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Do you know Problem Makers? They are a great bunch of guys!

Last June we wrote a review for their sublime masterpiece called “Die Leere”. An EP filled with deep & dark tech house music with subtle melodic lines. You can still read the review here. Back then the Ep was already out for a few months. Ever since no new work appeared accept a few podcasts. The most recent one is from a month ago. Press play to tune in:

So they went numb we thought and felt it is was time for a chat. We send them a message asking them for an interview. We are talking about Problem Makers here. Problem Makers being Carlos, Miguel & Javier. Not to forget their fantastic cooperative manager Samuel. They gladly accepted the request and we got into a great conversation.

We found out they are a great bunch of guys, very passionate about their music and all hunger to conquer the world. They really took the time for this interview. It was great fun talking to all of you 4.

So people please sit down and take your time to go through this great reading material while listening to their latest podcast.

Maybe first tell us how you guys met? And how it all started out for Problem Makers?
Well, we are lifelong friends and we have always had the same interest in electronic music. Each of us has his own taste, but we always have the same idea. We bought a couple of Technics when we were 13, started mixing and collecting vinyl (which we still do). The records we bought were all of a different kind. Speaking in genres, from electronic to techno, ambient, Italo-disco, you name it.

Over time we made our first steps in music production, fiddling with old synths and sequencers of our parents. A fun time. Our curiosity and interest in making our music grew so we decided to take the step to make it our profession and devote ourselves to the field of electronic music. So now you are talking to the professional PROBLEM MAKERS. 

Anything to share we can’t find in your biography?
Hahaha, that’s a good question… (laughs) Well… interesting… we can spend a few hours only answering this question… (more laughs).

Here is one thing … We love to see the Boiler Room TV streams. We look at them like most people watch soccer games. We buy lots of fast food, snacks and drinks to get prepared and then lock ourselves in the studio. We watch those streams as maniacs and comment on all the moves, hahaha…. Funny people in those sessions.

Who came up with the moniker, “Problem Makers”? What’s the idea behind it?
During our studies, while having a break, Carlos showed us a video of MARTIN LUTHER KING. Somehow we started talking about responsibility and what happens in our environment, surroundings and in the world in general. The responsibility we all have towards everyday problems and more global problem. So there were the problems and the makers of those problems. It might sound complicated but we tried to frame it. So one of us said “Hey, why not put a name to our project and do something with the problems and the makers?”. Not much thinking after we unanimous decided to call ourselves “Problem Makers”.

How does a typical day look like for Problem Makers?
As you might have thought it’s mainly making music, testing & experiments with new sounds, try new instruments. We also try to listen to music, actually a lot of music. Not only recent music but we try to go back in time and listen to some older music.

Then we follow the news and try to be informed of everything that happens around us. Our manager Samuel takes care of everything that relates to us professionally.

In the end it has to be fun as well. We try to have fun in what we do, enjoy our professional lives as much as possible and try to learn something new every day.

What’s it like making music as a group? How is it different to making music alone?
Making music in a group is not easy. We are with 3 which means there always three ideas, 3 opinions and so on. Three in a group is complicated especially when starting from zero. But we are confident. Especially when ideas come to mind. Most of the time we start with one, often it’s Carlos that comes up with something creative, and continue developing the idea with the rest of us (being Miguel & Javier) and try to get a finished track. We found ourselves a helpful process, a way of working, in which all 3 feel very comfortable. We think that’s important.

Where do you draw your creative influences from?
Our influences are varied. As we are with three in Problem Makers, we have many influences. These do not necessarily come from within the electronic music scene. We have some Rock (Pink Floyd, Extremoduro), Rap (Kase O., Keny Arkana), Ambient (Brian Eno) influences. IDM (Max Cooper) or Techno and Electro (Vitalic, Nathan Fake, James Holden, Anthony Rother, Legowelt, Recondite, Stephan Bodzin), especially when it is very original and it’s not colored within the lines. It should sound different. You know what I mean?

