terça-feira, 31 de outubro de 2017

Premarital Hex with Foxxxy Mulder - An Interview

Mais de 2 mil milhas separam hoje David e Kori, que um dia moraram no Alabama, mas por conta da vida, Kori mudou-se para Fairbanks no Alaska e David vive em Seattle, mas por uma obra dos deuses da música uma curiosa história aconteceu.

Em 2016 Kori visitou Seattle e os amigos resolveram ouvir uns discos, entre eles estava "Eyes Without a Face" clássico de Billy Idol, e por brincadeira eles resolveram desacelerar a canção e a ouviram em 45 rotações, e ai meus caros, estava formado o embrião do Foxxxy Mulder, que iniciou suas atividades justamente com uma versão da citada canção.

Mas o melhor estaria por vir, em fins de Junho veio ao mundo "Premarital Hex" primeiro trabalho do duo, uma devastação hipnótica e barulhenta, com ecos de MBV, Curve, Zola Jesus, Bjork, e mais uma infinidade de referências, o que apena enrique o resultado final.

Sem soar shoegaze, sem soar eletrônico, sem soar dark, o Foxxxy Mulder soa exatamente como um híbrido musculoso de todas as influências de Kori e David.

"Premarital Hex" tem sido escutado continuamente aqui no TBTCI e a tendência e permanecer por muito mais tempo....como eu costumo dizer, Foxxxy Mulder é ACIMA.

***** Interview with Foxxxy Mulder *****

Q. When did Foxxxy Mulder start? Tell us about the history...
David: Well, Kori and I used to live in Alabama, which is where we met. But a few years ago Kori moved to Fairbanks, Alaska, and I moved to Seattle, Washington. Anyway, Kori ended up coming to Seattle for a visit in 2016, and during the visit we bought a bunch of 45 rpm records so that we could listen to them on 33 (because, you know, vaporwave or whatever). We fell in love with the sound of Billy Idol’s “Eyes Without a Face” slowed to 33 and decided to record a cover of the slowed down version. So, Kori went back to Alaska and we recorded the cover over the internet, just sharing tracks back and forth. The initial recordings sounded like Billy Idol slowed down (with the same arrangements and everything), but by the end we had brought in a bunch of fuzzed-out, MBV-inspired guitars and turned to the song into a sludgy, droney shoegaze track. We ended up releasing it and, surprisingly to us, a couple of blogs picked it up and it was received pretty positively. So we figured, why not do a record? I had been toying with some horror-inspired shoegaze songs for a few years, so we started from there and worked our way out. We spent a few months writing Premarital Hex and released that last June. Right now we’re looking forward to some more releases next year.

Kori: Yeah, you can blame it all on Billy Idol.

Q: Who are your influences?
Kori: Goodness, there are so many. Who immediately comes to mind is Nico. The deep, clear tone of her voice is something I'm always after in my own performance. I also really admire Jarboe from Swans for the same reason. Jarboe has more violence to her voice though; it's guttural. Some of the compositions David and I have put together require that almost scary quality of voice to them, and it's usually Jarboe I'm invoking if I'm doing vocals. I would be lying if I said I didn't want to be a female powerhouse in the experimental music scene, so I typically look up to the women who have made a real place for themselves, including Nina Simone, Ruth Radelet from The Chromatics, Poison Ivy Rorschach from The Cramps, Fiona Apple, Laura Jane Grace from Against Me!, Erykah Badu, Joni Mitchell, Molly Nilsson, and Björk. There are countless more, and I certainly have all the musical nostalgia of a swooning fangirl, which influences what I seek out in the music I listen to day-to-day. But when it comes to who I want to be as a musical performer, I look up to the powerful women taking big risks in their music.

David: My gut reaction is to name every single band that I love, but I know I need to be more discriminating than that. Really, my influences shift around a lot, depending on what I’m obsessing over at the moment or the types of songs I’m trying to write, but lately, particularly in terms of my songwriting, my biggest influences have probably been Trentemøller, Tropic of Cancer, Zola Jesus, and Total Control. As a guitarist, Rex Shelverton’s work on the first two Tamaryn records has been hugely inspirational. Also, My Bloody Valentine and the Jesus and Mary Chain, specifically in terms of how they use distortion to create textures and dynamics. In terms of percussion/beats, j.Faraday, Trentemøller, and Blanck Mass have been pretty influential lately. You’ll definitely hear that on the new recordings, but not so much on Premarital Hex. I’m also just generally obsessed with everything that Sacred Bones Records puts out… Exploded View, Zola Jesus, Lust for Youth, Blanck Mass, Pharmakon… they’ve all had a big influence on how I think about writing and making music. That influence has pushed me towards a lot of electronic experimentation lately. I expect you’ll hear a lot of that on our next record as well.

