This month we had the pleasure of interviewing 30 year music veteran, Steven T Easter. You can listen to this live pre-recorded podcast on mixcloud.com Listen to his music on Spotify Buy music on Rhombus Records Follow Steven T Easter on Twitter Almark – #WEATNU Digital Magazine
“The DIY community is thriving more than ever these days. Amanda Jump is an up and coming electronic chillwave/seapunk producer from the US. Known for moving from genre to genre. #WEATNU DM was able to bring to light her latest EP “Florescence” and we had the pleasure of hearing about her influences and passion as a musician.”
Almark: Hello Amanda, thank you for doing this interview today with #WEATNU DM, how are you?
Amanda: I’m doing well! Thank you for this opportunity.
Almark: So you’ve just joined with #WEATNU, how’s the experience been so far?
Amanda: It’s been great. I love the togetherness of the WEATNU family and I think that the whole initiative is a great opportunity for undiscovered artists.
Almark: Great to hear that! You’re an up in coming artist to the electronic world, coupled with experimental, seapunk and hip-hop influences; how’s the career going?
Amanda: It’s going well. I’ve got a lot of new ideas in the works right now that I’m excited to bring to life.
Almark: What influences you to write the type of electronic you do? Since I hear so many styles, I must say that it sounds like you grew up to various types of music?
Amanda: I pull influences from everywhere. I enjoy all kinds of music, but a lot of my influences come from sounds from nature. I like going into the woods to sit in silence and absorb all the sounds around me. That inspires me the most.
Almark: Like the lush pads and laid back singing on this album. Kind of gives you that ambient-feel. You could make a new EP in the future called ‘Faerie wood’ or something I’m always giving names to albums!
Amanda: I think I started as more of an ambient artist and expanded from there. What I like about ambient music is that you can sit back and truly enjoy it for what it is. It’s the opposite of immediate satisfaction
Haha ‘Faerie wood’ that would definitely be interesting!
Almark: That might be a good concept project to write together on one day.
Amanda: Yeah definitely, collaborating with artists is something I’m always open to. Collaborating frequently is something I’m known for doing.
Almark: And yet this music is more atmospheric, instead of ambient. Ambient these days seems more a play on words.
Amanda: Atmospheric is a perfect term for it.
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Almark: One song in-particular has caught my ear. Plasma Waves ft. Derek Blaskie
Amanda: I feel as though Plasma Waves defines me the most as an artist. I love that song. I wrote it very quickly because it came so naturally. i knew i needed live drums to make it whole and Derek delivered exactly what I had envisioned.
Almark: I hear this liquid ambient sound to your work, reminds me of that early 90s ambient bass stuff on CD my friend use to have, really dug that stuff. It certainly has this urban-like sound to it. Was there an influence toward that old bass music in this EP?
Amanda: I thought that bass had a grungy feel to it which is something I wanted to bring to the song. And it’s so different from the other sounds on Plasma Waves. I like the contrast of it.
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Almark: Do you mix your own music? I also noticed that you work with Shark Anthony, who also works with Ashleigh another fine artist with us.
Amanda: I mix most of my own music but I’m still learning, so occasionally I’ll get help from Shark Anthony or other members of Midwest Collective. Mark mastered my Florescence EP and I thought he did a great job at it. He actually mixed Plasma Waves too.
Almark: Indeed, it’s very clean work, bravo to both of you.
Amanda: Thank you! Much appreciated
Almark: We get better with each mix. Of course. 🙂
Amanda: I agree. I try to make sure every song I put out is better than the last.
Almark: How did you first get into writing Electronic, what sparked the interest?
Amanda: It’s funny because I listen to electronic music the least out of all the other genres. What draws me to it is the immense diversity of sounds that I’m capable of creating.
Almark: Do you have any influences in regard to electronic artists?
Amanda: Grimes is my biggest influence. She’s also a female self-taught electronic artist and we share a lot of similar traits. Besides her, I’m also influenced by Boards of Canada, Daft Punk, and Metronomy.
Almark: Nailed it. I had a feeling you were a fan of Grimes. I am too.
Amanda: I love her. It’s my dream to collaborate with her someday.
Almark: But, I too enjoy those others groups, especially Boards of Canada, whom I’ve only been listening to for a few years. So those are great including Daft Punk.
Amanda: I used to sit and play the baseline to Genesis over and over again in my room!
Almark: [laughs] yeah
Amanda: Yeah i’ve been listening to them for years
Almark: Those past 4AD artists are pretty untouchable!
Almark: When you go to write a song, how do you get started? Is there an idea, a tune or do you just dive in?
Amanda: Sometimes I try to sit down and play around with sounds until I create something I like, but a lot of times I create an entire song in my head and i try to replicate it.
Almark: It’s obvious you play by ear, have you also taken music theory? Also you went to Full Sail University, did that contribute to your music knowledge?
Amanda: I’m familiar with music theory, but i don’t even think about it when I write music. I believe music should come from a more emotional place. I don’t care about key signatures, and I don’t care much about what’s right or wrong. I just do what feels right to me. I went to Full Sail for Music Business, so I didn’t get to take any audio classes, but I learned the marketing side of music, which has really given me the upper hand.
Almark: And that is most beneficial to music in general.
Amanda: Music is boring when it’s done the “right” way!
Almark: What a profound statement, but I believe you have a point. Do you play on midi controller?
