Dope Stars Inc. Victor is a Do It Yourself fanatic

Cyberpunk artists Dope Stars Inc. have written and recorded for their fifth album "TeraPunk" spending a lot of time in between playing shows, touring, then going back to writing and recording new music which lead to this release and further works to be released. Frontman Victor Love the producer, sound engineer, song writer, the all in one guy that handles it all, does the talking about the band's past, present, and future activity.

1. Introduce yourself, tell me what you do in Dope Stars Inc., and how long the band has been together.

Victor: I am the producer, sound engineer and songwriter for all the songs of Dope Stars Inc. and I play guitars and perform vocals life together with my partners in crime, Fabrice La Nuit, Darin Yevonde, Ash Rexy and Andreas Delorean. We started in 2003.

2. Where is the band based out of and what is your music scene like there? Are there any local bands you could recommend?

Victor: I am from Rome, and so is FAbrice. Darin lives in Milan, Ash in Stockholm and Andreas in Porto Recanati. We live in different places and meet for rehearsals before the shows just to warm up. However all the music has always been recorded in Rome. There is not actually a local scene but there are many good bands from Rome that rocks, one above all is Spiritual Front who is also a close friend of mine and is an international acclaimed artist but there are many other bands that are very cool such as Deflore, Aquefrigide, Lili Refrain, Jaggernaut and many more of Subsound Records that are mostly from Rome and are really good.

3. Please tell us a brief history of your band and its members since you've had an array of line-up changes - whose in the band as of right now?

Victor: We had many line up changes but the core made by me, who is writing songs, and Darin & Fabrice has always stayed the same. Trhough the years we had to change members mostly cause of personal reasons or harsh situations that gave us no other choice if not to find somebody else since it was not possible to continue working together. However this had little or basically no impact on the project, the music and its evolution but rather I can say any change brought some improvement and new fresh air that was just good for the band.

4. Why did you want to go and call yourselves Dope Stars Inc. does the name have a meaning behind it?

Victor: That was a mix of many words we put on the table to find out a name of the band. We wanted something that could represent the diverse souls of our sound and attitude and so we choose this name to represent it. Dope stands for the addictive and in your face mood of our sound, Stars represent the sleazy, rock'n'roll punk attitude and Inc. is for the Industrial, Cyberpunk, post industrial scenario that characterize many of our songs.

5. How would you describe your style? Which bands influenced your music?

Victor: I always used to call it Cyberpunk but for this time you can call it TeraPunk. I am influenced by really a lot of different styles cause I listened in my life a lot of diverse and also experimental music but mostly the main influence come from rock'n'roll, metal and techno rave music.

6. What are your songs about? (What specific themes do they cover?)

Victor: It depends much on the album. There are many songs inspired cyberpunk novels or dystiopian scenarios but there are also many songs about life, emotions, feelings and more personal stuff. This new album is more about personal feelings, negative and positive and has been a kind of trip into my inner self.

7. Do you write your own songs? (Discuss the songwriting process in detail.)

Victor: Yes. I do write them, record on the fly, mix them and master. I am a Do It Yourself fanatics and that's been a long adventure I started back the late 90's. I usually just write all the songs and instrument myself and then we re-record them in the final shape. Besides there is a big part of the arrangement that is electronic so it's a really fast process usually. To write TeraPunk it took less than 10 days considering I wrote 20 songs in around 2 weeks and then picked 10 for the release.

8. Its' been a while since the release of "Ultrawired" but what made you want to release it for free?

Victor: Because that was the future at the time and now it's actually the present. Most of the music world is still afraid that giving music for free can impact their sales but mostly everyone now understood that this thing has no logic or statistical numbers to support it. That is why after the release of Ultrawired we have been getting more fans than before and that album is actually the most downloaded legally and streamed legally of all our other albums.

9. Since doing this, what is your opinion on sites posting your guys material and other bands material?

Victor: They are doing the right thing. The more people listen to it the better is for us. Also the more potential people that can support us will be reached. It is all a matter of opening your eyes and understand no matter what you can do but the % of people you reach, compared to the whole amount of people around, is so small, even if you are a medium-big artist, that reaching more people is just exactly what you want to do and especially it's what most of record labels and bands are paying for when they are "promoting" their music. So the thing is, how can you actually promote your music if you insist to force people to buy it in order to listen to it? Besides, doing so, how many people are you actually pissing off and how many of them will just skip your release and don't give a shit, considering the million of releases there are around. Usually these bands who think that blocking access to their music is a good thing it's cause they do not realize that people just don't give a shit if you act like a dick and your only result will be that you either lose a potential fan or you even lose it or even you get him laughing at you. It happened to me to open some band websites where I could not find any music even for streaming. That is absolutely crazy even cause I just have immediately opened Spotify and all songs were there, crystal clear, for free streaming. So what are we talking about? That is just plain dumb. :)

10. What is your opinion on the current state of industrial music?

Victor: I have no idea of current state of Industrial music frankly. Right now I can just say that Manson did a good album and that's all what matters cause doing it he has revived a bit the scene. Too bad there is not much else to listen about this genre. That is also way we have always been Industrial in a way but also explored other kind of styles that goes from metal to rock'n'roll or even synthpop. Being caged in a style can be good for sales since most of the people tend to ask for the same thing over and over; there are in fact a lot of bands doing copy-paste albums with great success. However this is not what I like to do and that's why I do music not only for the fans but especially for myself but especially I am not doing it for the industry, the a&r managers or whatever other business guy that is just asking himself how much it can sell it while listening to your music, and not if he/she actually like it.

11. Do you guys have any new music in the works?

Victor: I have more songs that I want to release on a new EP that can be released soon but we will see. Also we will launch soon a cover song of Michael Jackson and some remixes. That will be fun.

12. When can we expect to see a live album or live DVD release from you guys?

Victor: That will be planned for the next tour. We hope to make it this time. We actually have a lot of older material to make one already but we just need to get it all together and make a release.

13. Would you ever consider releasing a double album or an all acoustic album?

Victor: We already did a double album for our first full length and that was cool. About acoustic stuff I am not sure. I did some semi-acoustic songs in the past but that's actually not my style. I know artists that can do much better than me on that field eheh.

14. Do any of you guys have any side projects happening?

Victor: I have 2 side projects that are Epochate, an Orchestral Industrial Rock band, together with Noras and I also have another solo project called Hacking The Wave where I experiment a totally synthesized sound. La Nuit is playing in Latexxx Teens that is an Industrial Rock band. Ash got his own solo DJ project that is also been releasing new singles lately. Our drummer instead is playing in a lot of different projects as he is also a master of drumming and manages also a music school.

15. What is it you’d like a listener to remember the most when hearing your music for the first time?

Victor: The raw rock'n'roll rave attitude.

16. What advice would you give to fellow bands?

Victor: Just let your music go free in the deep interweb and let the people do the rest. Whenever  your music will be good it will work. If not, try again, possibly change something, try a new style, find yourself.

17. What inspires you to do what you do?

Victor: My bipolar disorder.

18. How does music affect you and the world around you?

Victor: Doesn't change much of me as I am part of it but it does sometimes change who is around me. Sometimes in a good way, sometimes in a bad way.

19. What can the fans expect to see from you in the future?

Victor: More free music & candies.

20. Any final words of wisdom?

Victor: Thanks for everything and check our new website that is still in progress to be upgraded but already features a bunch of stuff. Have fun!

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