01 October 2008
Inner-View w/ Weird Tapes
...mangle-up with Weird Tapes, conducted by email... cheers for taking the time
Who are you guys? A collective of some sorts? All the same person under different aliases? Where do you come from? Who can we hear singing?
I'm one person, not a collective. I do the Weird Tapes stuff alone and do the music for Memory Cassette while Memory sings. I come from New Jersey. My real name isn't a secret, it just wouldn't mean anything to anyone, i wasn't in the beatles or anything.
(i'm not convinced - I think he might be George, re-animated by some sliding soul tunes and and old disco-beat... a dancing zombie, a dread)
What / Who are your key influences? (Bands? Labels? Architects?)
Probably Philly Oldies radio. My dad used to listen to the saturday night Doo Wop show and i would sneak and listen from the next room when i was a kid. We didn't have cable TV at our house but I had a neighbor who used to tape YO! MTV Raps for me; that was influential i think. As a teenager I was really into The Cocteau Twins (and still am). I took my name from Hawkwind, so that's another one.
(I remember seeing some of those Weird Tapes on the floor of a squat I stayed in in Stockwell... R's brother, for those who might know... I'd just bought a vinyl copy of Scatology and was insisting to the assorted vegan tribes that it was the greatest record ever released...weird how memory works)
Are you aware of the dreaded hauntological word? Do you think it applies to your music?
Well, I feel more of an emotional connection to music than I do to people. I sometimes think I'm writing love songs to love songs, and not to loved ones, so i guess people could apply some sort of post-modern thing to that. And of course I experience music as recordings or broadcasts of recordings so that layer of static and disconnectedness or timelessness gets applied to my idea of sound. I guess that's when people reach for words like "hauntological". Really it's just a matter of experience: you hear music on a piano, that's how you think it ought to sound, you hear it on a beat-to-shit tape deck....same deal. I don't think it has anything to do with the end of history or anything epic like that.
(love songs to love songs - an album title there in the making... kind of thing you might expect from, I dunno, an newly wired, glammmmmmmmmmmmed-up Bryan Ferry, charged with new orgone and perhaps making a play to be the new Scott Walker i.e. the kind that Penman might like ((((Where is he? I miss his writing)))), the earnest troubadour, the intellectual, the European...)
Is there a central ethic behind weird tapes etc?
I hope not. Too many people get bogged down by subscribing to stylistic limitations. I just make music however i want at any given time and give it to people. They either like it or they don't. It's nice when they like it, but I especially like when people are open minded and want you to try different things. Not write the same song 1000 times.
(the ethic is out there, hidden or rather submerged... listen and you'll find it, even if it's not intended. I've never subscribed to the idea that the artist always knows what the art is about..)
You're giving a lot of material away on the website.... why?
Well, it's fun really; trying to sell music is not. It is getting harder to make ends meet so i may have to start selling music soon. When I do it will be something special though.
Any projects in the pipeline? Any label interest (from you or them?)
Some new Weird Tapes tracks real soon and I am working on both a Weird Tapes full length and a Memory Cassette full length. I have been talking to labels.....we'll see. If someone cool wants to help me get something on vinyl that is a nice idea. I do enjoy my freedom though.
(This will be the way of all things; the systematic violence inherent in the system, the way that society casts a sideways glance at music - all art - as commerce and traps it that way, wriggling like an eel; forces it to pull together in the same direction... forces a them to emerge from the murk, an identity that can eat the individual - notice how the disparate elements of hauntology have congealed into something approximating meaninglessness - forces a way of being onto the art itself (thus Autechre and Aphex became IDM, to keep the trend flowing, to keep the market contained as an identifiable, marketable signifier) ... even Surrealism (((((especially Surrealism))))) needed a central, organising system, a manifesto to help bind the collective which was, after all, theoretically about 'pure psychic automatism' but always had to be about the market, the selling of the product... even those artists who never sold an actual product or painting or sculpture... they were still selling an idea)