Electronic music producer and DJ, Daniel Goldstein, better known by his stage name Lane8, is back with a new album Little By Little, under his record label, This Never Happened. The American musician captured the hearts of many with his touching melodies and entrancing beats through his debut album Rise in 2015, his new album Little By Little is no different. His new album brings ten captivating songs including collaborations with stellar artists such as Poliça and Patrick Baker.
With the launch of his record label, Goldstein has introduced the This Never Happened concept, by banning cellphones at his shows. As someone who grew up making music and experiencing it in live shows, Goldstein recognizes that fans today are unfamiliar with what it’s like to connect with music without the use of social media. This Never Happened is his attempt to help today’s dance music community immerse themselves in music, and organically connect with each other on the dance floor. We had a chance to catch-up with Daniel and discuss his love of music, his inspirations, and his new album.
How did you get started in music?
My dad is really into music, especially classical music. So, I kind of grew up with music from a really young age. There isn’t really one point where I can say like oh I got into music then because it was just sort of automatic almost. I started playing music when I was maybe like 4 or 5, doing cello and piano lessons for 14 years or so. So, it started mostly through classical music and through my dad, and later on I got into hip-hop, rock, and that kind of stuff on my own.
What’s your favourite genre within the electronic music world?
I get so tired of little niche genres, so it’s hard to pick out one thing. I guess if anything, the stuff that I listen to on my own personal free time is stuff like John Hopkins or Bonobo or that kind of stuff that’s maybe a little bit more for home listening, rather than something that’s club music.
What made you start your own label ‘This Never Happened’?
It was just something that I always wanted to do. All the producers that I look up to in the dance music world have their own label and they make that a focus of the way that they present their music. I think it’s also something that helps you stand out. Because if you’re always releasing on other people’s labels, it’s like you’re never really fully in charge of your own art. So, it was always something I wanted to do, and when we had the idea for the whole no phones show, it was sort of like a tipping point where we had done a lot of releases with Anjunadeep and that was going really well, and we had some momentum built up. So, at that point it was like, okay let’s try this. And, it could’ve totally failed, but it didn’t.
Why do you think it’s important for fans to not be on their phones during shows?
There are two things about it. The first is that a lot of fans who come to my shows don’t know how it was before people were on Instagram. So, their entire going out life has been post-iPhone. I’m just old enough to know how it was before, and how much different the atmosphere was in a club or in a show or in a sporting event or wedding– how much different the atmosphere was then vs now. So, for me personally, I think back nostalgically on those early club experiences that got me into dance music in the first place, and I want to recreate those experiences for people as much as possible. But then also, I’m trying to bring awareness for people who maybe don’t realize how prevalent phones have become when going out to clubs, and what a big difference not having phones can make. For us, it’s much more enjoyable to have people interacting organically with music and with each other versus throwing something on your Instagram story and then like, that kind of being the end of your experience.
Do you have a musical inspiration?
Not really one…I have a lot. Something that I’ve talked about a lot is actually how much albums inspired me, like specific albums. Like Behavior from Pet Shop Boys. Like, how many hours of my childhood I’ve spent listening to that. And I guess how focused I am on albums is probably a result of my listening to The Wall and Beatle’s albums and all the stuff my dad had there that I could always listen to whenever I wanted to as a young kid. So that in a way I guess was probably my biggest musical inspiration.
What’s your process when it comes to making music?
It kinda depends. Sometimes I’ll find a sample or I’ll be working with a singer and have like a vocal that’s sort of ready, and that can sort of start the process of like—you know you have something already and then you build everything around it. Other times, I challenge myself to come up with that thing that sparks the whole process– which is a lot more difficult than if someone just hands it to you. A lot of my instrumental stuff is just like an idea I had in my head for a melody usually, and then I’ll just write that real quick on the piano and then just refine it from there.
Do you think it’s helpful that you’ve had musical training?
Yeah, kind of. It’s kind of a blessing and a curse really. Like, I’ve forgotten most of everything because I haven’t studied any music theory or piano for many years. So now I’m relying on faded muscle memories. So, I end up playing the same thing a lot of times, and I have to correct myself and be like, I’ve used that chord progression like 500 times and I need to like, come up with a new one. So, it can be like a double-edged sword. But in general, it’s nice when you have something in your head and you can quickly sketch it out but I’m not good enough where I can do some fancy intricate thing. So, that takes a bit more work.
Who would your dream collaboration be?
That’s such a tough one. Like James Murphy would be really cool. At the same time, I really like the people that I have worked with already. Like, I feel really lucky to work with people like Patrick Baker, Solomon Grey, Poliça, and Matthew Dear. Like, if you had told me when I was starting out that I’ll get to work with artists of such calibre, I would’ve been like okay, let’s do it!
How has Little by Little been different from your previous work?
The process was not really that different. It was just sort of like trying to put together, you know, 15 really great best possible pieces of music that I could, and that led to an actual album. I guess in a weird way, the main difference is that we were doing it on This Never Happened. So we were in control of the whole creative process and the releasing process of that album, and that’s been really fun actually. The great thing with working with Anjunadeep in the past was that I would just give the music, they would do their thing—which they’re great at—and then like boom. And now it’s like okay how do we do this. Luckily, I have management and everything with me to help out with that. But yeah, that was interesting. And I think it has been really rewarding, because there was that risk in moving away from Anjuna where everything was working, and we kind of knew that the album would get a certain reach and have a certain amount of commercial viability. And to try to recreate that, and luckily, to even exceed it, as we have been able to with Little by Little, has been really rewarding.
Was it producing music or DJ-ing that got you into the electronic music world?
I started producing music when I was much younger. Although I was really into Hip Hop when I first started with a keyboard and drum-machine and stuff. I was making Hip Hop, and DJ-ing is obviously a big part of that culture as well. So, I was like 12 maybe, and I had a keyboard first—one of those Casio ones with the samples and the cheezy drum loops. And then I got a drum machine and figured out that you could actually arrange your own beats that way and it would sound a lot better. And then I always saw in music videos that they always had turntables, so I figured I needed a turntable. I had one turntable, but for DJ-ing, you need at least two, but I didn’t realize that so I was playing around with just one turntable like not really realizing why I wasn’t getting the same results as DJ premiere. But I’ve always been a little more leaning toward producing music. When I got into dance music in college, I started DJ-ing, just like messing around with my friends. My friends had some decks in their house so I got into it that way. But I’ve always been slightly more focused on producing music, I would say.
What’s your favourite city to play in?
Wherever I am living at the minute because I love being able to just go back home after a show. We live in Denver now, so playing in Denver is the best because we know all the venues, we know exactly where the best place to eat in the area are, and then you get to go sleep in your own bed.
What’s your favourite thing about touring?
Food. It’s pretty cool to be able to experience food in different places, and we’re lucky enough to eat really good food everywhere we go. And I love food, so that’s really nice.
What is one song that you wish you had made?
There are a lot. You know what song I really wish I’d made and then I kind of ripped it off was “Ringo” by Joris Voorn. If you listen to it and then you listen to my first album, there’s a song called Klara that is a blatant rip off of Ringo.