1. Could you begin by telling us who or what were your inspirations when recording EMPIRE SOUND?
I was breaking up the band I had been in for 7 years and was really confused about what a ‘band’ even was and really analyzing everything about myself and what I liked about music. I am completely unable to express myself in day-to-day life and I feel like if I didn’t have music as this outlet I wouldn’t be able to be myself at all, but I was completely hating the rock formula musically and haircuts and branding and playing for people to stand and drink to and everything.
I made each song in one day, made a video and put the thing on Youtube by the end of the night. I did the Portishead cover (“Chase the Tear”) the day after they released that song, which is why they found it and decided to release it – I guess they were googling themselves and my video popped up 2nd! Anyways, so 8 of these songs were put together for a VHS EP called Parrot Talk, which I made on my VCR by stitching together bits of my favorite movies. This is also pretty much how the beats get made, so it makes sense. My favorite parts of that were definitely the commercials. 1997 Supersoaker and shampoo ads that stick in my head so well. Diet Coke, purple stuff. . . HEY! SUNNY D
But the VHS thing was meant to be kind of tongue and cheek. Like, everyone in the music scene was really into cassettes and having an existential crisis because they couldn’t sell CDs anymore. But who cares. Why should you sell your stuff? Its not worth money – worth something else.
The music I was listening to during that time was Missy Elliot, Erykah Badu, M.I.A., Animal Collective and great Bollywood psych comps. and locals from Toronto and Montreal like Slim Twig and Blue Hawaii. And I was living in a diy venue art colony crust warehouse called the House Of Everlasting Superjoy, so that was a big influence. And its called Empire Sound because I was reading the Jay Z autobiography and thought he would approve. And my friend Kyle thought it was good and he is smart.
2. How would you describe your sound in the simplest way?
A rhinoceros repeatedly banging it’s head into an aluminum shed.
3. We sense your music as a crash between two worlds: the digital and the human. How does this relate to your life?
Yeah – actually, you hit the nail on the head there – though its not so much the digital world that the human is conflicting with, it’s more the spectacle of humanity with no core, feeling like a representation of yourself. This is more tangible than ever in the digital age but is a phenomenon so closely tied in with culture that I think it is also human in its own way.
4. What can we expect to hear on your debut album?
More space. Stuff that sounds good in a club.
5. How has your sound evolved since you started making music?
6. Tell us about your making-music process, from conceptualization to the final version.
7. If you were stranded on an island, which would be the ONE album you would like to have with you?
Stravinsky – The Rite of Spring . . no wait, Slayer – Reign in Blood.
Thanks so much for the love on the EP guys!
Check out Lost in my Head from Empire Sound EP