Features Archive

GoodMorninCaptn parlour gig: Thomas Mery passe au salon

CLOSING THE WINTER ON A HIGH NOTE, GOODMORNINCAPTN HOSTED A GIG “AU SALON” LAST SUNDAY. FOR OUR FIRST EVER LIVING-ROOM SESSION, WE HAD THE GREAT PLEASURE AND HONOR TO INVITE THOMAS MERY IN AN OLD MONTMARTRE BOUTIQUE TURNED INTO AN APARTMENT, AND – ON THIS SPECIAL OCCASION – TURNED INTO AN INTIMATE CONCERT VENUE. THIS IS NO SECRET THAT WE HAVE BEEN STRONG SUPPORTERS OF THOMAS FOR YEARS, FROM BOTH HIS ALBUMS WITH PURR TO HIS LATEST SOLO MUSICAL WANDERINGS (SEE OUR 2005 INTERVIEW HERE), AND MR MERY REWARDED US WITH A DELIGHTFUL OVERVIEW OF HIS SOLO WORK FROM A SHIP, LIKE A GHOST, LIKE A CELL TO HIS LATEST EP DES LARMES MÉLANGÉES DE POUSSIÈRE, AS WELL AS COVERS AND A COUPLE OF UNRELEASED SONGS.

ThomasMeryPasseAuSalon

Paris, Sunday March 14 – A quiet cul-de-sac on the south side of Montmartre staged the first GoodMorninCaptn parlour session, simply entitled « Au Salon ». Behind the blurred window glass of a reconverted boutique, furniture was moved and a buffet table set. The happy few guests were welcomed into the cozy apartment with their contributions of cakes and drinks, and soon ushered onto sofas and cushions for the first set.

Mr Mery and his faithful Guild guitar quietly seated on a white wooden chair, set against a bare background of beige and off-white. But within a few guitar chords, his palette filled the room, and with his first words, the audience was mesmerized.

Starting with songs from his 2006 solo debut, A Ship, Like A Ghost, Like A Cell, he let the sense of intimacy underlying his work fully bloom into the ears of the selected group. Yet he interpreted tracks such as “Real Shift” or “The Red of The Shoes” with unsettling propriety, uncomfortably twisting his legs and modestly bending over his guitar.

Newer tracks from his EP Des Larmes Mélangées De Poussière included “Aux Fenêtres Immenses”, in which Thomas allows himself more freedom than ever, trying out more melodious lines, shifting languages and directions through more than 11 epic, magnificent minutes.

Thomas Mery Passe Au Salon – “Aux Fenêtres Immenses”

ThomasMery-DesLarmesMelangeesDePoussiere

The three tracks on the EP, fully illustrate his progress in the past few years. Technically to begin with. Thomas is turning to French again on two of them and handles his mother tongue with impressionist skills that are quite unique on the scene. Evocative and mysterious, literate yet unpretentious, his lyrics still vehicle the same melancholy, the same sadness. Nevertheless, the almost stifling emergency that sometimes characterized his past work is slowly giving way to maturity. Where you could hear “live and ache” you may now understand “live and learn”. His guitar playing seems to have followed quite the same direction. Still deeply rooted into folk, and yet of unquestionable modernity. Patiently destructured and reconstructed, his guitar lines fade and morph unpredictably and seamlessly. Instrumental storytelling. Patterns overlay like veils, and echo each other like the surfaces of some imaginary landscape. Shades of nude with sparks of ice-blue fading into the deep greens of the undergrowth contrasted with the red of blood.

Two yet untitled tracks following the same path should be released later this year. Fully written in French, they convey the same cinematic elegance, the same know-how in song-writing. The same but different: the richness of nuances, the colors, the sceneries. Different. Need we say we are looking forward to the next full length?

Thomas Mery Passe Au Salon – De l’amour, de la colère

While many singers feel the need to go lower down the scale as they advance in their career, Thomas is finding more comfort for his voice in pushing his guitar capo to the higher frets.  His brilliant interpretation of Costello’s “Shipbuilding” best demonstrated his mastery of the heights. His vocals fluently curved around the living room and entangled with his traditional folk arrangements. Other covers included his disarming rendering of Paulinho Da Viola’s, fetured on Des Larmes Mélangées De Poussières, and his now classic “Running Up That Hill”, which retains all the tension and high energy of Miss Kate Bush’s original, while remarkably stripping it down to minimalism.

As the concert ended, records were frantically purchased, and wine, beer, and vegan canapés (and cigarettes) were cheerfully shared. The opportunity for initiates and newcomers alike to approach his work from another angle, and discover that the shy, talented – and often sad – man on stage is also a kind and funny man on the sofa. Quite expectedly, Miao Miao the house cat stole Mr Mery’s thunder for the rest of the evening. The story does not say if she was hired to play for the next parlour gig, and if she would be able to hypnotize her audience for more than an hour like Thomas did, so… stay tuned.

Read more about Thomas Mery.

Purchase Des Larmes Mélangées De Poussière here.

Read our 2005 interview here.

New Year’s Label Interview: Asthmatic Kitty

Asthmatic Kitty 2009>2010

OUR 2009>2010 LABEL INTERVIEW SERIES WAS SUPPOSEDLY OVER, BUT TODAY BEING THE LAST DAY FOR 2010′S NEW YEAR’S WISHES, WE COULDN’T BUT OFFER YOU THIS LATE YET WORTHY CONTRIBUTION FROM ASTHMATIC KITTY. I’M NOT SURE THE LABEL THAT RELEASED THE FINEST RECORDS BY MY BRIGHTEST DIAMOND OR DM STITH, AND WHOSE CO-FOUNDER AND “MINISTER OF AESTHETICS” IS NO OTHER THAN SUFJAN STEVENS, NEEDS ANY INTRODUCTION, SO LET’S HEAR OF WHAT MADE 2009 A MEMORABLE YEAR FOR ASTHMATIC KITTY ACCORDING TO ITS A&R MICHAEL KAUFMANN.

A) Which records released in 2009 do you wish you had released on Asthmatic Kitty?

I am not sure they would have been right for Asthmatic Kitty or not, but some of my favorite releases of 2009 were:

These Are Powers – All Aboard Future
Micachu & The Shapes – Jewellery
Serengeti And Polyphonic – Pterodactyl
Richard Swift – The Atlantic Ocean
Bat For Lashes – Two Suns
Julianna Barwick – Florine

B) Which artist(s) you wish you had signed will you keep an ear on in  2010?

Julianna Barwick, Slothpop, and the Burnt Ones.

C) What are you the most proud of for Asthmatic Kitty in 2009?

Fol_Chen_Part_I_John_Shade_Your_Fortune_s_MadeDM Stith - Heavy Ghost

Hermas Zopoula - Espoir

Helado Negro - Awe OweOsso - Run Rabbit RunShannon Stephens - The BreadwinnerRoyal City

Sheer volume of releases, we put out more records in 2009 than we ever have. it was exhausting, but we are very excited to have expanded our roster with such lovely folks as Fol Chen, DM Stith, Hermas Zopoula, Helado Negro, Osso, Shannon Stephens, and Royal City.

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Fol Chen “The Believers”, from Part I: John Shade, Your Fortune’s Made

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DM Stith “I Heart Wig” (feat. I Heart Lung), from Braid Of Voices EP

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Osso “Enjoy Your Rabbit”, from Run Rabbit Run

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Shannon Stephens “In Summer In The Heat”, from The Breadwinner

D) What are the label’s challenges for 2010?

Continuing to be long term focused, investing in careers as opposed to buzz!

New Year’s Label Interview: Clapping Music

New Year's Label Interview: Clapping Music10 Years of Clapping Music, Paris, March 9-10LAST BUT NOT LEAST IN OUR 2009>2010 LABEL SERIES: PARIS-BASED CLAPPING MUSIC. NAMED AFTER THE 1972 PIECE BY STEVE REICH, CLAPPING MUSIC HAS ASSEMBLED A NICE CATALOGUE OF FOLK, INDIE ROCK AND LO-FI ELECTRONICS, RANGING FROM THE FINE ARRANGEMENTS OF ENCRE TO THE STRAIGHT-FORWARD MELODIES OF YETI LANE. BEFORE HE CELEBRATES THE LABELS’S 10TH ANNIVERSARY THROUGH A FESTIVAL IN MARCH, LABEL-MANAGER JULIEN ROHEL TELLS US OF THE RECORD THAT BLEW HIS MIND IN 2009, OF HIS FANTASIES, AND OF HIS NEW-YEAR’S RESOLUTIONS FOR CLAPPING MUSIC.

A) Which records released in 2009 do you wish you had released on the label?

Sister Iodine - Flame Désastre (Editions Mego)There would only be one: “Flame Désastre” by Sister Iodine, which is the most brain-whirling stuff I got to listen to this past year. A ultimate blast of free-psych-noise-rock, just as furiously primitive as ferociously avant-garde. This record came out in vinyl only on the new label Premier Sang, and we considered releasing it as a CD on Clapping Music. I plagued them to do that, and right when I was about to achieve my ends, Editions Mego came in, and as they are better developed internationaly than us in extreme / experimental music networks, they eventually grabbed the deal. This is all the better for Sister Iodine, but it’s been a great disappointment for me as a “label manager”. I would have loved to release this album first and foremost because it’s an absolute killer record; besides it would have been a great opportunity to carry Clapping Music away towards new musical horizons, outside of the indie-rock/folk spheres -to make it short- which we have been known for lately. Better luck next time!

Listen to Sister Iodine’s Flame Désastre on Deezer.

Buy the album on Boomkat (now on sale for £7.95).

B) Which artist(s) you wish you had signed will you keep an ear on in 2010?

I will already get down to following and supporting those we have already signed who will have news in 2010: Clara Clara, Karaocake, Red, My Jazzy Child, King Q4, Yeti Lane… this will be quite nice already! Apart from Sister Iodine, I don’t see any artist I would have liked to sign recently, other than in our biggest fantasies: Animal Collective, Sunroof!/Skullflower, Portishead, Broadcast, Mark Hollis, Converge, Steve Reich, Gargouillax, John Coltrane, Domotic & O.Lamm, Captain Beefheart

Yeti Lane – “Lonesome George”, directed by Antoine Lepoutre.

C) What are you the most proud of for the label in 2009?

“Proud” might be exaggerated as there is still much to be done, especially regarding international distribution. There is still much work to accomplish before we can boast. But I’m simply happy to have released such good records by Lauter, Centenaire and Yeti Lane and happy to have given them some exposure, even if in this regard too, the margin for progress is still huge. That being said, I think our label’s catalogue is really starting to look nice :)

Clapping 2010 preview

D) What are the label’s challenges for 2010?

Make it through the winter, release new albums by Clara Clara, Red, Karaocake and My Jazzy Child, put up a nice festival in Paris on March 9 – 10, sell more records despite a more and more disastrous situation in the industry, widen the label’s audience, develop our international distribution network… 2010 promises to be the most important year for the label since it started 10 years ago!

Visit the Clapping Music festival in Paris with Lauter, Karaocake and Reveille at L’International, and Clara Clara, Yeti Lane and Centenaire at Point Ephémère, on Last.fm: March 9 / March 10 and Facebook: March 9 / March 10.

Previously in our new year’s label interview series: Collectif Effervescence, Own Records, Bella Union, and Erased Tapes Records.

New Year’s Label Interview: Collectif Effervescence

Collectif Effervescence - 2009 > 2010 New Year's label interview

COLLECTIF EFFERVESCENCE IS A FINE YOUNG TEAM FROM NANTES WHO’S BEEN DOCUMENTING THE UNDERGROUND FOR ALMOST A DECADE. WITH A ROSTER NOW INCLUDING PAPIER TIGRE, LA TERRE TREMBLE !!!, THE PATRIOTIC SUNDAY, PERCEVALMUSIC, AND MY NAME IS NOBODY AMONG OTHERS, THE COLLECTIVE HAS PICKED UP QUITE A FEW OF THE MOST INTERESTING FRENCH ACTS IN INDIE ROCK TODAY. ALONG WITH 2 OF HIS PROTEGES, MY NAME IS NOBODY, AND OUR PERSONAL FAVORITE LA TERRE TREMBLE !!!, EFFERVESCENCE HEAD JULIEN LOOKS BACK AT 2009 AND UNVEILS SOME OF THE LABEL’S PROJECTS FOR THIS NEW YEAR.

A) Which records released in 2009 do you wish you had released on Collectif Effervescence ?

Julien:

Effervescence is not the kind of label that is always after THE discovery. This perpetual discovery-game can get very boring and is merely a journalistic pretext. Most artists are actually discovered quite late and have already been recording and touring for a while before they are brought into light. I’d rather keep a close eye on a few selected artists for some time than get all excited on the « new stuff ».

