June 6, 2018
surreal music Magazine Interview
Photo credit to Desi Arnaz. Alex Arndt is a creative soul constantly working to make music. With his new project, the Red Couch Sessions on YouTube, Arndt is rapidly growing his reach and giving his fans a chance to have a part in his craft. Continue reading to learn more about Alex Arndt and the...
You can also see the full Surreal Music Mag Interview below:
Photo credit to Desi Arnaz.
Surreal Music magazine
Interview: Alex Arndt from The Sonic Universe on his new YouTube series “Red Couch Sessions”
Alex Arndt is a creative soul constantly working to make music. With his new project, the Red Couch Sessions on YouTube, Arndt is rapidly growing his reach and giving his fans a chance to have a part in his craft. Continue reading to learn more about Alex Arndt and the Red Couch Sessions.
Before we start talking about the Red Couch Sessions, can you share a little bit about yourself and your background in music?
Sure! Thanks for asking. Music has always been flowing through me. I remember being of preschool age and asking my parents if I could have sleepovers with friends whom I vibed with. Fortunately, I had some young music-minded friends who would appreciate creating songs with me. I had two tape recorders and I would record us singing on one and then play it back and record us on the other one singing over our previous recording. Basically, I was multi tracking between the two tape recorders until I had one big static mess of a song. This is how I learned to harmonize. I can’t imagine being a musician 100 years ago with nothing to record on! Around this age is also when I developed my vision for who I dreamed to be when I grew up. Listening to my favorite songs on the radio, I would imagine that I was the singer and songwriter.
From grade school through college, I was always in the choir. This definitely played a role in strengthening my voice. It wasn’t until the summer after my freshman year of college at Virginia Tech that my sister decided to give me her guitar. I was tinkering around on it one day and she said I could take it with me to school, because she never used it. Since that moment, I was never without a guitar by my side, and I knew music was my calling in life. I started writing meaningful songs and formed a band called “Drive” at Virginia Tech.
After graduating, I packed up my car and drove to California. I went through quite a few bands and styles while living in San Diego and then eventually moving to the Los Angeles area, where I currently reside. I met another songwriter, Kay Glynn, at Durango Songwriter’s Expo in 2007. We instantly hit it off and within a few years had written and recorded a couple of albums, various EP’s, and singles together. One of these albums was called “Sonic Paradigm” and put out under the name “Alex Arndt & The Sonic Universe.” It was Kay who assisted me in coming up with the name, “The Sonic Universe.”
At one point, I was disheartened because just as I was about to establish the moniker, I realized there was a comic book put out by Sega called, “Sonic Universe.” I spoke with three different entertainment attorneys. They all told me basically the same thing: that it was ridiculous even to try and use that name and even more so to look into trademarking it. One morning, after seeing me so down about this matter, Kay asked me why I don’t simply try asking Sega myself? Why not give it a shot? So, I got in touch with Sega of America’s legal team. I spoke with headquarters in Japan and they informed me, they had no issue and there was no conflict with me trademarking “The Sonic Universe.” They loved my music and wanted me to keep them updated on my whereabouts.
Since that time, I’ve performed around the world either as “Alex Arndt” or “Alex Arndt (of The Sonic Universe)” or with a full band as “Alex Arndt and The Sonic Universe” or in the recent years just as “The Sonic Universe.” I love performing with a full band — drums, lead guitar, bass, keys, and beats and sound effects which I sync up with the rest of the music. At one time I was working with one of the lighting techs who also worked with Pink Floyd. In this next phase of The Sonic Universe, I plan to get guys like this to help transform the environment at our shows. I aim to give the audience an experience which raises their vibration through the tones we play and the imagery they see on our screens.
So, what exactly are the Red Couch Sessions? What is the concept of it, and what makes these different from the typical cover songs found on YouTube?
Red Couch Sessions is me, Alex Arndt performing songs, which viewers from around the world have requested me to play. I perform them organic and stripped down. It’s usually just me singing and playing my acoustic guitar. Most of the popular covers on YouTube are either very polished recordings with a multi-instrumental production and the singer’s voice is layered into the arrangement just like a song on the radio OR if it’s someone playing acoustically, the sound and video isn’t usually of the highest quality. I’m a big of fan of some of these YouTubers.
One of the things that distinguishes me and my brand is that I’m performing acoustically with high quality sound and video production. I’ve been a music artist for many years and during that time, I’ve acquired the skills and equipment to record, film, and edit my productions so they come across professional. What many people don’t know is that I’m getting the crisp 4K video quality using only Apple iPhone’s 7+ cameras at this point.
