LVX Talks Synthwave and New EP Interstellar
When an artist decides to take the leap into a new genre, one of two things can happen: the artist can master and make this new genre their own, or the artist can offer up a cheap imitation that ultimately won’t pass for anything but a knock-off.
With his new EP Interstellar, LVX (aka Jerome) has made first foray into synthwave and achieved the former. Not only do the six tracks come together to produce a dynamic synthwave album—for anyone, let alone a beginner—but the conceptual influence on the album, from classic science fiction to Salvador Dali, adds a depth and awareness to the album that many artist don’t reach until later albums.
Recently, LVX was kind enough to speak with Rawckus about Interstellar, anticipation art, abd his love of David Lynch and Pink Floyd.
Rawckus: You've mentioned before that you've been making music since middle school. Have you always been into electro, or have your tastes evolved over time?
LVX: For nearly ten years I have been active on the rock/metal scene. I have always listened to a lot of music of different styles: classical, rock, metal, electro, bossa nova, jazz, hip-hop, vocals, etc. Now I have resumed listening to electro and been making synthwave for two years.
What got you involved in electro? Do you remember a specific moment or influence that got you started on your current path?
LVX: I was little, my father used to listen to listen to Jean-Michel Jarre. Then I discovered Pink Floyd’s electronic approach. In the middle of the ‘90s some friends of mine listened to Daft Punk’s Homework continuously. Now I really enjoy artists like Justice, Sebastian, The Prodigy. Nothing original here, but I would say that it is [French house artist] Kavinsky’s precise ‘80s sound that made me take a close interest to synthwave.
Your work has a cinematic quality to it. You've mentioned that Stanley Kubrick and David Lynch are big influences. Is film in general a big inspiration for you?
What is interesting in electro music is that the possibilities to shape the sound aesthetics are as important as the composing itself. That contributes to giving a color and a vibe to the music.
LVX: Vibe and atmosphere from David Lynch’s or Stanley Kubrick’s movies is very special. I love anticipation sci-fi and experimental films. In their films they have an approach that incites you to have a personal interpretation. That is what happens when you listen to music and this is the imaginary that inspires me. I often have images or scenes in my head when I compose my music, but other types of music, whatever the style, inspire me too.
What was working on your EP like? Can you tell us a little bit about that creation process?
LVX: I am mostly attracted to experimental or anticipation art, and it is a part of my creation process. Painters like Dali, writers like Asimov, filmmakers like Kubrick, and composers like Vivaldi are all sources of inspiration. What is interesting in electro music is that the possibilities to shape the sound aesthetics are as important as the composing itself. That contributes to giving a color and a vibe to the music.
What was the concept behind Interstellar?
LVX: I have been making synthwave for two years now, but I decided at the end of last year to compose a six-track EP in six months. I recorded and mixed it at home. Being very attracted by sci-fi and space conquest, I naturally chose this theme for my EP. Xavier Coste, who shares this interest with me, has drawn the record cover, and it completely reflects my universe. The mastering was made by François Bonnet at the studio La Reserve in Paris. It was a challenge, with lots of steps. It took time, energy and feeling.
If you could pick your favorite generation for music, but it can't be our current generation, what would it be?
LVX: Surely the ‘70s, with the emergence of bands like Pink Floyd, who explored new musical vistas, especially thanks to the use of electronic music. To me, Dark Side of the Moon is one of the best albums of all time.
Do you have any live performances coming up after your EP release?
LVX: I don’t have any live performances scheduled; that is not my first goal. I used to do concerts for almost 10 years while playing in a metal band. Being on a stage is very rewarding but in synthwave or electro in general, the approach of live performance is different. My aim is not to do a series of dates, but if there were opportunities, I would think about it.
Now that you've finished your EP, what's next for you?
LVX: I have been in contact for a few months with synthwave artists that I really like. I do have a collective project, but it is too soon to talk about it now. However, I am thinking about featuring with some of them. With the experience of this first EP, I have a few ideas for my next EP. I had a lot of positive feedback on social networks, some people are following and supporting me; it is really nice. I hope they like this EP and the mixture of different styles.