Animal Collective - Merriweather Post Pavilion (Domino)Mansfield Tya - Seules au bout de 23 secondes (Vicious Circle)Dominique A - La Musique (Cinq 7)Alexandre Desplat - Un Prophete OST (Naïve)Clues - Clues (Constellation)That being said, I think Merriweather Post Pavilion by Animal Collective was a brilliantly exhilarating record. I have played it a lot this year…

On the French scene, Mansfield.Tya’s second album Seules au bout de 23 secondes was striking with sensitivity, and texts so dark they are almost ineffable. And yet they were recorded… I have also been following Dominique A with special care -especially since his album “Remué”- and once again his latest “La Musique” is just another great achievement. Such mastery of the French language in writing is quite rare, even in France. I have nothing against French artists venturing into English – and we are not in the right place to decry it – but if some of them learned how to handle their mother tongue, they might not need to turn away from it. I fear storytelling is getting lost in translation.

I also enjoyed the tense strings in composer Alexandre Desplat’s soundtrack to Jacques Audiard’s Un Prophète, and Clues‘ 11 hyper energizing tracks on their Constellation Records self-titled album.

My Name Is Nobody:

Vic Chesnutt - At The Cut (Constellation)Vic Chesnutt - Skitter On Take Off (Vapor Records)Bill Callahan - Sometimes I Wish We Were An Eagle (Drag City)Lee Fields & The Expression - My World (Truth & Soul)Vic Chesnutt At The CutandSkitter on Take-Off“. Two albums in two-month time. The first, much orchestrated, with the dream team of Guy Picciotto and Silver Mount Zion. The other, produced by Jonathan Richman, more minimalist… He was not in great shape, but still had the same quirky tone and realism that I enjoyed about him. I was very sad on earring about his death on December 25.

Bill Callahan Sometimes I Wish We Were An Eagle. I liked the preceding one, in which he almost sounded happy. He sounds sulkier now, but better than never at songwriting and arranging. We are lucky enough to be playing with him next February, during our tour with our friends Pillars & Tongues.

Lee Fields & The Expression My World, I bought it following the advice of my super record dealer in Nantes, and Lee Fields’ soul music is now warming up my home through the winter.

Also, The Jesus Lizard at Villette Sonique in Paris last May was simply the best gig of the year!

La Terre Tremble !!!:

Jim O'Rourke - The Visitor (Drag City)Bill Callahan - Sometimes I Wish We Were An Eagle (Drag City)Ponyo On The Cliff By The Sea - Hayao Miyazaki (Studio Ghibli)Jim O’Rourke The Visitor, in which he visits and reunites the infinitely large and the infinitely small.

Bill Callahan Sometimes I Wish We Were An Eagle, a record with a soul, which is rare.

Hayao Miyazaki Ponyo On The Cliff By The Sea. Yeah, we know, it’s a movie… But it is like some sort of harmonic dreams we used to do when we were kids, somewhere between anguish and appeasement. We still do this dream.

B) Which artist(s) you wish you had signed will you keep an ear on in 2010?

We are looking to Battles next release, to Thee, Stranded Horse new full-length album, to Marvin that should inspire many rock bands to come, and to the next Silver Mount Zion as well…

C) What are you the most proud of for Collectif Effervescence in 2009?

La Terre Tremble - Travail (Collectif Effervescence)

Let’s start with our newcomers La Terre Tremble !!! Even though we had already discovered them with their first work, we had lost contact, and crossed path again by chance. I am happy with what they have accomplished this year. Travail has reached out to a new audience, and has allowed them to join in some of the top music festivals in France: “les Transmusicales de Rennes” and “la tournée des Trans”, but also “Musiques Volantes” in Metz, “Nuits d’Hiver” in Marseille, and “SuperSounds” in Colmar… But let’s not misunderstand: they are not a « super festival band ». Quite on the contrary, I think smaller stages bring out the wilderness in their performing.

The Patriotic Sunday - Characters (Collectif Effervescence)

Characters by The Patriotic Sunday was also a key release this year. Four years after the first album, it was not easy for Eric Pasquereau to come back with a totally different follow up. “Characters” is fully autobiographic and very intimate. Production took almost a year and involved a lot of people from the recording sessions to the final mastering. Eric being also a member of Papier Tigre, and has been very busy touring in the past two years. We had to find the right time to introduce this record to the audience and, we were a bit scared that the production effort would no more sound up-to date… But in the end it was very well received by professionals and new listeners alike, and I’d like to reassure his audience: you will not have to wait for another four years for The Patriotic Sunday’s next release.

Percevalmusic & Laurent Chomette - Axes (Murailles Medias / festival Scopitone)We are also very proud of Percevalmusic who collaborated with video and graphic artist Laurent Chomette on “Axes”, a half-sculpture, half-concert installation, a multimedia work that obviously cannot compare with a standard release. It was screened for seven days in a nave of the Castle of the Dukes of Brittany in Nantes, during the Scopitone festival. I find it magic to see an artist you know well under a new light and see his work involved in a new space, approached from a different angle.

D) What are the label’s challenges for 2010?

We’ll start the year with a format on the verge of extinction, namely a vinyl, with 2 songs by My Name Is Nobody, recorded in a few magical takes in Chicago as a souvenir from their major tour in the US where they had been invited by the American trio Pillars & Tongues.

As for all labels, the big challenge will be to ponder the relevance and significance of a full length release nowadays, after all that’s been said on the so-called death sentence of the album as a concept. But in the end, let’s look at things from the bright side. It will be more challenging for artists to gather their work in one big piece so we may be gifted with stronger albums, more generous and exciting.

In 2010 we will release Faustine Seilman’s second LP and possibly The Patriotic Sunday’s third full length, which we were not expecting that early. Stuntman 5’s Akolabuzi remixes are almost ready for a digital EP release. Something new from Papier Tigre maybe, if they take a break away from their endless tour to work on some new material.

We will also try and find the time to build a new website and stop lingering on 2.0 pages…

Previously in our new year’s label interview series: Erased Tapes Records, Bella Union, and Own Records.

Coming next: Clapping Music…

New Year’s Label Interview: Own Records

Own Records New Year's InterviewLUXEMBOURG-BASED OWN RECORDS, ALREADY RESPONSIBLE FOR INTRODUCING EUROPEAN AUDIENCES TO THE EVOCATIVE SOUNDS OF GREGOR SAMSA, UZI & ARI, OR TAUGHT ME OVER THE PAST FEW YEARS, HAVE HAD THEIR BUSIEST YEAR SO FAR. NO LESS THAN 6 ALBUMS WERE RELEASED IN 2009, MOST OF THEM BY ARTISTS WE HAD BARELY HEARD OF A YEAR AGO: SQUARES ON BOTH SIDES, TROUBLE BOOKS, CHARGE GROUP, TALONS’, FIREKITES, AND THE GREEN KINGDOM. AFTER ERASED TAPES AND BELLA UNION, UNKNOWN-SOUND-TREASURE-HUNTER HELIO CAMACHO FROM OWN IS 3RD IN OUR NEW YEAR’S LABEL INTERVIEW SERIES.

A) Which records released in 2009 do you wish you had released on the label?

Martin Herterich - Silent FieldsHélio: We really cannot complain, since we released all the records that we wanted to and that we could possibly release in 2009. We would not have had the time and energy to release any 7th record. But if I had to pick one record, I think I would choose “Silent Fields” by Martin Herterich on Kalligrammofon/KESHHHHHH.

B) Which artist you wish you had signed will you keep an ear on in 2010?

Mombi, who aren’t much known yet… (Captn’s note: very little information to satisfy our curiosity indeed on this Denver, Colorado band)

C) What are you the most proud of for the label in 2009?

We have succeeded in releasing 6 records that we are proud of. No matter their style, they all have a kind of common aesthetic which will sound obvious to the “sensitive souls”

“Autumn Story” by Firekites, from “The Bowery – Chalk animation by Lucinda Schreiber.

D) What are the label’s challenges for 2010?

Chihei Hatakeyama - Ghostly Garden 5Own Records, Feb 2010)Go on releasing records that move us despite of our busy schedule, starting with Chihei Hatakeyama in February.

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Chihei Hatakeyama – Voices II, from “Ghosty Garden”, out Feb 1, 2010 on Own Records.

Happy new year!

Feel free to have a look at Hélio’s personal 2009 playlist.

New Year’s Label Interview: Bella Union

New Year's Eve Label Interview: Bella Union
Andrew Bird - Noble Beast (Bella Union) MORE THAN A DECADE AFTER IT WAS CREATED BY THEN COCTEAU TWINS MEMBERS SIMON RAYMONDE AND ROBIN GUTHRIE, ENGLISH LABEL BELLA UNION HAS KEPT PRETTY BUSY LATELY ON THE FOREFRONT OF INDIE ROCK, POP AND FOLK ADVENTURES, WITH 2009 RELEASES INCLUDING ANDREW BIRD, WAVVES, VETIVER, ABE VIGODA, AND J. TILLMAN OF FLEET FOXES‘ FAME, WHILE PETER BRODERICK‘S 2008 “HOME” REMAINED ONE OF OUR MOST PLAYED RECORDS THIS YEAR. AS THE NEW YEAR HAS ALREADY STARTED, MANY OF US ARE EAGERLY EXPECTING THE FORTHCOMING ALBUMS OF BEACH HOUSE, LAURA VEIRS AND MIDLAKE. SIMON TELLS US WHERE HIS OWN EARS HAVE BEEN WANDERING IN 2009 AND WHERE THEY ARE HEADING TO NEXT.

A) Which records released in 2009 do you wish you had released on Bella Union?

Animal Collective - Merriweather Post Pavilion (Domino) Fever Ray - s/t The Antlers - Hospice

Simon: I loved Fever Ray’s album and Animal Collective’s “Merriweather Post Pavilion” but I wasn’t so bothered about them not being on my label.
I tried to sign The Antlers“Hospice” but couldn’t work it out in time.

B) Which artist(s) you wish you had signed will you keep an ear on in 2010?

Simon: I don’t have regrets really but I won’t be signing Beth Jeans Houghton and I will be keeping an ear on what she does.
I will be listening for Mai’s new album, Kira Kira, and anything new from Loney Dear.

C) What are you the most proud of for Bella Union in 2009?

Beach House - Teen Dream (Sub Pop/Bella Union, Jan. 2010) Laura Veirs - July Flame (Raven Marching Band Records/Bella Union, Jan. 2010)Simon: Having such great people working for me, Mark and Luke, continuing my working relationship with Duncan who looks after all our press (he has since 2000) and still working with our bands like Dirty Three, and re-signing Beach House after our deal expired, deciding to work again with Laura Veirs, and starting to record again myself with my band snowbird.

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Beach House – Norway (from “Teen Dream”, Sub Pop / Bella Union, Jan. 2010)

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Laura Veirs – “July Flame” teaser (Raven Marching Band Records / Bella Union, Jan. 2010)

D) What are the label’s challenges for 2010?
Simon: Just getting better at what we do, promoting more events, making more special one-off packages, box sets, improving the quality of the packaging and vinyl, offering better online services, and staying in business another year!

Visit Bella Union’s blog to read the full list of the label’s staff picks of 2009.

Read our New Year’s Eve interview with Erased Tapes Records.

New Year’s Eve Label Interview: Erased Tapes Records

Erased Tapes Records - 2009 > 2010 New Year's Eve label interviewWHILE WE DISCOVERED ERASED TAPES RECORDS THIS YEAR THANKS TO PETER BRODERICK AND ÓLAFUR ARNALDS RELEASES, THIS EXCITING YOUNG LABEL IS ALREADY PREPARING TO CELEBRATE ITS 3RD ANNIVERSARY. BASED IN LONDON, ERASED TAPES HAVE FOUND AN AESTHETIC ON THEIR OWN, SIGNING ARTISTS FROM BERLIN TO PORTLAND, FROM NEO-CLASICAL TO POST-ROCK AND SOULFUL ELECTRONICS, BRIDGING INNOVATIVE CONTEMPLATIVE MUSICS TO CONTEMPORARY DANCE AND VISUAL ARTISTS. LABEL FOUNDER ROBERT RATHS IS PRESENTING US THE ERASED TAPES FRIENDS AND EXTENDED FAMILY, AS THE FIRST ENTRY IN OUR SERIES OF LABEL INTERVIEWS FOR THE NEW YEAR.

A) Which records released in 2009 do you wish you had released on Erased Tapes?

Robert: I am not quite sure. Maybe there just wasn’t any other record that I wish I had put out in 2009? No, that can’t be, can it? Or maybe I was just too busy to pay enough attention to any other records out there? Well, if so, then that’s alright. It’s the timeless records that last and that we can discover years after any sort of hype or flavour of the week nonsense.

Nils Frahm - The Bells (Erased Tapes)The only album that hit me so much I could not sleep without playing it at night, I could not eat without it in the morning and I could not work without it during the day was Nils Frahm’s “The Bells“. I count myself very lucky that it had only just been released in Europe at the time and I was able to sign it for the UK and North America, because I could not imagine Erased Tapes without it anymore.

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Nils Frahm – “Said And Done” from “The Bells(Erased Tapes)

Efterklang - Performing Parades (Rumraket/Leaf Label)Of course there were other great releases in 2009. For instance, I really enjoyed our good friends Efterklang & The Danish National Chamber Orchestra – “Performing Parades“. Partly because I was involved in getting them the Barbican show with Britten Sinfonia by telling the right people about this idea of performing their 2007 album with a live orchestra, which this record of course reminds me of. But also because it just sounds so much richer than the original recording, which I really did not think was possible until I heard it.

Then there is this new wave of psychedelic releases from the States, especially New York, which I enjoyed a lot all year. Songs like Animal Collective’s “My Girls” or Dan Deacon’s “Snookered” make me happy every time I hear them. Same thing with the latest Dirty Projectors album.

B) Which artist you wish you had signed will you keep an ear on in 2010?

Efterklang - Magic Chairs (4AD, Feb. 2010)Robert: EFTERKLANG. What I’ve heard of their new album called “Magic Chairs” so far sounded really fresh – more pop and at the same time rawer than their previous material. Think Paul Simon’s “Graceland” played by an army of the most natural and dedicated musicians I know.

Owen Palett - HeartlandOWEN PALLETT. Since I first saw Owen perform his violin with his loop station accompanied by his boyish voice whispering or shouting obscure poetry, I knew I would not rest until I’ve dragged everyone I know to his shows to experience the same. In January 2010 he will release his upcoming album “Heartland“, the first under his real name since he decided to no longer release under his moniker “Final Fantasy. As a friend I wish for him and his music to finally reach a larger audience as he is one of the most gifted and hardest working musicians I know.

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Owen Pallett – “Lewis Takes Action” from “Heartland” (Domino)

Nico Muhly (detail from Speaks Volume covert art)NICO MUHLY. Nico is the only person that makes me feel slow. He is also the only person I am actually worried about. Why? Because he is Nico Muhly, the busiest composer around but also a dear friend of mine and I don’t want to see him having a burn-out. Since I know him he has taken on a new project every week or so. The National, Grizzly Bear, Courtney Love, Pet Shop Boys, Elton John… The list is endless. Then there is his own solo recordings, touring and he is writing his first opera for the English National Opera planned to premiere in 2011. And yet he’d find the time to show his pretty face on cooking programs, write essay-sized blogs and reviews about hair, food and art that will now really interest you – all on a daily basis. Basically, it’s hard not to be obsessed with Nico. Last time I stayed at his apartment in Manhattan he was working on some string arrangements for Jónsi (Sigur Rós)’s debut solo album “Go“. He is a man pouring with energy and creativity – enough to power the whole of China Town and make his house cats cook their own fish à la carte.

C) What are you the most proud of for Erased Tapes in 2009?

Olafur Arnalds - Found SongsRobert: Everything. 2009 has been our best year so far in so many ways; it’s been so exciting! Signing Nils Frahm and Peter Broderick to the label meant the world to me. It felt so natural.

I am also especially proud of the way we worked the Found Songs” project and all the beautiful things that have come out of it. The way Ólafur Arnalds managed to finish a song per day for a whole week and how I had to set my alarm to remember uploading and linking each track every evening whilst on tour. It was such a crazy week! I loved the way fans were involved in creating the cover artwork via Flickr and how it inspired Esteban Diácono, a young visual talent from Buenos Aires, to create this astonishing particle animation video for “Ljósið. It was so exciting to see the free low-res version receiving over 200.000 downloads and the video over 500.000 views within only a few weeks time… All the amazing feedback from fans and critics all around the world has given us so much hope really.

Olafur Arnalds - Dyad 1909 (Erased Tapes)Peter Broderick - Music For Falling From TreesThen of course the release of two rather remarkable contemporary dance scores: first there was Peter Broderick’s score “Music For Falling From Trees” for Adrienne Hart’s piece in spring, then the collaboration we initiated between Óli and our choreographer friend Wayne McGregor for “Dyad 1909” in autumn 2009.

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Ólafur Arnalds – “Til Enda” from “Dyad 1909” (Erased Tapes)

It makes me very proud to hear from so many people how they discovered contemporary dance through our music and the other way around, how the dance world discovered our music through the performances. It was also great to hear how many people thought this was Peter’s most distinguished work to date. I was so moved when his sister Heather and the Efterklang guys told me they thought so too. There is nothing more I could have hoped to achieve with these two projects.


Peter Broderick – Music for Falling From Trees (video trailer)

Rival Consoles IOBut of course I am just as proud and happy about the albums we released with all the other acts this year. There are so many different forms of happiness I find in their music. Rival Consoles gives me energy every day anew. There must be something in my genes or in my heartbeat that synchs especially well with his tracks.

I’m very proud of all the touring Codes In The Clouds did in 2009. They used up all their holidays and really made an effort to play as many concerts, in-store shows and radio sessions as possible throughout the UK, Ireland and Europe mainland. There were actually so many live performances in 2009 that made me proud of what we’ve got going – it would take ages to list them all.

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Codes In The Clouds – “Don’t Go Awash In This Digital Landscape” from “Paper Canyon” (Erased Tapes)

It feels so good to see Erased Tapes becoming more and more of a family. Being the “first born” on the label, Ryan aka Rival Consoles has, is and will always be special to me. He recently moved to London and now lives 5 minutes down the road, which is wonderful as we can meet pretty much every day now. Also Ólafur is visiting us in London more often. Now everyone actually realises the benefits of being on the same label – of being there for each other as artists and friends.

In general I am very happy about what we have created together this year. It’s almost as if there were no compromises needed – on neither side. It was all about sitting in the same boat, finding new currents for music and taking the same risk in doing so.

D) What are the label’s challenges for 2010?

Erased Tapes Collection IIRobert: 2010 will of course see a lot of great new challenges in form of “difficult” second albums, tours, label nights and special projects. We are also working on a brand new website (http://erasedtapes.com) to be launched in time for the official worldwide release of “Erased Tapes Collection II” on February 1 to celebrate our 3rd anniversary. People can download a free low-res version of the compilation by visiting http://ddc.erasedtapes.com and typing in “MY-FREE-ERATP020″ together with their email address.

I am currently working on a very exciting visual concept for the next Rival Consoles album. The music Ryan is making for it is sounding more organic and very cinematic. Also Peter and me skyped the other day and came up with a great concept for his next record on Erased Tapes. Ólafur Arnads just finished mixing Album 2, Codes In The Clouds are writing and Nils Frahm will be concentrating on touring with Balmorhea in spring and Peter Broderick in late 2010.

I don’t want to give away too much, mainly because I tend to change my mind a gazillion times before things are set in stone. It’s all part of the process. It’s pure chaos to begin with – like a puzzle. But once I found two little pieces that match and make sense together things are falling into place bit by bit. I don’t like planning things too tightly. I need enough room to still be flexible and to be able to surprise people – including myself. I hope to be able to surprise you in 2010. That’s my biggest challenge.

You can follow Erased Tapes Records on twitter.com/erasedtapes to be kept up-to-date.

