The streets are a gritty and dangerous place to be at night. Machete wielding soldiers roam the streets and evil lurks at every dark corner. In this world of chaos, there are no heroes. Survival on these desolate streets solely depend on making sure your reflexes are as sharp as the blade you wield.
A single cyborg ninja glares out from the shadows. Laser light glowing red eyes and the slight glimmer of a blood soaked shuriken are the last thing you see before you feel the blood red slashes as they tear your limbs to shreds.
These are the images that comes to my mind when listening to Shredder 1984’s music. It’s hard, it’s dark, it’s merciless. It‘s great! Shredder 1984 embodies Dark Synth in every essence of the word. With his newest EP Dystopian Future, Shredder 1984 tears through those 5 tracks and leaves no one standing.
When Shredder 1984 isn’t slicing tracks to pieces and has a few minutes to take off the hood, It turns out Steven, is a really nice guy. I had the pleasure of meeting him at Human 2 in Newark to talk a little bit about his music and inspirations.
ER: Your performance was great. So much fun and energy. Thanks for letting me ask you a few questions.
How long have you been making music?
SH: I’m playing music for more than 10 years. I started mostly with metal bands before creating Shredder 1984.
ER: What are some the things growing up that influenced your music the most?
SH: Clearly old school video games musics, 80s sci-fi movies and 90s mangas. The Cyberpunk genre is one of my main influences and I try to put this vibe in my music and visuals.
ER: From what I hear you’re from France? When did you come over to the states? Being French American, do you notice any difference between the French and American music and audiences when it comes to Synthwave?
SH: Yes thankfully having the dual citizenship allows me to play in the U.S. without needing a working visa, so I came few month ago for this tour and at the same time stay at different locations all across the country.
It feels to me like that the synthwave audience in the US is very enthusiastic. Like for example in this Turbo Drive (San Francisco) show where the crowd was dressed as Ninjas and they served Cowabunga cocktails at the bar. I’m gonna go back in France this winter so I’ll be able to compare better!
ER: What is it about Synthwave that really drew you in artistically? What are some of the aspects of the genre that you find most interesting?
SH: Well, coming from the technical metal scene, where there are a lot of rules and sometimes the skills are considered more important than the music itself, the synthwave scene is a lot of fun for me because it’s kind of the opposite! I mean, there are not that much rules and there’s a lot of space for experimentation, even if I tend to complicate my live set by adding guitar, vocals, neon pentagram and a video show on top of the synthesizers, so in the end there is a lot of gear like what I was used to in metal, and it’s funny to see other acts traveling super light with almost nothing except a laptop on stage who don’t seem to have any problem with that. I should probably take example on them haha.
… coming from the technical metal scene, where there are a lot of rules and sometimes the skills are considered more important than the music itself, the synthwave scene is a lot of fun for me because it’s kind of the opposite! I mean, there are not that much rules and there’s a lot of space for experimentation…
ER: As a Cyberpunk fan myself, I really enjoy the imagery you create with your music. I especially like the Cyberpunk Samurai art on your Dystopian Future album cover. Who does your artwork?
SH: I work as a team with my partner, usually I have the idea in mind and as she’s a tattoo artist she draws it. We did all the artworks together and the tour posters also.
About the video show that I play live, I edited it myself.
ER: I noticed some of your earlier works contained a lot of gaming covers. It seems like you are an old school gamer at heart. I am an avid gamer myself so many of the tracks sounded like they could be placed right into a soundtrack, in fact I know you even did a few game covers in your previous works. Can you tell me a little about some of the games that inspire you? Have you ever considered doing a soundtrack for a game?
SH: I would love to do a music for a videogame! That’s clearly one of my next goals. I’d say Final Fantasy 7 and 8 musics (written by Nobuo Uematsu) are one of my biggest influences, as long as the Metal Gear Solid soundtrack.
ER: When I saw you performing live at Human 2 I noticed you were singing vocals to one of our tracks. Are vocals something your looking to bring to your future albums or is that something you will just be doing at your live shows?
SH: For now, I’m gonna keep that and the guitar part for the live performance only.
ER: Anything coming up on the horizon you would like to share with us?
SH: I’m currently working on the next album. Also, there are new live videos coming up on Youtube and probably some shows in Europe next winter.
For more information on Shredder 1984 you can check out the following links: