Jac Beth – Seaweed

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10 Questions with Will Adlard

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will

1. How would you characterize your music?

W: Part electric – guitars, drums, noises, part folk – vocals, lyrics, melodies, part blues – the soul… And the rawness. If it were a person it’d be a boy somewhere in the woods singing out his soul to the trees, hoping someone somewhere is listening!

2: What is one early music experience that made a deep impression on you//made you rethink what music can sound like//has helped shape the music you make today?

W: Age three, rolling around on the floor with my brother, listening to “Foxey Lady” and pretending to be foxes. I remember thinking that the chords sounded amazing… And later realising those were blues chords that I loved so much.

3. What is usually your process when creating//writing a new song?

W: For a good song – start with a musical idea and then find/match some lyrics to it and work with it. Different kind of songs, I’ll write some lyrics then try to find a melody/chords for them. The best or truest kinds of songs come all at once in full, lyrics and music – I’ll play into a recorder the whole thing off the top of my head, then, having forgotten everything I just played, listen back to it and learn it. Sometimes I’ll not be able to work out one word or something because it’s mumbled and that will drive me off a cliff.

4. Where can we find your music//what have you done to make your music available?

W: I’m currently only on soundcloud.com/willadlard, but soon (so soon!) there’ll be an EP out on bandcamp for free/whatever you feel like paying so keep your eyes open!

5. What is a recent musician//band//music that you are excited about?

W: I discovered Nils Frahm yesterday and he’s just brilliant. Mainly piano, some synths and other keyboards in there too. But the whole album “Screws” is amazing, just piano songs. It reminds me of Grieg, whom I love.

6. How would you describe the music climate in your home when you were a child?

W: Abundant! My dad was always and is still a full on blues musician so I learned a lot from him. We were even in a band together! My mum also played guitar and sang growing up, so there was always music happening. I only got into singing and songwriting later though… Originally it was just music, all kinds. My favourite piece when I was really young was Beethoven’s romance no. 2 in F Major…

7. Is style//image important to you and if so what//who do you consider cool in music?

W: I think I’m old enough to realize now that that stuff just doesn’t matter… I’d make a distinction between what’s cool and what’s fashionable. Trends come and go… Like “normcore”. But what’s cool is doing what you do in an authentic way. I guess I used to think people who became famous young were cool. Now I think Son House is cool because he worked as a railroad porter for 16 years AFTER he made his early recordings… It’s like being humble, or not being above anything. Real people aren’t above anything!

8. What song do you want playing at your funeral?

W: I’d have “Steal Away”, the way Dorothy Maynor does it, sung by someone close to me. It would be tearsome… But that’s the way it is.

9. Why music and why do you make it?

W: Why anything? I do it because it’s the only thing I really want to do. I think about the guys who design mobile phones… I can’t even imagine how you would ever even BEGIN to build just one chip in a mobile phone. But to them it’s easy… Or, at least, they understand it. It’s the same with me and music… There are some things I find easy about music which other people don’t. I think it’s those things which mean I just get it, and I want to do it. It’s like Krishna’s telling Arjuna in the Bhagavad Gita to fight because it is what he is designed to do, therefore it is his duty to do so. It’s the same with me and music!

10. If I should listen to one undiscovered musician//song today who//what should I check out?

W: Bozie Sturdivant’s recording of “Ain’t No Grave Can Hold My Body Down”. One of just a handful of recordings he made for Alan Lomax in the 40’s. Just amazing sound… And the backing singers – the “Silent Grove Baptist Church Congregation” sound like Bill Landford’s “shuffle of angel’s feet”.


Visit Will at:

https://soundcloud.com/willadlard


My hot air balloon saying goodbye to Blues?

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oh no is my hot air balloon saying goodbye to blues, “What with Taylor Swift’s new album and all I don’t think it would be right of me to keep making the same shit over and over” recent interview reveals, “It’s a good thing, I think. I feel inspired. Don’t worry!” but folk music lovers are worried, “It’s like Dylan all over again, you think you know someone and then they turn out to be like total republicans that don’t even like surrealism but read boring books about civil war history!”

so… catch it while you still can.

10 Questions with Idris Davies

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idris

1. How would you characterize your music?

I: Work in progress. What it comes from is american roots music mainly but my dream is to be able to blend it with contemporary rhythms and beats. Need a drummer. Don’t we all?

2. What is one early music experience that made a deep impression on you//made you rethink what music can sound like//has helped shape the music you make today?