Amanda: I have a Novation Launchpad Mini, which I use frequently
Almark: Do you play other instruments? And how long have you been a vocalist? – Great voice btw.
Amanda: Thank you. I can play guitar, piano, clarinet, trombone, ukulele, and basic drums. I’ve been writing lyrics since I was 8, but I’ve always been very shy about singing so it’s strange to call myself a vocalist.
Almark: Impressive! I hear some hiphop on this album, your fav genre?
Amanda: Hip-hop is definitely one of my favorite genres, although in the future i think i’m going to shy away from it.
Almark: As another artist I met recently has told me, perhaps everyone is ready to work solo and electronic.
Amanda: It seems that way. With technology I think its easier now than ever to be a “one man band”
Almark: #WEATNU is very electronic-centered, so you’ve noticed?
Amanda: Yes, I like that about WEATNU. There aren’t a lot of communities out there for solely electronic artists.
Almark: Thank you, I felt it was best that there be a massively centered movement for electronic artists.
Amanda: I agree.
Almark: Being electronic avant-garde myself, it was about time. It’s 14 years late, but it’s here now, we’re the wave of the future.
Amanda: Better late than never!
Almark: Exactly and because the timing was just right, I believe its helping many artists. While we are on this subject, what do you think about #WEATNU, the help we bring, our label, magazine and radio?
Amanda: I think it’s great. Electronic artists need the support. EDM over-saturates the electronic community and doesn’t leave much spotlight for other artists. WEATNU provides a great platform for artists to get the recognition they deserve.
Almark: You said a mouthful. That’s exactly why it was formed. It gives, first the experimental artist their focus and that’s very important to a growing underground scene. EDM was out of control, it was time to do something about it. Electronic is so much more than commercial pop.
Amanda: Yeah I personally can’t stand commercial EDM.
Almark: The feeling is mutual.
Amanda: There’s no emotion to it.
Almark: #WEATNU is here to battle against the corp-takeover in the music business, but our battle against it has created a vibrant community who simply love electronic. Now, deep house and other dance-related electronic styles are kicking!
Amanda: Absolutely, deep house is great. Same with disco.
Almark: It’s quite interesting to hear our artists in #WEATNU speak about certain subjects. Some that need to be spoken of.
Amanda: There are branches of EDM I like, but I despise what it’s become. And it’s completely destroyed festival culture. You shouldn’t have to be on Molly to enjoy a show.
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Almark: Back to listening to your work: I’m working my way down to NIGHTSOUL – Music Journals Vol. 1, I love the vibe.
Amanda: I felt very sad when I wrote Nightsoul. Or not even sad, it was just a confusing time
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Almark: That is true, our hearts create the music we hear. Now listening to TABULA RASA.
Amanda: Tabula Rasa actually starts with a sample from NASA. It’s the sound of the Earth spinning from space. I thought it was beautiful. I’d love to make more music like that.
Almark: It’s just a matter of doing so, great work. Are you currently touring in your area, or wish to?
Amanda: Not yet. I’m currently working on some new songs that will translate better on stage, so I plan to start playing shows in the next few months. I’m already planning stage plots and props.
Almark: These final songs on your soundcloud, certainly have a different vibe. Are you more interested in being solo?
Amanda: I will always be a solo artist, but I like featuring other artists in my songs. I think that collaborating almost always makes for better music.
Almark: Anything to spice things up.
Amanda: Well I draw inspiration from other artists, and I always learn something from the process. Two heads are better than one.
Almark: Exactly. Since we are talking about your latest EP, what would you like to say about it. What is the listener hearing upon first listen?
Amanda: I put a lot of thought into the track listing. I think it tells a story. Florescence is the process of flowering or blossoming, so this EP was my way of growing into the artist I’ve always wanted to be. It has a very wide range of emotion, from joy to hatred to bliss to anxiety to narcissism. If you listen closely, it shows who I am at my core.
Almark: What DAW are you using? I could guess…
Amanda: I use Ableton for everything except vocals. I record vocals in ProTools, but edit them in Logic and Ableton.
Amanda: I used Logic for my first few songs.
Almark: Sounds like a very pro setup.
Amanda: It’s anything but haha
Almark: Most of us have to download our copies of Live 😉
Amanda: I won’t say how I got mine – haha
Almark: Of course not – laughs.
So you’re working on a new album?
Amanda: Yes. I’m taking my time with it – I don’t think I’ll be done with it for another six months.
Almark: We hope to hear it then.
Amanda: I think it will be legendary.
Almark: Have you had an ear full of music yet from our radio #WEATNU OUR?
Amanda: Yes I have!
Almark: That’s 30+ hours mind you 😉
Amanda: I’ve listened to it for a couple hours. I try to listen a little each day.
Almark:Â Any favourites?
Amanda: Not yet. I’ve been so busy with getting settled in at my new home that I haven’t had much time to listen to music, but all of the artists I’ve heard from WEATNU so far have been great. Ashleigh is great, and so is the latest newcomer PrinceKas. PrinceKas and I are actually talking about collaborating.
Almark: Great to hear, he was just featured in #WEATNU DM. Talk about talented.
Amanda: Very talented.
Almark: #WEATNU is bringing together artists and music lovers alike, we’re indeed making history. Without the need for greed or corporate control. There was a void, we filled it. On a massive scale!
Almark: Do you have some plans for the future?
Amanda: I have a music video shoot penciled in for this summer along with a photo shoot. Besides that I’m working on my album and putting together a live show.
Almark: Great, we hope to see another video by you.
Last question: “What do you think about clowns?”
Amanda: I don’t really have much of an opinion on clowns. I’m not scared of them or anything – haha
Thank you Amanda for doing this interview with #WEATNU DM today. Good luck to you and your future in music.
Amanda: Thanks for having me!
Almark – #WEATNU Digital Magazine
Intro written by Almark
‘When you combine the art of Picasso with Rembrandt and Salvador Dali then add some tertiary watercolors splashed onto a cloth canvas, you get art. In this regard Belial Pelegim’s music is colorful and full of life. He hails from the likes of IDM artists who are just breaking into the scene of the Electronic music world, and showing us something completely new. With a full array of styles in one painting, you get a in-depth and experimental music prodigy. We were pleased to hear what he had to say.’
Corbin: I would like to start by saying thank you so much for the opportunity to interview you. You have a very unique style of electronic music. How long have you been primarily focused on this style and what would you classify it as?
Belial: Thanks, very much, man. I’m always willing to talk about music. I appreciate that people have picked up on the fact that I make a concerted effort to maintain a specific sound to my music. I’ve been making music for a long time, both as band member in the past, and for the past 15 years, doing my own instrumental music. I’m a guitarist first and foremost, but I seem to use more keyboards and software, as well as doing my own sound designs. I use the guitar for triggering sounds as well as adding melodic elements at times. Over the last three years I have devoted a lot of time to making new music and reaching listeners who like their electronic music with a slightly unsettling quality to it. I’ve always just placed my work under the generic “electronic” category, but I do love a good back beat. I really don’t see my pieces as dance music…there are too many dark and experimental aspects for that I think…but I do find that percussion is something that work long and hard at. When done correctly, percussion, which can be in so many different forms, carries the listener through any given track.
Corbin: I can understand fully… A lot of my own music has been influenced by the logic of 80’s music that usually just has that monotonous yet unforgettable beat and carries the song from start to finish.You seem to come up with new material all the time. How do you create songs? What DAW do you use? Have you just primarily used this one DAW?
Belial: I make music, or at least work on music-related tasks on a daily basis, so I’m always pushing myself to create new works. Sometimes I put together just some bits and then save that for future songs. Other times, I decide I have the time and energy to create an entire piece. You know how it is, some days are more inspiring than others. Before starting something new, I sit there for a minute and kind of think back to my most recent songs and mentally scan through the BPMs and tonal qualities. This kind of gives me a point of reference so I can deliver something that isn’t too close in sound to anything else I’ve done recently. But also, I strive for having a “sound” that I never stray too far from. When you make instrumental music, it’s a difficult task to have a recognizable sound. However, I think groups like Ratatat and Boards of Canada do just that.
Over the years, I’ve used lots of different DAWs…Cubase, Pro Tools, Reason, Reaper…but these days I’m using Ableton exclusively. For the way I like to work, this software really does a good job. It really is a product that was made for electronic musicians and producers. I do all my sound designing in Reaktor. Some days I will only work on coming up with new sounds and patches. I like to compartmentalize all the stages of producing music…it helps me in working quickly.
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Corbin: This seems very efficient logic, especially in churning out so much high quality electronic music that a lot of different people enjoy. I have been a big advocate of Reason for a number of years. How is the music scene in your home town? Are there any electronic artists that play live shows that are not EDM?
Belial: I have to laugh when you ask about the music scene where I live…there’s isn’t one. I’m actually from Los Angeles, but moved up to a very small agricultural town in Northern California with a population of about 5,000. I wanted to have some land and live in a more natural and quiet setting. All I can see from my windows are plum orchards. I lived in one of the world’s largest cities most of my life. I find living like this is much better for my personal creativity. That works for me, but not everybody. I know a lot of artists who thrive in the city. And if you are gigging a lot, my situation would present problems. In the early 2000s, I was in a band called One Good Meteor, which was the house band at Rugrats creator Gábor Csupó avant-garde club, Lumpy Gravy. It was an amazing time and I met a lot of talented people during that period. That experience would never have happened had I not lived where I did at the time.
When I want to see live music I usually go to San Francisco, which is about 3 hours south of me. If I was ever to play live, it would probably be there first. I don’t like crowds all that much, so when I do go see live shows, they are few and far between.
Corbin: So what would a live show from Belial entail and would we be expecting one in the foreseeable future?
Belial: I would only put the work into a live show if there was a true demand for one. I would basically pick a set of songs and have the original, un-flattened tracks at my disposal for creating new live versions. Things would be hooked up to trigger from the guitar as well as keyboards and laptops. And oh yes, it would be loud. I like the approach Lustmord takes to live performance, but of course on a smaller scale.
Corbin: I have started seeing that some of WEATNU’s artists are venturing out and adding vocals to their songs. Are you going to grace the mic in up and coming songs?
Belial: Interesting you should ask that question. My feeling is that vocals that fit the sound of the music and elevate a song, adding an incredible human condition to a piece. However, if not done properly, can kill a track. And I’m not talking necessarily about how trained the voice is, but how well the quality of tone fits that particular type of music. Case in point, Fujiya and Miyagi…that vocal style is amazingly perfect for their sound, but it’s not really what I would call singing per se. That said, I’m starting to collaborate with other artists who are very good singers. I’m slated to work on a remix with Adryelle. I also have been thinking of doing some songs where I add some vocals of my own.
Corbin: Excellent!! Also looking forward to the remix with Adryelle, if it wasn’t for her and Odd Common, I may have never ventured to see if something like WEATNU existed.
I too come from a guitar background and played in bands. What caused you to decide to become a solo electronic artist?
Belial: I love to collaborate with other artists. Sometimes I feel like I’m in a vacuum in just working by myself, so it’s really a lot of fun to create with others all around the globe. WEATNU is a great portal for high-quality underground music and I just see it opening up all sorts of new avenues for making great music available to those who seek it.
I’ve found that over the years I’ve become adapted to working alone for most of the time. It allows for total control over the end product, but can also lead to re-covering ground that you’ve already traversed if you aren’t careful. The thing is I’m really used to being the only person involved in my music. I think I compensate for that by having very strict quality control standards when it comes to what I publish for others to hear. I can remember working on pieces for a long periods of time and right before uploading, dumping them. Completely. I find being hard on yourself helps in the sense that there is no other set of ears listening to the material before release.
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Corbin: This is so true… I am my own best and worse critic and I listen to each song at least 50 times before even considering its first public appearance.
I like your reference to WEATNU as a portal. How do you see yourself in the next months, years, and beyond in reference to the “movement” of which we are part of. Would you consider becoming more involved with its inner workings as I have?
Belial: The music business has had a paradigm shift which has made it possible for independent and underground acts to reach audiences in new and exciting ways. The ideal is always to try to reach people who might dig your work, and through sites like WEATNU, the foundation has been set for doing just that. I would always consider becoming more involved with WEATNU because there’s nothing quite like it out there and I believe in bringing good work forth. There is a LOT of electronic music out there, especially now. The most difficult task reaching the right people at the right time with the right sound.
Corbin: Yes, the good old days of PR for money are coming to an end as every aspect of purchasing music is going digital. Do you think that it has leveled the playing field enough for WEATNU to compete and subsequently allow you fair exposure in the industry market?
I notice you retweet some of the events, posts, and updates that WEATNU sends, while others do not. Do you find our promotion to be effective in your endeavors?
Belial: It’s a very strange thing, indeed. It really depends on what you’re attempting to achieve as a musical artist these days. I don’t actively go on the road and promote my music, so my expectations are based on that assumption. For myself, I’m just into expressing myself through music and hoping for it to reach people who like their music unusual and dark. It’s good to dream, but you also have to be realistic about the odds. The reason I promote some of the WEATNU materials through social media is that I believe in the talent on the roster. There is some very unique and important music on this label and I do what I can to help push the revolution forward. I’m in the marketing industry by trade as a graphic designer. I understand that promotion and packaging play significant roles in establishing an artist. The bottom line always comes down to making good music.
Corbin: That is a great point!! You also have great music and the graphic design background I can see helps to draw people in I might add. Your pictures used in songs and albums is something that I believe really makes you stand out.
I often wonder what each artists job is by day and what their goals are for their music. If you had one song or album in particular that sums up Belial Pelegrim, your life and your music career, what would it be and why?
Belial: Thanks Roofy! I feel that music and a visual representation of the music…like in the old days, when a great album cover was all part of the package…is very important. I’ve always try to paint a surreal sonic landscape with my work, in the vein of what Magritte or Dali were attempting to accomplish with paint and canvas.
It’s rather difficult to pick one one song that sums up what I’m about musically, but I’m going to throw out Premonition. It’s a good balance of attention to shadowy detail and electronic music. Controlled chaos with a groove.
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Corbin: I really like that, Chaos with a groove! Sounds like an album title. Is there anything you would like to say to your fans?
Belial: Haha…very good. All I can say is that it’s an honor to be able to reach people with the universal language of music.
#WEATNU Digital Magazine – Interview by Corbin Roof
Intro by Almark
‘Electronic music is without limits, the same is true with the experimentalists of our time. wasaaga’s music is between art, culture and beat-orientated patterns, coupled with melodies that make you dream of unknown places, but so much more. #WEATNU DM had a moment to hear what wasaaga had to say about his music, he is a solo artist from Michigan.’
Photography by Ben Armes
How are you doing today?
wasaaga: I’m pretty good, man. feeling very mellow today. Sunday seems to have that effect, haha.
Great to hear that! We’ve been playing your music for some time on #WEATNU OUR, but some haven’t heard you in #WEATNU, could you tell us about your style and music?
wasaaga: My music is ambient, eclectic, and raw; even disorienting at times. It’s a constant experimentation. I’m learning all the time.
How long have you created this type of electronic? I hear dream-like moments with side-chained instruments connected to each other.
wasaaga: I enjoy that description! Haha! I’ve been building electronic music for about 5 years now. Yeesh.
Were you making music before that time?
wasaaga: I was! I’m originally a drummer. I have been since I was about 14-15, so prior to electronic music I was playing in bands. Believe it or not, I originally come from playing metal!
It’s not surprising as I come from a guitar background myself. Could you tell us the story behind wasaaga?
wasaaga: Wasaaga is a place I spent a big chunk of my childhood at. My family and I grew up there. it’s always been a place of inner peace for me; a place to let everything go. My family eventually sold their property there, but that place has always inspired me, and the feeling that place gave me has always served as a huge inspiration to what I create.
