Interview: The Gods Planet
What can we say… We’re a little bit in love with this dynamic and hugely talented Sardinian duo – a lot in love in fact. Take two of the most influential artists from the deep techno realm, individually making a huge impact on the scene and responsible for shaping two very distinguishable sounds; merge them together into a single act with the most sincere of intentions and friendships behind it and what do you have? Pure, incomparable audio gratification, and a performance that will stay at the forefront of your memory for a long time to come! Claudio PRC and Ness are separately known to work some serious magic behind the decks, as any On the 5th Day regulars will have experienced at previous Corsica Studios sessions. They jointly made a hugely anticipated reappearance for On the 5th Day in June 2017 and delivered a closing set which took 5th Dayers to new dizzy heights, hooking them in at the bellies and setting their souls on fire!
Ahead of that set, we were fortunate enough to have a chat with the guys in the studio. We loved every minute!
So where did it all start for you guys?
Ness: I think everything happens for a reason. Starting for me, it was already for passion, I started to listen to music, I went to some parties, I see the figure of the DJ and somehow, I wanted to find myself there… not forgetting I come from the dance floor, so I always keep this in my mind when I perform, I like to imagine: what if I myself am on the floor, how will I perceive myself, so I want to try and give something more, give some of my personality.
So DJ’ing came first for you, then production?
Ness: Yes, it was first DJ’ing, and maybe one or two years after I started to make music.
What was it that drove you to start producing? Were you becoming increasingly drawn towards the idea, or did you feel that this was a necessary step in order to get more gigs as a DJ?
Ness: It was natural to be honest. In the very beginning I said yes, okay, I’m playing this music and I want to understand how to make this music. In the beginning, production was very difficult – I came through Reason, Cubase, I see a bit of Logic and then I found Ableton.
Claudio PRC: I agree with Andrea, but also, before I started to create music and play music – you know, create art with music – I was already involved in other forms of art like painting or graffiti when I was in high school. Then, when I started to regularly go to the club I became attracted to the figure of the DJ, but I already knew about it because my father was a DJ too, in the 80s.
Ness: It’s a family business. [Laughing]
Claudio PRC: At that point I realised much more about what the DJ was and so I wanted to discover more, and it happened naturally when I touched two decks and a mixer for the first time, and then I started to go on my path with the music. But, what I wanted to say is that for me, it’s really important – the creative side of what we do, like for everyone I think. We all have a creative side inside of us, we just need to discover that we are creators in this universe, so I think if everything starts from this point of view then everything is fine, you know. We are giving something and we are doing this not only for ourselves and to express ourselves, but also, we have to give something, to share, to share feelings and everything, and also to leave something.
Ness: Actually, another key point is really to get inspired and be inspired because this feedback is really important, it is what can build a better world. I always think that if I can inspire someone with my music – if maybe someday an architect is on the dance floor and listens to my music and he then goes and makes a beautiful building, then I watch this building and I get inspired again and I go and make more music – so it’s like a cycle.
Claudio PRC: It’s our connection, a human connection, we are all connected.
Ness: For me, music is transcendental; it cannot be viewed, only perceived, so it is something really elevated for the human soul.
Claudio, what’s the relationship between your music and your graphic design? Does one inspire the other? If so which came first?
Claudio PRC: Everything that is art is inspired by other forms of art, it’s all one thing so it’s hard for me to separate music from other forms of art. If I try to communicate something with music I’m sure I could also do this with graphics and other forms of art because the important thing is how you communicate. For me everything is the same and it’s not difficult to combine everything, so I get inspired from art, from making music and vice versa, so it’s all easy and something natural.
Do you think DJ’ing is enough of an art form and an expression of some form of creativity? If so, did you see if this way from the beginning?
Claudio PRC: Sure, it’s an art form, it’s a moment of creation, you’re creating a moment, a situation and an atmosphere in that moment, so it is a kind of art. Of course, art is very complex so you cannot say… well… I cannot classify myself as an artist, but the creativity act is there, so I can see it as a form of art, completely.
We agree, if you want to DJ because you want to inspire, you want to create something... if that’s your intention, then for us its absolutely an art form, but it's all about your original intention.
Ness: It’s a bit critical this point… If you want to do something because someone else is doing it and its working for them so you think it can work for you too, but your intention is just to emulate someone else, then that is not the right intention. You need to do it firstly to satisfy yourself, your own satisfaction will suddenly arrive and then you can satisfy other people, and then it’s also how you communicate that.
Claudio PRC: Yes, and I think it also doesn’t mean that you’re not able to create something at all, so you don’t have to give up with yourself if you see that DJ’ing doesn’t work with you, maybe something else is working for you.
