It's Psychedelic Baby Magazine

It's Psychedelic Baby is an independent music magazine. We are covering alternative, underground, non-commercial and non-mainstream artists in variety of shapes and genres. Exclusive interviews, reviews and articles. A place where musicians can express themselves. We serve an international readership.

Zen Mantra - How Many Padmes Hum? (2013) review

Zen Mantra "How Many Padmes Hum?" (Stroll On Records, 2013)

Some would say that modern technologies destroyed music with the ability to record it with just computer and programmed instruments. Most of them are probably right, but there are always exceptions. The example is Zen Mantra – a bedroom project by 17 year old musician Sam Perry, who managed not only to record the entire album in house environment, but also to produce it in a really high class level, when it`s about psychedelic sound. With some help with additional vocals, bass playing and mastering, this artist recorded nice piece of music with 9 songs. It sounds modern, a little bit fuzzy and noisy (well, as many of new psychedelic albums do), with many anthem choruses and nice guitar riffs. Songs like “Soothsayer”, “Sakura” and “Cloudgazer” stand out of the entire album with songwriting seriousness and structure. Closing title “I Wonder What It's Like Out There” could easily be place on some new age alternative rock ballad compilations. The only problem is that record companies don`t make them anymore. Want to hear something new? Check out this album and listen to it very carefully, and remember – this is the product of young man`s mind from new generation of psychedelic gang!

Review made by Andrija Babovic/2013
© Copyright

Strange Forces interview with Matt Blanton, Nick Burroughs and Eli Kalaitzides

Lysergic, sometimes atonal, powerful and at once catchy, you might say there are strange forces at work in the music.  A confident blend of space and psychedelic rock, Strange Forces have been brewing up their own bad ass unique style for almost four years at this point.  While they had released several EPs in the past 2012 saw the release of their debut album, I’d Rather Listen To The Bloody Birds on 12” vinyl.  The edition of two-hundred copies sold out almost instantly at the source, I however was one of the lucky few that managed to score a copy.  As a result since the release of I’d Rather Listen To The Bloody Birds I have been chomping at the bit for new Strange Forces material but couldn’t find any info floating around online as to whether or not they were working on anything…  Lost in the trance like state which Strange Forces evokes I knew I had to talk to find an answer, I needed to know more about this band.  Hypnotic solos and a rhythm section built like a brick shit house keep the music from becoming plodding or repetitive, convalescing into a misty cloud of psychedelic hysteria.  Strange Forces has something special going on and I was going to get to the bottom of it.  So join me in a personal odyssey of discovery and obsession and make sure you check out all the amazing streaming music available on Strange Forces Bandcamp page at!

What’s the band’s lineup?  Is this your original lineup?

Matt:  Eli on drums, Nick on bass/vocals and I play Guitar, synth and vocals.  Sometimes Eli has to DJ in Ibiza so we get our mate Alain to play drums when a scheduling conflict like that happens.

Nick:  Yeah Eli is obsessed with that place.

Eli:  It’s true, diggin’ the vibe in DC10.

Are any of you in any other bands?  Have you released anything with any other bands?  If so can you tell us a little bit about it?

Matt:  I played Bass at one gig for An Emerald City.  Eli of course is a regular on the techno scene.

Nick:  Matt and I are starting this band called Silikon so we can play while Eli is in Ibiza.

Eli:  Yeah I travel the world as an electronic/DJ pioneer.  I play a lot in Ibiza; Ministry of Sounds, Space and Patchas.

Where are you originally from?

Matt:  We all grew up in Brisvegas, Australia the gambling capital of the southern hemisphere.

Eli:  My father and mother are from the old country though and I think that influences me.

Where is the band located now?  How would you describe the local music scene there?

Matt:  We formed the band in Berlin in late 2009 and we're still here.  The 8MM bar/label has probably carved out the closest thing to a scene in Berlin for lovers of the psychedelic variety, they always have the best bands in town.

Eli:  I, of course, do many techno parties Berlin.  Once in my hometown Mykanos, I ate a whole giraffe cooked while mixing.

Nick:  Ha-ha!  Eli, you told me it was just the leg?

Are you very involved with the local scene?  Has it played a large role in the history or evolution of Strange Forces?

Matt:  I have put on shows in the past.  It did help the band especially with gigs and finding similar, likeminded bands.  We also ran a bar for a bit.  It was great for a while and a bit of a hub for musicians but as we suffer from alcoholism, it was short lived.

Eli:  My brother also suffers from trouble with brothels and the bottle.

Nick:  I would say we are fairly involved.  We’ve been playing shows with Berlin based bands and musicians for four years now.  It’s hard to separate Strange Forces and Berlin.

When and how did you all meet?

Matt:  I met Nick when I was seven, I think he came round to my place and we played army.  I met Eli when we were ten; we played some b ball (basketball).

Eli:  I got my first DJ gig when I was fourteen.

What led you to form Strange Forces and when was that?

Matt:  It was the biggest in-flight incident in Qantas airways history in 2009.  I was travelling on QF72 from Singapore to Perth and the plane fell out of the sky twice.  The people sitting in front of me broke their necks but luckily my girlfriend and I were unharmed.  The pilot had to perform an emergency landing at a secret air force base in Exmouth, WA.  The next day in Perth, I won the lottery.  When I got back to Berlin I used the money to rent a studio and buy some equipment.

Eli:  I met them at a techno party.  I was playing live percussion with my electronics, they quite liked it and asked if I would want to be in psychedelic band that earns no money and I said yes.  I already have plenty of money from my DJing.  Now Greece is in the toilet.

What does the name Strange Forces mean or refer to?

Eli:  The forces, the strange ones.  They’re all strange.

Matt:  Maybe I got it from a book of the same name by Leopoldo Lugones.  Generally, it seems to fit as we like to explore things of a strange nature, and toilets.

Nick:  Yeah there’s heaps of shit going on all the time.  It’s pretty far out if you close your eyes and think about it.

I don’t like to label or classify music, how would you describe Strange Forces to our readers that haven’t heard you yet?

Eli:  Jamming toucans in a bowl of fruit loops three billies deep down by the creek.

Matt:  Someone once called it “dark surf”.  I like that.  I would describe it more as McKenna-esque or Buckminster-Fuller-Filler now though.

Nick:  I would call it Proto-Pronto or Cheapadelica Rock.

You have an incredibly interesting sound, a swirling mixture of sounds; who are some of your personal musical influences?  What about the band as a whole as opposed to personally?

Matt:  Thanks.  When we started the band I was influenced by rock’n’roll and drum’n’bass and I wanted to make the first ever live rock’n’roll drum’n’bass band.

Eli:  There are so many influences from so many different genres.  I think as a band our musical influences probably come from stuff like krautrock, space rock, garage, electronic music and techno.  I used to live in Italy and I would daydream about different things, one day I didn't eat until 4PM and I was super hungry.  When I finally got a pizza I started hearing Paul Van Dyke's We Are Alive in my head.  It was very great but I don't like his music.  That was back in the 2002.  Personally I find it pretty hard to list specific musical influences.

Can you tell us about Strange Forces songwriting process?  Is there a lot of exploratory jamming or does someone come to the rest of the band with an idea to build on and compose?

Matt:  Yeah, it’s very jam based to begin with and if we remember something in the next session we'll talk about structure, or not talk and use our telepathic powers to complete the track.  Other times we might start with a sample, like a beat or synth loop and see where it goes.

Eli:  I do a lot of different post production techniques with my laptop.  If you need a copy of Logic, Pro Tools or Ableton just e-mail me!

 © Michael Weiss
© Michael Weiss

Do you enjoy recording?  Some bands love it and others head for the hills screaming ha-ha!

Matt:  Yeah I think it can be heaps of fun when a track comes out at the end and its sounding ace, it’s a great feeling.  It's bloody time consuming though.  A lot of waiting around and looking at the same thing for a while, but that’s why we drink.

You released your self-titled EP in 2011 along with an ultra-limited cassette Spores limited to only one hundred pieces.  Which one was released first?

Matt:  The EP was first and we released it ourselves on our own label, Under Fire Is Born.

