Late last year, our correspondent and great friend Angie Mendoza of VidiVici TV spoke to French electronic misterioso producer Kavinsky. This interview somehow got lost in the shuffle and just like Kavinsky’s zombie alter ego, we decided to bring it back from the dead. His 2010 track “Night Call” (vocals by Lovefoxxx of CSS) is featured in the title sequence of the box office hit Drive, starring Ryan Gosling. Drive has gotten loads of Oscar buzz so, we’re hoping so will that track.
Little is known about Kavinsky other than he was a man that was killed in an automobile accident in 1986 with his beloved Ferrari Testarossa. He rose from the dead in zombie form and is now doomed to cruise the streets with his prized possession trying to right the wrongs he made in life. Kavinsky’s music is dark and full, and it gives way to your imagination. It reminds you of those awesome forgotten horror film gems of the 80s, a few Italian directors come to mind. Youtube is filled with fan videos and after listening to a few of his tracks back to back on any given day you too will find inspiration for a fan vid. Kavinsky took a moment to speak to us about his alter ego and his true beginnings when he was known only as Vincent.
In 2005, I decided to try to make music because I used to have a lot of friends that were already in, like Mr. Oizo, Jackson and his Computer Band and all those guys were in my high school. I was trying to be, like, an actor, but it was very boring to me. So I decided to change everything and maybe try music. And, uh, my friend, Mr. Oizo, gave me a computer, it was a very old apple. He wanted to put it in the trash. I was like, no no no, give me that. I thought I’d try to make music with [it] He said, yeah yeah yeah, you can try if you want. And uh, I was making, for I don’t know, like one year, big shit music. Um, like nonsense, it was really bad.
And then one time I made “[Autodrive] Testarossa”. I just presented it to a friend that I knew from Mr. Oizo from making a video clip for Sebastian Tellier. And I made him listen to this track, and he was like wow, that’s new to me. So I went to that label with just that one track and he asked me “do you have any more?” And we released that EP “Teddy Boy” like that, for fun. I was very surprised to see people, like, very enjoying it. So I was like yeah, maybe, okay, let’s try music. So that’s the real self story for being like a real musician. Like, but I’m not, so yeah that’s the story. I play piano with like 2 fingers so I cannot say I’m a musician.
Rest of interview
You may not be classically trained but you’re a real musician.
Oh thank you. I just hear what I like and what I don’t like. So, I’m just making music that I really like so if people like it, that’s cool for me.
Your music has been compared to a lot of 80s flicks & soundtracks, and your fictional character goes really well with that. Were there any movies that inspired you to make your music?
Yes, actually there is a lot, a lot, lot, lot. So much I can’t even count. I can say about 10,000 movies inspired me when I was a young boy. I used to watch a lot of TV when I was young. And for my character I made, at the time, my producer say “okay, what’s the concept? Is it going to be you on the cover, like, with a big smile, saying hey that’s me? Listen to my music. Do you have a concept or something?” I say, ”No, , I have a concept.” There is a zombie and he is cruising in his Testarossa, which had a car accident in 1986. He was killed at this time and they are just cruising together, like Michael and Kit from Night Rider. And actually it’s just a big mix from 10,000 TV shows and movies that I used to watch when I was young. I just took every good part and put it into one concept.
The zombie guy has a girlfriend before he dies and that’s the only person that knows about him before he died. “Night Call”, is just [about] the zombie guy [who] goes to his girlfriend’s house and says okay I’m not the same, we need to talk. But the girlfriend already has a new boyfriend and kids and so her life is like, different and now she doesn’t want to live with him anymore because he’s looking so fucking bad. Because he’s like ugh, ugly, very ugly, and he’s dead and all that stuff so he’s like melancholic. And the guy has some regrets and now he’s trying to be a good man but he can’t because he’s dead and uh he’s looking bad, you know.
And if you were offered to do a soundtrack to a movie, what kind of movie would it be? What images do you imagine with your music?
Um, I don’t know. I’m a big fan of horror movies and I don’t know, if I could dream , if they would propose to me to do the next Halloween 3 by Rob Zombie, I don’t know, it’d be like a dream for me. So yeah, if you would say there is a soundtrack for a movie and say that is a proposition for you I’d say yeah, of course I’d do it. It’s gonna be like a dream for me.
And what should we expect from the new album. Your new track is a little bit different from what you’ve done in the past.
That last EP you say was a little bit different from the others because it’s the first time I put vocals on it. And yes definitely there will be 5 tracks on it with vocals. There will be different people singing on it. There will be good people I can say and some very surprise people. The album is going to be like a story, like a soundtrack to a movie that doesn’t exist. You’re going to have the real impression that’s it’s a real movie and maybe you’ve already seen it at the cinema and now you’re listening to the soundtrack.
The EP for “Night Call” with vocalist Lovefoxxx of CSS is in stores (or available for download) now and also available on the Drive (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack).