Feels like the right time for this..
DD: What’s kept your journey as an artist interesting? How long have you been developing yourself musically?
The people I’ve met have made the journey both fascinating and harrowing. I’ve encountered individuals in the artistic community who were brilliant, insane, deeply compassionate, and tragically flawed- sometimes all of the above. I think you need to have a certain amount of intense interaction with other musicians to develop your own music; flesh and blood and verbal conflicts, otherwise you’re just dealing with brick and glass, which isn’t so bad, but then you’re just dancing about architecture. Of course my previous statement is a bit ironic, considering that I mostly make music on my own now, which I’ve been doing for about 20 years.
DD: You’ve got some dark shit on here, what drives these kinds of songs?
I’m always a bit surprised when people focus on the darkness of my music, but I know some individuals who won’t even listen to my stuff because they find it too disturbing. Many songs that people consider to be dark are written in minor keys, so maybe I just prefer minor over major, but I also have very little tolerance for optimists. I do think there’s quite a bit of gallows humor in my songs- why so serious?
DD: Who are some artists you identify with?
Lately, I’ve been listening to a lot of Diamanda Galas, but I don’t really identify with her, she’s entirely unique. She’s an artist who truly had the power to disturb and maybe even awaken people. Of course the sticking point with her is usually the voice, but on her later material she sings in a lower register much of the time, which is a bit more accessible than her earlier work. I actually don’t identify with most of the artists I enjoy, simply because I don’t have their talent, but I listen to a ton of music; from Thelonious Monk to Fever Ray, I try to take it all in.
DD: Have you been able to share your music within the music community of Seattle?
Well, the Stranger and Seattle Times have given me positive reviews, but my only interaction with Seattle based musicians has been over the internet via Soundcloud. I remixed a song by Ernest Robinson, who calls himself Thunderclap Headache. He lives in Seattle but moved here from Cleveland. Most recently I remixed, ‘The Only One’, by Mono in VCF. One of their founding members, Jordan Luckman, contacted me and asked if I would remix one of their songs, an offer I would have been foolish to turn down. It has this menacing undercurrent that I really appreciate, and features a chorus that runs entirely counter to all the, “I’ll love you forever” nonsense that so many pop songs embrace. I’d be happy if you featured it here, but that’s up to you. I also speak somewhat frequently with a local musician who calls himself Gronxkey, love his music, very unique.
DD: Any last words?
Thanks for featuring my work, and like my friend Bellicose says, “Never regret monkey noises.” -cheers
Crazy Old Bat on Soundcloud
– Jimi Jaxon