28 September 2015

Boy King Islands Q & A with Spreading The Seed

Spreading The Seed, a blog from Australia, recently interviewed me about my music as Boy King Islands.

Gʼday Iʼm… 

Boy King Islands

What do you do…

I do a little too much, but am doing my best to narrow my focus… Outside of making music as Boy King Islands and Caural, I love food, traveling, film, photography, collage, wine, meditating, running, the ocean and my fiancée, Alexandra.

The last song you listened to…

“Moussey” by Collages. Any love song to a cat is something I can get down with.

The first record/cd/cassette you bought with your own money…

Embarrasingly (well, now anyway), my first musical acquisition was the 7” single of Laura Braniganʼs song, “Gloria”. I was like, 3 years old. The first tape I remember buying was Motley Crueʼs “Too Fast For Love” when I was maybe 7, and the first CD I bought was Lushʼs “Gala” at 12.

When in the studio you must have…

More patience with myself, probably. But in terms of tangible things, I love my KSM313 for recording guitars and my Double Chorus pedal by Mr. Black from rainy Portland. I love my new Rickenbacker bass too.

Your craziest fan moment…

This one time, on Bandcamp, I stuck a flute… Oh wait, nevermind.

What song was a life changer for you…

I canʼt narrow it down to a single song, but I think that Miles Davisʼ album “Bitches Brew” was truly formative for me as a teenager when I started playing live. Even though I donʼt play jazz now per se, the aesthetics of jazz and truly genre-less improvisation have shaped every record I have ever made as Boy King Islands, Caural, or any other brief alias Iʼve hidden behind.

Whatʼs your fave Music Video and why…

I grew up recording MTV on VHS tapes, so itʼs pretty hard to hone in on just one. But a recent video that is absolutely brilliant is for “Never Catch Me” by Flying Lotus, directed by Hiro Murai. Really, the last bunch of his videos have been fantastic. Production value aside, the depth of their commentary on death is refreshing and beautiful, and their narrative truly elevates the material versus acts as a flowery accompaniment, which too many music videos are to me.

Who inspires you musically…

I just saw “Love and Mercy” (about Brian Wilson of the Beach Boys) and wanted to run home and set up a microphone immediately. Like Brian Wilson, the artists who inspire me the most are those who experiment with how a composition is brought to light - especially when the ensuing technique aids in the evolution of art.

If we could put you on the stage with any one artist who would it be…

Stevie Wonder. I was going to say Butthole Surfers circa the mid-80s just because their stage show was totally insane, but come on man: itʼs fucking Stevie Wonder!

State one thing that most people donʼt know about you…

I have written down what I do every day solidly for the last twenty years. At this point, I have been doing it for so long that I canʼt stop.

Favourite Simpsons character…

I have thought too long and hard about this and still have no idea. For now, I am going with Lisa.

Best advice for new and emerging artists…

Do not care what anyone thinks about you and make music that you love… A lot of it!

What would be on your music gear wishlist…

I need a floating, sound-proof room. I recently recorded vocals at my cousinʼs house in Sonoma at like two in the morning, and that worked too.

Favourite place to listen to music…

On headphones, running around Lake Merritt.

Whatʼs your personal musical discovery this year…

My fiancée and I were in Aquarius Records in San Francisco, and she randomly picked out a tape by an artist I had never heard of named Xiphiidae (Jeffry Astin). We put the tape in the car and suddenly were transported to what sounded like a drum circle in India. I canʼt stop listening to the damn tape (“Honeyguise”, on Rotifer Cassettes).

Looking forward… what has the next 12 monthʼs got in store for you…

I am going to work my first harvest in Napa this season, so the next few months are going to be completely exhausting and I canʼt imagine Iʼll have a lot of time for music until December. I do have a lot of new material written though and am excited to start recording… I want to at least have an EP finished by next spring, and I want to start working on another new Caural album as well.

How would you define success…
Success is setting a goal and enjoying the process of achieving it. Hopefully you learn something new along the way and are able to laugh at yourself if you fuck it up.

Do you think that online social media is an important tool for musicians to-

I honestly hate social media but, at the same time, I realize that next to touring it is the single most important thing you NEED to do nowadays as a musician. Since I havenʼt toured in years and have never even played live as Boy King Islands it looks like I should probably post some more photos of my cat or something.

What do you love about being musicians/singer-songwriters the most…

Music is such a huge and necessary part of my life that Iʼve honestly never thought about what I even like about it; itʼs just something that is there constantly, whether in or outside of my head. I suppose the best part is when this thing that has magically come through me resonates with someone else, and it becomes a shared experience.

If you had to choose - Space Flight or a set with Dave Grohl?

Dave Grohl is pretty great, but is this really a question? When can I board the spaceship?

Do you have a bucket list…
Of course, and space flight is on it. I couldnʼt do a one-way trip though, unless I knew there would be another planet that would welcome me. Earth is getting pretty scary lately.

21 September 2015

Caural - Valley Fire Mix for Sub FM

John Moses of Youngbloods recently invited me to guest on his show on Sub FM. Here is the archive with my mix beginning around 58:50.

Caural - Valley Fire
A Mix for Sub FM

1. Ian William Craig - "One Hour Was Sunlit" (self-released)
2. SND - Atavism 11 (Raster-Noton)
3. Kit Clayton - Nuchu (~scape)
4. Huerco S - Chun-Kee Player (Software)
5. Twerk - Return to Hokkaido (Mille Plateaux)
6. Gas - Pop VI (Mille Plateaux)
7. Burial - UK (Hyperdub)
8. Future Sound of London - Among Myselves (Astralwerks)
9. Black To Comm - Hotel Freund (Type)
10. Belong - Common Era (Kranky)
11. Emptyset - Limit (Raster-Noton)
12. Heathered Pearls - Left Climber edit (Ghostly)
13. Mount Kimbie - Would Know (Hotflush Recordings)
14. Cy - Qna edit (self-released)
15. Clams Casino - I'm God edit (self-released)
16. Caural - Highway 1 Chimes (field recording)
17. All - All Music edit (Mille Plateaux)
18. Misel Quitno - Pull It Out Somewhen (Everest Records)
19. Raj Mahal - Shooting (self-released)
20. Culp - CH0RDEMBLEU (self-released)
21. Warm Thighs - Stay With Me (SLF Tapes)
22. Teebs - Moments (Brainfeeder)
23. Christian Fennesz - Before I Leave (Mego)

Download the full mix here: