With the release of his full length album Omni-Colour
, Chad Schneider aka Void Pedal has officially thrown his name in the mix as one of the most talented up-and-coming producers in Chicago. Nurturing his love for hip-hop since the early 90ís, Schneider has committed himself to his craft in a way that aptly represents both the current and possible future of instrumental hip-hop. From the opening sequence of Omni-Colour
to the final break, listeners are treated with a lush combination of synthesizers and analog instrumentation, which is narrated nicely by a fire and ice combination of warm melodies and menacing drum-breaks. Itís the type of project that likens itself to an abstract dream or a mystifying summer evening; seemingly directionless but draped in meaning. Since the release of Omni-Colour
Schneider has been diligently promoting his work, performing at venues all across Chicago including the Abbey Pub and darkroom. Centerstage recently caught up with Void Pedal to talk about his burgeoning career as well as the construction of his newest album.
Where did you grow up and how did you get interested in hip-hop?
I moved around a lot growing up, but my grandparents were always based in Chicago. I was always coming to Chicago to spend my summer here with my grandparents until I was 17 when we finally made a permanent move to Chicago.
I got interested in hip-hop at an early age when I heard LL Cool J's "Mama said Knock you Out" in 90' and then in 91' I bought Black Sheep's A Wolf in Sheep's Clothing. After hearing that album I was forever hooked on learning how hip-hop was made.
Who are some of your influences both past and present?
I draw influences and inspiration from a lot of music. Itís very difficult to narrow down what really influences me, but if I had to choose a music producer from the past it would be David Axelrod. I think the more and more I make music the broader the spectrum gets.
What about Chicago inspires your sound?
Chicago would be nothing without the people who built it. People from Chicago don't mess around, they will tell you the truth. I think it inspires me to be better as a producer because it takes a lot to impress people from Chicago.
Whatís your take on the hip-hop scene here?
The hip-hop scene in Chicago is deep. The scene is alive and well and I know that Fieldwerk Recordings is definitely vitalizing and enriching the scene here with its amazing lineup of producers. We are here to stay and will always support the Chicago scene.
How did you link up with Fieldwerk?
I met David Humphries back in 2005 in Chicago with Alex Zavala. We all became friends and were just getting into the Chicago scene as producers. We all progressed in our production skills and in 2009, David decided to start Fieldwerk Recordings and began to release records under the Fieldwerk name.
What approach do you take when you sit down to craft a beat?
My approach is different every time, but I often begin by playing guitar or synth to get something going. I would say itís a free form approach.
Omni-Colour does a god job of not narrowing its scope. What went into the construction of the album? Did you have a sound in your head that you wanted to achieve or did you just let it evolve?
Since 2001 I have been acquiring equipment to construct my songs. Omni Colour is a direct reflection of my equipment. I have moved away from sample based beat construction and relied almost entirely on my analog equipment. I would say that Omni Colour definitely did evolve naturally.
How did you come to link up with Raymond Salvatore Harmon for the Nighttime Butterfly video?
Fieldwerk Recordings owner, David Humphries got in contact with Raymond and asked him to do the video.
Youíve been touring all over whatís the reception been like so far?
The reception has been really good. The album sold really well at every show, to the point where I had no vinyl or CD's by the last few shows of the tour. Thanks to Bus Driver and Dark Time Sunshine's fan base, I was received very well.
Any interesting stories from the road that youíd like to share?
From your self-titled EP to your full-length what have you learned most?
I have learned a lot about how the underground music industry works. I feel I have a better grasp on where the music industry is headed.
Anything else we can look forward to from you in 2011?
There are a lot of things in the works this year, so I would say to keep up to date at Fieldwerk.com. Also, Follow me on twitter: http://twitter.com/voidpedal, like me on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Void Pedal/181444008554445?ref=ts and download my free EP: http://fieldwerk.com/voidpedalep.html,/a>.