I: I could go on here at length. My first experience was at age 8 hearing Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds blasting from my mates mum’s car. I don’t know if it was the volume but that song got inside me whilst me and Martin waited in the supermarket car park we had that song repeating full blast and were dancing on the roof! Twenty years after it had been recorded Beatlemania was still alive.

Aged 20 I was taken ill and moved in with my parents to recover – it was here I found one of my Dad’s old music books – a Leadbelly guitar book – and learnt the song Goodmorning Blues with the walking bass. I was pretty taken at this, with the Blues and all it’s possibilities! I howled that song all night long – I mean into the morning! Goodmorning Blues.

3. What is usually your process when creating//writing a new song?

I: Firstly it helps to be hungover. Generally I’ll sit down with a guitar and note book. But it varies you know – sometimes the song will rise up out of the blue and it just comes; sometimes I get an idea for a song and it wont be until months or even years later that I can get it written. Sometimes a song takes work – editing and such – and sometimes it doesn’t.

4. Where can we find your music//what have you done to make your music available?

I: I’ve littered my music in the usual places – Youtube, Soundcloud, Bandcamp, Reverbnation and I share it to Facebook and Twitter.

I’m shy and getting too old to play the silly i-wanna-be-famous game so I do the least I can to share my music – I don’t play live any more and I don’t like having to sell myself.

5. What is a recent musician//band//music that you are excited about?

I: Oh man, well I struggle here because I don’t listen to modern music. I’d recommend you listen to Jelly Roll Morton and his Red Hot Peppers. I’ve been enjoying their noise most recently. These guys, and the early Jazz that they were playing, were simply fun! No connotations, no second agenda, no trying to be Keith-Richards-Cool just good youthful fun! The bands seem to have an arrangement but they generally play what they want! There’s mistakes (and that’s fine!) and there’s laughter and chatter and messing around and you can imagine dancing too! This was an age where Music was unemployed – free of the financial responsibilities it’s tied up in today. Free and irresponsible – that’s my kind of music!

6. How would you describe the music climate in your home when you were a child?

I: Active like a Bio-yogurt. My Dad plays most instruments from Tin Whistle to the Uelliann Pipes and all inbetween. He used to play sax in a Punk Band deep in the Shropshire Valleys and guitar in a Christian folk group. We had all kinds of instruments to play with and it was early that I picked up a guitar and my Dad taught me my first songs from The Cowboy Songbook. There were bands coming around the house to play and there were records for when there weren’t bands. We played the records loud and would all dance about in the living room. Even the dog joined in. My life didn’t ever never have music going – even in the car we had our bag of car tapes – Van-the-man Morrison, Dylan, Paul Simon, Eurithmics, Talking Heads etc etc etc. I remember Dad pulling the car over in town just so we could listen fully and completely to Dylan’s Last Thoughts On Woody Guthrie. I didn’t listen – I was too young if you like – but I’ll never forget how it effected my parent’s and that interested me. Now of course I love that mountain of a track! God if I could only write one thing like that.

7. Is style//image important to you and if so what//who do you consider cool in music?

I: Yes, I reluctantly think so. I dress like my hero’s I suppose. I study Dylan album covers to try and locate the exact jacket or wear my shirt the way he does. Fail on all accounts of course! In my music I see many genres – currently I generally fit the folksy singer-songwriter category and dress accordingly; but in my mind there’s a rock band in there – I’d dress differently for this – sharper. In a band it’s important to dress smart I think because once you’re in a band it’s a job – you have coworkers and you give presentations. Dress smart for work and all that. I had this idea of forming a band that play dirty blues-rock. With all the band members literally howling through every show like animals. But all dressed super smart like Muddy Waters!

Aka The Man.

8. What song do you want playing at your funeral?

I: Well that’s currently going to Jelly Roll Morton. There’s two – Oh Didn’t He Ramble is a good’un with the intro, slow and morose, leading to the introductory words “Ashes to ashes, dust to dust … if the women don’t getcha the liquor must!”. Then ensue wailing, laughter and a nice lively rag with everyone playing their own thing as only Morton’s boys can!

9. Why music and why do you make it?

I: Because I can! I recognize I’m not the best guitarist in the world, I’m not the best singer in the world and I’m not the best songwriter in the world. But I figure I can do all 3 alright so that’s ok right? These are skills I have and I see it as my duty to use them. I say my duty because I believe God gave me these skills. And what better way to thank Him than to use them and make music. So because I can but also because I want to – I wish beyond so much that I could produce a living from my music. Music is in my heart it represents my youth, as outlined above, and it coincides with just about every memory I have. Music is like the notepad on which my life is written; it occupies my mind like air does my lungs. How can I stop feeding off and making music?! No I have no choice but to continue day in day out. I can and I will.