Q. Make a list of 5 albums of all time…
David: Or maybe I could make a list of the 5 hardest questions of all time? But, okay, let’s see, going from the gut: Total Control’s Typical System; Black Sabbath’s Master of Reality; John Maus’s We Must Become Pitiless Censors of Ourselves; Zola Jesus’s Stridulum (although her new record is really amazing, too) and, I don’t know, maybe a Bad Brains record, but I’m not sure if it would be I Against I or their self-titled. Of course, if you asked me again in six months, that list would probably be very different and would maybe include My Blood Valentine, Pavement, Sleep ∞ Over, Raveonettes, Elliott Smith, the Cure, David Bowie. I might even put some Steely Dan on there, to be honest. Actually, funny story, when we were trying to come up with a name for Premarital Hex, I kind of wanted to call it Reelin’ In the Tears for a little bit. It’s probably a good thing we didn’t choose that. Sorry, I cheated on this question.

Kori: Same here. This list would totally change if you asked me next week. Today, it's The Velvet Underground and Nico by The Velvet Underground and Nico; James Brown's Live at the Apollo; Simon and Garfunkel's Bridge Over Troubled Water; and I'm going to agree with David, Black Sabbath's Master of Reality changed my life. God this question is hard. Someone is definitely going to make fun of me for my unironic adoration of Simon and Garfunkel. I really love Aphex Twin's Selected Ambient Works 85-92 too. And Only Built 4 Cuban Linx... by Raekwon. I'm all over the place, I'm sorry. Wait, no. I choose Bowie's The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars. That album is a fucking miracle.

Q. How do you feel playing live?
Kori: We have never played live, actually. We live in two different states, so we've never had the chance to perform for a real audience. I'm hoping we get to one day, but that depends on where our professional lives take us in the future. We used to jam out (have we expired the phrase "jam out" yet, because I'm really looking forward to terminology that doesn't sound so lame) in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, but that was just good ol' drunken fun. Where do you think we should play first? I hear Brazil is really nice.

David: The sort of crazy thing is that, as Foxxxy Mulder, we’ve never actually played music together, period. Like at the same time and in the same place. It’s all been a back and forth exchange over the internet. But I really hope we’ll be able to play some shows at some point. And I think it will happen, but it may just be a one-off, spur of the moment thing. We’ll see.

Q. How do you describe Foxxxy Mulder sounds?
David: I don’t know for sure. One of the things I’ve really liked about this project is the variety of sounds we’ve been able to produce and bring together. I’ve never been very good at finding a sound and sticking with it. So, for instance, we’ve got fuzzy, noise pop songs like “Tonight” alongside more brooding songs like “Dark Creeper” and even songs like “Heaven Waits for You,” which lean a little dancy. I do think there’s an overall tone we’re going for, which I might describe as dark and melancholic, but also antagonistic in a sense. But how tone that expresses itself has so far been pretty diverse. The newer stuff we’ve been working on, for instance, ranges from really atmospheric electronic stuff to driving, in-your-face post punk songs, but it’s all got a degree of, I don’t know, melancholic angst beneath it. It’s my hope that we’ll continue to pull from a diverse range of sounds and genres. Total Control, in my view, is a band that does this really well, bringing together New Order-esque dance tunes and really intense punk songs, all in the same record. Their ability to touch on such a range of styles while remaining coherent is really cool to me.

Kori: I like to think of our sound as pretty eclectic. I think there is something for everyone on our EP, whether it's fuzzy, dissonant harshness or upbeat pop-punk or melancholic ballad. We were playing with a lot of different kinds of sounds with Premarital Hex, because we were having so much fun with it; it was alchemy for us. The one abstract quality that ties it all together, though, is the deep feeling of dissatisfaction. I can't even imagine writing a song in which a sense of satisfaction was the key takeaway. We're definitely working on a more coherent sound with our newer work, but I think you can expect some variety.

