Dark Synth Dreams



Music seems to be the only thing I am fully incapable of doing, but there are some who are true masters of their craft. Music, in its essence, requires an ear and then maybe hearing loss. The outcome of it is not that music should be heard by ear, but have lyrics and should elevate the mood to highest quality stereophonic capacity. Otherwise, you should hear, feel, and be able to understand it. But the business of music is not only just making money off of it. The lyrics, the sound that must be made in a studio by a lone DJ or a band that creates a single orchestra or a symphonic melody to listen to. But then it’s not the only thing that must be taken into account. Music, ever since the first note was made by the earliest humans, were made to take their life off the everyday struggles of hunting and gathering food. Many millions of years later, with many who have come before, empires lost and destroyed, new ones form, creating new vast culture where otherwise simplified by the constant bombardment of noise and notes that could allow someone to feel and listen to the music. Mass production of music for money is more of a modern concept, but even so, it was as far back when Kings and Queens could become a patron of the arts, whereby supplying the artists income where most are starving on the streets. The inequality of what the world thinks they can hear is those who have once yet surrounded by the stable conflagration of distraction, but also what can make someone listen and hear themselves in the music. Sometimes, it’s often more complex. Lead singer Maynard James Kennan of TOOL/A Perfect Circle/ Puscifer fame said on Joe Roegan that “his band record the music” and then he records the lyrics over it. Described such as “rain man” like techniques when it comes to the minutiae of the music Tool creates. Understanding it might be only surface, but there are months, or years, that has come to allow such music to be released. Another result is those who have already continued to feel themselves momentarily focused, as each have already learned to admit that even most musicians rarely spend enough time making music that can sound good enough to the public. But what the adventurer might say is that music is often a complete satisfaction of the customer, but even then, do most musician think about their fans as customers. It all sounds too mechanical. The problem is what is music without people to listen to it? Is the artists more lonely when he is accepted by the masses? The understanding of what makes a musician is akin to a craftsman, working solitarily on the work at hand. The evidence forgotten is those who have already known there prescience is those who have worried forever to make sure the music is ready to listen to. Beethoven was deaf, but he made music, which is the idea that if a deaf man can make music, Andrea Bocelli can be blind and sing magnificent opera, or like Stevie Wonder and the piano hits he made in his youth. Essentially is music made for people or is it an artistic expression? What makes music signify is that it is based on subjective tastes. The evidence is unknowingly up to the person listening to it. The overwhelming echo as those who have understood the will to attain such power in their music. Will and having the ability to critique themselves mercilessly, and however one might attain some newsworthy praise, does it mean that praise is relatively given to the meaning of what music should be for the time. Knowing the secrets might be hard to find, when one has to put all their heart and soul into what they are making. Not only is it revealing what others knowingly give to others, until the song can appear before the creator’s ears and eyes. But what does it mean to be an artist today? Is it based on DIY and a good support system of friends who pass on your work to help boost your sales? Does it mean the artist must be a promoter? With music, you never know what is good or not until you put on your headphones and open your mind. Colin Cayvz new single Run Away With Me, and his productivity has shown he is the front runner for the synth pop scene.


LB: So, tell us, what is your origin story, and when did you start making music?


CC: Well I’ve been singing since I was a fetus (lol).  Sang at the town fair in northern Nevada, was in a few talent shows that I didn’t win, did a singing/dancing stint as a kid.  Nothing really happened until my early 20s when I joined my first rock band.  After we broke up is when I started to consider going solo and learned how to write and record my own songs.


LB: What’s the name of your single, and where can we download it?


CC: My latest is called Run Away With Me and the best place to get it is from my bandcamp store colincayvz.bandcamp.com..  and it’s also on all major streaming outlets of course.


LB: What inspires your process, or your aesthetic?


CC: The 80s, sex, love, hate, horror, God, the devil, fantasy, reality.. and everything I love and believe in, really.


Is the business of DIY better than being signed to a label, and which is better, or is there a difference at all?


You have more control over your sound, look and masters.  That said I feel observing and making note of why successful artists are successful.. the thought and work that’s been put behind all that.. must be taken into account if you’re functioning as your own label.  You really need to learn the things that good labels do.  Marketing, artist development, etc.


LB: Has synth pop always been around, and what is the clear definition of it?


CC: Clear definition.. hmm.  I don’t know if I have that but I think synthpop evolved from rock and the advent of electronic musical circuits.  From when the Beatles used theremin and the Moog modular.. to the late 70’s when Joy Division and Depeche Mode burst onto the scene is when it really began to take shape.  I love the underlying darkness which seems to permeate most synthpop.


LB: What is the highest bar for Dark Synth Pop in the industry today?


CC: For me it’s still Depeche Mode with Alan Wilder


LB: Have you ever tried playing another type of music and if it’s just synth pop, what is your attraction to it?


