INTERVIEW: One With Shade

One With Shade is the synth pop project of LA based singer-songwriter and producer Joey Weinberg. With delicately-crafted vocals reminiscent of Cigarettes After Sex combined with luscious waves of electronica, One With Shade’s latest single Lucid Dream takes you on a hypnotic, meandering journey to the stark landscapes of the North…

Hey Joey! You’ve recently released your new single Lucid Dream. What’s the story behind the song?

One With Shade is a concept-based project of mine and Lucid Dream best introduces the story I’m trying to tell and sets up future releases. It’s about me one night going to sleep and ‘waking up’ in a Lucid Dream I can’t get out of. A world I feel is too real to be just a dream: I’ve entered the snow-covered world of The North. I don’t know where I am. I’m lost. Trying to find my way around, longing for answer. But at same time this helplessness and struggle feels so familiar. ‘Do I want to be saved?’

It’s an analogy to my personal experiences and the struggles I’ve had to deal with. So as much as it’s a story, the emotions run deep. And I naturally ended up screaming two lines, “Save” and “I’m calling out your name”. Somehow it worked well with the lush, ambient vibe.

I prefer not to go too much more in detail about the song and idea behind One With Shade, as I like to keep things mysterious and open to interpretation. Double meaning and hidden messages lurk within the confines of the lyrical content.

I love the use of lush electronics and dreamy synth lines… it reminds me of bands like Slowdive and Beach House. Who are your biggest musical influences?

I love Slowdive and Beach House! Sonically, I take inspiration from chillwave, synth pop, and all their other ‘atmosphere-focused’ sub-genre cousins (shoegaze, dream pop, electropop, ambient, post-punk, etc).

I grew up on rock. Green Day, Billy Talent, Cartel. Everything changed when I saw the movie Drive. I heard the soundtrack and was drawn into the moody, emotionally-pulling synthwave soundtrack. Ever since then I’ve been obsessed with any music that’s chill, moody, and [pulls] me into another universe.

Some of my biggest influences include Coldplay, Man Without Country, M83, CHVRCHES, Kate Boy, Small Black, PVRIS, and Neon Indian among others. Lyrically, my biggest inspiration is Twenty One Pilots.

What’s your writing / recording process like? Do you produce all your own tracks?

I do produce and record my own tracks, and that is arguably the most important aspect of the music creation process for me. I like to not only layer lyrically, but sonically as well. My goal is to take the listener on a sonic experience, hoping he or she hears a new layer, lyrically or instrumentally, with each listen.

I usually write melody/lyrics first, and then I’ll hear parts, if not the full arrangement and sound design features in my head. The hard part has been translating what I hear to actual sound. The last 3 years I’ve been self-teaching myself arrangement/production, mixing, and to play a few instruments.

Tone-wise, I use a ton of synths and drum machines, but like to use enough electric guitar, bass, and real-ish-sounding drum samples to keep a natural, unartificial sound.

On average, it’ll take me two weeks to flesh out a song’s lyrics from initial idea to finished product. Although I may still admittedly be a perfectionist on the production side, I’ve learned that a song’s lyrics are done when it pulls at me emotionally.

For a while I had that ‘No one touches my art’ mentality. But of late I’ve realised if I ever want to make something out of One With Shade, I’ve got to get my songs finished. While I produced and mixed Lucid Dream myself, I’ve sent other tracks out for final production and mixing tweaks to move forward.

I see you’re based in LA. Do you have plans to visit the UK anytime soon?

I love the UK and Europe! It’s on my to-do list to play some shows over there soon!

Do you find that your surroundings influence your sound / songwriting?


Yes and no. It’s funny because while I’m born and raised in sunny, warm LA, I’m most influenced by cold, cloudy visuals and music. I went to college in snowy Syracuse, NY and I thrived creatively off that atmosphere. Although not as easy to come by, LA does provide me with influence. Night drives spark tons of melody and lyrical ideas.

Other than music, what are your favorite ways to pass the time?

Other than my current day job as a Data Analyst at Universal Music Group, I’m a huge sports fan. I can talk baseball, hockey, and sports analytics for days. Dodgers, Kings, Clippers, Syracuse Orange die-hard fan for life. I’m always at games!

What’s coming up next for you? Is there more music on the way?

New music is 100% on the way. I’m currently carefully putting together a live show set and experience. I want live shows just to be as immersive as the studio-version of songs (think ODESZA’s live shows, for example). Release date is TBA right now, but I have an EP that’s practically done.

Finally, if you could recommend one album for our readers to check out, what would it be?

Foe by Man Without Country. And you HAVE to listen to whole thing in one sitting. Sonically hypnotic and lyrically powerful. Masterpiece.

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