Five questions for creatives

Dave Fleet

Dave Fleet is a field recordist, electronic musician and photographer, in so much that he can point a camera at something that catches his eye in the same way as he points a microphone at something that catches his ear. Dave co-founded the record label Arell, which releases albums and EPs compiled as single tracks and downloaded via a code printed on the back of a unique postcard.

How did you get into the creative industry, and was there a defining point in your career that led you on that path?

My entry point was probably the same as most people, as a child I would draw all the time, I was into comic books like 2000AD and would sketch the characters from that along with Batman, Superman, Spiderman and Stormtroopers, R2-D2, Tie Fighters, X-Wings, pretty much anything connected to Star wars. It was only when I was a little older that music appeared. Listening to music at first was just sitting in my room hearing my sister’s records being played in another room, listening to music through a closed door down a hallway alters the sounds, all the top end goes and the bottom end kind of morphs into one sound, kick drums and bass lines become one. A few years later when I first heard techno it really touched me because it had the same effect on me, I had listened to the Street Sounds Electro albums in my early teens and I still have those records on my shelves at home, but techno opened up a whole new world of alien sounds. People don’t in general take much notice to the sounds around them unless they are car alarms etc. Sound is all around us all the time, layer upon layer of it, and as I have been using environmental sounds in music for some time it started to take over and become all of the music, sometimes heavily edited or changed and sometimes just as it was recorded. For me recording and collecting sounds is exactly the same as taking a photograph, I’m just documenting the things I hear or see that interest me. I have been lucky enough to find people who have a similar or similar enough approach to sound and music, and through that Arell started.

Is there anything you would change in your current career and if so why?

I would like a nicer camera and a nice selection of microphones, but there is something quite nice about working within the limitations. Arell, the label I co-run is moving along quite nicely, we may look at doing something new with it next year, but for now, we are more than happy with how things have turned out.

Where do you see yourself, and your career in five years’ time?

Five years – I have no idea, but I am interested in using sound for installations, something I have spoken to a few people about recently, I would also like to work with other artists from different fields to bring a new dimension to what they do, also I have for a long time wanted to soundtrack a film.

Are there any rules or habits that help you do your job more efficiently?

No rules as such other than remembering to read emails and reply to them, trying to keep my eyes open for new artists is easy, and Matt (Arell’s partner) comes across people all the time who are the ideal fit for what we do and that also seems really taken with the idea. As for habits though, remember to take my camera and my mic out with me as often as possible, you never know what you are going to come across, if I have my rucksack on my back its because I have one or both with me.

What tips would you give to anybody who is looking to get started in the creative industry?

Ask questions, never be afraid to just give something a try and keep going – creativity is a great outlet and sometimes its hard to come by new ideas until the old ones have been tried, never go into it thinking about money, go into it because you need to do it.

To find out more about Arell visit the website