After getting lost in the emptiness of our e-mail spam folder for nearly a week, we’ve finally extracted and posted the interview with James Kent a.k.a. Perturbator. Expect a lot of talking about 80's trashy movies, retro sci-fi references, possessed synthesizers and some cyber-jargon here and there. If you want to get in touch with James, go and check out his Facebook page, Bandcamp, the other Bandcamp page and Soundcloud profile.
1. Welcome James Kent to TZEEEAC ONLINE HQ! Are you ready to initiate interview procedure v1.0? If so, please type in your login credentials and offer us an equally futuristic cybergreeting!
- WEYLAND-YUTANI COMPANY
» PERT-URB-ATOR 6000
INTERFACE 2037 READY FOR INQUIRY
Hi dudes! Sorry, I was just reconfiguring myself for this interview here. It should be working anytime now...
2. Chester recently took it upon himself to redesign Tzeeeac in a modern noir fashion, a happening probably derived from his subconscious love for Perturbator, so he could better integrate any
future reviews of yours. He may deny it, but I know it’s true; a unicorn told me so one night when I was shoe-gazing. With that in mind, what comments does this interesting little fact generate from
That's funny because last time I was jerking around that ancient web interface called "Twitter", and saw that someone made a nail-art supposedly inspired by my music.
I thought it was awesome really, I mean being a source of inspiration for all sorts of stuff is like the best thing that can happen to any musician out there.
3. One of our favorite releases of yours is the Nocturne City EP. The gentle introduction, combined with the immediate sense of urgency this album exudes (like in the track Night Business) has placed it high on our favorite list, despite its short nature. I think this restricted format (as runtime goes) suits the music best. What are your thoughts regarding this idea?
Well, whenever I make an EP I tend to do it around a concept. Nocturne City was my first attempt at doing "futuristic" sounds. I watched Blade Runner for like twenty times so the soundtrack got caught up in my mind forever and I thought "I should make my own type of "blade runner-esque" soundtrack, but more aggressive". Then I came up with Nocturne City which was at first a concept EP but I incorporated what I learned from this experience in the overall "Perturbator" sound.
But yeah, the way I see it, my full length albums are like a saga, and the EPs are kinda like short movies or spin-offs.
4. As sci-fi fans, we were naturally attracted to your music. We sincerely feel Dark City could have used some of your songs on its soundtrack. So, if you were to be an egotistical maniac, which movies would you re-release having Perturbator as the main musical driving force?
Good question ahah ! I just can't pick up the obvious ones ’cause those are the ones that inspired me and I would be ashamed to say that I could've done a better job than Vangelis or Jerry Goldsmith. I'd say some "crappy" movies that just needed a cool soundtrack to be known, like Galaxy Of Terror (1981) or Nightbeast (1982). Check them out by the way, they're enjoyably bad.
5. Besides metal outfits, I rarely listen to music that has female vocals stapled on it, yet tracks like Naked Tongues are so damn sexy that they make me want to listen to a whole album filled with such songs. Is there any chance of a release like this in the future? (Jonathan)
Mind reading bastard ahah ! I was planning to do a full vocal album since a long time but it's a huge project and talented vocalists like Isabella Goloversic or Le Cassette are quite hard to find these days unfortunately. I guess it will eventually happen in the not-so-distant future.
6. Hotline: Miami was pretty much the best game of 2012. The retro, neon-soaked graphics, the great 80s atmosphere, the huge amounts of pixelated gore and severed limbs, the challenging yet rewarding gameplay and the superb soundtrack all contributed to its success. Obviously, Perturbator is featured on said soundtrack. How did the collaboration with Dennaton come about? Were you excited about taking part in this project? And have you played the game?
It all happened naturally. Cactus directly asked to me about Hotline Miami. He wanted to know about Lueur verte, one of my best friends and the guy who makes my artworks, and if they could use one of my tracks for the game. I answered that I would be glad to do it. He then shared the game to me, which was a demo at the time, and I made two more tracks exclusively for them because I thought it was awesome. That’s as simple as you can get. But I think none of us had any idea of how big the game would be for the public so this was quite the good surprise.
And yes, I have played the game and finished it, and for the little fun fact, they also included me in-game as the dude who's DJ-ing in the nightclub chapter ahah.
7. This question comes from TZEEEAC readers Radu and Daniel: what are some of your favorite movies and cartoons from the 80s? Is this where you draw your inspiration from?
Hi Radu and Daniel ! Well for the movies I guess it's pretty obvious: I love sci-fi and trashy retro flicks, this is where I get most of my inspiration from. Blade Runner, Fright Night, all the slasher classics, animes like Akira or Wicked City. It's just the stuff I grew up with.
Even some more obscure flicks like The Toxic Avengers series or Brain Damage which I love to watch now and then and I don't mind if the effects looks shitty by today standards: the more crappy they are, the more fun I have watching them. The quality of the movie doesn't even matter, it's the aesthetics of the movies from the 80s that I love the most. Those neon colours, the backgrounds... It's an ambience that can't be reproduced nowadays. So it's always a great inspirational experience to watch or re-watch those kind of movies. And that’s what my music is all about: experiencing once again something that was forgotten a long time ago.
And, even if I was always more of a "movie" kid than a "cartoon" kid: Oh man, Inhumanoids dude ! Best 80s cartoon ever, so underrated too. it's just all the good stuff grouped in a badass retro show.
8. Mandatory equipment and gear question: what kind of software and hardware do you use to create your electronic soundscapes? Is it expensive? Can we touch it? How about play around with it?
That's kind of a secret. But it's not very expensive, and you can you can touch it of course if you're not afraid of being possessed by the Devil ahah. But really most of it is just software. I still do have a couple of synths at home but most of the time there's a lot of VSTs involved in each Perturbator track.
9. One last question, if you will pardon our ignorance: does Perturbator ever perform live?
Not yet ! But he will soon. I'll work on live sets as soon as I get some time away from producing.
10. Thank you for talking with us, James Kent! It's been a real pleasure. This session will terminate in 10 seconds. You may use this time to say whatever you want. Careful! The replicants are watching…
You're welcome dudes, pleasure is mine. And don't worry, replicants are quite friendly if you nicely get along with them. Now, time to die.