FFO: Punctual,Avicii, The Chemical Brothers

Q&A with music production duo Punctual

Image credit: Press

Consisting of music producers Will Lansley and John Morgan, British duo Punctual are nothing sort of electronica greatness. Rubbing elbows with various artists such as Steve Aoki, and Jonas Blue alone, you can tell that this duo is onto bigger & greater endeavors. Their recent single drop, rework of iconic 2000’s R&B song ‘I Don’t Wanna Know’ has been remixed by several artists, including noteworthy producer Mason Maynard.

We find out more about this dynamic pairing below.

Tell us about your earliest musical memory?

Will: I remember going to a concert that my sister was playing Trombone in, and when speaking to the conductor afterworlds he asked if I could play any instrument what would it be – I said the drums. Lo and behold for my next birthday I was given a Cornet, I don’t think a drum kit in the house was the first choice for my parents haha… 

John: I remember sitting in my brother’s room asking him to play R.E.M. – ‘Shiny Happy People’ on repeat when I was really young. It is a banger, to be fair. 

At what point in your life did you have that moment where you said to yourself “This is it. This is the type of music I want to create?”

Not really! We’re still always looking to not limit our sound and the type of music we make. It’s good to always push yourself and try new things! It’s always going to be electronic, but we think the beauty of being an artist is that you can look back and see how your sound changes as you get older and progress.

Please list some of the most influential albums on your creative outlook and output:

Our influences are constantly changing over the years! But when we first started producing together we were both producing a lot of drum and bass. So albums like ‘Sub Focus’ by Sub Focus and ‘Hold Your Colour’ by Pendulum helped shape the early formings of Punctual!

What key pieces of gear/software are you using to define your sound?

For better or for worse we actually use different DAWs! John uses Fl Studio and Will uses Cubase.  FL is great for getting the demos together because of the workflow on it and then Cubase is amazing at fine-tuning, vocals and mixing.

Some soft synths we use a lot include Diva, Arturia Pigments, Omnisphere, and Keyscape. Oh, and of course Serum, but that’s not a shock these days!

Plugin wise we have a few favourites too: OTT, Pro Q 3, RC 20 & KSHMR essentials are used in pretty much every project. The Valhalla series is also normally always the go-to for reverbs too.

We have a pair of Adam’s A7x’s for monitors, and their Sub – these are very revealing and honest speakers to us. Recording-wise, until recently we have actually just used an SE electronics mic with a cheap sound card and that has been fine for most of our records so far! We have recently upgraded to UAD though and have a Neumann TLM 103. We now run vocals through the UAD Neve 1073 and then into the 1176 for tracking. 

What inspires you outside of music? What do you turn to when the creative well runs a little low?

Will: I’m quite into horticulture at the moment and have been growing succulents for the past year. I also quite like board games – basically, a break from looking at a screen is welcomed after a day of it! Love cooking too, it is a bit like music – you can’t make the same thing twice and there are endless possibilities and things to learn. Also, who doesn’t like having nice food at home!

John: Taking breaks is always super important generally to help creativity. I play a lot of football, I think exercising regularly, etc. helps you not feel too bad about spending endless hours sitting in the studio. I also play chess every day, which is always good to keep your mind stimulated! 

What is your opinion on the ever-spreading sub-genre vine? Are there too many? Do you think there’s perhaps a sub-genre that doesn’t get the attention it deserves?

There is no wonder music is so varied these days, everyone is getting inspiration from different places and there is so much to choose from. It’s nice that people can find their niches somewhere in all these sub-genres. Also, the communities that revolve around these sub-genres are so important for some lesser-known and up-and-coming artists, giving them a real audience and inspiration.

Studio work and music creation or performing and interacting with a live audience, what do you prefer?

We would probably say we are more into the creating part of music, there is a rush you get when you come up with a good idea that is like no other feeling. Of course, DJ’ing has its moments, some of those experiences are the memories that you’ll never forget, but our main goal is to make music that people enjoy at home as well as in the clubs!

As a music artist, it becomes apparent that there is a huge difference between the art and the business. Is there anything about the music scene that you would personally change?

We’re obviously super grateful for the business side of the music industry, it’s the reason we’re able to do what we love every day! Having said that, we do think there is some way to go in terms of songwriters being adequately compensated for their work. Some of our best friends are purely songwriters and it’s a really underpaid profession. You can be getting millions of streams on your songs and still earn below minimum wage!

Any new or upcoming artists on your radar? Who shouldn’t the world sleep on?

If there are 3 artists we think are gonna have huge 2021’s it’s Mick Mazoo, Robby East and Billen Ted. They’re all incredible producers!

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 really hope things will go back to normal at some point next year and we can get back out there and play all our new music in the clubs! Sadly there’s nothing planned yet though, so we’re just focusing on the music. We have so much new material to come in 2021, we really can’t wait for everyone to hear it all! We’re also continuing with our mix series ‘Right On Time Radio’ every month if you haven’t checked it out already!

Famous last words?

Don’t be late.

Follow Punctual:

Facebook / Instagram / Youtube 

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