Jack Denney is AИTITHESIS and 1/3rd of Ternion Sound. After actively producing electronic music for 18 years, with releases spanning the range from Gabber to Dubstep to Jungle, he has settled into a routine of exploring new spaces in sound design and rhythm.

The Interview
By Timothy Baptista

For the record, state your name and who you are.
My name is Jack and I’m 1/3rd of the Dubstep trio Ternion Sound.

Tell us a little bit about where you started out in the industry and where you are now.
I started out producing Gabber and Breakcore back in 2004 and started DJing shortly after. For most of the 2005-2010 period I was playing that kind of stuff at raves and helping organize them with local Minneapolis crews. Around 2008 I got really into Dubstep and ended up switching to it as my main focus. Played a lot of really heavy tearout type sounds for a few years and then started to get sick of that sound right around when we started Ternion in 2017.

How did the ternion sound project start out and how long have you Aric and Andrew known one another?
It started after we all did a spontaneous b2b at Infrasound in 2016. I’d known Andrew since about 2009 and Aric since about 2012, and we all were familiar with each other from DJing around Minneapolis in the 2010s. The b2b went so well that we decided to try and start a group together and it all took off quickly when we had our first releases on Silent Motion, Duploc, Chestplate, and Artikal.

What has being a member of ternion sound done for you, not only in the industry, but on a personal level as well?
The biggest thing is that post-covid it’s actually become my full time job. I’ve had a part time bike messenger gig for years and it’s allowed me to slowly scale up how much work I’ve done on music while tapering off of my delivery job. Being able to focus so much on music has allowed me to develop my skills a lot more than when I was exhausted constantly from working a day job. I’d really like to see an industry structure where more of the pay goes to undercard acts so that they can invest more time in themselves and acquire skills to grow.

When it’s all said and done, what type of legacy do you wish to leave behind?
My main focus in life is bringing socialist ideas, like fair pay, representation, and devaluation of wealth/power, to the music industry. I feel that the industry in its current form is a hypercapitalist microcosm of the larger economy, there’s almost more corruption happening in the industry because of poor regulations and the semi-DIY but still corporate nature of a lot of events and organizations. The legacy I’d like to leave behind is functionally deconstructing and rebuilding the industry into something that’s much more fair for all people within it, and not simply the few people at the top.

I’ve noticed you’ve garnered a lot of attention towards pointing out a lot of flaws in not only our scene, but the music industry as a whole. How do you plan on making an impact to change some of that?
For me, like I said above, there is a lot of ideas from politics, economics, philosophy, and psychology, that can be applied to the industry and its inner workings. I think that there’s a pervasive “it’s all just music, have fun” attitude that people in the industry hold and that attitude makes them easier targets for manipulation. Bringing more of a serious and critical look at how things are run is a big first step. We need to make sure everyone’s values are aligned before we can really start tackling the issues.

I know you’re not the type of guy for accolades, but tell me what your favorite event or festival you’ve played to date is and why?
Personally my favorite events are the ones where we’ve been able to connect most directly with the audience and really feel like we’re together in the experience. DEF did a really great job of this, that one is up there. Also Communion in Minneapolis remains one of my favorite places to play, not just because it’s my community, but because it’s not your average Dubstep spot, it’s a Techno weekly. I think that the Techno scene is miles ahead of the bass music community in terms of representing a wide demographic of people, and that makes me feel a lot more comfortable expressing myself as someone who’s never really fit in with “normal” people, whatever that means.

I’ve noticed you’ve recently rebranded your solo project to Antithesis. Tell us a little bit about that.
Antithesis is a place where I can play stuff that normally doesn’t fit into Ternion, so I’ll be using it for Jungle, Techno, Gabber, even Ambient and I have some IDM I wanna release. The name comes from “Thesis, antithesis, synthesis” which is an interpretation of the Hegelian Dialectic, basically a way of seeking pure truth in philosophy. It’s meant to represent my general push for criticisms and change.

How have you managed to create a balance between your day job and the work you do with music?
Well, lately like I said, music has been my full time job. I still go to my day job on occasion when touring is slow and I need extra cash, no more than once a week though. Getting in there really makes me feel grounded though, I like to get outside of the sphere of always being treated like an artist, and just hang out with people I’ve known forever who just treat me like a normal person. Someday I really wish we could do away with concepts of fame and just treat everyone more equally. Being surrounded by yes-men really gets on my fucking nerves.

Favorite place you’ve been to eat on tour?
There’s this restaurant in Tisno, Croatia, that has really killer food we ate at almost every day during Outlook 2022. Plenty of really fresh seafood, oysters, cuddlefish, tuna, etc, and the food there is cheap. There’s also this sandwich spot in Monteagle, Tennessee called “Mountain Goat Market” if I’m not mistaken, it’s nearby The Caverns, and they have some of the best sandwiches I’ve ever had, surprisingly. We always visit Harmony Bakery in Baltimore as well.

Do you have any new and upcoming projects, either solo or with the Ternion Sound guys you’d like to tell us about?
Currently Ternion is working on our first album and that should be coming out later in the year, and I’m personally working on an ambient album that will come out…whenever it’s done hahaha. Probably not for a while. Otherwise right now it’s just a LOT of tour dates, and we’re working on a special kind of tour this fall that I can’t talk about yet.

What’re some plans you have for 2023 and beyond?
Touring touring touring, finishing these albums, and then hopefully working on some new music. I’d like to explore more stuff outside of the typical Dubstep structure but still do it at or around 140. Getting kind of sick of midbasses and snares on 3 ya know?

Are there any artists you’d like to collab with that you haven’t had the chance to yet?
I’m awful at collabs to be honest, really prefer working alone! I know it’s a buzzkill thing to say but I’ve rarely had success working collabs except with Bukez Finezt and Kursa, I’d like to do more with them though!

Is there anybody you’d like to give a shout out to?
I’d like to shout out my main boys Karl Marx and Freidrich Engels for developing that timeless scientific theory of Marxism, the feds and 1% for holding us all hostage in the richest country on earth, and all the homies out there willing to engage with this shit.

Follow Antithesis online