Interview: Lazerpunk

I had the opportunity to ask Lazerpunk a few questions recently, and the Hungarian retrowave artist had plenty to say!

Q: I have heard your musical style described as "80s synthwave with a touch of industrial." Tell me about your style in your own words, and about what music influences you as an artist.When I was a kid I wanted to be a rock star, like almost everyone in that era. We didn't really have internet at that time, so I mostly listened to what was going on the TV and the radio, and I dismissed electronic music as dumb and uninteresting. Apart from Kraftwerk and Jean Michel Jarre. If I remember right I've been listening to them since nursery school. Then later in my teenage years I got internet connection and the world of electronic music just sucked me in. Especially the ebm/industrial scene. I think the first band I found was Funker Vogt, then came the rest like Skinny Puppy, Front 242, Frontline Assembly, Hocico, Combichrist, Wumpscut, etc.. I spent the fair share of my youth at various industrial parties.

Q: What equipment and/or software do you use? also, what is the creative process like for you when you sit down to work on music?
People always get disappointed when I answer this question. At this point I use only software. I started with Dance eJay, a program I bought with a box of cereal. But I got bored of it quickly, and started making video games instead. I got back into making music only a few years ago. Now I use FL Studio. To be honest, I often try to copy the style of artists I like, or I try to completely copy a track of theirs. I start working on it, but at some point I'll just decide that it would sound better if I do this and that in a different way. So in the end all my tracks are unique.

Q: You live in Hungary. What is the retrowave scene like there? Are you afforded a lot of opportunities to display and expose your work?
A sad topic. Although Hungary (I mean the capitol, Budapest) has a lot of clubs and it is considered to be one of the best places in Europe if you want to party all the time, it seems to me that we are not so open musically. For example, the industrial/ebm scene is amazing in Germany. Here? It barely exists. And the same goes for many other genres. I'd kill for a good synthwave event in my city, but I figured that if I don't make it happen, nobody will. I think the problem is that everyone is waiting for others to act. Club owners are waiting for musicians to approach them, musicians are waiting for club owners. I think we have to get rid of this "you can't make it happen here" mindset and get off of our asses. Good things come to those who wait? Bullshit! Good things come to those who go out and take action. So my plan for 2015 is to break out from this  virtual reality, and make some retro noise in the offline world. Thankfully there are a few other synthwave artists in Hungary who I can count on, like Q U I X O T I C, Neon Droid and the 80s strange robots.

Q: Outside of strictly music, what aspects of 80s retro culture influence you or stick out in your mind?
Honestly I'm too young to have any memories from the 80s, but you have to understand, that Hungary (and Eastern Europe in general) is a different place. Here time goes slower. What was the 90s in the US was the 80s here. Sometimes I think about the 90s and realize that most of my memories of that era is from 2000-2005. It would be hard to pick just a few examples. The vast amount of cheesy action movies, weird sci-fis, laughable horrors I watched on overused VHS tapes. The video games I played on old analog TVs. And the optimistic, good vibes of the 90s in general all influenced my music in some way.

Q: Outside of synthwave/retrowave music, what kinds of music do you enjoy? What other genres?
I listen to a lot of genres. Mostly electronic, but sometimes I feel like I need to reset my brain and ears. Then for like a week I listen to black metal, indie, rock music, rockabilly, hardcore, whatever. Then I get back to electronic music, and to be honest I still feel like a discoverer. People who don't listen to electronic music often dismiss it as dumb techno, and they think all electronic music is David Guetta. Then I show them some witch house, vaporwave, dark ambient, power noise, chiptune, space synth, drone music and I just see the spark in their eyes. And little after that they tend to ask me to turn off that shit, haha. Okay it mostly happens with power noise only.

Q: In August, you released "Game Over," which is a very good album. What has been cooking since then, and what can we expect in the future? Anything in the works? If nothing else, at least give us a hint or a teaser.
Since Game Over I made a few tracks, and I also started working on an other project. Which is nowhere yet, but it is going to be some good stuff. Something more harsh, more dark, and more agressive. As for Lazerpunk! I have a lot of plans for the near future. One of them is original music videos. And I don't mean that I'll put together scenes from retro movies (although I absolutely love these videos, bless you neros77) but I will direct my own videos. I think this is something that would make the synthwave scene a lot better. I mean I would really, really love to see original music videos from people like Protector 101, Perturbator, Lazerhawk, Gost, etc. I think music is not just about music. The music itself is just a part of it. The style, the looks, the pictures, the videos, the concerts, these are all very important things and I think the retrowave scene is missing out on these in a lot of cases. There are amazing artists out there who have nothing but a soundcloud link with a few mp3s. And no offense, because they are still doing good, since their music is great. But imagine if they had music videos, did live shows, tours, etc. I'd love that.

Lazerpunk's Bandcamp Page

Bryan Eddy

Bryan Eddy (sometimes Ronnie Future) lives in the central region of North Carolina. He studied Criminology/Criminal Justice at a money mill tech college and is an avid reader/curator of true crime and serial killer non-fiction. He first discovered RetroWave music by being exposed to it around 2011, and jumped directly into the plasma pool. He has not surfaced since. Bryan is an avid fan of horror films from the 70s and 80s, as well as most of the music from that era. He also enjoys tabletop RPGs and occasionally writes material for those as well.