SenselessLive have been making huge waves in the Canadian Dance music scene thanks to their impressive Techno infused Deep house productions. Formerly a duo, John Glassey and Kim Sykes have been joined by Ron Dazo on guitars, making Senseless Live one of the most talked about electronic music trios in North America.
Edmonton native Ron Dazo has now joined the group. The recent graduate of BerkleeCollegeofMusic, where he studied performance and composition, will be adding his musical stamp on the act’s upcoming records and shows, consisting of dreamy synths and landscape guitar sounds.
We had the pleasure of sitting down with John, Kim and Ron to talk about this new addition and future plans for Senseless Live.
Hi guys, thanks for taking time to answer these questions.John and Kim, both of you are the founding members of Senseless Live, what made you two start the project?
Well, we both knew each other through mutual friends here in Edmonton, and we played at a few shows that John had put on here in the city with Just Be and Derrick May. After discovering common musical interests and the mutual goal of creating a live vocal electronic act, we decided to try producing a track together. Immediately after that, we both felt that something just clicked!
Ron, you have recently joined John and Kim as the third and newest member of Senseless Live, can you tell us a bit about yourself?
I’m Ron Dazo, and as the newest member of Senseless Live, I add electric guitar and synths into the production and performances of the group. I’m a recent graduate of Berklee College of Music in Boston, where I studied performance and composition, branching out of the progressive metal and rock genres. With that said, there’s been a noted increase in headbanging and “sign of the horns”-throwing during Senseless Live shows on stage.
Can you tell us a bit about your musical background, how you became involved in music and your involvement in the music industry prior to joining Senseless Live?
I’d have to say my involvement with music comes from humble beginnings. Sure, I had picked up the guitar growing up and fell in love with progressive rock when I listened to my first Dream Theater record, but I didn’t really focus on or pursue a career in music until I was in my early 20’s. It was definitely during those years when I felt that something integral was missing from my life which left me unfulfilled. That mindset always drove me to escape into the musical realm, which eventually culminated into my decision to attend Berklee. It wasn’t until that drastic life change that my involvement in music really took off. While I was in Boston, I tried to get my feet wet with everything from conducting for orchestra, composing for video games, and artist management. Now that I’m back home here in Canada, I’m working with John at running his record label, JG Records, and establishing myself as a session musician and composer here in Edmonton.
Where do you get your inspiration from?
What inspires me during the process of making music with Senseless Live is chasing the idea of creating something distinctly novel and refreshingly different from the paradigms of music that I usually listen to. I love taking on the challenge of distilling all the musical knowledge rooted in other external genres that I’ve gained from my Berklee years, and infusing it into John’s electronic production and Kim’s deep songwriting. With Senseless Live, a lot of my inspiration is really drawn from that exciting and rewarding sense of discovery when one ventures into new territory.
Who are your musical heroes?
The loaded question of musical heroes will always have an answer that goes on for too long. Instead, I’ll try to cite the artists that I draw from when I get into the Senseless Live mindset. Meshuggah definitely inspired me to incorporate the 8-string guitar into our performances. I love that low F# I’m now able to shake the room with during “Under My Wing”. I think of Tesseract’s clean passages when I activate the big delays on my guitar sound. Zoe Keating’s layered cello work is inspiration for me to create soundscapes with odd guitar playing. When I’m on synths, I try to recreate Porcupine Tree’s sense of atmosphere, and Frost*’s anthemic lead playing. Gyorgy Ligeti and Tool inspire me to displace rhythms and create with less. Finally, I try to keep The Flashbulb and Chroma Key in mind when I try to fit my playing into an electronic context.
How did you guys all meet?
It was a sheer stroke of luck. The local music association, Alberta Music, was holding its annual general meeting. Having never gone before, Kim and I decided to check it out for once and network with the local talent and we bumped into Ron there. It was his first time there as well. He explained that he was a fresh graduate who just returned back to Edmonton from Boston and was looking to get more music industry experience. I told him about my record label, JG Records, and I offered to let him help me tabulate the finances.
Ron, how did you become the newest member of the band?
It all felt like a natural progression of things. When I got started with work for JG Records, John invited me to his studio to simply jam out since he knew I played guitar and keys. What began as a simple plug-and-play session suddenly turned into a couple of demo tracks that included my playing, which Kim enjoyed listening to and writing lyrics over. John then tried my hand at keeping up with him live during his DJ set at a local club where I had to improvise guitar and synth lines to his deep tech house selection, which was well-received. Soon enough, all three of us got together with the idea of layering new sounds over tracks John and Kim had previously released. After those long and memorable nights in studio, I was officially inducted into the band.
John and Kim, why did you guys want Ron to join the band?
We really wanted to add even more live elements to our performances that would really engage the crowd more and give them a more unique experience when attending our shows. Once we met Ron and heard how absolutely talented he was, we just could not resist asking him to join Senseless Live. Ron is an amazing addition to our group, and we are really looking forward to releasing what we have been writing in the studio.
Now that you guys are a trio, has your production and song-writing methods changed drastically?
Yes, we feel that everything has changed for the better. We’ve been working really hard at adding Ron’s talent to our original songs. Our creative studio sessions have been great and we are all on the same page when it comes to creating something unique. It definitely feels like the three of us have this deep connection when we write and perform together, and I think that it’s really going in the right direction here.
Will all three of you be performing at Senseless Live’s upcoming shows?
Absolutely. We have already performed twice here in Edmonton and we are really happy with the response we have gotten from our local following. We can’t wait to take this show on the road this summer with some coast-to-coast tour dates here in Canada.
What will be your live show set up and what can fans expect from your upcoming shows?
Our live show set up is still evolving, especially now that we’ve got Ron joining us on stage. We’re really focused on increasing and better controlling the dynamic factors of our show. Kim’s got an effects module that allows her to dial in nice reverbs that maximize her voice. I’m triggering the tracks, scenes, and percussion sequences using a LaunchPad that controls Ableton on my computer. Ron is taking a similar approach as well. He’s trading the temperamental tube amps and giant floorboards in for a digital guitar and synth rig run solely off of his computer instead. This allows him a great deal of flexibility and control when shaping his sound to better blend into our music. All three of us merge back into my DJ mixer where I finalize the perfect balance of our sound.
Furthermore, the fans are also sure to be excited with our prospect of adding beautifully animated visual projections as a backdrop to our stage setup. We’re currently collaborating with a local audiovisual artist here in Edmonton to design video content that would complement our music and enhance our stage presence. All of this is undoubtedly aimed to give our listeners the most stimulating and memorable show experience we can offer.
What are your plans for Senseless Live now you are a trio?
We’ve been working extremely hard on some new material. We plan on releasing a cover that we did as a free download soon. We arranged “Tech Noir” by GUNSHIP, one of UK’s most popular synth pop bands, after we fell in love with their lush use of those 80’s retro synths. We gave that song a real Senseless Live touch with some heavily delayed overdriven guitar, which we hope our (and GUNSHIP’s) fans will appreciate. It grew into a super moody, vocally rich, downtempo groove; and we’re all really proud of how it turned out as our very first production as a trio.
Can we expect an album and/or world tour soon?
This is the ultimate goal for us. We plan on writing all spring here in the studio and working on new material. So far so good, we have some really big things planned in the coming months already. We are really looking forward to some big remixes and collaborations we have on the go. Capital Heaven has slated our “Mixed Intentions” release for July 4th with 18 remixes from some real amazing artists we just can’t wait to talk about. There are some spectacular remixes coming out on Cohesive this spring following our Under My Wing EP. We could not be more excited for this year!