What inspired you to first start making music? And how did you come to be in your current incarnation? Or if you prefer, a brief bio about you.
Back when I was at the impressionable age of 15, I was listening to a lot of nu-metal bands with DJs (you know the ones), and I decided that DJ’ing is what I wanted to do. I got some turntables and was terrible at it. Afterwards, I saw that Linkin Park was using an Akai MPC which I couldn’t afford, so I bought a Korg ES-1, and later a Korg EM-1, on eBay and started getting into writing beats and melodies. Around the same time my friends and I formed a very short-lived band and that’s sort of how my interest in making music all began. Throughout the rest of high school and college music was mainly a creative outlet that I would focus on sporadically, but I was never serious about it until about 2013. I remember getting my EM-1 out of the closet right around the time a big snowstorm was happening and I wrote this song where I managed to get a melody and some harmony out of one synth voice and I realized that I could actually write complete songs on this little groovebox. A few months later I bought a Korg EMX-1 (which had 5 synth voices instead of 2) and wrote my first album with it.
Provide us with some info about your latest release…
‘Totality’ is sort of an experimental release. It was my first album written on a Synthstrom Deluge, so I was exploring songwriting and sound design on a totally new piece of hardware. The Deluge makes it way easier for me to create huge, dark, layered, brooding soundscapes so I wanted to harness that to create a darker and heavier sounding EP. In the past I feel I’ve gone overboard with song lengths so this time around I wanted to do more editing and write some shorter tracks. Like all my albums, I love to think about the themes of space exploration, Lovecraftian deities, time travel, and human hubris. I like there to be a vague narrative arc in my albums–the first track will usually evoke images of exploration and awe, and by the last track the theme will have shifted to fear, loss of control, death of the universe, etc. I try to communicate a lot of this with song titles as well.
Which ones would you consider your main influences both music-wise & non-music-wise?
Musically, the soundtrack for Beyond the Black Rainbow by Sinoia Caves is THE record that inspired me to explore a retro sci-fi sound. The atmosphere of that soundtrack is so moody and beautiful. Com Truise was the first synthwave artist I ever heard and his album ‘Galactic Melt’ had a big impact on me too. Nine Inch Nails and Skinny Puppy were my introduction to industrial music and probably helped steer me into dark electronic genres. Non-musically, there are a ton of movies and games that have influenced me in one way or another–Event Horizon, In the Mouth of Madness, Eraserhead, Donnie Darko, Alien, 2001: A Space Odyssey, Silent Hill 2, Illbleed, Dead Space…I could go on for a long time but I think about all of these a lot when I’m constructing a storyline in my mind or trying to create a specific mood.
In what way does your sound differ from the rest genre-related artists/bands and why should we listen to your music? In other words, how would you describe your sound?
I think my sound is unique in the synthwave/darksynth genre in that my song structures are pretty loose–for the most part, I try to avoid a repeating verse/chorus format when I can. The music of my formative years was mostly underground punk/hardcore/emo, so chaotic song structures just resonate with me more. It sounds cliché but I try to look at songs as a journey from beginning to end, and I love songs that constantly change from one section to the next–like different scenes in a movie. It can make it harder for a listener ‘get into’, but the majority of my music isn’t really dance music.
Please name your 3 desert islands albums, movies & books…
Albums: Sinoia Caves-Beyond the Black Rainbow (soundtrack), Tigers Jaw-Self Titled LP, Funeral Diner-The Underdark
Movies: Ravenous, Cube, Ong Bak: Muay Thai Warrior
Books: Clive Barker-The Thief of Always, H.P. Lovecraft-The Case of Charles Dexter Ward, Brian Aldiss-Galaxies Like Grains of Sand
Do you prefer studio or performing live and why?
Live I suppose, although it’s still super nerve-racking for me. On Interrupt is almost 100% sequenced but I play keys in another band…we’ve only played 4 shows to date so maybe I’ll start enjoying playing live more as time goes on.
Is there any funny-unique story you would like to share with us, always in relation to your music ‘career’?
My ‘career’ is still pretty new so I don’t have many stories to tell. I think the fact that my entry into music was playing turntables in a band that mostly covered Sum 41 and Linkin Park songs in a garage is funny enough though.
Which track of your own would you point out as the most unique and why?
Time Unraveling. To me it’s more of a progressive metal song written with synthesizers.
Would you like to share with our readers your future plans?
Sometime this year I’d like to play a live show. I’ve never done that as On Interrupt. My next release is going to be a full-length, and I’d like to re-write some older songs from my first album, Cosmic Drift.
Free question!!! (Ask yourself a question) you wish to answer and haven’t been given the opportunity…
What’s the best live show you’ve ever been to?
In 2008 I saw Portraits of Past and La Quiete at 924 Gilman in Berkeley, California. Two of my favorite bands at the time at one of the best punk venues in existence, I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to top that.
Curated by: Christos Doukakis
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