What are your names?
Rob Green & Johnny Normal
How old are you?
Old enough to be wise, young enough to say ‘what the hell’!!!
What is the genre?
Synth Wave (synthpop / electro)
Give us a bio about you.
We are two independent artists and promoters with a shared passion for great songs made with electronic instruments. I (Rob Green) perform with The Department, was signed to Feargal Sharkey’s label and have remixed for artists such as Robbie Williams and William Orbit. Johnny Normal performs with his post-punk electronic rock-pop group, and has toured with the likes of Adam Ant and Blancmange. He’s also a Swine Flu survivor – surviving a 7 month battle with the disease back in 2014. Johnny hosts a radio show every Wednesday night promoting independent synth music.
You are your own Electro label, what is the name and can you tell us more about that?
Electro London Records was established on the back of our successful Electro London Festival established in September 2015. We started by putting out a compilation CD of all the bands who played at the festival and sort of moved on from there. We wanted to put out a ground breaking new stand-alone compilation featuring some of the amazing new electronic songs that are currently being released around the world and so ‘Synth Wave Volume 1’ was born. We felt that the album was so good that it deserved a classy vinyl release so we hired an amazing sleeve artist and got the album mastered for vinyl by the great Pete Maher (U2 / Depeche Mode etc.) and soon attracted the interest of SRD who are now our sole worldwide physical and digital distributor, meaning that ‘Synth Wave Volume 1’ will be in cool record shops across the UK and much of the world. It’s a limited edition release – only 800 copies will be out there but we want them to spread far and wide.
What is your campaign about?
Our campaign is about helping to restore the health of popular electronic music. ‘Synth Wave Volume 1’ and its music is a reaction to the lack-lustre pop music we seem to be fed across the globe. People are writing amazing, catchy and meaningful songs and putting them together in an accomplished, professional way as electronic music production is now so affordable, it’s given people the means to make great music, who probably wouldn’t have had the chance if they were doing this 20 years ago. Now amazing musicians from here to China can be on a level playing field sonically. Underground electronic artists have raised their game so much in recent years. ‘SWV1’ is a reflection of the very best of this world-wide underground music movement.
Why choose ‘Sue Ryder Charity’?
Sue Ryder is a very worthy charity and one that’s close to our hearts. We liked the idea of putting a few brand new ‘Synth Wave’ vinyl records in some charity stores, ahead of release, like a kind of golden egg hunt, both to help Sue Ryder and to further spread the word about ‘Synth Wave Volume 1’.
do you think Vinyl should be more popular than streaming?
There is something very cool about taking the time to relax in your living room with some of your favourite tracks on vinyl. It’s more of an occasion and the records are very nice objects to collect. They sound richer and you have to look after them and turn them over half way through, which adds to the gravity of the experience I think. Listening to records is ‘me time’ and very valuable time indeed. Streaming however, is a revolutionary way of listening to music – it is very handy, portable and allows you to check almost any track out immediately. They both have their place, in my opinion and the joy of hunting out a record you really want in shops can’t be under stated! The release is out on vinyl and digital only so you can listen to it either way you prefer, but I guarantee you will love the look, feel and sound of the physical record. It’s quite a thing to behold.
Tell us about the album.
‘Synth Wave Volume 1’ is a compilation of 12 of the finest underground electronic songs in the world, made by artists dotted around the planet. Synth Wave is essentially fantastic, cool modern synth pop music, inspired by artists from the 80’s and is a very pleasurable listening experience. The artists are gaining success in their own rights on the underground electronic scene and all the songs are completely road tested. This music deserved nothing less than a release on vinyl and that’s why we did it like this. It’s distributed by SRD and it’s limited edition – only 800 copies world wide. It’s been beautifully designed and has been mastered by Pete Maher (U2, Depeche Mode etc.)
How did you come up with your research in to your project?
We just thought that this special album deserves an equally special and unique approach to its promotion. We’re thinking outside the record box, so to speak!
What made you go in to the music industry and this project?
Johnny and I have been music lovers and creators since we were children in the 80’s (although we didn’t know each other back then!) and I guess it was inevitable that both of us would end up in the business. ‘Synth Wave Volume 1’ can be attributed partly to us wanting to give modern youth the fantastic popular music experience we were lucky enough to have as kids.
What do you hope to see happen after your project is finished?
We hope that ‘Synth Wave Volume 1’ will change the world for the better in some way. Let’s face it, what we all need in the world right now is something new that’s great and positive. We’ve lost some of the world’s finest and most inventive artistic genius recently. It’s time we nurtured and enjoyed some awesome new artists.
What do you do in your spare time?
Rob: I have little spare time as I’m also a sound engineer and occasionally make music for television, but I’m a very keen foodie and enjoy cooking.
Johnny: Listening to music and supporting West Ham.
What advice would you give to others in the music industry?
If you really believe in what you’re doing and you truly love it, then get involved in the music business, but be aware that it will be very tough and that you have no guarantee whatsoever of gaining any success or money from it. If you’re cool with all that, then go for it!
What quote or saying do you always stick by?
‘It takes years of hard work before you become an overnight success!’
Do you have any social media accounts so readers can see more?