Monday, 31 August 2009

Amelia Ellis - Interview


Below is an email interview with Amelia Ellis. All interviews are published unedited.
  • Your tracks have a diverse mixture of styles, how would you describe your tracks?
I couldn’t pinpoint all the influences on my music really. My parents were folk musicians predominantly and I think there is a hint of this in 'Falling'. I’d say this song is acoustic rock, though, and it’s didactic, not autobiographical! Since I uploaded it, it has undergone a few changes and is now my favourite track.

To describe the songs I’ve written myself, my style, they’re all quite different but I have a few ballads which are similar to 'Falling' as there’s quite a similar build-up in them in that they start quite basic with just piano and vocals, except the other ballads are more traditional power-ballady love songs, unlike 'Falling'.

There are three styles, I suppose, as there are a few album tracks which are pop song arrangements with a lot of backing vocals going on. I spend ages in the studio on these! And then there are a few dance tracks, like 'Nostalgia', which I absolutely cannot take all the credit for! My producer Ian and I spent a lot of time working on this track, and it’s getting remixed with a very different sound altogether so I can’t wait to hear it.
  • I have two favorite tracks 'Falling' and 'Nostalgia' which track are you most proud of?
Between 'Falling' and 'Nostalgia', I would have to say ‘Falling’ because it started out so different from how I initially wrote it.
  • I believe you are going to play live, how is that coming along?
I’m rehearsing for live performances which are being planned for next year and they will involve some changes in my life and that’s all I can say at the moment I’m afraid, just in case!
  • Who has had the biggest influence on you songs?
The biggest influences on my song writing are Elton John, Carole King, Mariah Carey, Abba, Pink Floyd, The Beatles; just basically a mixture of the music my parents listened to and then far too many bands and artists of my taste to list here! The biggest influence on my song writing is Mariah Carey’s early albums, although vocally, I try not to be too extreme on the ears. (Shouldn’t have said that.)
  • Is there anything exciting happening in the near future?
Exciting things started happening for me this time last year when I decided to give music another go, so it’s pretty much excitement all the time for me. I have all these songs because I’d given up and was writing songs for up-and-coming artists, but then people said, why don’t you record them? You wrote them? So here I am!
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FPC (for popular consumption) - Interview


Below is an email interview with FPC (for popular consumption). All interviews are published unedited.
  • It isn't easy to put your music into a genre, how would you describe your music?
It's funny, I know that if you can be pigeon holed into a specific genre it's supposed to make things easier for the listener to find what they're looking for. But in reality I think it puts them in a kind of straight jacket listening experience. I mean how can anyone in this day and age really consider themselves a devotee of any one genre. The idea seems very outdated to me. Im my current work I have been finding myself increasingly interested in the emotive side of things. The machinations I use to get there really are as about as interesting to me as a hammer must be to a carpenter. I mean the tool is wonderful, indispensable even maybe; and the more tools you have the more chance you have of injecting variety into your work. But, above all it's the emotive goal that I have to stay clear on so I don't get myself lost in a mass of whirring and buzzing which has nothing to do with the end I desire.
  • Do you have a specific direction to take your music in or are just happy to leave everything to chance?
There was a time when I was just content to explore and experiment. I wrote electroacoustic stuff, quasi serial works after Webern, Boulez, Messiaen and Bartok; I went through periods where I modeled stuff after the likes of people like Charlie Parker and Monk then later Miles and Trane. The minimalists too had a big influence. Glass's ability to chanel his minimal technique in the direction of an emotive experience still influences me. Floyd, Yes, Radiohead and Bjork are also people I admire in this regard. Bach's contrapuntal genius I adore and still turn to, particularly when I'm in rhythmic difficulty; Beethoven who still teaches me to never take the phrase for granted and Brahms whose phrase I still fail to really appreciate and Schubert's who I can fall in love with and be bored to tears by all in the same sitting. What I'd like to think is that all of these musical encounters combine together to contribute to those fortuitous moments in a piece - I won't call them chance- that conspire together for the realization of the goal at the moment.
  • Have you got any new projects on the go at the moment?
I just recently completed my first cd. I'm fortunate in that I spend the bulk of my time composing now. Because of this little bit of good fortune I've got quite a backlog of projects I can pull from. But, again, I am really trying to keep the emotive goal on the front burner and because of this I very often feel the need to put works on hold, not so much because I'm dissatisfied with them, but more because my head just isn't in the right space to bring this out to the best of my ability. If all goes well I'd like to have a second cd out by spring but we'll have to see what the winter months bring.
  • Which track do you think best represents your 'art'?
Right now I'd have to go with "remember mickey." it seems to be where my head, or more accurately my heart is lately. But really this is just a snap shot of how I'm feeling. A couple of months ago I kept getting lost in the gradual momentum of "the bones." Before that there was a single movement sonata for cello and piano -the piano part of which I was really enjoying playing- that I haven't made available yet, and very recently "karuna," which was originally intended as a piece for a submission I was working on, has been catching my intention. I've found that the best way to keep from losing sleep over this whole business of "art" is simply to live and travel with the works with as few preconceived notions of what they "are" as possible. Judging the stuff comes from some intellectually conceived notion of right and wrong that likes to fix things in time. I can't see how this could ever positively affirm the creative process.
  • Where do you get your inspiration from?
Many of the more personal works I've made available recently have their origins in a very- I wish I could say exclusively- emotional place. All I attempt to do with that original experience is to get just enough distance from it to allow me to shape it into a structure that will best bring it to life for the listener. This is why, as I said earlier, I sometimes have to shelve works for a time. I have a 5 minute piano realization for an arrangement sitting in front of me right now that I really think has the makings for a good piece. Technically it wouldn't be that much to complete. But I know that it will succeed or fail depending on how well I can pull off its emotive potential. For that I have to be in the right head space and I'm just not there for this particular work right now.
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Saturday, 29 August 2009

