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Interview with HeartBeatHero

HeartBeatHero is back with its new album ¨Shadow of the Heart¨. It has become a great album full of melodic darksynth/thriller synthwave. In this interview we talk about the album and HeartBeatHero also reveals the name and date of his next album which will be released in the not too distant future.

You can read here the Dutch version of my interview with HeartBeatHero.


HeartBeatHero, can you tell something about yourself?
I lived in the United States until I was 12 and I grew up in the Netherlands since high school. At high school I met my best friend, who taught me how to make music via the computer and that has been my passion ever since. I am also a web developer and I have a family with a lovely wife and two lovely children.

Congratulations on your latest album ¨Shadow of the Heart¨. What was it like to work on this album?
Thank you! This album is a collection of all #darksynth tracks that I have made since April 2019. Every track on the album gave me goose bumps during the making. That way I know exactly when a track will make it to the album. I also made the album cover for the first time and I'm quite proud of that.

To what extent does ¨Shadow of the Heart¨ differ from your previous albums ¨The Matrix of Synthwave¨ and ¨Synthwave Darkness to Light¨?
I use other synths and beats, but I think there is a certain style that I have made and that continues to develop. Many people were a bit shocked by the 23 tracks on ¨The Matrix of Synthwave¨, so this time I consciously opted for a maximum of 10 tracks. To be able to retain the listener's attention.

How do you actually work when creating a number? Which order do you use?
First I make a groove with a sound or a nice baseline. I place some beats above that. Then I will come up with a melody. I usually export the track and listen to it in my car on the way to work. When I have listened to the track a number of times, I make some notes and fix certain elements or I remove what I no longer like and replace it with something greasy. When the entire structure is up, I add effects and sometimes add a little voice. I also equalize everything and then I save the song for an album or I put it on SoundCloud fairly quickly afterwards.

What software and hardware does your studio consist of?
I have a Roland JUNO-Di. I only used the sounds from that synth for a few tracks. I mainly use these to get ideas. I use software synths the most. For example Sylenth1. And for the DAW (digital audio workstation) I use Renoise. This software is based on a tracker and this is the workflow that I am most used to because of the earlier use of Protracker and Fastracker.

In addition to making music, you also have your own podcast ¨HeartBeatHero Radio¨. Can you tell us more about this?
Yes, what fun is that! It really surprised me in every way. It broaden my musical knowledge of the synthwave scene and it gives me a great platform to promote my music on. I also make friends en route. I am played on almost all other podcasts, but I make so much music that I really needed a platform to let everyone hear my work.

I hesitated for a long time because it takes a lot of time. I didn't know how nice it would be to work with others, but that didn't disappoint me at all.

I used to draw comics (Goober and Cindy) and to promote them I had a YouTube channel where I started interviewing other cartoonists. So I already have a little experience with interviews. What I really like about the podcast is that I can enjoy a track between the talks and recharge immediately. I am fairly introverted, so it costs me a lot of energy to socialize.

What made you decide to make synthwave?
The same friend who taught me how to make music talked a lot about synthwave 3 years ago. He had been to a Carpenter Brut concert and gradually I started to listen to that music more and more. I then decided to make my first synthwave track and that was ¨The Delorean¨. I liked it very much and soon I heard much more than all the other tracks I had ever made. I release a track on SoundCloud every month and before I knew it I had finished my first album ¨Synthwave Darkness to Light¨.

What are your further plans for 2020?
A new chillwave/synthwave album will be released on April 2nd, 2020 (my birthday). I am already very proud of it and am happy with the choice to release two albums this year. After ¨Shadow of the Heart¨ the upcoming album will be called ¨Retro Heart Island¨ in April (premiere). At the moment I have an assignment for someone who is doing the artwork, so I am curious about the result.

Finally, do you still have some final words to the readers of this interview?
I am so grateful for the synthwave community and grateful for all my fans. Not only for my music, but also for my podcast. It goes very well and also a big thank you to my co-hosts and guests. Thank you for this interview and I ask you if you would like to be present at a future podcast and share a synthwave selection with my listeners? Do you like that?

Thank you very much for this interview HeartBeatHero and, yes, I would like to join you at a new podcast!

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