Interview with Street Cleaner
The Street Cleaner is a one-man synthwave band who scours the streets armed with only his keytar to rid them of crime and human garbage. Based in San Diego, he is working on different exciting projects to keep busy until he can get back on the road fighting crime wherever he goes.
EP: What have you been doing with this unexpected time?
Street Cleaner: I've been working really hard on new things. Trying to think outside of the box and come up with new ways to be productive. I recently was part of a live performance video stream from the comfort of my own garage, and I've had time to work on new music. But, almost fortuitously, this has given me an opportunity to focus on a project started early last year that is hitting it's production stride "Street Cleaner: The Video Game" developed by Creaky Lantern Games. The game is nearing completion and we've got a few weeks left on our Kickstarter.
EP: Let’s hear more about your new music!
Street Cleaner: I've been working on a video game soundtrack for the past year and a half. Video game projects are a lot different than an album in that you're writing differently, the music is to complement the players’ experience and not dominate it. It's difficult but very rewarding.
EP: Is this something that you will perform live when we return to normal or do you have other material for that?
Street Cleaner: I don't have any scheduled shows and the foreseeable future is foggy at best. Live performances were half of this project, without them I've been trying to fill the void with other ways to be productive. It's hard to develop a new live performance strategy when there is no clear line of sight to when or how I'll be performing again.
EP: With the lack of tours in the foreseeable future, it has given artists the opportunity to explore their creativity differently. What inspired you to create a video game?
Street Cleaner: The game is created and developed by Creaky Lantern Games, an independent game developer headed by Brooks Bishop. We worked on a game together for Xbox 360 in 2012, and it was our comradery and shared enthusiasm for the 80s and 90s movies that birthed Street Cleaner in the first place. Brooks has been actively involved with Street Cleaner from day one. As we both had our artistic endeavors that we helped each other with, it was only a matter of time until they collided. These months have given us the opportunity to really buckle down and create something that means a lot to both of us.
EP: How did you get into music?
Street Cleaner: My whole life I've wanted to make music. I wasn't too interested in playing other people's music, I wanted to create my own. I spent years searching for my role. I've been a drummer, a keyboard player, an engineer, but they were always on other people's projects. Street Cleaner was my first solo project that I took seriously, and since it's inception I've had no other projects.
EP: Please share more about the birth of Street Cleaner?
Street Cleaner: I was working closely with Brooks (From CLG) on a project. I wanted to work on a movie soundtrack, Brooks' suggestion was "Just do it". So we workshopped a concept for a film and I got to working on the soundtrack. That first album is the soundtrack to the "Film" Street Cleaner.
EP: What bands have influenced your style?
Street Cleaner: I've been influenced by a lot of artists in one way or another, Lords of Acid, Fischerspooner, KMFDM, Ministry, Nine Inch Nails, etc.. but none more directly than Stabbing Westward, a band that I have loved deeply since I was a young one. I was absolutely honored to support them in my hometown last October. A night I'll remember for the rest of my life.
EP: If you didn't become a musician, was there a plan B?
Street Cleaner: There was never a plan really. It's always just been "Create". I'm sure if it wasn't music, it would have been something else creative. Either making movies, painting, or pizza!
EP: You covered quite some ground last year with shows spanning from California to New Jersey. What show stands out to you and why?
Street Cleaner: That's really hard to say. Every show has something unique and special about it. I got to meet a lot of excellent people and have some amazing one of kind experiences. New Jersey was excellent. Q's is a phenomenal venue (https://www.qxtsnightclub.com/) and Damian, who put that show together, is a phenomenal dude, one of the hardest working people in the business. Readers should check out his band Das Ich.
EP: Are there any other projects you would like to explore during this time that maybe you didn't have time for previously?
Street Cleaner: Not really, I'm taking this as an opportunity to play catch up on some things. I've been plotting on a video project, but I won't even begin to work on that until this game is in the bag.
EP: If you could share the stage with any artist, who would it be and why?
Street Cleaner: That's a tough one. I could answer it by naming off all my favorite acts, but the honest answer is my friends. Touring with Jak Syn on the west coast and then touring with Protector 101 on the east coast was some of the greatest moments of my life. Memories and life experiences that strengthened bonds and formed life long friendships.