Musical Rooms

January 9, 2010

Musical Rooms Part 97: Why?

Filed under: Interviews,Musical Rooms Series — by Sinéad Gleeson @ 11:40 am
Tags: , ,

“Creating music, for us, is a long many stepped process which might take place in any number of different environments. I write initial lyrical/melodic ideas at random times: on walks, in cars, in restaurant bathrooms, etc. I tend to craft songs (put parts together and flesh things out) in my apartment on the piano mostly or while making a demo on my 8-track or computer. Lately, we record and mix in other people’s studios around the country.

We live a fluid on the go lifestyle, and work that way as well. I move around to different apartments and tend to write and make demos there in my living space. As far as studio work goes, I prefer a place that seems like it has been worked in often and is not too sterile but is also not dirty, messy or disorganized. I really like the old Third Ear (Tom Herbers’ now defunct Minneapolis warehouse studio where we recorded most of our last record). It was packed full of really great vintage gear and just had an awesome creative vibe.

When writing and demoing, I like to use anything I have around. I think that is the beauty of the early parts of the music making process: that anything goes and there should be no pressure or preconceived notions or expectations. You have to be quiet and open to your own impulse in the moment which is greatly influenced by what or who is around.

The writing process is all about utilizing inspiration when it hits: dropping everything else and focussing on the idea when it begins to emerge. I haven’t yet learned how to force my own hand on these genesis stages. The later craft parts like rehearsing, recording and mixing is important to have discipline and grind out.

The early parts of the writing process seem to go easier when I’m alone. Although I am proud of a lot of the collaborative writing I have been a part of and think no less of that work than stuff I’ve written alone, it is much simpler to not have to talk about why chords should change in a certain way or why its better without the word “and” or with a “the”. A song is so fragile while its still in the womb. With equipment, I tend to use anything that’s around.

I don’t really think my home space is really ideal actually. I think I might be a little more prolific with a more conducive home/work space. But you do what you do with what you have. That is important to learn. For the most part, its not what you have its how you utilize it.”

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Californian act Why? are often labelled as indie/hip-hop cross-over, thanks to their back catalogue of genre-bending albums. Part of the Anticon collective, they have released four albums to date. 2005′s Elephant Eyelash brought them to a wider audience and their most recent release, Eskimo Snow appeared last year. The band have also collaborated with Nosdam and Clouddead. For more information visit www.myspace.com/whyanticon.

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