… And please stay tuned to GoodMorninCaptn.com for further label interviews in the coming days.

On The Go With Peter Broderick

Peter Broderick at Nouveau Casino, May 11, 2009 (c) GoodMorninCaptn

IN THE MIDST OF A VERY BUSY YEAR, MULTI-INSTRUMENTALIST AND COMPOSER PETER BRODERICK PUTS HIS LUGGAGE DOWN FOR A QUICK LOOK BACK ON HIS PROMISING DEBUT AND WALKS US THROUGH A DAZZLING GALLERY OF PROJECTS.

Captn: “4-Track Songs” is being released on Type. You recorded this song collection back in 2006. Do you feel like a lot has changed for you since then, or does it seem like only yesterday?

Peter Broderick - 4 Track SongsPeter: It’s funny, because I only made this music three years ago, but it feels like much longer. So many things have happened in my life since I made that music, and at that time, my own music was only something I did for fun on the side. I never thought I might be able to release records on my own and make a career out of it… When I hear that music now, it’s hard for me to believe that I made it. It’s almost a bit embarrassing actually, but I also like how raw the music is, and I’m happy that Type has reissued it.

Captn: Your roll-out of releases for 2009 is quite impressive. How do you manage so many projects? Do you write and record songs 24/7? How many ghostwriters do you have, and/or do you ever sleep?

Peter: Sleep is something I could probably use a lot more of. These last couple years have been incredibly busy, and in general I’m pretty exhausted sometimes. But I make music whenever I can! I think it’s what keeps me going. And I often work very quickly. I like to work in many different ways. Sometimes spending a lot of time on something in a studio, and sometimes making things really quickly on my computer with the minimal equipment I have. For instance, the music on Five Film Score outtakes was recorded really quickly before I left for an extended North American tour. I set up one microphone on the piano and recorded some improvisations, and then quickly recorded some improvisations on a few other instruments, and then I brought all the files with me on the road, and did all the mixing and assembling in the tour van, with my laptop and noise-canceling headphones. So I’m always working on things!

Peter Broderick & Machinefabriek - Blank Grey Canvas SkyCaptn: “Blank Grey Canvas Sky” is coming out in October on Fang Bomb. What can you tell us from your collaboration with Machinefabriek?

Peter: I am really happy about this one. Over the last couple years, Machinefabriek has become one of my favorite artists, period. Everything he does, from the music, to the design, to the amount of things he releases, his website, etc.  In my eyes he is a completely unique artist, and I have so much respect for what he does. In addition to that, he’s one of the most amazing, positive, and energetic people I’ve ever met. A short email from Rutger (Machinefabriek) always puts a smile on my face and makes my day brighter.  That said, making an album with him was an amazing experience for me. I would record different things and send them over to him (by email), and he would work on it and send it back. Every time he sent something back to me I was blown away. It felt like he took my music and turned it into something much more interesting, in a way that I could have never imagined in my musical brain. I think we have very different approaches to music, and when you combine them, for me it turns into something very special. So I’m really happy about this album. Sadly we’ve had some problems with the master, so it might be delayed a few weeks now, but I look forward for it to be released!

Captn: What about your remix/letter to Balmorhea, which is just out?

Peter: Haha, I don’t think there’s too much to say about that one. Michael and Rob from Balmorhea are two of my favorite people in the world, and great friends. I think the concept of “remixing” music is quite strange, especially when I think the music is already perfect (and I think this about theirs). So when they asked me to contribute to this remix project, rather than sit there spending a lot of time trying to figure out how to approach their remix, I just started recording, and this is what came out…

Peter Broderick - HomeCaptn: You’ve been travelling/touring a lot for the last 2 years. Where do you consider “Home” now?

Peter: Well, at the moment I’m between Copenhagen, Berlin, and Portland, Oregon. My things are scattered all over the place, and I’m really working hard to try and find a place where I can settle for a while. I think the most honest answer to where my home is, is probably in my suitcase at the moment. Sad but true. But someday I’ll have a home!

Captn: You wrote soundtracks to a short film and a dance creation already. Would you be interested in composing a feature film score? If yes, which director would you work with in your wildest dreams?

Peter: I love to work with filmmakers and different kinds of artists to make music. It always encourages me to try something new, and that’s very valuable to me.  If I could choose one artist to work with, it would probably be Miranda July. If she made another film and I got to make the music for it, this would be my dream collaboration.  She is an incredible artist, and so inspiring. Actually once I sent her a fan letter (a real letter, not an email). I spent a lot of time putting it together, and mailed it off feeling really embarrased about it. I never heard anything back. So I don’t think we’ll be collaborating any time soon ;-)

Captn: Owen Pallett of Final Fantasy tweeted you “World’s best looper”. What do you think? And who would you pick for world’s best looper?

Peter: This is crazy. One of my friends forwarded that Tweet to me. I’m stunned by that. Owen Pallett is amazing, and I was really nervous about playing that night with him, because he is who I would consider to be the best looper! So to hear this from him is a real honor.

Captn: Can you tell us a few words on your current recording sessions with Efterklang? What should we expect from “Parades“‘ successor? Will you keep touring with them despite of your numerous projects?

Peter: I am -really- excited about the new Efterklang album. Those guys are my heroes, and they always will be. There is still a lot of work to be done on the album, so I don’t think I should say too much yet. I will say that I think it’s very different for them. But in the best way possible. I will continue to play with them as long as I can! At this point I’m not ready to say goodbye to them and focus only on my solo music. I love having both. So at this point I do everything I can to keep Efterklang a top priority in my schedule.

Peter Broderick at Nouveau Casino, Paris, May 11, 2009Captn: Any details about what will be your next full length album? When should it come out? On which label? Will it be song-oriented or rather instrumental?

Peter: I am working on my next album for Bella Union right now. It’s quite far from being finished, but I think it will most likely be out next Spring. The main difference this time around is that I’m actually spending a lot of time on it. All my other albums have been made really quickly, in focused, condensed periods of time. For once I’m taking some time to really work on something, and I think that’s good. It’s more challenging in a way, because as time goes by, I start to doubt my own ideas, and I try to rework them. There are already three songs on the new album which I’ve recorded two times. After a while the first version wasn’t working to me any more, so I started over with a different approach. And it’s also the first album where I’m not placing any limits on myself. It is mostly song oriented, but there are a lot of strings and piano, etc., and a lot of extended instrumental passages. I think that’s about all I can say now, because I’m still not sure where it’s going! My friend Nils Frahm is producing the album. I’ve been getting to know him really well in the last six months, and I trust his ears so much. He has a great impact on this album, because he has been there almost the whole time, contributing ideas and playing piano, etc.

Captn: Any other projects you are working on or are looking forward to and which you would like to mention?

