Wednesday, June 5, 2013

INTERVIEW: Knotted Cord

1)     What is the difference between a knotted cord and a noose?
knotted cord does not rhyme with as many animals as noose does.
[Editor's Note: Noose rhymes with goose and moose]
2)     Your most noted previous band was The Tangles.  Do you feel in some ways this is still related to them because the names still seem so similar somehow?
Yeah, there is a common theme of thread-based chaos, though that band was more about noisy and messy rock, and this is more structured and more intensely concentrated.  Like that band would be the random insects that fly in front of the headlights of a car that is speeding over a bumpy dirt road, and this band would be a bunch of insects driving around on a bumpy dirt road swarmed together in the shape of a car.  with lightning bug clusters for headlights. 
3)     As Knotted Cord, you play all of the instruments yourself like Trent Reznor did with Nine Inch Nails or Justin Bieber when he called himself The Beatles.  This generally tends to be a sign of “doesn’t play well with others”.   Would you say that is true? 
No--I played only guitar in my previous band The Tangles for a long while with two good friends.  We were super in tune with each other so we could jam for hours without looking up.  There is awesome energy when you play music with people you are in synch with that can not be generated any other way.  Really, its just that I have to play music constantly, so when that previous band stopped playing, I decided to just play all instruments and write and record complete songs.  I had only mostly played guitar so I started playing drums and playing bass to fill out the sounds I wanted to create.  And then right now, in addition to Knotted Cord I'm playing bass in another band with two really amazing musicians.  Actually, the fact that I'm doing my own music where I have complete creative control of every aspect of it including recording and mixing makes me work even better with others on a collaboration, because I already have a creative format where I get to realize my ideas to completion, so I feel alot more flexible when I am playing with other people. 
4)     Being from California, and being that I’m tired of asking Californians about your soon to be island or Atlantis, let me simply ask: Have you ever been to Disneyland? (I have no idea just how long California is, so my concept of people going from place to place in CA seems more logical than it really is because some places are a long ways apart… So apologies if you live really far away from Disneyland, which I’m not even really sure what city it is in exactly… Ahh, I should have just asked you about earthquakes…)
Yes.  I'm at the top part and that is at the base of my fine state, so gravity is always pulling me toward Disneyland.  I like the old rides, like, on Mr Toad's Wild Ride, you're pretty much on old metal playground equipment that has been welded to a conveyor belt, and then you are pivoted through a series of hinged plywood flaps with fluorescent spray paint flames and then overhead there appears suddenly a car-wash-type cylinder that spins with rubber bats tied to strings, so it looks like a swarm of bats.  Maybe that wasn't Disneyland.
5)     When you are sleeping and there is an earthquake, do you have to keep scuba gear nearby in case if it’s the big one and you’re finally pulling a Hawaii on the rest of the U.S.?
My bed is resting on a pool of liquid mercury so I can sleep through the constant earthquake situations.
6)     What is the best method for getting knots out of shoelaces?  Sometimes I just want to cut my laces and buy new ones…
Carefully set them on fire.
7)     You have a fairly interesting sound that falls in between several categories, and so it seems like you are going into it with the idea that you don’t want to sound too much like something that already exists or something that there already seems to be enough of out there right now.  Is this a conscious decision going into your songs, to try and make something that doesn’t sound like something that already exists? 
No, never.  I can't really tell what my songs sound like relative to other music---it just sounds regular to me because I'm who its coming from.  I think its like how you can't exactly tell what your speaking voice really sounds like because you're never away from it enough to gain objectivity.  I don't have a conscious decision about what not to sound like---that would be starting at the end and working backward for me.  I start with a part like keyboard or bass, then just play drums to it, and then keep adding other parts that feel right.  And then I spend hours and hours in studio mixing it and listening to every detail pretty obsessively, to where I can confidently say that no matter how random any sound or noise seems, it is all on purpose and thought about.  I like to create relationships between the instruments, and pass melodies from one to the other.  I think about everything visually in space when I'm mixing too, like constellations moving in a planetarium.  I'm pretty much making music to satisfy myself, so I'm just always heading the sound toward what gives me the most strong feeling listening to it.  Its very impulse-based and all coming from my center, not so much from thinking.   If playing it or listening to it can get me feeling in a trance-like state or euphoric or has beautiful tension then I know its right.  And then somehow this ends up resonating with random other people, which kind of always amazes me.  But I am aware from reviews and stuff that what I'm creating sometimes sounds unusual or non-categorizable to the outside listener.  But I think the bands I like like Spacemen 3, Black Moth Super Rainbow, Stereolab, Deerhoof, Polvo, Royal Baths, Devo, The Magic Pacer, Sonic Youth, Dead Meadow, now just listing bands, are all in there-- I'm not creating music in a vaccuum.
Will you ever say “This song sounds too much like <BandX>” and scrap it?
If I were becoming aware as I was working on it that it was sounding too much like someone to the point that the resemblance is distracting from the song, then I would try to push it in a different direction by adding tracks or changing parts.  I don't think the song would ever make it to a completed point to where it would then be scrapped.  I might just stop working on it and come back to it later when I can be brutal about re-approaching it. 
8)     You have a full length album.  What are the details on that?  Digital/physical/release date/will songs from the Spring Demo be on it?  You know, all that stuff.
The album I'm just finishing is Heavy Minerals, which is the fourth release since I started this band in 2010.  It seems to be the darkest and densest set of songs I've written so far, like they came from the center of the earth or were released from being encased in geological formations and then were wrapped in black velvet and held to your ear.  Except one sounds like a dream about air, so there is some momentary floating before it gets heavy again.  The 5 songs from the Spring 2013 demo are on the new album, though re-mastered, and then some other songs added.  The physical and digital release date are July 2013.
9)     Have you ever heard the version of “Smells :Like Children” by Marilyn Manson where it’s just all covers of L7 songs?
No, I haven't.  sadly the only thing I'm familiar with for either of those bands are their commercial radio hits, but it sounds rad, maybe.
10)  Final thoughts, ideas, alien encounters, east coast-west coast rivalries, etc…??

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