Truth x Lies Discuss New Single "Numb", Production Style, + More

| October 29, 2022

Shaped by the duality of light and dark tech house elements, Truth x Lies is one of the most infectious projects in today's electronic community. Created by gifted artists Ryan Howard and Ian Bertles, Truth x Lies burst onto the scene when they won the Insomniac Discovery Project in 2017, with their mesmerizing single "City Lights". The cohesive duo blends old-school and new-school production techniques to forge original tracks the light up the dance floor.

Fast-forwarding to 2022, Truth x Lies has turned the heads of music enthusiasts across the globe. They have released heaters on some of the most popular tech house labels, such as In/Rotation, Techne, Night Service Only, and Sink or SwimTheir collection of songs have accumulated over 25 millions streams and garnered the support of renowned artists, like SIDEPIECE, Tiësto, James Hype, Dombresky, CID, and so many more. As a result of their spellbinding stage presence and exciting live mixes, Truth x Lies has tours all over, hitting the prominent venues of Beyond Wonderland, Electric Zoo, EDC Las Vegas, Echostage, and others. Continuing their dominance over tech house, it is clear that the future of the genre is in Truth x Lies' hands.


Check out iEDM's exclusive interview with Truth x Lies below.



iEDM: How did you two meet and what led to you deciding to work together? How did you come up with the name Truth x Lies and how does it reflect your style of music?

Truth x Lies: We met through a mutual friend at the time. Ian was working at a record store with the friend and Ryan was throwing events with him. We all started working together and eventually, we split off to start Truth x Lies. We wanted something that was easy to brand but we also liked the name because it really fits the duality of our music.


iEDM: What memories throughout each of your childhoods played a significant role in your passion for music? Which artists did you look up to as role models and why?

Ryan: I grew up playing the trumpet from the age of 10 and still play today. I actually have a master’s degree in classical trumpet. I think my love comes from my mom. She wasn’t a musician, but she taught ballet and music is a huge part of her life. She took me to a Styx concert when I was nine and my love for live music started. I think musically my taste comes from Daft Punk, MSTRKRFT, Louie Vega, and a lot of indie bands such as TV On the Radio.

Ian: Almost everyone in my family is a musician so I think it was a pretty natural path. I have played the drums for over 20 years and playing an instrument was a requirement growing up in my household. My parents exposed me to a ton of different kinds of music from all over the world, and the fact that we often sample stuff from our childhoods is proof of how much of an impact it has had on our artistic style. 



iEDM: What were your reactions when you won Insomniac’s Discovery Project in 2017? What inspired the production style behind your winning single “City Lights”

Truth x Lies: We were honestly completely shocked. It was the first completely original tune we ever released. We were really trying to find our sound at that point and we created something that was really catchy. My wife, TELLER, wrote and performed the vocals. It was a true team effort and a recipe for a lot of our future tracks with her.


iEDM: What was the hardest challenge you faced in the early phases of your career? How did you work together to overcome it?

Truth x Lies: Rejection, when you are first starting out, is the toughest thing. We probably sent 30-40 demos to labels and nobody would respond or they wouldn’t like the tunes. We just had to push through and know we needed to improve. It’s still something we deal with today for music, and it’s important to know that everyone experiences more rejection than success.



iEDM: What techniques or processes do you utilize to merge dark tech house with lighter uplifting tech house?

Truth x Lies: We just try to make what we like to hear in tracks. Most of our music in the past has been very synth-heavy with a lot of influence in rave sounds. Having really great vocals, to us, is the most important thing about writing music. I think we found our sound somewhere between an energetic, funky bassline, catchy vocals, and sometimes dark and aggressive synths. 


iEDM: Based on your experiences, what are the biggest misconceptions about production, DJing, and being successful within the electronic music space?

Truth x Lies: There are very few people who do this full-time. Touring is tough and you don’t make a lot of money at the end of the day. It’s important to have as many revenue streams as possible. Twitch streaming, Merch, NFTs, mixing/mastering, and lessons are all things many smaller artists have to do to supplement their income as touring artists. 



iEDM: What are each of your favorite hobbies and interests outside of music?

Truth x Lies: We are both really into soccer/football. Ian’s family is from Argentina and we recently saw Messi play in Miami on our day off a few weeks ago. That was an incredible experience. We both have a bunch of pets (four cats and two dogs between us), so our studio is often filled with animals. We also both enjoy video games on our time off! 


iEDM: How has the music scene in New York City enabled you to grow as artists? What is your favorite venue in NYC and why?

Truth x Lies: Many years ago, we used to go to Cielo almost every week to see Francois K and Louie Vega. We really got to discover house music and that venue had an amazing sound system (also free open bar and entry before 11). I think we both really miss Output for so many reasons. It just had an allure that was unmatched. Elsewhere and Brooklyn Mirage are probably our favorite venues now. Webster Hall also has a special place for us.


iEDM: What were your favorite parts of working with Zookëper and SODIUM on your new single “Numb”?

Truth x Lies: We met Mike (Zookëper) at Miami Music Week when we played b2b at the Thrive Music event. We just really enjoy people who are like-minded and hard-working like we are. The best part is that he sent this idea to us, we changed a bunch of things, and it came together so quickly. 



iEDM: How did you structure the bassline in “Numb” around the vocals or vice-versa? What is the most difficult component when it comes to layering a track?

Truth x Lies: We really tried to go out of the box with this one. Most of our tracks don’t have lead synths and when the vocal wasn’t there we used different lead sounds so that the bassline was more of a supplementary piece. The toughest part is finding the spot between too simple and too complex.


iEDM: What inspires your creativity in regards to changing up segments of the track to keep the listener engaged throughout and avoid being too repetitive? Which section or sound progression that you made for “Numb” are you most proud of?

Truth x Lies: I think the most important thing is that the track has enough predictability in the groovy sections and you give them something that’s unexpected. The break section with the pad is a perfect example because it’s something that is not expected. This one was fun because we never really use that many leads on a track, and this one has like three different leads that we needed to glue together in the track to make it feel concise. We love a challenge and Mike is a super-talented producer.



iEDM: What are some of the most important skills or knowledge you have learned from working with other artists?

Truth x Lies: Everyone has their strengths and there is always something you can learn from what they’re doing. We’ve been collaborating on writing music with each other for 8+ years, and in order to be successful in the music industry it’s a must-learn skill.


iEDM: Your fanbase is extremely excited about your upcoming performance at PRYSM in Chicago. What surprises or future projects can you hint at that might be featured in your performance?

Truth x Lies: We’re super excited about playing in Chicago again. We just played with Sacha Robatti in San Fransisco and I can say that if you were at that show, there’s a chance you heard almost only our music, mostly unreleased. Expect more of the same for Chicago, but even more new music!


Photos courtesy of Truth x Lies


Read more iEDM Exclusive Interviews HERE!


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