10. If I should listen to one undiscovered musician//song today who//what should I check out?

I: My mate Anju. She has the best voice. I could (and do far too often) compare her to any of the great jazz vocalists but in truth no-one sounds like Anju. I was hit with a good wave of originality blended with strong talent when first I heard her breezing on the ‘cloud. She’s a good writer and her guitar parts are always interesting too! Her songs have a lovely super-dry whit which is always a pleasure to hear.

If I can share her link I’d like to – https://soundcloud.com/anj-7 – and pair it with a recommendation to buy her new album where she’s accompanied by some top top Italian Jazzers and they all have a ball!


Visit Idris at:

http://idrisdavies.bandcamp.com/

https://soundcloud.com/idrisdavies

https://www.facebook.com/idrisedavies


10 Questions with Clara Engel

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ashes & tangerines

1. How would you characterize your music?

C: I might call it aquamarine, formally-ambivalent, feeling music.

2. What is one early music experience that made a deep impression on you//made you rethink what music can sound like//has helped shape the music you make today?

C: When I was a teenager and I first heard CAN, Jacques Brel, and Patti Smith, (all around the same time), it collapsed the divides between poet/musician/artist. I realized I could embrace all of those ways of making work at once.

3. What is usually your process when creating//writing a new song?

C: It mostly begins with words. I write fragments and phrases in notebooks — often phrases I overhear or that pop out at me from something I’m reading, and then songs kind of sprout from them over time, over the course of many re-writes. It’s a fairly rigorous but also unselfconscious process so I can’t dissect it — or maybe I’m afraid to.

4. Where can we find your music//what have you done to make your music available?

C: The best place to find my music is on Bandcamp, if you want to get it directly from me. In terms of physical albums: I have a vinyl release with Vox Humana Records (UK), and another one with Backwards Records (IT). Unperceived Records (DE) will be releasing a new EP of mine on CD in 2015. Wyrd Distro still has a few cassette tapes left from a release I did this past year with TO label, Arachnidiscs Recordings. I have done quite a few small-run releases with boutique labels.

5. What is a recent musician//band//music that you are excited about?

C: I just discovered the music of Tara Jane O’Neil — she’s been making work for a long time, but it’s new to me. I’m listening to “After A Dark Seven” right now. Her guitar playing is wonderful.

6. How would you describe the music climate in your home when you were a child?

C: When I was really young my dad would play the guitar and sing with me, and I preferred the long and (in my mind) more serious folk songs. There was a lot of classical piano music in the background too for most of my childhood. I was never drawn to the piano. I tried to sneakily borrow cassette tapes from my older sister, Nirvana’s “Nevermind” in sixth grade is the one I remember most vividly.

7. Is style//image important to you and if so what//who do you consider cool in music?

C: The conflation of image and music (or of artist and persona) frustrates me. I think the work needs to come first for me to be interested in what someone is doing. We’re being manipulated pretty heavily when we start basing our opinions of art and music on how “cool” someone appears or how compelling or valuable their personality is made out to be via publicity. Also, high school sucked way too much for me to seek out that social dynamic ever again in my lifetime. Not that I don’t appreciate an original look or a sharp outfit, but costume and compelling-personality-narrative just doesn’t make the music itself more interesting to me. I kind of envy authors a bit because they don’t seem to be expected to perform a persona as much as musicians are… its seems like it’s more optional for them.

8. What song do you want playing at your funeral?

C: Funerals are more for the benefit of the people who love you who are left living — so they can pick.

9. Why music and why do you make it?

C: I don’t know why I need to do it, but I do, or I am a wreck. I think I am a person who needs a practice of some sort to make life seem less formless and chaotic. I’ve never had a religion, so I don’t know what that’s like — but creating songs is the closest thing I have to a spiritual practice; it transcends the pettier aspects of my life and my character, and it’s also how I make sense of the world. It’s been a way of salvaging something from painful experiences.

10. If I should listen to one undiscovered musician//song today who//what should I check out?

C: Check out Tsinder Ash. He has a fantastically singular approach to songwriting and singing… very earthy and otherworldly at the same time. He has one album up on Bandcamp, and has a new release coming out in 2015.


Visit Clara Engel at:

http://claraengel.net/

http://claraengel.bandcamp.com/