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20 okt. 2021

Interview met Tame Werewolf

Onlangs bracht de Iraanse synthwave producer Tame Werewolf zijn tweede album Phasermania uit. Phasermania is een eclectische mix vol stijlen en zeker de moeite waard om te beluisteren. In dit interview praten we over het concept van dit album, hardware, plannen voor de toekomst en favoriete releases van dit jaar. Tijd voor een interview!

Recently Iranian synthwave producer Tame Werewolf released his second album Phasermania. Phasermania is an eclectic mix full of styles and definitely worth listening to. In this interview we talk about the concept of this album, hardware, plans for the future and favorite releases of this year. Time for an interview!

Tame Werewolf

Keivan, can you please introduce yourself?
My name is Keivan Hosseini and I’m from Tehran, Iran. I started my music project “Tame Werewolf” about 3 years ago and I have released two albums via Cityman Productions in Finland and VIRTUA94 Records in the United States. I got my first keyboard when I was 15 and I found my interest in making music. I have tried different genres like indie rock, synth-pop and dance punk until I found my own sound. My music is a combination of Italo-disco, J-pop and retrowave in my very own style. 

In September you released your second album called Phasermania. What was the idea behind this album?
Phasermania is the musical expression of my feelings and experiences during the pandemic situation when everything seemed to be locked down in the outside world. There was a sound inside me that desired to find it´s way to outer space. I tried to include a few downtempo tunes after I got interested in vaporwave. The album’s title is kinda inspired by my vintage synthesizer Casio CZ 3000, a phase distortion synthesis that I used in this album a lot.

What did you learn from producing your debut album Secrets Of Love and which experiences you used for making your second album?
Secrets of Love was totally a DIY album. When I started making it, I was a noob in synthwave. Lack of recording experts who knew my genre in Iran made me learn some recording, mixing and mastering techniques by watching YouTube videos and researching on the internet, which definitely had a good impact on making my second album. On my debut album the synthesizers are mostly software, playing with sequencers and arpeggiators. For the second album I decided to change the game for a bit so I mainly played my synthesizers and directly recorded it to add more human touch and feel to it.

How did you discover synthwave?
Like many youth generation music lovers in the early 2010’s I was a huge fan of indie-music especially electro-pop, bands like M83, Hot Chip and Crystal Castles. Later in 2017 playing my nostalgic game “Streets of Rage” was a gateway for me to get to the retro gaming music and digging the genres inspired by the 80’s esthetics eventually led me to the synthwave world.

What are your musical influences?
Jean-Michel Jarre, Giorgio Moroder, Koto had a huge impact on me since first I heard them on some Iranian TV shows! To let you know about the situation, before the Internet was being widely used it was hard to find good music in Iran because record stores didn’t sell Western music. So borrowing tapes from cool friends or sneaky buying them on streets was pretty much the way. Modern Talking was pretty popular beyond Iranians back then and it totally had a huge influence on me. Later, the Yellow Magic Orchestra and the 8-bit sound of Yuzo Koshiro had influences on my music too.

What equipment do you use in your studio?
Like I mentioned before, a Casio CZ 3000. Yamaha Reface DX mostly for Electric Piano and Bass, a KORG R3 for vocoder and leads. My audio interface is a Lexicon I-ONIX and I have a pair of Yamaha HS80. I use a Yamaha DD-45 on percussion. Recently I added a Roland SP-555 to my equipment.

Can you share some of your plans for the (near) future?
Live Performance is definitely my next plan as I’ve never got the chance to have one. Finding a new record label and releasing new albums.

As 2021 is coming to an end, what are your favorite releases from this year?
Illuminations by FM Skyline, Red Twilight by Gavriel (Windows 96) and the new singles of Forhill.

In my interviews I always ask the artist/producer if they can describe the synthwave scene in their country or city. So for you ;-), what are your thoughts on the synthwave scene in Iran?
As you may know music has generally been illegal in Iran since the 1979 Islamic revolution except those who got the government’s permission. Despite this situation there are so many talented musicians working in an underground scene inside the country. Underground usually means opposed to mainstream popular music culture but in Iran art is totally underground meaning out of government’s sight. I should say there is not such a thing as a synthwave scene. There are very few artists inspired by this genre. 

When you are not working on music, what other passions do you have?
I love playing retro games, billiards, biking and hiking.

Thank you very much for this interview! Do you have any last words to the synthwave community?
Thank you so much for the interview too! I'm so happy to be a small part of the synthwave community. Keep on traveling back to the 80's with the magic of music and stay retro!

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