Recently relocated to Canada from São Paulo, Brazil in an effort to distance themselves from the fascist politics back home, synth-guitar duo The Radio Droids have appropriately found themselves in Montreal. Notorious for its underground electronic music scene which is celebrated every year in full force at Mutek, the French Canadian metropolis is the perfect backdrop for the budding duo.
Together, Alex Kidd and Savio Lopes craft cerebral synth-scapes with a respectful nod to the godfathers of electronic music, Kraftwerk. Darker than Daft Punk and less self-loathing than the celebrated Montreal-based TR/ST, The Radio Droids create unique trance inducing analog compositions that pulse with a moody energy. Their latest track, “Oblivion,” is no different. Inspired by old sci-fi movies, the song portrays two androids conflicting with different perspectives on changing the world. And while the world changes around them, the Radio Droids are working to find a place for themselves in their new surroundings.
We sat down with Kidd and Lopes to discuss their favourite sci-fi films and find out how they’re enjoying Montreal now that they’ve had some time to settle down.
What brought The Radio Droids to Canada?
We came to Canada looking for new opportunities in our careers mostly. But we also looked for a more progressist political environment, especially since the rise of fascism in Brazilian politics in recent years. In that sense, we are enjoying our new country, many people have been kind to us, which helps the hardship of being away from our family and friends in such a difficult moment.
What are some things about Montreal that you’ve been pleasantly surprised by since relocating?
The city is filled with graffiti and other visual art forms that give the city a cultural vibe. People are very pleasant, in general, which helped us feel at home. For example, we once somehow got locked outside our apartment, without our phones or wallets, and had get help from our kind neighbours to get back inside. And, of course, the legendary poutine.
Have your French Canadian surroundings impacted your approach to your music in any way?
For sure. We’ve even been trying to write songs in French. Other than that, Montreal has a DIY vibe, and we noticed that many people are making art just for the sake of creating, and that is inspiring!
You talk about two androids having conflicting views in your new single, do these conflicting views reflect your own two personalities at all or is it strictly sci-fi?
It has a personal aspect in it for sure, even though we don’t each represent a character of the song. We imagined a scenario in which one sees the other’s strategy as ineffective or too radical, for example. The song reflects on the challenge of seeing eye-to-eye on things, even though there’s an urge for revolution on both sides.
Do you find it difficult to keep up with music trends?
Searching for new music is fun for us. We don’t worry too much about being updated about everything since there are too many things going on, but we follow our intuition and are open to suggestions and genres. Our new obsession is to dig for new music at Montreal vinyl stores. Our latest discovery was Hildegard’s amazing debut.
The Radio Droids love sci-fi movies. What are your top three science fiction movies that have had the biggest impact on you guys?
Some of our favourites are The Vast Night (2020), Contact (1997), and Terminator 2: Judgement Day (1991).
Any plans to perform live in Montreal when things open up? What would your dream bill consist of?
We are rehearsing our set, including new songs, to perform as soon as things open. Our dream bill would include Montreal’s artists such as Elisapie and Hildegard. We would also love to have some of our favourite bands, such as Warpaint, Kaytranada, and Mount Kimbie.
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