Short Circuit is the alter ego of one Mr. Andrew Verner. DJ, musician, producer and Vocoder abuser.
A lifelong musician, Andrew turned his attention completely to electronic music around 2008 and has since become an Electro workhorse, producing reMix after reMix as well has his own, acclaimed, single ‘Let Go’. With a sound that owes as much to European dancefloors and Sci-Fi soundtracks as it does to the LA party scene, Short Circuit’s cyborg Funk mixes up hard, pounding, beats and harsh basses with sweet soaring leads and sparkling arpeggios.
Though his music can range from gritty cut-up Electro to borderline EBM stompers to smooth Robotic love songs, Andrew’s experience as a DJ allows him to craft tunes guaranteed to rock a dancefloor regardless of genre. A skill he puts to good use with a live show that blurs the boundaries between performance and DJing.
Check out what Short Circuit in his own words:
ER: How did you start getting into making making music?
A: I’ve been making music as long as I can remember, ever since my dad bought me my first Casio keyboard when I was 4 or 5. All throughout my childhood I would make little home recordings on my tape deck and make my family suffer through listening to them. I was in bands all through high school and a while after playing different instruments. I got into electronic music about 4 years ago and have been making it ever since.
ER: And how would you like your music described?
A: That’s a tough question to answer. Recently, a blog described my music as “Robopop” (that was us! – ER) which I think is pretty cool. Really, I don’t care what people call it as long as they like it.
ER: Who are your heroes and influences, both musical and otherwise?
A: I’d say musically my influences would range anywhere from Depeche Mode to Neil Young. I grew up listening to rock music and it greatly influences my work and I feel that it comes through in my songs. I wouldn’t say that I have any “heroes”, but I greatly admire anyone that can write great songs. Anyone from MJ to Paul McCartney to Prince. If you can keep writing hit after hit, your pretty awesome in my book.
ER: You style seemed a bit harder than the rest of Binary’s roster, I’m thinking of ‘Music Machine’, but seems to be becoming a bit smoother, how would you say your style is evolving?
A: I’m always changing up my style a bit. Its hard to say that my style is getting lighter or smoother because there are some heavier songs I have yet to release. What I’ve released to the public so far is a very small taste of the stuff I’ve been working on. Some of it is rock some of it is disco and some is really dark slow electro.
ER: When did the Binary posse enter the picture?
A: In 2008 I started making remixes and original songs as a side project from my electronic band “Mechanical Hands Electric Heart”. Basically anything I did that wouldn’t fit in the bands style I just started putting out on my own. I did a few remixes that started getting some recognition and according to Josh, it was my post on Missingtoof debuting my remix for Digitalism’s “Magnets” that caught their ear. They emailed me and we set up a meeting with Josh and Kyle (Binary/ NightWaves) and Fabian and Alex (LexiconDon) along with myself and the rest is history I guess.
ER: Is the name a Johnny5 reference?
A: Definitely. A couple years ago I had to change the name I was using due to some legal issues and was racking my brain for a new name. I was thinking of robots and electronics and immediately thought of Johny5. My first idea was actually to use the name Johnny5 but I decided against it for a few reasons. So yeah, Short Circuit was the next obvious choice.
ER: What does Short Circuit have in his studio? How does the writing process work for you?
A: Right now I have my laptop running Reason 4, Logic Pro and Ableton Live. I have an Alesis Micron and a MicroKorg that I use for pounding out ideas but the sounds rarely ever make it to the final song. I also have an array of guitars and other instruments and a pretty decent assortment of mics (mostly AKG’s). Everything runs through my Mackie VLZ3 16 channel mixing board and that gets piped into the computer via a Mackie Onyx 400f interface.
As for the writing process, it varies depending on the song. Sometimes I’ll have a melody or loop in my head and I’ll try to recreate it in the studio. Sometimes Ill get inspired by something I hear and sit down and start working. Some of my best songs though have actually come about while working on a different song. Ill be messing around with the song and all of a sudden come up with something great that will inspire me to start from scratch.
ER: And how does that translate live, both with gear and performance?
A: When I play live I use my Micron and MicroKorg synths along with a small percussion set up. My laptop runs Ableton for the backing tracks and I use a Numark Total Control to control Ableton. I run everything through a small 4 channel mixer so I don’t have to worry about the sound guys not getting the levels right.
I try to do as much as I can live as far as playing synths, singing with the vocoder and doing some percussion. Basically, I try to put on the best show I can as just one person. So far the response has been good but I am always trying to improve what I’m doing. I’ve recently made a few adjustments to my set that I am really excited about and cant wait to try them out in front of a crowd.
ER: If money was no object, what synth would you go after?
A: Its hard to pin down any particular synth, probably an old Moog or a Juno. Anything would be better than what I have right now.
ER: Has being part of Binary helped you as a musician?
A: Yes, immensely. Its great to be surrounded by a group of guys that are great musicians and producers. There is always this level of friendly competition that has improved all of our songs. If you listen to the tracks we were all putting out before Binary and compare them to what we are all doing now, there is no question that we have all helped each other improve.
ER: What does Dreamwave mean to you?
A: Not much really. I think the whole Dreamwave thing has been taken out of context and the term has been applied to many things that are not “Dreamwave”. I really don’t think most of my music fits under that category and the Binary collective as a whole has a lot more to offer than just one type of sound.
ER: When are we going to be hearing your EP?, What should we expect for in?
A: Good question, I’m hoping for sometime this year. All the songs are there, some are just waiting for some minor tweaks and some need a lot more vocal work. But as far as a set date, I cant really give one right now.
As for what to expect, the songs I have lined up are all very different but fit together somehow. I’m really excited to see what people think of the new stuff and also nervous as well since some of it is a bit of a departure from what I normally do. There are also a couple of tracks that I sing on which is the first time I’ve ever done anything like that and it definitely adds to the anxiety of it all.
ER: Is Short Circuit more of a cereal or pile of pancakes for breakfast kinda’ act?
Well I would like to think of it as more of a cereal kind of breakfast. Always good and you can count on it every day to please. In the words of the late great Mitch Hedburg “You don’t want to be like pancakes, all exciting at first then after a while you get sick of them”.
Andrew’s not just a musician, the man is also a DJ, having held residencies at some of LA’s hottest spots. Get your ears round his latest mix:
♫ Short Circuit – Greatest Hits
Just check out that tracklist!
1. Metronomy – Radio Ladio (Micachu reMix)
2. Pink Floyd- Another Brick In The Wall (DJ Agent ‘86 reMix)
3. Tensnake – Need Your Lovin’ (Dub Mix)
4. Yacht – Psychic City (Classixx Remix)
5. Empire Of The Sun – We Are The People (The Golden Filter reMix)
6. Short Circuit – Just Because
7. Flight Facilities (Feat. Giselle) – Crave You (Cassian reMix)
8. JBAG – X-Ray Sex (Kill the Hero reMix)
9. LBCK – Start (Moonchild reMix)
10. Madeon – For You
11. Paul – Together Again
12. Annie – Songs Remind Me Of You (The Swiss reMix)
13. Miami Horror – Holidays (Miami Horror And Cassian reMix)
14. French Horn Rebellion – This Moment
15. ODahl – Hold Me
16. Bag Raiders – Shooting Stars
Short Circuit’s single, ‘Let Go’ is out now with a new EP forthcoming.