Updated: Jun 21, 2020
Synthroncity: Probably one of my more prolific interviews simply for the reason that they are such a presence in the scene. Let's face it you can't call yourself a Synthwave fan and not know who these guys are. They are as incredible live as they are in any other guise and with their outstanding nostalgic 80's inspired sound they where a must have on my list to interview so I'm gloriously happy to bring you exactly that...read on!
New Arcades are Adam Sullivan and Dean Canty (R-L)
Picture Credit: Gina Leigh-Smith
Tell us a little about the band, where you’re from and how you got started in Music?
It's a funny story (how we met) in 2006, we both worked together. One of us walked past the others block and sang “HellOOOO” to which the other replied “Is it me you’re looking for” and as they say “the rest is history”....We began musical projects together around 2009 creating indie/rock etc. New Arcades began in 2012, after seeing “Drive” we figured we’d experiment with the sound and so put out on Soundcloud our first single “Echoes Of A City”. We left it a while to continue with our existing project at the time. After a few months we came back to see the song had garnered a lot of plays and comments, so figured maybe this
was the avenue to pursue sound wise and so began work on our original NEW ARCADES E.P some of which is still on bandcamp.
How has your sound developed over the years? & has the current market been of any influence in that?
I think in the sense that, because we write, record, produce and mix all our material ourselves, over time we improve at our craft, take on greater challenges, listen to more music etc. We’ve always loved a variety of genres and as we are mid 30’s these days we try to draw from the best and yet most appealing sounds we enjoy.
How would you describe the music you make?
I’d say it’s purely synthwave with a poppy element, we tend to focus a lot on the structure, we aim for catchy and memorable hooks in our songs. We also like to have a varied amount of sounds yet keeping that signature “New Arcades” trademark to our songs. We’d love someone who didn't know what synthwave was to find our music attractive and accessible immediately.
How has your 2020 been? With the Gig situation how have you all managed to stay reasonably sane?
2020 started busy, we’d just release our debut album so we as a band continue to push that. We have started several songs, aiming to build towards our second album next year sometime. Good things take time! (least that's the excuse we make for ourselves) ;) we also will drop some singles along the way- one of which is out soon 24th July, called “Together Again”
Tell us your best and worse gig experience?
Best gig experience probably winning a competition back in 2011 to play Watford fireworks display. We played our songs to 30,000 people in the park right before the display kicked off! an incredible feeling! great memory- it was damn cold though!
Worst gig- probably driving all the way to Ipswich, playing a show, which had two rooms and sadly our room had like 4 people in it. Then being told we weren't getting the full payment! despite coughing up cash to hire a van and stay the night somewhere. NIGHTMARE.
Is there anything new you’re working on currently that you’d like to share a little bit about?
Just finished the new single! It’s called “Together Again” out everywhere 24th July- stay tuned! ;) Presave here: https://ffm.to/together_again
Otherwise a few things in the pipeline, naturally the Retrodrive sound curated and organised by Outland will be coming out soon, we made a song called “Reseda Boulevard” exclusively for this album. Then I guess focus on an album for next year! :)
'Reseda Bouvelard' - Press play
If you couldn’t make the great music you are making today what would each of you be doing?
Not sure really! i’d still be doing sound corporate I'd expect and Dean would probably be making incredible artwork for some great hollywood flicks!
Who would you each like to play you in a movie of your life?
Dean would have Dolph Llundgren, I’d have Van Damme, naturally.
Synthronicity: Uncanny really!
If you’re having a bad day what do each of you do to make yourself feel better?
Crack open a cold boddingtons ;)…… just kidding, hit the gym, have a laugh with your mates, life's better when in shape and friends are so important for lifting spirits if things get bad! Focus on the positives. Don’t watch the news. ha ha.
What’s next for you as a band?
Total world domination. - Shows, new material, a holiday.. ha ha
If you could collaborate with anyone else on the scene who would it be and why?
We are pretty reasonably open when it comes to collabs, given our history with some great collabs with artists in the genre. We’d still also love to work with, naturally Gunship, The Midnight, Kalax, Timecop1983, At1980, FM-84 and Mr Ollie Wride and so many more we can’t possibly name them all!- also countless acts not in the genre too! love everyone in the scene its a great community!
Who or what got you into the Synth scene initially?
Well guess you’d say it was the Drive soundtrack. So Kavinsky, College and Electric Youth etc Real Hero honestly hit us right in the feels. So we appeared on the scene FAIRLY early on compared to now, there wasn't any other big acts back then who seem to have separated themselves from the pack!
How do you feel about the popularity of the Synth Genre as a whole and the new Generation of Producers who keep evolving?
Great, the bigger it gets the more we all grow. I’d encourage everyone to have a focus on getting the whole lot to grow, if someone has big success, celebrate it! It helps us all! particularly with things like Spotify algorithms and referrals from people will only increase the bigger the genre develops!
What type of Hardware/Software do you use, do you have a preference?
We tend to go for “in the box” digital plugins, but decent samples of stuff. Love omnisphere, Halion, Diva etc we do love the hardware, but to be honest it costs a fortune, whenever theres access to the real thing we jump on it, one day we will have the studios full of old school hardware i'm sure of it! We mix with UAD, and Slate generally nowadays, things seem to move over to subscription a lot though so we are sticking with studio one v 4 for now as its a one of purchase! love it. We both can work in sessions remotely and it makes work-flow super efficient.
Please consider supporting New Arcades via the following links:
With special thanks and appreciation to Outland and Retrodrive
Retro Drive: The Soundtrack drops NEXT FRIDAY 26 June!
Spotify Pre-Save and Bandcamp Digital/CD Pre-Order here: https://ffm.to/retrodrive