Interview: Five Minute with The Toxic Avenger
Image credit: Négatif-Ju Patrice
French producer The Toxic Avenger has just shared his latest synthwave EP, Shifted via Enchanté Records. With other 50 million plays on Spotify alone, the musician has established a cult following of fan who are loyal to the unique sound. Having previously toured with Skrillex and collaborated with Chromeo, OrelSan and Look Mum no Computer, the producer turned his eyes (and ears) towards Sophie Tith, a rising songstress for the vocals on his recent track ‘Goodbye’, also featured on the new EP.
A fundi at creating music for video games (with several awards under his belt to support the boast), the producer occasionally finds himself branching out into mainstream media – providing music for both films and advertisements. However, all of this white noise fades away as soon as you press play, for The Toxic Avenger’s music proves its own worth with its adventurous synth-washed sound.
Join us as we sit down for an exclusive interview and explore the mind of the talented musician below.
Which comes first when you’re producing – the sound or the idea?
I’d say the idea
I’m always starting songs the same way, with a Rhodes sound. It helps me make my ideas clear enough, so I can work on the song
Does your material feature any collaborations?
Yes. I’m working, as often with a girl named Sophie Tith. She has won the French version of American Idol. She is one of the few who have a voice that I love
What’s on your current playlist?
– French boogie (you SHOULD listen to Maya – lait de coco for example )
– Algerian Rai (Nordine Staifi – Zine ezzinet )
– Australian Punk Hiphop (Genesis Owosu – The other black dog )
– French Electronic music (Ouai Stephane – Ché pas)
What techniques do you experiment with to get your original sound?
Oh, my studio is all about experimentation. I use tape records a lot, for example, and tape loops as well
Take us through a day in the recording studio.
I work on an “office day” basis! 9:00am/7:00pm. Not really super sexy, right? But I used to work at night when I was younger!
I could say that I’m working 10h straight, but as all artists in the studio, I’m mostly watching youtube videos while waiting for inspiration, ahahah
Was there a specific moment in your life where you thought, “this is what I want to do”?
Sure, it’ll sound cliché as f** but while I was doing my last EP, the song called Stage one was EXACTLY what I wanted to do!
What do you keep close by while you’re playing a set?
A bottle of Perrier? ahahah
Any emerging artists on your radar?
A guy called ” Cool Raoul”. I love Dombrance as well
What gets your creative juices flowing?
Youtube videos. ahah
Besides that, movies, countryside, and podcasts!
Take us through your collection of gear, tech or software that accompanies your creative expression.
I’ve got three synths that I really can’t work without:
My modular synth, which I use for researching purpose. Sound research etc
Juno 106, is the synth I use on mostly all of my def tracks. It always sound extraordinary
The last one is my Moog one, I use it mainly for background pads. It enhances my sound.
Any side projects you’re working on?
Yes, but I can’t tell!
Breakdown the news for us: what can we expect from you this year?
A new EP
Songs for a new video game called “Road 96”
I also work for the biggest Esport team here in France and one of the biggest in the world, called team Vitality. I’m making of their sound
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By Sarah Britton