Let’s talk a little bit about the recording of those first two albums.  What does the name Spores mean?  Where were the albums recorded at?  Who recorded them?  What kind of equipment was used?  Who released them?

Matt:  From what I can gather, spores are like the seeds of fungi, they can exist in outer space and they come from other planets.  I love fungi.  I believe it can save the world if need be.  That cassette was a mixed bag of stuff we had done up till that point.  It was released by Jason in LA through his label, Living Tapes.  The EP was recorded with Ed East at Studio East in Berlin.  The other tracks we did our selves in our studio.

Nick:  Yeah Fungi rules.

There was a second edition of the Strange Forces EP that was released in Australia subsequent to the German pressing which includes several bonus tracks originally from the Spores cassette.  Are there any plans to make all of the material from the Spores cassette available in the future via physical release or digital formats?

Matt:  No plans to re-release that stuff, it's quite old and we'd rather look to the future.  Currently we have a load of recordings to release from a few sessions we've done this year and we are focusing on that.  There is definitely another LP’s worth of stuff, if not more, to get out there.  But we gotta mix it and we're lazy. 

Nick:  Yeah we’ve got music coming from all angles.  We might release it really slowly and get other people to continue to release when we’re dead, that way we can live forever.

Eli:  They’ll be released on the Greatest Hits album.

You released your debut full-length, I’d Rather Listen To The Bloody Birds last year.   How was recording that different that the Spores and EP sessions?  Where was it recorded?  Who recorded it?  What kind of equipment was used?

Matt:  It was recorded at One Million Mangos here in Berlin by our mate Alain.  It was a pretty similar recording process to our other stuff as we always record live.  Since the LP we’ve done all our recordings here at One Million Mangos as well.
Alain (sound engineer):  C414 on guitar amp, DIed the bass, and a mixture of SM57s and C414s on vocals.  Kick was D112, Snare SM57 top / SM58 bottom, OHs small diaphragm condensors, SM57 trash mic and a stereo pair of condensors as room mics.  They played together live but the amps were tracked in another room for better isolation.  We worked in REAPER and used a bunch of FX especially for vocals; Waves GTR was used a lot.  We ran a bunch of tracks through a Fostex R8-tape machine too.

I know the LP version of I’d Rather Listen To The Bloody Birds was limited to only 200 copies, do you currently have anything in print or available?  If so where’s the best place for our readers to purchase copies of your music?

Matt:  Yeah I think we will probably do another 100 copy run this year sometime.  In the meantime you can check out these select stores for a copy the first pressing as we don't have any left ourselves.  Rough Trade - London, SpaceHall – Kreuzberg and Berlin, - F’hain and Berlin, Permanent Records Chicago - US, Clearspot - Netherlands.
*also check out

Are there any plans for a follow-up album or any other music this year?

Matt:  Yeah we have a bunch of unreleased material that I would like to get out there in one form or another.  We are releasing a cassette this month or next with some remixes of songs from the LP by some friends, bands & DJs we dig.  We’re also putting some new jams on there.

What do you have planned as far as touring goes?

Matt:  We just finished a little mini-tour of Germany with High wolf that was awesome.  There are a couple of festivals coming up in Europe and we’re also looking to hit the states next year.

You have shared the stage with some amazing acts, who are some of your personal favorite acts that you’ve played with?

Matt:  I'm a big fan of High Wolf's music, Gnod are the best live band I've ever played with and one of the most fun to tour with and Mogwai, of course, were just epic!

Eli:  We played once and I think Ricardo Villalobos was playing also.  His is a very, very great man and I hope to play with him again.  As we say back home, Siccome la casa brucia, riscaldiamoci!*
*(roughly translated this means “Since the house is burning, let us warm ourselves)

Do you have any funny or interesting stories from live performances that you’d like to share with our readers?

Matt:  The first night we met Gnod, the fish man called an ambulance ‘cause he thought he was gonna die but I guess that's not that funny.  Plenty of things have happened, tour is fun.

Nick:  We drew a swastika on Eli’s head.  But that’s not funny either.

Eli:  Once we played in a shopping center food court in the Ukraine.

You’ve put out material via CD, cassette tape and vinyl at this point.  Do you have a favorite medium of release?

