‘Poughkeepsie, NY, native, Comfort Within Noise has been writing music for many years. His flavour of music includes, hiphop, electronic, DnB, Dubstep, and other experiments in sound. #WEATNU DM had the pleasure to speak with him on music and future projects.’
How are things going at this time?
Ian: Pretty good I must say… Doing a lot of stuff and keeping myself pretty busy with music…
You’ve been very active these last 2 years on your many styles of electronic. Would you like to talk about those projects?
Ian: Well the first release I did was Melodic Noise… At that point in my electronic music I felt it was time to start releasing pieces of work as an album or EP, rather then just random songs…
Your music combines many sub-genres, even influences by hiphop and a deep urban sound, would you say that this is your own personal style?
Ian: I had just started working in Logic at this time and was learning that program. I just got vst’s and wave plug ins. So that album was me learning Massive and stutter!
Those songs are pushing the envelope among experimental sounds, would you say you’ve learned a lot from this journey you’ve been on?
Ian: Yeah, I don’t really go for any one particular sound as in a genre… I’ll know if I want to use a breakbeat or something with a dub groove to it. But I started out in production making Hiphop beats for friends and made a few albums with them.
I personally have been listening to your music for about 2 years and find it impressive and unique. How is your work received both at home and on the net?
Ian: People seem pretty interested… I have performed a few live sets with tracks of my album “Late Nights and Mystics” and “Static Along the Brain Stem” and got a really good response each time I have played live.
Late Nights and Mystics has become my favourite so far.
Ian: And then my second release was “Static Along the Brain Stem” it’s on the D&B spectrum of music.
Yes, another fav of mine, great work, precise and honest music.
Ian: People on Soundcloud seem to be really interested in my NIN remixes. I get lots of DLs from them. Which to me is funny. I made them all in my bed with the guitar plugged right into my MacBook with no interface of any kind… and just used headphones to mix.
People like familiarity. Would you rather them hear your body of work over this?
Ian: I would always rather them see my body of work over a remix…
Now I understand you’re an accomplished musician as well as producer?
Ian: I guess you could say that… I have been playing guitar for years and have been in a few bands. First band was “A Dying Vision” and we played a lot of shows sold about 70/80 CDs at our shows. We would play every Friday and just about 2/3 Saturdays a month for two years. We played with “Mindless Self Indulgence” at the Chance Theater in my hometown Poughkeepsie NY, and bands like Shadows Fall, Dry Kill Logic, Bury Your Dead, Nora… The list goes on… After that band dispensed is when I got into making music on my computer. Myself and the singer from that band started writing rock songs on garageband. Which you can find on myspace The Cahill and Laffin extravaganza… Then me and my friend Brett started our band Cove Road.
All acts played were played in venues?
Ian: We played many places both bands… The Chance Theater Club Cranel (?), The Loft, Don Hills.
Let’s talk about your solo work for a moment. What goes through your head when writing your music?
Ian: Man that’s a hard one to answer.. I just don’t want to sound like something already done by others. And I want it to sound organic and allow you to dream as you listen to it.
I think you’ve accomplished that.
Ian: I like to make the music move so you can sit back close your eyes and let it take you somewhere. And with the more upbeat songs to let you dance. But I usually have making love in mind when making a beat and bassline because, it’s gotta be sexy.
Do you feel that these songs are truly unique sounding?
Ian: I do… They have elements of similarity but they don’t come from the places one would look for similarity for instance, I don’t listen to too much electronic music and listen to more rock bands. And I try to fuse that with the electronic.
Just like some of your videos on YouTube.
Ian: Yes my one video “Tripped” which is from my album Melodic Noise, has footage from a movie… Not sure if they can sue me hahahaha but it’s for promotion use only. But the scenes are from the movie “Enter the Void” which is about death and the soul. They hear something new but something they might be able to identify with…
What has changed since your latest work has been created (but unreleased)? I hear things are more relaxed, more controlled and guitar driven.
Ian: Most of my arrangements are arranged like a pop song. I give you an intro then a verse chorus bridge verse… Just don’t give you lyrics
Lyrics are not always needed, so that’s appreciated.
Ian: But my new project I am trying to get out of that arrangement style and go with a more growing arrangement to let the songs move you
A hint of Industrial on some of the new work?
Ian: Yeah… Industrial has always been in my life. Growing up with NIN, Manson, Ministry… So I have that dark heavy side a lot and love distortion.
Yet this album is more laid back, almost like listening to a Joe Satrini album from way back, even a post rock, prog rock sound.
Ian: With this album I have come more into my own, and have brought my guitar playing into it a lot more. I started it with keeping the idea of performing live.
To the average listener they would hear even Tool influences in a song. And you are a huge Tool fan as you’ve said before.
Ian: Well the first track on it is titled “You Lied” which is a Tool remix… Well it’s a remix of a song they covered from their bass players first band. The Timothy Leary quote in the beginning is from the loaning(?) track of the live version if their song Third Eye.
Send that one off to Maynard, maybe he’ll take notice!