Ness: The potential is in everyone so it’s just to find the right way, the right form – I mean, I don’t know, I am doing this ten years but maybe there is also something else [laughing], but this is about going out from your safe zone, your comfort zone, so when people say, “no I cannot do that” - well you may be able to do that, maybe you are a little lazy or scared, the fear to fail is too strong.
Do you still have it, a fear or failure?
Ness: Yes, I have this fear inside of me and it sometimes pops out during, or even before a performance, or when I have to release a record, but in the end, I always try to keep my intention pure so I try to say okay, I need to do this because this is what I live for. Sometimes, in some gigs, the atmosphere made by the people you meet, it’s not always easy to set yourself up in the right mood and do what you do, there can be a lot of factors that influence you.
Some of your most recent releases feel like a sign of evolution for you both; bold moves which perhaps signify a move away from the sounds you're associated with. How did you get to this point, was it a natural process and have you been stressing about the shift and how your followers might respond to that?
Ness: To make the album [Trancemigration LP], yes, I was in a stressed moment as I was procrastinating this for three years so I couldn’t ever feel secure with what I wanted to say with an album, because for me it was another step which was different to the EPs I had produced. So yes, I had my doubts and stuff but I am really very happy with it. Someone told me that it is even risky with what I did because I proposed something very different to my outputs before but it’s a side of me that I needed to give… for me every release that I make is a new challenge, I don’t want to stay too comfortable, I want to try and push a little bit more forward, this is the intention. Obviously trying to keep my own imprint – how do you say… mark on things, it’s something that really came out naturally; I realised that even if I start from scratch, from zero, the sound is coming out again, the sound that I was doing, so I try every time to push forward.
Claudio PRC: Me, not too much, whatever Andrea is experiencing right now I experienced already with my first album with Prologue 5 years ago so I can understand completely the feelings that he has now. For me, the last album I made is a bit different and I was not that stressed as I knew already where I was going, which direction I wanted to bring my music and that was a transitory moment – it’s coming out soon and you will see with the music what will be the transition between my albums. Also this new one is something that when it came, it just came … so I don’t feel that stress that I have to work to create a bigger piece of work, or something like a long player.
What was the inspiration behind The Gods Planet, how did that all come about?
Claudio PRC: Actually we just met a few years ago, maybe 2 years, in 2009, and we were sharing the same flat in that year, and then the time came when we find ourselves completely disappointed with the music that was going on in the clubs in our city; we didn’t like that music so we stopped going to the clubs, we stayed home, we lived together, we made music, both in our rooms. Then we say, okay let’s try to make something together because we both feel the same, we don’t like what is going on, and then it came, the first EP and we decided not to give it to any record labels and to press it ourselves.
Ness: But again it was very natural – because he says: “Okay, come to my room, I’m doing this”... Okay then, let’s try this – and then it came out, three tracks, and we were like woah okay, we really like these tracks! [laughing]
So what’s behind the name?
Claudio PRC: [Laughing] When we made these tracks we were really influenced by a track of another artist called ‘The Gods’, and this track was in our imagination like… how can I explain… the imagination of this music was made by these Gods, these stories about divinity, mythology and then we felt this a lot with the music we made, the connection, so we say okay let’s call it The Gods, and then maybe we thought this is too much…. [Laughing]…. Even we don’t like this name too much now.
Ness: But it’s not the right English [more laughing] – it’s not with an apostrophe – it’s a planet, not that we are Gods – we find comfort in this planet and create the music - it’s our fantasy story - we are our own God of this planet so we are the creator.
Claudio PRC: You know it is our planet and let’s make the music we want – the idea was that, without any kind of influence from business or the music scene.
Ness: In the beginning it was something that sounded to me pretty unique, we gave a different name that was different to Ness and Claudio, we tried to give it an identity.
Claudio PRC: Musically it was different from what we were doing at the time, and now I can see what we are doing is much closer to our solo stuff to be honest, but I like this because this means that we were able to give an identity to what we were both doing, and then bring this together and keep this strong and we are very satisfied musically so I’m happy for this. In the beginning, I didn’t want both the ways to be close, our own stuff and The Gods Planet, but now its fine, I feel its very fine. We then decided to also release our own music and we switched the project to also a record label. In the beginning we only released The Gods Planet stuff on the label but in the last three years recently we began to release other stuff, our friends music….
Do you have a vision for the label and your act?
Ness: Honestly, I think we live more in the moment. We try to make a plan for the future obviously, but it’s in short term, so every time we plan something we go back and say maybe we should change this and do it differently, so it’s really from the moment and what feels right in that moment. Maybe some of our music, well it isn’t the right moment to put it out there, so we are not of the philosophy to saturate the market, to put too much out etc – so we wait until we feel it’s the right moment. But obviously we have a plan, at least for some months in advance, a schedule.