Matt:  Definitely vinyl.  I think it’s proven to be the best.

Do you have a music collection?  If so can you tell us a little bit about it?

Eli:  Yes, I like music very much and have tons of it.  I spend too much time on the internet adding to my digital music collection, but I’ve been buying more vinyl recently.  I don’t think you can beat vinyl. 

Matt:  I started to collect vinyl here in Berlin, random crap like old East German synth stuff but then I got bored of that.  I also have a large collection of rocks which I then started to concentrate on.

There are upsides and downsides to everything but digital music and distribution seems to be a real line in the sand for some people.  What’s your opinion on digital music and distribution?

Matt:  I dunno how it works.  Everything digital on our Bandcamp is free.  You just have to type zero in where it says “pay what you want”.  But yeah it’s a weird one, I think it should all be free but then again it would be nice to get a bit of cash so that we can pay all these fines we get just for living here in Germany.

Nick:  It should be free obviously.  People get pissed off sometimes but it’s usually ‘cause they are old.

Eli:  I say if you wanna sell it, sell it.  If you wanna give it away for free, do that.  It’ll probably end up as a free download somewhere anyway.  Which I think is great.  The pay what you want approach is probably a good way of doing the businesses these days, sharing new and old music is what it’s all about.

In hopes of keeping up with the never ceasing onslaught of amazing musicians out there, who should I be listening to from your local scene or area that I might not have heard of?

Matt:  Locally in Berlin, The Sun And Wolf + The History of Colour TV are rippin’ the most lids.

Eli:  Locally in Brisbane I’d probably say Dreamtime and Sleepwalks.

What about nationally and internationally?

Matt:  Other German bands I like at the moment are Kreidler and Solyst, I also still can't stop listening to Powderfinger. 

Nick:  Gotta love the finger.

Eli:  Night Terrors, High Wolf, Mari and Milani, Giuseppe Ottaviani, Manuel De La Mare, Stefano Noferino, Joseph Capriati, Mauro Picotto, Gabry Ponte, Cristian Marchi, Sasha Carassi, Luigi Madonna, Andrea Bertolini and Fabrizio Maruizi.

Is there anything that I missed or you’d like to talk about?

Nick:  Don't get me started.

Matt:  If Woody Allen is reading this; mate you can take a hike, I’m not giving you a cent!  And thanks Roman!

(2010)  Strange Forces – CDR001 – CD-R – Self-Released
(2011)  Strange Forces – Strange Forces EP – CD – Under Fire Is Born Records
(2011)  Strange Forces – Spores – Cassette Tape – Living Tapes (Limited to 100 copies)
(2012)  Strange Forces – Strange Forces – CD-R – New World Australia (second pressing with additional bonus tracks from Spores cassette release)
(2012)  Strange Forces – I’d Rather Listen To The Bloody Birds – 12” – Under Fire Is Born Records (Limited to 200 copies)

Interview made by Roman Rathert/2013
© Copyright

Crosss interview with Andrew March

If you’re just joining me then you might have missed out a little bit.  I am of the opinion that a gerat deal of the best psychedelic music from across the globe comes from Canada an area which I feel is a highly overlooked source of amazing tunes.  I’ve talked with several bands from America’s great white cousin to the North, Canada, including Powder Blue, KRANG and Shooting Guns in an attempt to get people to stand up and pay attention.  Now I’ve got another name to add to the list of increasingly impressive and talented bands exploding out of Canada right now, Crosss.  On the tail of several extremely promising cassette tapes Telephone Explosion recently unleashed Crosss’ debut album Obsidian Spectre on an unsuspecting world!  With previous releases from Ty Segall, Charlie & The Moonhearts and Teenanger long before Segall became a trendy household name, Telephone Explosion holds a special place in my heart as one of the first specialty labels I ever from years ago at this point.  So when Telephone Explosion announced their newest release I went in with high expectations.  I was not disappointed.  A poignant combination of grunge, psych and just enough metal to keep things really interesting Crosss is proving to be an incredibly unique voice amongst the increasingly chocked Canadian psych scene.  A swirling amalgamation of some of the heaviest psych I’ve heard in a long time and some clever interesting composition Crosss is nothing short of jaw dropping.  Now that I have the obligatory name dropping, comparisons and hype out of the way why don’t you just click on this link and listen to some tunes?  It will help you get into the right headspace to read about one of my absolutely favorite new bands; Crosss…

What’s your lineup?  Is this the original lineup or have you gone through some personnel changes?

