One of our very own writers, Taylor Shechet (aka [tlr]) is also a talented musical artist who mixes a variety of genres to produce a unique sound. Aside from playing bass for RoMak & the Space Pirates, he’s launched his own project NVR-NDR, which has just released a new album titled Extreme Hyper Impact.  This anime and video game inspired album takes listeners on a mystical journey through another universe as [tlr], our pizza armored hero, battles evil.. which often includes giant robots! I recently interviewed [tlr] to learn more about the new album.

Alyssa: Your new album, NVR-NDR is heavily inspired by video games. Can you tell us which games inspired you the most?

[tlr]: Xenogears, Final Fantasy VII, and Megaman X.

Alyssa: How did your collaboration with artist David Pursley come about for your album artwork?

[tlr]: David is a fan and friend of RoMak & the Space Pirates. We performed at the Santiago art walk near David’s gallery, Kavika Works in Santa Ana.

Alyssa: Who were your other collaborations on NVR-NDR?

[tlr]: Oh man, it’s quite a list. I worked out a lot of the concepts in collaboration with Bao Vo, the producer of Ming & Ping and with fashion designer Katie Broad who brought my pizza armor to life.  The guitar on the original recordings is primarily written and performed by The Illuminist. Currently Polo is my live guitar player and we are writing guitar parts for new songs together.  DJ Bzzzrp! is my live DJ for performances and helps figure out how to blend the songs together. Emily Blong provided guest vocals on “Be Who You Are” and made a doll of the [tlr] character. Johan ESS did guest vocals on the song “Never Ender” as well as mastering on all currently released tracks.  Marianne Williams has taken many lovely photos of [tlr] including the “back” of Extreme Hyper Impact.

Photo by Marianne Williams

Alyssa: What equipment and software do you prefer to use while mixing?

[tlr]: Everything I’ve released to date I did entirely in Propellerhead Reason 3. Recently, I’ve started using Reason 4 and rewiring into Logic, which has greatly expanded my sonic horizons. I’m also experimenting with my Gameboy DS and 4 track cassette recorder. Expect crazy new sounds!

Alyssa: I’m sorry I missed your show where you played with the spicy twins, Ming and Ping. How was it? I heard there was a great turnout.

[tlr]: Super amazing. I’m so stoked that we got to play. The whole lineup was incredible. There are some great photos on the LA Weekly blog and the Ming & Ping website.

Alyssa: Can you tell us about your magical pizza armor that helps you fight evil? I see that you wore it at the show.

[tlr]: The pizza armor is a invulnerable defense. It’s integral to [tlr], and cannot be separated from him. In the NVR-NDR universe, entities do not require fuel like food or air to sustain themselves, and the fact that the armor is a pizza is merely a quirk of the nonsensical universe. Or is it?

Photo by Shannon Cottrell

Alyssa: Do you have any other shows coming up?

[tlr]: I’m currently working on a new NVR-NDR release for a radical Japanese net label called Ceramic Records and I’m hoping to have a record release party in Second Life!

Alyssa: I really respect your decision to give fans the option to name their own price when downloading the album. What are your thoughts about being a musician in a time where information is shared so freely over the internet?

[tlr]: It’s the best! Some famous musicians have been complaining about the state of music today, but when I hear the incredible stuff teenage bedroom producers are putting out for free, I couldn’t be happier. Pretty much all the music I listen to is free. I feel like trying to sell digital music is like holding my art hostage for a few bucks. But that doesn’t mean I don’t appreciate donations or people who buy merch!

Alyssa: In closing, do you have anything else you would like to add?

[tlr]: Go beyond the impossible and kick reason to the curb! Thanks for the interview. ^_^

NVR-NDR’s Extreme Hyper Impact is available for download on Bandcamp

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