T. Austin Reed - Interview


Below is an email interview with T. Austin Reed. All interviews are published unedited.
  • I really love your tracks - how did you get into making music?
ONE DAY, MY FRIEND, A.J., AND I WERE GOOFIN' OFF IN HIS ROOM WITH A SAMPLE LOOP FROM A 95-SOUTH SONG AND A YAMAHA KEYBOARD. WE RECORDED THE JAM SESSION ON TAPE, WHICH I USED TO AUDITION MY WAY INTO MY FIRST INDIE RECORD LABEL, F.L.A. RECORDS. THAT'S PRETTY MUCH HOW MY LIFE AS A PRODUCER BEGAN...
  • How would you describe the type of music you create?
DON'T. I JUST LET GOD BE THE PRODUCER WHILE HE LET'S ME BE HIS INSTRUMENT. WHATEVER TYPE OF MUSIC COMES OUT AFTERWARDS...WELL, I LEAVE THAT TO THE GENRE CREATORS TO DECIDE. THERE ARE SO MANY MUSIC GENRES BEING GENERATED OUT THERE NOWADAYS THAT I GET MIGRAINES EVERY TIME I SCROLL THROUGH THE A-Z's OF MUSIC TYPES. I FIGURE, "WHY EVEN BOTHER?"
  • What are your future plans - releases, live work?
CURRENTLY, I'M WORKING ON NEGOTIATING SHOW DATES FOR A FEW VENUES IN ANCHORAGE, ALASKA. AS WELL, I'M IN POST-PRODUCTION WITH MY DEBUT ALBUM, "THE 3 A.M. SESSIONS," A COLLECTIVE OF SONGS I'VE DONE OVER THE PAST 8 YEARS. I'M ALSO COLLABORATING ON PROJECTS WITH A FEW AWESOME LOCAL ARTISTS IN THE ORLANDO AREA (CORROSIVE, 949, WAX MURDERERZ, LETHALITY SCALE, AND CMONGROOVES) AND ALSO WITH JEFF STODDARD OF ROUGHHAUSEN, WHO WILL BE DOING A REMIX ON ONE OF MY SONGS, ENTITLED "A SLAVE LIKE YOU."
  • Who has been the most inspirational person for you?
TWO PEOPLE, REALLY. AS A PRODUCER...ONE OF MY BEST FRIENDS, AJA LORRAINE. EVERY TIME WE'VE GOTTEN IN THE STUDIO TOGETHER, THE CHEMISTRY HAS BEEN EXPLOSIVE TO THE POINT OF ME GETTING CHILLS AND FEELING LIKE I'VE TAKEN A HIT OF ECSTASY. NOBODY ELSE HAS EVER MADE ME FEEL SO AMPED AS A PRODUCER. NOT ONLY THAT, BUT OUT OF EVERYONE I WAS SURROUNDED BY, SHE WAS THE ONLY PERSON TO REALLY ENCOURAGE ME TO KEEP PUMPING OUT WHAT SHE CONSIDERED "MY CRAZY ASS, DARK, VAMPIRE MUSIC..."

