Interview: STREET CLEANER
I recently had a chance to ask a few questions of Jesse Bishop, aka "Street Cleaner." The synthwave vigilante had some definitive, interesting answers for me.
Q:Tell me about your style in your own words, and about what music influences you as an artist.
-I've always been into music, Electronic music. In the late 90's I cut my teeth in the Impulse tracker / Fast tracker Gabber scene. Then moved into chiptunes. I found that the music I appreciated and remembered most was from Video Games and 80's movies. I worked on video game arrangements for a while then finally got a chance to score a ream video game, Aeternum on Xbox and PC. After that project I felt I owed it to myself to also write the soundtrack to an 80's movie (My other passion in life) and wrote the soundtrack to an action/noir vigilante film "Street Cleaner" about a law abiding detective by day, and masked baseball bat wielding vigilante by night. I drew a lot of influences from, well, movies. My Ipod is FULL of 80's movies soundtracks. It's practically all I listen to.
Q:What equipment and/or software do you use? also, what is the creative process like for you when you sit down to work on music?
-I parted with a pretty decent collection of hardware about 5 years ago. I kept my Korg MS2000 and my guitars (Namely, Ibanez HRG1), but found that I can be a much more productive artist with VSTs and other plugins. I'm embarrassed to say, but I still use an old version of FL studio 8. But you know, I've spent to much time with it, I'm afraid to leave it. I know it inside and out.
Outside of strictly music, what aspects of 80s retro culture influence you or stick out in your mind?
-The true artistic nature of the 80's. People weren't afraid to take risks. If you look at movies like Manhunter and Blade Runner, They are both standout artistic perfection that in no way had a predecessor. Terminator, The Keep, Akira, Lost Boys, Gremlins, Beetlejuice, American Werewolf, THE LIST GOES ON! All great artistic endeavors that took risks.. Not like the 'Play it safe' bullshit of recent history. Studios would rather give Adam Sandler another 50 million then take a 20 million risk on a potential visionary.
Q: Outside of synthwave/retrowave music, what kinds of music do you enjoy? What other genres?
-Video game music. I listen to game music about as much as anything else. Knowing the sound chip limitation of some of the older game consoles and hearing what these guys were able to make them do just makes my jaw drop. Street of Rage 2 and Gunstar Heroes are prime examples. It's almost as if the physical limitations unlocked limitless potential.
Q: Just recently, you released "Payback," which was a superb album. What's in the works now? What does the future hold for Street Cleaner?
-I've got a few Irons in the fire right now. The most important of which is a new video game soundtrack. I've already started work on a game that is being developed for PS4 and Steam. It's a much more energetic outrun style game that will be done under the Street Cleaner moniker. I look forward to bridging the gap between Synthwave/Outrun and Game Music.
Tune in next time, true believers!!!