Another distinguishing factor is that I’m not just performing songs on YouTube, I’m taking my fans’ requests. A fan can place a song request order on thesonicuniverse.com for a fee. Every song I’ve performed on Red Couch Sessions is a specific request from a person or group. On the order form, fans can tell me which version(s) of the song they like the most and what the song means to them. Also, they can share with me their business or vision and I will promote them briefly on that Red Couch Sessions episode during the ending when I talk about the request.
The last minute or two of an episode gives me a chance to speak about the song request and also promote any upcoming events or tours. I also have a new sponsorship segment in the works where brand related companies get featured in the program. Also, in the future, Red Couch Sessions is going to be expanding into more than just my “Requests Only” segment. I am going to be interviewing other artists and personalities on the red couch and performing together with one or more people. Once I have the proper studio and equipment, it could turn into a YouTube Live broadcast. This is actually just scratching the surface of what’s in store.
You cover fan favorites like last month’s song of choice, which was Prince’s “Nothing Compares 2 U.” Do you cover your personal favorites too, or is this strictly fan driven?
It is strictly order based. Every order is placed through my website. (Direct link to order form). I reserve the right to refund a fan if I chose to not cover a request. I have been lucky I guess so far because most of the song requests have also been personal favorites! I think my fans tend to know what I like and what I sound good playing, which is pretty awesome.
You’ve really got a great voice. I know you have original songs out there, so can you tell me about your own music?
Aww, thank you, I appreciate that. Yes, actually, performing my original music is what I like to do best. My all time favorite thing to do is the songwriting itself. I have to be inspired to write. When I’m in the zone, I feel as though I’m a receiver of transmissions that are out there in the cosmos. I’m just able to tap into them and be a vessel or conduit for them. They flow right through me. As I was saying before, I don’t know what I’d do without modern technology. Because these melodies and progressions just write themselves, if I didn’t have a recording device to capture them as they are coming out, they’d probably just go right back into outer space. Most of my material is of some type of spiritual nature. Even if it’s about romantic love, it’s still usually deeper than a surface type of love song.
I have a new release coming out soon. I’ve been working very hard on the production over the past couple years here in the Los Angeles area with a talented producer and artist, Patrick Perfetto. This new music is a combination of Rock, Pop, and EDM. Everything is mastered and ready for release. At this point I’m seeking out the best management and label to make sure it gets released properly and really hits. I’ve also already got an additional album of my best ever songs, which is ready to be produced and taken on the road with my band, The Sonic Universe. It all just needs funding.
Is all of your original work for The Sonic Universe?
The Sonic Universe has been my brand since 2009. A large portion of my original work is for The Sonic Universe, but I also collaborate with other artists and have been asked to write songs for other artists, events, film, and TV. Licensing of my music definitely helps to pay the bills. One of the artists I collaborate with is DJ, singer, and producer Amanda Darling. We’ve combined our vocals and dance music vibe and have performed at some pretty amazing events together including a performance at the Olympic Stadium for Ultra Music Festival in Seoul, Korea. Writing music for other peoples’ objectives, including film and TV can be fun for me and brings out another side of my creativity.
Circling back to the Red Couch Sessions, have you noticed a major growth in your audience and the interaction between fans and yourself since its inception?
Definitely. I think my fans are starting to realize that I’m serious about putting out quality content on a consistent basis. I’ve come to find that most of my fans think I have a pro company or label behind me right now producing and pushing this content. When I tell close friends and fans even within the music industry that my content is completely self produced, they are definitely surprised and amazed. I’ve been seeing a lot more interaction in the most recent episodes and my YouTube subscribers have grown by several thousand since I’ve started the program.
Do you have an idea of what your next couple covers are going to be?
Yes, I do. Requests have come in, but it is not within the scope of Red Couch Sessions for me to talk about the song requests before they actually air. People are welcome to send a note in to email@example.com before they place an order to find out when their potential request will be broadcast.
June 1st was the release date of your newest session. Can you tell me about it?
Yes, I’d be happy to talk about it. This request goes out to a long-time friend, Bonnie Jean and her little girl, Tyla. I met Bonnie during our second year at Virginia Tech. We bonded over our love for our all-time favourite band, Pink Floyd. So, this song is actually a personal favorite of mine. It’s Pink Floyd’s “Wish You Were Here.” This band has greatly influenced my own music and concept of what a concert experience can be. I modeled my album, Sonic Paradigm after Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of The Moon album, where each song flows into the next and the whole album is one conceptual piece.
