Artist of the week

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Deptford Goth

There are nights where I am completely alone. My cat is usually asleep across the other side of the room. I find it hard to switch off. I find this the best time to listen to music. Sometimes I feel as though there are a million other people with me. There’s this feeling of inclusiveness. That there are other people who think the same way, probably doing very similar things to me. I get this when I listen to Deptford Goth. In particular his track ‘Union

I belong with everyone, everyone I've ever known
I belong with everyone, everyone I've ever known is here,
With me.”

I’m certain that this really isn’t the message of DG. But what I often see with beautifully sad music, is a community of appreciation. There are those other people who recognise the beauty, no matter how depressing. And it’s this that fills me with warmth.

If I believe in nothing
Then nothing is gonna get me”

(from ‘People Get Still’)

Deptford Goth

This might sound bleak,. Most people would dismiss it as depressing, but how can music so beautiful be truly depressing? It makes me happy that people can produce things like this. And I’m not alone in thinking this. The people who make the music and the people who listen often feel the same. Isn’t that a nice thing to be part of?


                                          Jeremy Arblaster  aka Secret Diaries

                                                                                   Indie's Way Magazine UK

Tuesday, January 29, 2013


-Who are you?

65daysofstatic. More specifically, Paul, one quarter of that band.

- Why did you choose this pseudonym?

It's not a pseudonym, it's our real name! 

-Why do you make music and what does it mean for you?

There's a poem by Charles Bukowski called 'So You Want to be a Writer?' I'm not really very good with poetry, but that one is spectacular. Basically, it says that, probably, if there is anyway you can avoid becoming a writer, then strive for that instead. Unless there's absolutely nothing you can do other than write, then don't do it.

It's the same for music, I think. I can't not-make-music. There is no other way, and there never was.

-Your album “The Fall of Math“ has meant a revolution in the music
scene . What’s the story behind it?

Well, it's very nice of you to say so, but I'm not sure if we remember any revolution happening. It wasn't even going to be an album, to begin with. We were 65daysofstatic, and working on our first proper material with a live drummer. We had four or five songs, which we thought we had finally recorded to a pretty good standard. We decided to call it an E.P, and came up with the title The Fall of Math. Not long after this we met Monotreme Records who said, 'Do you have any more songs? Albums are much easier to release than'. We had a few more songs, so we went back into the studio for a couple more days and turned it into a record. There was no master plan bigger than that. We wanted to finally make an album, and then we wanted to go on tour with it, so that's what we did. We ended up touring pretty much constantly for about six years.

-Is There a link between it and your last album “We Were Exploding
Anyway/ Heavy Sky (EP)”?

"We Were Exploding Anyway" cover
Yes, there is. Apart from Guitar Cascades, all of those tracks were written and recorded at the same time. We still love the idea of an 'album' and the kind of things you can communicate with that medium as opposed to individual songs. Therefore, even though there were songs that we really liked, they didn't necessarily work in the context of WWEA; we wanted that to work as an album first and foremost - something greater than simply the sum of its songs. Once we had finally nailed that, we had all these things left over, and so because we still thought they were of a high enough standard, they became the Heavy Sky e.p.

-Talking about the compositions of your songs: how and where they born?

On laptops and in rehearsal rooms. They are mapped and remapped in a million different ways. We definitely go with quantity over quality to begin with, filling up hard drive with gigabytes of badly-thought-through sketches of melody, cheesy chord progressions, unhelpful riffs, loads of noise… Over the course of 12-18months, we mercilessly discard all the rubbish and ever-so-slowly things start to become a little more tangible. We eventually realise that a few ideas have been around for a few weeks and we haven't gotten fed up with them yet. Give it another year or so of beating those ideas into shape, and if we're lucky, we might have a few songs at the end of it.

-Talking about your traks ,what is your favourite?

Impossible to say. Don't really listen to 65 at home, just when we're playing live. So usually whichever one we happen to be playing when that thought occurs to me. (which isn't very often!)

- How would you define your sound? It's almost unique your  ability to
combine electronic instruments with real instruments, do you agree?

I wouldn't say unique, but again, that's very flattering, thanks. Probably my biggest influence is New Order - I grew up listening to Substance by them over and over again and that's a record that combines electronic and real instruments in an absolutely perfect way and it's been around for more than twenty years. What's more surprising is that it took so long for everyone else to catch up.

