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The Life of Doomtree’s Lazerbeak


(“Tuf Tiddy” by Shredders) – Lazerbeak’s sound is sort
of like standing on top of a purple mountain
and its majesty and he’s sort of,
he’s just up there, lightning bolts and
everything behind him. – It’s like if you
took trap beats, brought them to
the future and then brought them back, and
then lit them on fire. (“Wolfs” by Shredders) – Lazerbeak is Aaron
Mader, steadfast friend, champion of music, hardest
working dude I know. – Ultimate boss and one of the
best dudes I’ve ever known. – A legend, boss, god. I
think that he’s a genius. (“Lion’s Mouth” by Shredders) (crowd cheers) (peaceful music) – So I’m the CEO, GM
of Doomtree Records. I’m also a music producer. Doomtree is a artist
collective, I guess, is the best way to put it. So we’re seven artists that are solo artists that
have come together over the years to,
kinda, create this independent record
label, small business. We’re also a band
when the seven of us decide to squad up
and make an album. (“Team The Best
Team” by Doomtree) When I started music,
I was a kid in, like, eighth grade with a hundred
dollar electric guitar and a crappy little amp, and I wanted to be a rock
star like everybody else. And I still… You know, I still do. (upbeat music) We started Doomtree,
probably in like 2001. And at that point it
was just a gang of us that all were interested
in the same type of music and wanted to figure out
how to make rap music. And we’ve all kinda grown
into different roles, and mine has kinda been more of the logistics and, just
kinda like, making sure everything continues to run. So it was a really
slow progression, and then, eventually, we
kinda needed real titles as we got bigger, so CEO. (upbeat music) I really like
getting stuff done. Like I’m very much
driven by the to-do list, and I love checking things off. And that is what kinda
self-motivates me. I kinda am my own task master. I like the social aspect
of, I have a relationship with all these different
facets that go into creating a product and music. Like pretty much everybody
that is a part of any Doomtree record, has
conversed with me, or had traded
emails, or whatever. And there’s something about that that feels like its own world. It’s almost, we’ve created
our own economy, in a way and built friendships
through that. And I like that
connection to people. So right now it’s
11:29 am, central time, and at 11:30 am,
central, we are releasing a brand new Dessa music video. We’re also announcing the
first dates of our world tour. So it’s go time like crazy. So it’s 11:30. We’re waiting on Billboard
to premier the track. Like weeks of lead-up,
leads to this one moment at 11:30 where all of us… All we can do is
wait for Billboard to push the trigger. And once they do that, you know, it’s ten minutes of chaos. So as the like the office
work and business stuff has grown, obviously
there’s been a lot less time to actually sit
down and make music. When I was younger,
I would spend five or six days a week
crankin’ out beats. All day, everyday. Now I have to schedule time. My goal is three hours
of time in a week. And if I can get
that, I stay happy, cordial, I don’t bum people out or get super crabby at home. This is filled with
different sounds that I’ve manipulated, so. (saxophone plays) Some saxophones. (saxophone plays) (cheerful tune) Lot of saxophones. (cheerful tune) In the past I would
just have a stockpile. I’d have like a thousand
beats that anyone could peruse at any time. Now, because the time
is so much smaller, I just kind of create things
for a specific project. That is one of my
favorite parts, but I get lost in that. And, a couple hours
after you make something from nothing is such a
powerful feeling to me. I’m chasing that feeling
and it happened since, you know, I picked
up my dad’s guitar. (peaceful music) We’re in Northeast Minneapolis, headed to the Hideaway Studios to work on some
mixes for this solo Lazerbeak album I’ve
been workin’ on. I find that a lot of the music and the art gets made
in these, kind of, brutal winter months,
and then, you know, the releases and the
parties, and, kinda the public showing of
the work happens in the spring and
summer when everyone’s finally out of
hibernation and ready to communicate with other people. I’ve always found this to
be a good time for creation. Okay, let’s go mix a record. (upbeat music) We’re at the Hideaway Studio, working with Joe Mabbot,
who’s a recording engineer who owns the studio and
has been like our go-to guy to record and mix all of
our records, basically. I’m super pumped, because
this is my solo album. I haven’t really
done one of those in five or six years. (upbeat music) And then I had a maybe
losing the shaker until 4:13 to build
it even more, I think. – [Joe] Yeah there’s a
couple of things happening. So there’s this shaker. (shaker plays) – Okay. – [Joe] And there’s
this percussion. (smooth drum beat) – Gotchu. Let’s try
losing the first one that you solo-ed. – [Joe] Shaker two. – It’s in this mixed
phase, you know. It gets really technical,
but I really love it. I love being in the studio, fixing all the
things that have been annoying me about the songs. That’s all I got. – [Joe] Yeah. – Dude, nice job. – Crushed it. – As always. – Yeah, much appreciated. – Absolutely. (peaceful music) – So now we’re headed home. I live over in South Minneapolis in a house with my
three kids and my wife. So this is the part of the day where things wind down. I try to cram in as
much as I can at the end and catch up on all
the important emails,
and then get home. ‘Cause as soon as you
open the door, it’s on. So this is the calm
before the storm. Alright. Let’s go see these
insane children. (kids yelling and laughing) Okay, oh man. (kids yelling) Skittle, who wants a skittle? – Me, me! (kid yells) – Okay, here we go. Best part about
getting home from work is seeing the kids,
’cause they are at an age where they’re actually
still excited to see me. (cheerful music) You like broccoli? There you go, nice job. Pretty good. I feel like I’m in
a really good place. There’s good years
and bad years, and there’s ups and downs, and I’ve gotten
better at realizing when I’m on the wave
and it’s going up. And right now it feels like
I’m getting on that wave, and I don’t surf at
all so I don’t know why I’m using this
as an example, but it feels like
I’m able to recognize that yes, this Shredders
thing feels really good, I’m so happy I’ve got
a solo record done, kids are awesome,
family life is good, I get to play some
shows, I’m on tour. I’m getting, kind like, best
of all worlds right now. And so, I wanna just
continue with that juggling to the
best of my ability. (peaceful music)

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