My guest today is none other than Timecop1983! Timecop1983 has been working extremely hard and released two EP’s back to back! The new EP titled Journeys contains tracks such as Dreams (feat. Dana Jean Phoenix), City Lights and Lost again! Timecop1983 was kind enough to give up some free time, to do this interview!
3.47: Why the name Timecop1983? Did you like the movie or comics that much?
Timecop1983: I seriously don’t know why I chose the name Timecop1983! I think it was a subconscious decision. Because as far as I know I never seen the movie, but when I made my SoundCloud account I had to chose a name and this looked like a right name to me at the time. Now I regret the name choice, because I don’t really like it that much and it refers to the movie too much. But now it’s to late to change it. Maybe I’ll go with TC1983 in the future, so if you see anyone using that name it would be me.. Never heard of the comic by the way! I’m going to check that out!
3.47: When did you first started getting noticed as an producer?
Timecop1983: I’ve been producing since I was 12, starting with Scream Tracker in MS-DOS, and I made all kinds of music with the computer. Ranging from heavy metal to gabber/hardcore. But in the first 15 years of producing I only made small loops of songs and never finished anything, because I just couldn’t focus on one thing. In the end I had about 2000 loops and bits on my computer, so almost 2 years ago I decided to focus on one style and try to make full songs in that style and see wherever it would take me. And after hearing music from guys like Miami Nights 1984, Anoraak and Tesla Boy I decided I wanted to make ‘80s music too. So I tried to recreate their songs or parts of their songs to get to know how the elements in ‘80s music were made. I listened a lot to ‘80s music and kept trying and trying and after a while I got the hang of it and I created a few songs which I placed on Soundcloud in October 2013. After that things went really fast. I started releasing singles on my Bandcamp, got really good feedback on those songs and more and more people started following me. Especially after the release of “Childhood Memories” on the Youtube channels NewRetroWave and ManiacSynth and radio channel Drive Radio I reached more and more people.
3.47: Is anyone else in your family a musician?
Timecop1983: No, not really. My dad plays guitar a bit, but nothing serious. But my parents do listen a LOT to music. So during my childhood I heard a lot of music and that got me interested in music I guess. I remember one tape they used to play with music from Duran Duran and Ray Parker Jr. (Ghostbusters theme) and that specific tape sparked my love for ‘80s music. When I make music nowadays I always keep that tape in my mind and try to recreate emotions of growing up in the ‘80s.
3.47: What inspires you as a artist?
Timecop1983: I get inspiration in many ways, from everyday situations to tiny bits of melodies I hear in music (not only ‘80s). Also I get inspiration from new synthesizers, new virtual synthesizers and presetpacks. That always gives me new inspiration and focus to make new music.
But the most inspiration, very cheesey, I get from feedback on my music. Every time I get compliments it inspires me to create new and (hopefully) better songs.
3.47: How supportive have your friends and family been?
Timecop1983: My friends (sadly) are not into ‘80s music at all, so apart from “how is your music doing?” I don’t get much support from that. I think that’s because this type of music is very small in The Netherlands, mainly because dance music (house/electro/techno) is so big here. Same goes for my family, they know I make ‘80s music, but because they don’t know what it is they can’t support me that well.
I don’t mind that at all though! Most of my fans are from the US and I get very much support from them which inspires me to continue with my work.
3.47: Who would you like to work with next? Anyone famous at all?
Timecop1983: I’m currently working on 6 collaborations with great artists, which is a lot. I don’t have much time, so I said to myself that, unless it’s a well known musician, I have to say no for at least a few months. Mostly I’m working together with vocalists which is great: I just finish the music, send it to them, work on other music and they send me the vocal files back which I include in the project. Working to together with other producers takes up way more time, so I can’t always do that.
But I have a few artists on my wishlist I would love to work with in the future. It includes people like Futurecop!, Kristine, Le Cassette, The Northern Lights, Miami Nights 1984 and Multipac aka MPMsoundtracks (but he reportedly stopped).
3.47: How hard is it being independent and trying to get your voice out there?
Timecop1983: I really do think it is equally hard to get your voice out there as an independent musician as it is when you release via a label. Unless you sign at a big, well known label off course. When you start releasing music I think it is as important to do marketing as it is to release new songs. Think of it like setting up a business, people need to know you are out there.
And in these times it is pretty easy to do your own marketing as long as you put time and effort into it. Get on Facebook, Twitter, Soundcloud, Bandcamp and Youtube and also seek out people that promote your style of music and just send them an email if they want to share it. At least that’s how I did it.
3.47: Do you have any unfinished tracks sitting on your hard drive? If so would you be putting together something so people can hear them?
Timecop1983: Unfortunately I have no new songs (almost) ready to release yet. I’m working on new stuff, but no finished songs yet.
3.47: Most of the producers I spoke to use FL studio to make their tracks, are you the same?
Timecop1983: Yeah, I’m part of the FL Studio club too! I’ve been working with FL Studio since version 1 (which I got from a cracked Twilight CD) and never stopped using it. I know it inside out.
I tried switching to other software like Ableton Live and Cubase, but it takes so much time to get know new programs. So I rather spend my time making new music than learning new software and work around the flaws of FL Studio (like live recording and wav editing) and stick to it. I currently got version 9 and 11 installed, but I mostly use version 7.
On internet many people are hating on FL Studio, but it’s about the cook, not the kitchen!
3.47: Are you surprised at how big your fan base has become?