CC: I have a rock n roll voice so I have no choice but to blend 80’s hard rock with synthpop.  My attraction to synthpop is the vibe and variety synths can provide to an otherwise typical arrangement.  There’s an infinite amount of sounds you can produce w synths that acoustic instruments simply can’t do.  I like the blend.


LB: Have artists become more famous by going independent first and then signing the million dollar checks later on? 


CC: It depends on the artist and their specific situation.  Some have, some haven’t.  I feel if you can make a good living off your music that you’re a success and that’s all the ultimately matters to me.  Everything else is icing on the cake.


LB: What do you think the music business is searching for?


CC: Money


LB: Do you as an Independent artist get to create your own Masters and Publishing deals in the DIY mode?


CC: Absolutely!  The more control I have the better.



LB: Does the best technology prove that music must be made in a studio or is the DIY model becoming the way to go in the music business?


CC: You can DIY for dirt cheap if you know what you’re doing.


LB: Do you have a set schedule of when you make music, or do you sit and make music all day without stopping for a break? 


CC: I make music before I go to my day job, typically.  Someday not too far off I’ll be able to do it all day long.  That’s part of the ultimate goal.


LB: What’s your dream studio and what would you have in it?


CC: More synths, big desk, iso room, killer ambience, view of the ocean from my forest area.


LB: Has the best music always been made from a place of pain?


CC: I would say much of the time it has.  Pain and excitement.


LB: Does music with pain other than joy add that authentic quality that people can relate to, and do you think that’s not the case?


CC: Yes.  Because everyone can relate to some kind of struggle.


LB: Can music be intellectual or should it always be more emotional in the music writing process? And if not, have you ever wanted to make an intellectual song before? 


CC: I think it can be intellectual if first approached from an emotional POV.  Music is first and foremost an emotional and bodily experience.  If you can enter thru those doors first you may have access to the logical mind if you’re so inclined.


LB: When you hear awful music that you make, do you always have that self analyzing critic telling you that it’s bad? 


CC: Oh yes.  Even things that turn out to be quite OK, during the creation process I often hear a voice telling me “this is crap”.  Just gotta keep going until finished and a lotta time I end up surprising myself,  haha!


LB: Faulkner once said, “I write when I’m inspired, and I’m inspired everyday, so I write everyday.” Can you force your creative output when you aren’t inspired?


CC: For me I just gotta show up everyday.. inspired or not.  For me, inspiration usually comes from just showing up.



LB: When you write music, whose lyrics do you respect enough to start the lyric writing process, or does the music come first and then the lyrics are written down later?


CC: So far for me the music always comes first.  I craft out a vocal line melody, ask myself what this sounds and feels like.. come up w a title.. then start writing out that actual lyrics.


LB: Do lyrics guide where a song is going, and should it tell a story with each song, or should there be a single that can “get radio play?”


CC: I don’t think lyrics should ever be throw away.  Though a lot of successful singles have been written w throw away lyrics.  I like evoking the senses as much as possible at all times.


LB: Do you think the masses decides what is a masterpiece or does the artist still control their own destiny, and the audience is just along for the ride?


CC: The audience tells you what you have by their reaction, honestly.  I wish I had total control over their reactions, haha.  But once they’ve spoken you know the status of what you’ve created, I feel like.


LB: What has been your favorite album to listen to from beginning to end repeatedly, and you discover something new in it every time?


CC: This actually changed from time to time but right now it’s Depeche Mode’s Black Celebration.


LB: What should the business, at large, be mindful of when signing an artist that doesn’t follow the PC guidelines?  


CC: No.  Let the artist express.  That’s what music and artistry is about.  Too much filter sucks ass.


LB: Does group think often times ruin music and their aesthetic when they take an ideological standpoint?


CC: If it’s not genuine then yes.  If you don’t truly resonate from your core the group think, and you’re just doing it to adapt to the herd then that’s just terrible.


LB: What have you seen that’s made you cringe in the music industry scene, and you would say, “I would never make that.”


CC: Most modern club music.  Too many mash ups.  I dig songs.


LB: Does being a musician mean you have to take certain stands when the suits come down largely on what to make for “commercial appeal.” (Maybe that happens less in the DIY model today.)


CC: Yes.  A lot of times to suits are the people who are influential in your genre.  Not suits at all, but people who run the blogs, etc.  The suits now wear t shirts.


lb: What do you think the larger companies need to do in order to regain some footing in the music business today? Should we go back to the way it was, or does digital music solve a lot of manufacturing costs today?


CC: If you know how to be your own label, design your brand, attract and engage an audience, and market yourself.. you don’t need any label.  The only drawback to that is you have a little less time for other things and you won’t get a million dollar advance.  But having total control over your career.. nothing can beat that, in my opinion.  You just have to be willing to learn that side and do the work.  And once you gain footing you can hire a few people, delegate and relax a bit more.


LB: Do you prefer an album, or CD, or listening to music digitally?


CC: I mean I can’t deny the convenience of streaming music.. it’s awesome.  But nothing will replace the vinyl/analog experience.


