Replicant: To anyone reading this first blog post, I would like to thank you for checking out my first interview. Today, I am chatting with BetaPSI from the lovely country of Italy. For those who are not familiar with you or your music, how would you describe yourself as an artist?
BetaPSI: I still haven’t found a description explaining what BetaPSI is. Some time ago an indie artist called me “The Sonic Alchemist”, I am grateful to him for that because I think it’s what I am. I hear sounds in my head, make them real with my instruments, my messed up voice and sampling sounds. Then I melt them all in my “music lab” creating a song, just like a chemist.
Replicant: What got you into making music and how did you get started?
BetaPSI: I don’t know exactly what happened, music has been in my life since I can remember. I grew up listening to all music, singing and playing by ear on my relatives instruments. When I was 18 my parents gave me a folk guitar and I decided to learn how to play by chords and so it was. I had to stop playing because of my job and other life issues. In 2013 I decided to by my first electric guitar and I wanted to learn to play just for fun. I loved that and I spent all my days playing and playing. Music became my therapy. I also discovered I loved the bass and bought my first bass. Then in March 2016, suddenly all the music I’ve listened to and practiced throughout my life started pushing to get out. I don’t know what happened but by half neuron (I called it ‘Half’) started spiking music and lyrics. I took my electric guitar, bass, bought a micro (micro, very micro) synth and started torturing them. That’s how BetaPSI was born.
Replicant: Do you still play the original instruments? Have you added more to your collection?
BetaPSI: My first guitar plug doesn’t work anymore and moreover she is impossible to tune, but sooner or later I’ll fix it. I only need to find a passionate Lutist, the ones I spoke with told me it’s too expensive for such and old guitar and it is not worth it… I think they are fools. I’s still playing all the instruments I bought starting from 2013. A Squire Bullet Stratocaster, a Squire Jazz Bass, a Fender Stratocaster, an Ibanez short scale bass and a M-Audio Keystation. I love them, I consider them my buddies.
Replicant: What were some of your favorite songs to listen to as you were growing up?
BetaPSI: It’s hard for me to tell that. When I was a toddler I had tons of 45s and I love all those songs. The two coming up in my mind now are ‘Popcorn’ and ‘Sing Sing Barbara’. Then by the time I’ve collected infinite tracks from every genre, milestones for me are ‘Relax’, ‘Shout’, ‘Enola Gay’ and ‘Video Killed the Radio Star’… but really the list is as infinite as my musical collection.
Replicant: I have never heard of ‘Popcorn’ or ‘Sing Sing Barbara’. I am assuming the others are Frankie Goes to Hollywood, Tears for Fears and the Buggles?
BetaPSI: About ‘Sing Sing Barbara’, it is an old song from a French artist. I think the first version was in French and then he did an English version, I think it could be defined as rock. ‘Popcorn’ is an earlier synth-pop track, composed by Gershon Kingsley in 1969 and since then, there have been several covers. One of the best I’ve heard is by Muse. And yes, the last three are from those great artists.
Replicant: So there is a Muse cover of ‘Popcorn’ floating out there? OK, Checked it out on YouTube, cool song. Can’t say I have heard it before but I could swear that Lily Allen ripped off one of the melodies in ‘It’s Not Fair’.
BetaPSI: I heard ‘It’s Not Fair’, never found something of ‘Popcorn’ but now that you told me that I think you’re right.
Replicant: Lol, there is a Coldplay song that does the same thing to Kraftwerk. Funny how that happens. So here is the big question, is there a lot of Italian music that is Top 40 contemporary ish or is or is there a a lot of music from the USA, UK and Canada? The only two Italian bands I know besides you and a few synthwave bands are Lacuna Coil and Goblin.
BetaPSI: WOW Goblin… They are unique! Three years ago they made a show playing live the soundtrack during the screening of Profondo Rosso movie. I’ve to tell that’s on of the best experiences of my life. Contemporary Top 40? it’s hard to tell because the Today’s Top Charts are decided by the ‘Three M’: majors, money and media. By the Italian side at today I don’t see too much. There are Bluvertigo with Morgan, Max Gazze and Jovanoti. From the rest of the world there are still a lot of bands, to name a few, Simple Minds, Depeche Mode, Muse (up to 2012) and Foo Fighters. And about Foo Fighters, did you get their series Sonic Highways? I got that in February 2016. That’s one of the of the things that made me start making my music… A powerful spark waking up my half neuron.