Of the sessions you’ve recorded so far, is there one you prefer to show off first when people ask you about them? Essentially, do you have a favorite?
Yes, I think my favorite is Prince’s “Nothing Compares 2 U.” I like it most because it’s quite different than Sinead O’Conner’s version. A lot of people really like my cover of Radiohead’s “Street Spirit (Fade Out).” And I’ve gained a more diverse audience from my cover of Camila Cabello’s “Never Be The Same.”
Is there anything I missed that you would like to discuss?
I’m looking forward to my Ireland tour this month (June). It’s my first time going to Ireland. Irish people have always loved my music and now I’m getting to experience their culture! Please check thesonicuniverse.com/tour for more details! Thanks so much for interviewing me. I hope your readers found this content inspiring!
Listen to the Red Couch Sessions on YouTube.
© 2018 SURREAL MUSIC MAGAZINE
March 9, 2018
NEW EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW WITH INNOVA X / CREATIVITY MUZE TV
1.Who are you as an artist? What is your story? I was born a music artist. I remember singing with songs on the radio as a toddler pretending I was the rockstar who wrote, recorded, and performs that song on tour. To believe I was a rockstar music artist, was the greatest feeling ever.
Exclusive Interview with our ReverbNation Winner, Alex Arndt of The Sonic Universe!
1.Who are you as an artist? What is your story?
I was born a music artist. I remember singing with songs on the radio as a toddler pretending I was the rockstar who wrote, recorded, and performs that song on tour. To believe I was a rockstar music artist, was the greatest feeling ever. So, I had backyard performances for all the neighborhood kids and would invite friends over to write songs for fun at sleepovers.
I took my sister’s guitar to college (Virginia Tech). That was when I realized I was actually going to pursue a career as a music artist. I moved to California and have been pushing out my music ever since.
2.Who are some of your favorite artists and music influences?
I’ve always been a big fan of psychedelic classic rock. My all time favorite band is Pink Floyd. I love The Beatles. Sublime, Stone Temple Pilots, and Chris Cornell. Profound lyrics, beautiful melodies, and harmonies are what makes my world go round.
I also love electronic dance music and have a new E.P. coming out soon that combines singer songwriter, rock, and EDM.
3.What makes your music worth it? To the world? To your fans?
I think all real artists probably have the same feeling. We don’t do this just as a job. It’s not a pastime either. Creating and performing music is everything to me. Without music, life would be dull. There is no better feeling than hearing your music played on the radio or performing at a show and sincerely touching the people in your audience.
I feel like I’m really succeeding as an artist when I play a song and it makes people cry tears of joy or sadness. This has happened many times for me and I strive to keep creating music that will touch people and rip into their emotions.
4. What is the future of music and the industry?
I have no clue. As much as I’d like to say I know what’s next in music and the industry, I really don’t. What I do know is that people crave new and fresh sounds. I have always tried to create music that is not contrived. I open myself up as a vessel to receive inspiration from The Universe. I aim to create music that does not sound like anything that’s ever come out before. Although, sometimes even though I feel this way, I must try and fit into somewhat of a box in order to jump to the next level.
I think people want to hear more live elements. I think they are somewhat tired of just hearing a track played and mixed into other tracks at EDM events. What I have created with my band, The Sonic Universe is a performance with live instrumentation and vocals mixed with some prerecorded sounds and beats. Intertwining visualizers and dynamic light shows is all part of the experience.
5. What surprises you the most about the music industry?
It surprises me how music recordings are so devalued that no one wants to actually pay for them anymore. If there was still a tangible product, like a CD, tape, or record, I think people would feel more inclined to purchase music. But it’s practically free with services like Apple Music and Spotify.
6. What’s your Poison?
I’ve got a strong sex drive and can get wrapped up in romance. It’s sometimes hard for me to concentrate when attractive girls are courting me. This is why I tend to stay single. There is so much to do in life in general, but especially as an independent music artist. Love is a drug and it’s oh so good, but it can also poison your spirit if your heart gets broken.
7. How is your Art “your religion”?
I posted something that said “I love making art. I am only truly living when I am.” It can be a struggle sometimes for people to solely live off of their art. If you can’t find enough income from your art, you have to seek other fields to earn enough. If you are a true artist, what happens though is that you just don’t sleep very much. You come home from this other job and then go right to making art.
It’s my religion because no matter what happens in this life, I will try till I die to be the very best artist I can be. Your religion is your way of life. It dictates how you live and conduct yourself on a daily basis. When you see me out on the street, you know I’m an artist just by the way that I dress and act. That’s one of the most fun things about art being my religion; I’m always expressing myself with my rockstar fashion! lol.