Nathan Doucet and Ryan Allen join me now, my name is Andrew March.  There have been many lineups but this is the real one.

When and how did you all meet?

Halifax is a small place and we’ve known each other for a long time.  Nathan and I however became close friends during a time of parallel turmoil.  We both lost our minds and souls to others and we helped each other recover them.  That’s when the real band was born, I guess we are co-shamans. Ryan tags along with whoever is driving out of Halifax, so that's his role.

Are any of you in any other bands?  Have you released any material with anyone else?  If so can you tell us a little bit about it?

We’re all lifer musicians and Halifax is a prolific town, so yes we have other projects and many other releases.  Nathan is in a notable band called Heaven For Real, and Ryan has one called Cold Warps.  I run a cassette singles label called Craft Singles and operate a record lathe.

Where are you originally from?

I'm from Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.

Was your household very musical growing up?  Were any of your relatives musicians or very interested in music?

Yes my grandfather was a professional musician and educator.  He was a bandmaster in the Navy and played most instruments very well.  My father is a gifted intuitive pianist and guitarist and my mother is a very good singer.  She won a lot of competitions as a youngster.  My younger brother studies the Tabla and is actually very good.  My older brother taught me my first instrument, electric bass, and he also played French horn.  We were a very musical family, which is not at all uncommon in Nova Scotia.

How were you first exposed to music?  When did you first become interested in music and when did you first become interested in writing/performing music?

I always intended to be a musician, ever since I was a child.  There’s a famous quote amongst my family of me as a child saying, “I want to be a musician like gramps so I can make money having fun”. I hold that same pathos now, though the ethos has changed.  I wanted to write music as soon as I realized that man was inherently and forever becoming, I’m happy to be part of that process now.

Where is the band currently located?

We're an hour east of Calgary Alberta, on the trans-Canada, watching the sun set behind endless fields of wheat, looking forward to twenty-three hours of prairies and highway ‘til Chicago.

How would you describe the local music scene where you are at?

The scene in Halifax is very special.  I would be betraying too much to too many good friends to say any more.  Just take a look on Bandcamp.  Things have been evolving in beautiful and complex ways since before I was around, and thanks be to gods, will continue to do so.

Are you very involved with the local scene?

Yes, one of the local studios lets me record there in the nights, so I try to document as many of the bands as I can.  Craft Singles has twenty-six releases now, and most are local Halifax bands.

Has it played a large role in the sound, history or evolution of Crosss?

I would say yes and no.  All water comes from the sky, though the ocean only vaguely resembles the clouds.  I’ve also lived several places and though I might say I’m from a place, it's not my real home.  I think the evolution of the band has come from audiences and peers from several parts of the country, some of whom identify with the Halifax scene, some of whom do not.  I have always tried to keep a wide vision when it comes to all the different elements of life and I accept that it‘s a slow path but I also believe it’s a strong path.

What led you to form Crosss and when was that?

I was in a band called Cousins in 2008 but I couldn't stay in Halifax anymore and they moved on without me, and are doing very well now indeed.  I moved to Montreal and started Crosss there because honestly, I didn't know what else to do with my energy.

Can you tell us who your major musical influences are?  What about the band as a whole rather than individually?

I like a song when it gives me a little shiver in my back, when the Kundalini writhes a little.  Nothing does that for me like classical Indian music or the sounds of the 70’s British Invasion, in all its incarnations.  On a more intentional level, I’m blending Sabbath, Dog Day, Sleep, early Pink Floyd and a sound which I imagine as a Druidic sound, though no one knows what that would really be...

What does the name Crosss mean and how was it chosen?

