Monday, August 12, 2013

The Watermark High [Interview # 121]

1)     What is it like being an electronic musician in Johannesburg, South Africa?
For me, it's pretty frustrating sometimes to be honest. There's an amazing little electronic scene happening in Cape Town at the moment, lots of artists supporting each other, lots of shows etc. Jo'burg doesn't really have that. It's hard to find people to play shows with and in turn, to obviously put on successful shows etc. but other than that I guess I can't complain. I'm VERY thankful for the internet, let me put it that way ;)

2)     You have released a series of three EPs.  Have you ever planned on creating a full length album?
Personally, in this day and age, I don't really get the point of a full album (especially for my kind of music) although I have been thinking about it. In South Africa (and probably most other places) I think people tend to take you more seriously once you have "an album" but for me it doesn't make sense right now. I prefer to work in smaller packages (EPs, thinking of maybe a single or two in the future as well) and to release new music more often. Once I have a decent "fan-base" and am completely confident in my sound and production, I might consider doing an album. Who knows...

3)     What is it like to be a one man band?
I love it. I've been in various bands and have been writing music with other people for years and I by far prefer to work by myself, I think music needs to be uncompromising. I do sometimes feel that I get so involved because I do everything and wish I could get someone else's opinion (I sometimes ask my friends' opinions when I'm doubting something) but other than that, working by myself suits my personality as well I think, I'm not very social, haha. Collaborating can be great, but it's hard to find someone that "gets" you creatively/musically... 

4)     Are there any plans for physical releases one day, either on cassette or record?
To release something on vinyl would be a dream come true, but it's crazy expensive to do (especially from South Africa), so we'll see. But maybe one day if I do an album, I'll try and crowd-fund a vinyl release or something...

5)     Your new EP is called “Murmurs”.  Charles Bukowski once said something to the effect that when people would ask him what his favorite book he wrote was, he’d always say his newest because if what you’re writing now isn’t going to be better than your last book then what’s the point?  (I’m totally paraphrasing here) 
Do you feel that you subscribe to that philosophy as well, seeing as how your music just seems to be getting better?
Yeah, that makes sense and I'm pretty sure most artists would think of it like that. I definitely feel that I need to top myself with every release. The thing is just that it's a very subjective thing, music. What I absolutely adore is most probably hated by someone else. So yeah, from my side, I am very proud of "Murmurs". I think it's an improvement on all fronts (the production quality as well as the composition), whether people agree is completely up to them. 

6)     Before the “Murmurs” EP, you released a Hi5 Mixtape, which is up on your Sound Cloud.  (I don’t like leaving Band Camp, but sometimes I do what I gotta)  Of all of the songs on there, aside from yours, I think I know at most three of those bands.  (Prefuse 73, Sun Glitters and maybe Gold Panda)  Is that weird? 

Should I know more of them, especially since I write about music for a living?
For me, that's predominantly the point of a mixtape. I used to find new artists through punk rock compilation CDs and things back in the day, and I'm constantly hunting down new music so it was really fun to do and I tried to work in some stuff that I didn't think most people would know. I often find rad new music through other mixtapes and wanted to do the same hopefully. I think it's a good thing for anyone to delve deeper into music (of all kinds), whether you're a fan, a musician or a journalist. 

7)     You have a song called “Are You Going to Get Dressed Today”.  Does it surprise you to know I sometimes go for weeks without showering or leaving my

Your blog is called "Raised By Gypsies", it doesn't surprise me at all ;)

8)     How high does the water go?  Are we drowning?
I always thought of my name more figuratively and not literally but if we have to go literal, we're probably not drowning, at all. 

9)     Final thoughts, shout outs, random facts about South Africa, etc…??
Thanks for your interest and for the interview. Facts about South Africa...I don't know, it's a pretty ridiculous place (especially from the outside, and politically) but it's not quite the shit-hole people make it out to be. Where else could you have a pet lion?  

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