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“We want to be living examples that dreams are not only possible, but meant to be fulfilled”

With Test Shot Starfish Our goal is to inspire people and show that there is hope in the world. We want to be living examples that dreams are not only possible, but meant to be fulfilled. Life is not about struggle and hardship, it’s about connecting with your passion and applying yourself every single day […]


With Test Shot Starfish

Our goal is to inspire people and show that there is hope in the world. We want to be living examples that dreams are not only possible, but meant to be fulfilled. Life is not about struggle and hardship, it’s about connecting with your passion and applying yourself every single day to continue the journey forward. If you can be kind to all and help others achieve their goals in the process, you will undeniably make a huge impact leaving the world a better place then where you found it.


I had the pleasure to interview Test Shot Starfish. Test Shot Starfish is Ryan Stuit & Kyle Schember, founders of Subtractive Inc. They met on a film set in Los Angeles, California in the late 90s. Their ideology is to make music to inspire and transform the day to day experience of passive listening during anyone’s regular routine. Music for Space celebrates the entrepreneurs, designers, coders, and makers of today’s space race.


Thank you so much for joining us! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?

Music has always been a passion, from listening, to creating, to experiencing. As much as it is a part of our collective careers, it’s something that we simply can not not do. It’s an obsession. We met on a film set in the late 90’s where I was a producer on a film and Ryan ended up working in the Art Dept. He had just moved to Los Angeles and I introduced him to my neighbor who was looking for a roommate. We quickly learned that our musical tastes aligned and we decided to start making music when digital workstations were just becoming a thing. Ryan had a more visual background but quickly picked up Sony ACID. I explained to him that these programs were not unlike photoshop. He was a wizard with photography and photoshop and quickly applied those disciplines to the world of audio, and Test Shot Starfish was born.

Can you share the most interesting story that occurred to you in the course of your music career?

We are always in unique situations. We have been fortunate in our careers to connect with many of our heroes and sources of inspiration. While working with Coachella, we were able to connect with OMD, Underworld, and Orbital to name a few. That process also led to us being able to write some score for the official Coachella documentary which was released in 2006. That archival piece of the early days of Coachella accompanied by our score is moment we will never forget.

What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now?

We are focusing our energies and time on projects that have positive impact. We most recently visited the Arctic and took an expedition to above the 80th parallel. We were fortunate enough to visit the Monaco glacier and meet some individuals who have lived in the arctic for over 25 years. It was very special to hear their first hand accounts as to how that region has changed due to global warming. It’s not as though we didn’t believe that global warming was making an impact, but it’s very different when you connect with people who have lived through it and can tell you first hand what changes have happened over the past couple decades. We have a video coming out that we made with a drone for “Flight Proven” that tells that story through footage. The concept was as if another entity was exploring earth for the first time.

Who are some of the most interesting people you have interacted with? What was that like? Do you have any stories?

We did a visual project with David Lynch & Chrysta Bell. She has been a longtime friend and we were fortunate enough to make visuals for an LA performance she was doing. The evening was very special and we had a bucket list moment where David Lynch told us backstage after the peformance that our work was “beautiful” We can both die happy now :)

How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world?

We are committed to making a difference and having a positive impact. We have lent our tracks to multiple non-profits, educational efforts, and individuals or students who ask to use it for projects. The environment is high on our list. Our travels usually are a blend of work and fun. We have teamed up with an organization from Oslo, Norway called Future Talks. They invited us on the arctic expedition and we are collaborating with them and the founding delegates to continue the conversation of how we can all be accountable and actually use our talents to make a positive impact. We also have a big announcement coming at the end of the year in partnership with a pretty huge artist that will be quite an amazing campaign.

You are a person of great influence. If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. :-)

Our goal is to inspire people and show that there is hope in the world. We want to be living examples that dreams are not only possible, but meant to be fulfilled. Life is not about struggle and hardship, it’s about connecting with your passion and applying yourself every single day to continue the journey forward. If you can be kind to all and help others achieve their goals in the process, you will undeniably make a huge impact leaving the world a better place then where you found it.

Which tips would you recommend to your colleagues in your industry to help them to thrive and not “burn out”?

I think my largest piece of advice to contemporaries finding their way through a career in film and music is to be true to yourself, your vision, and your message. In addition to that, you should always know that no single event, show, album, track, or meeting will lead you to the promised land. It’s a lifetime and body of work that really makes it all worthwhile. If you are making music to get rich, be famous, or anything else vanity related, you are not doing it right and will probably end up defeated and disappointed. It’s important to connect with like minded individuals and leave competition behind, there is plenty of room for plenty of artists to make an impact, and all are needed today.

What are your “5 things I wish someone told me when I first started” and why.

Good Question.

  1. Look at each opportunity for what it is, not what you WANT it to be.
  2. Forget competition, collaborate and connect instead.
  3. This is going to take awhile, so enjoy the ride, it’s the journey not the destination
  4. Sync Licenses MIGHT take a REALLY long time to pay, deal with it.
  5. Remember to have fun and enjoy what you do

I have been blessed with the opportunity to interview and be in touch with some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment. Is there a person in the world, or in the US whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she just might see this, especially if we tag them :-)

Thom Yorke is always someone I would love to have lunch or dinner with. He has been a huge inspiration to us both. While our music has zero lyrics, his writing style is unique and leaves his work wide open to interpretation. Musically, Radiohead as a whole is always ahead of the curve and groundbreaking. Their attention to detail and quality is unparalleled. I think breaking bread with Thom Yorke would be an inspiring experience and definitely another bucket list item :)

How can our readers follow you on social media?

Instagram @testshotstarfish

FaceBook: /TestShotStarfish

Twitter @TSStarfish

Thank you for your time and great questions!

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