In wake of the pandemic and preceding quarantine, the live music industry has screeched to a very abrupt halt. With stay-at-home and social distancing initiatives in-play tours, local gigs, and even major forthcoming festivals have been forced to make the responsible recourse in postponing and at times even canceling events outright to ensure the safety of all those involved. As a result, a new terrain within the industry has been revealed, taking the shape of live broadcasted and digitally-tethered formats of events that allow artists to stay closely connected with fans during such a trying period across the board.
“CYBERSTOCK is a culmination of teamwork from across the spectrum. Whether it’s the musical talent, visual artists or organization: this virtual festival shows that even in a time of crisis, creative minds never cease to drive and adapt, bringing audiences unforgettable experiences that are accessible to anyone across the globe,” Denver-based Teknicolor reflects upon the cohesive efforts that have allowed for the event to take form. “We wanted to put something together that would allow upcoming artists to keep the creative process flowing as well as have an opportunity to continue to engage with fans during a period where everyone is struggling. Who says we can’t bring the party to everyone stuck at home?,” co-founder DessignerToys furthers regarding the multi-pronged initiative of the event.
One event distinguished for shining light on the proliferating ranks of underground talent, CYBERSTOCK 2020 provides a diverse offering of the sonic variety, ranging from trap and dubstep to leftfield bass and halftime options to ensure that each and every listener can find something to suit their tastes. Contributing partners MMXV Artist Collective, Gridlock MGMT, and Dessigner Toys come together to provide a seamless audiovisual experience that will be accessible from all major streaming platforms. Set to take place for three consecutive days May 8th, 9th, and 10th sets will run at 30-minute intervals from 6:30 pm EST until 1:30 am EST to mimic the procession of energy that one might experience in a standard festival format.
“We wanted to create CYBERSTOCK to give up and coming artists a chance to showcase their music during a period where idle time is rampant. During the quarantine, the playing field has been leveled entirely, which has provided a unique opportunity for the next wave of talent to have their shining moment. Hard work & talent will always distinguish themselves in a crowd, and we are stoked to showcase all the amazing talent we have on this MONSTER lineup,” event co-host and Gridlock MGMT founder Kevin Tartaglio shares regarding the vision for CYBERSTOCK.
With only a few days before CYBERSTOCK is set to kick into motion, now is the opportunity to set your sights and set your reminders on the sets you’re most looking forward to this upcoming weekend. Make sure to indicate your interest in attending on the official event page and send in an RSVP to make sure you’re fully in the loop on details and announcements.
We had the pleasure to connect with Scottsdale, Arizona-native PIERCE and Los Angeles-based Space Race to discuss the struggles and unforeseen successes as producers during the pandemic, a chance to hear about how they’ve been spending their quarantine and an early look at what is in store for their upcoming sets for CYBERSTOCK this weekend.
Check out the interview and full daily lineup schedule for CYBERSTOCK 2020 below!
Aside from producing music, what have you been utilizing to occupy your time during the quarantine?
PIERCE: Besides working on music, I’ve pretty much been taking a break. Been watching a lot of Netflix, spending time with my family, and spending hours playing call of duty warzone into the late hours of the night with other producers/friends such as VOLT and my management.
How have you been staying productive and maintaining your sanity during the stay-at-home period?
Space Race: I work full time as the Marketing Coordinator for a national real estate company, and fortunately I’ve been able to work from home and the commercial real estate market is still active.
Since I’m not commuting an hour to and from work, I’ve had a lot more time to work on music. I have a new track that came out on May 1st called ‘Quarantine & Chill’ with my homie Bvss Tactic. I’ve been working on an EP, I’ve been experimenting with a bunch of different genres. I’ve been working on a house project as well.
Are there any positive aspects that you’ve reflected upon from having more free time than you might normally be accustomed to during this period of the year?
PIERCE: For sure! To list a couple it would be that I feel the days are a lot longer with all of the outside world distractions not present, meaning that I can finish more work whether it be finishing up collabs or solo songs, to keeping with my fans in my discord and DM’s, to thinking and moving forward with new ways to get my brand and songs out there with more new “eyes” watching. Sure there are times during this, where I feel I have nothing else happening other than work and waiting on others such as labels, other artists, or even just my life to move forward, but I think it really helps to know that even though we don’t fully know when this period will end, it will end sometime soon. Just have to keep reminding myself of that.
