Under the name Nutrition, Eli Coppock has carved a niche as a musical cosmonaut. From his home in Northern NSW he broadcasts his intergalactic travels through the airwaves in the form of extraterrestrial dance music, a sample heavy ether of sound with it’s feet on the ground and heart amongst the stars.
His 2016 EP These Days Don’t Exist was a hypnotic foray into the outer reaches, an immersive experience that saw him discard his foundings in techno for a more atmospheric, honest soundscape than ever before.
Having let his creation simmer for two months, we thought it was high time to sit down with Coppock in a Newtown pub for a chat about what went into making one of the best electronic releases of the year.
Don your spacesuit and prime your thrusters for a trip to the moon with Nutrition, the interplanetary producer who will propel your mind through time and space.
HAPPY: Now that the EP’s been sitting for a couple of months, how do you feel about it? Are you happy with it?
ELI: Yeah I’m happy. I’m stoked on it. This year was more of me doing whatever I wanted to do because last year was lots of stressing about what other people would think. I was hyped before it was released and would have been stoked if two people listened to it. It’s cool to have a few people actually get on board, and be all about it. I listen to it sometimes.
HAPPY: Some people can be pretty critical of their own work.
ELI: Oh for sure. I’ve had people say “this fucking sucks and you’re a piece of shit“ – actual YouTube hate. I did have one guy who said “You have to listen to this on acid” so that was pretty cool. I was hyped that someone was actually doing that.
HAPPY: And you’ve had some good reactions from mates and other musos too?
ELI: Yeah, I feel like out of anyone, other music people have been on it. That’s the community of people who actually get it, and I feel like showing it to people who don’t get electronic music is different. Actually, pretty much my harshest critic is my mum, as sad as that sounds.
HAPPY: Because she’s so outside of it?
ELI: Well she’s always there listening to it, and regardless of whether or not she’s into electronic music she knows what’s good and what’s not. I had… all the oldies listen to it!
HAPPY: All your mum’s mates?
ELI: Yeah! My mum’s mates are full into it. They’re probably my favourite fan base at the moment.
HAPPY: It’s the musical equivalent of putting something on the fridge.
ELI: 100%! There’s this lady up the sunshine coast who’s a good family friend of ours and she cranks it. She’s probably well into her 70s but she’s down for a little bit of Nutrish.
HAPPY: Nice, nice. So even after a couple of months is there anything you’d change about the EP?
HAPPY: Not at all?
ELI: I have least favourite tracks and favourite tracks. My least favourite track for sure is Sports but that would be some people’s favourite.
HAPPY: What’s your favourite?
ELI: My favourite undoubtedly is Space Odyssey. The ones with the most meaning are Pack Mentality and Lost. Going into the depths of it Pack Mentality was written with my dog before she died and that sample of us walking near the dam is, to give context, a week before she died and Lost was the day after she died.
HAPPY: That’s so heavy.
ELI: So heavy, it’s ridiculous. But Space Odyssey was the one that I had time to think about, the wrap up. It was the last track that I wrote and by far my fave.
HAPPY: Would you say you learnt from the first five tracks before writing the last?
ELI: Well the first one was Dream Walk, that established a sound for the EP and then four of them came in a week, a hectic little writing period and then Space Odyssey was after sitting on those four tracks, going “Alright, what do I wanna do?” Come to think of it Sports was kind of a ring in, just a bass boomer.
HAPPY: For the crowds?
ELI: For sure. It needed a little bit of boom.
HAPPY: Seems like such a personal EP, but were you thinking about audiences and fans while you were making it?
ELI: There was a bit of pressure at the start of the year, me being a borderline techno act, to kind of maintain that clubbing scene, but there’s a massive part of music that I listen to that’s really chilled out. Techno and that stuff is great for a little while and it’s awesome when you’re there, but doing it every day, for me a least, is a little bit repetitive. A four to floor beat – starting with that every time is too easy. So at first I was thinking about everyone else, but then it turned around. 100%, These Days Don’t Exist is just my stuff.
HAPPY: What was some of that other music you were listening to? Something more atmospheric or spacey?
ELI: Yeah I listen to that all the time. In a big sense I feel like I used to listen to music a lot more than I do now. This year was listening to sounds of nature, moving back home to the waterfalls and listening to just earth. Going to the cities and sampling stuff I’ve been fully into but other artists wise, all Daniel Avery’s really ambient, no drum stuff is a massive inspiration. I feel like there’s a little bit of a Tycho sound in some of it but it’s not super intentional.
HAPPY: You mentioned sampling – especially the natural stuff. It’s not super common for electronic artists, especially in techno. Where did that start?
ELI: The whole sampling thing started because I feel like I can’t keep doing the same thing as an artist. The next body of work won’t sound anything like this one and it’s always about evolving, and sampling came in because it introduced more sounds and it became more personal. If you put your headphones on and listen to the sounds of a beach it’s way more intricate than telling a story about going to the beach. You feel like you’re there and that’s what I wanted to do, it’s about bringing people to my world but still leaving a part for them to figure out.
HAPPY: Awesome. So far you’ve only done EP releases, would you think about an album? A lot of electronic artists are staying away from them these days.
ELI: I will definitely at some stage do an album. Whether it’s the next thing I do, I don’t know but over the next year or two I’ll look at doing an album. But that’s something that would need at least a basic idea or…
HAPPY: A concept?
HAPPY: I got you.
ELI: Yeah a concept, it would have to be a concept album. It will come round but it’s something I want to put a lot of thought into, and something that I wouldn’t put out until I’m happy with it.
ELI: For sure. I’m super hyped on albums, that’s where I get heaps of my inspo.
HAPPY: Well that’s sick to hear. I should ask then if there’s anything on the immediate horizon, or if you’re more psyched on a bigger project?
ELI: There’s definitely a few little things that are gonna pop up real soon. A lot more stuff with video, I’ve been doing a lot of work with WWZARD6 and a lot of the artwork I still do myself so I’m heading back towards video. Going back into photography and incorporated whole art pieces. I don’t want to release music in a straightforward, ‘here’s a single’ or ‘here’s an EP’ anymore. I never want to keep it as just a music project.
HAPPY: So many people are jumping on that middle ground between music and art.
ELI: For sure. Music is the core of it, that allows me to do everything I want to do and you have to get credit somewhere before you get opportunities to do these things.
HAPPY: You said you still make a fair bit of art yourself?
ELI: Well I’m a crappy drawer but I would love to think it’s kind of cool. I take a lot of photos still and when YouTube was first popping was my favourite thing in the world. The very first art project I did was me and my best friend at the time as 12 year olds doing donuts on lawnmowers in his backyard. We put Ring of Fire to it.
HAPPY: Get many hits?
ELI: I’ve got one that people keep discovering… but don’t worry. I definitely want to keep doing video.
HAPPY: Well especially for electronic artists, since you’re playing by yourself having something to accompany your live show is almost essential.
ELI: Oh for sure. I do have a full AV set that from Paradise last year and I still rep that sometimes but I’m working on more of my own AV stuff. Josh (WWZARD6) is going to come up for a little trip and we’re gonna mesh out some interesting stuff with another artist I haven’t met. They’re coming to my crib, for some of that stuff on the horizon.
HAPPY: Well thanks very much.
ELI: Thanks for having me.