воскресенье, 24 апреля 2011 г.

DDb Interview Series (1003) - Grant and Rachel Evans

One more interview in DDb series!
This time I want to thank Grant and Rachel Evans for their time and interesting expatiative answers.
Grant and Rachel run small cassette/CD-r label. They both have their own music projects and also make sounds under the moniker 'Quiet Evenings' as a duo.

1.Wow guys! You’re doing so many things! Tell a bit about your solo-projects MSOTT and NSA. How did you think out these long names?

Rachel: MSOTT is my solo project. Grant actually suggested the phrase “motion sickness of time travel” when I was trying to come up with names for my new solo project. He took it from The Soft Machine by William S. Burroughs. I was attached to that phrase right away. It’s infectious... the kind of phrase I wanted my music to sound like.

Grant: Nova Scotian Arms is something that had been floating around in my head from my younger, drug-taking days. It takes on different meanings for me as time goes on. The “arms” part being especially ambiguous...

2. What about Quiet Evenings. How does this project differ from your solo ones?

R: For Quiet Evenings we each take a different approach to recording than we do with our solo projects. I’m a lot more melodic with my solo work. With QE I take on another role entirely. I try to step back from the melodic tendencies I have and just build up the sound floor. QE is much more minimal. I hold down the drone more with QE. It’s almost like Grant and I switch roles when we record QE stuff...

G: Quiet Evenings is about a specific feeling. A particular environment or atmosphere... It’s nighttime and trees and crickets and maybe a small fire or something nice like that. It’s incense and heavy eye lids. It’s an aural postcard from our perpetual honeymoon. Solo works tend to be more broad in scope.

3.You’re also running a great and very busy (which is nice) tape/cd-r label Hooker Vision. When and how did it start?G: Hooker Vision started, in its first incarnation, in 2008. It was just something to write on the CD-Rs that we were making at the time; a kind of umbrella.

R: I didn’t really have a part in the start up of Hooker Vision. It wasn’t until about a year or so ago that I became as involved as I am now. It was all Grant’s thing in the beginning; it’s always been his child.

4. Sorry, I can’t escape myself thinking about this question. Do you have any kind of division of labor in terms of carrying out label-related things?

R: Recently we’ve both been doing artwork for the releases. We both talk to people about releasing their music and communicate with the artists we work with. When we do home-dubbings, and in the early days everything was done at home, Grant does all of that. I do lots of assembling of the tapes... like folding the J-cards, and cutting inserts if we’re doing that. If we do tape bags or little pouches for releases, I sew those all by hand myself. Grant really controls the image of the label, it’s aesthetic. He also handles the art for our art editions we do occasionally.

G: I also do all the boring internet stuff.

5. It may be too personal but how did you meet each other?

R: We first met through a friend when I was a freshman in college, in 2006. I was a young music major, and Grant went to a different college in town at that time. He was studying video then... Before we ever started dating we were collaborating on videos, and eventually music. I guess our collaborations are what really started our relationship. We’ll be married three years now this summer!

G: I asked Rachel to be in one of my short films. She also did the score for it as well and we ended up spending a lot of time together on the project.

6. How did you enter the independent/whatever music world? Tell about your musical background.

G: I grew up listening to a lot of different types of music... I don’t really know anything about playing music though. I got a guitar when I was 12 but I was just learning cover songs and not really exploring the instrument at all. I took lessons for a little while but never learned much of anything other than “Stairway to Heaven” and old Black Sabbath songs. I started getting pedals about the same time I started smoking pot and that’s really when things began to change...

R: Grant was basically my introduction to all of the music I’m into now. He was the one who introduced me to all the cassette and independent record labels I’m aware of now. I guess my musical background goes back to age 5 when I first started taking piano lessons. I took piano lessons up until I was 17. I also picked up various instruments along the way... I played cello in my 3rd and 4th grade orchestra; bought a drum set and bass guitar in middle school, and eventually got a guitar about the time I started high school. High school was also when I got into synthesizers, and got my first keyboard workstation, and started recording music on the home computer. I also took voice lessons for a few years in high school on and off. When I graduated I moved south to LaGrange for college. I started off as just a music major, then halfway through my junior year I double-majored in art. Art and music for me have been inseparable ever since.