That is a great story, you can feel it behind the music with the pulsing rhythms. Much like when I first heard “The Truman Show” your concept album taken from the film.
How did you come up with the inspiration to write such a unique album?
wasaaga: I was really just learning. Truman was a huge learning experience for me. I’m pretty impartial to it now, myself, but it’s cool people are still finding something special in it. Truman was really me learning how to come into my own, and for that, it served it’s purpose. Overall, it taught me a ton about what my goals were and what I wanted to do with my projects.
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Would you consider yourself an avant-garde.
wasaaga: I think it’s hard for me to self-assign a title like that. I’m just doing what feels right to me. What it’s considered is up to the listener, really.
Kind of a post-art, that’s more or less what I was speaking of, one can’t label avant-garde, thankfully. What projects have you been up to these few years?
wasaaga: I’ve mainly been working on my debut LP, “Wasaagamach,” which we’re hoping to release later in the Spring.
Is wasaaga one person or more?
wasaaga: It’s all my vision; however, there are more people involved with the construction of this project than just me. All of the music is written by me, though.
Kind of a collage of minds then?
wasaaga: Yeah, that’s a good way to put it.
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Do you play often in venues in your area, around Michigan?
wasaaga: Not yet. We’re still building the live set. We’re working to create an audio-visual experience for shows, but we’re not quite there. So not yet. But soon!
What influences have you had had to create your music, and how did you get started creating electronic music?
wasaaga: I’m really inspired by my friends. Some of my closest friends started to pick it up and I guess it just stuck. I really loved the element of sonic exploration, and it kept me coming back for more.
Do I hear hiphop beats in your sound?
Brad: I pull a lot of inspiration from the genre, so yeah, I’d say so.
What kind of music did you grow up to, do I hear a hint of Classical?
wasaaga: I grew up with a pretty wide genre range. I came from metal, which I think has endless correlations to classical music. Listening to progressive music growing up, things so complex in theory and structure, really taught me about what makes classical music so amazing.
These days, I’m very interested in the world of minimal classical music. Artists like Philip Glass, Steve Reich, Terry Riley, etc. So it’s definitely an influence, yes.
Did you learn how to write music through the experience of simply listening?
wasaaga: It’s a happy balance between listening and experimentation.
Was Wasaaga here in the States or elsewhere?
wasaaga: Canada, actually.
Canada is very open to electronic artists these days, they would be open to your unique sound.
wasaaga: Absolutely, I agree. Especially the west side.
How do you start music, from scratch?
wasaaga: Usually from scratch, yes.
wasaaga: Propellorhead Reason.
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You’ve also done some special video work for Sounds of Skateboarding, what is the story behind that?Â
wasaaga: An old friend of mine, Brad Stencil, always had this idea to create a skate film scored by the sounds made when skateboarding. He and his closest friends went out and recorded samples from the park, which would eventually come together to create the score.
Have many seen the amazing artistry of this video?
wasaaga: Yeah, a good amount have. I was interviewed by Everything Sounds about the project, and for a while that interview was #2 in the storytelling category on Souncloud. I’d call that a success.
It also premiered at the Broke Student Film Festival last year.
It certainly is brilliant.
wasaaga: Thank you, sir!
Very welcome. Do you also play the keyboard?
wasaaga: I do! I was classically trained in piano but had a falling out. The motor memory is still there, so once I started writing my own material my passion for it came back.
How has your music be received in We are the New Underground?
wasaaga: Pretty well, from what I can tell. It’s very cool what you guys have going.
It was important to find the talented artist and let the world know about them, that’s been the mission.
wasaaga: It’s great, man.
Do you have a plan for the future of wasaaga, looking to expand into bigger places, live and so forth?
wasaaga: Definitely. Just plan to keep working and see where it goes!
How many albums have you’ve written since you began?
wasaaga: I guess this upcoming release would be my fourth.
Have you heard any artists swimming around in #WEATNU?
wasaaga: Yeah, I like to keep up with the station when I can. I’m loving a lot of material on there.
It’s cool to know people are listening.
Where can people find your music?
wasaaga: On soundcloud.com/wasaaga
Wishes for SXSW?
wasaaga: Wishing I was there to see Mew. I’m really hoping those performances turn into a U.S. tour.
You could also play there, I’m sure the exposure would be great for you.
wasaaga: Absolutely! I’d love to. One year.
And a curve ball… What’s you’re favourite commercial on tv?
wasaaga: I love the Danny Trejo/Brady Bunch Snickers ad.
Thank you so much for having this interview with #WEATNU DM today.
wasaaga: Absolutely man! Thanks for having me!
And a huge “Good Luck” to your future in music!
wasaaga: Thanks man. You too.
#WEATNU Digital Magazine
‘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
Ideomotor, a true ‘dynamic duo’ are breaking into the Helsinki electronic scene, we were able to have a interview with Erkka Wennonen and Kimmo Myllyviita. As they give us insight into their music and influences.
How do you feel your music fits to a world fueled by the EDM sound?
Erkka Wennonen – We have been somewhat surprised on the the sort of genre descriptions we have been associated with, we honestly thought we were a bit more mainstream.. but I think there is a place for darker tones in an EDM era also.
I can clearly say your music is not EDM.
Kimmo Myllyviita -Yes! I’m having trouble to put us in one genre really.