Q: Tell us about the process of recording the songs ?
Kori: Typically, David will have been messing around with a particular sound, and that turns into a small file, a demo, that he'll shoot over to me. I add my spin on things, providing vocals, a horn track, or other supplemental noise to texturize the basic structure of the composition, which is already pretty complex once David sends it to me. I like to push the weirdness further on my end, and from that we just trade the file back and forth using LogicPro to build it up. Once we have something that resembles a track, we strip down all the excess and try to make it as perfect as possible before sending it to the mixing stage. The greatest thing about our process is that we both are super supportive of each other's ideas, and when something isn't working, we typically agree on that. It's easy to work with David, because we have a really similar musical aesthetic and similar preferences for where we think the song wants to go. Sometimes he will do something that blows my damn mind, and that makes it super easy to get excited about the process. It doesn't get boring or stale for me, because every time I get an updated track from his end, the light bulb flicks on, and I have to follow where the song wants me to take it. It's almost as if the song has a mind of its own with its own will. It tells us where it wants to go, and we obey.

David: I would also add that I tend to write as I record and vice versa. Nothing is really planned out in advance and songs tend to take shape in unexpected ways. So I’ll have a beat or something, and then just start noodling on guitar until something cool emerges, and then I’ll cut and paste different fragments so that there’s a structure to the song. The last part tends to be lyrics, where I’ll just sing gibberish and then figure out what words could replace the gibberish. Then it all gets reworked, polished, etc. That tends to work well for collaboration, too, because we can trade off at any point in that process. Lately I’ve been recording songs in dark rooms with sunglasses on, so that I can’t see anything. I highly recommend trying it.

Q. Which new bands do you recommend?
David: I generally discover bands at least 5 years too late, so most of the bands I think of as new have been around for a while. But in terms of actually new bands, I’ve been listening to this post punk band called False Brother a lot lately. They’re from Kansas City, and they’re super rad. I think their first record came out in 2016. I definitely recommend checking them out.

Kori: Since I've been in Alaska, I've been exposed to the local music scene in Fairbanks, and let me tell you, there is some weird stuff up here that I am loving. Check out Harm. They just put out a new album, Mother Carries, and it is AMAZING. I also saw Grandad, a local punk band, play a while back and loved them. Outside of the immediate local sphere, I've really been into this not-new-but-new-to-me musician out of Scranton, PA, Wicca Phase Springs Eternal. I bump that in my car and it highly satisfying.

Q: Which band would you love to made a cover version of?
Kori: I love this question, because we seriously have a document containing all the covers we fantasize about eventually making. I'm dying to do a cover of Roy Orbison's "Crying," because Rebekah Del Rio's Spanish cover of the song in Mulholland Drive moves me to tears every time. I want to drone it out and make it in our image, so to speak. "Venus in Furs" by Velvet Underground is also something I'd love to cover, because it's already pretty heavy, and I think we could make it HEVVY. Make it bottom out with heaviness. I also want to pay tribute to one of my all-time favorite musicians, Leonard Cohen, by covering "You Want It Darker." That would be a dream.

David: I’ve always thought it would be fun to cover Lou Reed’s “Waves of Fear.” I would probably slow it down a lot and record it with way too many guitar tracks all layered on top of each other. Ideally, I’d turn it into a really sludgy doom metal song. Also, a cover of Lou Reed’s “Perfect Day” would also be fun to do, though I would probably give it a very stripped down, atmospheric treatment. “In Heaven” from Eraserhead would be awesome to cover, just because there’s so much room for experimentation. And, like Kori, I’d also love to do an Orbison cover. There are so many good ones to choose from.

Q: What are your plans for the future?
David: We will certainly be releasing some new music before too long. We’ve recorded a number of demos over the last few months, and we’re mostly deciding what to do with them at this point. You can probably expect another EP, maybe even a full-length, sometime next year.

Kori: Yeah, we're in the middle of shaping up some new songs, so keep your eye out. I'll be visiting David this winter, and we're going to crank out some new crisp vocals with some fancy equipment. Who knows what strange new experiments develop from it! We don't typically plan for the oddities; they just seem to keep happening, lucky for us. I'm real excited about what's to come.

Q: Any parting words?
Kori: First of all, thank you so much for giving us this interview. It's always really exciting for David and I to get to talk about our music and our influences, particularly the latter, because we would not be a band without being influenced by some external factor. I've talked about the larger, more well-known influences, but it's really important to me to speak to how crucial supporting your local music scene is. There have always been so many incredible, eclectic bands within a 25 mile radius of me, and that scene has made me appreciate whatever city I've been in. Put on for your city; contribute to your local music scene. Go to shows. Talk to the bands putting their hearts into their craft and into their city because of it. If you dig the music they're making, buy it and share it however you can. If you support your local music scene, it's going to make your city so much cooler, and in that way it will give back to you. It's a totally symbiotic relationship, and I owe a large debt of gratitude to any local musicians that are generous enough to put it all out there.

David: Yeah, what Kori said.