INTERVIEW: LOST MIDAS
East of downtown, just crossing over the 4th St. bridge, is a warehouse complex of art studio lofts. In one of the smaller, tucked away and yet-to-be-completed sound studios sits Lost Midas a.k.a Jason Trikakis. He’s working on his craft – music making – which began when he was just 6 years old.
While considered a “beatmaker” by association, the term simplifies a more complex talent – a natural ability to create intricate, atmospheric compositions. He interplays chords, building a sound that’s poetically whimsical – relying heavily on a well-constructed melody laying over one of his freestyled drum patterns. This sophisticated approach comes from his obsession with Jazz and Classical music, which as a multi-instrumentalist he is trained to play. His recent EP Memory Flux leans on bubbly head-bobbing beat arrangements pierced by Lost Midas’ own golden touch of dreamy, melodic, electronic soundscapes.
We sat down with Lost Midas for a small chat about his history, musical approach and what to expect in the near future.
LA CANVAS: Ok, so where are you from?
LOST MIDAS: Boston. I moved to L.A. summer of 2011.
LAC: Why to LA?
LM: That’s a good question. It was kind of impulsive. I was playing in bands on the east coast and my dream was always to be a rock star. As a matter fact, not to say that I got close, but I got a taste of that experience. In a band called The Press Project. We were a live seven-piece R&B Jazz ensemble. Our third or fourth gig ever was opening for The Roots. So things took off quick. At that age I thought this is how it’s always going to be until I realized there were seven people cooking in a small kitchen. We played Bonnaroo in 2008 and it was a steady decline after that.
LAC: If you were in Boston why not just move to New York?
I was going to move to New York but what stopped me was a pretty cool sequel of events. This girl I used to date, her best friend was dating Austin Peralta. Through her and Austin I went to New York to a Brainfeeder event. FlyLo, Teebs, Strangeloop, Thundercat, and a couple others were on the bill. I had to check it out. Producing to me was new and I was being influenced by these guys. I was sick and tired of being in bands with unreliable people. I thought this would be a great opportunity to meet the Brainfeeder crew and I did. Coincidentally, I happened to sign up for a Logic Pro certification course in LA held the next day. I was flying to LA and so was Brainfeeder, and that same night they were playing at Low End. They saw me and they were like “what the f—-“. That night left a huge impression on me and I decided to move to LA.
LAC: Where does the name Lost Midas come from?
LM: I played in a cover band and between songs and as often is the case, patrons will shout out names of artist they wanted to hear. One guy shouted Paul Simon, but our lead singer heard Lost Midas. He says back on the mic, “Who’s Lost Midas?!” It became a bit of an inside joke within the band.
LAC: How did you get connected to your record label Tru Thoughts?
LM: Well, my buddy Roland who does artwork for a lot of musicians, him and I are pretty close friends. He has been successful in the graphic design world and some of the artists he has designed for have been on the Tru Thoughts label. He connected me with Jasmine (Label Manager) via e-mail. She heard my tracks through Soundcloud. Two weeks later we met in Silverlake and she offered me a deal on the spot, just like that.
LAC: What’s your creative process? How do you begin to put together a song?
LM: What does it for me is having… nice chords. Nice harmony. Rhythm comes later which comes contrary to what some might believe because I’ve been a drummer for over 20 years. The drums are the hardest for me. I love harmony and I love melody. I love “harmonic deception.” That’s what I think I’m good at, coming up with interesting chord changes. I don’t consider myself a beatmaker or part of the beat scene. I might be a little bit of an outsider because I might be one of those few cats in that genre that write bridges. Now, the reason why I need chord changes is that when I work as a drummer in a band my part is a reaction to the chords, so when I’m composing I don’t want to start with the drums. First, it has to have that Lost Midas harmonic thing going on.
LAC: Do you think you’ve found that Lost Midas sound?
LM: I know it when I’m there but I don’t know the path to get there.
LAC: What are you listening to right now?
LM: Banks – Warm Water (Snakeships remix). It is absolutely beautiful. It’s so good I well up at the corner of my eye blasting it on my way to work. You can tell [Snakehips are] not just producer kids, they’re musicians. There is a difference. My staple though, Jazz and Classical. That is my heart and my soul.
LAC: When will the album come out?
LM: We’re thinking March-April 2014.
LAC: And the new EP?
November 18th in the UK and 19th in the US, and the single Dance Monkey on the 16th of October.
Listen and purchase Lost Midas’ recently released EP Memory Flux on Tru Thoughts here.