Synthwave is a nostalgic, largely instrumental genre of electronic music. We provided a three-part guide to synthwave here. In a new weekly series, we look at songs that have defined the genre and interview the creators behind them.
Droid Bishop is a synthwave musician based in LA. His track ‘Nightland’ was an early favourite of ours, and exemplifies the unique context of synth music. The twinkling synths and appealing progression sets a restless, nocturnal mood. We spoke to the man behind the track.
1. How did you get into synth music?
“I grew up with some friends that were very into the Trance scene and I can remember ATB’s “Till I Come” being a huge early influence on me. Then in my mid teens I got heavily into Daft Punk, Mylo, Aphex Twin, and Royksopp to name a few.”
“These artists eventually led to my discovery of Kavinsky, Power Glove, Miami Nights 1984, Lazerhawk, Tommy 86 etc and I fell in love with the Synthwave scene.”
2. How did you come to write ‘Nightland’?
“I was just messing around on the synth and found this dreamy/bubbly sound (which you hear at the beginning) which led to a nice little chord progression. I am a night owl, so I wanted to capture the feelings and emotions I get from dwelling in the late hours of the evening/early morning.”
3. This track has such a distinctive groove and feel. Is this a special track for you?
“I do consider it a special track because it seems to be a big fan favourite. I still get very nice messages/comments on the track.”
“To me though, all I can hear is the immaturity and inexperience in the production. Like many artists, I’m never really satisfied and am always looking to improve on the next track/project.”
4. Was this a challenge to record or did it come together easily?
“This one came together pretty easily and quickly for me. Once I had the initial chords, I just began layering drums, bass, and other elements to it.”
“I knew I wanted a big arpeggiated climax which was dramatically influenced by Daft Punk. There was a fairly focused idea of how I wanted it to sound.”
5. If this could be the soundtrack to any 80’s movie which one would it be?
“Hmmm tough question. Its hard to not hear the existing music in some of the 80’s films that come to mind. I guess in a perfect situation I would associate hearing it in something like Near Dark or The Lost Boys.”
Read our previous Secrets of Synth with College & Nola Wren here.