It feels like you are bringing back the fantastic sounds of the 80s in a modern era. How is this being received?
Erkka – At least myself, I’m quite happy how the first couple songs turned out – there’s obviously a bit of homage, but also some more contemporary stuff. Feedback has been really positive and I reckon its only the live dates that will show how it will all work out.
Kimmo – I have to say we didn’t really plan the sound particularly. just started making music that felt good and would bring something new.. or a nice mix of old and new. I’m really happy if we’ve succeeded.
Which it does.
Kimmo – thank you.
Do you have some shows planned this year?
Kimmo – Not already booked, but definitely there will be!
Erkka – Yes, some support slots in Finland and at the continent are on the works, but will be finalized in the next couple weeks hopefully
Kimmo – Indeed, but can’t say dates yet.
It’s not hard to tell that you guys are influenced by some great artists, that I love as well, Duran Duran, DM and more. Would you like to tell us about your sound?
Kimmo – I think the great diversity comes from all diverse music that we both love and have listened to, but surely you can point out some references, such as DM… but to me at least there’s a lot of guitar rock influence too, 90s especially.
Kimmo – I mean, I’ve played for years, alternative rock, being a guitar player and a lead singer.
Impressive: Your new album is my personal favorite here on WEATNU and WEATNU [OUR] Radio, which we play often. When I first heard Master/Slave I was in love.
Erkka – It was one of the first songs we ever wrote for Ideomotor and that sort of got the ball rolling.
Kimmo – Awesome! I have to say I’m very happy about that song
Being a 80s affectionato myself, it really speaks to me.
Kimmo – Yes, I see that song as very early DM influenced, sure.
And who plays keyboard and guitar in Ideomotor?
Kimmo – Good question.
Erkka – Kimmo takes care of lead vocals and we split duties on other instruments.
Kimmo – We’re both more at home with guitars, that’s for sure. Keyboards are still a bit new to both of us.
Erkka – Not planning to do live shows as a duo however.
Kimmo – I think more like a trio at least.
So truly a synthpop duo, but many are calling it Synthwave these days. We’re rewinding the cassette tape back again, as history is repeating itself with many WEATNU artists.
Erkka – As said we thought of ourselves as more mainstream and have been quite astonished about the synth wave/darkwave talk – finding the correct hashtag is surprisingly tricky!
Kimmo – It’s obvious now I think. but when writing these songs… I had no idea really, what genre it’s gonna be.
As it is with WEATNU, we simply want to hear good music, we’re trying to change things for the Electronic musician. It’s interesting to hear what other countries call mainstream. Because in the states mainstream is pop, so over there it’s more 80s based.
Kimmo – And that’s really great, and I just care about songs. not the genres.
How long have you both been a band, it says that you started in 2014, but I feel much longer?
Kimmo – Well, we’ve come a long way.. but as friends, doing music separately. This was bit of a lucky coincidence, that we decided to do music together.
Erkka – I’ve been in and out music for a long time whereas Kimmo seems to have been recording something always.
Both of you are seasoned musicians?
Kimmo – I’d say that, sure. But never professionally, music is my greatest passion. Can’t think nothing better than doing the music I love and people listening to it.
Erkka – We both have been playing guitars for a long time though. It was just quite refreshing to find an alternative outlet from a more electronic approach.
Kimmo – Like being new born.
And that outlet is WEATNU?
Erkka – I truly hope so!
We’ll we appreciate you guys, glad to have you. I’m looking forward to this new album, when do you have it on release?
Erkka – Thank you! it’s been great you doing this for us!
Erkka – We are currently in the studio lobby.. the producer just left so can’t give an exact time-line; but we hope to have something new out sometime during the spring. Not really decided whether we want to go for a full length album or whether to keep going releasing ep’s.
I think your music will be a refreshing sound to this world, but music abroad is always more colorful, we need more of that here in the States. Do you plan on touring around Finland? Might even open for acts such as Röyksopp?
Kimmo – Wow! that’d be awesome.
Erkka – We are hoping to, but the business side of things is always a little complicated and depends on a lot of things.. but hoping to get some good dates for the spring already. And I reckon the live sound will be a bit more of a band, but lets see what it will fit with!
Kimmo – it would be a dream come true, so driving for live definitely
Optimism is high with our artists in weatnu, they now have hope. What are your thoughts about “We are the New Underground in a whole?”
Kimmo – From what I’ve seen BIG RESPECT!
Erkka – It’s been really inspiring to find quality artists over the platform and I truly hope it gets the attention it deserves. The world has become a lot smaller and therefore platforms such as WEATNU has much more influence on the whole market than ever before. It’s not only the major labels that rule anymore, and it gives decent odds to all kinds of artists.
About the name of your duo, what does Ideomotor mean?
Kimmo – By definition Ideomotor is a part of brain that tells us behaviour intuitively we thought that’s the way we should also do music without over thinking, let the music flow out.
And the future of Ideomotor?
Erkka -Well, we are definitely going to release new music this year. Also we’re quite enthusiastic about the prospects of getting some good warm up slots to get the live shows going.
Kimmo – LIVE! and lots of new listeners, keep on doing un-compromised music and yeah that’s a good track I think.
So you want to make it up there with the likes of 4AD artists? Great to hear that.
Erkka -That would be pretty sweet!
Kimmo – I love Future Islands btw…
Erkka – Would have little complaints..
