Manufactured Superstars Are About to Interrupt the Music Production Game

Entrepre-nauts: Shawn Sabo and Bradley Roulier.

Entrepre-nauts: Shawn Sabo and Bradley Roulier.

Bradley Roulier and Shawn Sabo make up Manufactured Superstars, the duo who sport spacesuits onstage at each show. Roulier co-founded Beatport in 2004, a sort of iTunes for DJs; Sabo was a Day One Beatport employee. Together, Roulier and Sabo have spent the last two years putting together their latest album, Party All the Time, which debuts on December 4 and features collaborations with a diverse cast of characters. Riding the high of that momentous occasion, the two talk about the making of their first full-length LP and Roulier’s new online endeavor. Catch them at XS on December 18.

Tell me about some of the collaborations on the album.

Roulier: One of our biggest tracks is with Danny Rogue and Scarlet Quinn. Scarlet—we’ve never even met her in person—she lives in the U.K. It’s crazy that the world has gotten so small that we can produce a track with a super talented singer, and never even meet them in person. That just boggles my mind. One of my favorite tracks on the album is “Party All the Time,” which is with Megan Perry. She’s part of the Party Rock crew. It’s one of my favorite beats we’ve ever made.

Why is that?

Roulier: We probably tried 10 different singer-songwriters for that song to get it to where it is. It was just such a process. We did that beat more than two years ago. She did an original vocal about a year and a half ago. And all the other demos that we got, nobody did it quite as right.

Sabo: The vocal evolved. She sent us different versions, and we actually wound up taking different parts of the verse and different parts of the chorus to make the new hook that happened today. Sometimes, when we get vocals from people, we’ll chop them up in the studio and do things that they would never do with them, and then go back to the singer and be like, “So what if you actually did this?” That’s one of the cool things about dance music, too: You can really get manipulative with the vocals and the way things are arranged.

What can we expect from the corresponding tour?

Roulier: A lot of what we do as Manufactured Superstars has been evolving for five or six years now. We’re a little bit more on the house-music vibe [now] than we’ve ever been. Hopefully you’ll hear songs that you’ve heard before, or a lot of songs from the past with a little Manufactured Superstars retake or edit to it, and then a lot of our new songs. Just the same as it’s always been; it’s just that we’re evolving as artists and trying to keep it fun and interesting.

What’s your favorite part about touring?

Roulier: We’ve been in this industry for a long time. I’ve been since 1997, 1998. With Beatport and touring and everything, we’ve met so many cool, wonderful, interesting people.

Sabo: [It’s nice] seeing all of our friends in the industry and being able to stay in contact and have dinner with them once or twice a year. Also, meeting all the people who are super excited, the people who are just getting into the scene, whether they’re the young promoters selling tables in Vegas or the flier kids. [It’s fun] to see that new energy.

Besides the album and tour, what’s else is new in your worlds?

Roulier: I’m launching a business in early December called Irrupt that’s kind of the producer version of Beatport. Hopefully we’re going to change the game a little bit on the producer side.

So will sell samples?

Roulier: Yes, royalty-free sample packs. We got 25 of the best producers in the world to create this concept.

Are you concerned that producers will reuse those same sounds too often?

Roulier: Each pack has more than 250 sounds. A techno DJ could use the sounds, as well as progressive DJ, as well as a dubstep artist. [Artists] will use them all differently. You would never even know that it’s the same. We use the same kick drum on the majority of our songs, and people would never know that. It’s for producers to make high-quality content, but it’s really high-quality content, so they won’t sound the same, I promise.