With a sound reminiscent of ‘80s rock, Retrofile is on a mission to change pop music. The Edmonton band creates songs filled with awesome synths, backed by cool electronic sounds and filled with catchy hooks.
Inspired by artists such as Depeche Mode, Queen, and Coldplay, Retrofile’s alternative sound is fresh in a world driven by rap and dance pop. Band members Austin Goosen and twins Luke and Noah Martino look to their musical influences when creating new wave pop music.
“We’re getting to that point where it’s no longer going to be, ‘Oh, you guys sound like these three people playing.’ It’s going to be, ‘Oh, you guys sound like Retrofile.’ You’re your own thing,” says Noah, drummer and guitarist.
The ambitious trio met while playing in a band with “rockier elements,” Goosen says.
They quickly decided to chase their dreams of success — which to them meant a “full blown music career,” says Noah. Using social networks such as Spotify, YouTube, and SoundCloud, Retrofile was able to self-promote their music.
As an indie, alternative band, Retrofile has gained more support internationally than in Edmonton. Their first song, “Two Words,” became an instant hit in Mexico, the U.K., and even the Philippines. As Canadian artists, Retrofile don’t want to fade into the background. They want maximum exposure, everywhere. The band doesn’t want to be pulled into the self-deprecating hole that most indie artists find themselves in. With an attitude, determination, and work ethic inspired by Jared Leto and Bono, Retrofile wants to go “full tilt,” says Noah. They want their image to represent who they are and what their music is about.
Despite their growing popularity online, Retrofile has only played one show in Edmonton. For one night only, they got to see how the crowd reacted to their music at the Mercury Room. The band wants to perform their shows as if they were concerts, where “the point is to go see the live music,” Noah says.
“The show we played at the Mercury Room was the first show … We’ve been to a lot of shows and it’s kind of intimidating, getting close to the stage at the Mercury Room. But when we did go up on stage, it was like everyone in the venue really genuinely went up and danced and paid attention. As if they’re going to see an artist,” says vocalist and songwriter Luke, reminiscing. “It was even shocking to us to have everyone wanna dance, and wanna take part. And after experiencing that, I think we realised people do want that.”
The band says that music makes them feel liberated, a message they hope is reflected in their songs. The band relishes the moments when the crowd sings back to them. They breathe in the music. They believe that musical language has to come naturally. Music should always speak for itself. It should draw the audience in. It should make you want to dance.
Naturally, the band is not excluded from criticism. At first the members ask why someone might have felt such strong dislike for them. They use that criticism to make their music better — understanding that not everyone will like them. The band was unanimous when saying that the worst criticism would be if their audience didn’t either passionately love or hate them.
“When someone deems it as mediocre…” Goosen begins to say.
“That’s the ultimate insult,” says Noah, finishing the thought.
With a new song on the way and an album to be released later this year, Retrofile is focusing on visual components to accompany their songs.
“We’re still kind of figuring it out, but the song we are coming out with in February is definitely a solid representation of where we are now,” says Goosen, lead guitarist.
Retrofile’s new song, “Future,” will be released later this month, alongside the band’s first official music video.
“I think when you hear the song, it jumps from very soothing and pleasant to sort of intimidating. Uncomfortable. And I think it works really well that way, and yeah, it’s definitely got a light and dark element. Which I think (is) what the future is,” says Luke. “It definitely shines a light on the uncertainty and the fact that it is what you make it.”
“We genuinely love these songs, to the extent, I’m pretty sure, we’ll do anything to get people to listen to them. We’re so confident with them,” Luke says.
If you are a fan of local alternative music, keep an eye out for their new song, which will be available on Spotify, YouTube, and iTunes.
“It was kinda optimistic about the future but also nervous about the future. It’s got this scale. It’s …” Goosen trails off.
“Freaky times,” Luke finishes.