Regev Azaria came from a heavy metal background, lending his vocal capabilities to a death metal band in his home country of Israel. However, after hearing psytrance in 1994 he knew a new passion emerged. After spending a number of years DJing psytrance, in 2003 he began producing his own original beats. Later that year, Azax Syndrom teamed up with Psychotic Micro and released the album Voice of Madness on Danish label Parvati Records.
Hey Azax! Tell me a little bit about when you started out. I believe you were in a metal band before. Why do you think so many psytrance producers come from a metal background?
Azax Syndrom: Hi guys, great to chat again. I believe that everyone knows my metal roots – you can clearly hear it in my music. I think that psytrance and metal mix good together because of the similarity in rhythm and scales. For me it was just a leap forward, but for sure I still enjoy listening to some good metal music.
When you were starting out your career, what helped you make the transition from making music at home to being someone label-worthy?
Azax Syndrom: The truth is that it just happened. I mean, I never planned to do it professionally, but my music gained recognition very quickly, and I started to get requests from labels around the world. I always try to stay loyal to my own style, but on the other hand I always search for new ideas and try to innovate.
You’re known for having your own unique sound. Was that something you tried to do or did it just turn out that way?
Azax Syndrom: As I said before, I always try to find the new exciting sounds that will motivate me to make music. But I have managed to maintain a signature sound that is recognized with my name. I did not invent it, and I’m not trying to preserve a certain sound, but that is the general atmosphere.
I’ve seen you label your music as ‘power trance’.
Azax Syndrom: Power trance is basically my genre of music. I think the name serves it well. Power music is not about speed or a certain sound, it can come in many ways, the idea is the atmosphere, or the essence of the track.
Do you ever play your older material? What do you think of your earlier tracks?
Azax Syndrom: My early tracks, hmmm, it’s like asking me how it was in high school. All I can say, it was good for that time, and it reflects the energy I had at the time when creating the music. Anyways, I do play some of my older tracks, when I’m invited to play a retro set. But it doesn’t happen that much.
Do you ever use real guitars or other instruments on any of your tracks?
Azax Syndrom: Yes. I use many live instruments in my music – guitars, violins, percussions, vocals. Whatever serves the track.
Are there particular tracks that are special to you?
Azax Syndrom: Yes, there definitely are. Some tracks represent special moments in my life, and I have sentimental attachment to them. I won’t be naming tracks here, but there is the track I made for my wife before we got together or the other track I did after my kid was born, and so on.
Why did you decide to make your album Round 2 with BLiSS a free download, roughly a year after its release? Can we expect Round 3 sometime?
Azax Syndrom: I make music for the people, so my intention is to bring it to as many listeners as possible. That is why I decided to give it away as a free download. I also want the audience to have it from the original source and at the best quality. Regarding Round 3, we have made some new music together. I believe you can expect Round 3 sometime in the future. So many people have demanded it, so we will have to get it done.
What’s the key to releasing fresh material after having so many releases?
Azax Syndrom: Listen to all sorts of music, get inspiration from life, search for new sound and try not to repeat yourself. It’s not easy after such a long time, but I enjoy the challenge.
You’re obviously playing parties around the globe constantly. How do you deal with jet lag?
Azax Syndrom: I don’t! It’s always hard, I try to stay loyal to my original time zone, so the jet lag will be smoother, but it doesn’t always work out that way. Flights are the sad part of this job – definitely!
Thank you for the chat, Azax! Any last words?
Azax Syndrom: Thank you guys! Spread the light!