Kimmo – as one of the new acts to me
Your music quality is very high, care to share your song structure, sequence DAW usage?
Erkka – We ran protools at the studio, but worked with logic at home and shared tracks as Kimmo now lives in Zurich and I stay here in Helsinki.
Kimmo – We have a great production team. We also add a lot analogue stuff to the sound which I think is essential. Also live drums and guitars.
There are more than 2 in Ideomotor, live?
Kimmo – Yes, we want to have live more live.. u know. so that that the person who comes to see us hears and sees a live performance.
Erkka – So at least some added synth and bass to back us two up!
So.. We’ll be seeing some of your videos in the coming future?
Kimmo – Oh yes!
Erkka – Yes, some pretty interesting ideas we’ve floated around with, a friend of ours who does our video production for one.
Kimmo – I’d like to see Master/Slave video
Erkka – Wouldn’t that be motley crue girls, girls, girls 2015?
What do you see about WEATNU as a future?
Kimmo – But you have a great thing going on that’s for sure! I think it’s gonna be biggest label on the planet. no boundaries right!
Erkka – Music discovery is becoming increasingly difficult as there is more music out now than at any point in history. And my take is that vendors such as WEATNU will reap the rewards here.
What are you guys listening to these days?
Erkka – You start?
Kimmo – hah, everyday something different.. let’s see. lately obviously more electronic than ever before. But mostly it’s been indie-alternative rock if you can say that nowadays.
Erkka – I’ve been a bit late to discover Wild Nothing, I’ve listened to a lot of that. Also, whenever I can’t think of anything to listen White Lies is something I never seem to get tired of. Also on the more electronic front Jaani Peuhu is definitely worth checking out, like his stuff a lot.
Kimmo – But already on Soundcloud there’s so many great artists I’ve discovered, such as an Estonian electro/crossover band called I wear* Experiment and to shuffle up a bit I was very happy about the new Weezer album! The guys are back to their roots. I love that stuff.
Interesting to see they are making music again.
Kimmo – And great music that is! I think they lost themselves there for few years.
And the music you grew up with?
Erkka – For me it was Kiss first!
Kimmo – The usual suspects in Finland, Yes, kiss, Iron Maiden, Metallica… then Grunge!
Metal and Grunge for me too in the 90s.
Kimmo – Stone temple pilots is still my favorite.
Erkka – We listened to a lot of classical music at home, but for me the great revelation was The Stone Roses with their debut album. That really blew me away and made want to start playing guitar and write music.
Kimmo – Later on big influences to me have been Placebo, Muse, Mew, Nada Surf, but man there’s a lot..
So a lot of the 90s sound, which is very good, I might add.
Erkka – We only have 2 or 3 bands we ever agree on
Kimmo – Haha. So there you go, diversity.
Kimmo – I have to say I’ve been so busy writing own stuff that I’ve been a little bit too lazy to listen very actively. But I listened to your show case radio show… it was all diamonds
Great to know that!
Erkka – Obviously listened to some of your tracks too. Some good stuff.
Thank you, Appreciated.
We have a feature with TAB and Mangabros this month, so best of both worlds, both highly talented people. WEATNU is about the artist helping the artist, word of mouth promo, do you think this is working?
Kimmo – Sure! With social media anything is possible!
With the birth of WEATNU starting on ‘yet’ another Soundcloud group in 2014, it has come a long way.
Kimmo – I have such respect for music I’ve found through your channel and Soundcloud, truly great artists which I’d love to help myself if I can to get more listeners.
We hope you continue to find great artists, as we will continue to showcase them.
Erkka – Thats a tough one – I am maybe a bit of a foodie..
Kimmo – Finnish rye bread, I don’t get that in Switzerland.
Bitter with a little bit of wine?
Erkka – Asian food always seems to work, we’ll we do enjoy our drink also
Kimmo – Any alcohol will do, and milk.
Thank you for having a interview today with #WEATNU Digital Magazine, may the best of luck shine on you both.
Look out for their new album soon…
‘Craig Manga of Mangabros writes dark pop, riddled music, complements of past influences such
as NIN, Kate Bush and Brian Eno. Our interview with him uncovered some of the mystery to
Mangabros, also the editor of WEATNU DM.’
Good evening, Craig. Thank you for having this interview with #WEATNU Digital Magazine. This music of the new Mangabros album ‘Soulcoalblack’ is quite unique, or an anti-pop, avant-garde, shrouded in soul and electro. And even though the masses do not understand it, perhaps the complexity of the album should be better explored?
Craig Manga: I am under no illusions. ‘Soulcoalblack’ is a difficult piece of work, an awkward proposition to many. A tetrahedron peg in a square hole. And we fitted nowhere until WEATNU. And yet, somehow – ADD-fashion – we flit everywhere: there are industrial soundscapes, broken piano ballads, krautrock elements, warped glitch beats. Somehow we’re stranded between the dancefloor and the headspace.
Has #WEATNU been a success for you then?
Craig M: Oh no…(smiles) but we failed magnificently. By the numbers anyway, but we do have an avid obsessive fanbase. We remain resolutely Marmite.
That’s always a plus. But there is beauty in failure, once you get up and try again, eventually seeing the light one day.
Craig: We’re always gonna draw disdain from the Xfactor gen but admiration from those discerning enough to want something a little different, off the mainstream. “These are songs, Jim, but not as we know them.”
