Lime Eyelid interview
Lime Eyelid is a project by Josh Schultz (Travelling Circle) using old school four track tape technology and various of synthesizers. The result is a very interesting experimental project with sublime atmosphere.
Last time we talked was when I interviewed you regarding your band Traveling Circle a few years ago. What’s the current situation in the band?
The members of Traveling Circle have spread out across the globe! Charlie who played bass is in the Bronx, Dylan who played guitar is in Sydney, Australia, and I am in San Francisco. Occasionally someone makes a California trip and we get to catch up. Charlie was practically just here. I know Dylan has been playing a bit and recording with some folks. I am looking forward to hearing it. We may all do some recording together again at some point. I guess Charlie is the closest to where we started in Brooklyn. Many of the places we used to play around Williamsburg are gone – Glasslands Gallery, Secret Project Robot, Zebulon, Cakeshop in Manhattan. I believe Secret Project Robot reopened at another spot at least, the Glasslands folks opened Elsewhere further out, and someone opened another Zebulon in LA, but the neighborhood is not as it was.
You have a brand new project called Lime Eyelid. Would you like to share a few words about it?
This year I was able to release an album as Lime Eyelid. The name of the album is Week of Wonders. I think it’s pretty far out, spacey, droney, minimal but also heavy. The album was recorded while waiting for the birth of my son. It was a good way to keep busy at home – recorded entirely in the kitchen, alone. I took the opportunity to do a lot of stuff I probably couldn’t get a band to agree to do. Lime Eyelid has only played one show, at a recurring noise happening called Godwafflenoisepancakes – they serve free pancakes! Lime Eyelid is not really noise music but some of the material is appropriate to that sort of event. Some pretty adventurous stuff is presented there – somewhat like how I would imagine the Zodiac Free Arts Lab had been.
What’s the concept behind it?
“Veramusement not Culture.” I am interested in unusual sounds. I like analog electronics and yet want those electronics to sound natural. What is a natural sound for a machine? I have no idea! I wanted to make a record but not make a band or even make songs. I wanted to enjoy listening to it without regard for technical proficiency. I wanted to have something to share with friends. I think everyone should make at least one record.
What kind of process do you have at mastering material for the release?
I mixed everything at home and then sent it Mell Dettmer for mastering, or premastering depending at how you look at it. Mell got the songs sounding more consistent and suitable for sending to the record plant, but the plant arranged for cutting of physical masters with the cutting engineer. I found Mell from the credits on an Earth album! Mell did a fantastic job of maintaining the spirit of a home recording. Mell has worked on a ton of heavy stuff like Sunn 0))), Boris, and Kinski. I tried to put together a pretty heavy sound so it made sense to ask Mell. I was lucky I got a yes given my rickety album. I gave Mell both Cluster and Earth as points of reference.
After a few listens, I truly think it’s an amazing release. What would you say influenced you the most to record this album?
Thanks very much! I know it is a little rough but I think that can also be appealing. Some influences: Henry Flynt. A lot of krautrock/kosmische but particularly Cluster, Neu! and the first two Popol Vuh albums. Harmonia and all variations of Moebius, Roedelius, and Eno. Silver Apples. Terry Riley (particularly Persian Surgery Dervishes) and Le Monte Young. Pandit Pran Nath (Earth Groove). The BBC Radiophonic Workshop. Throbbing Gristle. Suicide. Earth and avant-garde metal. Naam. Nymph. Sleep. GodheadSilo. Hawkwind. Pink Floyd and Piper at the Gates of Dawn in particular. Catherine Ribeiro + Alpes. The Red Krayola. Spacemen 3. The Velvet Underground. Willy Alexander. Roky Erikson and the Aliens. The Screaming Trees (especially Invisible Lantern). John Martyn’s Small Hours. Alice Coltrane. Some current bands I like a lot include Kikagaku Moyo, Mythic Sunship, The Cosmic Dead, Camera, Øresund Space Collective, The Band Whose Name Is A Symbol, Weird Owl, Dead Meadow, Acid King, Heron Oblivion, Eternal Tapestry, The Golden Grass, California Raga Association, and Cavern of Anti-Matter. Lime Eyelid’s biggest fashion influence is the Pana Wave Cult.
