I recently covered Xetrovoid’s EP, The Fugitive, here on Echosynthetic and I absolutely loved it. Well I’ve got good news! Xetrovoid is set to release Nowhere to Run March 17th and pre-orders are available at Bandcamp right now. I’ve had the opportunity to listen to the entire record and I’m blown away by the quality. I was already a Xetrovoid fan but he’s really outdone himself with this new work. I’m not going to give you a full review until the album comes out but I can tell you that it’s dark, it hits very hard, and Xetrovoid is set to have a very good year. If you pre-order you gain access to three tracks right now:
But wait, there’s more! I’ve got a full interview with Xetrovoid to celebrate the launch of the pre-sale of Nowhere to Run. We talk about the new album, what goes into recording, and the man behind Xetrovoid.
Echosynthetic: Who is the man behind Xetrovoid?
Xetrovoid: My name is Jose, I was born and raised in Costa Rica and I’ve been living in The Netherlands for already more than a decade. I got my conservatory music degrees on composition and classical guitar and I make video game music for a living!
Echosynthetic: You’ve got a new album on the way called Nowhere to Run. What can you tell us about it?
Xetrovoid: “Nowhere to Run” is my 6th release, it has 10 new tracks and I believe is has some of my best music so far! Last year I released an EPs around every 3-4 months and I wasn’t planning on releasing a full album this time, however as the tracks started to take shape I felt the need to make a full release. I had more ideas than before and more time to develop them so I went for it!
Echosynthetic: Your music has a very visual feel to it. Is there a story being told?
Xetrovoid: Yes, at least I have an overall story in mind when writing the music. This album picks up where my previous EP “The Fugitive” left. It’s the story of a fugitive cyborg who is looking for revenge from the people who “build” him and took away his life by killing his family.
For this release I wrote a paragraph that summarizes my idea:
“For far too long I’ve been hiding in the shadows, a fugitive cyborg trying to survive another day. Fragments of a memory is all what’s left from my previous life, a life they took away from me… Now, the time has come to meet my maker and end this journey once and for all. It’s payback time, get ready…there’s nowhere to run.”
I have considered to include vocals in some tracks in the future, but for now I like the idea of making a sort of soundtrack for an imagined film.
Echosynthetic: What is your writing process like?
Xetrovoid: I usually write several tracks at the same time and I jump from one to the other, they might even get mixed together in the end! Other than that I don’t have a very rigorous approach to composing. Some tracks are riff driven others start with a melody. If you’re lucky at some point the music will tell you where it wants to go, or at least that’s how it feels to me.
Echosynthetic: What do you use to record?
Xetrovoid: I’m on a PC with lots of plug-ins, all “inside the box”. Although I did write some parts of the music on my classical guitar.
Echosynthetic: Who does your amazing album artwork?
Xetrovoid: His name is Anthony Beyer, he’s a talented french artist and game developer with whom I got in touch while working together on a game called Interference (still in development). I really love his style and he has been so cool of letting me use his art in my releases. I hope to keep working with him for future releases. You can check out more of his art here: http://www.sinok426.com/
Echosynthetic: Where do you draw the most influence?
Xetrovoid: I’d say from thrash metal music and video games. I grew up listening to the classic thrash metal albums and I’m a huge fan up until today. From the video games world I think the influence is not intentional but it’s something that happens from working on the field. For this release I tried to add a couple of small prog elements like a few 5/4 bars or syncopation, I think I’d like to include more elements like that in future releases.
Echosynthetic: When and why did you decide to start creating synthwave?
Xetrovoid: It was around the time I started working with Anthony on the game Interference, the whole cyberpunk aesthetic really resonates with me and as soon as I started making music I realized it was something that I wanted to do more, outside the games’ world. Having lived through the 80’s made it quite natural to get into the genre as well.
Echosynthetic: What do you do when you aren’t creating music?
Xetrovoid: Actually now that I think about it I spend way too much time occupied with music related activities. If I’m not writing then I want to play my guitar or listen to more music…I like simple things like reading of watching films.
Echosynthetic: Most prized albums in your collection?
Xetrovoid: My thrash metal albums that I bought in the 80’s. Some of them are cassettes that got ruined and I can’t listen anymore but they have sentimental value, that music is what made me study guitar in the first place. Another one that has a special place is The Seville Concert by John Williams, that was my very first classical guitar CD and it also had a big impact in me.
Echosynthetic: Do you listen to any other artists?
Xetrovoid: In the synthwave genre I like the heavier side, like Perturbator, Carpenter Brut and Gost. However I also listen to a lot of music outside synthwave. I really like Steven Wilson’s music for example. There’s also lots of stuff I listen on regular basis, things like NIN, metal, game’s OSTs and I listen to lots of weird contemporary music.
Echosynthetic: Any more tricks up your sleeve for 2017?
Xetrovoid: Something that I’d like to do is make some arrangements from classical music stuff like Isao Tomita did, I hated it when I first heard it back in the day, but now I really enjoy it. Hopefully I’ll be able to make more Xetrovoid music this year as well!
I’d like to thank Xetrovoid for such a great interview! Be sure to head over to Bandcamp and get your pre-order in now. It’s available digitally and on CD!