Redemption, the new album of Introspect is out now.
We had the chance to chat a bit with the man behind this awesome release.
Check out the interview!
Headphones For Robots: Who is Introspect? Where do you come from? Where do you live?
Introspect: Well, I’m a musician and composer of electronic music, I’m from a small town called Yffiniac that’s close to Saint-Brieuc in Brittany, France. Now I live in Orléans, France, I’ve been living and working here for 4 years now. In the past, I’ve also lived in Lyon and Rennes, France, as well as Chicago and St. Louis in the US.
HFR: How did you start making music? Could you tell us a bit about your musical and non-musical influences?
I: So my first instrument was the keyboard, I picked it up when I was around 15, but pretty quickly I started playing the bass and that became (and still is) my favorite music instrument. I’ve always enjoyed listening to and playing many different styles of music (funk, metal, classical, rap, etc…) but as a musician, I’ve mostly played in metal bands, until I started working on Introspect a couple of years ago.
My musical influences for Introspect are mainly from the darksynth scene—people like Perturbator, Carpenter Brut, Gost—and French electro and techno, for example, Gesaffelstein, Vitalic and Justice. Also, I’m a big fan of IDM, especially Aphex Twin and Squarepusher. Most of my non-musical influences are film directors: I’m a huge fan of Nicolas Refn (like a bunch of people, “Drive” pretty much got me into synthwave) as well as David Lynch and David Cronenberg, I like how their movies are really mysterious, dark, and visceral… Also, a theme that is present in my work as Introspect is the idea of identity, personality, basically the question of what makes us who we are and how we became who we are. So I like to tackle personal themes such as self-discovery, memories, desires, and fears, etc.
HFR: You have just released Redemption, a 10 track album. What is it all about? Are you looking for redemption?
I: Well, in a way, I guess I am! But not in the religious sense of the word. Basically, the basic idea for this album came from a psychedelic experience I had that made me really question who I was as a person. During that experience, I became deeply aware of all the things that were wrong in my life, of all the things I did just to “blend in” or “look cool” and not because I really wanted to… That was a very intense realization and following that, I thought of the word “Redemption” as a way of putting all that negative stuff behind me and trying to become better as a person.
So basically, the album is based on this experience I had, which started with me having visions of dancing demons straight out of a Cronenberg film (like in the track “The Flayed Dancer”), and ended with me questioning who I really was (like in “The Agent”).
HFR: How did you approach writing the songs for your new album?
I: It was a long and tortuous process! I actually think I started working on some of the tracks that are on the album even before my first album “Chicago Nights” was released two years ago. It didn’t take that long to get the structure and the main ideas for the tracks down, because I had a lot of inspiration going in, but then I spent a lot of time just trying to refine the tracks and getting them to sound as well as I could. So I spent a lot of time “re-making” or “re-mixing” the tracks over and over until I was satisfied with how they sounded. To be honest, that became a bit tiresome especially toward the end. I think it’s because I’m still quite new to electronic music and still learning as I go, and I hope my process will become more streamlined as I keep producing.
HFR: Could you tell us a bit about your “go-to” equipment? What do you use when writing a song and which are your favorite instruments? Do you prefer Software or Hardware?
I: Ok, so first of all, I don’t own any hardware synths, I’ve been interested in getting one but everytime I consider it I think about what I could do with that kind of money instead… So I only use software when it comes to synths, my favorite virtual instruments are Diva and Re-Pro by U-He which I use for the vast majority of my synth sounds. Then I also like to record guitar and bass parts and for this, I mostly use my trusted Fender Jazz Bass that I’ve been using for almost 10 years now! And then, of course, I have an audio interface, KRK Rokit 6 speakers and a keyboard which I like to use to come up with ideas for my tracks. So I’d say I have pretty basic gear for an electronic producer and I’ll probably try to get a couple of fancy gadgets in the future that I could also use for live shows.
HFR: What do you think about the album format in our single streaming world?
I: So I’ve released both albums and singles and I think that albums are still very important and relevant nowadays. Maybe it’s not as “efficient” as releasing a bunch of singles but the scope of the album format allows you to go a lot deeper and to make a real musical statement. Yes, it’s possible to tell a story with a single but with an album, you can tell a much more detailed, nuanced and profound story. And I think many people are still attached to that and are drawn to albums because they offer the possibility of a longer and deeper immersion into a sonic world than singles can offer. And I think that’s really true for synthwave but even more so for metal, and a lot of my fans are metalheads.
So I think both singles and albums can be good in their own ways and I personally enjoy both, the only thing I haven’t tried yet is the EP format, maybe I’ll try it in the future!
HFR: Will you play your new album live? Do you have other projects?
I: Yes, as a matter of fact, we have been playing the tracks from the new album for a couple of months already. Now our live set-list is composed mostly of tracks from “Redemption” and soon we will try to play all the tracks from the album during our live shows.
I do have other projects for the future, first I would like to work on a music video for a track from “Redemption”—maybe 2 or 3 music videos, actually, but we’ll see about that. Then I already have some musical material that I didn’t include on “Redemption” that I intend to use on a next release, which will probably be an album or an EP. I’m also planning on collaborating with other producers I know and admire and of course, doing more live shows!
HFR: Last words?
I: Thank you so much for the interview! I really appreciate the work you do, thank you for shining a light on all these underappreciated and yet very talented artists. Stay retro, and don’t forget to eat your vegetables! 😉
“Redemption” on Bandcamp: https://introspectmusic.bandcamp.com/album/redemption