Timecop1983: I never, in a million years, would have thought so many people would like my music and actually would buy it! When I started making this music I didn’t know about the scene yet and was surprised how many people (still) listen to this kind of music. I just thought it was great music and decided to create it too and then found out there was a pretty big ‘80s scene, so I started creating more music and started promoting myself.
3.47: What was your reaction when you saw the feedback coming in about your music?
Timecop1983: I was completely blown away by all the positive feedback I got in the beginning! Like I said, I never would have thought that that many people would like it. Especially after the release of “Journeys” about a month ago I got soooo much nice feedback! I’m completely baffled about how many people support me.
3.47: If you had the power to run your own music label, what would you call it?
Timecop1983: I’m actually in the very early stages if setting up a ‘80s focused music label, called Love Runner Records (www.facebook.com/loverunnerrecords)! With that label I would like to take people back to their childhood in the ‘80s, just like I do with my own music.
With latest album I decided to do everything myself, from creating the music and artwork to doing all marketing and that gave me the idea to start a label. So I played with the idea a little bit and decided to do it.
The first release will be an EP with my own work and from there I will start promoting the label more actively and try to find artists that are interested in signing with me. I want to give people that make great music and don’t have time, or don’t know how, to promote themselves the chance to release with me. Hopefully I can get them noticed and release great music. So stay tuned for more info!
3.47: What has been the weirdest request you had?
Timecop1983: I haven’t got any weird, music related, request yet I think!
3.47: What would you say are the advantage/disadvantage of been independent?
Timecop1983: To me the biggest advantage of being independent is being able to release whatever and whenever I want. Off course it is hard in the beginning to get noticed when you are independent, but there are many ways to promote yourself. So if you promote yourself and build a fanbase I see no need for a record label.
But being independent also means all costs of producing cassettes for example are for your expense. Via a label you can , if you get a good deal, split the costs for creating merchandise which will save you money. But releasing independently also means all revenue will go to you directly, which is also very important!
3.47: Are you hoping to perform live?
Timecop1983: I would love to perform live, but it causes some trouble for me. First of all my piano skills aren’t that good, so completely performing live is not possible for me. Maybe with something like Ableton Live and playing some live synths on top of that I would be able to put something together. But then I would need a good, stable laptop which I don’t have (I use a PC).
Also, which is the main problem, the ‘80s scene is tiny in The Netherlands and I would have a hard time getting live gigs and reaching a public. If I were to play live I have to tour in the US, but that means I have to pay for it myself which is undoable.
3.47: What’s your favourite song at the moment?
Timecop1983: Ever since Le Cassette’s new album came out last week I am obsessed with it and had it on repeat all week! Also I have been listening a lot to The Northern Lights (https://soundcloud.com/thenorthernlightsmusic) lately.
3.47: What’s your favourite movie?
Timecop1983: I watch a lot of movies and I would say “The Wolf of Wallstreet” is my latest favourite. Really love that movie!
3.47: What’s your favourite video game?
Timecop1983: I don’t play that much games, simply because I don’t have the time and my computer isn’t the best. But I do play a bit of Battlefield 3 and I really like Far Cry Blood Dragon and Fract OSC simply because of the music.
3.47: What’s the best advice you been given?
Timecop1983: The best advice I ever had was to continue making music and try to focus on finishing stuff.
3.47: What advice can you give to to others who want to be like you?
Timecop1983: Create music you like and feel good about. If you are new in the scene or in making music keep trying to recreate the songs you like and don’t give up. Also never underestimate your marketing!
3.47: What do you do in your spare time?
Timecop1983: Next to making music I do a lot of cycling; roadracing and crosscountry mountainbiking. I used to do races as well, but last year I made the choice to focus more on music after getting so many support from everybody. Also because I’m not that good in cycling (never won anything) and training takes a lot of time.
3.47: Do you have any other hidden talents?
Timecop1983: Not that I know of… But sometimes when I go to work in the morning I find my car with skidmarks from the end of the street to my tires and my speedometer is stuck at 88 MPH…
3.47: If you had the chance to run YouTube what would you change about it?
Timecop1983: I would the delete those fucking annoying commercials! I hate those so much, every time I want to watch a youtube movie I get a commercial. And the worst thing is they become more frequent, longer and sometimes with longer movies you’ll get one in the middle too! Aargh!
3.47: You deal with the old school 80’s theme which is awesome! Is there any other type of genre you want to have a go at?
Timecop1983: Yeah, I’m playing with the idea to have a go at more outrun style ‘80s music as well. Under a different name, but would love to give it a try. So might do that in the future. Also I have a few projects I’m working on in the Electro genre. But nothing serious there.
3.47: Are there any upcoming artist like yourself that you’re keeping a close eye on? For example in your eyes, they are going to be the next big thing?
Timecop1983: Yeah, there are a lot of artists I follow, also because of the label I’m setting up. I’m following people like AlterSun (https://soundcloud.com/altersun), Synthasyzor (https://soundcloud.com/synthasyzor) and Hello Meteor (https://soundcloud.com/hellometeor) with a lot of interest. But also more established artists like Robert Parker (https://soundcloud.com/robertparkerofficial).
3.47: What can we expect from you in the future?
Timecop1983: You can expect much more! I’m currently working on a new collaboration EP, am working together in different other collabs, working on a new album and am setting up Love Runner Records.
3.47: Final question! Any words you want to say to your listeners out there?
Timecop1983: Yeah, I thank my listeners so much for the support they are giving me. I really appreciate all the love they are giving me and everyday I’m surprised that so many people listen to my music and actually like it. Now I feel bad I haven’t started making this kind of music earlier.
3.47 would like to say a massive thank you to Timecop1983 for spending the time doing the interview! Until next time guys!