Switchboard Of Souls (SOS) is primarily led by Christopher Quintos, a Fresno, California-based musician who puts together darkwave and industrial tracks that smell like they come from a parallel universe in 1986. His music is modern and synth-driven, but the musical structures, melodies and sometimes even lyrics are throwbacks to a past age.
SOS is one of the QED artists we’ve never met in person, but who has contributed a massive amount of music to the archive: as of September 2009 he has 5 releases in the QED Records catalog. We caught up with him via email soon after the release of his 10-track album “Don’t Bother Me – Remixes” [qd-4257] to ask about his music and his process.
Full interview after the jump.
QED: Your last release on QED was the EP Mad With Me, and your contribution to QED is now a whopping 5 releases. How are you so prolific? Talk about your creative process.
SOS: My inspiration springs forth based upon a simple construction of elements: First, hard-hitting kicks and metallic distorted snares. Second, synthesized bass lines, electronic algorithms. Thirdly, I incorporate dark strings and poppy melodies which in turn, thus harmonizes in a staccato-like setting. I will then incorporate some of my old (or new) written poems into vocalizations. My inspiration represents the duality of mankind – drawing from a range of emotions, dreams, nightmares, visions, fears, love, and self-conquest.
QED: How do you support yourself, so that you can create art?
SOS: I do finish carpentry in the construction business.
QED: You perform live every now and then as seen from some of your Facebook invites– what is it about live gigs that you enjoy? And what’s your setup at a gig? Any “unforgettable gig” stories?
SOS: I enjoy the positive nucleus of energy that spawns from the crowd, which I receive from people dancing and cheering on. This is quite a reward and motivation within itself. Plus the hot gothic babes… LOL. j/k… No, but really I’m serious.
My setup generally consists of a simple 10-channel mixer running my backing tracks via laptop, with our mics (including Anthony Urbano my fellow band member), I use my Yamaha CS6x synthesizer, my Novation K-Station, and he uses his Korg M1. We also use a DigiTech Vocal-300 voice processor, sometimes I’ll even bring my old Peavey T-15 electric guitar on stage if needed.
Unforgettable gig? Back in 2004, there was the AVEC (A Very Electronik Compilation) CD release party in Fresno, California. In retrospect I must say it was quite a turnout. It was quite a pleasure playing live with such prodigies as Nosajg, TV, Structure, Till Then, and Calm Condition.
QED: What new gear / software are you having fun using in the studio?
SOS: My new iMac Desktop 20″ 2.4GHz Intel Core 2 Duo – Apple Computer, Logic Pro 8, my Mackie SRM450 monitors, my new Sennheiser mic, reFX Nexus VSTi. I always have fun using the Novation K-Station, that thing is a little beast with its phat deep basses. And believe it or not, I also still have fun using my trusty old cheap Yamaha DJx1 Keyboard too. LOL
QED: Finally, excluding your own releases, what’s your favorite QED release so far and why?
SOS: Names Are For Tombstones – Swans (qd-4238). I love Nono’s work “Swan Song (Farewell)” reminded me so much of The Cure’s album Disintegration. I also love Drip’s work, always loved the female vocals over some downtempo and trip hop, very soothing.
As far as new projects, I will be back in the studio recording some new material, doing some remixes, covers and a few collaborations.