I really don't want 65 to be remember simply as 'the band that had electronics and real instruments' because if you listen to ANY pop music these days, that's exactly what they do. Like, Katy Perry or K$sha or any of them… you'll get guitars and programmed beats sat alongside one another… I'm not saying that it makes those songs good, but the past ten-fifteen years of progress in digital technology means that this is how music is built now. I believe that 'electronic' music has finally reached a plateau - the first in its history. What's important now is how you use it.

-What genres and artists influenced your music the most?

Like I said earlier, for me it's probably New Order, but the great thing about 65 is that we all came from slightly different backgrounds, so you can throw in bands like Nirvana and people like Tom Waits, Tom Petty, Paul Simon, Rachmaninov into that mix.

To be honest though, all of the other things that happen in live influence my music much more than other music does.
65days members: Paul, Joe, Rob and Simon

-You come from Sheffield, England . What do you think about the music
coming from your country and how how do you see yourself in relation
to them?

I actually come from Manchester, although the band is based in Sheffield and that's where I am typing this to you right now.
I think the music coming from England is pretty much the same as music coming from anywhere. Some of it is great, more of it is good, a lot of it is bad. The great thing about how the internet has changed in the decade we have been in a band is that geography has become a lot less relevant. There are pockets of people all over the world listening to our music, and there are also bands who might never meet who exist in the same space, the same scene, in different hemispheres. That's pretty cool.

-Would you talk us about the “Silent Running” project?

It began as Glasgow Film Festival asking us to re-score a film live. We chose Silent Running and wrote 90 minutes of brand new music to accompany it. Originally it was only going to be performed twice at the festival, but it was really well received and so we ended up touring that show for a while around Europe and then ultimately released it as a soundtrack record on our Dustpunk Records label.

The whole thing was a happy accident that spiralled because of the wonderful 65 fans who took such a huge interest in what we were doing. It was fun.

-What's your favourite artist and song?

Right now it's New Order and 'Leave Me Alone'.

-Who do you think are the most relevant musicians nowadays and who are
you listening to the most?

No idea. Honestly. At the moment I've been listening to a lot of classical and jazz, but I think that's because we are writing our new record and after a day of that, I prefer to listen to music that's a bit too complicated for my mind to try and dissect. It's relaxing.

-How much does the live element matter in your music?

Greatly. We're extremely proud of our live show. If only we could capture that fleeting feeling and put it on a record...

-You have been on tour in almost all over the world (Europe, America,
Asia, Australia), what what is the place from which you have been most
65days on stage

There was one month a few years ago when we were in Tokyo and Moscow in the same couple of weeks, and seeing those two cities juxtaposed in front of all your senses was very powerful.

We recently came back from China and the polluted air we breathed in Beijing is like nothing I have ever experienced in my life. My throat tasted like metal for a week afterwards.

-If you could pick an artist or a band to play with on a stage, who
would you choose?

New Order. Or Underworld.

-What do you think about the music industry nowadays?

I try and think about it as little as possible. It's falling apart. It'll be a shame for some people, but in the end music is gonna survive, isn't it? And that's the important thing.

-What is the message that you'd like to express to the people who
listen to your music?

There are no words to describe that message accurately. That's why we write the music.

-There is something you'd like to say to all the 65kids?

Thank you very much.

-What is your favourite book and movie?

Right now, The Count of Monte Cristo and Citizen Kane, but those will have changed by this afternoon.

-How and where do you see yourself in ten years from now?

I have absolutely no idea. Anybody who answers that question confidently probably has no idea of what appears to be actually happening with our troubled civilisation.

Sunday, January 27, 2013


-Who are you?

Kill It Kid is Chris Turpin, Marc Jones Stephanie Jean Ward and Dom Kozubik. I'm Chris- the short bloke at the front who writes em, sings em and strums em. 

- Why did you choose this pseudonym?

Our name is taken from a very rare early country blues song, by a player called Blind Willie Mctell. I heard it on a rare copy of his last recording session. The track was inspired by a barfly that would holler this at him as he took to the stage. It for us very neatly embodied what we wanted to do. 

-Why do you make music and what does it mean for you? 

Making music is in all of our blood, we come from musical families. Growing up in an environment like this means it music just becomes inherent in what you do and who you are. Music means nothing and everything all at once. It has become increasingly important to me to create something of worth to others that will far out live me. That a big question....could spend the rest of your life answering it!

-Your song “Home“ is simply amazing. What’s the story behind it?

Thank you. It is a very private and close account of moments when a love breaks down.

-Is There a link between “Kill It Kid” (2009) and your last album
“Feet Fall Heavy” (2011)?

