What have you been up to since your last major release in 2015?
In 2016, I got married and put the Greater Than project on hold but at the end of that year, I performed my first show in Tennessee which was fantastic. A year later, my ex and I split up on good terms and I turned back my focus on music. Around the same time, I really started to develop my love for hardcore and now we're here. It's been a long journey!
What were some of the factors that went into your shift in musical direction?
Honestly, I'm not surprised it's went to hardcore. I used to produce big room under "Ryan Eclipse" before rebranding to Greater Than in 2014 and started making hardstyle. That sound evolved to include some trap in 2015 and in 2016 to 2017, I was making rawstyle. I'd say that these shifts have been because of my ADHD and the need for speed when it comes to rough kicks!
Can you tell us what goes into making a good hardstyle kick?
There's always extra work to make the kick match the track itself. For example, there's a kick in a collab I'm working on that began with 3 layers: the punch, the raw hit, and the bassline after the hit. A lot of what makes the bass really powerful is EQing it along with using a bass booster and fast distort which are normal FL plugins. It takes a lot of work and sometimes days before I'm remotely happy with a kick.
What have been some of your most memorable moments on stage?
I've only played one show as Greater Than which was in Tennesse at a show ran by a good friend of mine. What sucked was it was the same night as a Bassnector show but it was a decent turnout and it's something I won't forget. It sucks living in Kentucky as the closest hard dance shows to my knowledge are in Washington DC. Being in Kentucky is a huge reason I think I don't play more shows because there just aren't that many around. In the end, it's given me time to build Greater Than and get it to where I think people will enjoy it. Honestly, my favorite part of the night was going b2b2b with Souljunk & Finderz Keeperz. They're both close friends and it was so much fun. I dropped my "Who Wants to Rock" remix that I made with Craymak and everyone just lost their fucking minds, including us!
What do you do outside of music?
I actually work as an IT guy for the state of Kentucky. I actually love going hiking and rock climbing and one day I swear I'll be on American Ninja Warrior. I used to train to be on it before the show even existed when it was just Sasuke, the Japanese version. I think that's one thing people don't realize about artists: most of us are like everyone else. Even though I'm not the best at responding to messages and fans, it's not because I feel any more superior to anyone else, I'm just horrible at replies!
Internationally, foreign artists are playing so much of the music that's made here in America! Like Miss K8 & Angerfist are playing my Rampage remix everywhere! My bud Illuminize has had his first major label on X-Bone so I'm sure that's going to get a lot of international play time as well. I'm so happy for all my friends and what all we've accomplished. It's been great, and we're still only getting started. There's going to be a lot more stuff coming from me and the rest of us and I'm glad that I get to support my friends with all of our accomplishments!
Thank you to Greater Than for taking the time to answer our questions and also thank you to Chris Roberts for putting us in contact! Be sure to follow Greater Than on social media!
Chris W. Lao
DJ, Writer, and Student.
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