Tuesday, January 9, 2018

A Grave With No Name [ Interview # 2 0 0 ]

1) I first found your music somehow through a "recommended artist" type of deal on Spotify when I was listening to a lot of artists on Saint Marie Records and I thought for some time you were on Saint Marie Records.   Do you think you fit into the whole shoegaze genre in some way?

1) When I started recording and writing music for this project, mainly due to inexperience, I would use effects to create atmosphere and textures, but also because I lacked confidence in my ability and voice. As I’ve progressed, I’ve relied on these far less in order to sharpen my writing, and to avoid repeating myself, which means my recent records bear little resemblance to that genre.

2) You've been releasing music since 2009.   How do you feel the landscape of music has changed in that near decade with all of the growth in technology and musician-based platforms?

2) It’s been sad to see so many of the great smaller independent labels cease to exist, however the emergence of Bandcamp during this period is an entirely positive development in that it allows artists to self-release and curate their own bodies of work in a way that was not entirely possible before. Bandcamp has also given their support to  trans rights and the ACLU which is not something I can imagine a major label doing with pure intentions. 

3) Being from the UK, do you ever look at the US and just wonder what's wrong with us?

3) These are troubling times where positivity and empathy towards each other are key.

4) The name A Grave With No Name always makes me think of The Tomb of The Unknown Soldier, but after that initial thought is out of my head I think of it more in regards to the anonymity that could be found in music- such as how an instrumental artist could be void of gender, race, age, etc.   What do you find most people think the name is about?  Do many people take the military approach with it?

4) I picked the name as as a joke when I started recording, however I kept it once I realised it was perfect to dissolve my ego into, and to also challenge perceptions. Those people hearing the name for the first time, who haven’t heard my music invariably think that it’s a metal project. Any military associations are not conscious, and certainly are not something that I wish to be tied to my music. 

5) You have music released both on vinyl and cassettes but more of cassettes than anything else.   Do you have a preference and why are cassettes your favorite?

5) At home, I listen to a combination of CDs, digital, tapes and vinyl, so I don’t have a particular preference for one format. Tapes are great because they are tangible, not too expensive, and can be manufactured quickly, which makes them perfect for more exploratory releases. 

6) You seem to have an album of alternate takes/demos and that sort of thing for each album that you have released.   I know some people operate under the idea of "If it didn't make it onto the album it was for a reason" and so they never want those sort of things heard.   What are your thoughts on why you release them to the public?

6) These projects fall into different categories, and I tend to work on them in the somewhat torturous period between when I finish recording an album of songs, and the date when it’s eventually released. Amongst these are: ambient and instrumental albums, a soundtrack for an art installation, and collections of demos and unreleased songs.

If a particular song didn’t make it onto an album, more often than not, it’s because it doesn’t suit the feel, or narrative of the record that it was intended for, however, this doesn’t necessarily mean that it was a bad song. I enjoy making these works available as almost a behind the scenes look at the process that went into creating the finished album. Trust me there is a whole heap of bad music and ideas on various machines of mine that will never see the light of day.

7) What has it been like releasing your music with Forged Artifacts?

7) Matt who runs the label is honest, practical, principled and a pleasure to work with. In my experience of being on a larger independent label in the past, I did not receive the same level of support as I do now from Forged Artifacts.

8) Your new album is called "Passover".    Do you think lazy journalists will use this as a chance to write off the album by saying they'll simply pass it over?

8) Lazy journalism depresses me. So many music sites simply copy and paste the press release when they feature a song without adding any of their own original thought or writing. I genuinely prefer it when a writer for a website, blog, or magazine listens to my music and decides they don’t like it and therefore won’t feature it, rather than turn it into meaningless content.

9) Final thoughts, shout outs, etc... ?

9) Don’t take Califone for granted.

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