Nashville-based alternative pop duo Vin 90 is the creative brainchild of Chase Weber and Dan Alber. In fact, they had to become uncommonly creative to arrive at their sophomore EP, Summer In Our Dreams, due out on New Year’s Eve (12/31/20) via Hardspeak Records. The effortlessly flowing five-song EP was made almost entirely over the internet in the summer of 2020 while the world was hit with the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Making Vin 90 remotely over Dropbox continued to be the only option we had at the time,” says Alber who since crafting their debut EP was spending a lot of time on tour performing with Lennon Stella on the “World War Joy Tour” with the Chainsmokers and 5 Seconds of Summer. Then arrived quarantine and social distancing. “I ended up sending a lot of files to Dan,” adds Weber. The two would bounce ideas, files and suggestions back-and-forth until they arrived at the final Summer In Our Dreams track listing.
Together the pair wanted to offer Five Tips To Creators For Working Remotely.
Time Zones (Work When You’re Fresh) –
One pro of working remotely is you can work when you’re most inspired. For Vin 90, I’m (Chase) a late night guy, and Dan is an early riser. Once it hits 11pm, I’m all ideas, so I embrace the moment and create, and Dan can wake up to fresh inspiration in his inbox to create with. Yeah, it’s a bummer that you’re not together, but its magic to capture a moment in your prime.
Trust Your Taste –
Commit. Commit. Commit. Don’t be afraid to be reckless with parts and sounds. Print them to audio, distort them, reverse them. Get out of midi and the piano roll as quickly as possible. Options stifle creativity, and chances are that your first instinct was correct. If your collaborator wants a raw version, they’ll ask for it. If not, congratulations you just branded your music. Music is about heart, trust your taste.
Hold Ideas Loosely –
Writing songs alone, it can be really easy for ‘demo-itis’ to set in. Hold ideas loosely, give space to your collaborator to lean into their strengths, even if that means pivoting from your original concepts. Two vocabularies will always be better than one.
Bounce Points –
A techie tip would be to always bounce files for sharing on a quarter note grid, with two bars of silence before the intro, and the BPM in the file name. Regardless of DAW choice, unexpected software updates, or even an unorganized session, you’ll always know where your start point is. Trust me, this can be surprisingly difficult to navigate without!
One pro of working remote or by yourself is new places. In the past that was a cool city or a new coffee shop, but now it could be vocals in the laundry room or drums in the kitchen. Use the spaces you have to get in different mindsets and add different timbres. The track for Manhattan Beach (from our first EP) was made entirely in a coin laundry in Manhattan Beach, California. At home, I regularly edit in one seat on my couch and track synth on the other end. Don’t know why, but it works. Get out of your comfort zone.