Hi Norman, welcome to VENTS! How have you been?
“I’ve been very well thank you, or at least as well as can be under these pandemic circumstances. Hope you’re doing well too.”
Can you talk to us more about your latest single “Superhuman”?
“It was initially influenced by Giorgio Moroder-esque sequences and baselines but also using modern contemporary sounds. It also features the artist Lemoy The Siamese Empress who in one of the verses can rap my lyrics better than I could ever do.”
Did any event in particular inspire you to write this song?
“Not really an event just more of a direct inspiration of the pop anthems of the past with the obvious influence of modern production choices.”
How was the filming process and experience behind the video?
“I would say the process was more of an edited collage of thread-through ideas, that centre around the story of an assassination. A ‘Superhuman’ cyborg bounty-hunter being employed by the lover of a businessman to kill him is quite edgy with an added sense of sci-fi which I’m a huge fan of.
We only see the businessman’s partner in a photo on his desk at the beginning and then once more at the end as she’s walking away after being contacted to be told the job has been done.
In-between these events the cyborg hunts him down to his office-tower to eliminate him.
The ‘target’ seems to be aware of what is to come and calls his security to apprehend the intruder in the lift.
The idea of the cyborg and the businessman being two separate people was the initial idea but even though the cyborg collects the framed photo from the body at the end, through the editing process I decided to leave it open to the viewer as to whether they are one and the same or not?
I think it visually works quite well actually.”
The single comes off your new album Retro Radio – what’s the story behind the album?
“It was recorded and mixed at Fluke Productions and Abbey Road.
The album originally came about as an expression of my love of independently produced pop-music.
I gradually added different styles of songs such as a piano/vocal track called ‘I’ll Be There (With You)’ and another song called ‘The Love Of The Stranger’ which feels a little like a James Bond title track of which I’ve always wanted to write.
There’s an obvious Abba influence to an album track called ‘Looking Back At Me’ and a Yazoo inspired track called ‘Whatever Happened To Our Love.’
I chose the songs for this album with a retro feeling in mind, in keeping with a slightly more modern sense of production.”
How was the recording and writing process?
“Well my influences range from most electro/synth-pop bands to Nu-disco and everything in between.
From Vince Clarke or the Human League to the Norwegian DJ Hans-Peter Lindstrom or Daft Punk.
I listen to everything from Abba to A-ha, Sinatra, Elvis and Motown to remix bands like The Freemasons, etc.
Not sure if all of it shows in this album but my musical influences may appear to some to be both direct and indirect due to the creative process? I try to write what I would consider to be good constructive songs.
I prefer to sequence every part (either played live or programmed) on my Roland XP workstation and bring the parts into the studio via a USB stick for Pro-Tools. Once the parts are recorded it can be a very creative and collaborative process in choosing the sounds with the co-producer and engineer.
I’ve added three bonus tracks of independently remixed versions of three songs on the album too.”
What role does London play in your music?
“I’ve lived in London for many years and most of this album was written here with the exception of maybe two songs which I wrote back when I was younger.
I believe the place where you are at the time a song is written can sometimes add a lot to the finished product.
We often hear stories about where the songwriter wrote their songs for the inspiration they gained from the place they were in at the time?
Or the feel of a song can be inspired by a certain instrument such as a flamenco guitar, a smoke-filled club in New York where a saxophone is playing or a flautist playing a flute in a hip London club in the ‘60s?
The idea of a cyborg in the video searching for the ‘target’ was influenced by all my travelling around London.”
What is it about the 80s that you find so fascinating?
“It’s not just the ‘80s I find fascinating as there are other decades that I like to take inspiration from such as the ‘70s as well.
I listened to a lot of music in the ‘80s and ‘90s but I find the ‘40s fascinating too. One of my songs called ‘Radio(Same Old Feeling)’ is a song celebrating the days of vaudeville and live radio of which the video shows an older ‘live-radio’ performer on stage reflecting on a specific time.
Also, I’d say the ‘60s would’ve been a great time to grow up in?
I would’ve loved that as it was the beginning of a social culture that still inspires Londoners today.”
How does your West End background influence your music and the other way around?
“I’ve always been interested in theatre and trained as an actor after I trained as an animator before that.
I’ve been working as a stage technician in the West-End for many years in-between doing auditions so it has not only been a part of my music but has also been a large part of my life.
At the height of the pandemic the theatre industry was one of the most affected due to the closing down of many theatres.
The government’s furlough scheme could only have lasted so long before technicians, artists, actors, performers and musicians started losing their jobs. The industry has been largely ignored with many experienced technicians being let go.
I’ve been writing more music during this time and trying to keep busy as it’s been quite bleak for a lot of people involved.”
Where did you find the inspiration for the songs and lyrics?
“The lyrics for this track have a sense of longing in reaching the seemingly unreachable, what with the object of desire in this case being a somewhat “superhuman” being, or “supernatural lover” as the song goes.”
I generally like to work with sequencers and programming with a live instrument on some songs to accompany the vocal from time to time.”
What else is happening next in Audiovendor’s world?
“I’m working on another album and looking into doing more live gigs when things start to return to normal?
I’m mainly a studio based artist but look forward to getting back into gigging, especially with this project Audiovendor.”
Watch the video HERE: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0EBhDVErNbY&feature=youtu.be