Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Moulttrigger [Interview # 1 7 8] (David Wren)

1)      To moult is to shed, such as chickens losing their feathers, and the trigger of that could be anything from heat (losing that winter coat) to fear.   Would it be fair to say then that your music, based on name alone, could be the cure for hiccups? 

That would be a nice urban legend to be associated with. Kind of like how Throbbing Gristle cure constipation. Let's start spreading that around. 

2)      What is it like being from Iowa?  It’s not a state that really seems to be talked about a lot, yet there seems to be some good music coming out of there.

 I enjoy being from Iowa. There's just enough going on not to overwhelm and our Mid-Western hospitality/friendliness makes being part of a music scene fairly easy and drama free. People who come through Iowa on tour seem to really like what we have going on here. I agree with you on the good music. Des Moines, Ames, and Dubuque all have striving Experimental/Noise scenes. We all congregate often and drink ourselves silly. 

3)      You have music that dates back to the 1990’s on your Bandcamp.   What was it about the noise and home recording genre that really attracted you back then and even now still?

What really got me interested was meeting Brian Noring of F.D.R. Recordings in '93(4?) and seeing how he was able to connect with all these fantastic Home Taper/Experimental artist from all over the world just by releasing small batches of tapes with photocopied covers. I like how Home Taper labels really haven't changed much since the 80s/90's having an "if it ain't broke.." mentality. All the internet seems to do is make it easier for people to listen to the music first before buying (or trading for) the cassettes...and that whole 'reach more people' thing. 

4)      Do you find it to be hard, as an artist, to not create the same album twice?

I switch out gear and try new recording processes all the time. I'm pretty damn poor, so I get very creative with my recordings using garage sale toys and second hand store electronics. I have come to realize I have a distinct style and wondered if it may get to point where people say "Yep. Sounds like a Moulttrigger recording."  but I'm not too worried about it. 

5)      When I was in my younger years, I really loved the band Guttermouth (and still do) and they had so many releases on Nitro Records, it felt like such a big deal to me when they switched to Epitaph.    These days artists tend to do whatever they want when it comes to labels, especially with cassettes, so what kind of role do you feel that labels play in modern music?  Also, what is it like being a journeyman of record labels, having releases on so many different yet equally excellent labels?

I've pretty much stuck with Iowa labels for my physical releases (Centipede Farm, Personal Archives, and Warm Gospel) and I don't know how those guys do it with leading busier lives than I on top of being recording artists themselves. Those labels play a very important role for me because I'm awful at getting my recordings out there. I have a Moulttrigger facebook page that doesn't even have a hundred followers, but I keep it updated with releases, reviews, label shout outs, ect. I've released a lot of stuff on Jay Reeve's MuteAnt Netlabel. Jay and I go way back to '94 when I was in a touring Noise Rock band. It's really nice to work with someone who's supported my musical endeavors for twenty years. As far as being a Jouneyman, I'm just grateful that I've been able to get an official release for almost everything I record. I got back to recording in '12 after a fairly long hiatus and managed to make friends with the right people. Thinks have been clicking ever since. 

6)      Are there any labels you have not yet worked with that you would like to?

Who wouldn't want to have a release on No Kings or Orange Milk? I'm pretty happy with my situation right now. I enjoy contributing to my home state labels. If anyone makes an offer, I most likely won't turn them down. 

7)      You participated in what is called the “Museum of Microcassette Art”, in which you send a microcassette full of music to Hal McGee and he posts it to Bandcamp.    What was it like doing that, as to me it just seems like Hal McGee saying, “Hey, send me some free music and have it be only for me please”?

Not at all. Hal is a shaker and mover. He takes full advantage of the numerous recording artists he's befriended over the past thirty plus years by sending out projects that take people out of their comfort zones and usually get people to connect with one another. Hal bought all the tapes used in the project and sent two microcassettes to almost everyone involved (I think a few folks toward the end only got one). One for the project and another for whatever you wanted. It was fun to do recordings without amps or mixers. Just press record and make sound. I still need to do something with that bonus microcassette!

8)      The majority of your releases are available on cassette.  Would you agree that cassette is the optimal form to experience recorded music?

I am a vinyl collector and love the sound of a record more than anything, but I grew up on cassettes so they have a very familiar sound to me. There are a lot of genres that just sound funny to me on other mediums like 80's Punk/Thrash, Harsh Noise, and Old School Drone. I'm happy with the way my recordings sound on cassette and have no future plans of releasing CDs. Maybe I'll put out a 7", some day. 

9)      Would you feel- sometime down the line- that it would be inevitable for there to be a Moulttrigger boxed set, full of all your releases on cassettes, collected together, even the releases that weren’t on cassette originally?

If someone felt it would not be a waste of their time and money to tackle such a project, I'd be all for it. As it stands now, I don't see it happening. 

10)   Final thoughts, bands recommended, etc… ???

I played the Zeitgeist Festival in Des Moines last month, so I'm listening to the music I picked up there. The Katrina Stonehart cassette with the gummy Gumby on the cover is astounding. DJ DJ Tanner's "Townie" does not disappoint. John Boyle came through Des Moines recently and I picked up a bunch of stuff from him. Moody, brooding ambient improv. I love that stuff. I recently got a Nundata/Jarboe tape from Personal Archives that I can't wait to listen to. I should do that today!

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