Rendered _ Interview with Ronny Pries
Whenever we talk, you always have loads of positive energy and ideas. I know you are a straight thinker Ronny and work plays an important role in your life but I sense that there was a bit of a crossroads moment where you settled down for a while. Is that fair to say?
Everybody is facing those someday, no? One of those being in ’97 when I could have stood up against my parents and decide to just keep making music all day long. Since you’ve gotta make a living from something, according to them, I did some job training instead which got me out of the music production flow and social circles. But a few years later the music industry in terms of money making went down the drain anyway.
Becoming father with 24 wasn’t the easiest lesson either. Sometimes felt like time is just draining through my fingers without doing much use of it. Then again I started with my Dub Techno project – rktic – at that time. The learning was that you can also lean back and wait for a cycle of the never ending loop of life to end and repeat sequence. Figuring that out took me ages though. The sheer power of deceleration is amongst the best things I ever discovered.
And yes, work is important to me. There were some periods when I didn’t have to work and could have made music all day long. Also did that occasionally but wasted a lot of time doing nothing productive at all. I’m better off with less, but focused time. Plus whatever job I do also gives me inspirational input. That’s something procrastination just won’t offer.
That’s a great perspective on things Ronny. I think a lot of people could identify with what you have said there about time. So you had to get serious then.. When did all the office work and software development come in?
Right after my training, I joined some demoscene friends game development team as sound-level designer & musician. I worked on projects like Mag Force Racing for Dreamcast and lots of Winter Sports related casual games, from which I picked up lots of foley recording skills. Then I got into NI’s beta testing circles through my game development job as I used Reaktor a lot. At a certain point I ended up organising and making the mixes for Traktor 2.x / Final Scratch; just in case anyone was ever wondering how the netlabel tracks ended up in those.
Apart from that I’m involved with the AudioRealism instruments of course, presets for a number of plugins, the VST adapters for Buzztracker, various iOS games, including the utterly funny-stupid ‘whack-a-nazi’ for Tarrantino’s ‘Inglorious Basterds’, and apps…
That question kinda turned into a mini CV, haha. You’ve got the job Ronny! Actually, I think I remember chatting to you before & you said called the commercial jobs “soul destroying” or something like that?
There was a struggle some time after my employment at the game team, when I was working as freelance musician and sound-designer. The deadlines were way too tight for projects, or double assignments and all the tax-madness etc. Often ended up working 24/7 without leaving room for my own stuff. It was a pain in the ass to use my entire creative energy for making a living. It burned me out for years. My advice to anyone considering a professional music career is to think about it twice! Making music on assignments may ruin your inspiration.
Was it hard juggling a double or triple life, juggling between work, music and friends / family etc.. sounds like you had a lot to keep busy with?
Of course it was. Had to learn to let go of things I wanted to do by heart and do whatever pays the rent and feeds the family instead. Thing is; family and friends often told me fuck the assignment jobs and produce whatever trend was hip at that time. But for me, as a guy who always loved his kicks punchy and loud producing 00’s fashioned clicky minimal stuff for the masses? I could never do it. No doubt I could have done it, but it seemed even more wrong. Lots of artists went this way and lost their reputation somehow – I didn’t want to be one of them.
Last not least I didn’t want to sacrifice witnessing my son growing up for a DJ lifestyle grounded on reasonably fashioned music I’d hate myself for. No regrets there.
All or nothing Ronny! Too right.