Updated: Mar 26, 2019
By DJ Stoek
How did you get into music?
Josh Clark: Oh man, music has been my lifeblood since I can remember. As a kid in the 80's and 90's I was big into Rock,Punk, Metal, industrial, and Hip Hop (from those decades,only). I had all the cassettes and I can still conjure up the characteristic scent of a fresh opened cassette. Some bands and artists I was into back then were Guns N' Roses, Ministry, KMFDM, Technotronic - Pump up the Jam.... I heard that song when it came out, I was 9 years old and that was the tune that made me love the sound of synthesizers, that synth bass is still killer. I loved old Wu-Tang drums. Hip Hop drums and music in the 80's and 90's kicked ass.
I always had instruments when I was a kid, ever since I can remember, so it was more like I was born with the passion rather than getting into it at some point.
Luna Blanc: When I was about 12 years old, my mom got me a Yamaha keyboard, because I spent half of the day begging her to get me an instrument. I'd spend hours on it, learning classical music by ear and trying to compose. I wrote poetry and such from a very young age, and as I got older I started getting into photography and ended up going to Film school. I didn't really focus on music until I met Josh. Music has always been my muse, for writing and film I always used music as my inspiration, and it has always been everything to me. A lot of my other arts would be nothing without music.
I did try the guitar at some point when I was a kid, I sucked at it.
As a kid from the 90's, I used to listen to 90's Britney Spears and Backstreet boys. However, I always had an intense love for classical music (which I could not bond with anyone else about other than with my mom). I also remember wanting to be different from the rest of my classmates, who would also listen to Backstreet Boys and all those similar artists, so I started listening to Slipknot (some boys would), and alternative rock music.
Who comes up with the lyrics and how does the process go?
Luna Blanc: Our notebook is actually on the studio. Both Josh and I come up with lyrics almost equally. Sometimes we even come up with them together. He will do a paragraph and I will do another, some songs are all his lyrics, and some others are all mine. We like to put both of our emotions and experience in our music, and sometimes lyrics can help doing so.
I am sure that I have been heavily influenced by film, reading books, listening to other music and, of course, observing people. When I, personally , come up with lyrics I base it on emotions, or past experiences, and a lot are also about my love for Josh and art. Most, if not all, of my lyrics are metaphoric, as I have always been a metaphoric writer. We try to keep it simple though, since we don't consider our vocals to be our forte in S Y Z Y G Y X.
Josh, I read you were a DJ before, what did you enjoy about Dj'ing?
Josh Clark: So yeah, I used to produce Drum and Bass music from 1998-2007. I got into that music when I was around 16 years old and when I first heard these certain styles called "Tech Step/Neurofunk" I was hooked. The music was very dark, though, and very industrial sounding so it drew me right in. I had a friend , Rob F, who taught me the basics of how a music production studio works, you know, the essentials: like signal flow, how everything is connected and routed, etc. Back in 1998 you couldn't produce music how you can nowadays with being able to record and mix down all in the box, you needed all hardware back then, analogue mixers to plug your synths and samplers in and mix it all down on the desk. In 1998 I bought all the gear and Rob and I started making this dark Drum and Bass music under the moniker of Sinthetix with Rob F, and later on, I made music with Marcio Alvarado (who is now known as Alvin Risk) as Corrupt Souls. Not very long after we began Sinthetix, we started getting calls from record labels in England (where Drum and Bass was born) offering to sign and release our music on 12" Vinyls. We ended up signing music to many different labels, and by 2001 I was doing music full-time, for a living, releasing records and playing gigs all over the US and Europe. What I loved about playing gigs was that I would play my own music out on a loud system for a crowd of people dancing so I would directly see the impact certain tunes would have on the dance floor. I have always been into music that makes you move and dance, regardless of the genre.
Your song "Can't kill me" reminds me of the band Adult. What were you guys listening to when creating that song?
Luna Blanc: We have a lot of love and admiration for Punk/Rock music. We listen to music by the Ramones, Joan Jett & The Blackhearts/The Runaways, Wendy O Williams (The Plasmatics), The Vibrators, etc. Even though 'Can't kill me" may not sound like their music, we are inspired by it. I had particularly been listening to "Fuck the pain away" by Peaches and I wanted to so something more 'Punky'. I laid out the drums and started the bass line for it, and the bass inspired the 'screw people ' king of mood that Punk gives you, and that we intend 'Can't kill Me' to have. I also get inspired by women in the Punk genre, in general. "Can't Kill Me " is actually one of my favorite songs. We don't really listen to Adult., but we consider them to be very talented artist.
When creating music are you going for a certain sound or just going with the flow of how you feel?
Josh Clark: Great question this one... Well, one thing that I TRY not to do, even though I have been doing it ever since I began making music in 1998 and find myself still doing , is going for a certain sound. I find that you can't go for a certain sound with every song you make because when something doesn't work out in the vision you were going for it's easy to get frustrated and mentally blocked and that is the worst! So yes I do go for a certain sound but try best to leave my mind open and play melodies on our synthesizer and get inspired by the riffs and hooks and see where it takes me. I am influenced by drums and percussion big time so whenever I am the one to start a track, I begin with that and it really sets the mood for the particular track. I am inspired by a lot of films, I love Science Fiction and Horror.
