French DJ/producer, Simon Delacroix aka The Toxic Avenger, is well-known in the electronic music scene for his gritty bass lines, neon synths, and edgy flavor. Gaining notoriety in the early-to-mid 2000s, the Parisian musician first left his mark on our ears with hit track, Superheroes, which came out via Los Angeles label, Iheartcomix. Since then, the dance-punk talent has taken on a number of projects, releasing three brilliant albums, several EPs, and countless remixes.
Now, the Frenchman is making his return once again, with 12-track album, ☰, set to come out this February via Roy Music/Universal France. Tune in below as Delacroix gives us more info on his forthcoming album, his new side project & more:
FS: Well, let’s jump right in, shall we? Tell us about your start in the electronic music scene. I remember when your remix of Blur’s Song 2 came out and it was quite impressive – pretty certain I listened to it every day for about a year straight actually, haha. What has changed about electronic music since then? We’d love to know your thoughts.
TA: Well, I came from the rock scene. I used to play in bands that sound like Deftones, Weezer, etc., and one day, it was I guess in 2004/2005, I thought it would be fun to create Rock n’ Roll only with machines. So, I plugged in some old synths and my distortion pedals, and…voila!
The thing is, I never saw myself as a dance music/techno music (whatever you call it) producer. I always saw myself as a rock musician that used synthesizers.
And, to be honest, I never really saw myself as a “producer.” That might be what has changed today…kids see themselves as producers more than musicians. They’re already super professional by the age of 18! I’m 33 and I don’t see myself as a pro! Just a guy that loves to play around with synths!
FS: That’s a pretty interesting view on today’s producers and musicians, and I can definitely see where you’re coming from. Along with changes in the general electronic music scene, we’ve noticed that you’ve taken a different approach with your sound in comparison to the mid 2000s. Definitely lots of classically-inspired sounds nowadays! Any reason why you’ve shifted from dance-punk to this newfangled direction?
TA: Age? Getting married? Having a kid? Ahah, I’m getting back to the punk side a bit with my new LP I guess…even though it’s something different as well. But, I always wanted to make something that can work in a movie…so.
FS: Haha, it sounds like times have slightly changed! Well, I’m certain if you scored a movie, your sound would be somewhat multifaceted, given your lengthy music catalog. Now that I mention it – looking back at your full discography, we realized that it’s loaded with tons of high-profile remixes – which one was your favorite track to remix and why? And, can we expect any remixes from you this year?
TA: Remixes are always fun to do! You probably know my remixes better than I do! I must say I’ve forgotten some, but Bring Me The Horizon was pretty fun to remix! I’m not doing remixes anymore (at least for the past two years). I’ve done a lot of those, and I want to take some time to breathe! But, I’ll come back on the remix scene for sure.
FS: Can’t wait to see you twist and mangle some classics again! Your remix work is top-notch. Enough about remixes though – let’s talk about your upcoming album, which is set to be released this February via Roy Music/Universal France. How many tracks will be on the record, and what was the production process like? Over Me has a really peculiar vibe to it.
TA: There will be 12 songs on the new record. I spent almost two months last year in Los Angeles to record some new stuff, and the result is…I didn’t keep ANY of the L.A. demos. I came back to Paris and I made all of the songs in my house! I guess the songs are the most deep and intimate I’ve ever done. Some of them are quite violent as well…I felt that I needed to come back with some distortion (on some of the songs only).
FS: Well, with the release of the album, can we expect a tour as well? Perhaps, worldwide? If so, you’ll have to stop by and say hey to us.
TA: Fuck yes. I’ve done a lot of live shows in Europe with the past two records.
But, the thing is…it was hard to travel! I had too many old old old machines (TB303, TR 909, JUNOS, etc.) and video projections. So, too much stuff, so it was hard to jump on a plane and play, but this time, I’ll play lighter (at least a bit), so expect me worldwide!
TA: Thanks! Well, it all started with a friendship! Greg and I are close friends, so it was natural for us one day to start making music together. And, we just wanted to release stuff with no pressure, when we want, and always for free. It’s super cool to do anyways, because with The Toxic Avenger, I always forgot how it felt to release stuff without asking a label, etc. etc.
FS: Any major releases planned under that project in 2016?
TA: Greg will be my supporting musician for The Toxic Avenger live tour, and we are still and always working on stuff. And, sometimes we are playing DJ sets together. US people, you should book us! We are almost cheap, almost fun, and almost handsome!
FS: Haha, a US tour with you guys sounds like a bundle of fun. Last question – any final words for your fans around the world?
FS: Well, there you have it! The Toxic Avenger everyone. Show your support for the French artist and pre-order his album, ☰, here.
THE TOXIC AVENGER