Friday, August 22, 2014

Crowhurst [Interview # 184]

1)    For all of your releases on various labels, do you ever feel like perhaps there should just be a label dedicated exclusively to the music of Crowhurst?

Honestly, one of the things I love about this project is that it’s been embraced by so many different communities. I think a lot of that comes from the fact that there are so many hardworking labels out there that have supported us and exposed us to the audience that they’ve built. I don’t think I could ever see myself pigeonholing everything into one label. It wouldn’t make sense to me.

2)    As you have had releases on seemingly all musical formats, do you have a preference?  (I prefer cassettes)

I’m a vinyl junkie. My answer to preferred methods of release will always be vinyl, with cassette close behind. I don’t, and have never released any Crowhurst on CD. If there’s a Crowhurst CD out there, it’s a bootleg, someone’s burned it themselves or I’ve burned it for someone to show them the progress of a record. I think we may be on one or two comps on CD, but that doesn’t count. 

3)    Largely due to my stumbling upon Static Reason somehow years ago, Crowhurst is one of the first bands I had ever heard under the genre of “noise”.    How do you feel about that genre tag and how far it has come today even from, say, five years ago?

I never viewed Crowhurst as a “noise” group in the genre sense of the term. It was kind of a blanket word for all of the weird shit I was doing in my bedroom. I wasn’t really even aware there was a “scene” until I was inside of it. Even then though, Crowhurst never really fit in as a project. 

To answer your question, I guess I would say that I think the genre tag has become a bit all-encompassing. There’s ambient music, dark ambient, black noise, harsh noise, power electronics, cut up noise, japanoise, rhythmic industrial, death industrial, harsh noise wall, junk noise- It’s like taking Wormrot and placing them next to Alcest and saying “these are both metal”. You’re technically right, but you couldn’t find two groups that make more different music. 

4)    Perhaps your most recent release was a collaboration with Tanner Garza called “The Darkest Point of the Sun”.   As the sun is a giant ball of light, is there really a darkest point to it or is this just one of those “Dark Side of the Moon” references?

That was kind of a metaphor. The idea that there is a darkest point on the brightest spot in the universe, that’s what I wanted to explore. That point will always be there, and it’s something we never talk about. The darkest part of the sun represents the one in a million design flaw, the hole in the Death Star so to speak.

5)    Crowhurst has a number of releases titled “Fuck You” and then some other musician’s name.   Amongst them, one of my personal favorites is Bono.   Do you ever find though that your choice of musician to say “Fuck You” to has ever sort of offended some of your listeners?   Like, maybe someone would say, “I buy your records, but I cannot stand for this ‘Fuck You Morrissey’ notion!”?

Sean Beard of Waves Crashing Piano Chords has a quote, “noise is supposed to piss people off”. That name started out of a joke, half because I’m not a fan of Morrissey’s bigoted, pretentious, and abrasive as fuck personality/persona. If you put on a Morrissey solo record, to me- it’s like giving your average Justin Beiber fan Merzbow’s “Pulse Demon”. 

The “Fuck You” series is meant to be abrasive and harsh. It’s fucked up. If the fact that you’re offended by anything I say or do prevents you from listening to the record, oh well- it probably wasn’t for you. 

6)  Having such an extensive catalog, and I like to use you as an example when comparing other artist’s catalogs because I do believe I told Elizabeth Veldon she had a lot of releases on Bandcamp because she has “even more than Crowhurst”, how do you recommend people go about listening to you for the first time?   I feel like my first Crowhurst piece was “NIHL” and I’ve just kind of bounced around from there between the old and new.

NIHL is probably a weird entry point, considering that was literally the first time I had ever recorded any experiments in sound. At one point, I even built a chart as to which albums you’d probably enjoy in the catalog if you’re into certain types of music. I would say that there’s no real “entry point”. We have a few albums like ‘Memory-Loss’ or ‘Aghoree’ that are good introductions to the way I structure albums and approach sound collage, and then it’s kind of up to the listener to see where that takes them. 

7)    Are there any artists out there you may not have done a split release with but would like to?  I always thought the idea of a Crowhurst/I Like You, Go Home split cassette would be rad.

There are so many people who I would love to do split cassettes with under the Girl 27 header. Stress Orphan, Waves Crashing Piano Chords, Dakota Hogback, Country Death, Aunt’s Analog, Pharmakon, Headboggle, Skullcaster, How I Quit Crack, Magia Nuda, Iron Forest, Theologian, Xiphoid Dementia, Cloud Rat, Total Abuse, Gnaw Their Tongues, Good Willsmith, Baseck, Body Of Light, White Suns, Pedestrian Deposit, Punch, Deafheaven, The Body,  Marshstepper, Bastard Noise, Witches Of Malibu, Aaron Dilloway, Blackfire, Pleasure Island, Hunnie Bunnies, Acid Trash, Dead Church, Wreck and Reference, Bugs and Rats- you can’t really beat any of these projects in terms of quality. 

8)    Earlier this year, Crowhurst had to “split into two”, as Discogs phrases it, with there still being Crowhurst as a cohesive unit and then the side/solo project of Girl 27.  One of the few bands I can think of who has done something like that is The Beatles and John Lennon’s Plastic Ono Band.  Would you say that you are the modern day version of The Beatles?

I would say that it’s more like Godspeed! You Black Emperor splitting off and forming A Silver Mount Zion. Crowhurst was a project that encompassed a lot of things and was never expected to be anything that people would really like. Once the project got bigger, the collaborative aspect of the group bled into live performance. The set group of people (who happen to be some of my best friends in the world) who began “jamming” these compositions and orchestrating them into even more massive compositions became an official band. We began writing songs, extensions of the ideas that were being delivered in Memory-Loss and No Life To Live, just in a different style. 

Crowhurst all of a sudden wasn’t just this bedroom project done by a kid who was sick of being in bands. It was a band itself. Making noise with the project would have been a step backwards in the evolution of the project itself, so it spawned an offshoot- Girl 27. This is the left turn in direction, where Crowhurst would go if the noise continued. I can’t do Girl 27 stuff with Crowhurst and I can’t perform the new body of of Crowhurst’s songs with Girl 27. 

9)    If I sent you a box set of James Earl Jones reading the Bible on cassette, would you dub your complete catalog over it for me?

I don’t dub tapes, but I’m all for home recording. I would say this- if you’re going for real quality, buy the ones that are officially issued. Greh Holger of Hive Mind did an amazing mix of Aghoree for Chondritic Sound that blew me away. Those are one of the things that inspire me to keep releasing things through all different labels, seeing how people I admire will mix and elevate what I create to their standards for their label. 

10)    Final thoughts, shout outs, “Death Van” vinyl notes, etc… ??

Hah! That’s a funny way to end it. I don’t think I can give any more shout outs than the ones I gave on question #7. The Crowhurst S/T album will be produced by Jack Shirley (Deafheaven, Punch, Botanist) and has art by Johnny Ryan (Prison Pit, Vice) and Nicole Boitos (Swans, Red Sparrowes) and will be released on vinyl, 8-track and cassette by Ivory Antler who put out the 'Heroin' LP by Bongripper. We’re also working on getting Aghoree and Memory-Loss out on vinyl through various labels before the year-end. As for “Death Van” on vinyl… it’ll have it’s day in court. 

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