Spain has a great reputation music wise. What are the advantages and disadvantages of being a part of the Spanish electronic music scene these days?
Well, at this moment we’re still waiting to get out of Spain so we can see what’s different out there. So before we have played elsewhere in Europe or the rest of the world we can’t compare. 🙂

Yet we think the most important is your work, not the country you are born or reside in. Every place has his advantages and disadvantages, clichés and so on.

Earlier this year you released quit a bomb. How well was “Die Leere” received in the scene according yourselves?
The truth is, we had no idea of the impact “Die Leere” would generate. The EP was very well received both by the audience and artists. Even the media was delighted. We took it on a tour and played in Barcelona, Madrid and Cáceres where we were treated great and we met lovely people. With this small tour we got to know a lot of artists we admire and which gave us great feedback . We also found a great family in NoStyleisStyle Records, who we will always be grateful to for treating us like part of their family.

In fact, we continue to work together. Just because they are people who love and respect music, our music above all. And that is exactly what fits in our philosophy. So, we are very happy and motivated.

You appeared on Aaryon’s (Steyoyoke) chart. A great producers (also from Spain) releasing on a fantastic label. How does that feel? (Chart can be found on Beatport.)
Aaryon is a great producer that we discovered through his music and his label. With Animal Picnic they are two of our best national references on Steyoyoke. And yes of course, it’s always a pleasure to be charted by people like them! Rest assured, those guys will be renowned producers and well known within the scene very soon.

And then it went quiet. We heard a few nice podcast but no new work? What’s to expect from the Problem Makers in the coming weeks or months?
We know people are waiting for new work from us, and yes we hear them. After the small tour to showcase “De Leer”, we have locked ourselves in the studio to work on new material. The result of all this work will be unleashed upon the world with a second EP. We are very excited about this new work. We can only say it has 3 amazing original tracks and 3 great remixes from well-respected producers. The EP is due later this year and released via Univack Records.

We promise there will be some more surprises very soon … 🙂

(Podcast can be found on their soundcloud profile.)

Also a tour?
First we want to release the new EP. And as we did with “Die Leere” we really want to reach the public so you can feel us. Then go to some events, and of course we do not rule out a tour. Time will tell (hope soon, LOL)!

When playing live, you play as a combo. Why is that? 3 Behind the decks is a crowd?
We work in two ways, A DJ set and Live act. The latter is still work in progress. When play a DJ set, it’s Miguel and Javier. Only 2 because we think that is enough for a DJ set. However, when we playing LIVE, then it’s the three of us as a team. Performance is a little more complex because we include analog and digital instruments. We use synthesizers, drum machines, word processors effect, and so on … which we then can use in a more creative way on stage.

How do you set the vibe? What is the perfect atmosphere with Problem Makers on the line-up?
Especially with much darkness. We like it dark. An atmosphere in which you get a desire to have fun, in which you get to feel the music. It must create a feeling of a journey in which music and your senses act as a guide. The best atmosphere is the one in which you live breath music. The only thing that matters is music and the vibe.

Name one track in your crate that gets the dance floor moving every time.
Hahahaha, only one? We c san name a few. But if we need to pick on then perhaps… “Vertere” from Mind Against & Somne. That track puts the legs up forever… haha…

What makes you happy?
To work on what we love, music. Sure. (Big Smile)

And ad final question something to think about. What would be your all-time favorite top 10 chart?

1. Nathan Fake – The Sky Was Pink (James Holden Remix)

2. Legowelt – Lego Resistance

3. Stephan Bodzin – Singularity

4. Daft Punk – Around the world

5. Massive Attack – Unfinished Sympathy

6. William Orbit – Optical Illussion

7. Vitalic & Linda Lamb – Bells

8. Anthony Rother – Punks

9. Moderat – Damage Done

10. Problem Makers – Stages Of Sleep (Coming Soon)

TGMS: So here we go. Finally a title you share with the world. We at least are curious an dunpatiently waiting for this to be released.

Thank you guys so much for your time and effort and stay in touch! We’ll close this interview with the amazing Undo remix for Belledona.

Problem Makers Problem Makers Problem Makers Problem Makers

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