Forensics / Aughra
Scene Point Blank: What are your top five albums that were released in 2007?
- Sigur Rós - Heim/Hvarf (My favorite band, so this is a no-brainer.)
- Black Mountain - In the Future (Makes me feel slightly better about not being a teenager back in the 70's.)
- Chuck Ragan - Los Feliz/Feast or Famine. (Everything, especially the live stuff. Chuck was a machine this year, putting out a 7" club series, a live album, and a studio album. Completely inspiring.)
- Foo Fighters - Echoes, Silence, Patience and Grace (This might end up being my favorite Foo Fighters record over time. It's just more cohesive and consistently confident than their other records. Grohl and Shiflett are really gelling these days? complete masters of their craft.)
- Ben Weasel and His Iron String Quartet - These Ones are Bitter (It puts together a great ensemble and it's the first record my friend Mike recorded, produced and released on his new label, Edmond Records.)
Scene Point Blank: How will you remember 2007? (In terms of music)
Shit + fan. It was kind of fun to watch.
Scene Point Blank: What kind of impact do you think donation-based releases like Radiohead, Saul Williams, etc? will have on the record industry?
Honestly, the trend will be dominated and determined by the evolution of technology, society on the whole, and what values remain resonant in the current generation versus those before. Radiohead and Saul Williams won't change the face of music nearly as much as what happens while the collective psyche and mentality of the average music fan continues to morph and run stride for stride with rapidly emerging technologies.
I was recently reading a study about how the current crop of teenagers/twenty-somethings are impossibly more narcissistic, self-obsessed, and ethically shifty than any generation prior. There's a greater sense of entitlement and, consequently, a weaker set of values regarding what's right/wrong ethically. I don't think the current generation knows or even cares about the concept of "voting with your dollar" as much as amassing massive amounts of content so they'll be able to say they've had a band's Mp3's "since like?. October" when the band finally becomes the hot shit at school. At the same time, you've got to remember this: teenagers will always be teenagers. They consume the most music, but have finite financial resources. So if they can get it for free, then they WILL get it for free. More money for beer, video games, and ill-fitting clothing.
Scene Point Blank: 2007 saw the decommissioning of two prominent file-sharing groups - Demonoid and Oink. What kind of impact will the increased crackdown on file-sharing have on the record industry? Did it personally have an effect on you?
The RIAA will always be three paces behind where the kids are. Beyond that, fighting file-sharing is like throwing water on a Mogwai. You'll fuck it up in the short term, but it leads to multiplicity. Oink goes down, fifteen other replacements pop up. You will not/can not kill it.
And yes, it absolutely has had a massive impact on everything at Magic Bullet from our business model to our bottom line to what we now focus on when making an album. We don't think in terms of CD sales anymore? they are officially dead and we make our money elsewhere.
Scene Point Blank: What can we look forward to from your band in 2008?
Forensics-wise, George and I are currently writing two very different sounding full lengths. We'll see how that all evolves. We're also really hoping to return to more live productivity sooner than later.
On the Aughra front, the focus is going to be on issuing a lot of the material on vinyl and continuing to appear on soundtracks, films, TV, and so forth. I just did a collaborative set with Ida Amin (Daniel from Magic Bullet) that involved the fire department charging through the doors of the venue mid-set? I imagine we'll be brainstorming on new ways to create unpredictable circumstances at future shows together.
Scene Point Blank: What three records are you looking forward to most in 2008?
Silversun Pickups, Sigur Rós, and The All-American Rejects