Yesterday we chatted with David Kleinschmidt, also known as The Schmidt. The Schmidt, a local San Franciscan, described his successes without signing to a label as well as sharing the local downfall of his favorite recording studio. Make sure to catch his set at the Oyster Festival next month. Tickets available here
SF Culture Shock: As a local musician, what have been some of your favorite venues here to play at?
David Kleinschmidt: Based on the music I play I like the Mezzanine. I also have a residency at Hawthorn right now.
SFCS: Have you ever performed in Golden Gate Park before?
DK: Actually yeah, at the OysterFest in 2013. Really dope actually. With RAC, it was a pretty good lineup.
SFCS: Who are your musical influences and who are your musical inspirations? Is there a difference to you?
DK: Right now I’m really into Gorgon City and MK (Mark Kinchen). MK is really simple. The vibe and groove to it is so good. I try to make good music while keeping it really simple but not dumbing it down. Less is more. He’s great at that and has the best vocal tracks in the game. He’s an inspiration as well as someone I really look up to.
SFCS: What inspires you in life?
DK: When I moved out here 7 years ago, I was DJing but I wanted more. I started making music and it was catching on. It’s in my blood I think. I don’t know what I’d be doing in my spare time without it. Music is inspiring to see what I’ve been able to do, and see how it affects people. Everyone loves music. You have to break down the barrier of being self conscious. At first, I was so scared to release music. But now I can’t wait to get new tracks out.
SFCS: Is there anybody you’re itching to collaborate with?
DK: Chris Clouse. I have lot of respect for him. The guy can sing, play piano, bass, and guitar. He’s a jack of all trades. Most of the stuff he plays live.
SFCS: A few weeks ago you released your latest single “Summer of 98.” Can you talk a little about it?
DK: I’m trying to focus on doing original releases. I had no idea how I was going to start it, or how it was going to end. I kind of wanted it to be in an your face house track, but it turned out with a summer vibe. When I was done it reminded me when I moved to hometown in Los Gatos, in 1998, and that changed my life. That’s when I started getting into music. That’s what I was feeling.
SFCS: For people not as familiar with house style music, how would you explain it?
DK: My sound is heavy bass with really driving drums and kick drums to get you moving. I like to use a lot of analog type sounds, to keep it natural. The key is a lot of energy — big bass you can feel and want to dance, supported by nice beautiful piano.
SFCS: How would you compare house to trap?
DK: House is generally 118-126 bpm. Trap is around 70 bpm. House is a lot more mellow and danceable. House and classic house are very bluesy.
SFCS: What are some of your favorite places in San Francisco?
DK: I like Original Joe’s in North Beach. That area in general. I love Moulton Studios, it’s like an after school hangout. All of the best producers are there. It just got bought though and unfortunately is being replaced by condos.
SFCS: What’s next for The Schmidt? Do you have an album in the works or are you sticking with releasing singles for now?
DK: With the music industry now, it just makes sense to do singles and hope they blow up. I release a track once every few weeks. It’d make sense to do an EP but I’m so excited to just release tracks. I get so anxious to drop stuff. I could definitely see it happening within the year.
SFCS: Do you need to be signed to produce, release music, and perform?
DK: Having a label is great for the representation and the extra backing. But the thing is, it takes so long to get songs released. You just don’t need to. Sound Remedy is a good example of doing it all on his own and been successful. If you have the network and the connections, you can do all this on your own. You have to have the time for it and put in the hours of course. After awhile you start seeing what it’s about. You release one good song and you don’t need a label. If you get out there to people, you’ll get gigs. It’s all about pumping out music and because of that I’m getting gigs all over the US this year. I’m not saying I’ve made it by any means, but this is where I am.
SFCS: If you could take credit for any song and claim it as your own, what would it be?
DK: “Raining” by Kaskade. That song is so good. I love that track. I don’t listen to a lot of electro, progressive house but when I play sets like that, I have to play that song. I’ve been trying to remix it in a house style, but haven’t been able to get it to my liking where I’d want to release it. Also “Godlovesugly” by Atmosphere. I’m a huge hip hop head.
SFCS: If you could be any kitchen utensil, what would you be?
DK: A whisk, those are dope. You can lick things off them. Perfect for cookie dough.
Photo courtesy David Kleinschmidt