interview music

Interview with SeYSMIC

SeYSMIC is a French synthwave artist we are following and enjoying for some time now. So when we got the chance to talk to him, we jumped on the occasion.

Check out the interview!


Headphones For Robots: Who is SeYSMIC? Where do you come from? Where do you live?

SeYSMIC: Hi HFR! First of all, thank you for reaching out! I’m a french music producer from Lyon, France. I’m still living here since I was born in 1976. 

HFR: How did you start making music? Could you tell us a bit about your music influences? 

S: I started making music in my early childhood. My brother had a monophonic Roland SH-101 synth, and later he had a polyphonic Korg Poly800. I learnt music all by myself : listening to lots of 70s and 80s music on vinyl and learning to play them by ear on those keyboards. We also had the chance to own a Commodore 64 and a Commodore Amiga several years later. I started learning MIDI that way. I’ve always had a large panel of musical influences. Here are the first ones that come to my mind on that very moment : Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, David Bowie, the early albums from Ange, Supertramp, Laurie Anderson, The Residents, Michael Jackson, the early albums from Madonna, Jean-Jacques Goldman, Niagara, Indochine, Etienne Daho, the two first albums of Mylène Farmer, Gold, Jean-Michel Jarre, A-Ha, Alphaville, and of course many hits from the eighties. Years later, my new musical influences were Radiohead, Björk, Daft Punk and Sigur Ros.

HFR: You have just released Lovers at the Killer Hotel, a delicate horrific single with guitar. What’s the story behind this track? How did you wrote that song?

S: Like most of my tracks, Lovers at the Killer Hotel started with an improvisation. I was playing some random arpeggios on my piano and… boom! The first material came. I opened my DAW and began to develop that pattern. It took me about a week to get a first version. I sent it to my friend Billy Mays Band and he suggested I added one of my home made guitar solos. I took me a couple of weeks more to finish the track. I’m now looking forward to release the other tracks I am working on at the moment!

HFR: What are your projects? Do you plan to release new singles, an EP?

S: My only project is to make more music. Collabs, singles, EP, LP : Time will tell! So far, I had the chance to work with great synthwave producers like Billy Mays Band, We Are Magonia, AERDS to name a few. There are more collaborations to come in 2020. Stay tuned!

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 ?

S: I work on a minimalist hardware configuration : a laptop Mac with a Keith McMillen K-Board. It’s very convenient for me because It allows me to produce on-the-go, whenever I want, because the whole hardware fits into my backpack! I started working on Logic Pro and then switched to Reason and I love it! My favorite synth VST at the moment is DIVA. I’ve invested quite a lot into software licenses.

HFR: Do you play video games? Which one had an impact on you and your music?

S: Funny that you’re asking: One of my teenage life plans was to become a videogame soundtrack composer! Thanks to my brother, I started to play early C64 video games as a kid. Some of those soundtracks are still a great source of inspiration for me : Cauldron or Aztec Challenge for instance. My all time favorite video games are Myst, Metal Gear Solid, Zelda, Monkey Island, Pikmin, Heavy Rain, Journey, Braid, Inside and Gorogoa lately. 

HFR: Will you play live? Do you have other projects?

S: I’m often asked if I’m going to play live one day! The truth is that I already played live on several occasions. It’s awesome and… stressful! My pleasure really stands in the creation process, not in the performance. Aside from the synthwave project, I recently released the Black Marks LP “All But Defeated” co-produced with Dallo and Beklynn. Check it out, if you like downtempo electronic songs : I’m really proud of that achievement.

HFR: Last words?

S: I’d like to thank the fans: every play, every like and every comment really make the difference. Thank you HFR for the interview!


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