Apart from music, what interests or hobbies have you been exploring with extensive newfound free time?
Space Race: So I’ve been working on slowly expanding my label BASSCVLT, looking for and listening to a lot of new artists, as well as putting some other things in the works. I guess that counts as music, but it’s not for Space Race.
I’ve been raiding and leveling characters in World of Warcraft Classic (#forthehorde) and playing a little COD here and there.
I’ve been reading a bit more, and recently started a book called “The Cuban Affair”. I’ve also been taking Spanish classes online. I’ve been trying to use this time to my advantage as much as possible and be as productive as possible.
This past year you’ve unveiled some exciting new branding aspects, including a new logo and tailored album art to accompany each new release. Tell us a little bit more about how this new vision came about.
PIERCE: I wanted to have a brand that was recognizable in EDM that could stand out from other artists, as well as potentially grow into something more than just an EDM act. I went with more of a sleeker look when designing my text logo that could be easily legible but also include the flair of the brand (with the bow underneath). For the emblem logo, I just went with a simple bow and arrow, something that can be printed on a t-shirt or anything really that looks cool and doesn’t “scream” that this precise emblem is only from a bass music EDM brand. It can be on a piece of material and still look dope even if you don’t know my music.
In regards to the album artworks, I went with a more concise look that all follow a similar pattern, where the center of the art is always a circled item, whether it be a sticker, to a brake gear, something that is different and a little bit pop culture, if you feel. For the rest of the artwork, they all follow a plastic-wrapped 12-inch VINYL cover with all the little details such as the sticker of the artist and the details as well, as the price tag sticker being a picture of bow and arrow emblem instead of a real price lol. I wanted PIERCE moving forward with not only my new sound but the way it’s portrayed visually to be a clearly defined vision.
What is it like to be able to sit, enjoy, and interact with fans during your actual set for a change?
Space Race: The last live stream I did was actually live so it was quite difficult to interact haha. I kept looking over at the iPad that had Twitch open and tried to respond as much as I could without messing up my set haha. It’ll be fun because I’ll be there to interact and vibe with them like I’m next to them at the actual show.
How might your approach to a set differ with the knowledge that it will be played via a live stream versus in front of a live audience?
PIERCE: I approach it the same way to be fully honest. I’ve been treating every live stream set to be the equivalent of a real live-in-the flesh show where I play a set that includes speaking on the mic hyping up the crowd to having a set that has its highs and lows sonically and energy-wise that takes the listener on a journey for however long that set is.
What role does the response or reaction of a live crown play in your performances? How would you say this differs by virtue of live streaming events?
Space Race: Not gonna lie, it’s really awkward acting like I’m playing in front of a crowd when I’m just in my living room haha. It’s always a nice feeling and emotional high seeing a crowd react to your sets. It’s always important to see the crowd so you can feel out the vibes and see if you need to switch something up. I think for a lot more veteran artists they know their audience, and their fans know the artist’s music/style so it’s easier to put together a set for a stream. The audience has a general idea of what they’re in for, which is obviously less pressure than having no idea what gets your fanbase going during your sets.
What do you have in store for the remainder of 2020 as well as your set for CYBERSTOCK this upcoming weekend?
PIERCE: Since the whole world at the moment is waiting for recovery mode to start happening, I’m pretty much planning the rest of the releases for 2020, building my discord and Twitch up, finishing all of the unfinished solo and collab WIPs, and getting a few EPs wrapped up. When the Quarantine era is over, you best believe it I’ll be playing shows and coming to a city near you!
What do listeners have to look forward to in your live set for CYBERSTOCK this coming weekend?
Space Race: This is going to be my first all Space Race set, so listeners can expect to hear new tunes, old tunes, unreleased, and WIPs. So yea, please don’t be too harsh on some of the mixing/mastering on the WIPs haha, I didn’t have much time to get that done before the set on a few songs.