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’ve been attracted to music as long as I can remember. My parents would play a lot of classical music in the house when I was very young (I remember particularly liking Beethoven) and my dad would play a lot of Led Zeppelin and The Doors when we’d drive somewhere (the drum and noise breakdown in A Whole Lot Of Love made a big impact on me). Some of the earliest music I loved that is still very tied into my musical DNA is actually videogame music from the SNES era. If you listen to my stuff and then listen to David Wise’s music for Donkey Kong Country 1 & 2, you’ll hear where I got some of my cyclical melodic riff tendencies. I would make little diddies on our piano when I was young, but when I was 13 I started writing and recording songs. They were very guitar oriented for a few years, and they started getting more and more electronic/experimental as I got into my late teens and early 20s. I’d always loved cutting edge production even as a kid, but was too intimidated to try and make my own and thought you had to be a genius to know how to record more than just guitar and vocals. It took me quite a long time to get over that and realize it’s not rocket science and that it’s all about making incremental progress daily over a long period of time. It’s hardest at first, but gets easier and easier the longer you stay on the path. Now, I definitely say the instrument I’m most comfortable with is the computer!

Provide us with some info about your latest release…

From Jan 2019 – July 2021, I worked for Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross as an audio engineer and studio assistant, and I also became a father in mid 2019. Suffice to say, I was so inspired and consumed by those developments that I didn’t have much time to make any music. When the pandemic rolled around in March 2020, TR/AR, their team and I started working remotely for a few months which gave me time to start working on the initial demos that became the album. The first one I started and finished was All Possible Worlds, which came together pretty quickly after experimenting with the Soma Ether “anti-radio” device. I considered doing the zeitgeist-y “smart” move and quickly release it as a single, but I’m so jaded about the idea of the album going away and didn’t want to contribute towards that cultural movement and thought “let me see if some other ideas can come naturally”. I got on a roll and finished most of the writing/recording/mixing over the next few months and felt like I had an interesting group of tracks that all were different but still felt connected. Around the late summer/early fall of 2020 I started working daily at Trent’s studio again which slowed everything down in regards to finishing the album, but it also gave me more time to see the forest from the trees and think about what the album meant to me as a whole. I never start with an agenda of what I want an album to be and prefer to just make music for the sake of itself, and over time I get intimations of what the larger idea is. It feels like letting the work dictate what it is to me instead of the other way around, and I’ve found that to be more interesting and rewarding method of creation.

Which ones would you consider your main influences both music-wise & non-music-wise?

Musically, my longest lasting, biggest musical influences are Nine Inch Nails (not just saying that because I worked for Trent and Atticus; NIN was an absolute revelation for me when I first heard them and continues to be to this day) and Radiohead. Right there with them are electronic folks like Aphex Twin, Boards Of Canada, Four Tet and Jon Hopkins. On the contemporary classical side, Steve Reich, Philip Glass and Arvo Pärt have been hugely influential too. Non-musical heroes would include David Lynch, Werner Herzog, Stanley Kubrick, Andrei Tarkovsky, Fyodor Dostoyevsky and psychedelic thinkers like Alan Watts, Ram Das, Terrence McKenna and may as well add Sam Harris and Jordan Peterson in there as well.

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’m terrible and uncomfortable at self-promotion, so forgive me if this comes off awkwardly. For me, I want to listen to/make music that brings me closer to the deep, unanswerable questions of life, consciousness and reality. Sometimes that manifests as ecstasy, sometimes as absolute terror, and often several things in-between simultaneously. I’m a very easy-going guy, but I have a very private and intense drive that guides me in the direction that these truths lie, knowing all too well that I (and everyone else) will never get there. I’m able to inhabit this feeling when I’m making music and I hope others can feel their own insatiable thirst for existential understanding while listening.

Please name your 3 desert islands albums, movies & books…

Albums: Talking Heads – Remain In Light, Radiohead – Kid A, Steve Reich – Music For 18 Musicians

Movies: 2001: A Space Odyssey, Stalker, Mulholland Drive

Books: Notes From Underground, The Brothers Karamazov, Catch-22

Do you prefer studio or performing live and why?

If I had to pick only one to do every day, for sure it would be creating in the studio. I’m an introvert and really appreciate the time alone with my thoughts and feelings that working on music provides. The peaks and valleys of playing live go well past those of being in the studio, so there’s no worse feeling than being in the middle of a bad show but also no greater peak than when the room is with you.

Is there any funny-unique story you would like to share with us, always in relation to your music ‘career’?

Around 2010, I was going to a screening of a movie and I heard Trent was also going to attend. I brought my then-current demo CD in case I got a chance to meet him and I was lucky enough to chat with him for a minute. I super nervously asked if I could give him the demo and he was very kind in the moment and accepted it. Years later after I started working for him, I was on a run to his offsite storage to grab some gear to bring back to the studio and I found my demo CD! I couldn’t believe it; it was one of those moments in life where time collapses to a 1-dimensional point. It was strangely flattering to know it didn’t just get thrown into the nearest garbage can, but at the same time, I hope he never listened to it because I definitely don’t want anyone to hear how shitty it is now!

Which track of your own would you point out as the most unique and why?

My personal favorite off the album is He’ll Be With You Shortly. One thing I love to do when writing is creating polyrhythms in subtle ways. If you look at the structure of this one, you’ve got plucky synth elements rolling in un-resetting triplets, drums in 4, vocals and bass are looping every 5 bars of 4:4 and ambient guitar swells that have some long asynchronous looping length that I never bothered to count (same for the flute-ish synth part). Also, each click-y percussive sound is looping at different beat lengths (4, 5, 6, 7, 9, etc) which creates a cascading generative effect when played in unison. I love creating these polyrhythmically unfolding elements within a track that feel natural and not obtuse, which hopefully I achieved there.

Would you like to share with our readers your future plans?

I’m hoping to do more live shows in the near future and am playing with different setup ideas to find the right balance between portability and flexibility in playing. I’m also about to score a film, and always have a few irons in the fire on that front.

Free question!!! (Ask yourself a question) you wish to answer and haven’t been given the opportunity…

Hmmm, maybe I can talk a bit more about the concept of the album. I think the name “Things Will Never Be The Same Again” will probably initially leave the listener with a specific idea that’s likely negative, but I hope overtime they may see it in multifaceted sense that can include the highest beauty there is. I think a lot of people may initially think of the time that it was created and released, assuming it’s a statement about Covid, Ukraine, or the fact that societies across the world seems to be significantly fracturing. While that’s certainly been a part of this album’s identity, there’s another element which is more eternal to me; the simple idea that “you never step in the same river twice”. Things will never be the same again because life is a constant flux, an incredibly violent swarm of particle movement that when zoomed out from becomes a stable, beautiful whole. Yes, things will never be the same again when we encounter misery, despair and death, but they also will never be the same again after you get married and see your first child being born – and thank god(/the mysteries of the universe)! I’d also ask the listener to think about the titles of the tracks while listening to album; I think it will help paint the picture of a story that can play in their minds.

Curated by: Christos Doukakis


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