1- Where did you grow up?
I was born in Toledo, Ohio and moved to Huntington Beach, California in first grade. I’ve been here ever since.
2- What is one of the first songs you remember liking as a kid?
“Somebody” by Depeche Mode was a turning point for me. I actually typed out the lyrics on a typewriter, like a love letter or affirmation. That’s when I became an active music fan. Before that I used to listen to whatever was on the radio or MTV.
3- What influenced you to get into music?
A good friend was proficient at the piano and knew some showy stuff. He used to write songs for the girls he liked. That inspired me to take piano lessons. Another friend persuaded me to join our high school drumline. At some point it became part of my identity.
4- At what age did you start playing/singing?
I think I started piano in junior high? I was only half-decent until college.
5- If you could go back in time, what advice would you give to yourself after finishing school?
If I’d known better, I would’ve gone to Berklee College of Music in Boston instead of studying classical piano. After college, I’d tell myself to intern at a real studio instead of trying to figure everything out for myself. Remember, this was before there were YouTube tutorials for everything.
6- What are some of your favorite songs at the moment?
That’s a surprisingly difficult question! I’m constantly curating my Vocal Synthwave Retrowave playlist, and paring my choices there down to a monthly Synthwave Top 10
Let’s see, specific songs...
“New Shapes” by Charli XCX (with Christine and the Queens and my favorite, Caroline Polachek)
“Dancefloor” by Easy (#1 on my last Synthwave Top 10 podcast)
“Miranda” by Nation of Language
That’s all I’ve got for now. I’m hoping to start a listening journal soon so I can dig a little deeper into what makes my favorite songs tick, rather than always focusing on what’s new this week.
7- Do you listen to your own music?
Rarely. It’s hard not to listen to it while you’re making it, but if you listen back too much, you lose perspective.
8- Which musician would you like to collaborate with next?
Rogue VHS talked about collaborating, but never got around to it. Hope it happens soon!
9- What is one of your favorite memories so far in your music career?
Winning the John Lennon Songwriting Contest stands out to me. I was told by phone and thought it must be some sort of prank. I’m still using the Roland stage piano that I won, and also Ableton Live. If it weren’t for that contest, I’d still probably be using Cubase.
10- What advice would you give to someone that is just starting to get into music?
Don’t try to make music your sole source of income unless you absolutely can’t see yourself doing anything else. Get a job that pays better. Ultimately your music will be better served by having resources to devote to it.
Brian Hazard of Color Theory creates a world of nostalgically transfigured memories that allow the listener to place their own emotions into the music without being overly guided by thought. Check out his newest release below on Bandcamp and also follow him on social media.