You’re quite popular here on weatnu, is weatnu helping your music at least gain a goal?
Craig: WEATNU is helping immensely in our magnificent failure (aka cultish success)
I hear some jazz influences in your music, would you like to talk about what influences you as an artist?
Craig: The jazz influence comes from guitarist/piano player, Glen, where as aleatoric moments of randomness (John Cage, Eno) are me.
There are two in Mangabros?
Craig: 5, but we choose our numbers by the dice. On the album: myself, Paul, Glen and Tony. Present gigs: just Paul and yours truly. I have played solo with just acoustic guitar. I once didn’t play at all. We augment with other musicians, drummer Mark, and bassist/pianist Tony.
Your sound is very distinctive, tell us more about that.
Craig: Our actual sounds are never factory settings, I sculpt and layer sounds until barely recognizable. I’m very proud of the wonky warped detuned piano sounds I’ve birthed, usually involving bowed piano strings and doppler-effected flux harp. I also add acoustic textures: the thump of wood, scrape of metal, creak of stool. So these are totally bespoke sounds. Also, the album was intended to have a claustrophobic atmosphere, so it was created entirely on headphones, no monitors or speakers involved.
Almark: There is indeed a closeness to the album and high quality. Why do you suppose the music feels as though you’re drifting in and out of consciousness, it’s very personal, almost wracked with pain?
Craig: Yeah, I agree, it is slightly fevre-dreamlike. Dreampop with Night Terrors. Black Pop, ha! Quite proggy too, in that there are many many changes in each and every song. It is sonic collage. Like the tuning, drifting on an old radio, one station bleeding into the next.
This is my first time to hear the entire album from start to finish, but this is a highly impressive and daring work. You must feel artistically satisfied?
Craig: I am proud of it, but already i have moved on. and the music is becoming purer and more layed bare, the album is the second part of a trilogy, a tryptich. slowburnblue was first, more electronic, dense and experimental, much darker UDM. The next one’s a clutch of love songs ‘Deepfleshred’, well, songs of love loss and longing (and maybe a little lust thrown in for good measure).
As these songs are intricate, it’s only right to ask you how you approach your songcraft?
Craig: I write lyrics and they can be a starting point. But lately I tend to scramble a few chords on acoustic guitar, transpose them to MIDI then sing phonetic gobbledegook over them to find melody (or not). I then strip away the primary, the original outlines, maybe add weird icing to the cake.
Speaking of weird, listening to King of Tarts, the sounds of both ecstasy and pain together, wrapped in a jazz chorus.
Craig: King of Tarts is a purely solo effort on my part, no guitars. all programmed, no playing; glitched piano.
I hear hints of Radiohead on The Blue Scrawl. Very haunting song.
Craig: Funny enough, that one originated from Glen – not a great Radiohead fan – but the angel of death coda came from me. I take Radiohead as a great compliment. Glen wouldn’t though.
I can certainly hear your music in indie films. Do you see this music making it into that genre?
Craig: I have written soundtracks for college film projects, mostly arthouse stuff. And some accompanying soundtracks to silent movies (Nosferatu, Caligari) and some alternative songs for The Wicker Man, but mangabros are now exploring their own film-making for a couple of art installations. I am very much into storytelling and interweaving narratives in songs anyhow.
Very nice. Are you self-taught?
Craig: Self-taught totally. A guitarist who can’t even name the twisted chords he comes up with. I think I’m an alien that fell to earth (not really) found a bunch of instruments and proceeded to strum the snare drum and beat the guitar with drumsticks.
We are the gifts to the world of lost souls, only to fill them with music, perhaps this is true.
I can’t help but wonder from your distinct vocal style who you are influenced by?
Craig: My vocals have been described as ‘the Hendrix of the larynx’. my vox touchstones are Scott Walker, Gabriel, Peter Hammill, Bjork and Kate Bush.
Almark: And your song on this album ‘Black Pop Caucasian Vampire Blues’ how do you feel about it’s morality?
Craig: It is an incredibly sad song. beautiful, deep and haunting. It is the requiem for a murdered child, a forgotten victim. I could weep really.
Music without emotion is dull.
Craig: Tell me, A, how do YOU feel about ‘Black Pop’?
Is that what you call this music, Black Pop?
Craig: I hope people realize that bleak songs are intended to be uplifting ultimately.
Misery loves company.
Craig: Sad songs mend hearts (like the gnarled gospel of ‘Dead Riff). Many of my songs come from a dark place, and intended as catharsis: the raising of the spirit, the soothing of the depressive mind. As a sufferer, creating my art, words and music, really helps. I hope it’s carried forward to the listener.
Any collabs ahead from meeting others artists through WEATNU?
Craig: Yeah, one with Meter Bridge. They’re also gonna write an original piece that will further the narrative on our ‘Z’ cycle of songs. Also, a project with Dave from Bufinjer, and another with Lie Craze.
Excellent, we hope to hear those in the future.
Craig: And hopefully something with that elusive founder of WEATNU, forgot his name.
Oh yeah, he will have to squeeze you into his busy time-schedule. 😉
And what are the future plans of your music, what do you hope to accomplish, the ultimate dream?
Craig: For people to listen at least once through, all the way through, and in sequence, and base their opinions not on what’s popular atm or by peer-group pressure, but on personal considered judgment. There’s tunes in them thar hills.