8. What are you truly creating with your music that changes the world, changes society?
I have always been an artist for social change. I promote peace, love, hope, and understanding through my lyrics and my actions. I’ve written political songs for peace like “Strength Through Peace” that was used for a U.S. presidential campaign. I co-wrote a song about the plastic in our oceans, called “Plastic Soup” to create social awareness about this serious issue.
Together with Kay Glynn, I co-wrote an E.P. called “Animal Compassion” which calls out to the human race to love all creatures. Other songs in The Sonic Universe repertoire include “Oh Zalika” which speaks about helping hungry children in the world. One of my songs “Shine” is just meant to uplift people that are going through tough times and realize again that they are beautiful and need to shine!
9. What is the message of your music?
My music is definitely on the spiritual tip. The reason this is so is because I feel like what I’m expressing to the world should be of the greatest importance. In this life, I’ve experienced some amazing things. I’ve been able to see auras around people and around our moon. I have been able to see with my eyes the vibration of all energy around me. Meaning, I have been able to stare at a rock or a chair and actually see the matter vibrating within.
I have been able to see the sacred geometric patterns that exist throughout everything. This is why I have intertwined the flower of life pattern throughout The Sonic Universe logo and artwork. I have been able to perceive the full spectrum of color in relation to vibration and actually see “The Inside of a Rainbow”, which is one of the songs off my “Sonic Paradigm” album.
I want people to absorb this higher vibration and feel the joy that comes from being enlightened.
10. Have you been “lucky” or “gifted” in the music industry so far? Tell us more:
I know I am truly blessed. I have been put into so many divine situations. A lot of influential people have come across my music. I always want to take my music career to the highest level and want to keep it there. It’s pretty amazing to think that so many of my dreams as a little kid have already come true. I’ve toured the world for years having routinely performed in Europe, Asia, Australia, North, South, and Central America sometimes flying first class to get there. I’ve performed at stadiums at some of the largest music festivals. Last year, I performed with one of my music partners, Amanda Darling at Ultra Music Festival in South Korea.
I am quite famous in certain countries due to exposure on TV programs. Numerous times I’ve performed music and interviewed on popular radio stations. Recently, I had an interview with FM 95.5 KLOS - The Rock of Southern California, which was really fun getting praise from radio personalities I look up to.
11. What do you really think it takes to make it in the music industry? Tell us 3 keys.
2.) Contacts / Team
3.) Persistence / Planning
You’ve got to have something that really makes you stand out and shine. There has to be that star quality that tells people you’ve really got something special to give. The right people need to be able to see you.
A successful music artist has many people working with them to make the ball roll. People need to believe in you as an artist and want to get behind you. It’s a business and needs to be treated as such. In order for people to trust that you are the real deal, you need to be persistent and consistent.
12. What is your main inspirational philosophy in life? Favorite quote?
“Energy cannot be created or destroyed, it can only be changed from one form to another.” -Albert Einstein.
Life is eternal. We are one. Our existence has always been and will always be. There is nothing more magical than life itself. The Universe is a mystery. We may never truly understand what it’s all about. No one knows exactly why we are. That’s what makes things so interesting.
13. What do you regret the most in your music and would have done differently?
No regrets. I live in the present moment.
14. Where do you see your career going in five years? 10 years? Next year?
I see myself performing all over the world in front of millions of people. I see my music in movies and television. I see myself being amazed over and over at the new songs I’m coming up with and how all my dreams have fully manifested. I see my style and fashion continuing to evolve. I see The Sonic Universe becoming a very recognized global brand.
15. Legacy: At the end of the day, how do you want your fans to remember you and your music?
I want people to remember me and my music as something cosmic; I want NASA to send my music into outer space (I’m serious, this is a big goal for me). I hope people will see my music as something outside of the box; innovative, meaningful, and insightful. I want people to feel my spirit and to recognize the unconditional love that’s in my heart. I want to open up your consciousness so you can see the world through your third eye. Much love to all. And thank you so much Emily Correa at Innova X; you are so beautiful and I’m inspired by all you do!
Connect with The Sonic Universe
Music Video: https://youtu.be/ZDxnAH-Q6Js
Radio Interview with songs: https://youtu.be/Cb48_ZOB158
Live at SXSW: https://youtu.be/66vQfv0Mtfw
Live at Rave: https://youtu.be/YWEk0WvXfD8
Facebook Personal: http://facebook.com/AlexArndtPersonal