Soniscope talks to the producer behind Sunset Blood,
the ultimate audiovisual adventure that the 80′s longed for…
Just four months ago, Brooklyn producer Starcadian’s début release exploded onto the internet to great critical acclaim, gaining massive traction thanks to a timely front-page post on Reddit featuring his first video release for HE^RT.
It was everything people wanted from the rather lacklustre Daft Punk release earlier in May. As mentioned in a previous post, Starcadian’s music sits acoustically between the works of Daft Punk and Kavinsky, with a little lick of Justice for good measure. He couples retro-futuristic-new-wave-disco-synths with a DIY charm, along with an imaginative cinematic back-story and impressive videos made on a shoestring budget.
In light of all this, Soniscope is proud to present the first in its interview series – a detailed Q&A session with Starcadian where he talks inspirations, future dreams and how he has managed without the backing of any labels.
Oh, and put this on whilst you read, because it’ll make everything sound super fucking cool.
Soniscope (SS): What have you been listening to recently, and what is so good about it?
Starcadian (SC): I’ve been rocking some Phil Collins and Oliver lately, not gonna lie. Phil Collins has some chord progressions that are making me slap myself and Oliver seem to have a neverending stash of amazing retro synths (which I plan to break into one day).
SS: When and why did you start making music?
SC: I got my first guitar when I was 13, but I have always been around instruments. My brother was musical way before I was, so I inherited all these awesome synths and guitars/basses from him. That, coupled with my constant need to show off, probably kick-started my foray into the arts!
SS: What has been the best part of developing this whole Starcadian persona/back-story?
SC: Detailing with Rob (my co-director) over where the character is headed. There’s some unbelievably cool stuff getting prepped right now and I can’t wait to show the expanded version of the universe the way it should be shown!
SS: Your videos take lots of inspiration from mid-late 80’s pop culture, but what have been the biggest musical influences on your work and why?
SC: On the pop/rock front, I would say Mike Patton. I’m nowhere near brave enough to do what he repeatedly does, which is reinvent music itself. Having said that, I didn’t really listen to a lot of non-orchestral music until late high school; I much preferred soundtracks by Alan Silvestri, Jerry Goldsmith and James Horner. The Last Starfighter, Krull and Back To The Future soundtracks are pretty much the desert island discs for me.
SS: Can you briefly run through the creative process behind Sunset Blood?
SC: At the end of the day, it was almost therapy for me. I was trying to find the purest, most honest and true sound for me, so I journeyed through my childhood memories and put together an exquisite corpse of all the things I held close to my heart. Then the fun part was trying to find how to modernize it and bring it to the future!
SS: What has been the most challenging thing about creating the accompanying video series?
SC: Not having a budget is kind of a blessing and a curse. I get to have creative control over the videos and doing most of the FX means I run a tighter ship, but it really takes its toll – especially when the album and the videos are things that I have to make time for on the side. I do love the challenge though, if you don’t have boundaries and limitations you never get anything done. I just hope people are patient enough, cause I have a lot cooking, but a small oven!
SS: In the past you’ve worked under various monikers. How has your style developed from then? Has it always been “Starcadian-y”?
SC: This was my first electronic album and probably the first time I could call something “my style”. I tried almost all genres and I would always get into it, get bored by the tropes and move on. Part of why I wanted to start Sunset Blood was so I could get rid of genres altogether and just mix all the things I love in one big pot. Metal, rock, disco, soundtrack, pop, electro.
SS: How do you see your music evolving over the next few years?
SC: I’m not sure. I don’t like lingering on one thing for too long (my previous artistic ventures are so different from Starcadian, no one would believe it was me even if I told them) but I found so much inspiration in Sunset Blood that there are definitely quite a few more songs I need to get out of my head. Eventually I would like to branch out to movie scoring. I’ve always had a deep love of soundtracks and I seriously nerd out over the right orchestrations.
SS: You mentioned you’re working on a collaborative piece with fellow producer Falcone. Can you tell us a little about that?
SC: It’s a song called Echoes and I’m putting the finishing touches on it this week. Falcone is a good friend and fantastic singer, so we decide to collaborate on something based on vocals he sent me. It’s a seriously cool piece, very dark, brooding, cinematic and epic. It should be out within the month!
SS: How has the lack of label backing affected you?
SC: I would love to have a marketing, touring and merchandising budget, but if it comes at the price listed I’ll pass. It’s hard for new & unsigned bands right now, you basically have to be a label by yourself. You have to know how to promote online, be able to make visuals, book gigs, connect with fans, handle contracts and not forget to write an amazing album that stands out in an over-saturated market as well. It’s definitely not for the fainthearted, especially considering you have to do all this when you get back from work, tired.
Would buying your way into a mainstream blog or publication help? Probably, but everyone in the industry is a headless chicken right now and even worse, they’re headless chickens that are holding on to the exorbitant fees and percentages of old. Thankfully they’ll soon get the message that artists have more power these days, especially when we’re showing that we can do all of this ourselves, we just choose not to because of time limitation. Long story short, I think it’s an exciting time to be an artist, but only if you have another source of income.
SS: Can we expect any live shows from you in the future?
SC: Absolutely, I’ll be announcing some select dates in a few days! It might be a very very small run, mostly NY, maybe LA and DC for now, as I’m still D.I.Y. but hopefully if things go well this year I’ll be able to spread my neon wings a little more, especially around Europe!
SS: What have you got planned for Starcadian in 2014 and beyond?
SC: We’ve started pre-production on the next video and it’s looking fantastic! It’ll be a risk, it’s much more CG heavy than any of the videos I’ve done so far. We’re going to try some visual stuff that no one has ever done before so i’m a little anxious, but if we pull it off it’ll be a stunner and i can’t wait to share the vision with everyone! Other than that, I have quite a bit of music lined up, including already sketching out songs for Sunset Blood II: Electric Boogaloo (this might not end up being the final title, but a guy can hope!).
A massive thank you to Starcadian for his excellent answers, such a great insight into a really cool project! It just goes to show what you can achieve if you apply passion and drive to your work, even if you have to do it all on the side! It’s most inspirational, and I eagerly await the next installment of the Sunset Blood series. Hats off indeed.
Check out Starcadian on:
Twitter | Facebook | SoundCloud | BandCamp | YouTube | Vimeo | Imgur | Website
Disclaimer: all artwork in this post is property of Starcadian – Soniscope in no way claims ownership, as that would both be stupid and dishonest. It’s cool though, isn’t it? There’s more on his Imgur page, and on his Website too. Check ‘em out!