One of my biggest influences was my friend Jesse’s one-man-band called It Sound. He recorded an LP on his own called Hard Pop for Blue Trees which I really enjoy and that was encouraging. I have an interest in old gear and that in itself was a big influence.
What kind of equipment did you use to record the album?
I recorded everything on a TASCAM 414 mkII cassette 4-track I have owned since I was a kid. The primary mic was a Shure PG48, along with a few even cheaper mics. Instruments include a Gretsch “stop-sign” era kit with a 24” bass drum and a deep Ludwig marching snare. The synth is a Realistic Concertmate MG-1 which was the Moog they sold at RadioShack. My guitar was a cheap 90’s reissue of a Fender Duo Sonic. My amp was mostly a Silvertone Solid State 100. The reverb is sort of wonky. It sounds great up to about midway, but if you turn in up all the way it gets a really damaged sound, which also sounds great in a way. At some point I picked up a Univox amp which is my primary amp now, but I don’t recall if it made it on the record. I think I used both but the really screwed up sounding amp is definitely the Silverstone. In addition to guitar, I almost always played the synth through an amp rather than going direct. I also used a light Theremin I built from a $7 RadioShack soldering kit. It has a photo cell and the pitch changes based on how much light it gets. Effects I used include a PAX Eco Chamber model PX-8 tape echo, a Russian Big Muff, an EBow, a TC Electronic Skysurfer Reverb, and a DBX 166xl compressor – a mix of cool vintage stuff, really cheap stuff, and cool vintage cheap stuff! I used the tape echo all over the place both in recording tracks and mixing down.
Recording drums was tricky due to pressure to keep volume reasonable. Luckily the immediately neighboring apartment was vacant for much of it. I used reverb and the compressor on most of the drum tracks. I spent a lot of time mixing.
Who is behind the artwork?
I threw the cover together myself. My girlfriend Erin Klauk did all the Traveling Circle cover illustrations, but I thought something as strong as that would be incongruous with a home recording. I tried to keep the appearance austere, like the cover of Kraftwerk’s Ralf und Florian or records from certain Jazz labels. A friend noted it looks a little like the covers from Actuel however I wasn’t immediately familiar with the Actuel covers even though I love Don Cherry and others the label released, not that there is any musical similarity to Don Cherry to be found with the Lime Eyelid LP. The photo has some vaguely psychedelic elements, the mustard curtains, the amulet – these items would have fit in on the set of Beyond the Valley of the Dolls. Here they are in a very day-to-day setting. Look for the hidden face!
Let’s end this interview with some of your favourite albums. Have you found something new lately you would like to recommend to our readers?
I just discovered UFO Över Lappland (and that stuff is fantastic. Dire Wolves’ Excursions to Cloudland. Sunrise Ocean Bender is releasing a lot of great stuff (new Prana Crafter – Enter the Stream) as is GuruGuru Brain (Minami Deutsch – With Dim Light, Kikagaku Moyo – Masana Temples). Twink’s new record – Think Pink III! The Band Whose Name Is A Symbol’s album – Droneverdose! I just heard a metal leaning Slovenian band called Mist that sounds fantastic. My usual bartender is a great metal band called Lowcaster. Robert Aubrey Lowe. FiLTHMiLK. Borful Tang. Microwave Windows. Mark Matos keeps doing interesting stuff. Creation Factory. It came out years ago but Smoke Signals from Heavy Hands is terrific. Also the Hidden Ratio EP on YouTube. There’s a band out here called Marmalade Knives who are finishing their first album. I am really looking forward to hearing it. When I saw them play, even the bass player had a space echo – the bass player!!! One of them, Justin Spivey, also has a solo cassette called Rainbowfeather in the works. Justin hipped me to the new Träden record which is great.
Thank you. Last word is yours.
Thanks for giving me a chance to answer a few questions on Lime Eyelid’s Week of Wonders! Thanks also for remembering Traveling Circle. Coverage by It’s Psychedelic Baby and likeminded blogs, zines, and radio programs is the only way anyone will ever hear of Lime Eyelid. I really appreciate the opportunity to share this record and having the LP take a few spins on a turntable in Slovenia is wonderful. Thank you!
For anyone looking for the album, it is on discogs. The tracks can be downloaded from SoundCloud as well and whole album is on YouTube. Thanks!!!
– Klemen Breznikar
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