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 surrounded by music in the house where I grew up. We had a piano and lots of records and for a Christmas one year I got a Waltham cassette recorder (I still have it) which I would use to make pretend radio shows. Listening to the music of that time, early Bowie, T-Rex, Pink Floyd etc. really lay the foundations for my passion for music but it was in the late ‘70’s and early 80’s when I became a teenager that I really got into the post-punk and emerging electronic music scene and bought my first synth (Roland Juno 6) and I have progressed from there through playing in various bands and working on lots of projects to where I am today as a solo artist. The Juno has appeared on every album I’ve made from then to the new release this Nov.
Provide us with some info about your latest release…
The new album “Anandamide” is released on 20th Nov and was an unexpected product of the lockdown period. My plan this year had been to perform my last album “Reconstructed Memories” live at some festivals and events but obviously that was stopped in its tracks by Covid. I sat down in the studio to write and before I really knew it, I had the basic tracks for a new album, and it seemed to be inspired by everything that was going on in the world at the time. It looks at spirituality, post pandemic living, social unrest, the destruction of nature and the human condition and ties that all back to the “bliss” molecule, Anandamide, and the constant human craving for excitement, change, something new, the next big thing etc. Sonically it is a more ambient and electronica-based approach and I’ve has tried to maintain a lo-fi approach to writing and recording in line with the period we were living through.
Which ones would you consider your main influences both music-wise & non-music-wise?
From a music perspective my influences are many and varied. Historically I’ve always been influenced by Bowie, Eno, Kate Bush and a variety of artists from the late 70’s and early 80’s but more recently I listen to a lot of work by Max Richter, Thom Yorke, Nick Cave, FKA Twigs and I’m always looking for new artists for my playlists.
Non-music wise I’m been inspired by artists and photographers. Tim Walker and David LaChapelle are particular photographers I like for the whole drama of their work and I am also a big admirer of the video artist Bill Viola. The Bill Viola/Michelangelo exhibition “Life, Death, Rebirth” at the RA last year was a big influence on my work.
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?
I would describe my sound as unique to me in that it has such diverse influences that the result is something that is multi-layered and very listenable. I try to write design the sound to provoke feelings and emotions and still keep a sense of melody and pattern. People often tell me they hear something different every time they listen to a track they had listened to before and I purposely add elements in the aural space to enable that. I try to write music I would listen to and that has some emotional connection to me or the world around me.
Please name your 3 desert islands albums, movies & books…
I never realised it’s so hard to get to only three of each!
Aladdin Sane – David Bowie
Replicas – Gary Numan
Sleep – Max Richter
Room to Dream – David Lynch & Kristine McKenna
Inside Out – Nick Mason
Origins – Lewis Dartnell
Do you prefer studio or performing live and why?
I prefer the studio environment as I like to be able to experiment with sound and performance can sometimes limit that. Also, when I perform live, I like to make it a complete audio-visual experience, so it is time consuming and expensive to stage. As I work alone most of the time the studio is a very creative space for me, and I enjoy getting to know the kit and the software as much as playing it. You can never have too many synths! 🙂
Is there any funny-unique story you would like to share with us, always in relation to your music ‘career’?
I was playing in a band called “The Inline” in the early 80’s and we were playing some shows in Germany. We got to the venue we were told we were playing at and it was a public swimming pool with no indication of where a band would actually set up to play. We asked around in our shouty English version of German and the caretaker took us in and pointed to the actual swimming pool! Still with no clue what was going on they began draining the pool until it was empty. They then set up staging at the bottom of the deep end and rows of benches on the slope of the floor of the pool. A few hours later we performed at the bottom of the deep end of an empty swimming pool! Great acoustics but I was worried if they didn’t enjoy the music, they would just turn the water back on!
Which track of your own would you point out as the most unique and why?
From the new album I would say “Coexist” as it uses some unusual sound textures generated from a Mellotron. From all my work to date I would say ‘Arecibo” from my 2018 album “The Fermi Paradox”. This track is based around samples of the actual “Arecibo message” sent into space by Carl Sagan and Frank Drake in 1974 using the vast Arecibo radio telescope in Puerto Rico.
Would you like to share with our readers your future plans?
Hopefully next year I will be able to get out of the studio and perform a couple of the most recent albums but in the meantime I’m working on a new album called “The Space Between” which will be the first vocal led album to be released under the Paul K name. I’ve also taken the opportunity to upgrade the studio a bit and add some new synths which I’m looking forward to using on the album
Free question!!! (Ask yourself a question) you wish to answer and haven’t been given the opportunity…
What piece of technology has changed the music industry for better or worse?
Definitely the advent of computers and the internet. Computers opened up the world of making music to a massive audience but maybe to the detriment of some of the traditional audio engineering skills that made some of the great albums of the past. The same for the internet, a great source of exposure for new and upcoming artists but with the advent of streaming and the amount of piracy that takes place it has made it very hard for new artists to make a living from selling their music.
Curated by: Christos Doukakis
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