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7 feb. 2020

Interview met Deus Rex

Een creatieve alleskunner zou je de Amerikaanse artiest Deus Rex wel kunnen noemen. Naast het maken van muziek is Rex ook een dj en art director. Een mooi jaar ligt in het verschiet en Atlanta kan weer een nieuwe ster toevoegen aan het al mooie rijtje van schitterende synthwave artiesten. Tijd voor een interview.

You could call the American artist Deus Rex a creative all-rounder. In addition to making music, Rex is also a DJ and art director. A beautiful year is in the offing and Atlanta can add a new star to the already beautiful list of great synthwave artists. Time for an interview.

Deus Rex

Deus Rex, can you please introduce yourself?
Hello SynthwaveFan, this is Rex Brown but I formally go by the stage name, "Deus Rex". I am a Belgian-American producer and multi instrumentalist based out of Atlanta, Ga. I've mostly played in metal and prog rock bands and dabbled in electronic music until I discovered the synthwave scene a few years ago and have been producing ever since.

How do you look back at 2019?
I dedicated 2019 to refining my sound and what I wanted to say as an artist. I revisited old ´80s films, shows, and literature for what truly inspires me. I watched John Hughes films, and a lot of soundtracks to films like American Ninja, The Lost Boys, Blade Runner, anything with Rutger Hauer in it, or dark sci-fi. While I was writing I wanted to inundate myself with things that elicited a strong sense of nostalgia to influence the album.

What are your plans for this year?
This year I plan to play out live and release another full length album. I view each album as a story in an anthology told musically. The next album will feature a new story in the same universe. I've already started the writing process so look out for it later this year.

Talking about your debut album ¨Same Face Different Body¨, what can you tell us about this album?
The title comes from a double meaning, I like to write this way, me being the same artist with a different body of work and how people can have the same face but end up being completely different throughout a relationship. It was the result of a year long journey. The album follows a story of love and loss over the course of time, set against a sci-fi backdrop. I like mixing things up so there are cinematic and electropop elements sprinkled all throughout the progression of the album. The first song I finished was Walk Away. I wrote it after re-watching The Neverending Story and it set the tone for the rest of the album. I want it to feel like you're listening to a soundtrack from opening title to the end credits.


What equipment do you use in your studio?
My DAW of choice is FL studio. For vocals I use a Vocalist LiveFX and a Digitech RP90 into a Behringer UMC 404HD. I use a Novation Launchpad to control synths and an Artiphon Instrument 1 for guitar parts like what you hear on the track Vices. For analog feel I run my mixes through a Behringer Multicom Pro-XL comp and a vintage Technics SH-8020 equalizer from the ´80s. I control everything with a 21 inch touchscreen and a Behringer XTouch control surface. Everything else is in the box mixing.

What other musicians do inspire you?
The first synthwave artists I can remember listening to were Waveshaper and Orax. When I heard his track Missing, that's when really I knew I wanted to make synthwave. Lately I've been listening to NINA, Trevor Something, Iversen, Electric Youth, Ollie Wride, Dana Jean Phoenix, Absolute Valentine, Boy Harsher, Drab Majesty and of course The Midnight. I'm an ´80s baby so I grew up listening to Tears For Fears, The Cure, A-Ha, Killing Joke, Depeche Mode, NIN, Siouxsie and the Banshees...


How is the synthwave scene in Atlanta, Georgia?
The synthwave scene in Atlanta has a lot of great artists; Vampire Step-Dad, Gregorio Franco, Watchout For Snakes, GhostHost, Frisky Monkey, Acid Gambit, Goodbye Galaxy, Kofin, Tyler Lyle of The Midnight is from here and more.

What do you like most about the ´80s?
I would have to say the films were my favorite part of the ´80s. Action hero's were invincible and did things just because it looked cool. All a kid needed was their bike, their friends and a sense of adventure. Sci-fi was retro futuristic with high tech low life cyberpunk aesthetics. Drums were dripping with reverb and analog synths ruled the airwaves.

And finally, any last words to the synthwave community?
I'd like to say thank you to SynthwaveFan for the interview. Thank you to the community for inspiring me and for listening.

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