Varien on Full Assault: Producer Varien knew he wanted to make video game music at a time when most people didn’t even know there was music in video games.
“Over the years, my taste in music exploded from Memphis trap to death metal and Enya, etc,” he says. “I had a gut feeling, and thankfully my family did too, that music was my vocation. So I went for it. Still going and aiming for new goals in all sorts of directions. It’s always been serious. It’s always been what defines me most.”
Varien describes his sound as industrial, but says that doesn’t really cover it.
“The classic Varien sound that I am returning to in this next era is heavy on cinematic atmospheres, with equal parts elegant and f*cked up, and full of raw, gritty noises that feel great on the ear,” he says. “I’m also heavily leaning into metal for my next album.”
The artist has mixed feelings regarding the current state of electronic music.
“I think that a fair perspective is that there are equal parts interesting and unimpressive things happening,” he says. “I mostly stay in my lane and focus on what I like, so I don’t have many hot takes. There’s so many great acts that have dropped awesome projects these past few years – Spiritbox, ic3peak, Conway the Machine, Machine Girl’s soundtrack to Neon White, etc. All that being said, I do think social media has ramped up the importance of aesthetics and ‘being a brand’ more than ever, and that has affected the music some artists make.”
His latest release is the FULL ASSAULT / ALL THAT U WANT EP.
“This is a love letter to the ballroom culture in the ’80s,” he says. “I really enjoy the documentary Paris is Burning from 1990, which documents the reality of LGBT people of color in New York. To me, what these people were doing was very punk rock; very real and raw. I will always feel connected to the underdogs, the black sheep. Vogue music and culture is rich in its many forms, and I wanted to meld my industrial sound with these unique house rhythms that make you wanna shake your booty. My friend Psylla is a mastermind and there was this demo from 2019 that was kicked around by me and another friend, Holder. Finally Psylla and I cracked the code. JACKIE EXTREME and girl_irl were the perfect choices to team up with. Everyone understood the assignment and we’re all proud of these tracks!”
Looking ahead, Varien has plenty planned for the coming months.
“I have a beat tape that I did with some members of Three 6 Mafia, a ton of demos, various tunes that may or may not ever see the light of day, and a soundtrack for a really beautiful game coming out next year,” he says. “I am also recording and producing my next album, which will be heavy on metal and whatever other cool things come to mind! Extremely stoked on that.”
Varien on Full Assault: Varien’s FULL ASSAULT / ALL THAT YOU WANT is out now.
Editor’s note: The disclaimer below refers to advertising posts and does not apply to this or any other editorial stories. LA Weekly editorial does not and will not sell content.
Advertising disclosure: We may receive compensation for some of the links in our stories. Thank you for supporting LA Weekly and our advertisers.