Category Archives: interviews

Project Soundcloud/ part 1 : SYNAU

Soundcloud is an online audio distribution platform that enables its users to upload, record, promote and share their originally- created sounds. Launched in 2008 from Berlin, SoundCloud became a fast favorite in German city’s electronic music scene. In soundcloud, artists can get direct feedback from their peers, while users can browse new music according to genres or similar bands. Although it belongs to the family of social networking sites, soundcloud focuses on music and it caters both creators and listeners.


Simon Hutchinson is a musician, a PHD student, an artist, a producer, a Londoner. He was born in the UK but lived in the USA for 15 years, before moving back to UK for studies. He grew up playing the cello and played in solo performances and orchestral arrangements during his adolescence. He studied physics in Scotland and then moved to Cardiff to play electrified cello in an alternative stoner-folk-rock band called Mwsog. «It was during this time that I started to learn how to produce my own music and and released my first attempt at an album entitled “7 Pi Over 3 AM“, which was a reference to the fact that I was a math geek seeking the alternative life-style: if you convert 7pi/3 from radians into degrees you get 420. I wrote most of the music in the middle of the night, hence 4:20 AM. The album was a mess of ideas, that were poorly mixed but it was my first effort and I was happy to have self-produced my first album».  It was the beginning of Synau.

The name Synau means noise in Welsh. Welsh is a language that is lyrical in how it sounds but undecipherable in meaning. Using the welsh word for noise was a way of saying that Simon’s music is meant to have recognisable concepts, yet be weird in the delivery of those concepts. «..perhaps another way of understanding what I’m aiming at is: “Weird and wonderful noises”.»

His first two years back in London were spent trying to make sense of ultrafast laser physics (as he started a PhD course) and completing his second album entitled Spectral Entistry. That album was much more coherent and received much better feedback than the previous one. «Though, I still felt as though I never really understood what it was that I was trying to express… I just knew exactly that I wanted to express and I put everything into the sound»

Soundcloud is not only a way for SYNAU to share his music, but also a way for Simon to build up groups of pieces of work. He makes several different types of music, and the way Soundcloud is structured makes it easier to represent different sides of his musical persona. He started to invite people over to record lines for his songs and at that point he started to consider himself a producer. «While I’ve only got about 23 followers on Soundcloud, I’ve got about 8000 plays, averaging about 40 plays a day. All of this time I had been making music on my own with no input from anyone else. I have never tried to emulate anyone else and just created from my interpretation of what I thought was good and representative of my emotive state»

«The music scene is a lot more saturated these days because it is a lot easier to create and share music, but I think that that is a good thing. The more there is, the greater the chance of variety – eventually people will get tired of hearing the same old stuff again and again, and they will search out different types of artists, which is good for the global music community.I’m not a live performer , at least not yet, and Soundcloud is my only ‘stage’

Arni Arnason of The Vaccines…


…after 414 gigs and three years on the road

London is full of opportunities, surprises and interesting people. Arni Arnason (or Hjorvar), the bass player of The Vaccines, is not only one of London’s interesting people but someone who grabbed London’s opportunities and surprised the world with studio albums and live appearances. London is home for Arni, to which he had just returned after a three year long absence. Only because during the past three years, The Vaccines were busy touring across Europe and America, recording two and a half studio albums and becoming famous.

-You have been on the road for three years. So how does it feel to be back home? I just came back last week and immediately after I came down with a terrible flu. Today is the first day I am out of bed, so didn’t have the time to do much yet.

What have you gained or lost during the past three years? I’ve lost a lot of acquaintances unfortunately, as it is very difficult to keep relationships when you are on the road for three years. The friends that are close become closer, but those who are on the perimeter – it’s difficult. I’ve gained an extortionate amount of experiences and I’ve been to every single imaginable place and, yeah, that’s the upside to the whole experience

-You had the chance to be the opening act for the Rolling Stones. Is there any story you want to share? I’ve got a picture with all of the Rolling Stones. But it came with a disclaimer saying if you ever share the picture with anybody then you’ll get sued to fuck. So unfortunately the only story I can share is that I admit having a picture with the Stones.

-What do you think when reviewers draw comparisons to the Ramones? Ramones is one of the most important bands in history of music and just being mentioned in the same sentence is quite an honour. But you know, people need attachments when it comes to music. They need to be able to put something down to a very tangible idea in a very simple sentence. The Ramones? Yeah, I can’t really complain about that.

-Will you be doing 414 gigs over the next 3 yearsIt has been a great experience and amazing three years, but I am planning to stay still for a while.