It says in the insides sleeve our first  record "songs of love and debauchery", the same counts for our second record Feet Fall Heavy and will count for our third. 
"Feet Fall Heavy" cover

-Talking about the compositions of your songs: how and where they born?

The songs come from anywhere, turns of phrase, books, people, relationships written anywhere- on the road at home in the rehearsal room. 

-Talking about your traks ,what is your favourite?

My favourite Kill It Kid song is always the last song I've written.

- How would you define your sound?

Our sound is heavy British garage blues.

-What genres and artists influenced your music the most?

Kill It Kid Began as a reaction to our dislike and frustration with modern commercial music and rock acts. This band is an attempt to re-voice some of the intensity, intention and heart we could hear in very early pre war blues which we didn't hear in any new music. This has been the biggest creative influence on our music. 

-You come from Bath, England. What do you think about the music coming
from your country and how how do you see yourself in relation to them?
Kill It Kid

England has such an incredible creative heritage, for many English kids being in a band is almost a right of passage. Having toured outside of the UK we have been fortunate enough to see how other countries and cultures see the UK...we just see ourselves as a very insignificant part of this lineage. The industry here, although it is over focused on young new music, is globally renown for incubating and supporting unique new acts. It's cool to be part of this culture. 

-What's your favourite artist and song?

Blind Willie McTell and Fred McDowell were both real Musial revelations. The eternal songwriters cliched love of Bob Dylan hangs true for me. I love 'Wedding Bells' by Hank Williams. 

-Who do you think are the most relevant musicians nowadays and who are
you listening to the most?

Some current acts for me right now...Laura Marling, Tallest Man On Earth, Fionn Regan, Cold War Kids, Villagers, The Low Anthem, Rival the top of my head. 

-How much does the live element matter in your music? You have toured
almost all of europe and have gigged in america: what's your
relationship with the stage?

Playing live and touring is essential for us as musicians. I become restless at home, a good show places you right in the moment. It becomes addictive. On the road there are zero responsibilities and it gives you a very clear focus on the music and what you want from a show. Our music is meant to be played live. 

-If you could pick an artist or a band to play with on a stage, who
would you choose?
@Kill It Kid on stage

I'd like to play with a band or artist I respect hugely...maybe Bob Dylan, The Rolling Stones, Jack White...there is so many!

-What do you think about the music industry nowadays?

I try to think about it very little. 

-What is the message that you'd like to express to the people who
listen to your music?

We have no overarching message. Just that we care about what we do, we mean it and are appreciative we have people to share it with. 

-”Feet Fall Heavy” feautures samples of Alan Lomax, wanna talk us
about this character?

They aren't samples of Alan Lomax. If you listen through to the record you'll hear the samples are a host of pre war musicians, preachers and prisoners. John and Alan Lomax were archivists and ethnomusicologists, the samples we chose were collected by him for the archive of American Folk Music. 

-What is your favourite book and movie?

I love The Subterraneans by Kerouac...and Another Country by James Baldwin. I'm obsessed with early Hitchcock films at the moment. 

-How and where do you see yourself in ten years from now?

I have no idea, hopefully playing music for a living. 

-Beatles or Rolling Stones

The Rolling Stones

Tuesday, January 22, 2013


 -Why did you choose the name Five for Fighting?
The record label wanted a band name and I'd just come from an L.A. Kings game where Marty McSorley had dropped the gloves with Bob Probert. It seemed to fit the moment.

-Why do you make music and what does it mean for you?
I've always enjoyed writing songs. It's rewarding to see your efforts have a positive effect on people. Music can be a great healer and time capsule.

-When and where did you first learn to play?
Mom started me young at the piano as she was a piano teacher. Picked up the guitar at 15.

-Your most famous song “Superman (It's Not Easy)” is simply amazing.
What’s the story behind it?
 I wrote Superman at a time of great frustration. Music was not taking off and one night Superman just popped out. Looking back that song as a gift. I never could of imagined the impact that little tune would have.

- Talking about your traks ,what is your favourite?
Hard to pick from your kids, but if I had only one I'd go with 100 Years.

- How would you define your sound?
Piano based singer/songwriter...the productions may change a tad with the times but it's words and music with a certain worldview.

"Superman (It's not easy)" cover
-A new album is expected this year, how is it going?
Heading to NY to mix our first single!

-What genres and artists influenced your music the most?
70's singer songwriters. Beatles, Billy, Elton, Who, James Taylor, etc...

