What inspired you to first start making music? And how did you come to be in your current incarnation? Or if you prefer, a brief bio about you.
I was a loud kid! Loved making noise, hearing it and basically drowning in it. Later on I went to a “band practice” some kids I knew from school had and I remember how loud everything was and how it made me feel. I got a guitar after that and started learning how to play so I could join that band. After years of getting into heavier and heavier music, I realized that my favorite part of it all, the piece I was always looking for were the pauses, breaks and the silence between all the noise. Those bits always felt the best. This led me to exploring other realms and genres which in turn, put me on to the dark story-tellers who needed nothing more than a guitar, some silence and a damn good, dark story. Reality is crushing if you allow it to exist as it is.
Provide us with some info about your latest release…
It’s the first full-length I’ve ever written so from the start it was a process unfamiliar to me. There were so many more concepts to explore that I kept getting lost in the tangents and adding new concepts that made sense so after a while, I decided to simplify it and write what I know instead of creating and imagining stories for the songs. Ross Robinson did an amazing job leading the path on the production side and we’re very lucky to have the talents of Brad Wilk on it as well. The team as a whole was incredibly giving and patient.
Which ones would you consider your main influences both music-wise & non-music-wise?
I think being nosey plays a big part in it. Some people call it observant but I’d rather be honest. When I’m out and around I people watch quite a bit. I watch their mannerisms, reactions and responses to situations I have no idea about. Without the context all movement seems to be nothing more than instinct which says a lot about a person. It’s like watching television with the sound off and catching onto the premise either way. Our minds are way more intuitive than people give it credit for. That’s where the stories begin, then I attach the emotional noise I harbor myself and the blend becomes a life of its own. That’s my main influence.
Musically I’d say it honestly spans across all the music I’ve been introduced to while passing through earth. Since the project didn’t start with any specific goal or intent, it’s been a learning curve enveloping everything I remember hearing and often I’m sure things I don’t remember that are still there.
In what way does your sound differ from the rest genre-related artists/bands and why should we listen to your music? In other words, how would you describe your sound?
It’s amazing how accessible music and being a musician is at this time. It has allowed for much more diversification and crossover from genre to genre which makes it easy to create more “unique” sounds from band to band. I’d say that my focus is very heavily based on the story telling and lyrical aspect of the songs although there are so many incredible songwriters doing the same. I’m not good at answering the sound question haha, just simply feel lucky to play music in a time where I can put the sounds I want together whether it crosses genre lines or not.
Please name your 3 desert islands albums, movies & books…
Cormac McCarthy – Child of God
Dolly Freed – Possum Living
Jack Burman – The Dead
Wet Hot American Summer
Pedro The Lion – Control
Fiona Apple – The Idler Wheel is Wiser…
Anaal Nathrakh – Codex Necro
I almost had a panic attack answering the album portion! Too many good records in the world.
Do you prefer studio or performing live and why?
I consider both such separate beasts that in my mind, they’re not related. Many people don’t feel the same but personally, I prefer when a band sounds different live than the recordings. There are exceptions to this but as a generality, if I want to listen to the record, I’ll sit down with a cigar and listen to the record as it was made. When I go to shows, my hope is to see or feel something the band wasn’t able to catch in the studio; find something they want to offer that didn’t translate in the recordings. Also, I used a semi-colon but I’m not sure if I used it correctly…I just wanted to use it. Party on.
Is there any funny-unique story you would like to share with us, always in relation to your music ‘career’?
It isn’t as funny of a story as it is a concept but the first few years of touring with this project were in a Prius. The gas mileage was incredible but the venues looked at us like we were insane when the tiny car pulled up with more merch than gear haha. I always got a kick out of it. At night I would transfer everything from the back to the front, sleep on the thin mattress curled up then in the mornings everything would get re-packed to the back and off to the races!
Which track of your own would you point out as the most unique and why?
Cocaine and Abel is not the most unique sonically but the most open I’ve ever been while writing a song. It was a necessary purge and felt amazing to get out once it was out.
Would you like to share with our readers your future plans?
It’ll be a lot of touring in the near future. We’re going to try our best to get to many markets we haven’t been to yet! Some of it is selfish for traveling sake and the rest…yea it’s just selfish. Besides that, there’s always something fun brewing in our little world!
Free question!!! (Ask yourself a question) you wish to answer and haven’t been given the opportunity…
Who does your art?
One of my close friends Justin Paps from Toronto has been there from the start of this whole thing and has somehow managed to consistently pump out incredible work for each portion while still adapting to the changing tides. He designed most of the merch, the logo and all of the album covers. For this new record, Everything Is Fine, we decided to go with a photograph instead of his normal paintings to mark a new era together. Doesn’t matter the medium, I’m grateful to have him along to translate the sounds into the visuals I can’t always express.
Curated by: Christos Doukakis
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