Their musical career started in 2013 after long time close friends Justin Pointer and Tony Kim decided to produce some music influenced by 70’s and 80’s Sci-Fi and horror films. On October 31, 2013 DANCE WITH THE DEAD released their debut album “Out of Body” inspired by their love of vintage synthesizer sounds, electronic dance music, and rock music influences. Out of Body proved to be a buzz worthy hit in the new retro synth wave scene. Dark Beauty Music got the chance to share the stage with them in San Francisco getting the inside scoop.
Interview Meikee Magnetic
Where were you both born?
JUSTIN: I was born and raised in Orange County, CA, which is about 30 miles south of Los Angeles.
TONY: I was born In South Korea and raised in Irvine, California.
Tell us about what it was like growing up there?
JUSTIN: I grew up in Irvine, CA. It wasn’t too bad growing up. Irvine is typical suburb of Orange County.There wasn’t a huge crime rate or anything.
TONY: Irvine was all right… (Ranked one of the safest cities in the U.S.) After high school, kids usually can’t wait to get out of there.
Describe your genre; give us a few words that best describe it:
JUSTIN: A few words I would describe the genre is Moody, Melodic, Haunting, and Intense. There is a lot of real genuine creative talent in the new synth genre. Some notable artists that I highly recommend in the synth scene are Grum, GosT, Protector 101, Perturbator, Lazerhawk, Power Glove, Carpenter Brut, Dan Terminus, OGRE, Ron Cannon, and Irving Force. Their records really take you away to another place.
TONY: I’d say, Electro with influences of Rock, Metal and Horror.
Do you see this genre growing more popular and what would you like your role to be when it blows up?
JUSTIN: I definitely see it getting bigger. It’s growing by the day for sure. It seems to be growing a lot more overseas in places like Europe, Russia, and South America faster than here in the United States.As far as our roles for the scene, well, I just really enjoy making music with one of my best friends and I’m not too concerned about trying to make an impact on any particular scene. We just want to make some good tunes that take people to another world.
TONY: It’s definitely growing fast. Like Justin said, we’re just best buds that love writing, producing and performing live so as long as we can continue doing that, we’re stoked.
It was great seeing your ‘Master Of Puppets Remix’ (originally done by my old buddies Metallica) LIVE at TURBO DRIVE July 3rd at San Francisco’s DNA Lounge. What drew you to do this particular song?
JUSTIN: Well, it all started when I was searching the Internet for original vocal stem recordings of popular songs to do some remixes. You’d be surprised at how many there are out there. I came across the Master of Puppets vocal stem and just started messing with it. Originally I just made the intro, and it was just going to be a 90 second track for fun to play live. I sent it to Tony and he suggested that we make an entire remix of the song and he started messing with it. I think we wrote that remix in a day or two. We don’t really take it too seriously; we just did it for fun. Master of Puppets is still one of my favorite Metallica songs. It’s not your typical remix I guess, it’s more of a new song with James Hetfield’s vocal track dropped on top.
TONY: When Justin sent me the session for the song, I heard an entire different song in my head and even though it’s a “Remix”, we wrote a different song based around the vocals.
Just have to say it was great opening up for you guys at Turbo Drive, did you have a good show? Tell us some highlights of the night:
JUSTIN: Thanks man! Playing at Turbo Drive was awesome and we had a great show! I absolutely love San Francisco, such a beautiful city. Some highlights for me would be the amazing supportive crowd that came out to the show. I met a lot of great people that night and made some friends. The staff at DNA lounge was all so nice and easy going. GosT is a really good friend of ours so we were stoked to hang with him for the day. Another highlight of mine would be the dude who stage dived… hope he’s ok, just saw him jump and get sucked into the crowd, haha.
TONY: I loved everything about it! All the artists that performed were awesome, made new friends, Venue was awesome and the crowd was the best! There was so much energy in that room.
I’m curious about your musicianship, what live instruments do you play?
JUSTIN: Well, we’re starting to mess around with live gear. Tony plays some guitar live, and we will be incorporating some live synth playing as well. We’re definitely trying to think of ways to be more creative live. I’m a big fan of stage show theatrics, so hopefully our live show will eventually be visually compelling (think like a Rob Zombie show).
TONY: There will definitely be more guitars and keyboards real soon.
As electronic music producers we all choose our audio weapons wisely. What audio programs are you using?
JUSTIN: I use Logic Pro 9 exclusively as my DAW. Most DAW’s do the same thing nowadays; it’s just a matter of learning how to get the most out of it. Some notable plug-ins I use is Omnisphere, Trillian, UVI, Native Instruments, Sound Toys, Waves, Izotope, and Predator.
TONY: I use Logic 9 as well and Logic X. As for DAWS, we both kind of have to use the same thing, haha.
What are the musical toys in your studio?
JUSTIN: Currently, I have a Roland Juno 60, Roland JX3P, a Moog Minitaur, DSI Prophet 12, and ESP guitars.
What’s in your Ipods?
JUSTIN: Oh man, the list would go on forever, but lately I’ve been listening to a lot of Fleetwood Mac, Misfits, Jeff Buckley, Queen, John Carpenter, Disasterpeace, Benny Benassi, Deadmau5, Ministry, Jimi Hendrix, Jimmy Eat World, Concrete Blonde, Soilwork, Young Jeezy, DJ Quik, and Muse.
TONY: Let’s see…I’ve been rocking a lot of, Chairlift, Danger Mouse, Deadmau5, Faith No More, Mastodon, Minor Threat, Phil Collins, Shiny Toy Guns and Dokken.
What impact would you like to make on the world?
JUSTIN: Making good tunes and surfacing a lot of underground music to show the world that there is more out there for their ears than typical “Top 40” pop on the radio.
TONY: If we can reach out to people that just love music in general, I think we’ve done well. Regardless of if you’re a metal head, raver or a top 40 type.
What are some major future plans you have coming up?
JUSTIN: Well, we’re working on our thirdfull-length album, which has no release date at this time, but hopefully in 2015. We’re playing our first shows overseas in St. Petersburg / Moscow, Russia in November and we’re super excited about that. Other than that, we just want to play more live shows and continue to write music.
What does Dark Beauty mean to you?
Stylistic seduction of the haunted soul! Honored to be interviewed by Dark Beauty!
DWTD‘s performance at your event fit very well with your night at DNA Lounge. I see this genre growing and only getting bigger, are you prepared for when this happens?
Absolutely. DNA Lounge is our home, and the venue has two entirely separate areas. If we get too big for the upstairs space, we’ll be the perfect size to do more events in the big room.
What future plans do you have for TurbodriveSF?
We hope to expand the range on the artists we bring in for this. So far most of the artists have been from the West coast, but lately we’ve been flying in a few from further east. On August 21st, we’re bring in Who Ha, originally from NYC, who recently relocated to Austin.
How can our readers find out more about TurbodriveSF?
Facebook is probably the best way. We’re pretty easy to find there > TURBODRIVESF FACEBOOK