I named the band in honor of my first collaborator under this monicker, who is named Christian.  Crosss was a joke about that.  I like it now because it points to a plurality of Crosses and is also usually mispronounced as cross, a word which my grandmother may have used to describe my feelings for the current remembrance of only a single cross.  The history of sentient beings on earth has been scribbled over with cheap markers by bratty boys and I'm happy to point that out with my band name.

Can you tell us a little bit about Crosss’s songwriting process?  Is there a lot of exploratory jamming or is there someone who approaches the rest of the band with a riff or more finished product to work out with the rest of you?

So far we have done very little in the way of group explorations.  My role so far has been to compose.  The others play very, very well and I love them.  That’s their role so far.

What about the recording process?  Do you enjoy recording?  Some bands love and other head for the hills at the mere mention of recording ha-ha!

I love recording.  I recorded this LP several times before releasing it, partly because I wanted to get it sounding a particular way and partly just because I love recording!

Your first release was the Bones Brigade cassette single.  Can you talk about the recording of that album?  Where was it recorded?  When was it recorded?  Who recorded it and what kind of equipment was used?  Who released the Bones Brigade tape?

That tape was recorded in Montreal by Christian Simmons and me at his studio, Drones Club.  We recorded directly to 1/2 inch 8-track, and mixed it on a digital recorder of some kind I think.  I released it on cassette under my own imprint.

You followed up the Bones Brigade tape with a split cassette release with I Smell Blood.  How did that collaboration come about?  Why a split cassette rather than a 7”, CD or something?

That release was someone else's idea, and was not collaborative.  I assume tapes were chosen for their price.

Can you tell us who recorded the song that appeared on that cassette, Obsidian Song?  Where and when was it recorded?  What kind of equipment was used?

That was a very unusual one.  I produced it alone, creating several loops with guitar, drums and my voice and then outputting them to a mixer.  I used the mixer with some outboard gear to create the arrangement and filter and manipulate the loops, giving me the finished product.  I hoped to create a song that seemed spontaneous and natural in its arrangement, although that sounds very supernatural, the real time process of mixing helped in so far as that was a success.

Did you write that song specifically for that split or did you have it completed and or recorded beforehand?

I wrote and produced it in one sitting.

You just released your debut album Obsidian Spectre on Telephone Explosion Records out of Canada.  Can you tell us about the recording of that album?  Where was it recorded?  Who recorded it?  When was it recorded?  What kind of equipment was used?  Was it very different than the recording for your earlier split and single?

Yes it was.  We recorded it ourselves at the Echo Chamber in Halifax very late at night in 2012.  Our approach was to focus on the drum sounds without cymbals.  We used a very good microphone, a RCA clone, and a very good Neve clone.  It was recorded on a low-quality a/d converter and the pre amps in that box give it that clipping, something we got from Tame Impala.  The guitars get there tone from being doubled and by careful use of several mics.  Phase and panning lend a lot of their character.  I spent a long time learning to master so I could put the finishing touches on the record, I think it took me three months to master.

The songs from the Bones Brigade single made their way on to the album but the Obsidian Song from the split didn’t.  Is that song available anywhere now?  If not are there any plans to make it available physically or via a digital release medium like iTunes or Bandcamp?  Where the tracks from the Bones Brigade single the original recordings or were they re-recorded during the Obsidian Spectre sessions?

Obsidian Song is streaming on our Bandcamp and available for download there.  We re-recorded both those songs for the LP.

You also release an already sold out extremely limited lathe cut 8” (yes 8” not 7”) split with Un Blonde.  How did that collaboration come about?  8” lathe cut squares of plexi-glass, wow!  How limited was the release?  Who put it out?  It would seem to me there can’t be a lot of people out there capable of even releasing something like that!
*Songs are still available for digital purchase via Bandcamp

The singer in UnBlonde is young man from Calgary, Alberta named Jean Sebastien Audet.  He sent me demos last year and I was amazed by them.  I released those songs as a cassette under the name The You Are Minez.  The Crosss/UnBlonde split was proposed by Pierre Richardson who runs the label Bruised Tongue, an Ottawa imprint, which released the 8".  I made them on my Record Lathe.  I’ve made fifty so far, and may make more if I ever get home.

Was the recording of the song for that split, Saccarhine, handled in the same fashion as the Obsidian Spectre sessions?

