Kastle is one of those people in my life that I’ve come to appreciate every little thing he does. To the point where every time a text shows up on my phone from him, I know it’s going to be good. So when he shot one over saying I’m going to love the new artist he was about to release on his label Symbols, my interest was more than piqued. Little did I know how much that interest would explode upon hearing his latest signee: Lindsay Lowend. Young and full of a sort of weirdly-fantastic effervescent charm, Lindsay Lowend quickly rose to be my favorite upcoming artist.
I talked to Lindsay Lowend a couple weeks ago following the release of his EP Wind Fish on Symbols, dude is easily the most well-spoken guy I’ve ever interviewed. Perfect grammar. *Angels Singing* Since he explains everything you want to know so well, without further ado just click the jump to read the full interview.
Hi Tony! How are you, what have you been up to this week?
This past Tuesday I traveled to New York City with a friend of mine to work on music, visit friends, and eat good food. A lot of plans fell through so we ended up walking at least 10 miles the first day there, haha.
How did your relationship with Symbols/Kastle come about?
Kastle contacted me via email this past April asking if I had any unreleased music he could hear (that’s when I sent him the demos of “Sass Mouth” and “GT40″). He seemed to really like them from the get-go so we started planning a release on Symbols. Both tunes are super short so I told him I wanted to hold off on the release until I had more music. People get way more excited over four tracks than two tracks–not to mention there would have only been 4 minutes of music on the EP had we just gone with Sass Mouth and GT40.
What’s the deal with ‘neon music’? How did this term come about, what’s its significance to you and in general?
Haha. Well, I’m not trying to redefine music in any way; I hope people realize that. It’s just a term I created out of necessity to describe my music. People ask what genre of music I make pretty frequently and I always end up responding with “electronic” or “instrumental hip-hop.” I mean, of course it’s electronic, but I sure as hell wouldn’t call this stuff instrumental hip-hop. “Neon music” isn’t about a BPM or a drum pattern–it’s about a vibe. I realize that sounds pretty nebulous, so I’ll name a few artists I feel fall into this category: Alizzz, Wave Racer, AWE, Deon Custom, and Bo En. If those names don’t ring a bell, google them immediately. There’s a certain light-heartedness associated with neon music. It doesn’t take itself too seriously.
There’s a lot of different influences in your Wind Fish EP, namely the analog/jazz ones and tons of video games. Are these important (musical) spectrums to you, and were they always something you wanted to incorporate into your own music?
They were definitely something I wanted to incorporate into my music. It’s funny: I don’t listen to a lot of jazz, but I listen to artists who listen to a lot of jazz, which makes jazz an influence once removed for me. I definitely like jazz; anytime it comes on the radio I’m always blown away by the virtuosity of each musician (a trait that almost seems like a prerequisite for the genre).
I’ve been told you’ve got a pretty unique approach to production, in that it goes far beyond the ‘normal’ setup of a laptop or more modern pieces. Can you explain?
I use the program Renoise, which always seems to throw people for a loop. It’s a tracker so everything scrolls vertically. Each track has it’s own column for what most producers would call “automation.” You can add vibrato, glissandos, crescendos, and loads of other stuff there. It’s super, super intuitive and I highly recommend it. Trackers have been around since the late 80s but haven’t gotten the attention they deserve.
Since you’re (relatively) new to the music scene, can you tell us a bit about your goals? Plans to tour, music endeavors or dreams, etc?
I’d love to write a top 40’s pop song. It would be such a surreal feeling to hear my music playing in somebody’s Honda Civic as I walk through the city. Plans to tour? Well, I just played a show with Kastle, Jaw Jam, and Druid Cloak in New York on the 12th of September; that was a lot of fun. Besides that, I should have a date or two here in DC. And, of course, I’d love to score a video game or two. I owe so much to video game music. It’s ridiculous.
Describe your music without using any genre terms:
Comical, flamboyant, bright, colorful, sometimes annoying.
When you’re not making music, what are you listening to? Have any favorite albums/artists of the moment?
FearofDark’s album “Motorway” is my favorite record of all time. Maxo’s “Fakebit 2010″ is a close second. I listen to a lot of orchestral music as well, Debussy, Shiro Sagisu, and Joe Hisaishi in particular. The jazz pianist Bill Evans might be my favorite musician of all time.
One habit you wish you could get out of? And one you wish you could get into?
I always start the writing process with a chord progression. I’d love to start with a drum pattern or even a melody for once.
If you could have anyone in the world, alive or dead, teach you something, who would it be and what would they teach you?
I’d want Bill Evans to teach me piano.