Paradise Walk has a real passion for anything 80’s not surprising where they came from. With their musical inspirations stemming from retro movie soundtracks from the worlds created by John Carpenter or the teen idols of the brat pack movies by John Hughes. Idols such as Tears For Fears, Tangerine Dream, Blade Runner Vangelis, The Cure and of course Prince. This pop cult 80’s passion is then infused with more contemporary Pop culture such as Sunglasses Kid, Phaserland, Mitch Murder, M83 and Kitten.
Interview Meikee Magnetic
Where were you born and where are you now?
We were both born in Cardiff, Wales and we live along a nice stretch of coastline in a little seaside town called Barry Island.
What is your musical genre?
I guess we fall into the synthwave/synth pop category. There are many sub genres we probably cross into but I think as general rule we just play what feels good and what we could picture being on the soundtrack to all of our favorite movies we grew up with.
How does it feel to be artists in the Synthwave scene?
We love it, we feel so grateful to be part of the Synth movement. One of the best things we’ve found in this scene is that everyone is willing to help each other out and there’s no egos. There’s so many awesome artists making fantastic music right now, being a part of that is great. Getting your name mentioned and compared to established bands is very humbling.
Let’s go back in time, how did you start working on your own original tracks?
That is going back quite a few years! We started in a band together when we were 17 and since then we have been in various other bands and played many different styles. We ended up as a two piece acoustic duo for a while and I think that’s where we began to hone our vocal combinations and styles. We started writing more with meaning from there and we really relied on our lyrics being the focal point of the music. A few years of that and we felt we wanted a bigger sound to carry those vocals further. We gradually started introducing more elements and instruments to our work and before we knew it we had a sound we truly loved.
Can you tell us who your inspirations are?
Echo and the Bunnymen / Talking Heads / Depeche Mode / David Bowie / Prince / The Cure / John Carpenter / Kate Bush / Tears for Fears / Peter Gabriel / Simple Minds / Mitch Murder / Sebastian Gampl / FM84 / M83 / Vangelis / Tangerine Dream, the list can go on, but you guys get the idea.
Instruments, Plugins, Programs > What are you using in the studio?
We’re lucky enough to have our own little studio called ‘The Lodge’ that we have built up over the years – so we have a great creative space to work in and it’s perfect for us. We use Logic Pro 9 as our go to DAW, and as for plugins we’ve picked up a few such as Native Instruments / TYRELL N6 / GTR 5 / etc. For our keys our instruments include a Korg M50, Yamaha DGX-620, Korg RK-100, Akai Pro MAX49 and a Akai MPK mini, and they are played through a twin Hartke KM100’s. For our guitars we use a Fender HH Jaguar and a Kramer pacer classic. They are played through a custom effects rig into a Fender hotrod deluxe III. We are also using a Behringer B-2 Pro condenser microphone and of course a trusty range of Shure SM dynamic microphones.
Do you think the connection between your music and fans is growing?
Definitely, the best feeling is announcing a release and people are genuinely excited to hear it and are waiting in anticipation. We are lucky in that so far every time we have something new to show it has increased our fan base and it continues to build and build and we are so thankful for that. There’s a lot to be said for the amazing amount of platforms artist can use today to get heard and that has helped us so much!
Where do you think has the strongest Synthwave scene?
It’s a tough one, the scene definitely has a great global reach these days, which is awesome. I mean, our local radio stations don’t often give us exposure so it’s amazing and flattering to hear we’re being played all over the world. We’d probably say USA and Canada have an established scene and Central Europe is growing all the time. There’s a few great acts from the U.K and France, we think most countries have caught the synthwave bug now, but we’d love to do a world tour one day and find out for sure!
Where was the best experience for you performing live?
We played a show a few years back and we were basically given a small slot to play. As soon as we turned up, the word was “right you’re on in five, I’ll give you 5 minutes and cut you off in 6” kind of thing. Bit of a buzz kill straight away to say the least! We then had to tune up and get our stuff together in some small dark cupboard before being bundled onto the stage. We stood there thinking, we’ve got five minutes to show all these people what we do and how proudly we can show our work. So we did, we ended up speeding up our songs so we could get more in and we absolutely rocked the place. We sold out of everything we had brought and lost count of how many great things were said to us that day. I think it was our best experience because we managed to turn something so negative around and stay true to what we love, and it clearly paid off.
Tell us something personal about yourself you’d like to share:
We always celebrate a release with a bottle of rum. It’s been our tradition for a few years now and it’s become a bit of a competition as to who can get a hold of the nicest ‘that’s a wrap’ drink. Not sure if we were pirates in a previous life or something but rest assured, after a few months of hard writing that rum doesn’t last very long!
What’s in your iPod?
There’s a lot on there the list would just keep going but lately we’ve been listening to a mix of Tangerine Dream / SHURA / the Naked and Famous / Kate Bush / the 1975 / Sebastian Gampl / Prince / Golden Fields / The Cure and Talking heads.
What future plans are you working on for 2017?
Is it 2017 already?! Wow that happened fast. We are Planning on bringing Paradise Walk to more of a live experience as well as writing and recording new songs for future releases. We certainly have a few cool things lined up and hope to share that with everyone pretty soon.
What does Dark Beauty mean to you?
To us, dark beauty is the hidden world that exists in the absence of light. Where shadows are cast and conceal inner beauty. A beauty that can only be sought by those who have opened their minds to its alternative possibilities.