10 Questions with The Weighty Tree (Mark C Todd)

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1. How would you characterize your music?

W: A primarily guitar based mix of different styles which I seem to classify from psychedelic groove, ethereal fuzz outs, bluesy funk, laid back acoustic, indie melancholy and somewhere in between. I love to improvise as much, if not more than produce music as fully crafted tracks. The Weighty Tree is the vehicle for my own personal musical emotional expression. It allows me full control over the process and content of the music that I can’t achieve in the same detail when playing in a band, although that has it’s own magic completely, but this way there are no compromises necessary. I play true to me and maybe someone will enjoy that in a different way, in the same way I enjoy others’ musical adventures!

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: The first ‘toy’ my parents gave me which I would not leave alone was a radio cassette player. I had it in my playpen as a small child. Apparently I was completely hooked on it and never let anyone take it away without all mayhem! They quickly gave in and let me keep it! I’d never go to sleep unless it was on – a comfort blanket I suppose! I learned sound could be a toy I suppose.

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

W: Pretty basic really, just playing around with various chords, progressions riffs I like and then I hit record. Overlay by jamming on top in various ways with different instruments, delete most of it until I have something that captures my attention and then move on to something new. I’ll go back later with fresh ears and either junk it or develop something further. Occasionally, I’ll figure out exactly what I want before I begin and work out full arrangements before I start.

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

W: I never really pushed my music seriously because I’m not a singer/song writer as such, but when I discovered soundcloud and the fact that people might actually listen to my music and enjoy it I decided what the hell and uploaded some tracks. Then I got some really inspiring feedback which reinvigorated my creative juices, so I thought I’d work on a few more with a view to finishing some of them (the hard part!), which is where I am now…

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

W: I like all music from jazz, blues, RnR, rockabilly, folk, 60s beat garage psych, soul and funk, 70s prog, krautrock & afrobeat, 80s indie, 90s/00s psych/shoegaze, stoner rock, americana & folk etc etc. and along the way alot of hip hop, drum’n’bass and rap too.

There are so many arresting artists, especially on soundcloud. Those I have collabed with all excite me, but I can’t choose one of them, so I’ll have to say 60s legends The Pretty Things – I saw them recently in Southsea (UK), and they blew me away, albeit with a young outstanding rhythm section!

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

W: My dad always played jazz of the big band swing and bebop variety, country and western, blues and sixties RnB. My mum was into 60s/70s soul and classical music. I guess that’s why I like most styles of music so much, veering from one to another and why I love jamming. My older sister got me into indie music. I have been addicted to the search for new and old sounds ever since.

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

W: I think image doesn’t have anything to do with music but everything to do with the visual art, and of course it is fun to mix them together. I think truth is coolest, but a good old yarn is also hard to beat. I’ll go with the late, great Bo Diddley.

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

W: Bo Diddley – Bad Trip

9. Why music and why do you make it?

W: Cartharsis and fun. There is no why for me, only why not more! Job security kills my time but I guess that’s pretty important, damn it!

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

W: Charlotte Gordon soundcloud.com/charlottegordon


Visit Mark at:

https://soundcloud.com/theweightytree

http://theweightytree.bandcamp.com/


Jordaan Mason – “The Decline of Stupid Fucking Western Civilization” STREAMING

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You have to listen to Jordaan Mason’s new album, “The Decline of Stupid Fucking Western Civilization” which currently is streaming for free on bandcamp! This is some gut wrenching post-punk monster of raw feeling. I’ve never heard music done like this before.

If you can you should definitely help out and pre-order your copy or support the physical making of this album by visiting his indigogo campaign:

https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/the-decline-of-stupid-fucking-western-civilization

At the 100 dollar donation level he will even cover a song of your choice!

10 Questions with Chris Picciuolo of The Uncle Steves

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1: How would you characterize your music?

C: I would say my music is quite simply a bunch of sounds and melodies patched together during desperate times.

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: My first music experience was when I would play these weird little tunes at on the piano at my Grandparent’s house. I was a sensitive kid, probably 6 years old. I remember my Grandpa sitting in his chair just listening, and when I was done, he told me that I sounded alright but I could use some lessons. For some reason, that always struck a chord with me, and he very well could have meant it in a positive way. But I took it hard. I don’t think I played piano again for a long time. I got my first snare drum, rented from the Catholic School I was attending. I had a couple of lessons in the convent basement, but I did poorly and remember feeling like I wish I could take off the sound pad on top of the snare. I wanted to really hit that thing. The nuns didn’t like that. I think what helped shape my music is that need to do the opposite of what people always told me to do. I never got piano or drum lessons, and I took each instrument up by ear over the years, starting in my mid-teens. I know that sounds stubborn and it probably is. But that stubbornness really is the main driving force behind the music I make.

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

C: It can vary on the day, really. It all depends on if I have the will to record at any given moment. The only time I plan to record is during short spurts of house-sitting for a friend, in his basement. Other than that, I will usually just have to want to make time to set up the microphone on my computer and pull out an acoustic guitar and whatever random percussion I have sitting around.

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

C: I have my music available to purchase on theunclesteves.bandcamp.com

I’ve made a handful of music videos that I directed that are up on Youtube. I think the name is, “TheUncleSteves” on there. So, youtube.com/TheUncleSteves
I’ve tried selling my albums online but after the first album or two, I declined in the amount of people buying. It started to only be acquaintances, close friends, or family who would buy.

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

C: Well, they’re not recent-recent. But I am pretty excited about Dr. Dog and Hacienda. Those are some talented fellows.

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

C: Not very many instruments until I got my first drum set at 15. It was a Royce kit, pretty cheap. But there was always a cassette in the house playing The Beatles, The Beach Boys, Willie Nelson, Peter Paul and Mary, etc. A bunch of different artists from that era.

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

C: I think an honest style and image is important. If wearing traffic cones on your head works for you, do it. As long as you carry it well. I consider bands like Little Dragon and Black Moth Super Rainbow to be pretty damn cool, especially when it comes to style and image, from album covers to live performances to press photos. I really connect to their imagery.

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

C: I’ve never really thought about this one. I’m not sure of an exact song, maybe the whole White Album or a collection of old blues tunes from the 1920’s. Maybe some Spice Girls. I want to make it a weird one.

9. Why music and why do you make it?

C: Music is the one thing that has consistently kept me looking forward to life over the years. I make it because I have to. If I’m not making music, I feel like that’s one less collection of sounds I can throw out into the universe and I want to do as much music as possible before I die.

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

C: Possessed by Paul James is up there, although he has had some mild success lately. It helps to be backed by a label, as small as the label might be. Pocket Vinyl is another one that comes to mind, Husband and wife duo. He plays keys and sings while she paints lovely pieces on stage. Check out their record, “Death Anxiety” Great stuff.

Visit The Uncle Steves at:

New Page: Playlist

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Spin this playlist to hear songs by the awesome people who have participated in our 10 Questions interview series!

Feat. Clara Engel, Verena von Horsten, Shoot The Wendy Bird,, Dana Dau & Ang Kerfoot, Sofia Deville etc. etc.

Also, FIND US on soundcloud and share the playlist!

Together we can sound louder.

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