-You come from Los Angeles. What do you think about the music coming from your country and how how do you see yourself in relation to them?
"100 years" cover
I live in somewhat of a music bubble. I've never paid much attention to the current musical climate, sometimes to my advantage, sometimes to my detriment. It's all about writing the best songs I can aand making sure they are messages I want to take to the stage for a decade.

 -What do you think about the music industry nowadays?
"Slice" cover
It certainly has changed since I broke in. The Major labels have shrunk, the album is dying, radio is more generic. That said, the internet platforms and home studio technology have leveled the playing field. For the music consumer, it's good times. For the music game.

-What is the message that you'd like to express to the people who
listen to your music?

-What are your interests besides music?
 Politics and Sports is where I spend most my energy when I'm not busy being Daddy.

-You are involved in many humanitarian projects and actions (you
created the first video charity website, you played several times for
support to troops and their family, you worked with Telethon to fight
the ALS and so more). Did this experiences change your life?
 The charity work has been the most rewarding component of my career. To meet people who face unimaginable challenges and circumstance, and to watch them fight those battles, gives me constant inspiration and perspective.

-What is your favourite book and movie?
Book-Ender's Game
Movie - Godfather II
-How and where do you see yourself in ten years from now?
 Row 6 at the L.A. Kings game. That's about all I can promise.

-Beatles or Rolling Stones?

Five For Fighting - Superman (It's Not Easy) from Imsfortune on Vimeo.

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Monday, January 21, 2013

Bill Baird

Bill Baird

-Who are you?
Bill Baird.

-Why do you make Music and what does it mean for you?
Bob Dylan interview response:  Never stare a gift horse in the mouth.

But I'm not Bob Dylan.   Not even Bill Dylan.  So I gotta answer it my own way.

I like how you capitalized the word Music.   Seems appropriate.
I usually don't answer this question because it is a difficult one.   A quicksand question.   One might sound pretentious or, even worse, boring.
But I will be as honest with you as possible, at the risk of sounding new-agey or completely strange or saying the word 'vibration' too many times.

Everything is vibration.  Music is the most direct way to transmit vibration.    When my personal vibration resonates with the vibrations of my surroundings, I laugh or weep with joy.   I make music to transmit these moments to other people.  My personal self dissolves and I feel at peace.  It's as if I myself have dissolved into my surroundings.   This often happens when listening to music, or when I'm alone in nature, or when I'm staring into the eyes of my newborn daughter.

Whew.   I only had to say 'vibration' five times.

-Where and when did you start learn to play?
I first experimented with sound by placing my mouth over the speaker on my tv set and modulating tv theme songs by opening and closing my mouth, sort of like a no-fi talk box.   This would be around age 6.   I used to enjoy humming and feeling the vibration through my jaw.

I took guitar lessons in the 4th grade but quit when my teacher tried to teach me "Smooth Operator" , ya know, that Sade song.  She had learned it cuz she was a lounge singer at a nearby Holiday Inn.   I went to see one of her gigs.   That was really weird.

I took it up again in the 9th grade, but quit again when my teacher tried to teach me "Dust in the Wind."   I then started buying Guitar World magazine.   I started to hate guitar solos and then

-How would you describe your sound?
It changes constantly.   

Cosmic and earthly explorations of the American songbook, from tin pan alley to thrash to electronic.
Facebook Fanpage

-Your Album “Career” is simply amazing. What’s the story behind it?
I recorded it in two weeks.   I was able to encapsulate a feeling I'd had inside me for a long time.   I tried to push things as far as I could in one direction.   All in the same direction.   I wanted the music to bleed a certain vibrant orange color.  I think it came out more electric blue.

I was listening to "Trout Mask Replica" and live Jimi Hendrix concerts to get inspired.   Those two went pretty far out.  They inspired me to go all the way in one direction, using a minimum number of instruments. 

The sound of that album is only possible on analog tape.   It cannot be done digitally.   Most of the distortion is the sound of overloading circuitry.   I did not use any amplifiers for the guitars.   I plugged the guitars straight into the tape machine.   

I had the feeling of that album inside of me for a long time before I could correctly articulate it.   I recorded and played everything myself, except for the drums.
It was also the first time I'd experimented with taking LSD in the studio.  I can definitely hear that in the music.   It was very creative and productive, actually.  I think it helped that I had my studio set-up completely dialed.

Being on LSD in a studio alone is pretty amazing, although a few times got inexplicably wrapped in guitar cables.

-Let’s talk about your new album “Spring Break of the Soul”?
It actually pre-dates 'Career.'   Since it's a double-album, I decided not to release it until somebody else would pay for it.   Thankfully, Pau Wau Records stepped in, so 'Spring Break of the Soul' will shortly greet the world.