AS A TEACHER...MY LI'L BROTHER, CALVIN "BIG BOSS CD" DURAND. HE INSPIRED ME TO LEARN MORE ABOUT THE MECHANICS OF PRODUCTION AND ENGINEERING SO THAT I COULD TEACH NOT ONLY HIM, BUT ANY OTHER HUNGRY ARTIST THAT HAS THE DESIRE TO LEARN HOW TO PRODUCE MUSIC ON THEIR OWN. THERE'S NO GREATER REWARD THAN GIVING BACK GIFTS THAT I'VE BEEN GIVEN...
  • What comes first when you create a track, the words or music?
THE MUSIC, BABY...THE MUSIC...
  • How does boxing fit in?
IT DOESN'T. NOT ANYMORE. UNFORTUNATELY, A JOB-RELATED INJURY PUT AN END TO MY CAREER...BUT IF YOU EVER WANNA GET BEAT UP BY A GIRL, LEMME KNOW!!! I HAVE A HELLACIOUS LEFT HOOK THAT'LL PUT YOU RIGHT TO SLEEP, NO PROBLEM!!! 8)
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José Mataloni - Electroser

Music is not restricted and confined by BPM's or verses and choruses, music is everywhere, even in silence (ref. John Cage). There is undoubted beauty in everyday sounds, conversation and chance.

I went to Art College and became fascinated by the idea of what music could be. I began experimenting with tape machines and found sounds. This experimentation was put on hold for a few years; I got caught up in the whirlwind of Post-Punk underground music, playing trendy and sometimes bigger venues supporting bands like The Cure.

I never forgot my 'roots' in experimentation and in 1989 EETapes released 'Extraction', which I still feel is 'This Window's' finest achievement.

Electronic music can make the abstract real.... José Mataloni - Electroser is well worth listening to. This music shows what can be and what being creative is all about - it is all about thinking.

Peter Bright


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The text below is the content of three emails I received from José Mataloni

EMAIL ONE: when I lived in Germany, this was from 2000 to 2004, I made several sound works for Dradio Berlin, among others. They call this art radio or sound art. It's like a child, or rather, a grandson of Radio Theater. Only much more free, in fact, works are don’t usually have actors or characters. The sound is the star, and is telling stories. This is a very rough summary of the many variations that exist in Germany. They were works by 50 minutes, very difficult to organize. In the talks I had with the producer, Naleppa Goetz, came the idea of calling what I was doing magic realism of sound. This was mainly because I mixed different nature sounds, environmental sounds, electronics, music, documentaries ... in a single reality. Similarly, the literary genre is pursuing a multi-dimensional reality where it’s possible that the author can blend the fantastic and the real. Then I was stuck in this genre, in early 2007 did the last work for radio, until now. Then I began to feel that I repeated, and all I did, not widespread, I don’t like, really. This year, I started taking other decisions, at all levels. I began to discover new techniques to master the sound, to take positions closer to the listener, to take important decisions at an artistic level. Somehow also, I returned to my sources, it was the electronic sound...

EMAIL TWO: Also returned to mingle with jazz, fusion, electronic music, classical music, with pop, rock, folk, with all musical experiences. And all that is meeting in electroacoustic music. The name comes from the 50’s or 60’s, possibly from the sound experiments of Stockhausen, German composer, one of the greats. I say today, Electroacoustic Poetry. This is the mix refers to universal situations, as suggested by the sounds. For example, in the work I'm spreading the tightrope in the abyss, stability is present, like a challenge to achieve. Also, considering that the ear has the ability to maintain balance in the body (and mind), I wanted to see what would happen if organized sound stimuli, so do the listeners feel, which is on a tightrope. It is actually a return to clasisismo of form, where the balance is most important. Only here, consider noise as part of the whole, and space in three dimensions. Among all this radio experience, I left many things. The drama, the composition of sounds in three dimensions, the concern for form, close contact with the listener. However, I feel that this was an oasis in a desert of possibilities. I had the pleasure of living than they did, and what I did was, and is very complex. Now it's like to make contact with reality, and dare to be oneself, in spite of everything against an entire scenario. I suppose that all independent artists feel the same, I'm not exclusive in that. All this might seem highly consistent with the academic; however, they do not understand this shift. I believe in reaching people, but at first, sounds like something impossible. However, I think the industry hat underestimated the audience, and they have been “educated” in very basic musical values. But I believe that the power is in the people, they can much more...

EMAIL THREE: I say that my music is to hear and see with the eyes closed. To see the volume, colors, shapes, movements of sounds. To create or allow to reveal new images in the imagination. To my surprise, despite the many constraints of the music industry, the listener is open to the dimensions of my music, only with this idea, “close your eyes and see the sounds”. I think part of it, is for encouraging me to show what many composers does in silence, perhaps much better than me, because they assume that people will not understand this aesthetics. Anyway, without thereby lowering the code, if I just concentrated on what is most important, really communicate aesthetic goals, to shorten the time of the speech. I'm more consistent, and finally, enjoying most of the sound, without ties or conditions of any kind.

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Thursday, 27 August 2009

The Hooded Thing - Interview

Below is an email interview with The Hooded Thing. All interviews are published unedited.
  • How would you describe your music?
Tough question. I wish I could turn the tables on you. I love watching people struggle to describe my music. Unlike some electrother artists, I do not reject the use of labels because they are convenient. The problem arises when people give dismissive labels, like crazy, or gothic. Don’t call me industrial!
  • Your tracks sound like they would transfer to a live stage really well, how important is playing live to you?
I take great pride in my production. Any track I release can be turned up to an extreme volume on a balanced stereo without damaging the system. That said, on a p.a. this stuff sounds killer, the louder the better, you know! I do play live shows as Lethality Scale. I have always thought of myself as a recording artist first and a performing artist second.
  • How long have you been making music?
I have had many names and faces over the last century. I have chanted with shogoths for hundreds of years.
  • Which track do you think is your most successful?
Success means a number of things to a number of people. There are a lot of effed up things in this world. There is a continent of plastic floating in the pacific that, as it deteriorates, it creates artificial molecules that mimic the biological molecules involved in biochemical cascades in the (reproductive) endocrine system. These plastic molecules bioaccumulate in fish and end up in our food.

Labs have created recombinant viruses that can wipe out entire agricultural systems (from farmer to turkey to pig) such as the swine flu and then released them on our general public. Antibiotic resistant strains of bacteria have also been released from labs and now they infect and kill delivering mothers in maternal wards.

The agroindustrial corporations are feeding us mono and di glycerides and hydrogenated oils and telling us there is zero grams of trans fats (the chemical structures of these molecules are trans fats (THEY ARE LYING TO YOU)) and these chemicals are in your bread, your peanut butter, in everything you eat (look at the label) and they increase the rate of heart attack 20-40%.

The bald eagle population is crashing, yet it was taken off the endangered species list because the Tongass forest, (the last rain forest in N America) is a nesting sight and two pulp factories have lobbied millions to get tax payer money to literally tear it down and turn it into match sticks. (I emphasize they are getting paid millions in tax payer money to deforest this land and turn it into pulp.) And at the same time, all superfund bioremediation sites have been slashed from the federal budget.

The amount of stringency in testing drinking water has been laxed, this correlates with an inverse relationship in autistic children. More heavy metals are allowed in our drinking water than ever before and 1/100 kids are autistic.

This madness has got to stop. My most successful song is the one that opens a single persons eyes and convinces someone it is time to kill the apathy and do something to make a positive difference.
  • Do you have anything exciting happening in the near future?
Carpe Diem
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Wednesday, 26 August 2009

Emotional Arsonist - Interview


Below is an email interview with Emotional Arsonist. All interviews are published unedited.
  • How are the plans for your album and live gigs coming along?
The album is coming along, steadily, but not as fast as I would have liked. I need to lay down about three more tracks, and then I have vocals and backing vocals to do and final production touches. I have someone lined up to help me with the final mix down so I am hoping it is ready to send for mastering by the end of September or start of October at the latest.

