Artist Spotlight - Distance Prefix

Can you tell us a little about yourself?
I'm Thomas from Cleveland, OH, and I write music as Distance Prefix.

How long have you been writing music?
I grew up playing music. Primarily, I've always been a drummer, but I play a bit of piano and am decent at electric guitar.

In high school, I started making electronic music via Garageband. I continued doing this occasionally into college when I made my first EP in the winter of 2015 after a breakup, leaving me with a lot of free time.

What got me making music much more seriously was the pandemic. I had lost my job and felt very hopeless about many things. We all forget about the sort of constant existential dread we were living with daily in 2020 on multiple fronts. I decided that rather than hopelessly searching for jobs, I would start working on music again. I downloaded a free Logic Pro X trial, which lasted 60 or 90 days. During that window, I wrote my album, The Long Winter.

Music became a serious project for me and became like my new job. I learned how to use Logic Pro while making the album, and my goal was primarily to channel my anxiety and dread into art. In the past, I used to have a lot of doubts about making music, like nothing I could make was ever good enough.

Through the experience of making The Long Winter, I let go of those doubts and decided that I enjoy being creative and that I'm going to be brave and make something that reflects how I felt.

After landing a new job and a laptop specifically for making more music, I dove into making my next album, Sickness.

What inspired you to start playing and making music?
I grew up in a music-heavy home and had exposure to many great classic rock / 90s alternative bands as a kid.

What are your favorite artists or other artists that inspire you to write music?
I grew up listening to a wide variety of bands. Smashing Pumpkins and Nine Inch Nails have always been two of my favorites. Deftones, The Mars Volta, At the Drive In, and Godspeed You Black Emperor have always been big influences of mine too. In the past 5-10 years, I've gotten more into electronic-specific music and have enjoyed different kinds of witch house, vaporwave, and electronica. Andy Stott, Holy Other, Balam Acab, 2814, Death's Dynamic Shroud, and Hello Meteor are favorites.

How would you describe your style of music?
My goal is to be diverse. I like playing with beats and sounds but don't follow a specific structure, and my songs are an evolving journey. I'd call it "electronic," but I don't know if my works fit neatly into one specific genre.

How is your personality reflected in your work?
It's reflective of things I like. I reference many movies, video games, and stories I like in my track names. I often have ideas of what kind of artist I admire that I want to emulate in a specific track while putting my spin on it.

Describe your creative process when you write new music.
My plan is always to make something different from my last release.

Something that excites me and leads to new sounds is the different approaches to building a song. For example, I've been making heavy industrial sounding beats with a step sequencer. In that case, I'll follow that up with a completely different approach, like purely using samples and trying to achieve a distinct sound and atmosphere. If I make something dark and heavy, I want to follow it up with something more soothing, beautiful, etc.

I determine the song names before I write and sketch out the concept of an album in advance. I also love the artwork side of music, so every track I make has its own individual cover.

What is the name of your latest releases?
My 3rd full album is a double album called Morning Sadness.

What was the inspiration for that release?
Morning Sadness is an introspective-themed album that explores the tension between a happy life and the feeling of something being wrong and numbing happening in parallel. The album delves into various aspects of life, such as relationships, work, and friends, and uses the word "symmetry" as a metaphor for a relationship. The album's overall message is about the fear and loneliness that comes with the choice to destroy one's life to find a more fulfilling one.

The show Dark heavily influenced the album. It explores cycles, loops, and time, alluding to an apocalyptic calamity that feels inevitable, but no one is doing anything to avoid it. The theme of fading daylight is present throughout the album, culminating in the final track, Erit Lux, which directly references Dark. The track's opening sounds threatening and almost angelic in a frightening way, like a judgment is being leveled or fate is deciding. However, as the track progresses and gets increasingly hopeful and angelic sounding, it suggests that despite the wreckage, things will end up okay, and the light will return as things are reborn.

Can you tell us any "behind the scenes" stories about writing or producing this release?
My goal with Morning Sadness was to illustrate that I grew as an artist. There are very dystopian sounds in my prior albums, so I wanted this one to come out of the gate with an ambient track to show that this is a different experience. In the early parts of the album, I wanted to use strings, symphonic sounds, and piano to create an elegant atmosphere. As it progresses, it gets more experimental and then has heavier beats. Towards the end, it gets more haunting and melancholy. I have some tracks that are more pure electronica or house-sounding in this album, which I was excited about too. I went into it thinking, "okay, well, I did that kind of sound on Sickness, but I want to show that I can also do *this* here on my new album."

What are you currently working on?
I finished up my 4th album late last year and will be releasing that in the next month or so. It'll be a very different album from anything I've made, and I'm excited to release it. I'd describe it as "beautiful" sounding, melancholy, and even poppy.

I'm working on my 5th album, which will be a sequel to The Long Winter. Hopefully, a lot of interesting new things are on the horizon for me.

How can folks contact you (socials/email/websites etc.)
Free Bandcamp download codes

distance prefix
nightfall - EP

dark ambient / experimental / hard electronic

"Chaotic and dark, glitchy and mournful"

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distance prefix
the twilight interlude

dark ambient / heavy electronic / industrial

"This is the way the world ends."

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distance prefix
morning sadness

ambient / dark ambient / electronic / industrial

"A story of cycles"

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distance prefix

electronic / industrial

"paranoia, indoctrination, and self destruction"

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distance prefix
memories of color

ambient / dark ambient / drone / experimental

"Melancholy, poppy, calm, and beautiful."

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distance prefix
morning sadness: sides I & II

ambient / dark ambient / drone / experimental

0 codes remaining

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