I made Saccarhine alone but this time I used Logic.  The drums are a program called BFD, I played them on my computer keyboard.

Are there any plans for a follow-up release of any sort coming up?

Yes we are working on the songs for our next release right now.  In the meantime there’s a 7" split with a band called Astral Gunk coming up soon on the Pleasance imprint, and we are curating a six band compilation for a Brooklyn label called Northern Spy which is coming out on cassette.

With the recent international postage rate hikes where is the best place for our US readers to purchase copies of your music?  What about international and overseas readers?

Postage is a big problem.  The best approach that I know of is to have your local store order the record.  Our distributor is called Revolver and it should be available anywhere, stores order from distributors in bulk so they save on shipping.  The next best thing is to just get in touch with the label directly, email

What do you have planned as far as touring goes for the rest of the year?

This will be a busy year.  We’ll be around the USA and Canada a lot.  If all goes according to plan.

Do you have any funny or interesting stories from live shows that you’d like to share with our readers?

Last week we were supposed to play with Thee Oh Sees in Calgary at a festival called Sled Island, but the city was hit with a massive flood so the festival was cancelled.  A bunch of house shows were arranged at the last minute in the dry part of town to try to make up for it.  There were so many people it was kind of nuts, just hundreds of people trying to cram into someone’s tiny basement.  We played a few of them over the next few days, and, well…  They were crazy.

You have played with some awesome bands, who are some of your personal favorites that you’d like to share a bill with?

Hmmm…  In my dreams I’m usually on tour with Swans.  I would really like to tour with Metz or Naomi Punk someday.

I must admit I love having a digital copy of an album to take with me on the go; I can’t very well haul my vinyl around with me!  But there’s something inescapable about physical releases for me.  Having a physical object to hold in your hands, artwork to look at and liner notes to read will always make the listening experience more complete, at least for me.  Do you have any such connection with physical releases?

Yes of course, the act of listening to records and looking at the packaging is an important element.

Do you have a music collection at all?  If so can you tell us a little bit about it?

It's funny.  I’m not a collector.  I consume music pretty fast and don't really go back, so I don't keep records around.  I go through other people's collections and I love other people's records very passionately although I have very few of my own.  Most of which I was just given or bought at shows, though there are maybe one or two very special records, like the Husband and Knife LP, which carry special meaning to me.

As an artist during the reign of digital what’s your opinion on digital music and distribution.  While it seems to be doing a lot of damage to the mainstream industry it seems to be allowing independent bands to level the playing field as far as promotion and distribution goes as long as they are willing to put in the work.

I think the music industry needed adjustment and that has happened.  And I think its back on its feet again now, in a better way.  Maybe I'm wrong but as of right now that’s how I feel.  The greatest relevance of digital music, I feel, is in research.  When I started studying music I would go through the university library, my friends parent’s collections or maybe read about a band in magazine and save up to order a CD for $25, but it was very hard.  It was very unfortunate.  Today, obviously, research is very powerful.  There are tremendous archives of music from every time and place.  It’s very different and a whole lot better.  I think music will progress faster and better now.  Really, I feel like it is already.

I ask everyone I talk to this question in hopes of keeping up with half of the amazing musicians out there right now.  Who should I be listening to from your local scene or area that I might not have heard of before?

Oh gee whiz, Bloodhouse, Dog Day, Husband and Knife, Bad Vibrations, Old and Weird, Torso and Guilt

What about nationally and internationally?

Nationally:  The Soupcans, Each Other, Freak Heat Waves, The Hussy and Telstar Drugs.  Internationally, I don't know any secrets

Is there anything that I missed or that you’d just like to talk about?

Nope.  Thanks!

(2011)  Crosss – Bones Brigade – Cassette Tape – Craft Singles/Electric Voice Records (Limited to 90 copies)
(2012)  Crosss/I Smell Blood – Split – Cassette Tape – Perdu Zine
(2013)  Crosss – Obsidian Spectre – digital, 12” – Telephone Explosion Records
(2013)  Crosss/Un Blonde – Split – digital, 8” – Bruised Tongue

Interview made by Roman Rathert/2013
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