Monday, 24 March 2014

Teen Daze interview


Beautiful dreamy music is hard to be found, especially if that comes out of the dark Vancouver forests. Jamison who goes by the alias Teen Daze is always busy creating his own introvert, witty sounds or remixing others' tracks.. still, a few days ago he took a break and therefore, told me this story.

You make dreamy elegant ambient pop music .. would you use these words for your music?
Those are definitely the types of words I would use to describe it, but describing my music is not the sort of practice I find myself doing very often. I try to make something that's an honest representation of who I am as a person, and however it's labeled or described is up to the listener. Getting too caught up in descriptions and genres is always a limitation.

You are quite prolific as an artist. How has the writing and recording process evolved throughout your albums?
I've learned a lot about patience through my writing and recording process, on lots of different levels. Patience in the sense that I've learned to not every consider a song to be "finished", just because I've finished working on it for a certain amount of time. I used to "finish" a song and then move on to the next one immediately. Now, I like to revisit things that I've worked on in the past and try to get it to the best possible version that it can be. Also, the process of releasing an album has taught me a lot about patience. I used to just post music as soon as I finished it, but I've really learned the virtue of waiting and editing, and making sure that a song/album is truly ready to be released at the proper time.

Your last album "Glacier" was released in October. You mention that "it is a collection of moments, historical particles and physical experiences, gathered into a whole." Could you explain? Do you feel you are moving towards a more experimental introvert music path?
I was really inspired by the works of Phil Elverum in the creation of Glacier, and I've found that he does an amazing job of synthesizing what could be considered mundane experiences (walking in the woods, for example) into these incredible, existential pieces of art. So with Glacier, I wanted to take this icy world that I imagined in my head, the feeling of being isolated in winter, and create a soundtrack for it. I love the recording age we live in because it does allow for so much introverted experimentation. If I have a musical idea, or theory, I can immediately put it into practice through my home recording set up.

In what ways has Vancouver influenced your music?
The nature has been the biggest impact. From where I live, I can be lost in pretty dense forest in a matter of kilometers. I'm close to lots of lakes, mountains and open spaces, and I've found that those aspects of living on the west coast has made the biggest impact on my creative output.

How is the music scene there right now?
I'm really into Vancouver electronic music right now. There's two amazing labels (1080p and Mood Hut) who are doing incredible things. Cyril Hahn and Pender Street Steppers are two of my favourite locals. Both creating really beautiful, melodic, house-inspired tunes.

Is there a certain type/genre of music that you are most interested in currently?
I've found myself listening to lots of really mellow, melodic house music lately, like Cyril and PSS as I just mentioned. Also Leon Vynehall, Fort Romeau, and Todd Terje have been staples.

Have you been to Athens before? any expectations?
I haven't, but I'm really excited! If I have time, I would LOVE to visit the Acropolis and the Parthenon. Both are such huge monoliths of an older time. Hopefully they're not too touristy at this point ;)

Ive read in an interview that you love making breakfast sandwiches. if i asked you to make me one, what would that be?
I do! So, here's how a normal breakfast sandwich looks to me: Multi-grain bagel (toasted), with three strips of bacon, two eggs (cooked over-medium) and a slice of cheddar cheese. I usually stick with that formula, but I'm always up for new interpretations!

Teen Daze play six dogs (athens) sunday 30 march.

Tuesday, 11 March 2014

The Proctors interview

The Proctors arent like any other indie pop band. In fact, they formed in 1993, broke up and came back with a performance in Cambridge in April 2011... looking and well, sounding fresher than ever. Gavin Priest, singer of the band, shared some lovely thoughts with me.

You were originally formed in 1993, out of the ashes of the Cudgels. You broke up in 1997 and then came back in 2009 with the cloudberry release. Was it something that you were planning or was it the indie pop revival that drove you to reform?
I bumped into Stephen who was also in the Cudgels and it was he convinced me. He gave me confidence, there were a bunch of songs I had recorded years ago during the period we were signed with sunday records that had never seen the light of day including 'perfect world' sp we felt there was unfinished business!

You mix 90s indie pop with 60s sounds, sth between sarah records and Byrds-esque melodic guitars. which era do you feel you are most inspired of?
My musical influences are very varied! I will listen to Simon and Garfunkel next to Felt, early Primal Scream and The Sex Pistols! Throw 80s synth pop too! The era that most influences me is 1986 to 1992 i would say. During this era I felt a strong connection with Sarah bands like The Sea Urchins from our part of the world who knew their music, and The Field Mice, being a big Joy Division and New Order Fan, I could hear they loved that too, but loved their fragile 'bedroom' approach to it. The Proctors was a recording project at that time, something i really want to get back to, though we have enjoyed playing live. I also got into bands like Love, The Velvet Underground, The Kinks and The Byrds during this era. Prior to this I got into early punk and new wave while at school! Anything from Xray Spex to The Jam, Siouxsie etc etc. I'm drawn to bands with a femininity and would even include The Pistols in that.

You mentioned in an interview that you write "melancolic pop songs" - what are the ingredients of a perfect melancolic pop song?
Well listen to 'New Dawn Fades' by Joy Division, 'Letting Go' by the field Mice or 'The sound of silence' by Simon and Garfunkel, and whatever's in there they are the ingredients! If I were a musiclogist I would say sad chords, weeping guitars and honest lyrics!

"Everlasting Light" album was released last september. in which ways was it different from the releases more than a decade ago?
Well the previous album/singles involved absolute zero rehearsal. We literally booked studio time the Adrian, Christina and myself showed up in my clapped out Mini and just jammed along. Pete Williams from Dexy's Midnight runners actually engineered it and played harmonica and keyboard here and there He just happened to be working at the studio. With this one we have the benefit of new technology! Nowadays My sister christina is no longer involved and we have Margaret Calleja on vocals. We are all very close, and i think that helps, we are very honest with one another!

How is the collaboration with shelflife records?
Great! Fantastic to get to work with Terry Bickers from House Of Love, absolute hero of mine as a guitarist, and one of the nicest people you could wish to meet. He had a genuine respect for what we do, and was great to spend a weekend with him. Shelflife have been brilliant.They have been really supportive, and Ed from the Label even bought his own guitar pedals for me to use at New York Popfest

Is indie pop still alive? What do you think of the current indie pop scene? 
Very much alive, this interview and your fanzine is the evidence! I like the scene and all the popfests most people I've met have been lovely. I think most people's hearts are in the right places! I'm looking forward very much to Bobby Wratten's new project, and loving Burning Hearts, Azure Blue, Watoo Watoo at the moment, though the list could go on and on!

Youve got a new EP coming in a few weeks. Could you tell me a few things about it?
Its called 'the Kaleidoscope Ep' after the Ray Bradbury short story. Its 3 songs about breaking up. They are 3 new songs, quite personal I hope people will like it, but each release is a leap of faith. There is a lyric about being 'scared to fly' in there and that has a double meaning!

You are playing the birmingham popfest next month (what an amazing lineup!!). any more gig/festival plans for the summer?
Yes playing Hamburg april 4th, Berlin April 5th, Rome May 9th, Milan May 10th, Copenhagen May 16th. We are also playing the brilliant 'going up The Country in Congleton UK June 7th