Bart Graft is a Irish Synthwave/Rock producer known for his crystal clear production and his bedazzling compositions. This week we had a chance to chat with him about his music, where it all began & whats in store for the future.
When did you start making music and when was it that you decided to start releasing music as Bart Graft?
I started making music in early 2014 under the name ‘The Wok’. However, I had been playing bass since I was 11 years old in various bands through the years (one of which named ‘The Wok’). I guess Bart Graft came about after watching Miami Vice and becoming heavily inspired by the show’s entire atmosphere. It was beautiful in every way… So I made an EP shortly followed by a debut LP and a few days after its release I noticed a review had been written by a chap who goes by the name of Rick Shithouse. It was through Rick that I discovered the whole Synthwave scene on Synthetix.FM.
What inspires your sound?
It’s hard to pin down exactly what inspires my sound. It varies with each project, but I would say ambient music is probably my favourite genre, so I guess my sound is a mix of ambient and funk, perhaps… with a bit of hair metal added for good taste. Brian Eno’s ‘Thursday Afternoon’ always acts as inspiration for me. It’s the perfect sound. And not to mention the insane funk of Scritti Politti, so good!
It is no secret that you like the 80’s what are some of your favorite 80’s films!?
Favorite 80’s movies… I’m a huge fan of those ridiculously cheesy Buddy-cop films like Midnight Run or Beverley Hills Cop. Also Terminator was a masterpiece. But my all-time favorite is probably The Shining, love that ‘Rocky Mountains’ theme by Wendy Carlos & Rachel Elkind.
Is there a particular 80’s band that you are influenced by & what do you listen to when your not listening to (or making) Synthwave?
I’m always listening to Scritti Politti, Faith No More, Brian Eno, Nine Inch Nails, Beach Boys, Cocteau Twins, Aphex Twin, Harold Budd, Koji Kondo, Slayer, Steve Vai, and of course Frank Zappa. I have a slight obsession with Zappa.
Whats the music scene like in where you live?
The music scene where I live is very indie rock-based. There doesn’t seem to be much room for the ol’ cheesy synth rock, unfortunately. But maybe one day with a bit of luck…
You are producing machine! you just released a full length album (Worldly Pleasures) in February & now you already have a new album (Empyrean) available on your Bandcamp!How often would you say you are in the studio writing new music?
I try to spend 2 hours a night messing around with sounds. Usually something comes out of it and I make a track. I tend to get drawn in when producing and don’t stop until the track is about 90% complete, plus I’ve developed a very fast process over the years, so that’s probably why I release so much content.
Many fans have agreed that your album ‘Worldly Pleasures’ is some of your best work but after listening to your new album ‘Empyrean’ it seems that your best is yet to come. do you feel this way? is there a song or album you feel is your best work?
I definitely feel my best is yet to come. I’m enjoying experimenting a bit more these days and I’ve layed off a bit on the cheesy hooks. I think Worldly Pleasures is probably the best structured album, due to the fact the songs rely on eachother with various motifs throughout. My personal favorites are probably Pink! and Monetary Gain. As for individual songs, I’d probably choose Fields of Bezhin and Life of the Mind. I’d like to play around some more in the future with styles similar to those tracks!
If you could collaborate with any artist in the world who would it be and why?
I’d collaborate with Killing Joke’s Geordie Walker. The melodies that man can produce on the guitar are phenomenal.
What can we expect in the future from Bart Graft!?
Expect more concept albums in the future! I’m also thinking of making an Art Exhibition sequel album, and something rooted in J-Pop. There’s many possibilities so keep your eyes and ears open!
Any final words or shout outs?
I’d like to give a shout out to anyone who listens to my tunes! A million thanks your way. Also, thanks to Rain Dragon and everyone who helps out with exposure and promotion by uploading songs to YouTube and the likes. It’s greatly appreciated.
Thanks for your time Bart! Have a great day!