Interview with INFINITWAV

Infinitwav is a project of composer and multi-instrumentalist Stephen Latin-Kasper who recently launched a debut album titled “Humans.” On “Humans,” Stephen explores the topic of human evolution. In his own words, “the core of the story is that specific genetic mutations bound together the humans that shared them. That idea is expanded on as humans migrate from Africa to the rest of the planet. The story doesn’t end until we discover how our universe was really created.

About this and more, Stephen spoke for Rocking Charts.

Hey Stephen. How are you doing?

I’m healthy, happy and busy, which is good because I like being busy.

You are about to launch your debut album with your project infinitwav titled “Humans.” How do you feel about the release?

I’m proud of it. I think the music and the story work well together, as they were designed to. At the same time, I’m really nervous, because it’s not my opinion that matters. Like most other artists, I find submitting my creation to the court of public opinion frightening. I have no idea what to expect.

How much of a challenge was to work on the album?

When the decision was made to record the album, I looked forward to the challenge. That remained true over the course of the three years it took to write, record, and mix the final versions of the songs. I had almost as much fun writing the story. At times, though, it was stressful. I tried to be as independent as possible, but I learned along the way that it isn’t possible to publish an album alone. There is just too much to be done.

Also, I’m not a piano player; I’m a piano writer. Most of the album tracks were recorded with a KORG M50. That meant I had to be a piano player, my limited ability was the most frequent source of frustration during the recording process. I tend to be a perfectionist, and one of the rules for myself was that I would play all of the tracks. The result was that some of the tracks took more than 100 attempts to record them before they became part of the mix. In the end, the only track on HUMANS that I didn’t play in was the drum kit track in HUMANS Four.

Lastly, thank goodness for arpeggiators.

Stephen Latin-Kasper

What is your opinion about the current experimental scene?

I think it is amazing. One of my favorite new bands is a group from Japan named Kikagaku Moyo.

Can you tell me something about your influences?

I will listen to almost anything. My record collection includes American folk, Gregorian chants, and drum and bugle corps. During my tour of duty as a Peace Corps Volunteer, I was in a band in the Marshall Islands that played music that combined country with Polynesian and rock. We covered the Kinks and Roy Orbison. In 2013, I recorded an album with a band called The BOKS of ROCK (Thinking Outside Of) that included a cover of DEVO’s Girl U Want. So, I’m all over the musical map. If I had to cite just three musicians/bands that influenced me the most, I would say Steely Dan, Yes, and Warren Zevon. HUMANS, though, was influenced by classical composers as well. The two I would name from that genre are Richard Strauss and Aaron Copland. The drumming was influenced the most by Louie Bellson.

What are you listening to these days?

I still listen to a lot of jazz and classical stuff. As noted above, I like experimental rock like Kikagaku Moyo, and King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard. In the past year, I bought more albums than I can remember, but two that stand out are Bowie’s Blackstar (truly impressive) and Muse’s Drones.

Your 5 favourite records of all the time?

In no particular order Warren Zevon (Warren Zevon), Yes (Fragile), Steely Dan (Katy Lied), Blue Oyster Cult (Imaginos), The Doors (L.A. Woman). Yeah, I know. I came of age in the 70s. There are at least another 50 that might make the list if you ask me again a month from now.

Can you tell me a little bit more about the gear you use to record “Humans”?

The two primary pieces of equipment were the KORG M50, and the Roland Octapad. The Octapad was used for almost all of the percussion, the M50 was used for almost everything else. In addition, I used a number of analog percussion instruments. All tracks were recorded into a ZOOM R16, most of them through a Pre Sonus Studio Channel (which includes a tube preamplifier, compressor and equalizer). All recording of analog sources was done with Shure microphones. The only other significant piece of equipment I used was my Sennheiser HD 380 Pro headphones.

Besides the release of the album, are there any other plans for the future?

If the response to the album is positive to the extent that touring would make sense, I will look into putting a band together and hitting the road. While taking breaks from working on HUMANS, I wrote a number of other songs. I plan to publish those as a double-album sometime in 2018. Two of the songs that will likely be on that album (War Zone Nerv and Cold Sweat) can be heard at infinitwav.com.

Any words for the potential new fans?

Thanks for taking the time to listen to something new. I look forward to hearing from them.

“Humans” is available from infinitwav’s official website here.