complete interview with Aaron Badgley
Badgley: Stereo In Solo is your first solo album, what made you
decide to release a solo album in 2018?
Noritop: I had been thinking about this solo album for a long time
but I was wondering about the quality of my voice and I was also a
little apprehensive about writing the lyrics because English is not
my mother tongue.
Badgley: Can you explain the name Stereo In Solo?
Noritop: STEREO is the band I did with Bernie Adam in the 80s... then
our return in 2014 for the release of the album "Back to
somewhere", following the release on Minimal Wave records of our
work in the 80s... I wanted to keep this name STEREO which
represents an important part of my life and add this "in solo".
I wanted to take STEREO in MONO but the name was already taken.
Badgley: What is your creative process?
Noritop: I often start with a drum loop to get a rhythmic groove.
Then I start either with a bass line or a chord sequence and then I
try to stick a vocal melody to it. It rarely exceeds 30 or 40
seconds, I save and listen again a few days later to get some
perspective (see several weeks later). Sometimes I almost finish
writing songs quickly if I like the stuff and I'm inspired. I'm above
all a guitarist but I don't write anything I like with my instrument,
I almost only compose on keyboards.
Aaron Badgley: What
did you do between stereo and today?
Noritop: Many things... Jingles for radio, advertising, corporate
movies, records as a composer and especially a lot of relaxation CDs
(too much...) but for almost 15 years, I didn't write a single song,
it was a mistake but I think I didn't have the right connections at
the record company level.
Badgley: To what extent does life in France influence your music?
Noritop: Hard question because I don't really know. I live in Paris,
right in the middle between the Louvre & the Centre Pompidou, so
I suppose that the atmosphere of cities in general is more conducive
to my way of composing. If I lived in the country, maybe I'd do
something less urban.
Badgley: Who are your influences?
Noritop: I learned to play guitar with the Rolling Stones (thanks
Keith). I grew up with major artists like David Bowie, Genesis with
Peter Gabriel and Steely Dan, then Joni Mitchell from "The
hissing of summer lawns" and Rickie Lee Jones. From the late
80's, I became addicted to Prefab Sprout and that Scottish band
wonder The Blue Nile. Unconsciously, they certainly influenced me
even though I know that deep down, I would never achieve such a
quality of writing.
Badgley: What is your opinion about the resurrection of the 1980s?
Noritop: I love this resurrection. Fashion is cyclical and always
will be, it seems to me that people have this vital need to go
forward but also to look back, to listen to sounds that are quite
current from the return of vintage synths on many records of the
Badgley: Possible re-edition of stereo material....there must be new
Noritop: There are few... not at all because I always throw away what
seems average or bad. There were also losses in my moves, computer
failure or magnetic tapes that did not stand the test of time.
Badgley: Who is on the new album?
Noritop: I did it all alone in my home studio with only one outside
intervention for the saxophone, I even mixed it all but I would have
liked to mix in a "real studio" but I didn't have the
budget for it. I learned a lot about the art of mixing with Ralf
Beck, the German co-producer of "Back to somewhere",
watching him mix this album. Thank you Ralf!
Badgley: Who are you listening to these days?
Noritop: I really like Jonathan Wilson "Rare birds" and his
two previous albums, the new Get Well Soon and following the purchase
of David Bowie's box set (1977-1982), I plunged back into what I
consider to be the most creative period of this exceptional artist. I
recently discovered a very talented indie band The Color Theory,
listening live to some radio stations that were programming STEREO in
for this interview!
Author Aaron Badgley
and raised in Whitby, Aaron Badgley
discovered music through his love of The Beatles. This led to a
career in radio, writing for various publications, and ultimately a
radio show about The Beatles (Beatles Universe), which ran for over
four years. When not immersed in music, Aaron enjoys spending time
with the loves of his life -- his wife Andrea, and daughters Emily
and Linda (all of whom have an intense love of music too).
thanks to Aaron, Stephen & Arvin at The Spill Magazine
with Nostra Dam in Top80Musique