What about the voice of The Gods Planet, the stories that you post online, the message you want to give for what you’re doing?
Claudio PRC: It’s a positive message, I think we should give something and say something which isn’t only how good last week was, or how beautiful was a gig that we played, but also to say something more. Me personally, I read a lot of books about spirituality and meditation so I get a lot of influences from this.
Ness: Same, for us it’s important to try and add something more, for people to be able to feel inspired.
Claudio PRC: Just to give a positive message to people with things that let us and them feel good.
Ness: Try and be yourself, be natural, give what you feel, don’t force, try to communicate even with the music, also enlightenment, to be more enlightened.
Claudio PRC: Especially with the first story we published on Facebook because I think that story describes completely the project and how it was born, it came from the heart, so we’re still fighting to keep the project like this because it’s hard to follow your heart because you have to compete with a lot of things, so we want to never forget this, so we put this story out for this.
This is the same for us and On the 5th day – we don’t just want to run a few events, post some posters and promote the parties; we want to inspire people, ensure they feel like they are a part of something - a collective.
Claudio PRC: To be honest, especially with social media generation, its going to be hard. For example, when I open Facebook I can tell you that 90% of things I read are all negative things, it’s not good for our society.
Ness: There’s this thing to react when there’s a negative thing. The positive things – well we read it and say it’s okay, but you stop there, but when its negative, human behaviour is to react easily. It’s important to have a different perspective on the negative. There is something to learn and something positive in everything, if you look at it in a different way. We are bombarded by negativity so we have to learn to react differently.
What do think in general about social media and how it has changed the music industry and say, DJ’ing compared to the days before Facebook?
Ness: There was MySpace [laughing]. Actually, me and Claudio think we came from that generation, because when I started in 2006 it was almost the beginning of MySpace, and we see it as a good thing, it allows us to connect with a lot of people, so that’s why I say it’s a tool. But of course, it depends how you use it, if you use it in the right way, you need to have your own filter. I don’t know if DJ’ing is affected by it. It changed the figure of the DJ and how he/she is perceived.
Claudio PRC: I think we have to adapt ourselves to the time we are living, so you cannot complain if there is a good DJ getting good gigs and he’s also getting a lot of likes. If he’s good then he will probably be good for the long term, but there are many cases where they may not be very good, its short-term and then they disappear completely…
Ness: I think social media is more positive than anything.
Its quite scary though, as an artist with an online profile it can feel like you’re being watched straight away by all the world, you feel like you have to do the posts, find a voice, show that you’re active, put money in this to reach more people. Do you feel this pressure?
Claudio PRC: If you think like this then I think you will struggle, this is not the way to think.
Ness: People should try to say something when they have something to say, not because they have an expectation that people might have an expectation of them… when I see a DJ posting a thank you for a gig, and then sponsoring it… really? Do you have to boost the fact that you’re thanking people?
Claudio PRC: You have to decide if you want to be part of it all or not, it’s up to you. Do you want to give something or not? Are you giving something or just boosting your gig, are you saying something else?
Ness: It’s complicated because when social media really came, so did the business side in this music scene… also the level of the artistic profile of some artists, you can see where there is the influence of money and when an artist starts to change for that, I don’t know what will be in the future but I want to stay true to myself, I don’t want to sell myself out, I don’t want to have this feeling, I just want to be fair and real.
So it felt that say, four years ago the deeper, more emotional side of techno was coming to life and becoming more popular, do you think the sound has become more obvious at all?
Ness: It just happened, we were aware but we always try to stick to our concept – its good, obviously I’m happy it became more popular because I think it’s healthy, the techno scene now.
Claudio PRC: I’m very happy about it because it all happened naturally.
Ness: For me in the beginning, of course I had my references, the people that I follow and it’s not like I tried to emulate them but I got influenced of course, so I tried to make a sound and resonate with the scene, and slowly we arrived at this place and with maturity we said okay, we want to step out a bit, try to, then suddenly this sound is working
Claudio PRC: But as you say before talking about the comfort zone, this is of course like that because I think that you realise that maybe you don’t want to be stuck in this sound forever, or maybe you need to evolve, and that’s the game, you have to be able to let your sound develop and let people keep following you, come on a journey with you, that’s really hard to do of course but its normal to have to do that
You guys have been frontrunners for the deep techno sound, if you think deep techno, you think Ness and Claudio PRC. Did you know this was happening and how did you feel about it?
Ness: Most of the time I really don’t realise how people perceive me, because maybe I am in my place doing my thing and I give the music and then people come with this feedback which for me is surprising, good obviously but I don’t see myself in this way, I’m happy to hear it of course. [laughing].
You can support Ness and Claudio PRC at the following links: