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SAM GREGORY

'IMAGINARY GAMES' SPECIAL INTERVIEW

Melbourne based DJ and producer Sam Gregory presents his second album 'Imaginary Games'. 

Compiled over several years, evolving into an escape from the inescapable as a foray into nostalgia, imagination, possibility and hope to counterpoint the inevitable atmospheres of anxiety, despair, fear and rumination. 'Imaginary Games' explores the serious, frivolous, fond, humorous and (at times) shamelessly cheesy themes and motifs of life in both recent and past memory.

Mind games don't always have to be bad.

Read below our special interview with Sam.

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- Hi Sam! It’s a pleasure to have you for this interview! How are you?


Hey thanks for having me! I'm good, things are looking up again generally speaking, haha.



- Your album ‘imaginary games’ has just been released on December 17th, how do you feel about finally having it out there?


It's a weird one, it was something to keep me busy and "sane" during the lockdowns but now that it's out I'm just happy it's finished really. I don't seem to feel particularly good about it though, very strange!

- What was your creative process on the album? Where did the ideas come from and how were they transformed in your mind? What do you usually start with and how do you refine to get to the final result?


I usually start with a melody or a mood in my head; the album was formed from memories both recent and very old. Some memories I drew inspiration from are as old as 30 years now, while some were as recent as weeks or months. I just let my imagination go wild, so it's a huge variety of music in one album and doesn't adhere to any specific genre. 

- What is your ideal state of mind for being creative? Do you have many distractions while in the studio?


I like to write in any kind of state of mind really, excited, tired, bored, inspired, sometimes after a few drinks... the more removed from regularity the better though. Sometimes I can write the best stuff when I'm absolutely unable to do anything else, but mixing I need to be totally focused for. I can't make the right decision if I'm not fully in the moment so having my studio set up and organised properly is very important.



- The production of an album can be a tumultuous journey. How was yours? Did you face some challenges along the way or has it been a ride along a quiet river?


It was a nightmare to be honest haha. I maybe I tried too many things or maybe was too ambitious so I felt like a butcher at times and a surgeon at others. The amount of problems that came up was insane, I had no idea it would be such a challenge but I made it through OK I think. 



- ‘imaginary games’ is a beautiful amalgamation of melancholy and effervescent energy. How closely does the album mood align with who you are and how you feel?


Each piece is like a little window into a time (or times) in my life in a way, but all of them from different times. We all change from day to day, so in reflection, they represent me but just little parts of me at certain times. I feel I got as close to those memories as I could.

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- You’re based in Melbourne, Australia, and even though the light has finally come out at the end of the tunnel, this is one of the cities that has had one of the strictest and longest lockdown periods since the pandemic hit. How did you cope with it? What impact and influence did it have on your artistic life and creativity?


It was fucked. Honestly, it was. You can bleep that out if you like haha. We saw everything that was good go bad, relationships end, loved ones pass away, life events delayed or cancelled... Not to mention all the music, art and elixirs of life that just stopped. This album was my therapy for all of that, which is probably why I feel so weird about it now.



- Now that 2022 is kicking off with brighter days ahead, what have you got planned for the year?


I'm really looking forward to getting back in the studio after the break and churning out some more club tracks. I think I'm finished with the dark vibes now, I'm going back to my weird, funky and fun roots. Really pumped about people being able to dance again, let's hope there are no more nasty surprises for a while!

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