1- Where did you grow up?
I grew up on an estate in a small market town called Mold in North Wales but at the age of 10 I moved into a basically derelict house in a tiny hamlet called Melin-y-Wern and we repaired/rebuilt the house whilst we lived in it. It was an amazing experience. I basically got to knock stuff down and then learn how to rebuild it for years. It was awesome.
2- What is one of the first songs you remember liking as a kid?
I remember being terrified by the mid section of Whole Lotta Love by Led Zeppelin. When Robert Plant started wailing it used to freak me out but I loved it at the same time. I also loved (and still do love) the Battle of the Planets theme tune.
3- What influenced you to get into music?
Cutting a long story very short it was my friend Richard Brockelsby. I was always getting detention in school for lacking focus and tapping my feet, fingers, pencils on the desk etc and after one lesson when I was about 12 he said to me “you should be a drummer.” A light bulb went off in my head and that was the beginning.
4- At what age did you start playing/singing?
I’d had piano lessons when I was about 5 but I never wanted to practice (something I regret now) so gave it up. Officially though it was when I started drumming at the age of 12. I had a drum kit that I borrowed £50 off my parents to buy and I couldn’t afford cymbals so I genuinely used to place my Mum’s pans on my cymbal stands and hit them. It sounded like I had 3 different cowbells rather than any crashes.
5- If you could go back in time, what advice would you give to yourself after finishing school?
Focus on learning how to play your instrument properly. I always have good intentions of learning how to play piano or guitar properly and I’ll sit down to do it but instead of practicing I’ll start writing a song and that takes over. I’ve been playing for years but my playing ability is very poor so I really wish I’d focused on that.
Also don’t listen to people who bully you about your singing voice. I’m quite a good singer but due to people making fun of me, my ability to sing in front of people is absolutely crippled. Literally it makes me clam up and I get so sweaty and tongue tied. Put me onstage in front of a thousand, ten thousand, a hundred thousand people though and I come to life. If my wife asks me to sing in the car though….it’s impossible.
6- What are some of your favorite songs at the moment?
Oh man there are so many. I listen to music basically all of the time (my friends really make fun of me for it haha!) So I’ll go with what I’ve had on repeat recently which is the album Music by Droid Bishop, Master Switch by Sebastian Gampl, the Pinout soundtrack by Douglas Holmquist and an old track by Lavallette called Wasted Love. The Pinout soundtrack is amazing and needs to be in any Synthwave fan’s collection.
7- Do you listen to your own music?
Obviously whilst mixing it I listen to it a thousand times and then stop. After it’s been out for a while though I do go back to it on occasion. I might put an album in whilst I’m driving etc. I think that’s fine though. Some people have a real problem with it but I make music that I want to listen to so sometimes it’s good to blast out what you make. It’s a learning process as well so I still listen to my released stuff and think oooh I wish I’d changed that or that crash cymbal is too low in the mix.
8- Which musician would you like to collaborate with next?
There’s so many. I really enjoy collaborating. I’ve got a new collaboration coming out with Stux.io in November and I love that song. I’m doing something with Strike Eagle as well which will be my first foray into vocal Synthwave and I’ve asked Matteo (Micromatscenes) about adding something to a track. If I could do a dream wish list though it would include Alpha Chrome Yayo, Droid Bishop, Zak Vortex, JJ Mist, Primo, VHS Tokyo.
The list would be massive. I’ve been in talks with Gemwave and SAZER for ages about doing something as well but I keep letting them down by being unbelievably slow!!! We’ll make it happen though. I’ve been working on a collaboration album for a fake horror score with Matt (Death by Neon) and it’s sounding really moody and intense. I love it.
9- What is one of your favorite memories so far in your music career?
There are loads to be honest. I’ve been making music for a very long time with little to no success. I’m still a very small fish in a big Synthwave pond but basically every time someone purchases my stuff or my streaming numbers go up I get incredibly excited. Getting my track Credits where Credit’s Due onto the Spotify Synthwave/Retrowave editorial playlist was massive for me and completely unexpected. If I had to pick one moment though it would be the release of my debut album The End of the Beginning. It took me years to make and it’s definitely flawed but to actually see it out in the world and have people seemingly enjoying it was huge.
10- What advice would you give to someone that is just starting to get into music?
Listen to loads of music, absorb loads of music, learn your craft and then carve your own path. Why bother copying? Do what excites you.
Also be nice, a little bit of niceness goes a long way. No one likes a dick. Some people seem to be so self entitled and think they’re owed success and then get upset and lash out publicly because they’re not getting as many streams as so and so etc. Who cares!!! Get jealous by all means if that drives you on but keep it to yourself, get your head down and do better. No one wants to hear someone who’s lucky enough to have enough money to afford some music equipment and enough time on their hands to make music moaning about how hard their life is because they’ve only had 250 streams on Spotify.
There are people out there who desperately want the opportunity to make music or do something creative but have neither the money nor the situation to do so……basically….get over yourself.
Check out Jetfire Prime on Bandcamp below and also on his profile page right here on the website.