Q. When was Neo Cortex formed? How did you meet your band mate?|
A. Neo Cortex was formed in February of 1999. I had known my band mate Chris Theriault from actually taking piano and bass guitar lessons from him for a short time. I was not very good at playing, but we got along quite well, shared musical interests, and soon became friends. It was also at this time that I enjoyed writing lyrics and singing better than playing instruments and pursued this to a greater extent. I asked Chris if he wanted to collaborate and see what could happen in the studio, and it worked out very well! We're still recording after 22 years and still going strong! Of course, now we are writing and recording Christian Rock, and our project name is "Neo C Christianity." We have a talented vocalist and keyboard/synth player name Sue Anthony and she does a great job in the studio. She has been recording with us for a while and worked on our first 14 song Christian rock album called "Piety and Affection" which was released in March of 2019.
Q. You seem to place a lot of emphasis on lyrics. Do you like bands that are lyrically inclined?
A. I guess you could say I'm more of a poet than anything else. I try very hard to put across my ideas with passion while singing, and I strive to create lyrics with meaning and substance. I like bands that can write music that is deeper than just simple love songs. I appreciate good ideas in music, especially when it's in my favorite genre, namely synthpop.
Q. How do you record your songs? On a multitracker? PC? Workstation?
A. Neo Cortex uses the following equipment in our studio on Kinderhook Lake, NY. Logic Pro 10 Version 10.4.8, and Mac Pro 3.2 GHZ 8 Core 2 Quadcore Processors, modern software, and some nice sounding guitars like: the 66 Fender Strat, Gibson Custom Shop 1958 Les Paul, Jackson DK25 Dinky, and Larrivee Acoustic.
Q. Who are your influences?
A. Well, the three bands I always say first are New Order, and English band, Kraftwerk, a German Techno Pop band, and They Might Be Giants, a quirky American band. However, I totally love much of the music from the 1980's. I especially like New Wave ones from this era. A friend from High School introduced me to a lot of groups I still admire to this day! My collection of records is probably about 80% 1980's stuff. I appreciate the electronic pioneers of this time and they have rubbed off on me as an artist over 2 decades.
Q. You seem to have a huge body of work under you belt. Are you constantly composing?
A. Yes, Chris, Sue, and I are constantly composing, or as we like to say: "coughing them (songs) out." We record at Chris' studio every two weeks, rain or shine, or even snow! It's fine because he lives maybe only a mile away from my house. These days we are making finalized songs, although in the early days we were producing 2 hour demos in only 1 session.
Q. Do you have any plans to perform live?
A. There no plans to perform live. I really love listening to live music, but I don't think I would like doing it, since I feel more comfortable being in the studio.
Q. What frustrates you about the modern music scene?
A. I think that a lot of today's music is over processed with the use of auto tune. The feeling of these songs therefore becomes artificial and lacks human delivery of emotion to me.
Q. What other interests do you have besides music?
A. I like to read and study. I also collect CD's from local "vintage" record stores in my area.
Q. Do you think that synthpop will ever become more mainstream rather than remaining an "underground" genre?
A. I think that music sometimes goes in cycles. So, yes, I feel synthpop will resurface someday and become more popular.
Q. How do you approach composing? Does music come first or the lyrics?
A. The way we approach our composing is that I write my lyrics in advance, take them into the studio, we find some drum beats that sound pleasing, and then start finding synth sounds. We may have an idea for a song, a simple riff or whatever, and then we begin experimenting with singing a melody or vocal part. The 3 of us then add our special touch and have a work in process!