Question N°1 : Can you please introdue yourself to those that may be new to your work ?
JUSTIN: My name is Justin Pointer from Orange County, CA and I am one half of Dance with the Dead.
TONY: Hi! My name is Tony Kim From Orange County CA. I am the other half of Dance with the Dead.
Question N°2 : What are your musical influences ? What kind of music do you prefer listening to when not producing ?
JUSTIN: My influences are really all over the place, but mostly movie scores and synthesizer sounds. Any Hans Zimmer or John Carpenter scores are amazing to sink into. I’m actually on a 1970’s classic rock kick right now. Go watch Dazed and Confused…Oh man, that movie just makes you wanna hang out on the corner and just get drunk and high with your friends. I think modern technology like texting and social media sites have kind of dampened peoples social skills. It’s kinda sad that nowadays (at least where I live), you can walk into a bar on a busy weekend night and half the people are just in there glued to their cell phones, haha…..shit, Im digressing from the question. Some of my favorite artists right now are: Alice Cooper, Misfits (Both Danzig AND Graves era’s….Im actually a huge Michael Graves fan…go check out his music), Whitesnake (their ballads are almost “too” sexy!), Dirty loud, Dada Life, Danger, Gost, Dynatron, OGRE, Rob Zombie, M83, Cyndi Lauper, Tower of Power, Foghat, The Used, Finch, Genesis, Fastway, Grimes, MGMT, ZZ Top …..man I could go on forever!
TONY: I’ve always been into hair metal and punk rock growing up so lately I’ve been rocking a lot of Def Leppard, Whitesnake, Descendents, Face To Face, Misfits. But then I also have that guilty pleasure so there’s been a lot Starship blaring…my influences are from the bands mentioned above and bands like Zepplin, The Beatles, Minor Threat, Nofx, Metallica, John Carpenter, Michael Jackson, Iron Maiden, Steely Dan, Duran Duran, Chairlift, Shiny Toy Guns and Refused.
Question N°3 : When and how did you first get into Synthwave ? How did you first start working together ?
JUSTIN: I’ve kinda always been into synth based music. I remember when 2unlimited came out with that terrible-but amazing song “Twilight Zone”….maybe it was used in the Mortal Combat movie or something. I’ve always loved anything “four on the floor” with a super groovy beat. I’ve known Tony since about the year 1999 or 2000 give or take, and “apparently” I was the biggest asshole to him when I first met him….I don’t recall this, haha. Fun fact: Tony when to the same High School as Will Ferrell, Rage Against the Machine, and Thrice. Anyways, Tony and I always seemed to been in other local bands but never in the same band. I was a drummer, and he, obviously, plays guitar. I started getting some simple recording equipment in 2008 and started making some electronic tunes. Since Tony and I were friends and hanging out all the time, we just seemed to always end up drinking in the studio room making groovy beats. We officially started DWTD in 2012.
TONY: I think I officially got into making Electronic music when I was introduced to a band called The Shiny Toy Guns circa 2006. I loved that they had the elements of a rock band but also blended in songs that were meant to be played by DJ’s at clubs. Plus the singer ain’t so bad to look at either. Also, Mr. Pointer, I officially met you when in 1997. And yes, you were a dick! Jokes a side, yeah, Justin and I started exchanging song ideas and just realized we work really well together so from there on, DWTD was born.
Question N°4 : What type of hardware and DAW do you use for production ? Wich instruments can each of you play ?
JUSTIN: We use Logic Pro 9 exclusively right now. As far as synths, we use a blend of software and hardware. I know Korg is releasing the Arp Odyssey this year which Im dying to check out. Also, I asked Santa Clause for a DSI Prophet 12 synth this year for Christmas, but Santa was obviously drunk driving his sleigh and skipped my house. As far as instruments I play, I mainly am a drummer. I dabble with guitar but my fingers are the size of bananas so I pretty much suck.
TONY: Logic 9 for me as well. I guess depending on the song and sound is when we determine what we’re going to use. Guitars for example, sometimes we track with a Marshall 800 and 4×12’s or use plugins. It just depends on the song I guess. As for synths, I know Justin is more about analog but I’m a lazy ass so I prefer VST’s. Guitar is my main instrument but also play the keys and bass.
Question N°5 : What are the plans for DWTD in 2015 ? Upcoming collaborations ? Live Shows ?
JUSTIN: Lots of shows. This is the year we want to focus on getting out of the studio and into the real world. As far as collaborations / remixes we have a few good ones coming out within the next few months!
TONY: Yeah, excited to be performing. Especially since the both us come from being in bands and touring, it’s in us for us to be in front of a crowd.
Question N°6 : Could you explain your reason for choosing the “Dance with the Dead” ?
JUSTIN: Tony came up with the name. It was a tentative title for a song he showed me. At the time we were trying to think of a name, and I just suggested that we use it for the name.
TONY: Plus, the both of us are huge horror fanatics so it just sounded right for what we were trying to do.
Question N°7 : I saw that Travis Miguel from Atreyu joined to play guitar on “Near Dark”. How did this collab first start ? Wich track is he featured on ?
JUSTIN: Yeah, Travis has been one of my best friends since we were 16 years old. Tony has been good friends with him for the last 10 years or so as well. Last summer when we were mixing and writing Near Dark, he was just hanging out and we said fuck it, put the guitar in his hands and said make some noise. The track he can be heard on is “Graveyard Shift”. It was a REAL productive day…..drank whiskey all day, watched womens aerobics videos and managed to get some haunting guitar noise. I think theres a short video on our Facebook page of this.
TONY: Yeah, he’s one of our best friends and him and I always jam or mess around if there are guitars laying around so we just said “play something and don’t suck”.
Question N°8 : What are your favorite Movie Flicks and Video Games ?
JUSTIN: Movies: Well, currently this week some good movies I’ve watched are The Wraith, Dazed and Confused, The Big Lebowski, The Crazies (Danielle Panabaker is so damn hot!), Used Cars (one of Kurt Russell’s BEST), The Thing (2011 prequel), Valley Girl, Fast Times at Ridgemount High, The Possession, Tango and Cash, and I know this is pathetic, but I JUST started watching The Walking Dead (only 5 seasons behind, ha). As far as Video Games…..I still play Left for Dead 1 and 2 religiously (Tony gets mad when I shoot him accidentally…or IS it accidental?….hhmmm. I’m still trying to get good at Bioshock. Also, I’m STILL trying to pass the original Castlevania on my Nintendo. Oh, and I play a mean game of Tetris.
TONY: My favorite movie of all time is The Exorcist and some other favorites are Rosemary’s baby, Suspira, Halloween, Critters, The Monster Squad, Revenge Of the nerds, Goonies, Gremlins and I can probably go on for awhile so I’m going to move on to games. The game that I played and beat that blew my mind was The Last Of Us. Other favorites are God of war and Left 4 dead. And yes, Justin always shoots me on “accident” and always blows up the gas cans when I’m right next to it on “accident”.