Daniel Kerr, a.k.a. SAUCE, a.k.a. half of ELENIN, a.k.a Danieklerr (on youtube) is a musician and producer who creates intense glitchy, bass heavy, dubstep inspired music. I go out of my way to not know much about the labeling of sub-genres, but if you check out his music, you will like it.
The reason I was introduced to Daniel is because I am a huge Korg ESX fan. It was Daniel Kerr’s youtube videos that got me familiar with the intricate workings and possibilities of this machine. Through watching his tutorials I started to hear his music and dig it. After downloading his FREE Sample packs as well as his $5 sample packs I became more familiar with his style and format. I contacted him about doing an interview because there were aspects of him as an artists which I thought should be out there for his fans to know about.
SAUCE has done some great music which you can check out on his Soundcloud page, and you have to check out his video HERE for Elenin – Children of Television. This project (ELENIN) is the new working alias for when both Sauce (Daniel Kerr) and Groundskør (Spin Laden) collaborate together on all future projects going forward. The project pushes the bounds of sonic & visual wizardry.
When did you start your musical career?
I dreamt of having a career in music as long as I can remember. Even as a toddler I banged out beats with my hands and feet and pretended to play instruments. When I was nine I started playing synth at my father’s church. In 1988 I was fourteen years old, and I ended up a synth player in a band called The Debate. I was originally supposed to be a guitarist.
What part of your career do you feel has been your most creative and productive?
That’s a difficult question, because the periods that are the most inspiring for me are not always the most commercially viable. Hehe.. In the mid 90’s I recorded a massive amount of music with Mike Ford of metalbox.com, plus I played live on a monthly radio show called SSG with Michael Absher in Flint, MI where I grew up. I guess this period marked a major turning point in my life, musically. When I lived in Taos in 2003 I played a lot at renegade parties in the mountains, and that changed my life as well. Also, in Nebraska I teamed up with Dustin Dohrman and we formed the High Lucy Nation, and that was explosive in the scene there, and continues to be. Now, I am a Christian and I only write music for Jesus, so.. I guess right now I am the most creative and productive, lol!
What are your favorite artists, or where do you get your inspiration?
Out of all musicians, I think I am most influenced by Skinny Puppy. Cevin Key is an amazing artist and every project he is in turns to gold. I love Depeche Mode, The Cure, My Life With the Thrill Kill Kult, Siouxsie, James.. I guess you could say I am a product of the 80’s. Currently I listen to a lot of black metal and metalcore.. August Burns Red, Between the Buried and Me.
Do you see yourself as more of a musician/performer or a producer/dj?
I am a musician and performer. First, I don’t know how to mix records so I am not a DJ, plus I think “producer” is the most misused term in modern music. As far as I remember, a producer was not a musician at all, but rather a person with impeccable taste who would sit in on recording sessions with bands and guide their artistic direction.. Regardless, I love to perform live music with live instruments! Don’t get me wrong.. I have mad respect for good DJ’s and I love to watch someone get down. Richie Hawtin is one of may favorites.
What do you think about the music industry right now?
I love it. I can see that the industry is back in the hands of the artists, not in the hands of record executives. Sweet!
Do you think music is better now or in the past?
Music is timeless and brilliance will always stand out. No matter how many years go by, a genius from any era will be recognized by music lovers. On the other hand, it’s really great to see new artists emerging with something new. There is a lot of that going on right now. What a fantastic time to be alive!
What do you think the next “Big thing” in music is going to be?
Hard to say, but if I had to gauge things based on my experience and observation, I’d have to say.. Whatever was the “big thing” twelve years ago, almost to the day. We just went through a huge 80’s (electroclash) revival and already the early 90’s energy sound is permeating the pop music, so I’d have to warn everyone to look out for good old UK ‘Ardcore! Also, I can only expect the rock/metal bands to turn down the compression and get a little grungier, and that’s a good thing.
I know that you are religious, as well as you have a family and a son. How do you balance it all with your musical career?
I don’t balance at all, I wing it! lol. No, I try and involve my family in as much of my professional life as possible. My wife stays home and is a great momma and Enoch gets to see us all day, so he stays happy with all the attention. I have other children as well, but they are teenagers and stay out of the camera mostly.. Khloe, Atari and Trance. They are all accomplished musicians on their own, actually. As a family we are very involved in our church and it holds us together in ways I never thought possible.
What do you do when you get creatively stuck?
I pray! It always works, no kidding. Also, I just keep on starting new tracks (I really call them “movements” on the ESX. Tracks are what I do in software) until I get inspired. Sometimes it takes days. Usually I get struck with epiphany in the middle of the night.
Do you have any gear purchasing mistakes to confess?
Well, yes. I don’t know. What doesn’t work for me works for someone, you know? A few pieces that have been a disappointment are the Emu Command Station, the Yamaha SU-10 (and 200, for that matter), and the Roland SP-505. ..Argh, the SP-505. My disdain for this machine is legendary on the forums, lol.
Why did you get the Korg ESX?
I had heard rumors of it for years on SonicState.com. Then, in 2004 I lost a large collection of vintage synths in a studio fire. While I was at the store shopping for new stuff I ran across the EMX. It had just come out.. I was stoked. While I was buying it, I mentioned to the salesperson that I really wanted to buy the “red one”, and asked if he would call me the minute it came in. He was like “Oh, we have a demo unit in the back. We’re not supposed to bring it out yet, but I’ll sell it to you for $$ .” Some ridiculously low price, like $250 or something. More than 8 years later, my love affair with this machine is still smoldering. I continue to find new ways to make her sing.. Even earlier this evening I discovered some new ways to work!
Why don’t you use a laptop live, running Ableton?
I use software a lot in the studio.. In fact, I teach Ableton Live tutorials as a side job, and I have been using it since Live 5. My first soft sequencer was C-Lab Notator for Atari computers, then Cakewalk. Then Logic, then Pro Tools HD1 in the late nineties. I have used Cubase, Nuendo, Sound Forge, Reason since v 3, Opcode MAX (now Max MSP), Pure Data, Jeskola Buzz, Renoise, Super Collider, Audio Mulch, Metasynth, Digital Performer. I can honestly say that Ableton Live is the BE ALL AND END ALL OF AUDIO WORKSTATIONS, HANDS DOWN.
That being said, in nearly 500 performances, I have never used a computer, vinyl or CD’s to play a show. Just hardware sequencers, synths, samplers, drum machines and effects.
Your tutorials are great. Do they help create a lot of interest in you as a performing artist?
People do become interested, yes, but no.. I have never gotten a gig because of the tutorials. I don’t really know why that is, lol.
How do you promote yourself and get gigs?
I get gigs by going to gigs and meeting people. During the times I am mostly at home, which is a lot lately, my performing schedule gets very thin, lol. I am focusing on doing more renegade gigs lately. Crashing gigs and playing on spontaneous stages with a generator and my own PA. I think I could enjoy life traveling and doing that full time!
I hear from your videos that your son is a genius. When can we expect him to solve the worlds problems?
My son IS a genius. Truly, he is gifted in a myriad of ways. Sadly, the world’s problems transcend the influence and presence of genius, and can only be solved through the Love of Jesus Christ. I truly believe this.
Thank you for interviewing me. It is an honor to share with you.
SAUCE’s music can be downloaded and enjoyed at soundcloud.com/danieklerr =)