Lazerhawk – Interview
Can you please introduce yourself to those that may be new to your work?
My name is Garrett Hays. I’m from Austin TX and I make synthwave music under the name Lazerhawk.
What are your musical influences?
I grew up listening to a lot of 80’s pop music on the radio while I was doing my homework. The 80s pop music was the first time that I was listening to music that was different from what my parents were listening to, so the music from the 80’s will always be special to me. Kano – I’m ready is the track that specifically got me started producing synthwave and its how I found Kavinsky, Actraizer/Miami Nights 1984, Power Glove and so many others.
What kind of music do you listen when not producing?
It could be anything really. I like just about anything from any genre as long as it speaks to me or catches my ear.
What is your earworm at the moment?
I don’t think I have one at the moment.
What have you been listening to on repeat recently?
A label asked me to put together a mix so I decided to put together my all time favorite synthwave jams or tracks that influenced me as an artist over the years. My 15 month old daughter loves to dance around to this mix and the first track is Kavinsky – Dead Cruiser which happens to be her favorite song on the mix. I think mine is probably Pilot Priest – Canyons or Make Up and Vanity Set – Last Embrace
What inspires you while working on new Music?
I usually create an album based on a theme. First, it was 80’s super cars and Miami Vice. Then, space space travel and exploration. Then, a story about an undead warrior and his partner who happens to be a half shark half man thing. For Dreamrider, I wanted to do an entire album of more mellow tracks but, I didn’t really have an idea or a theme that tied them together. The first track that I ended up creating for the album was the title track, Dreamrider. My wife and I were talking about childhood stories and she told me the story of the big birthday party reveal of her first bicycle called, Dreamrider. The inspiration for the album came from how I was visualizing her story in my mind as she told it. In my mind I was recalling her story as a dream. Everything was glowing, over exaggerated and in slow motion.
What programs and instruments do you use for your Music?
I primarily use VSTi that emulate 80’s analog synths but I also ocassionally play guitar on my tracks.
What is your favorite VST you use? And which Drum Machine do you prefer?
The synth I’ve used more than any other is the Korg legacy collection PolySix. I always go back to TR-505 for drum sounds and have been using them for years.
If you could choose one film director to make a music video for you who would that be?
Not really sure.
What are your favorite Movies or Video Games?
I don’t know if I have a favorite movie anymore. I used to think Pulp Fiction was my favorite but, I’m not sure if thats true anymore. I usually don’t end up watching a movie more than once but, I’ve watched Pulp Fiction countless times though. I really enjoyed The Lobster more recently though.
You love to play pinball machines and you already won prices, tell us more from your passion about this?
When I was working with Dave Danzara on The Video Craze, I realized that I could search my local craigslist ad’s for old arcade games like the people in his film and fufill the childhood dream of having my own arcade machine. I went out and bought a Street Fighter 2 that had sound problems. I ended up turning it into a multicade. However, I thought my wife wouldn’t enjoy the arcade game so I bought an Elvira and the Party Monsters as a companion to my arcade machine. She hated both and I found my self playing the pinball machine and never playing the arcade game. Now I have 10-12 pinball machines. It’s a disease and I blame Dave Danzara…
You redefined yourself every time new with each release. REDLINE was your Outrun output, VISITORS your Spacesynth album, SKULL AND SHARK was Dark Synth and DREAMRIDER is your Dreamwave/Chillwave Album.
I hope so. My goal is to create something new with every release but, stay true to my core sound and grounded in 80’s sounds.
What can we expect for your next album?
I’m not sure. I have a couple ideas but, I’m thinking of going back to Redline. I’m not sure if that makes sense or what that means though.
You are planning to play live shows in the future, what can we expect?
Yea I get a lot of fans asking me about live shows and promoters asking for my availability. The main problem I have is that I only play guitar. I program nearly everything else. So, my shows will end up being DJ sets which I personally have never enjoyed. Right now that plan is to have a modular DJ booth created and have 3d projection mapped to the booth. I want to go on tour with other artists and each artist will have their own projection maps. In the end it will be DJ sets but, it will be a feast for the eyes not just some guy standing behind a laptop.
What is the next step for you after the release of your DREAMRIDER Album? A new ep? A new Album? Or other projects youre involved in?
I’m planning on going into the studio to do experiments. I’ll spend months working on new sounds. I really want to focus on my drum and percussion sounds. I also want to do more vocoder vocals
Who is your craziest fan?
Jean Pierre VanDamme!!! I really don’t have any “crazy” fans really.
You have some really emotional guest vocals on your track „Feel the rush“ from Gunship. How did that came? This track is an instant masterpiece and the lyrics are amazing.
I was basically getting close to being done with all the tracks on Dreamrider. There were two tracks that I envisioned having vocals from the beginning but, here I was with no vocals. I was thinking of vocalists that might be interested and I think Dan from GUNSHIP messaged me from out of the blue and I asked him if he’d be interested.
Since this is the first time to work with a vocalist, will you work with more in the future? Lazerhawk with vocals work really well together!
I’d like to work with more vocalists for sure but, I wouldn’t mind doing some more vocal tracks myself. More vocoder for sure.
With the year 2017 started, what are your personal goals for this year?
I want to clean up my house and see if I can sell it. I want to move to the pacific northwest.
Any wise words do you have to your fans on their way?
Feel it! Feel it!