Damnit ! I’ve been walking around those dark streets for half an hour now… I really thought I was in for a beating a dozen times. Look at those guys : I’m pretty sure they want to steal my stuff !
The Drone Cab was right : I shouldn’t have put those shiny white sneakers. Everybody’s watching them… Too flashy.
Why did I came here already ?! This place sucks !
But I’m on a mission : I must get an interview with Irving Force, the famous Vigilante, let’s not screw up… Ha ! Here it is ! The bar were I’ll meet him ! Well, let’s go…
Hello Mister Force!
Notice I call you Mister, because I don’t want to get punched in the face. I come in peace and I just want to talk a little about your album GODMODE! You can’t imagine how pleased we are to meet you… And how we couldn’t wait for the new album. We know hunting down gangers is a pretty time consuming activity… but before anything else, we wanted to ask : how do you feel ? Are you not exhausted ?
Good call on calling me Mr Force. You never know how these things are gonna go. I love the decor in here by the way, the zebra couch really ties the room together.
I feel pretty good! You just gotta power through.
How did you came up with Irving Force’s persona ? I mean, what are its roots ? Some seems pretty obvious like John Carpenter’s Snake Plissken (Escape From New-York) and RoboCop, but I’m pretty sure there’s more to it. Any video-game by chance ? Street of Rage ? Or the old Roleplaying Game Cyberpunk 2020 ?
You know I haven’t thought it out that much honestly but Snake Plissken and Robocop is dead on, yeah.
Also just riffs on anti-hero clichés and tropes in general. They are the best because the bad guys are always the coolest but the hero gets all the glory, like there’s room for heroism but you still get away with being a piece of shit. A lot of this is just based on what I thought was cool when I was just a little boy who wanted to be a big boy. Now I am a big boy but I still have little boy sensibilities. It’s all just an excuse for me to play dress-up.
On video games, I thought Duke Nukem was so cool when I was a kid, that is probably an influence too!
There is ONE thing, one “Je ne sais quoi” as we say in French, that makes your music totally unique for me. It is really hard to define but one can’t miss it. Everything you do sound so Heroic, so over the top, so bad ass for a lack of better word. Is there a clear intent of doing so when you compose, or is it just the way you are and you didn’t really pay attention to it ?
There definitely is a conscious intent sound wise, but it mostly comes natural as well.
I think a lot of it is from writing metal songs, maybe not the heroic part as much as the over the top and abrasive parts. I would say I have a harder time writing stuff that isn’t like that actually, this whole project was originally supposed to be an opportunity for me to do something opposite to the metal stuff but I ended up slipping back.
I do like how there is room for many different sounds and emotions, a lot of which I couldn’t necessarily do in my metal projects.
Godmode’s first single “Violence Suppressor” sounds like a one track best-of. If somebody ask me how does Irving Force sound one day, I’ll just send this track as it displays everything your music is about. Still there is something new in it : vocals ! And you sound amazing ! Do you intend on singing more in the future ?
Thank you! I may put more vocals on songs in the future, but I am very out of practice when it comes to writing lyrics right now and I get real impatient unless I get into a flow state and they just sort of write themselves.
Another tricky thing, with screaming vocals especially, is recording it when your studio is in your apartment. Now I haven’t had any noise complaints or anything but I would imagine that stuff kind of bothers the neighbours. I mean even if it doesn’t it is kind of a distraction for me because I just keep thinking that any second now someone’s gonna knock on my door and tell me to shut up. I have to lay low with this landlord I have right now.
Is Godmode a concept album ? Or at least does it tell one of your own adventure ?
It is yes, it chronologically follows a plot line I have in my head.
At some point I will get the the story out in one form or another, just gotta figure out how. The 2015 Violence Suppressor video I made was an attempt at setting up the tone and present the world to some degree but I have things thought out and written down in more detail. Again, just looking for a viable format to present it!
Godmode released on Jet Set Trash. Did you feel the need for a label this time ? And how did you meet JST ?
Zak who runs JST is also my booking agent, he had been doing a great job with that so I was happy to release the album through his label!
I’ve noticed on the album page that our good friend Absolute Valentine gave you a hand for the mix. How did you two meet ? Was he a valuable sidekick ?
Absolute Valentine is a great dude. I don’t quite remember how we got introduced, maybe it was from when I was working on the The Summoner, with the amazing and fabulous James Secker, which Absolute Valentine was on the soundtrack for.
I talk to him every now and then and I know he does some mastering work so when it came time to master the album I hit him up. He did a great job with it!
What has been on your Synth Radar lately ? Is there any new album or song that you really like ?
I’ve got my eye on that new Shyguys album! Their song Journey has been a favorite of mine for a long time and the songs in the previews sound amazing.
How is the Synthwave scene in Sweden ? There are so many major swedish artists (Mitch Murder, Waveshaper, Robert Parker, Neon Nox, you…) yet we rarely get any info from Swedish shows here in France. Did I miss something ?
There aren’t a lot of Synthwave shows here in Stockholm where I live but VHS Vision is a pretty prevalent one and they do put together shows every other month or so.
There are usually a few Nintendo Entertainment Systems set up for people to play, CRTs and all. Myself and many other swedish artists have played their shows and I’ve caught a few international acts as well!
By the way, are there any plan for a French show ? Seeing you live is definitely on my “Things To Do Before I Die” list.
We don’t have anything planned but it is something that has come up, so hopefully soon!
And you better keep calling me Mister Force or it might be one your “things to do WHILE you die” list.
I’ve couldn’t help but follow some of your gaming adventures on TWITCH. Is it a way to keep contact with your fans ? Or do you just like participative gaming ?
Well my original plan was to mainly stream music production and some games every now and then but for a while there I ended up playing A LOT of games. Especially My Summer Car, that game got the best of me. I have been playing a lot of older FMV games as well, like Harvester and the Phantasmagoria games, I don’t know that I would’ve put in the time to play most of them if it wasn’t for the stream.
I get anxious when I feel I’m not being productive, and streaming games kind of fools my brain into thinking that I am, haha.
But again, the live stream is more intended to be for music production and I want to try to get back to that as soon as I can and some of my latest streams have been just that. It’s tricky sometimes though if I’m working on something I can’t stream or if I’m doing stuff that is just related to music.
Is there any video game soundtrack that really blew your mind and stood out for you ?
Like almost everyone else I loved the DOOM 2016 soundtrack. I am not really that much of a fan of either Djent or wobberly step but I think it was put together in a very tasteful and gameplay enhancing way.
I always loved the Quake 2 soundtrack and they were very similar in theme. Can’t wait to hear the music for DOOM Eternal!
One last question before we let you go back to crime fighting, how is Snork doing ? And do you go to the same hairdresser ?
Snork is great, she turned 5 last month, I put a lot of effort into making her a little fruit sallad as a birthday treat and gave it to her on the stream but she wasn’t having it at all. And yes I do get a rabbit discount and my local Mullet & Mane Barber.
Thanks a lot Irving Force, for the interview AND for keeping us safe!
Don’t mention it.