Ian: Oh I plan on it! I joined Tool groups on fb and got some fans from there. The group has a lot of followers and has been said to be looked at by members of Tool from time to time so I plan on posting it there… I also made a video to go with it. Actually with this album I plan on making a video for each song and releasing it as a YouTube movie.
What DAW are you using these days?
Ian: I’m using Ableton Live. I started with Garage Band then Reason then Logic now Ableton.
With my new album I am also trying to spread a message of higher conciseness and unity.
As in the song People are Like Flowers?
Ian: And All One.
And we can expect a full album from Pieces?
Ian: It will be 6 tracks but over 30 minutes of music. Most of the tracks are around 7 minutes long. Right now I have 6 tracks but I may add a few more… I am going to be adding live drums into all these tracks as well.
And we have one of your tracks playing now on #WEATNU [OUR] any feedback from that?
Ian: I don’t get to much feedback but I get listeners…
People are strange…
That they are.
Ian: I don’t get comments often, I have a feeling I have gotten a few listens from the Weatnu radio I know a few members have told me good things about a few tracks had I had a random review on my video “Late Night and Mystics” that I am sure came out of a #Weatnu tag…
So you feel WEATNU is helping you not only discover others but others to discover you?
Ian: Yes definitely… I’ll watch my play count sometimes when I post with the tag, to see if it’s helping. And I believe it is. I get more plays and more likes. Just need more feedback and reviews.
Instead of the past 2 or 3 you get maybe 5 or 6, and it’s strange but those 3 more hits are gold to a artist in a starving world of indie music.
Ian: I’m hoping with my new release that’s what will happen. I put my self out there with the last three and now this one I feel is more personal and will get more listeners and also feel now with WEATNU it will get more promotion.
And I’m sure #WEATNU Records will help you on that road.
Ian: Yea… It’s sad but true… 14 listens in a day is a good day… I know it’s not because my music is bad because I have never received hate mail haha, but I know most people go for the top plays rather than the unknown.
The world of the indie is a hard one, that’s why things must change.
Ian: If you have 100,000 plays then more will go to listen to you than if you have 1,000 plays.
We’d like to hear about your latest project, your next band project that you’ve just started up again
Ian: Ah, well I just started back up my rock band Goodbye January and we are going to update the sound, but first record the songs as is and release them so we can play shows and sell albums. But in the meantime I’m going to remix all the songs and then we will perform them like that. To bring a newer sound to a 90s style rock band.
So you guys are playing in Poughkeepsie?
Ian: Yea Poughkeepsie and New Paltz.
We played our first gig in New Paltz this Tuesday and we had our second gig in Poughkeepsie on Feb 27 at the Pickwick. The show on the 27th was a benefit show for the singers old childhood friend who isn’t doing so well and is staying at a hospice. So we’re playing the show to help the family out with medical funds.
I have nothing set up yet for my solo act, I do go and practice my live performance almost weekly at a open mic night in New Paltz and Snug Harbor. I get a good response from the people there… If I’m the last one to go up I am usually asked to stay up there and go for an hour or more.
Live performance is where my heart is… I need it, it’s my therapy. That and creating music.
I also have three Hiphop albums on my reverbnation page. Two of these are with the artist Underground who is a local Hiphop mc. The album Harsh Reality has no profanity and is about the struggles of growing to be a man and a good hearted person in a harsh world.
Sounds like a life full of music, which is good, music keeps the heart healthy!
Ian: The second album “Archer” is about striving to be your best.
The other Hiphop album is with a Poughkeepsie artist Danny Boy who went with the name “29 Boy” for that album. It’s pretty dark album and about the struggle of the hard life and making the wrong decisions.
Life is music and I submerge my self into it. It’s what I am best at and love the most. I would chose performing over a night with a women and would chose time to create music over having a high paying job that I hate. Still don’t make money off my music but I started a little recording studio last year and had a few bumps along the way but I am working on building that up more.
What plans do you have for the future?
Ian: I just want people to hear what I create and to be inspired by it in someway. In my immediate future I plan on building up my studio and getting more clients but focusing on my solo work and booking live gigs and hopefully get some out of state gigs, along with working on the band GoodBye January and crafting the new sound. My solo show will be just my new album, Pieces. And I plan on having a projector to project the videos I make as I play.
Ian: I feel the world is changing in many ways and it’s important for people to be awoken to the possibilities to come, that we are capable of so much more and that we are all connected. There are other ways than war and violence to solve issues… So I try to give that in my music like my songs “Violence” and “What’s wrong with the world.”
In the song “long lost” that’s currently on Weatnu, where I chop up a girl saying “please god” and someone one saying “the devil in the flesh” the idea I had was to show how the devil is here and is destroying us and we need to reconnect with God. And in my song All One on my newest album I have Bill Hicks saying “We are one with god and we are all one and God loves us” meaning we are all God and we need to not allow these demons to take control over all of us. Because with all that’s going on in the world it’s all down to one thing and that’s controlling the people.
Thank you Ian for telling us about your passions, songcraft and future projects, it was good to hear how you feel.
Ian: You’re welcome, thank you for asking me.
We will showcase Comfort Within Noise’ album pieces once released.
#WEATNU Digital Magazine