(Hey guys I recently was put in touch with an electronic artist that has a really chill sound. I hope you enjoy the interview!)
Derek Kortepeter: So tell me how you got involved in music?
Sophomore: In the late 90’s I bought a microKorg and since then I have played on and off (mostly off). Its only in the last couple of years that I discovered a true fascination for synthesizers and how they sound and why.
DK: I hear various influences in your music, from ambient to minimalist composers, how did you create your style?
Sophomore: I wouldn’t say I have a style of my own. I sometimes wish I did but I don’t, but the upside to that is that nothing is ever “wrong” and everything goes as long as its interesting or sounds good. My first CD was Speak & Spell by Depeche Mode and I have listened to a lot of electronic music during the years. Since I’m not a trained musician but instead keep a hobbyist’s perspective, machines are great to work with. You never know what’s going to happen but something will happen and then its up to you to see what to make of it.
DK: Can you talk about your single “Duck and Cover?” What were you trying to convey with the video and how did the song come into being?
Sophomore:The song is based on a chord progression I wrote on an old home keyboard many years ago. I sampled the actual sound before I let the keyboard go and it has turned up in various shapes. This time I happened to record an improv and it was only some time later that I decided I was going to make a video out of it. The moving images are found footage (yes!) cut up to match the music, as well as building my own new and somewhat ambiguous narrative. I guess I was intrigued by the combination of the chill and dreamy character of the music together with the nostalgia of old footage portraying scientists, missiles and other forms of violence. I found making a video very inspiring and giving new life to the music.
DK: You mentioned to me that “I only work with hardware and everything I do is recorded live so no computers involved, therefor nothing becomes perfect or according to plan.” To me as an electronic artist I find that fascinating as I am the opposite and use computers all the time. Is this approach what comes naturally to you? Do you think computers ruin the songwriting process?
Sophomore: I have tried working with computers and software but the endless possibilities that comes with the territory has a paralyzing effect on me. And as I mentioned before, I like working with physical machines and using them as musical instruments with all their limitations and constraints. Every piece of gear has its own personality that colors the music.
DK: You are from Sweden, is the music scene receptive to the type of music you are putting out? Are there a lot of artists doing what you do?
Sophomore: Well…,I don’t really know to be honest, but I would like in the future to be more connected to others doing a similar thing, both in Sweden and abroad.
DK: What do you hope people take away from your music when they listen to it?
Sophomore: A different musical experience than they’re used to. A spark…
DK: Are you currently performing your music live? If so what kind of experience do you create for the audience?
Sophomore: I am not performing live for the moment, but hopefully in the future. I have not ruled out teaming up with other people to form a band or some kind of collaboration.
DK: What can we expect from you next musically?
Sophomore: Another music video 🙂
DK: Is there anything else you want to say before we end the interview?
Sophomore: Nope, Thanx
Sophomore can be found at https://soundcloud.com/ollejohan
You may remember the UK electro-rock band KLOQ from my interview with them a while back. I was given exclusive access to their upcoming EP called The Gun which drops a few weeks from now. From start to finish The Gun EP is a blast of aggressive and grooving electronica infused rock. The synths of Oz Morsley wash over you as the rest of the instruments pull you into a chaotic world that you don’t want to leave. Dean Goodwin’s lyrics and vocal melodies hook you from the start, Alex Baker‘s (who has now been replaced by Ben Woolf) drum beats punch you in the gut with their sheer force, and Tim Jackson‘s bass lines flow through the songs like the thread holding the whole thing together.
KLOQ describes their sound as “Punktronica.” This label really makes sense in light of my listening through The Gun EP as there is this primal force contained within this record that is just as alive and unbridled as a punk show. This is no ordinary punk rock experience, however, as it is a trip into dystopia and a psychotic dream-state that becomes almost like a drug you need.
If you want to take a break from all the niceties that infects today’s synth-rock scene (indie or otherwise), I suggest you give KLOQ’s new record a try. The Gun EP is coming soon (free limited time download on August 28 and official release on September 26), you should get it and experience it for yourself when it releases.