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12 feb. 2020

Interview met Void Stare

Van zanger in een metalband tot darksynth producer. Dat is de stap die Void Stare een aantal jaren geleden heeft gemaakt. Het heeft geleid tot het prachtige debuutalbum ¨Zero One¨. Hoe hij dit heeft gedaan? Dat lees je hier in dit interview.

From singer in a metal band to darksynth producer. That is the step Void Stare made a few years ago. It led to the beautiful debut album "Zero One". How did he do this? You can read that and more here in this interview.

Void Stare

Void Stare, can you please introduce yourself?
I'm Void Stare, an Australian singer/darksynth producer. I work across several different music projects, but of most interest to your readers will be my new project Void Stare - which is a darksynth solo project that is probably best characterised by my love of Cyberpunk pop-culture, atmospheric music, and my self-taught throat singing style.

Outside of Void Stare my most well-known project is Spire, an ambient black metal band that has been kicking for over a decade now. It was through Spire that I developed my throat singing style, which is a prevalent feature there too.

I've also been in and around metal bands for over 20 years now, usually solely as a singer and vocalist, but for Void Stare I have stepped into the role of musician, producer, and engineer! It’s been an amazing ride picking up the skills needed to pull this off (and I still have a long road ahead). These skills have culminated in my debut album ¨Zero One¨, which has just dropped! If you’re into sinister darksynth, you’ll probably dig it!

How do you look back at 2019?
As a scholar of all things music theory, production, and engineering! While I’ve been in bands for much of my life, I’ve rarely taken the time to seriously approach these skills. So, most of 2018/2019 were spent using literally every spare moment I had on learning anything I could about music. I read books, watched an endless stream of YouTube videos, blogs, looking over project files of other artists (this is a good opportunity to give a big THANK YOU to all the music theory and music production content creators out there, your service is priceless), and tons and tons of playing around with Synths (I love DIVA) and anything else I could load up in the DAW. This culminated in getting the album finished right towards the end of 2019.

What are your plans for this year?
Up until now it has been connecting with the amazing Synth community out there and (with their support) getting my album heard by as many folks as possible (also a huge thank you to all the amazing artist promotion platforms out there looking after us!). That said I haven’t stopped constantly tinkering and writing new material, I already have a ton of new songs in production, and plan on releasing a second album this year.

I’m also for the first time ever are working on collaborations with other artists. It’s a real honour to have other established artists interested in working with a total newbie, and I’m really looking forward to working with and learning from others.

My dream goal for the year is to get ¨Zero One¨ released on vinyl as this is my preferred listening medium.

Talking about your debut album ¨Zero One¨, what can you tell us about this album?
Overall Zero One is the result of an absolute love of cyberpunk, and atmospheric and dark music. The album is a pretty stylistically diverse collection of darksynth songs which range from banging foot stompers, to haunting ambience. Most tracks have some form of singing on them, many with my throat singing, but a few also feature melodies or metal style screams. Conceptually the album comes from my long-standing love of sci-fi popular culture, Cyberpunk in particular. As I wrote each song, I imagined a famous passage or scene from a Cyberpunk book or movie I’m a fan of. To my mind the album is quite cinematic, though the tracks still generally fit within a traditional song-based structure.


What equipment do you use in your studio?
I wish I could list off a ton of killer ´80s and modern hardware synths, but I’m not wealthy enough for that kind of gear. Rather I work totally in the box (Ableton Live), using a midi controller to play. Primarily I use DIVA as my soft synth of choice, it’s just such a beautiful sounding synth with near endless possibilities and combinations (though it’s a total fucking CPU pig). Otherwise I make some use of Serum (who doesn’t) particularly for crunchy/neuro sounding bass patches, Kontakt for instruments like Grand Piano and Orchestral drums, a little TAL-U-NO-LX for those super classic synth sounds, and a ton of other bits and pieces which I’ve played around with. However, I’m increasingly finding myself always reaching for DIVA, there’s not much it can’t do, particularly in combination with a ton of FX on top. I’ve also just picked up Arturia’s V collection which also has a ton of mind-blowing synths.

What other musicians do inspire you?
This is a somewhat difficult question to answer, because simply put - LOTS. I spent much of my youth only listening to extreme metal. But as I’ve aged, I’ve developed a taste for pretty much any style of music. That said there are some key artists who I am in total awe of. Ulver from Norway are probably the band I’ve followed the most closely for several decades, their ability to constantly shift in style and genre and still deliver amazing music never ceases to amaze me. Chelsea Wolfe is another massive inspiration; she is another artist who can switch things up constantly yet always keep it interesting. Black metal band Ruins of Beverast is also massively inspiring. In the EDM/Synth world I’d have to say my biggest inspirations are Robot Koch, Forest Swords, Throwing Snow, Ital Tek, Perturbator (no surprises there, Kent’s fingerprints are all over my style) and Daniel Deluxe. Not to mention the 1000’s of other artists I dig across the worlds of hip-hop, metal, jazz, folk, ambient, rock etc. etc. etc...

How is the synthwave scene in Australia?
I honestly have no idea. I’m from a pretty quiet part of the country with little to no music scene of any kind let alone something as niche as synthwave. I’ve connected with a few Aussie artists over social media, so there’s clearly something going on here :-).

What do you like most about the ´80s?
Cyberpunk!!! Since I was a kid I’ve always loved and consumed anything related to Cyberpunk culture. The aesthetic, the grime, the anti-corporate and dystopian precautionary tales, AI running worlds, Cyber-orcs hacking into the matrix! I love this stuff! I dig comics like Judge Dredd, old Anime like Cybercity OEDO 808, authors like Gibson, old video games (Shadowrun on the SNES is pretty much the best game ever created imho). None of this is possible without the ´80s and it’s amazing seeing this stuff become popular again.

And finally, any last words to the synthwave community?
Thank you!!! Only through the support of other artists, content creators such as yourself, and dedicated fans have I been able to get this stuff out there and into people’s ears. I’ve truly been shocked by how supportive and welcoming the community has been to a total newbie like myself and only hope I can pass the kindness along to other new and established artists. Thank you all and keep doing what you’re doing!

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