Got to ask the amazingly talented Alejandro Aranda aka Scarypoolparty three questions. He shares his influences, writing technique and more below.
Synth History: Who or what were your biggest influences growing up?
Alejandro: I would say my biggest influences growing up is a big mixture of games, movies, music and art. On the movie side it’s Stanley Kubrick. The first movie I saw of his was 2001: A Space Odyssey and it really opened my eyes and imagination. I got obsessed with his visions and overall outlook on film. From Full Metal Jacket to Dr.Strangelove, to one of my all time favorites The Shining. He was pushing the boundaries on film.
Another influence on the gaming side, is Finally Fantasy Vll for the PS1. That was the first RPG game I played as a kid and legit still inspires me to this day. That and Tekken 3 - those games I remember just putting countless hours and hours into. I'm so into games, not only on a playing level but on a musical level. I still remember all the theme songs from Crash Bandicoot, Twisted Metal, Spyro, Tony Hawk Pro Skater 2, Halo.
On the music side I grew up listening to Sly and the Family Stone, David Bowie, The Cure, Nine Inch Nails, Slipknot, Chopin, Neil Young, Gary Numan, Stevie Wonder, Can, Deftones, AFI, TOOL, Bob Dylan, John Martyn, The Birthday Party, Nick Cave, etc. I could go on for days on music influences, so many amazing bands and artists can inspire for infinity.
Synth History: What are some of your go-to synths?
Alejandro: My go to synths at the moment are a mixture of the Prophet 6 and Sub 37 Moog. Mostly because I'm finding the Prophet is more of a sound adventure for creating atmospheres and using my Sub 37 to get an amazing low end.
Both of those synths have been my combos for writing at the moment. I’ve put years into playing these synths, when I power them up, I know exactly what kind of sound I can create with them.
Synth History: What do you find are the main differences between composing music with a piano versus a synthesizer?
Alejandro: I find the biggest difference in composing music with a synthesizer rather then a piano is mainly just on the approach. I approach a synth with the thought of creating a sound rather than just playing notes on piano when writing a song. I feel as if there are just so many different ways in painting a picture for whatever mood you’re trying to write in. I try to keep within that mindset when I'm composing, especially with synthesizers. Molding the world you want within the sound design.
Alejandro: I do really, really feel like improv is super important while playing live. I always improvise. It helps with creativity and also with fear. Whenever I feel like I'm gonna mess up bad on a solo or a riff, I always at least try to make something out of it. It can sound sick as hell or it can totally flop, but if you don't try you’ll never know!
References: Synth History Exclusive.