Robert G. Zuckerman

Every artist has his own experience and views that determine the output that is introduced in what we are hearing. For that, we have many questions that arise concerning ‘Soulless Machine’ and the previous releases by Patrick Doval, and the artist’s journey in general.

It’s a pleasure to be talking to you Patrick and knowing more about your previous and upcoming releases.

REM: Who were your main influences and why did you start playing music?

I first started playing music after watching my uncle play guitar. I was heavily influenced by many great bands and artists from the 60’s to 90’s. Just to name a few: The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, Jimmy Hendrix, The Doors, The Cure, Nine Inch Nails, Depeche Mode, Billy Idol, David Bowie, Jeff Buckley, Lenny Kravitz, Guns and Roses, Stone Temple Pilots, Soundgarden, Nirvana, Ice Cube, Tupac and so many more.

REM: You mentioned that you created the video, should we address you as a director & musician?

Both, director and musician!

REM: You seem to be very precise when it comes to choosing the featured artists, I mean Pete Parada and Duncan Sparks, why them precisely?

I’ve always been a big fan of the band “The Offspring” and Pete Parada’s drum playing. I remember reading in the headlines that Pete was dropped from the upcoming Offspring tour after refusing the Covid vaccine for medical reasons. At the time, I had already begun filming parts of my video and used the news to further fuel my feelings behind the project.  During the filming and recording process, I began dreaming of having Pete Parada play drums on my track. I thought his drum playing would be the perfect fit for my song. When I finished recording my song, I reached out to Pete and sent him my demo with the video. He told me he really liked the song and would play drums on it. It was a dream come true for me! I had asked Pete for help mixing the song and he suggested Duncan Sparks. In the end, Duncan ended up mastering the song and he did a great job!

REM: We are all in rage against media stations with agendas, trust me, but did the track have a direct cause or catalyst?

Yes. The unfolding of the Covid pandemic and how our freedom of conscience was under attack and how some of those exercising that freedom were viewed negatively for going against the “science”. I began to feel like we were living in George Orwell’s “1984”.

REM: A lot of TVs were introduced within your video clips, why do you use that symbol in most of your works?

TV’s are hypnotizing and as a surrealist, the TV creates an opportunity to explore a realm beyond this world, so I like to use it in my videos. In “Soulless Machine” I wanted to make a point that TVs are everywhere in our society and sadly it can be used to manipulate truths and falsehoods.  I always think of who the person behind the curtain is and what is their script?

REM: What is the story behind the picture that appears at the end of each video clip?

That is a photo of me with a contrasting effect. That image has become my logo. I like to place the image at the end of each of my videos because I think of my logo as a signature, just like an artist has his signature on the bottom of every painting.

REM: You mentioned that you created the video first, then wrote the song. Did that affect the track’s concept and message?

I did first create the video and then I wrote the song to the visuals but it did not affect the concept or message at all. I got the desired result that I wanted. The song’s lyrics were based on the imagery of what I saw in my video and my feelings never changed.

REM: What major artist influenced you into writing this track?

I was inspired by a lot of the visuals from Pink Floyd’s “The Wall” film. I’ve always loved that album and growing-up it was one of my favorite rock films. The marching hammers from “The Wall” inspired my marching syringes. I also related to the character of the film “Pink” because in the end of the film, he breaks out of the system. Just like Pink felt self-imposed isolation from the horrors of this world, I express that in my video, as I form a figurative wall to the media as I watch TV. There’s no doubt Pink Floyd’s “The Wall” was a huge driving force behind my project but I was also inspired by other films as well such as John Carpenter’s “They Live”, which is where I got the concept of viewing subliminal messages through my sunglasses.  Lastly, “1984”, “Metropolis” and the ending of “The Wizard of Oz”, when Dorothy and her entourage discover an ordinary man with a loudspeaker behind the curtains. All of these films were influences on my project.

REM: Which instrument of the two you’re playing Guitar & Bass do you prefer the most? And are you playing any other instrument?

On “Soulless Machine” I play both guitars and bass guitars and sing the vocals. I most enjoy the guitar because it’s my main instrument and I write most of my songs on guitar as well. Besides Pete Parada’s drums and my guitar and bass tracks, there are no other instruments on the song.

REM: You seem to be very interested in the meaning behind artist’s artworks, please tell us more.

I like the symbolism behind artist’s artwork because everyone’s interpretation of their work is what gives art meaning and value. It also inspires me greatly!

REM: Do you believe that our society is agreeing with your track’s concept?

Society is slowly awakening but is not fully awake yet.

REM: You seem to be very interested in photography and videography, tell us more about your interests other than music.

I really enjoy collecting vintage toys, Hot Wheels and snorkeling at the beach.

REM: Are you planning to release an album soon? Would ‘Soulless Machine’ be part of it?

It’s something that I am considering at the moment. I have been writing new material and hopefully will be recording soon and would definitely consider “Soulless Machine” to be part of the album.

REM: Are there any upcoming events or gigs?

None at the moment.

Well, thank you so much for your time and we hope that we are pleased to be hearing more of your music very soon.

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