There's not much to do in Vermont...Though the combination of cold weather and small isolated towns do force an extremely bored kid to get creative. Now it's 1998, picture Pierce at 6 years old, sitting on a tiny guitar amp with similarly tiny guitar in hand, begging his parents and family friends for song requests. Long before his time as a DJ, he was pleasing crowds (though much older) with covers of all 60s-70s era classic rock, having no idea what kind of impact this would have later. Fast forward a few years and those song requests turned suggestions of various genres and eventually different instruments. A quick ear helped him in first picking up the guitar as a child and later moving onto drums, piano, trombone and more. Pierce has always had this fascination for taking a concept from one instrument or genre and applying it to something new, an activity that would later define the core of his music. Now with 15 years of classic rock, reggae, blues and even a bit of metal and classical music under his belt, you can imagine how strange Pierce’s first interaction with electronic music was. Somehow this small high school in Vermont was blessed with an incredible music department entirely run by two teachers, a husband and wife. One semester of Pierce's senior year involved back to back music theory and electronic music production classes and another course in music history. The electronic music course taught students the fundamentals of production programs, basic synthesis/sound design, and sampling in addition to studying the history of iconic electronic music from the likes of Kraftwerk, Aphex Twin, Frankie Knuckles, and more. It was a revelation having had
no real exposure to this world, growing up in such seclusion, so far away from club culture.You might know Pierce most for his songs Kuaga, No More, Losing You & Landmines but with his recently released Borrowed Lives EP, he goes back to those early musical roots. “I’ve played some sort of music since I was a child,” says Pierce. “Anywhere from a guitar to just banging sticks on stage as a 5 year old at my aunts wedding, I’ve always ‘done’ something. Electronic music was the first time in my musical lifetime that I stopped playing things and started clicking and dragging. It’s a blast because you can be a one man band, but over time I realized I lost a lot of what made me a musician. I still can’t even play my guitar as well as I did when I was 14, don’t even get me started about drums or piano. With my songs like Landmines and No More, you can hear the live music sneaking it’s way back into my life but Borrowed Lives is my first full step back into being a musician again.”Now 24 years old and based in Los Angeles, Pierce is still subject to the habits of his youth; bouncing between genres and instruments while simultaneously bringing all of these influences into the dance music he's known for. When he isn't out on the road, playing shows around the world, not too much has changed about those quiet, cozy nights spent in the studio.
“NVDES is a world I created,” says Josh Ocean of his multi-genre indie collective. As producerand de-facto frontman, Ocean ignites controlled chaos by, he says, “building songs around random moments.” This has yieldedLa Nvdité,Vol. 1(outAugust 11onMaison Nvdité/Kobalt), an intriguing introduction to NVDES’ levitating, melodiclaptop-punk.“La Nvdité”—the group’s creative process—isset into motion when Ocean invites differentmusicians into his Los Angeles living roomto jam. They record whatever music or lyrics transpire, which he pieces together into songs. Ocean prefers the thrill of uncertainty over perfectionism, and this has made NVDESquite prolific. “I have a ton of unreleased material. Maybe 60 songs,” he says, explaining thatNVDES is lessof a band and more of an ongoingart project. “There isn’t a songwriting process. It’s really like splattering paint and just seeing what happens.”