspired by the dark themes, the drama and the demons. That was really fundamental to help build a visual template for the universe that I am creating separately for VOYD. Other than that I would say dungeons and dragons. I was always obsessed with that as a kid.
YEDM: What words of advice do you have to people who look up to you?
SD: I would definitely say surrounding yourself with people that are extremely devoted to making cool art is the most important thing you can do towards making a cool project. If I was to give advice to someone who wants to make dubstep or bass music, I think that there are no boundaries to the music. I think that trying to learn as many different musical skills as you can is really good to have under your tool belt. Figuring out things like why does a snare sound like it does and figuring out how to synthesize that. It’s kind of like bringing things back to their fundamental points.
YEDM: 4 years ago you tweeted “VOYD is just dubstep, that’s it!” Now that 4 years have gone by how would you describe VOYD to people that are unfamiliar with the project.
SD: VOYD is a collaborative art project that definitely is based around dubstep and bass music, we try to do a bunch of theatrics, and make each performance individually very specific to where we are playing. Basically it’s like a showcase of trying to have fun with dark art stuff and music and trying to make it as entertaining as possible.
YEDM: Outside of musical collaborations, do you see VOYD doing collaborations with anyone else?
SD: I feel like I have been a bit cautious about over-merchandising stuff. All it really is to me is a character. It definitely has a lot of depth to it. But when you strip it away it’s just me in a mask. I definitely think I’m open to merchandising it a bit more but I want to keep it a bit more simple if it makes sense. The answer is yes but tastefully!