Sunday, April 11, 2010


The artist baptiste just released his second full length album "The Arcade Summer" to the public earlier this morning. Its available as a free digital download and upon first listen, its very well worth every penny you could have paid for it. I had a chance to speak with my good friend Joshua Scheepers, the man behind this new melodic journey.

- baptise / The Arcade Summer, 2010

- "-" off the album The Arcade Summer by baptiste, 2010

SS: Let's start with your stage name "baptiste" where did it come from? where are you from?
JS:  I got baptiste from the movie Perfume, partly, and I just like the sound of it. I think there may have been something else that made me think of it, but I don't remember any more, I just like the way it sounds. Most of my life has been spent in Empangeni, but I lived in East London for a few years which is where the music making started, its where I started recording.
SS: Tell us a little more about yourself?
JS:  Haha, okay. Well I am 24 years old, technically, and I like to make music mostly with guitars and sometimes with electronic gadgets of the hardware and software variety.
SS: The Arcade Summer is your second album, tell us about your first, The Whiskey EP released in 2007?
JS:  The first one wasn't really planned as such. I had gotten my first electric guitar and I would record and just mess around with learning how that all worked. One of my friends, Mark Schultz and I would just write songs for fun and record them, and then I'd record mostly instrumental stuff by myself as well. After a while I realized I had enough songs done to put them all together as an "album". Then you supplied me with some album artwork and that was that.
SS: What inspired The Arcade Summer? What was your motivation behind the album, if any?
JS:  My inspiration came from a few places. Unemployment for many months, haha, I went through a terrible break up, I got a few new pieces of musical equipment, I also got a new studio mic, I learnt new recording techniques. So basically I had a lot of free time, everything I needed to record, and a whole bunch of emotions I needed to get out in some way.
SS: Can you explain your interpretation of the albums title "The Arcade Summer"?  with track titles like "Moonlit Forrest", "Popcorn Rocket" & "Kongadore" it definitely emotes a sense of mystery and youthfulness, what your take on this?
JS:  Haha, I called it The Arcade Summer because it was mostly recorded in the summer of 2009 and 2010, and during that time I was playing a lot of pure arcade style video games like Donkey Kong and Geometry Wars. Moonlit Forest is named that because I wanted the music to evoke the feeling of walking through a forest at night. The other titles were inspired by my friends in different ways.
SS: How would you describe your music?
JS:  Post rock with a few electronic elements. I was and still am heavily influenced by bands like Explosions in the Sky and This Will Destroy You, who are some of my favourite bands. Usually a song will get made fairly quickly, or at least most of it, and then I'll spend the rest of the time fine tuning everything to work well with each other within the song. I did try on some songs to try a few different things and try find something that I liked the most, although usually I tend to make things as I'm going and leave them at that.
SS: If you could choose an ideal environment or situation for people to be in while they listen to your album, what would it be?
JS:  Headphones, in the dark, lying down somewhere comfortable.
SS: I see that you have made this album available as a free digital download, which is a growing trend with artists at the moment. How does doing this serve you and at what stage will you be making a change if any?
JS:  It's just so much easier! I also printed 20 physical copies which I am giving out to the people who want them, for free as well. In the future I may charge, but only for physical copies. Digital versions will always be available for free.
SS: If your music was an animal of some sort, which animal would it be?
JS:  It would, without a doubt, be a Pangolin
SS: What's on the horizon for baptiste?
JS:  I feel like I still have many things to learn, and I feel that my music still has a long way to go and to grow. I've already been working on new stuff, I have a few new toys to work with as well, so probably another album fairly soon, hopefully this year! If I can convince myself, and a few other people, maybe I'll do some live stuff. Scary!
SS: At the moment you working as a stand alone artist?
JS:  I am indeed, everything is recorded or programmed by me, although I would like to collaborate with some people next time around. Gonna talk to them and see if we can do it.
SS: What are the challenges of working by yourself?
JS:  It gets tedious and very tiring having to do everything yourself.
SS: What do you think working with other artists will bring about?
JS:  I think it could be better because I'd get to concentrate on specific parts more, and when there is no one else involved you start wondering if things are even sounding good, you don't know what to think after you've heard the same thing a hundred times while tweaking and playing it over and over. It would be nice to have some external input and advice and opinions sometimes.
SS: Last words?
JS: Thanks to everyone, you know who you all are.

- baptise / The Arcade Summer (back cover), 2010
- baptiste / The Whiskey EP, 2007

The End.

1 comment:

Jaco said...

Thumbs up from my side, missioning around on my bicycle in Amsterdam listening to baptiste makes me happy.