I am still piecing the band together at the moment and I have a guitarist (Arek) and bass player (Wraith) working on learning the songs. We are still searching for the right drummer, but I am confident it will happen when the time is right and we are ready. I am eager to get the songs out into the live arena, but it will probably be closer to the end of the year before we play our first gig.
  • How would you describe your music and where do you think you fit in with the rest of the music world?
I don’t think it fits in with anything else currently happening if I am honest. I mean, it isn’t out and out goth, but has strong elements of goth; it isn’t metal, but again, there are elements there; there are rock influences, celtic influences, classical influences, industrial influences: it crosses a lot of genres. I think it draws on all of these, in particular the darker elements.

The blurb being used at the moment is “Imagine David Bowie and Marilyn Manson collaborating in a graveyard, around midnight, in an old-school goth style”. I’m not sure if that captures the full spirit of it but it will do for now. In one word, it is”Dark”: if anyone likes their music dark, check out Emotional Arsonist.
  • If you could have anything what would be on the top of your wish list?
Other than worldwide fame & riches you mean (smile)? I already have a beautiful wife and two great kids, so, that only leaves making music for a living (and earning worldwide fame & riches doing it).
  • Where do you find the inspiration for your lyrics or aren't they that important to you?
The lyrics are as important to me as the music. They are part of the whole ensemble. The inspiration? It comes from a lot of places, although most of it from introspection on personal circumstances and where I am spiritually and emotionally. Writers inspire me a lot, as do films. The kind of stuff that challenges me to re-think who I am and what I do. Writers like Hesse, Huxley, Philip K Dick & Nietzsche, and films like Fight Club, Dead Poet’s Society, The Matrix, & many, many more.

These influences resonate with me on a number of levels, and change the way I think. When I write lyrics I think I am writing sometimes on a sub-conscious level, because I have written lyrics that only make full sense to me years later. Writing lyrics for me is cathartic, spiritual, and it is my own personal therapy where I am both therapist and patient. There is some social commentary, but most of the stuff I am writing over the last year or so is personal reflection.
  • What track are you most proud of?
honestly and truthfully can’t pick one. I am proud of all of them for differing reasons. ‘Scar Twisted Metal’ for being very different(and for its weird timing); ‘Substance D’ for it’s simplicity; ‘The Greatest Trick…’ for it’s structure; ‘Bleed…’ for it’s intensity; and so on and so on. Each track captures a moment in time for me - a snapshot - and each challenged me in a different way.
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Mike Cliffe - Interview


Below is an email interview with Mike Cliffe. All interviews are published unedited.
  • You used to play live with bands a few years ago, how would you describe your music then and now?
The live bands during the 80's and 90's were mostly performing cover songs - songs that the audience expected to hear
along with a few personal band member favorites, which often weren't as well received ;)

The music I do now is all original, at least in the respect that they aren't cover tunes. They are all
ideas that I'd like to see become complete songs and are highly influenced by what I like to listen to both past and present.
  • What music do you listen to?
I still listen to hard rock, blues and progressive/jazz from the 70's and some punk from the 80's. I also listen to current rock/metal/jazz but over the last couple of years I've found mainstream, popular music was getting boring. So, I've been listening to lots of independent artists lately and have had my ears re-awakened to some incredible talent and exciting music from all genres rock/metal/country/classical/jazz/electro/hiphop etc.
  • What inspired you to begin playing again and will you be tempted to play live in the future?
Playing has always been a passion for me and now that I have some time I can devote to playing it seemed a logical step. I'm currently home studio based and since home studio gear has advanced and become more affordable it makes production much easier. I am collaborating with other artists and this seems to fit people's schedules quite nicely. Playing live again is tempting as there is nothing like the energy from an audience.
  • Which track do you think is your most successful?
So far, "In Equity", I've received lots of positive feedback about this one and it turned out better than I had originally thought it would. I think it could use some vocals, but I think that about most of my songs. Vocals and extra percussion or accents always make songs more meaningful and complete to me.
  • What happens next?
I'm hoping for more artist collaboration and experimenting with other genres - even mixing up genres to create new sounds.
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