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31 jan. 2021

Interview met Color Theory

Brian Hazard, de Amerikaanse producer achter Color Theory loopt al een hele tijd rond in de muziekindustrie. Naast het produceren van zijn eigen muziek heeft Brian ook een eigen studio voor Audio Mastering. Laatst heeft Brian twee prachtige nieuwe singles uitgebracht: ¨Mages¨ en ¨Neon Lights¨. Tijd voor een interview om meer te weten te komen over deze geweldige muzikant.

Brian Hazard, the American producer behind Color Theory has been around the music industry for a long time. Besides producing his own music, Brian also has his own studio for Audio Mastering. Brian recently released two beautiful new singles: "Mages" and "Neon Lights". Time for an interview to find out more about this great musician.

Color Theory

Brian, can you please introduce yourself?
Sure! I’m Brian Hazard, the sole member of Color Theory. Husband, father, runner, meditator, ´80s fan.

You just released your new single ¨Mages¨ a couple of weeks ago. What can you tell us about this new track?
It’s synthwave with a fantasy theme, inspired by my childhood love of Dungeons & Dragons. Though I haven’t actually played much D&D! There was only one competent DM in my middle school orbit, and we weren’t particularly close. Still, it led to an obsession with related computer games like Wizardry and Ultima, and years later, EverQuest, where I played a female mage for a few thousand hours.


A week after ¨Mages,¨ a new single called ¨Neon Lights¨ was released (in association with BTRN and Slick Division). Why the choice to release it as soon as possible after the release of ¨Mages¨?
I would’ve released it much, much sooner, but I was waiting on cover art for the better part of 2020, ever since my previous single release in April. By the time it was finally done, “Neon Lights” had already been scheduled for January 15, and my next single with collaborator Matt Mancid, a cover of Peter Gabriel’s “Mercy Street,” had already been planned for February 5.


I’m sure you’ll agree the artwork was worth the wait!

Can you tell us something about your further plans for 2021?
Matt and I will finally release the covers album we’ve been working on since 2013! Perhaps I’ll also release the 12th Color Theory album, Mages (yes, “Mages” is the title track).

Before that, expect a new single in late March or early April called “The Outset” which I am very excited about. Matt and I are planning to release our cover of Soft Cell’s “Say Hello, Wave Goodbye” as well.

Everything else is up in the air, but I continue to record and release a new song every month for my patrons on Patreon, and much of that will eventually be released publicly in some form or other.

Next to being a musician, you also have your company Resonance Mastering for Audio Mastering. Can you tell us please, what projects you have worked on?
Over the years, I’ve worked with many of my musical heroes like Information Society, Naked Eyes, and Heaven 17. I also mastered countless releases for synthpop labels A Different Drum and Ninthwave Records.

These days my work is evenly split between production and mastering. It’s always been entirely word-of-mouth with no advertising, and most of my clients have been with me for many years.

What are your musical influences?
Whatever I’m listening to at the time on my runs. The last couple of years, that’s been a lot of Baths, Blaqk Audio, The Midnight, and Mr.Kitty. When I hear something I might want to try, I plop it in my inspiration playlist on Spotify.

For someone with a lengthy background in electronic music like you, what do you think about the current state of synthwave and where do you think it will be going?
I’ve never really fit squarely into any scene, and synthwave is no exception. I just keep on doing my own thing, drawing from whatever inspires me at the time.

That said, I curate a vocal synthwave playlist called Vocal Synthwave Retrowave, and one particular trend I’m spotting is that everyone wants to sound like The Weeknd. I’m so tired of that sound! Whether or not it’s synthwave is up for debate.


What is your favorite movie of the ’80s and why?
Objectively that would have to be Mr. Mom, as I watched it over 30 times. I vaguely remember the point at which I started keeping track. I think it has more to do with how often it appeared on TV than the movie’s quality.

What do you wish for the world after the COVID-19 crisis?
I hope that we can collectively sharpen up our critical thinking skills, let go of unfounded conspiracy theories, and come to agree on a mutual set of facts.

And finally, any last words to the synthwave community?
Keep on innovating, and don’t worry about being “not synthwave enough.” Sooner or later the world will move on and we’ll all have to fall back on our own sonic identities.

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