Peter: There is one thing. There’s a lovely record label from Belgium called Slaapwel, which only releases music to sleep to. They asked me to make a contribution sometime last year, and I immediately said I’d love to. For many years I have often fallen asleep to my favorite music. Not so much these days because I’m always traveling and sleeping in hotels, etc., but when I had my own home I always listened to music to fade away in the night. At the same time, there was a girl in Holland (but actually she’s from Greece…) who made a sleeping sculpture of me. A gigantic sculpture of me, laying in a bed sleeping, with a little motor in the chest so you can hear it breath. When she first proposed the idea to me, I thought it was crazy (a sculpture of ME?), but also beautiful in some way. So I told her I’d love to make a piece of music to acompany the sculpture. I made a long piece of music for this strange version of myself to sleep to. It’s about 30 minutes long, and comprised entirely of my voice and little piano (with a lot of processing and effects). When I made the music, I was maybe the most exhausted I’ve ever been, after my longest tour ever around Europe this Spring. I was nearly falling asleep while I made the music. And when I finished, I sent it to Chrysa (who made the sculpture), and then I took a trip to Amsterdam to see the opening exhibition of the sculpture, with my music playing in the background, on repeat. It was….terrifying. I sat there in this cold, grey room, staring at myself sleeping on this bed, and it felt as if I was watching myself die. And all of a sudden this music I made became very, very sad to me. But at the same time, it became peaceful, like it was ok that I was dying.  …This all probably sounds very strange right now, but this music is really important to me. If I were to die tomorrow, and if there was any kind of funeral held for me, I would like this piece of music to be played there. That image makes me feel very calm. Anyhow, this one will be released at the end of the year. My last release for a very busy year.

Captn: Thanks a lot for your time (and for your music)!

Peter: Thank YOU!

DISCOGRAPHY

READ MORE ON PETER BRODERICK ON GOODMORNINCAPTN.COM:

Where Thomas Mery Can Say Things At Night

AS HE IS PREPARING THE RELEASE OF HIS DEBUT SOLO ALBUM “A SHIP, LIKE A GHOST, LIKE A CELL”, PARIS-BASED SINGER-SONGWRITER FORAYS INTO FOLK MUSIC WITH A TENSION THAT WOULD MAKE NICK DRAKE SOUND LIKE A YOGI MASTER, AND A PROMISING ELECTRONIC TWIST. AT PAST MIDNIGHT, HE TELLS US MORE ABOUT IT.

Thomas Mery

Captn: Let’s start with the basics: name, age, occupation?

Thomas: Thomas Mery; already old; it depends.

Captn: Can you explain the genesis of your current project?

Thomas: After the end of Purr, I tried many things with my computer and my guitar. Very experimental, a bit hermetic. It wasn’t always relevant, and sometimes it was. I think I wanted to find out my own way of mixing electronics and guitar.
The best way to get a clearer view of the genesis is to read what’s on my site www.thomas-mery.net. I wrote a summary of what happened until the end of 2003. What comes next remains to be written.

Captn: Why a solo project, after your band experiences with Purr and Playdoh?

Thomas: Probably because I have an oversized ego, and I always think I can do everything by myself. Of course I come to realize that it’s not true, but then it’s too late, I’m already on my own, so I keep going…
Or else, because no one understands me anyway, and I absolutely wanted to express what I had deep inside, and explore every facet of my complex and tortured personality.
Or else because I was fed up with bands and compromises, and I’m grumpy, and it’s easier to rehearse on my own, and I get more money when I’m paid for a show.
Or for all those reasons at once, and for other ones I am not thinking of tonight.

Captn: From listening to your performance at the Batofar with Rivulets and Elephant Micah, then to your acoustic demo, we could notice that you are focusing more and more on songwriting, with a sparer, folkier sound. Is it a deliberate choice to restrict yourself to your voice and acoustic guitar? Is it a transition, or a new approach to your music? What about your experiences with electronics?

Thomas: People at Dora Dorovitch encouraged me to come back to songwriting, and I am thankful for that. I learned to play the guitar more decently, and I think it’s worth it. It’s not over yet, I still need to go ahead, and electronics are coming back little by little. It was a necessary step. Now I need to keep practicing the guitar, start experimenting again, play the piano, work on my breath in order to sing better, write songs that make you cry (or almost). Little by little, I think that I’m getting closer to where I wanna go to, but it takes time; more than I expected.

Captn: Can you tell us more about your songwriting process? Where? When? In which state of mind?

Thomas: Errr…
At my place in front of my computer, railing at the poor download speed of an American TV series episode (preferably HBO’s); at my grand-mother’s, in the small house at the back –the children’s one- thinking that what is past is past; on a bed in Rio, wondering how I got there; in my head around Saint-Germain-en-Laye at 5:30 am, completely enlightened by an idea that would turn out not to be that good; in my bed watching an episode of a US series (preferably HBO’s), thinking it might be time to sleep now.

Captn: 2 words on your lyrics: what do they relate to? Why don’t you try singing in French again like on Open Transport?

Thomas: Oh, I think French will come back.
As for what the songs are about… About how I see things through a plastic film; about how I’ll lose a lot of blood tonight; about how much we dream and hope and imagine; about how much I am scared; about the staircase that lights up from time to time as I look through the window; about how deep things are hidden; about places where I can say things at night when I don’t see what’s around, about steep slopes and running water, and emptiness, and nodes that allow me to go through vast expanses; about such things.

Captn: A few words on your label, Dora Dorovitch?

Thomas: I met Francis Esteves in Sevilla 4 years ago, and then Cédric and Guilhem, people with a passion for music (and more…), who have supported and encouraged me.

Captn: What are your short/mid/long-term projects?

Thomas: I am mixing my album next week, and I’m looking for gigs. I will keep writing songs and less structured tracks as well, some in French, some in English. I am also going to work on a video project that is important to me, and which involves video and computer. I will continue what we have initiated with Marie Daubert, and Benoît Toulemonde, i.e. a collective/video label project called “Shif-t”, to produce DVDs of each of us. Marie is releasing a video entitled “Flicker” to which I wrote the soundtrack, Benoît a video entitled “Thai Polaroid”, and I, a piece called “Smoke”, which I made long ago, but that we are now releasing as an object per se, with a sleeve, etc. This is still an embryonic stage, but we’ve got time.

Captn: To conclude on something other than yourself, can you please tell us what is moving you now, in music, onscreen, in art, in the world, in life?

