Thanks to our partners over at Neon Nights we’ve got a special Synthwave Sunday interview for you today. They’re one of the hottest commodities on the market right now and they’ve got new music for you to enjoy. Arcade is available right now in digital and limited cassette formats thanks to TimeSlave Recordings, but if you wanted the vinyl, you’re out of luck. It sold out in minutes!
So, what exactly makes Iversen such a big deal? Perhaps it’s the real chance that they’ve got a working time machine and they’re pop wonders from the mid-1980’s here to dominate the current synth market? Or maybe it’s the soaring vocals that stand up with the best of the best in the field? It might even be spot on production that reveals new sounds to explore each time you listen (and I assure you that Arcade is going to be on repeat once you get your hands on it). Whatever magic it is they’ve conjured up, Iversen aren’t playing by the rules and I absolutely love it!
Once again, a big thanks to Neon Nights for connecting us with this super-duo! You can snag your copy of the amazing Arcade EP from Iversen right now over at the TimeSlave Recordings Bandcamp page, and as of this writing there are a few cassettes left (you get an extra track on the cassette not available in digital format)! Alright, now onto the interview!
Thanks for talking to us! For new listeners, what can you tell us about Iversen?
Josh: Iversen is a collaboration between me (Josh Iverson) and Jonny Royall. We are a 2 man outfit from London, UK. I’m the vocalist, songwriter and producer. We’re a couple of 90’s babies trying to make 80’s music, we’re are fairly new to the scene, having only started back in February. Before that I was producing Indie Rock and Funk and Jonny was/still is making Trance
Jonny: Josh’s music was given to me while I was working at a community centre as a studio technician/producer, and I immediately took a shining to it. I sent him a first draft of Metline Blues and we’ve never looked back!
My introduction to your music was on the Fear the Future compilation. How did you end up being included?
Josh: About a month after the first single was released, Vince from TimeSlave got in contact with me wanting to know if I was interested in featuring on one of their compilations, I was keen to get involved and it kinda just went from there.
Your new Arcade EP hit September 1st! How do you feel about it?
Josh: The EP is already out and available on our band camp, however the physical copies made by TimeSlave are being released on the 1st. Regardless I am delighted about the release! This is the first EP I was able to put together with a consistent sound. I feel like I’ve finally found my sound as an artist. I’m very proud of it and I hope our listeners and fans enjoy it.
The vinyl sold out over at TimeSlave Recordings during pre-sales. Did you ever think you’d have a sold out vinyl?
Josh: I know I have mentioned them a couple times before but I have to again. If it wasn’t for TimeSlave Recordings we wouldn’t have had the vinyl release, those guys are absolutely awesome and I really appreciate their support and investment in us and the EP. The fact they sold out and in 30 minutes no less blew my mind! I didn’t realise we had fans haha. But I have to say thank you to the fans for buying it and I can’t wait to get my hands on my own copy, I love vinyl and I’ve always wanted to see my name on wax, I know Jonny feels the same.
Jonny: I was in the pub when Josh texted me telling they sold out in under 30 minutes… It’s safe to say I enjoyed the rest of my drinks that evening!
What is your writing process like?
Josh: I’ll usually get up and out of bed, shower and then go into my studio for the day with brief stops for eating and a couple of beers later on in the day. Writing music to me is an outlet, its therapy and is the mood and theme of the songs I write tend to mimic what I was feeling that day whether I was in good spirits or bad. To be honest, in all intents and purposes this EP was a breakup record, half the songs on this album are about a dysfunctional relationship and it’s demise. So the writing process of this EP was very cathartic from me, though challenging at times but it led to myself achieving closure, I don’t wanna get too soppy or or sad here but speaking honestly that was the process. The music and hooks always come first, then if the track needs vocals lyrics come later.
Jonny: So far Josh hands me the bangers, and I apply additional production and give it a mixdown. We’re yet to sit down and write a track together…
What is your recording setup?
Josh: I record most of my music on my laptop in Logic X, I learn on 9 but Logic X is my DAW of choice at the moment. My set up, I’ll show you a picture, is pretty basic. Just my laptop plugged into an audio interface and also onto a computer monitor, some Yamaha HS5 speakers and M-Audio key station. I use a mix of logic preset VSTs, Aturia and Korg Legacy Pack VSTs. I have AKG C214 for vocals and my Fender Strat, plus my friend’s Ibanez shredder. When I’m mixing, not that I do much mixing, that’s more Jonny’s bag. I’ll bounce down the mix and go out to a car or go to a different set of speakers and have a little listen, give my ears a break and then go back to work.
You’ve got a truly unique sound. What is the inspiration behind what you do?
Josh: I said before that we were new to the genre however I’ve always respected and enjoyed the outrun scene from afar. Drive is my all time favourite film and I love 80s movies particularly for the soundtracks. And then when Stranger Things came out and it brought a new popularity for the Era and time I thought lets make this music. My influences are all over the place, in my early teens I was all about Fall Out Boy and Panic! at the Disco. Then I graduated to John Mayer and Dave Matthews Band. As I grew older I was drawn more to indie rock and garage rock so all I’d listen to would be Jack White, The White Stripes, The Black Keys, Kings of Leon, and the Arctic Monkeys. Then when I left my bands in senior school and started writing solo I was exposed to Bon Iver! And he has become my all time favourite artist, he showed me that a man can use his falsetto and still be cool.
When I went to uni, living in a big city, I was exposed to so much more: rap and hip hop, funk and soul, reggae and dancehall! Of course these aren’t genres that you can clearly hear in the EP or our music but I still think it’s important as far as musical education! So when you blend all those different bands and artists together, I guess it could make a fairly unique sound haha…
What do you have in store for the rest of 2017?
Josh: rehearsals, gigs and hopefully we’re going to start writing some more music!
Jonny: We’re looking to get our hands dirty with a shedload of gigs and shows… Stay tuned on social media for gig announcements!
Favorite album you’ve heard this year?
Josh: Bon Iver – 22 Million
Jonny: Mr Jukes – God First
Anyone you’d like to thank or shout out before we go?
Josh: I’d Like to give a massive thank you to Linden Nieto, this guy is a genius with a camera and he directed, shot and edited both our music videos and he’s amazingly talented! You can find his portfolio at https://www.lindennieto.com/. I’d like to thank his girlfriend too! Mridha for starring in the music video with me. Everyone at uni, Friends and family who supported and are still supporting me and us! And of course everyone he’s bought a copy of our EP, or the singles! Hope you keep enjoying our music.
Jonny: Krissy Simms! If it wasn’t for you, Josh and I wouldn’t have come together to make these 80’s jams…so thank you!