Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Poppy Red [Interview # 160]

1)      First off, a rather known female musician recently stated that she hopes one day “female music” will be known as “music music”, but I find that making that label is similar to defining the difference between a trumpet and trombone.   As a female musician yourself, how do you feel about this?

I share that sentiment to some extent. I would rather be thought of as just a musician than as a 'woman musician.' At the same time, it doesn't hurt for people to make a concerted effort to be inclusive to any underrepresented group. The music industry is still kind of a boys club for the most part, and there are a lot of subtle barriers that make women less likely to express themselves artistically, so I think people should be aware of that and consciously try to change it.

2)      Your newest album is available on cassette, which I feel is the superior form of musical playback.  Would you agree with this?

It's certainly superior to an MP3. There is something magical about music in physical form--unwrapping it, examining the artwork, putting it into a machine and watching it move to create the sound. And for music that was recorded cheaply and digitally, the cassette format can soften the sound. It's funny how this explosion in cassette production has coincided with an explosion in home recording and DIY internet distribution (i.e. Bandcamp, SoundCloud). It is now cheap and easy to record music, spread it to others, and put it in physical form. People complain about 'over-saturation,' but I think it ultimately does more good than harm for so many people to be able to make art. In conclusion, cassettes are great.

3)      You have “ambient” in your tags on Band Camp.   What does the term ambient mean to you, when relating to music?

It's funny to think about what I threw onto the Bandcamp tags when I created them two or three years ago. Ambient has maybe become one of those broad words like 'psychedelic' that can mean almost anything at this point. It's not the first word that would come to mind when describing my genre, but it might be somewhere farther down on the list. I think the key quality is the significance of atmosphere and the sounds that don't clearly come from one instrument or another, often created with effects, that float around the clearer sounds.

4)      Your newest album is also at a Name Your Price Download on your Band Camp, which to me sends the message that people can listen to it for free, then when they like it and fall in love they’ll pay the monies for the cassette (Because having physical music is still better than whatever iPods do)  Is this also your theory?

I'd love for anyone to have the file if they want it because it doesn't cost me anything to give it to them. It feels excessive to me to charge money for files that are infinitely replicable, especially given that we do not have some enormous following. The cassette costs money to buy because it cost money to make. People can listen to it however they choose to based on what they are willing to spend. Some people donate money for the files, which is very kind. I'm certainly not trying to make a lot of money from selling files, or cassettes even. I just want people to be able to listen to it if they connect with it.

5)      I recently bought a 7” on red vinyl.   Being that your name is Poppy Red, would you ever consider releasing your music on records but only if it was red vinyl?

Hah! I would love to have a release on vinyl of any color. I actually try to stray away from literalism with the name, so any red thing or poppy flower thing is kind of a no-no for me because it seems hokey. I do love dark maroon things, though, which might look pretty cool on vinyl actually...

6)      You have an album called “96 Tears”.    Is that like “I’ve got 96 Tears but none are for you”?  Could Jay Z remix it?

That was a cover I did because I accidentally started playing one of the main melodies in the song--very slowly--when I was trying to write my own song. I thought it sounded cool, so I decided to record another "96 Tears" cover in the tradition of Suicide. I recorded it at 40 BPM and added a bunch of feedback to it. The lyrics come off as pretty glib in the original, and I wanted to turn it into this really aggressive, depressive thing. And yes, Jay-Z can remix any of my songs he wants to.

7)      Final thoughts, shout outs, etc…??
Thanks for interviewing me! Keep your ear to the ground for more recordings!

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