Rising Star: Gregorio Franco talks to Echosynthetic

There’s a revolution coming in electronic music. A whole new wave of artists that are steeped in metal are finding their way into the community and finding that it suits them just fine. Atlanta’s own Gregorio Franco is one of those artists who is taking synthwave in new directions, and he’s going for the jugular. Echosynthetic had the opportunity to talk to him before his big show with GosT this week.

Echosynthetic: It’s your first live show tonight. What has been the biggest transition from your studio to getting set up for a live show?

Franco: Well, first of all it’s live. It’s something that I’m used to from playing in metal bands, but for this kind of music it’s completely different. The way I have my tracks pre-programmed, translating that to a live show can be daunting. I’ve added a separate synthesizer for embellishments to make it flow a little easier but I’m basically treating it like a live DJ set. It might be a little shaky the first time around but we’ll figure it out.

Echosynthetic: Your music hits like metal. What influences have helped you shape that sound?

Franco: It’s funny, because initially it was John Carpenter, Goblin, soundtrack stuff. I didn’t really see an inspiration for music until I saw the movie Drive. I saw Drive and at the same time started playing a game called Blood Dragon. Both of those soundtracks together formed this idea in my head, I could do this retro-futuristic thing and make it work. 

Echosynthetic: How long have you been playing music and what drove you toward synthwave?

Franco: Soundtracks mostly, especially the ones I mentioned. As far as playing music, I started playing music when I was eleven in orchestras and things like that. At 15 I was in punk bands and then moved on to metal. Now I’m here. 

Echosynthetic: What software do you use in the studio? 

Franco: FL Studio 10 Producer Edition with Kontakt5 plug-ins for orchestral sampling along with Serato for the DJ stuff. I also use a MiniNova Synth for embellishments. 

Echosynthetic: What are your plans for your music in 2017?

Franco: A lot more music. A lot more music. I’ve got three separate albums I’m working on right now. The last two I released at the same time and that might have been a mistake because neither got more noticed than the other, but that’s okay. I’m just trying to be prolific and make music, make people hear it, and that’s really what my goal is. I’d also like to play another live show or two. 

Echosynthetic: If you could only own three albums, what would they be? 

Franco: Aja, by Steely Dan. The soundtrack to Escape from New York. Left Hand Path by Entombed. 

Echosynthetic: Favorite guilty pleasure song?

Franco: I don’t know that it’s really a guilty pleasure but I’ve really been jamming to a lot of FM-84 lately. Running in the Night is like a retro futuristic sound meets Bryan Adam’s Summer of ’69, and I don’t want to like it but it’s so damn catchy. 

I want to thank Gregorio Franco for the opportunity to pick his brain ahead of the show. I can also safely say that his first live show was a good one and I hope to get the chance to see him again soon. Check out his Bandcamp for all of his music. He’s the real deal.

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