Local on the 8s: Music Behind the Weather

By: Brent X Mendoza

For those who, unfortunately, live outside the sphere of Southern California’s consistently moderate climate conditions, apparently there is a need to know what to wear when getting dressed for one’s day? In these early pre-caffeinated hours of confusion, masses of Americans turn to The Weather Channel and “Local on the 8s” when deciding between a heavy wool sweater and a thin cotton hoodie.

Laying down the ambient downtempo music beds for the guide to your daily climatic grind is frequently the job of North Carolina based electronica mastermind, Matt “Trance” Fury, who has been quietly crafting chilled out mixes for over a decade.

Before tuning in for your next local weather update, read up on the man behind those soothing seasonal songs!

So “Trance” Fury? Seems like a pretty bold moniker for your downtempo style of music?

Actually, I took the name on almost 15 years ago when the “Trance” genre was not really defined the way it is now. I personally interpreted “Trance” as something you could zone out to.

Do you write pieces specifically tailored for The Weather Channel or do you license pre-existing tracks?

Well, yes and no… I took a long break between albums from 2000-2006. So when I finally released “7 Steps to Resolution” in 2006, my goal was to re-introduce my name back into the electronic scene; and I feel like I succeeded quite well.

So then when I released my 2009 album “Mother Earth and Father Time,” I set a goal to get one of my songs on The Weather Channel because I am such a huge fan. So that was my specific inspiration for writing the track “Carolina Shore,” and have been writing tracks used by TWC ever since.

“Local On The 8s” is specific to each cable subscriber’s area. Do they also change the musical selection based on the local weather conditions? Do they ever play “New York City Winter” for an L.A. forecast in August?

I believe that the “Local on the 8s” music is nationwide, as far as I know… I’ve never seen them change songs based on weather conditions, but they do tend to gear tracks to the seasons. That is a good thought!

So to answer your second question: They have not played “New York City Winter” in August as of yet; but you probably heard it last March!

Tell us about “The Other Sides of Trance.”

This album is a two volume remix EP of older tracks. The recording technology has changed so much since I wrote a lot of my older tracks, that I decided to re-record, remix, and re-master a handful of them with the help of guitarist Eddie Easterly and programmer Nick Kisler. It’s called “The Other Sides of Trance” because it’s all about new spins on old tracks- kind of a play on words.

This past July was one of the hottest on record. What does a heat wave sound like?

You’re not kidding! Was it hot in L.A. also? It’s been brutal here in North Carolina, and I haven’t had a chance to escape to the beach much. In fact, I haven’t even sat in the studio much because of the heat… but I would probably interpret a heat wave as a long drone.

Then So Cal’s moderate and consistently warm temperatures must be pretty non-inspiring?

Well I wouldn’t say that! I lived in Orlando for five years, and was constantly inspired. In fact, the track “Hurricane Florida” came out of being there; but I guess you don’t have to worry too much about that in California!

I’m sure I could find something to get inspired by out in L.A. Warm, comfortable nights are some of my favorite inspirational climates!

Thoughts on naming your next track “Roxy Summer,” or “Stars Over Sunset Strip,” or “Nic Adler’s Magic Fedora” anything along these lines? Any other title ideas?

[Laughter] Nic should have a Twitter account just for his hat! I love that thing! I guess I need to take a trip out that way soon to start getting some ideas; and maybe play The Roxy.

I haven’t been out there in 15 years, but I promise when I do, the first round of brews is on me!


You can catch Matt “Trance” Fury’s new track “February (Mid Winter Nights Mix)” running through October on The Weather Channel’s recurring regional forecast report “Local on the 8s.”