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14 mei 2020

Interview met Orkla Drive

Hoe een avond compleet je leven kan veranderen. Het is Mathieu aka Orkla Drive gebeurt na een avondje feesten met de legendarische Kavinsky. Sindsdien is hij besmet met het synthwave virus en heeft Orkla Drive onlangs zijn debuut afgeleverd. Is je nieuwsgierigheid gewekt? Lees dan snel verder mijn interview met Orkla Drive.

How an evening can completely change your life. It happened to Mathieu aka Orkla Drive after a night of partying with the legendary Kavinsky. Since then he has been infected with the synthwave virus and recently Orkla Drive has made his debut. Has your curiosity been aroused? Then continue reading my interview with Orkla Drive.

Orkla Drive

Orkla Drive, can you please introduce yourself?
Hi, I'm Mathieu (Mattheus in Dutch). As you have probably guessed I'm French but not only. Indeed, I was born in France but my parents are both Polish. So I’m half French and half Polish. I'm 34 years old and I’m living in the south of France for 2 years now. The only thing you have to know about me is that I'm a music lover! I listen to almost every kind of music but mostly rock music and of course synthwave.

You just started with releasing synthwave music. When did you heard about this style?
If I tell you, you won't believe me! I could sum up it in 3 words: “Diner with Kavinsky”! How did it happen? Well, everything started exactly on the 11th of April 2011. At this time, I was studying law at University of Paris and at the same time I've created a clothing brand with my brother. Thanks to one of my best friends we had the opportunity to promote our brand during a huge party in Lille! As one of the main sponsors of this party, we were considered as “VIP” (I don’t really like this word) and also treated like VIP all night long. And guess what? The main DJ of the party was Kavinsky! So we spent a great time with him from the dinner to the closing party! He’s a really nice and real funny guy! We laughed a lot and you know what? He accepted to wear our designed t-shirt! What pride! I just want you to notice that it all happened a few months before the release of Nightcall in the movie Drive! Who could expect what then happened to Kavinsky from this very moment!

Which brings me now to your question. I discovered synthwave music thanks to Kavinsky’s music in 2011 and it gave me the chance to discover more synthwave music.

I remember when I heard Kavinsky’s set that night! It was just like a slap in my face!

After that I couldn’t stop listening to synthwave and looking for new artists as Lazerhawk, Lost Years, Power Glove, NINA and many others ... but I needed more synthesizers and after that I decided to compose my own tracks.

And that’s why I’m here today ...

Talking about your debut album ¨Orkla Drive¨, what can you tell us about this album?
Firstly I would say that this EP represents a real achievement and also a test.

An achievement because since I was a kid I always wanted to release an album. It was always like something impossible to do! You know, I had some garage rock bands in high school and I was always into music but we all know how much it cost to record an album and how hard it is to record an album. So releasing this EP means symbolically a lot to me. I’ve reached one of my goals.

And also a test because music means a lot to me. I compose music for my own pleasure of course and I won’t ever stop composing music. But I also wanted to share this pleasure with other people. Why doing music if you can’t share it with other people? Music is meant to be shared with people! Music unites. And for the moment I have to say that I don’t regret that choice because I had pretty good critics for these 4 tracks and I want to keep going this way!


Which song is most special to you on ¨Orkla Drive¨ and why?
To be honest and I don’t want to seem arrogant, but they are all special to me.

For the simple reason that those 4 tracks are in fact a selection of 13 tracks I composed. I decided not to release 9 tracks because I wanted the best for this EP. So every track sounds very different, but every song is special to me. If you listen to this EP very carefully, you can listen to it like one story: you have an intro, then a dark song, an epic one and at the end an outro. They match all together. It’s a one whole song! So that’s why I advise you to listen the whole EP from beginning to the end with your eyes closed and trying to imagine your story. Or in a fast car... but with open eyes!

What equipment do you use in your studio?
I have to say that’s what I like about synthwave and electronic music in general! I love the idea of creating a whole song, a whole album in your room just with some software and hardware! There is no limit for creativity and everyone is able to create music.

I only use a computer and software. I have the chance to own a large selection of preset synthesizers. I mostly use Jupiter, Oberheim, Matrix and Modular.

What other musicians do inspire you?
If I had to list all musicians who inspired me, people would get bored reading it all!

But I’ll try to give some big names who inspired the most during my childhood, those who brought me to the synthwave and to finish my favorite synthwave artists.

Electric Light Orchestra, Queen, The Beatles, The Beach Boys, Jerry Lee Lewis, Creedence Clearwater Revival, T-Rex, ABBA, Jean-Michel Jarre, Foo Fighters, Queens of the Stone Age, System of a Down, CKY, The Offspring, Metallica, HIM, Bloodhound Gang, Blink 182, Finch, My Chemical Romance, Muse and Daft Punk.

JUSTICE, JUSTICE, JUSTICE, JUSTICE and JUSTICE again!

Justice is definitely the band who opened my eyes and clearly shows me that you can combine rock and electronic music! These guys are rock stars! (Big thumbs up for the ED BANGER label).

After that of course my man KAVINSKY, KAVINSKY, KAVINSKY, KAVINSKY and KAVINSKY again who helped me discover synthwave.

And to finish here is my synthwave artists list that inspires me the most: Lazerhawk, Lost Years, Dance with the Dead, NINA and Power Glove.

I also like many other tracks of very talented synthwave musicians that I won’t list because it will never end!

What are you further plans for this year, though life is not normal nowadays due to COVID-19?
Yes, we are living in a really special situation. It´s like in a sci-fi movie. No one could have expected that! We don't know where we are going and we don't know how things will evolve in the future!

Fortunately I have music and my priority this year is to finish my album. I’m working on it right now and I could already say that it will be more powerful than my EP, which is melodic and instrumental.

I’m also planning to release another synthwave EP with only vocals.

And for fun I'm also making some art works. For example I’ve created my EP cover and now I'm working on my best friend's logo who is also doing synthwave music. His name is “LeRo Kid”. You will discover his music in a few weeks, so stay tuned!

What other countries in the world would you like to visit one day and can you tell us also why?
I really like nature so I would say without any hesitation, the north of Canada, the state of Alaska, Iceland and all Scandinavian countries. I love cold countries with big open spaces. Of course I would visit those countries with my wife and my son and as a hockey player, I would bring my skates...

What do you like most about the ´80s?
Well, I’m a kid of the 80's so as you can imagine I grew up with so many 80's references.

I love all the movies from the 80's such as Back to the Future, Indiana Jones, The Terminator, Iron Eagle, The Goonies, The Gremlins, Rocky, and many others...

I also love music from artists like Bon Jovi, Aerosmith, Journey, Dakota, Survivor etc. And of course I love the lifestyle in general of the 80’s.

We can see how the 80’s have an impact on society today, because the 80’s are back again. You can see it everywhere. Stranger Things, the last Muse album cover, The Weeknd last album...and there are many other examples like this.

And finally, any last words to the synthwave community?
Don’t forget the synthwave community is a small family but for sure it’s the good one! And as a family we should act like a family! We should support each other and help each other! That's why I would like to thank Sander and synthwavefan.nl for giving me the chance to talk about my music and I. I hope you like reading this interview.

If you have questions, if you want to know more about my music, my future projects, or if you want to know more about that crazy night with Kavinsky don’t hesitate to ask me your questions on Instagram or Twitter.

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