7. Next question I will ask to every person in DDb interview series.
What have changed in independent music world with the developing and spreading of the Web?
Any positive improvements? Any negative repercussions?

G: I can’t see any negative repercussions of the internet as far as independent music is concerned. The internet is helping to kill the major recording industry and I am in total favor of that.

R: I don’t really see any negative repercussions either. The web has helped us out tremendously; it’s made it possible for us to share our music and still live in the middle of nowhere.

8. When and where do enjoy listening to music most?

G: Everywhere! In my car, at school, when working in the darkroom or painting, at home with a good beer...

R: Yeah, everywhere... In the car especially, sometimes while working at the library, and music is almost constantly playing at home (unless we’re recording).

9. Grant, you have an upcoming vinyl debut LP on Digitalis. What will it be like? Will the sound change?

G: I think the sound always kind of changes from release to release. I don’t really want to give much away about the LP just yet but it’ll definitely still be Nova Scotian Arms.

10. What puts you off about format/package/cover art?

R: Typically (not in all cases, but definitely most) I don’t like words on cover art. It’s best if there are no words on the art at all... Of course that’s not always possible.

G: Barcodes.

11. What materials do you use constructing your sounds?

G: Electric and acoustic guitars, effects pedals, synthesizer, tape loops, field recordings, etc...

R: Mostly my synthesizers... recently it’s been my Space-Synth, Mopho, Micro Korg, and Mini Kaossilator. Hopefully my synth collection will build... I also use my voice and my laptop, and with QE a boss delay pedal for my vocals. It’s all really basic. I’ve used acoustic guitar in recordings before, but that’s rare...

12. Name some recent tapes/books you enjoyed enormously.

R: Really loving Hobo Cubes recent “E-Motions” tape, and Afterlife’s recent tape on Stunned was just amazing. Most of my recent reading has been for library school classes... it’s been a while since I’ve enjoyed a book that wasn’t assigned to me. The last books I read all the way through would have to be Alan Moore’s graphic novel series “Promethea”, which I highly, highly recommend!

G: The new Xiphiidae tape on Rotifer is perfect for lazy spring afternoons. Geoffey Sexton’s last tape on No Kings has been a nighttime staple recently. The new batch of Tranquility Tapes has been getting a lot of play too, especially the Christopher Merrit/Reedbeds split. The last book I read was the Principia Discordia. Hail Eris!

13. What’s more important for you: the label or solo-projects?

 G: I’d say they’re both pretty equal at this point. I’ve definitely been able to focus on the label side of things more easily during the regular school year... Summer is when I get more recording done.

R: I think they have equal importance for me. One isn’t more important than the other... they’re just important in different ways. They’re also the same thing in a way... the same reason we want to contribute to the music community is often the same reason we want to share other people’s music with the same communities.

14. The list of forthcoming stuff on Hooker Vision impresses so I won’t ask you about what one should wait for. But what about your solo work future plans? Shed some light on your sacred dreams regarding it.

G: I’ve got a split tape with Scott Johnson’s (Thoughts on Air) new project, Permanent Bedhead, coming out on Sacred Phrases soon. Rachel and I have a split LP coming out sometime this year on Aguirre Records out of Belgium. We’re really excited about that. Quiet Evenings has an LP coming soon on Hooker Vision and a split tape with Donato Epiro in the works.

R: I’m looking forward to my second Digitalis LP release later this year, “Luminaries and Synastry”. And currently I’m working on new material for an LP for Spectrum Spools, titled “Gold Heat”. In between I’ve got a lot of tapes lined up, including a full length cassette on the wonderful Hobo Cult Records, among others.

Thanks for the interview!

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