Following the recent release of the tremendous music video for Freak Night, Starcadian has been working hard on what is coming next. The Brooklyn based musician will be appearing at Retro Future Festival in London after previously gigging in London months prior. Following from this will be the long awaited release for Midnight Signals 2, another addition to the incredible music video collaboration with Rob O’Neill and his new record Deep Cuts.
You’re described as “Ear movies” on your Facebook profile. To those who don’t know, what does that mean?
Essentially, I think of my compositions in terms of narrative staging, very much like movies. So each song within itself has a story arc; Introduction, conflict, resolution. Additionally, all the songs form this larger narrative that will eventually form the full Starcadian mythology, if played in the correct order.
Do you picture a movie scene with every song that you write? Have you ever used other movies scenes whilst writing a song?
I don’t use other movie scenes specifically (though I probably should) but I definitely think of specific movies when I compose. I tend to think of them like planets in Star Wars, each one has a distinctive aesthetic and style!
The video for Freak Night looks like Jim Henson nightmare fuelled rave, what inspired you to make the incredible video?
Well, my co-director, Rob O’Neill and me have always loved animatronic and practical effects and seeing as we are the biggest horror movie nerds, we thought we were at a place where we could actually tackle this concept.
It’s been brewing for a while, but we felt it was the right time to chase it. Initially it was supposed to be all muppet-style puppets, but after diving into the concept and honing it, we felt going for photoreal animatronics would serve the story and atmosphere better.
What it comes down to, is that Starcadian music is supposed to be listened to in a club full of monsters and alien bounty hunters!
A lot of people compare the song Freak Night to Prince, was this originally your intention?
Absolutely, he’s a huge influence on me and I’m just not seeing anyone else trying to keep that sound alive and try to add to it, so I humbly try with every album more and more!
On Twitter you expressed how you loved every minute of your last performance in London; how do you feel about performing in the city again?
I can’t wait for RFF, the energy in London was amazing and I had a blast hanging out with people afterwards. I used to live in the Midlands for a while, so coming back to the UK and picking up where I left off feels like homecoming.
What attracted you to perform at Retro Future Festival?
There’s definitely a pure love for the music that just emanates from the whole organisation and the kind of people it attracts, makes it the best possible scenario for a musician. We just want to make people happy and the more they want it, the more we power up on stage!
You are heavily influenced by the 80’s decade, but are there any modern music influences that you would like to note?
These days I mostly listen to Vulfpeck, Secret Chiefs 3 and SebastiAn. I try to vary up my influences to stay on my toes compositionally.
You’re from Brookyln, is there a strong synthwave scene there? If not, what do you think could increase the engagement there?
I think it’s still nascent over here, but judging from fan mail, I feel the scene is picking up steam, so fingers crossed synths prevail in the mainstream again!
Are there any synthwave musicians that you would highly recommend at the moment?
I don’t know if they’re strictly synthwave, but Oliver’s latest album reduced many producers I know to tears with sheer funkiness and production quality.
Are your lyrics 80’s inspired? If not, what influences your lyrics?
They’re not particularly 80’s related, I try to work in allegories about whatever thing I need to talk about, but somehow tie it to a larger narrative. So for example, Polyanna is about writer’s block, but also ties into the Starcadian mythology.
You have just released Deep Cuts; what inspired your to release it?
Midnight Signals 1 and 2 took so long to wrap my head around that I ended up with multiple alternative versions of songs that were too good to just dump in the archive, so I thought I’d make special presentation just for them and give me incentive to write a few more songs along with them. Nothing gets the creative juices flowing like another tight deadline!
Have you ever thought of writing music for movie soundtracks for anything like Netflix or Amazon Prime?
Absolutely I have and I would love to, given the opportunity. I’ve had my music featured in a few HBO shows and other channels (that I should know, but embarrassingly I don’t) but I would love to tackle original material, TV & Movies to me are 65% audio and 45% visuals.
Outside of Starcadian, what is your every day life? Do you have any pets or hobbies?
Goodness knows I would love to have the time to have a pet haha! Most people dream of making it big and living in yachts, my dream is own land big enough to fill with dogs. And probably afford to pay someone to help me pick up the dog dookies.
During the day, I’m a mild-mannered VFX supervisor, working on movies, tv shows and commercials, but at night I don the hood and write beats in my bedroom. Why do I wear a hoodie in my bedroom? Yes. 15) What would be the next big step for Starcadian? Another album release? A soundtrack for a movie?
I’m currently hard at work on Midnight Signals 2, trying to wrap up some lyrics and polish all the songs on the album, while brainstorming on the script for the one after that, with Rob O’Neill.