Interview with Anders Lundqvist
Hello and welcome to Space Sound Records. We would like to shed some light on the individuals who make the music we all love. What better way than hearing it from the artists themselves.
Anders, Welcome to Spacesound!
1. Can you tell us a little about yourself and what do you do?
My formal education is a bachelors degree in computer science and I work for a government authority in Sweden. My job mostly involves prioritizing what new or improved functionality should be implemented into our computer system.
2. How did you get involved in music and do you have a music background?
I played the recorder and piano during my first years of school but I was never really fond of rehearsing pieces and playing by notes. I just wanted to play my own melodies. I also sang for several years in a boys choir.
How I got involved in music? Just like anyone else I guess. Starting off by listening to music I liked and when instruments like the piano and early keyboards where available I started tinkering with those, playing basic melodies.
3. Besides spacesynth what other hobbies do you have?
I like movies, computer games, sports like tennis or floorball and running in the summer, hanging out with friends.
4. What other music interests you?
It’s very varied and the common factor is harmony or melody most of the time. A strong theme can carry over any type of music, even if it’s metal or classical music. I’ve always had a soft spot for synthesizer based music, as I’m sure you can imagine, but lately I’ve been listening to modern orchestral music like movie scores. There is something special about the musical timbre in instruments like the cello and French horn that I really like, especially in big arrangements. Sometimes I turn to the early records of Motley Crue and W.A.S.P. that I grew up with and still enjoy them a lot, so my taste is quite diverse.
5. Do you compose any other music besides spacesynth, if yes, what might that be?
I compose very little music at all these days. I’m going to experiment some with other types of music than spacesynth in the future though.
6. How did you find spacesynth or when did you first come in contact with this genre of music?
I first heard Laserdance on Max Mix 5 and really like the sound of Power Run. I was lucky because there was a music store in my home town that had this type of music in stock, which wasn’t usual at the time. There I later picked up the first LD album Future Generation and was totally hooked on the synthesizer sound and the wonderful melodies.
7. What draws you to spacesynth and why do you like this music.
These days spacesynth doesn’t have me hooked in the same way as back then, but what got to me was the new style of synthesizer music (having listened to depeche mode for instance or Jarre) and how it was possible to make meaningful music without the aid of a singer but instead replacing that singer with powerful and catchy melodies.
8. Is there anything that you dislike about this genre?
Not the attributes of the genre itself but rather certain music within it, which is of course the case with any genre.
9. Are there any group or artist(s) that have influenced you?
Obviously the early works of Michiel, Rob but also Koto, Syntech and Cyber people. To this day I still think the early works of these artists are the crowning achievements of the genre.
Ever since I came in contact with Gustaf Grefberg he has made an impact on me and my way of making music. He has the ability to consistently write music of high quality and with great variation with his own blending of musical styles.
10. I guess this question follows on from the next but do you have a favorite artist and why?
I would say Michiel/Rob and Gustaf.
11. Do you have a favorite spacesynth album and why?
Future Generation. As for most people the choice reflects that it was the first experience I had with spacesynth.
12. Would you be interested in working in a duet or with other artists if yes who would that be?
I’m not really that interested in collaborations, but I would definitely like to meet with several artists mentioned above.
13. Do you like Italo Disco?
To some extent. Many times italo songs are ruined by bad singing and trivial lyrics.
14. A few Spacesynth artists have come from the Demo scene, were you ever part of that, if yes what was your artistic name and do you think there is any advantage to Demo artists?
Yes I was, but never in the really established demo scene crowd. No I don’t see any special advantage from that.
15. Let's move to composing. How do you start with a new track? Do you, start by trying to compose a new melody or do you play around with chords and then try and fit a melody into that or is there perhaps another way?
I usually start to make a song when I have a few melodies that fit together and bass keys that fit with those melodies.
16. Recently there has been some debate about the importance of melody in spacesynth. Do you have any opinion or thoughts on this?
Just listen to the early works like Future Generation and its defining characteristics. To me that it’s the core of spacesynth, including melodies and the synthetic sounds. If you remove that completely it’s in my opinion not spacesynth anymore. I think it’s absolutely possible to deviate from that concept, like for instance Gustaf does with his blend of orchestral bombastic spacesynth., but you can’t make a trancy tune with minimal melodies with emphasis on drums and pretend it is spacesynth. At least you can’t convince me hehe.
17. Spacesynth currently has many different styles for example Protonic Storm is very futuristic and pushing boundaries on the other hand Marco Rochowski epitomizes the Golden era with his classical interpretation. Where do you think you fit?
I would say somewhere in between whilst leaning more towards the classic style.
18. This question is a sort of follow on. Where do you think the genre is heading? Some people have said that we should move on from the LD influence and embrace influences from other genres i.e. different drums, bass and not have to rely on melody. Others have argued that the melody is the essence of spacesynth and overhauling it would kill the uniqueness of the style and thus create just another electronic sub genre. Any thoughts?
I’d repeat what I said above and say that I am all for influences from other genres, but when it comes to melodies I will never stop thinking that it should play a significant role. Of course there are exceptions to certain tracks, but in general this is how I feel.
19. Any thoughts on how we could improve the genre (musically and gaining more mass appeal)?
There is no easy three step plan to improve the genre musically. In a way I think my previous answers can give you some hints on what I think brings quality to the genre. As for mass appeal I don’t think that is something to strive for simply because that would take so much transformation of the music that it wouldn’t be spacesynth anymore. It’s probably easier to take elements of spacesynth and incorporate that into other popular genres than it is to make spacesynth appeal to the masses.
One comment I often got back when I was more active was “this sounds good but you should add vocals”. If that was done, which I am sure would attract more listeners, would also transform it into Italo disco (at least according to some people).
20. What sort of gear do you use?
- PC with M-audio 1814 firewire external soundcard
- Yamaha MO6
- Korg Triton Extreme
- Novation Nova
- Roland Juno 106
- Roland MKS-50
- Cubase SE
- Korg Wavestation
- Korg M1
- Synth 1
- EWQL Storm drum
- EWQL Symphonic Orchestra gold xp pro
- EWQL Ministry of Rock
- EWQL Symphonic Choirs
- Sonic Synth
- Sampletank 2 XL
21. At times debate has centered on Software synths vs. hardware, do you have a preference if yes why?
That depends on the situation. For inspiration it’s easier to sit down in front of a synth, look up a good sound and just play. When producing and arranging a song I really prefer software because it’s easier to work with.
22. What’s your favorite TV show?
There are several that I really enjoy like Scrubs, Dexter, Heroes, Battlestar Galactica and Sopranos.
23. Anything you would like to say to the fans of the Spacesynth Genre?
When in doubt, apply flanger.
Now for something light hearted. Just give the answer to one you prefer or “Neither” if they aren’t applicable. (No explanations required!!)
1. Tea or Coffee? Coffee.
2. Market or Shopping Mall? Shopping mall.
3. Demo or Italo? Demo.
4. TV or Sport? TV.
5. Books or Cinema? Cinema.
6. Resort or Camping? Resort.
7. Summer or Winter? Summer.
8. Cat or Dog? Dog.
9. Beer, wine or Spirits? All!
10. Blonde or Bruette? Doesn’t matter.
11. Sweet or savoury? Savoury.
Once again thank you for allowing us your time in answering these questions, it is very much appreciated! We hope this gives the spacesynth community a little better insight into you as an artist.
Space Sound Team
Interview Conducted By Peter D.