Interview : Cody Carpenter
Question N°1: Can you please introduce yourself to those that may be new to your work?
I’m Cody Carpenter, the son of filmmaker and composer John Carpenter. In addition to working with my dad, I’ve been doing my own music for a number of years now.
Question N°2: What are your musical influences? What kind of music do you listen to when not producing?
I’m heavily influenced by the music I listened to growing up. I’m a huge fan of Genesis, Vince DiCola, and classic video game music. I generally listen to prog rock/fusion, synthwave, and game music when I’m not working on my own stuff.
Question N°3: What is your earworm at the moment? What have you listening to on repeat recently?
Recently I’ve been listening to the great synthwave artist Maxthor. He’s got great, catchy songs! I’ve also been listening to the amazing Brazillian guitarist Andre Nieri. He’s awesome!
Question N°4: What inspires you while working on new Music?
A lot of the music I write comes from improvisation, so the inspiration is really whatever I’m feeling at the moment. There’s a stream of conscious element to it.
Question N°5: What programs and instruments do you use? What is your favourite VST? Which drum machine do you prefer?
I’ve been using Logic for a few years now. For my new album no real physical synths were used, but the Arturia V collection of classic retro synths made its way into almost every song. I’ve been using the LinnDrum machine samples recently.
Question N°6: Your main project is LUDRIUM. How did you find yourself part of the Synthwave Scene? You also write music with your father and play live. For the first time on your newest release you have vocals. Tell us about that! Also, what other bands or projects have you been involved in previously?
I recently realized that I’ve been writing two distinct and different styles of music, one more adventurous and prog rock-influenced, and one more electronic and traditionally structured. I decided to make my ‘Ludrium’ project the prog/fusion project, and my new album a ‘Cody Carpenter’ album, being, (hopefully), more accessible to the average listener.
In keeping with the ‘trying to be more accessible’ spirit, I decided to go with vocals for the new album. I love instrumental songs, but songs with vocals are also fun!
I always enjoy doing a synth solo or contributing something to other people’s projects. I’ve recently been working with Confrontational, PJ D’Atri, Jon of the Shred, Powernerd, and, of course, my dad!
Question N°7: The songs on “Alternate Universe” are very emotional and the lyrics tell some nice stories and are really poetric. What was the main inspiration for that album? How was it to do vocals for the first time?
I really wanted to make a vocal album of 80s synthwave-style songs, hoping to touch that nostalgic nerve in all of us. The lyrics, much like the music, comes from a place of improvisation. I don’t set out to write about something and then write it, but rather I start writing and try to make something sensible out of it!
This is actually not the first time I’ve done an album with vocals. I did an album as Ludrium way back in 2006 or so which had vocals on about half the tracks. It’s available on my bandcamp page, but those were the days when I was writing music a little too similar to my prog rock favorites like Genesis and ELP, so it’s got a different feel from the stuff I write now.
Question N°8: Is there some Synthwave/Dark Synth Artist you would love to collab/work?
Question N°9: What are your favourite Movie flicks or Video Games?
My favourite movie is the 1986 Transformers animated movie! To pick only one favourite video game is difficult… Perhaps “Secret of Mana”? “Chrono Trigger”? The first “Legend of Zelda” for the NES???
Question N°10: You’ve played many live shows with your dad on tour last year, what was the coolest/most rad moment of the tour?
Every moment that I can make people happy with music is a cool and super rad moment!
Question N°11: What was the best or worst thing on tour and do you have a crazy funny tour story to tell?
We started out the European tour in Athens, Greece, and there were quite a few diehard John Carpenter fans in the audience. One particular fan actually souped up his car exactly like the Christine car, and brought it to the show with the hopes of my dad taking a picture with him in front of it. As we drove back to the hotel after the show, someone pointed out that the Christine car was behind us, following us home! The car was out for blood! The driver of our van made a few turns down side streets in an attempt to lose the menacing red vehicle, but ultimately we just stopped and told the fan that my dad was too tired for pictures and that we had to get back to the hotel. Fortunately the fan understood and that was the end of the ordeal… or was it?!
Question N°12: Before going on stage, how do you warm up and get in the right mood for a show?
I’m always in the mood! Oh yeah!!
Question N°13: You worked with Absolute Valentine on the album, he did the mastering. How did that come about?
He mastered my previous Ludrium album as well, and he does fantastic work! I don’t remember how I first came into contact with him, but we eventually met up at my dad’s show in Paris, and he’s a super cool dude!
Question N°14: What is the next step for you after the release of your new album? A new ep? A new Album? Or other projects youre involved in?
After this ‘Cody Carpenter’ album, I will release the next ‘Ludrium’ album, but unlike previous Ludrium projects, this one will feature a number of awesome guest musicians, including Jimmy Haslip, PJ D’Atri, and a super special guest drummer for one track who I will reveal at a later date!