INTERVIEW: Touching Bass with musician Marc Luciano and Stephen Robusto (Sterling Grove)

Canadian duo Sterling Grove have recently released their debut album Parallel Lines. Combining the talents of Marc Luciano and Stephen Robusto, a sound designer and visual artist respectively, the attributes of both art-forms are strongly reflected in Sterling Grove’s production style.

Parallel Lines is a spellbinding journey that extends well beyond the landscapes of the dancefloor, incorporating their rich electronic sound with vocals from a host of global artists including Black Lotus, Jono McCleery and Monsoonsiren. Their approach to production has showcased the skill of each individual artist, while cultivating a unique selection of songs that exhibits their own idiosyncratic soundscape. The album will be backed by a 6-minute short film entitled ‘Parallel Lines’ set for release this year.

We chatted to Sterling Grove for some insight into their inspiration and creative process.

To those not familiar with you, how would you describe your sound?
Our music is a fusion between dreamy ambient electronica with inspirations from dance music.

What are the 5 albums that have influenced you the most?
1. Maribou State – Portraits, 2. Jamie XX – In Colour 3. Bonobo – The North Borders 4. Pink Floyd – The Dark Side of the Moon 5. David August – Times.

What techniques do you experiment with to form your sound?
We often mess around with plugins and look for happy accidents. We usually scroll trough presets or turn knobs till we find something that stands out or catches our attention. Reverb and Distortion usually does the trick.

Are there any key pieces of equipment that you can’t live without?
Our laptops, a midi Keyboard, some speakers and good VIBES.

What are some of your key influences in your music? Whether it be the sound created by others, imagery, films or any kind of art form.
Movies definitely spark the creative process for us! After watching The Great Beauty by Paolo Sorrentino we created our song ‘Parallel Lines’ which was inspired by the movie’s heavy contrasting themes and moods. A strong image also sparks our creative process, especially when it has a strong
story telling quality to it. One of our favourite photographers that heavily inspired us is Polish artist Weronika Izdebska aka OVORS, whom we highly recommend checking out. And of course listening to lots of new music always gets us pumped for a studio session!

Jean Michel Jarre said “Music is the human treatment of sounds” How do you interpret this?
That’s a deep one! To keep this answer simple, we think music is an extremely powerful tool and medium to express a feeling or an emotion.

What has been a memorable highlight in your career so far?
Releasing out first album Parallel Lines was definitely a great one so far.

If you could work with, or perform alongside any artist of your choice, who would it be?
We would love to write a song and perform alongside Sevdaliza. Call us if you read this!

If you weren’t a musician what would you be?
Stephen: Alongside making music I am a visuals artist and graphic designer, so I would probably be pursuing that on a more full time basis.
Marc: I can’t picture any other realities outside of making music! I would like to work on sound designs for films.

What can we expect from you in the near future? Any upcoming projects or gigs in the pipeline that you would like to tell us about?
We have been working quite hard on wrapping up a music video we filmed with House of Youth studios and close friend and filmmaker Sebastian McKinnon for our latest single Parallel Lines! As well as a few remixes and our live show!

Catch Sterling Grove LIVE at Club Unity this Saturday (10 Feb) Details here.
Follow Sterling Grove on Facebook, Instagram, Soundcloud.
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