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 started learning guitar my senior year in college in 2007. Three years later I started recording guitar accompaniments for a Brooklyn-based pop outfit called Get Stop Ticket (now defunct). I was a Navy flight student living in South Texas, and I’d swap song ideas with them online. I had no idea what I was doing, and my recordings were pretty bad, but they ended up using one of my recordings for a song called “Horrorshow”. This gave me the confidence to keep grinding and experimenting. I would record little guitar ditties and then layer them on top of each other into these weird and dense soundscapes. After that I started writing proper-ish songs while learning the excruciating art of producing, mixing, and engineering my own music. I also very quickly learned what “imposter syndrome” was, and it’s been a love-hate relationship ever since..
Provide us with some info about your latest release…
Digital Mistress is a cross-genre electronic album I’ve wanted to make for a long time. It’s a strange and schizophrenic mindfuck of vintage guitars, synths, drum machines, psychedelic vocals, and even a little hip hop because why the hell not? The tone of album varies wildly from whack, upbeat satire to earnest melancholia. At first it sounds like a collection of random songs, but rest assured – it is an extremely calculated statement, and is guided by a singular vision and narrative. It’s less an album of “proper” songs, and more an album of vibes. There is also a lot of self-referential and self-deprecating subtext that shrewd listeners might notice. But with a super indulgent running time of 63 minutes, I doubt anyone will ever listen to the full thing.
Which ones would you consider your main influences both music-wise & non-music-wise?
Music-wise: Khruangbin, Ween, The Talking Heads, Cigarettes After Sex, Lana Del Rey, Kavinsky, David Gilmour, Prince, Crockett, Beach House, 90s era Red Hot Chili Peppers.
Non-Music-wise: The works of Joan Didion, Adam Curtis, Frank Herbert, Bret Easton Ellis and Christine Rosen.
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?
Imagine if Ween, Pink Floyd, and the Red Hot Chili Peppers got locked in a recording studio and forced to come up with a nostalgic 80’s synth album about technology noir in 2021. That’s basically the sound of Digital Mistress, and approximates what the latest incarnation of Mothers Talk is all about. If someone can show me another band with a similar vibe, I would REALLY love to hear.
Please name your 3 desert islands albums, movies & books…
Fame (the 1980 original by Alan Parker)
The Empire Strikes Back
Portrait Of The Artist As a Young Man – James Joyce
The White Album – Joan Didion
Dune – Frank Herbert
Pink Floyd – Dark Side Of The Moon
ABBA – ABBA Gold
Any album by Cigarettes After Sex
Do you prefer studio or performing live and why?
I enjoy playing live the most because I can just let my freak flag fly high and don’t have to deal with all the perfectionist trappings of the studio. That being said, I do ultimately prefer the studio because it lets me manufacture the dense soundscapes in my head as accurately as possible. Mothers Talk is ultimately a studio band with very active lead guitar accompaniments, and there is no way in hell I could sing and play the guitar parts without massively degrading one or the other.
Is there any funny-unique story you would like to share with us, always in relation to your music ‘career’?
Most people who know me have no clue about my music world. And I’m perfectly ok with that.
Which track of your own would you point out as the most unique and why?
“The Spice Felange” is probably my favorite track on Digital Mistress. It’s a thick and hypnotic wall-of-sound filled with huge sawtooth synths, maniacal guitars and cryptic vocals. My goal was to combine heavy metal, synthwave and psychedelia into a dystopian dance club vibe – something that would sound sick while tripping on molly or DMT. It’s also heavily inspired by the sci fi novel Dune, and is my sonic recreation of what I imagine it’s like to ingest a cosmically mind-expanding drug called “the spice melange” – or in other words, a cocaine-fueled fever dream about traveling through space-time. I’d like to think of it as “god-rock”, which is a genre I’m claiming right now.
It’s also an homage to the Talking Heads song “The Great Curve”, which is one-chord, 6 minute song of pure hypnotic tension. Probably my favorite Talking Heads song of all time.
Would you like to share with our readers your future plans?
I plan on taking a hiatus from recording and getting back to the basics. I want to focus on my guitar-craft and performing live. I’m always recording new demos and song sketches on my iPhone and currently have about 30-40 demos from which I’ll draw upon for future Mothers Talk material. I tend to gravitate toward making huge and dense “wall-of-sound” mixes. But eventually I want to make songs that are more airy and sparse, with more accessible songwriting and pop structures. I currently have plans to make an even darker and melancholic electronic EP, and also a 70s-rock inspired album with more organic instrumentation and less retro sounds.
Free question!!! (Ask yourself a question) you wish to answer and haven’t been given the opportunity…
“Did you really play all the instruments on Digital Mistress?”
I played or programmed most of the instruments, but was fortunate to have several MEGA talented musicians contribute, as noted below:
Lucci Damus – Vocals on “Randian Funk Cowboy”, “MX5” and “The New Zillennial Dream”
Courtney Grace – Vocals on “Wild And Alive” and “Building 89”
Isaac Nesbit – Piano on “Staying Home To Watch The Rain”
Joakim Delebekk – Lead synthesizer and drums on “MX5”
Luca Giachi – Bass guitar on “Warm Like A Gun”
Ryan Palm – Synth solo on “Civilization Of The Mind”
SC@RY – Vocals on “MX5”
Curated by: Christos Doukakis
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