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MASTER BOOT RECORD: Synthetic Metal music

Master Boot Reord is the pseudonym of an Italian artist, who creates synthetic sounds inspired by metal music, classical music und computer topics. Now his newest album Floppy Disk Overdrive has been released and for that I had the chance to interview the MBR< for SLAM music magazine - the story created out of that can be read in upcoming issue #109 (German only). All the rest f the interview is published here for your interest!

What does your very own musical background and taste look like?

It´s really hard to say, because through my life I had a lot of different "phases". When I was a kid i was into classical music, because I was learning piano for some years, but my idols where those of the 80s music, Michael Jackson on top. Then through the years I´ve been listening to a lot of chiptune and video game music, but also a lot of music from cracktros and keygens and anything related to computer music. That is also related to the fact, my father had a computer shop which we kept active since the late 80s till the early 00 and I was always helping him with all sort of things. When I was growing up as a teen, I mostly listened to Thrash and Death Metal as well as Hard Rock and Classic Rock and some black metal. Growing up, I started to get into electronic music from Techno to Synth Pop till Darkwave and Gothic Rock and then Industrial, Nu-Metal and so on. Eventually in the recent years I came back listening to Thrash and Death Metal as well as a lot of classical music and chiptune/demoscene/crack music and that has clearly influenced the birth of MBR.

Master Boot Record: Floppy Disk Overdrive
Floppy Disk Overdrive

Having invented a kind of unique and very special style of music: How did the idea for Master Boot Record start and grow?

It actually spawned out of the video game I´m working on with my friends. In 2016 I got in touch with Valenberg, a pixel artist, and I wanted him to design a scene for a song of my previous solo project. That scene looked really like those pixel art adventure games, which is my favourite genre of games. So I was like, why don´t we make a real adventure game? And then at the same time I met Elder0010 which is one of the best programmers here and a demo scener and we started working on this game called VirtuaVerse founding the dev team Theta Divsion. At that point we needed a soundtrack for the game and at first I wanted to make collabs with other artists. Eventually I got mostly ditched and ingnored by most of them and in general things were going slow, so I decided to create a project to work on the soundtrack of the game and mixing chiptune and demoscene with some synth metal sounds I was working on. At a point tho some songs resulted too heavy to be included on the game, so I was like, hey guys, maybe I´m gonna do a project like this. That is all, few days later I just released some of those songs on Bandcamp and kept writing and releasing everyday between 1. and 22. september and finally I had the first 4 albums there and people started enjoying it. Then I decided to start covering the themes of the videogames I loved and did the cover of Doom and Castlevania and from point I just kept surfing the edge.

You have a really high output - Where do you get all your ideas and inspirations from?

To be honest my inspiration comes mostly from my life experience and also all the concepts related to it are really personal and connect to my past at the videogame and computer shop and the work I was doing with my father, the games I played and my teenage time as a metalhead. I then merged this with my passion for classical music and sound production and this is what came out.

The titles are all kind of DOS data names/commands. How is a songname like Fdsik. Exe connected to the music within?

The thing is, most of songs are instrumental, so giving to them silly names with a specific reason is a bit silly, because it has really not much relation with the song itself. I don´t know frankly why artists give names to their songs when they are instrumental, I just find it weird. So what I thought was like, ok, I´m gonna give them titels that actually connect to my life experience and since fiddling with keyboards and working with computers as well as typing DOS commands was basically the big part of my childhood and teenage time I thought it was just fitting. Then I merged this all with the visual concept mixing all those hardware and software visuals with the icelandic norse magic symbols in a sort of thing i call spellware, a mix of magic and hardware that is cast through the digital media to break the firewall of conformity and spread the code worldwide.

Touring is planned with MBR, including a drummer and a guitar player. But what is your part on stage, as the songs are already composed and recorded, aren´t they? Will you only start the tracks?

That was a big dilemma because the quantized parts that are programmed via midi, the synth guitar parts and the very complex leads are something that are essential for the sound so removing them entirely and playing them live would not only be sounding bad, but will also make no sense conceptually. So what we do live is to play along with the computer parts and improve them adding the live touch. I play rhythm guitars and do all the riffs, the electronic drums are removed from the tracks and are all played live by the drummer and then all the rest is playing through the computer and the drummer goes along with it with the click. This was our setup until some months ago because I thought it would be really hard to find somebody around here that was actually able to play that lead parts. In fact those aren´t just complex and very fast, but also aren´t written using a guitar, so some positions are absurd and almost unplayable. However, at a point there´s this guy who asked me to send him the midi because he wanted to replicate those parts on the guitar, a 20 year old guy. And I was like, ok let´s see if you can make it. And he did. And yeah it would have been just crazy to not get him abroad. And so we did and started rehearsels and we were ready to go on tour.

As you live in Italy - How does the Corona virus influence your touring plans, but also your personal existence?

Unfortunately at the moment everything has been postponed but we really hope to make it one day. We had two tours planned for Europe and North America, but at the moment we had to give up the idea. We all really hope, this whole situation will be solved soon, but it looks like the situation is serious and we´ll have to wait probably the next year.

And what else are the next steps you wanna go with Master Boot Record?

To be honest at the moment, and with all that´s going on, I´m living day by day. I don´t know what´s gonna happen next with this project. Probably I´m gonna live stream again one of those days and write some new material. Also this album and many albums before have been composed live while streaming on youtube, twitch and mixer. I also want to go back working on some new stuff for Keygen Church, which is a side MBR project, still Synth Metal, but focusing on pipe organ and piano. Also I´d like to do some more cover songs of videogames at a point (you can download them from my server by the way at mbrserver.com/warez, they are free for all). But for sure right now I´m also focused on finishing our game VirtuaVerse, for which I wrote the story and of course I did the soundtrack for it and will be released together with the game on 12. May 2020 on Steam and Gog.


Art des Interviews: Email
04/06/20 by Otti
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