• ROOM8
  • 2019-06-25

Los Angeles and Stockholm-based production duo Room8 may be best known for their work on film Drive, but this year is a busy one for them with May’s release of lead single ‘West’ from their new album Transductions due in October. That month will also see Cuck hit cinemas, featuring a soundtrack composed by the pair. We caught up with ROOM8 to find out more about their most recent work.

New-age soundtrack synth-pop with an emphasis on melody and texture.

First up, tell us about yourselves - who are ROOM8, and what were you doing before making music together?
ROOM8 is Ezra Reich and Nic Johns. We are two life long musicians who played in other bands prior to creating ROOM8 together in 2012.

Who did you take inspiration from?
We are inspired by so much music and film. We love everything from late 70s/early 80s electronic music like Steve Roach, Suzanne Ciani, Ray Lynch and Kitaro, to Phil Spector’s early 60s wall-of-sound productions, 70s yacht rock, 50s pop, 80s Italo Disco and Hair Metal, and countless film soundtracks.

Why the name ‘ROOM8’? What do you stand for?
The name came from the studio we worked at together in North Hollywood when we started the project. It was room number 8. We like the number 8. Later we realised it was a play on ‘roommate’ but we didn’t think of that initially. There is also a famous ghost of a cat in Los Angeles called ‘Room 8’.

How would you describe your musical style?
New-age soundtrack synth-pop with an emphasis on melody and texture.

If you could collaborate with any living artist, who would you love to work with?
Several come to mind - Phil Collins, Steve Perry, Benny Andersson, Kitaro, Danny McBride and Jody Hill, David Lynch to name a few.

Your latest single is ‘West’. When did you write it and where did you record it?
It was originally written in a very different form in 2012. We made an entirely new version recorded for our upcoming Transduction record begun in 2018, and finished earlier this year in 2019.

How does ‘West’ build on your style?
We view it as fitting with the smooth dreamy side of our pop writing with a hint of r&b and what some would refer to as smooth late 70s early 80s am radio pop, or yacht rock. It was written about things that no longer make sense for us that we need to escape from. It’s also the song that is most connected to us living in Los Angeles.

What are your hopes for ‘West’?
That people enjoy it a lot, and stream it a whole bunch, and get some emotional release from it.

‘West’ is taken from your forthcoming album Transduction. What can we expect from the new LP?
Transduction was originally conceived as a soundtrack album. You can expect a very eclectic electronic album of instrumentals and vocal tracks that has many different emotions and styles with a cohesive vibe. The whole thing was made with only old hardware synths and fx units, and no computer plugins or virtual instruments were used in its production, which gives the sound a weight and three-dimensionality.

What are your other plans for 2019, can we catch you on tour?
We have our first feature film we scored hitting theatres on October 4th. It’s a dark socio-political character study called Cuck. Other then that we are working on the album release and also have some more film projects in the works. Hopefully a tour or at least some shows will happen.

Finally, if you could go back in time and give yourselves one piece of advice, when would it be and what would you say?
It would be sometime in our 20s, and it would be to not worry about anything except working hard and keeping life simple. It’s easy to get worried or sidetracked by unimportant things that seem important when one is younger.

Listen to ‘West’ on SoundCloud below. For news and tour date go to the ROOM8 Facebook page.

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