Drasko Vucevic: Interview (2010)
Posted on February 6, 2010 by contact
Please tell us about Drastic Music.
I formed DRASTIC a few years ago in order to offer unique sound services for new media. It quickly became a full audio solution service for interactive, broadcast and gaming media. I try to keep DRASTIC at the top of its game by constantly improving and morphing its creative structure – how capabilities and works are presented, production methods, client relationships and anything else I can think of. I aim towards involving unique people and am always searching for new opportunities in collaboration, whether business or personal, with the most innovative producers and artists out there. I try to be selective in terms of what projects I work on, so that all of my energy can be exerted in the right direction for something I believe in and feel. There is always a difference between providing a service and creating something you believe in. The energy can always be felt. I really believe that a company has to consist of more than it’s list of services. It has to have character, a unique image, something to keep everyone intrigued. It has to have loyal and quality-oriented relationships with its friends and partners. I do this by involving myself in various articles, blogs, speaking at seminars and meeting as many creative minds from other industries. I’m also planning on forming an on-line platform for DRASTIC where other creative works will be features, music, library sounds, artist features and more. We are also partners with long time friends and fellow audio nerds – Shinnyo Interactive Audio. Shinnyo takes care of our post production process for broadcast work with countless Emmy, Gemini and you-name-it awards under their belt. In order to work with the most innovative companies out there, you have to offer the most innovative solutions and keep your company evolving and growing. To accomplish this as a company, one must constantly add new organic, exotic and unexpected elements to the mix. I’ve been in contact with some amazing artists in the recent past in hopes of involving them upcoming projects.
How did you become involved in sound design?
When I was about 7, I told my parents I was 100% sure I wanted to be a Ninja when I grow up. So it is a little strange that I ended up in the audio world. I never really planned on doing sound design. I was always immersed in music production but little opportunities for projects came along here and there. After a few initial gigs, I really loved the concept and believed I had the feel for it, so I kept pushing myself. I still read and watch everything I can to kick my knowledge a little further. I study sound and other works out there whenever I get the chance. I have to say that my experience in sound design has significantly improved my music production skills. I learned so much about attention to detail and precise editing, along with patience and quick innovative thinking. It really took my music production process to another level.
How much of your work is music composition vs. sound design?
It’s strange, because when the focus in projects shifts to 90% sound design, I will end up doing a few other projects where the focus is almost solely on music. In the end I always end up with quite a nice balance between the two.
What has it been like working with agencies such as Firstborn?
In one word, amazing. Other than having the honor to work with such a respected agency, it’s icing on the cake to work on their original projects. When I started working with Firstborn, right away I understood why the agency has won so many awards and recognitions – because of the people it consists of. I’m not sure if I’ve been extremely lucky, but I’ve truly had a great experience with almost everyone I’ve worked with so far. The ideal producer will allow you the freedom to push the limits, but will know when enough is enough and won’t be afraid to say so. They will have the guts (experience & knowledge) to add just the right touch of ‘beyond expectation’ elements for the client, right on the thin line between impressed and scared. The work experience can vary dramatically depending on the producers and the direction provided during the audio production process. Luckily (knocking on wood), I’ve been blessed to work with the most amazing teams when it comes to ideas, organization, direction, patience and most importantly a great feel for creativity in both the visual and aural sense. I have to holler at Lesley, Hege and Avery – my peeps at Firstborn who never sleep.
Please describe the creative process executed for:
You Don’t Know Quack:
This process consisted of many espressos and back-and-forth communication with the producers. Quick turnaround times along with quick feedback from FB resulted in one happy client. It’s always important to balance quality with technical limits. In the interactive world, especially with sites where sound plays a big role, there is not too much room for luxury in audio size. Quick loading times are a must and this is where compression comes into play. No matter how good your audio sounds, it is useless if it is going to take several minutes to load. It’s essential to be precise and to eliminate every possible element from the sounds that might take unnecessary space (both time and size wise). The whole Aflac web campaign (aflac.com / getquack.com, knowquack.com) has a similar, unique style and interactive feel, so the same had to be accomplished with sound. It is very hard to create a minimal website that has great style and gets to the point – which is exactly what FB managed with the Aflac campaign. Of course – same had to be done with sound. This meant using just the right sounds, the right amount of sounds, for just the right moments, in just the right style throughout all the websites.
I love working with GROW because I always feel safe in terms of creative direction and that the right choices will be made from their side. There is open communication between the whole team during the production process which is a huge bonus to the creative outcome and idea generation. The audio in K-Y played a big role in presenting the ‘intense’ element of the presentation, so it was important to create catchy, dynamic sounds. Another important aspect was to keep these dynamic sounds within the same family of styles – in this case it was a blend of foley life like sounds and cartoony exaggeration. We managed to put together a sound library that worked out great, thanks to the great direction by the workaholics I worked with. Again, one of my favorite zombie crews – Drew, Matt, Joe, Ben and the rest of the wonderful GROW family.
What is your ideal project?
It would have a fair timeline; enough for experimentation, yet just the right amount to put some pressure on me to stay excited and focused. In terms of ideas and visuals, it would probably involve concepts that have not been seen and more importantly – not heard before. This is where the boundaries can be pushed in terms of organic sound production and collaboration between the video and audio team.
What are you currently working on?
I’m about to get a headache from the size of this paragraph. I have just finalized sound design for a Sprint 4G website, Sony VIZIO website, the ‘Know Quack’ web campaign for Aflac, a fun AMTRAK website, a small series of mini web-based / comp games, putting the final touches on the sound design for the Madison Square Garden micro-site, and starting quite a few new fun interactive projects.
I am also working on personal creations such as an audio visual piece with an amazing painter and graffiti artist from Barcelona – ARYZ. We will put together a motion video of his illustrations and paintings (the process and the final creation) with my music and sound. I am also working on a separate project with Alex Gardenberg, an illustrator and motion video artist who is actually joining the Firstborn team soon and is helping on the project with ARYZ.
I am in the process of creating a few dub tracks for Dread & Alive – a new comic book series by Zoolook / Nicholas Da Silva. Dread & Alive made Web Designer magazine’s TOP 100 as #47 for 2010. For this project (and a few others), I am collaborating with a great Award-Winning artist and great friend Yoko Kamitani. Other track collaboration is with Hornsman Coyote, a multi-talented musician and vocalist from my hometown, Belgrade. The first compilation CD has currently signed 10 artists including Shaggy. Definitely didn’t think I’d end up on a CD with Mr. Bombastic himself. After that I am collaborating with Audioandroid on a crazy musical piece with no categorization possibilities. Apart from the audio world, I partnered up with some great people and am working on a ‘guitar hero of the future’ concept. I think that’s all I’m allowed to say for now. Then it’s time for Barcelona and a whole new set of creations, tapas and sunlight.
What does the future hold for DRASTIC and Drasko V?
I think it’s probably about that time for a proper company website :) Then hopefully my personal artist page. I’ll continue to strive to work with the most creative companies, producers and creative minds of all kinds. On the personal side I hope to finish my album this year and spend some more time on personal music and collaboration with other artists.