Thomas: The last episode of Six Feet Under, but the very end… hum… well, I cried a lot…
Like many, I was really moved by Joanna Newsom’s debut album.
I’m not listening to Elis Regina so much now, but “Elis & Tom” was my last Spring’s soundtrack.
What is moving me right now is the end of the Summer, I saw yesterday the last sunset, and soon leaves will cover the ground (how romantic!).
And please, listen to Kate Bush’s “Hounds of Love” (Hello Earth).

photo by Thomas Mery

photo by Thomas Mery

Discography

Thomas Mery

Purr

Collaborations

Playdoh

  • « Playdoh », Ultraviolet 1999.
  • « Fragments », Peter I’m Flying 2003.

Loisirs

Téléfax

Chokebore Hungry, Likes To Play Good Music

A FEW DAYS AFTER SEPTEMBER, 11, CHOKEBORE PLAYED THEIR NEW SONGS AT RUBBER GLOVES, IN DENTON, TX. THEIR SHOW WAS SURPRINSGLY DULL THAT NIGHT, COMPARED TO UNWOUND‘S, WHOM THEY OPENED FOR. LUCKILY ENOUGH, THE CATCHY MELODIES OF “IT’S A MIRACLE“, CHOKEBORE’S 5TH LP, WOULD TURN OUT TO MAKE IT UP TO OUR EXPECTATIONS A FEW MONTHS LATER.
WITH HIS NATURAL CALMNESS AND KINDNESS, TROY B. BALTHAZAR, SINGER AND GUITARIST OF THE QUATUOR FROM HAWAII, TALKED TO US ABOUT HIS MUSIC AND MORE.

Troy: We make melancholy music. That’s heavy, with lots of bass and drums, but it’s very very sad and very intense for me.

And what about the lyrics you write? Are they as sad and emotional as the music itself?
Troy: Yes, I try to make it… I don’t really wanna talk about normal things, you know. I want to talk about very intense things. That’s what I like. I don’t know if I succeed, but I try.

What are they about?
Troy: I’m trying to figure out what all the people are thinking about in their heads. You know what everyone is thinking about in their heads? Everybody wants to be a beautiful person, everybody wants somebody else to tell them, to hold them in their arms and say: “It’s OK, everything’s OK”. Everybody wants that. I want that.

What about the new album that’s coming up in a couple of months (”It’s A Miracle“) ?
Troy: Well, we’re in the studio right now. We stopped recording for 2 weeks for this tour, but when we go home to Los Angeles, we have about another 2 or 3 weeks to record, and I think it’s gonna be good! We’re trying new things, with more piano and more acoustic, but still… a mixture of different sounds. You know, every album, it all comes out to the songs, if it’s a good song or not a good song. We’re just trying to make better songs. I don’t know why (laughs), for no reason.

You make me think of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde… You seem to be so quiet, when we hear you on the records, or when we saw you at the Donald’s Pub in Tours, France, a couple of years ago, sitting through the gig with just an acoustic guitar. But when you’re on stage, you’re a different person, jumping everywhere…
Troy: No, no… in my mind it’s always quiet. I want us to be quiet. I want to be really pure and quiet, I want to be simple, and kind of beautiful. That’s what I strive for. That’s what I want, and what I hear. But people say that to me, that I’m a different person when I’m on stage, but that’s the same for me. It’s really intense to be on stage, you have adrenalin in the body. And I wanna play more and more and do more music. I do acoustic music also, a side project that’s really intense too, B. Balthazar. I’ve been writing lots and lots of songs, and I’m releasing an album in France and in the USA soon.

Why did you make this side project?
Troy: Because I have a lot of songs, and some songs sound better with an acoustic guitar. So the songs to me that sound better on acoustic guitar will be for B. Balthazar, and the songs that sound better with a band will be for Chokebore.

And will you tour just by yourself?
Troy: Yeah!

Will there only be an acoustic guitar, or will you add some tapes or anything?
Troy: There’ll probably be some weird sounds on a tape recorder, Hawaian acoustic guitar -yukulele-, different weird sounds, and just songs. For me, it’s all that matters. If it’s a beautiful song, it’s OK.

You seem to like France. You often tour there, and you even recorded 2 of your LPs (”A Taste for Bitters” and “Black Black“) at Angers’ Black Box Studio, where Steve Albini recorded Shellac’s “At Action Park“.
Troy: Well actually, we enjoy being in France a lot. We were just in Saint Malo last month, it was cool. We love to be out there. I hope we’ll spend a lot of time there next year. We have a lot of friends there who are very special to us.

Did you meet any good band there?
Troy: Many… There is a lot of good bands in France: Deche dans Face from Bordeaux… Prohibition’s cool… I like Purr, of Paris… Everytime we go there we find new bands that are nice, so it’s hard to remember…

What do you think about the events from last week (i.e. September 11)
Troy: Oh shit man… It’s a mess!

What do you think about Bush and his politics?
Troy: Bush is an idiot, he’s an imbecile. I wanna say to the French people that I’m sorry about Bush, and I’m sorry about what America will probably do.

Are you involved in politics?
Troy: I try not to be, because it makes me bery angry. It’s not me, it’s the other people. I’m not the country. I don’t believe what they believe. We’re more liberal, you know.

I felt many people in Texas were already really conservative, and now even more. They tend to go back to religion and more conservatism.
Troy: Yeah, what can you do? You cannot change the people, because they’re individuals. That’s what I believe in. I believe in individuals, and i hope the people have brains, and think before they act… But it’s a tragic thing that happened. I’m sorry about that. You know, I think in the next couple of years, things will be very very crazy in the world, and I wanna say that sometimes it’s good to relax and listen to music, because it takes you away. That’s what I wanna do. Be away from that shit stuff. There are wars all the time, if you read history. I’m just trying to do music.

And what can we expect from the future of Chokebore then?
Troy: Well, another album, hopefully it is the best album. We have lots and lots of songs, and we’ll play music that is beautiful and intense, hopefully.

By the way, how come can’t you find a label?
Troy: Because music is different from music business. Music is pure, music business is corrupt. It’s about money, and we’re not very good at that. But I’m learning it because I have to. Music is pure; this stuff around is hard to understand. I wanna do music all day, I don’t wanna think about labels and money and all that shit.

Do you have a day job besides?
Troy: No, I don’t. I just don’t have any money. I’m fucking starving, man! But it’s OK, I’d rather starve and be free! To me, just to me, not everybody. I understand people like to buy things, that’s cool. But for me, it’s OK to starve. I didn’t eat anything today or yesterday. I just had a muffin. I’m fucking hungry! Wow! Chokebore is hungry! But we like to make good music.

Don’t they provide you with any food at the venue?
Troy: No, not in America! Just in Europe, that’s why we like Europe: every show, there’s food!

DISCOGRAPHY

CHOKEBORE

B. BALTHAZAR

  • Sweet Receiver EP