Synthwave Sunday: A Conversation with Galaxy 80

Coming out at the end of 2017, Galaxy 80 couldn’t have capped off the year with an album better than Lazer Waves. The first pressing of the cassette release has already sold out and the vinyl edition starts shipping out in February (you can order one HERE). True to its description at Bandcamp, Lazer Waves brings adventure, romance, excitement, and fun times…and last but not least, staying committed to that retro sound!

Over the holidays we had the chance to talk to Galaxy 80 about 2017 and what his plans are for 2018. Join me for our first Synthwave Sunday interview of the year…I present to you, Galaxy 80!

Now that Lazer Waves has been released and has had time to sink in, how do you feel about the album?

I feel pretty good. I’ve been wanting to complete a whole album for over 5 years now so there is definitely a sense of accomplishment. I know I have lots of room to improve and grow. Lazer Waves was a really good learning experience for the next album project.  Workflow and being efficient plays a big part of my productions. Time in the studio is a huge sacrifice to my family so I have to make my time count!

What has surprised you the most about the reception it got?

Well as a new artist and relatively new to the Synthwave scene I was a bit nervous how people would respond. I knew Lazer Waves was a bit different than some of the more popular albums out but I thought if I really just had fun with the creation process while keeping all the production elements authentic 80s it could pay off. So far the reception as really exceeded my expectations! The Synthwave community seems to really like the album and It’s a sense of relief and gratitude.

Do you plan to jump right back into the studio or are you taking a post release breather?

I’ve been taking a much need breather and the timing seems good around the Holiday season…..however I started a new record today, lol.

Speaking of studios, what is your recording setup?

I’m really blessed, my wife (also a recording engineer) and I just built our home studio proper with floating ceiling and walls. I have 32 Analog i/o (UAD Apollos/Aurora Lynx), 8 Channels of Analog Dangerous Summing, D-Box, Hardware Pultec Tube EQs(2x), LA2A, 1176 Blue Stripe, SSL 4000 bus compressor, Pair 1073 pres, Distressor and a SPX90. Everything is wired up to a TT Patchbay so its extremely flexible. Hardware Synths consist of Deepmind12, Juno, Jupiter, JX-8P, JX-03, SE-02, Moog Sub 37, DX-7, D-50. I sequence w/ a NI Kontrol and Aurturia Beatstep Pro. We also built a Vocal Booth! …by the way I also work full-time in a professional recording studio which gives me opportunities to start “sketches” for new records when I have some downtime.

What got you into writing and recording your own music?

I’ve been working full-time as a recording engineer now for around 15 years. I’ve been really blessed to work around some incredible Artists and Producers like Timberland, Scott Storch and Ryan Tedder. Those guys really inspired me to produce however I just wish I was as talented as they are, lol, but I’ve always have just loved music and having access to be creative is really important to me.

What was your favorite record of 2017?

Wow, that’s really tough. Like I said earlier, I’m very new to the Synthwave scene so I listened for the first time to a lot of albums that came out years prior…BUT one that really just stuck out would be SelloRekt / LA Dreams “Into The Light”. I haven’t heard too much talk about that album but it’s really good. Nocturnal was absolutely fantastic, Morgan Willis Sophies, Night Raptor’s EP, James Jupiter Earthbound, Kid Neon’s…dude the list could go on and on.

Where do you see synthwave headed in 2018?

I think we are going to see more quality releases from artists big and small. I think there are lots of great artists that are in the midst of reaching a new level of quality AND I think we will see more physical content..Vinyl and Cassettes. That’s what I think really makes this particular culture so freaking cool.

Any New Year’s Resolutions?

Haha! Yes….To work hard to improve my craft as an artist and to finish album #2.

Worst movie of the 80’s that you love anyway?

Oh man…….Xanadu! That movie is so freaking rad and I really despise musicals.

Anyone you’d like to thank before we go?

I’m sure this will sound cheesy but it’s completely sincere: To the people in the Synthwave community that have supported my Galaxy 80 project..thanks so much!! A huge sincere Thank You goes out to the Synthwave artists that produce some amazing music that just inspires/drives me to produce something as wonderful as their work….and of course you James! Your work in the community is really crucial……thanks for all you do bud.


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