The album explores an entirely different set of emotions and colors.  There is lots of cello, much of which I actually played.   It is not as intense a record.  It has lots of instrumental moments, and lots of moments with more subtlety than 'Career.'   'Career' demanded your attention.   This one has more nooks and crannies.   More weird moments.  Songs within songs.   Extremely varied instrumentation.

The album originated as an idea I had for a musical.   I wanted it to be like "Waiting for Godot" but taking place on a boat.   Stranded in the middle of the ocean, waiting for wind, waiting for motion, but nothing happens.   The characters get killed and nothing is learned.   A somewhat bleak premise.

I wrote the script while working in Big Sur at the Esalen Institute.   The theme changed due to my surroundings.   Esalen is an amazing place.    The script now sort-of makes fun of new age California rich hippies.  
The script is included with the record.   I illustrated it with photographs and warped the text.   I wanted people to see the script as a sequences of images rather than normal text.   I think I just made it harder to read.  Oh well.

-What's your favourite artist and song?
I love too many things to name just one.

-What genres and artists did influence your music?
I like Bill Hicks, Don Van Vliet, Terry Riley, Nam June Paik, Edward Abbey, Walt Whitman, Frank Lloyd Wright, Buckminster Fuller, George Gershwin, Miles Davis, Les Paul, Raymond Scott.... I could go on all day.
At some point I realized that everyday matters often influence my music more than anything.   What I ate for breakfast, for example.   Whether I've showered that week.  Things like that.   How recently I've been alone in nature.  
I would consider my music part of the American songbook.

-How much the live element matters in your Music?
It used to be everything to me but I am now deconstructing my live performance, up from nothing.   I use humor, improvisation, video triggers, costumes, and other weird stuff.  
But I have not played a normal live show in a year and a half.   So I guess live performance is not that important to me.

-What do you think about Music industry nowdays?
It's in the shitter.  But real artists always find a way.   That's part of the skill it takes to be an artist.   Finding a way.

It's just strange for me that I've spent a whole lot of time cultivating a skill that has basically been deemed worthless ---> being able to create albums.   

-How about physical formats? Plans for CDs  vinyls and cassette?
There are lots more albums that will be released.   Then people will have to sift through the piles and find the jewels.   I am too close to my own music and can't tell things apart.   I edit and scrutinize but in the end no album is ever good enough.  I can't stand to hear an album after it's finished.  
My attitude at this point is... I will make as many as I can sell.   So for my last few self-released records, I made around 100 copies.   This makes it much more expensive, but so be it.   I am committed to the physical format.  I enjoy the tactile.  I like the messiness of real life.   Real life is much more interesting to me than a tumblr.   I like messiness, decay, things that break.   The internet is too clean and controlled and boring, unless it is brought into the physical world.   

Not sure if I will make cassettes again.   They are kind of annoying to produce, although it's cool to hand duplicate each one.   It represents a level of commitment bordering on insanity.

-What is the message that you'd like to express at the people Who
listen to your Music?
Messages are boring.   What I try to embody is that old phrase 'carpe diem,' ya know, live like you will be dead tomorrow.   Either go completely nuts or retreat internally in meditation or maybe do both at the same time.

-What is your favourite book and movie?

Moby Dick.
2nd favorite book is probably Breakfast of Champions by Kurt Vonnegut.   For a long time it was Gertrude by Herman Hesse and Portrait of the Artist by James Joyce, but I guess I'm much less literary now.

Favorite movie is probably Days of Heaven by Terence Malick, or The Holy Mountain by Jodorowsky, depending on my mood.   It's so weird that my favorite movie stars Richard Gere.   I consider him kind of boring most of the time.   I go back and forth between Days of Heaven and Badlands actually.   

-How and where do you see yourself in ten years from now?
Older, fatter, wrinklier, happier, poorer, more critically ignored, learning the banjo, living in a cabin somewhere, designing off-the-grid dome structures, trying to finally get through writing my book and not wimping out, learning to dance.

-Beatles or Rolling Stones?

Depends on the era.   After 1972 the Rolling Stones are a joke.   I really love "Their Satanic Majesties Request" and a lot of the early singles where Brian Jones is playing weird instruments.
By the same token, anything before the Beatles started taking LSD I find pretty boring.   And the ending stuff is pretty boring too.   I love Magical Mystery Tour and Sgt Peppers and the sound of the White album, but not all the songs.
So I can't say Beatles or Stones until you get more specific.

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