Working on music with Luna is amazing because we can both work equally in the studio. For instance, if I am feeling a bit blocked or uninspired and haven't sat in the studio for a few days, most cases I'll find Luna has started a track and then I really start vibing off it and I'll start making parts for it, or vice versa. We are both into so many different genres and styles of music so that's what you'll find with S Y Z Y G Y X, songs that will be more dark industrial , or more synth poppy, a bit of genre crossing.
Kill The Pain and Can't kill Me, were musically created by both Luna and I, so if we are in different moods, the songs can vary from one another. Or it could be something as simple as sounds being created by either me or Luna, but we'll never share who makes which sounds, firstly, because we both do so much there's no way we can remember who did what at all times,haha, and secondly, because it's out little secret magic sauce.
Who are your favorite bands at the moment?
Josh Clark: haha oh man you're gonna get an answer super similar to Luna's... in fact she's my other half and it's crazy but with a few exceptions we are pretty much the same person. I still listen to all my favorite older music such as Motörhead, Cock Sparrer, New York Dolls/Johnny Thunders, Hank III, Iggy Pop and The Stooges. I don't have favorite bands but I'll tell you I am still listening to all my favorite tunes from old.
Luna Blanc: My list may be strange coming from someone in the "Darkwave" genre, but I listen to a lot of Queen, Joan Jett, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Sturm Cafe, Jagwar ma, Fad Gadget, The Acid, Alessandro Adriani, John Carpenter ( If you pay close attention to some of his music, you'll notice we're very much inspired by him), etc. And just recently I discovered "Speed and Violence" by Silent Servant, awesome song. This list could be endless, though. F*ck, do I love music!
Our genre has a lot of very amazing musicians, but my inspirations come from elsewhere. I learn a lot of different things from music that sounds very different from ours. I like to bring elements from other genres to our music, and that's why our songs are so different from one another, we try not to be stuck with one type of vibe, or sound, as we like to experiment with our music. we'd like to think that we cross genre. We'll continue to experiment from one release to another.
What's your favorite part on creating music and your least favorite?
Luna Blanc: I love absolutely everything about creating music, but my favorite part I think, is when I've laid out drums and after playing and shaping sounds, I finally come up with the perfect bass line; I can already hear everything in my head once I find my perfect bass line. I also LOVE mixing and mastering. Giving sounds their own space on the stereo field of a mix is beyond satisfactory: automating effects, panning, EQ'ing frequencies, and all things for the final mixdown. I get joy goosebumps just thinking about all this!
My least favorite thing about it, and I believe this is one of my most important answers to this interview (to me, at least), has nothing to do with the actual process of creating: Although I wouldn't blame anyone for thinking this, I do not consider myself to be a singer/vocalist, at all. I am a producer, I compose, mix, and master as much as Josh does. And I dislike, very much, the common misconception of me being just the vocalist and Josh being everything else behind it. Don't get me wrong, Josh is my music hero, but I do think I am a much better producer than I am a vocalist.
Some songs may be 50/50, some other songs may be made mostly by me, some others mostly by Josh. The reason why our music sounds like it all comes from the same person is because we are very much in tune with each other and we understand each other artistically very well, but there are bass lines, pads, melodies, riffs, lyrics, drums, mixes and masters that could have come from me, as much as it could come from Josh.
Fun fact: When we first started making music, I refused to add vocals to it. But we quickly discovered that people connect better to the music with vocals in it, so we added them, and even though it means a lot to me to connect with people/fans through our music and lyrics, vocals are just another pad to me.
I think it's something I am always going to repeat, and it may sound silly, but I do work very hard on our sounds, and vocals are probably 10% of the actual work I put into our music. I also like to make this known because I am a female producer, and I'm proud of that.
Josh Clark: I love playing with gear gear gear!!! We have some amazing analogue synthesizers that are so inspiring and so much fun to play with. We have a few vintage synths from the early 80's and we have a few newer synths but they all have their own character and sound. Making a sound from scratch and playing with the synths is definitely my favorite part of creating.
My least favorite part , and it may sound stupid , but sometimes having accessibility to so many sounds from the synths can be overwhelming and I get sidetracked a lot. Thankfully, I have someone else there to work with that can help, for example, Luna will tell me if a sound was better then the last. And as I mentioned previously, being stuck with a particular sound in my head that isn't' working out can be very frustrating.
Can we expect to see you play live in Los Angeles soon or are there any project yours working on at the moment?
Wed love to come out! One of our record labels is based in Los Angeles (Cleopatra Records) and we'd like to visit the headquarters and of course, play shows in LA. We are actually in the works of setting up our live set, so we should be touring by the mid-end of this year(2019), hopefully. Los Angeles is a must! in our list.
We are always working on new stuff/projects. To list some: we are working with German label Cold Transmission on releasing a CD with a compilation of songs from Encounters EP (released under Cold Transmissions), Is That All There is LP and Broken Mirrors EP (released under our label Burning Grave Records).
We are also already working on our next LP
And a little side project of releasing our one and only Drum n Bass song with Renegade Hardware label (which is getting back in business for this release) for a Vinyl compilation: this is probably something that would make Impulse fans happy, rather than our 'darkies' (in reference to S Y Z Y G Y X's fans). One really cool thing about it is that Luna will be the first woman to ever be released on Vinyl under the label, which has been in business since 1995! RAD!
We're very excited for 2019 and to meet everyone who listens to our stuff , we are forever humbled and thankful.