LB: Do you think better music can be made on an Apple computer over a PC, or is there no difference sonically between the two?


CC: Doesn’t matter one bit.


LB: What’s your favorite key to play in when you are making music?


CC: I gravitate toward G minor a lot I think.  But I’m always going in n out of keys so I guess I don’t have a favorite.


LB: Do you ever catch a song that sounds like something else, and you take it out of the Work in progress?


CC: I think about it, but I usually just let it be.  I chalk it up as inspiration.


LB: Is music easier to tell stories with, and would you ever make a soundtrack to a movie that you felt would be better told by you?


CC: I think music without lyrics can sometimes be better for storytelling than music with lyrics.  Depends how complicated the story and the necessary details to get the moral across.  I would love to score a movie someday..  especially an 80s horror type.   I’d gather tons of inspiration from Charles Bernstein’s original Nightmare On Elm Street score.  That’s one of my all-time favorites.


LB: If you could bring any artist back from the dead who would they be and how would you jam with them?


CC: Michael Jackson.  We’d do a dark, reflective, grandiose, groovy ballad together.


LB: Does music mean more to you when you grew older, or did you feel you were drawn to it largely from naivete, and think, “I’m really good at this.”


CC: Yeah I had to practice my craft for sure.  I’ve always had the ear.. but I had to work hard to develop the physical skills to get what I hear into the real world.


LB: Have you ever thought of forming a synth pop band or is most synth pop made by a lone creator and not a committee?


CC: I feel like I’ll have me a little band when I start playing live in the not too distant future


LB: What is the best kept secret in an musician’s tool box? 


CC: Mixing feel with technical can open up so many avenues for ideas you wouldn’t have access to if you use either of those in isolation.


LB: What’s the shortest time you have ever completed a song, and have you ever had to change something at the last minute before releasing it? 


CC: It takes me a while to complete a full song.  I write the arrangement at the same time I’m writing the song.. within the DAW.  I’d say 2 weeks from conception to final product is pretty quick for me.  haha but we’re talking full production.  So maybe that’s not too bad I dunno.  I wish it’d be quicker.  I’m trying to make it quicker!


LB: Is having a “bullshit meter”  good for detecting weak music?


CC: I suppose having a bullshit meter is good for life in general


LB: If you had your way, what are three things you would change about the music business?


CC: Nothing, honestly.  I think it’s never been better and easier for an artist to get themselves out there and take control of their art and career.  A lot of artist are still waiting to be signed, sadly.  Fuck that.


LB: What is your ultimate way to relax after a long day of recording music? Are you an artist who has to check his unfinished song at the end of the day, or just leave it for the next day?


CC: I like to leave and come back the next day and see if I still like it.


LB: What has music taught you that you wouldn’t find in religion (for example) or any other occupation that you have had before?


CC: That it’s OK to express yourself.


LB: What’s one time where you said, “I am the Dark Synth God” when making music, and you get a big grin on your face?


CC: In the vocal booth I do that sometimes, haha.


LB: What’s the highest compliment someone has ever paid to your music?


CC: That it’s inspired them to make their own.  Or that something I wrote made them feel a certain way.  Being able to affect another’s feeling with your art is the highest compliment, I feel like.


LB: Some artists who write music all the time have to play the song in their car. What’s the best way to experience music for you?


CC: In the car is great!  Or in my room on my hifi system with a turntable.. or on a beautiful set of headphones.


LB: Have you ever thought that we are living in a great time to be a musician, or a music listener with all the choices we have today to listen to?   


CC: It’s the best, honestly.  Its just a lot different than before and people are scared of change.  But music is for the people.. and it’s never been easier to create, listen to, and release your own music than it is now.  It’s fucking glorious!


LB: Are dreams worth chasing if you realize it’s an uphill battle and the odds are weighed against you?


CC: They’re worth it, absolutely.  But.. you must be willing to do everything it takes.  And stop looking for short cuts.  It took me a long time to realize that, but it’s ok.  Live, learn, wash, rinse and repeat.  And never fucking quit no matter how grim your brain tries to tell you it seems.  Its a lie.  If you keep going, learning and applying, there’s no way you can’t succeed.  It’s always the people who are willing to go thru all that who succeed.  Never stop short!


Also, I ask everybody three questions after our interview:


What’s a movie you like people think you wouldn’t like?  Witchboard

What’s the best barbecue you have ever had?  This little place in Venice beach.. wish I could remember the name.

What’s your favorite literary, movie, television character of all time?  Father Karras in the original Exorcist.  Can I pick two?  lol, him and Rocky.


Louis Bruno is the author available online at Amazon and Lulu.com, and the Intellectual Conservative. He is finishing his 60th novel. He has published 13 novels. He is regularly on Twitter, Instagram, and Gab.


Colin Cayves can be found on Colincayvz.com, FB.me/colincayvz for Facebook, Twitter: darkwavecayvz, and you can find him under Colin Cayvz on youtube.









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