Replicant: I never caught the sonic highways from the foo fighters. I saw a clip with Joe Walsh talking but that was about it. I will definitely have to find it and watch it! So you recently started BetaPsi in the past few years?
BetaPSI: I’m sure that when you’ll get it you’ll understand what I mean. The Foos go deeply into the roots of the music linking past and future, it’s so inspiring. Yes, In March 2016. It started in February, I felt something was changing in my mind… It was like ‘a reverse process’… before that I absorbed tons of music, suddenly, I felt tons of music and lyrics pushing to to go out. It was an incredible feeling, so scaring, I thought I was going crazy.
Replicant: What was it like for you as you got started? How did you jump in?
BetaPSI: I didn’t know what to do, so I took the smartphone and recorded the guitar riff and then wrote and sung the vocals of my very first song, ‘The Rebel Puppet’ … And still don’t know how it was born, from where it came. I really didn’t know a thing about Ableton, bpm, technique or else and for months I was devoured by the creative process, I didn’t know how to manage it. Then, by time, I got a bit of self-confidence and started to understand a bit Ableton, from that moment music became my therapist, a way to speak to myself about things I don’t know and/or I don’t want to know.
Replicant: What was the first song that you released to the world and what kind of reaction did you get?
BetaPSI: It was ‘Pretty Sick’ with Max Shakusky, released in July 2017. The reaction I got was amazing, the track liked very much, that gave me the courage to keep on making making music.
Replicant: ‘Pretty Sick’ is a great song and you have a nice video to go with it. I first heard of you through your collaboration with Thommo. How did your start with collaborations?
BetaPSI: My first collaboration with indie artists was for Fireproof by GJART. We knew each other on the wonderful site Atom Collector Records. I loved GIART’ music at first listen and it was a dream for me when they gave good comments about my tracks, Got in touch with Tim and started collaborating on that song. It has been an amazing experience, the first of so many wonderful collaboration that I barely can believe this is happening to me.
Replicant: That also was a great song. Who all have you worked with in the indie scene?
BetaPSI: I collaborated with Thommo, bZur, Indus Rush, Vizualye, Raphael Archangel, Max Shakusky, Spaceschneider and with you. I’ll never thank all of you enough for those precious gifts. Beside the songs we created, I’ve learnt a lot, I’ve found friends, wonderful and inspiring people, I consider myself very lucky for that.
Replicant: I definitely had a blast working with you and plan on doing more in the future. Speaking of which, As you look forward, what plans do you have? What is currently in the works?
BetaPSI: It would be great! In the last two months I had to force myself to put aside the music because I’m moving to a new home, but I’ve tons of ideas, demos, I’m burning for playing my guitars, and I’m sure my half neuron has new songs in its pocket because this is the greatest change in my life and this means I’ve a lot of thoughts to put in music. I’m also working with Thommo on a new track and with Vizualye we are collaborating in the Hero’s Streaming Tour (just released a version a acapella of Hero’s).
Replicant: That sounds awesome! I am looking forward to hearing it. As we wrap up, is there anything you would want to tell any readers of this?
BetaPSI: I wanna thank all the people involved in the indie music world, people that work hard to play, promote and support indie artists, just for the love of the music. And l wanna tell to all the readers to listen to the music with the heart, to explore new genres, to travel in the infinite universe of the music for music is life.
Replicant: Nice. Thank you for taking some time to talk music with me and have a great day!
Links to BetaPSI:
Twitter : www.twitter.com/bazb2014
Facebook : www.facebook.com/betapsiproject
Instagram : www.instagram.com/barbara4fb
SoundCloud : www.soundcloud.com/betapsi
Spotify (web player link): www.open.spotify.com/artist/3MS9X86ULbFKiFXdiQko1w
Twitter : https://twitter.com/betapsi_project
Fanburst : www.fanburst.com/betapsi