Our newest feature here at Scene Point Blank is our semi-daily quickie Q&A: One Question Interviews. Follow us at facebook or twitter and we'll post one interview every Monday-Thursday. Well, sometimes we miss a day, but it will be four each week regardless.
After our social media followers get the first word, we'll later post a wrap-up here at the site. This week check out Q&As with members of Spokenest, Shellshag, Death Blues, Volcano Choir, and David Daniell.
Daryl Gussin (Spokenest)
SPB: How did you come up with the idea to form Spokenest with money received from wedding gifts?
Gussin: Well, that’s not exactly what happened. We got engaged pretty close to around when we started writing and practicing the songs that ended up on We M?ve. Then we got married. Then we recorded the record.
With our previous project, God Equals Genocide, we released records on a dozen or so different DIY labels and never had a bad experience. But with Spokenest we were interested in the idea of releasing a record that wasn’t affiliated with a label, or the preconceptions that might go along with one. And the wedding gift money just happened to be the money we had to fund the record.
Also conceptually, if this band ever turns a profit, there’s no one else involved and the money will go right back to us, helping fund whatever might be happening with our lives at the time. Which is what the songs are about in the first place.
Hopefully, we’ll make back the $1,800 we spent on the first record to help release the next one, ‘cause it’s not like we can get married again, and the rest of that money is long gone.
SPB: What are the origins of the Y-microphone?
Shellshag: Our custom, Flying V mic stand was invented by Shell.
We started facing each other at practice since we used a stand-up drum kit and there were just two of us, but we were already used to the standard performance positions of facing the crowd so, at a live show we found ourselves slowly, one song at a time, unintentionally turning towards the crowd and engaging them. We really preferred to stay focused on one another, so we combined two boom stands into one base, creating a connection between the two mics forcing us to stay facing each other. Wala, the Flying V mic stand was born.
We made a tiny adaption when we created the Pyramid of Sound amp that now sits between us when we play, attaching the top portion of the Flying V mic stand directly to the top of the amp, and now we have the one big piece of gear that unites us. Our latest album, Shellshag Forever, has a photo of it on the cover.
In the works next is a four-way mic stand, like the Temptations, that will allow for some guest performers to join us around the pyramid.
Jon Mueller (Death Blues, Volcano Choir)
SPB: How do you choose your album art?
Mueller: Each record is unique, but the aim is always to have the art say something about the work that the music cannot, to have it be another voice in communicating the idea. Sometimes this involves collaborating with others on imagery based on a discussion, while other times a vision is clear from the start, and then it's just a matter of finding or creating the material needed. In some ways, it's indicative of how the music evolves as well. It's never an arbitrary act.
SPB: Who is your favorite band to see live?
Daniell: I don't have one, I have two: The Necks, and Swans. In the last few years I've seen Swans three times and The Necks at least 8 or 9 times. Swans = sheer physical intensity. The Necks = deep psychedelic headspace stuff. I guess a body/mind pair, those two. But they share a sort of ritualistic approach to their performances that makes for an amazing and unique experience every time I see them.
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