05 April 2010

Fresh Meat Monday - Deathpodal

Would you care to introduce yourself?

Hi sure, I'm Alastair, I'm male, I'm looking for hot singles and a good time... I play lots of instruments, write and perform music under the name Deathpodal, and I'm releasing a debut EP entitled Exu__Wow on a new independent label called Electropapknit. I like doing lots of art and music related projects.

How would you describe the music you make?

DIY, for sure. Sound wise, I guess undulating melodies with fractured alt rock aggression, lots of instrumentation, dynamics and alternative recording techniques. It's kind of a mix of post punk, with bits of post rock, soundscapes, soft and harsh concording notes. It's not boring. At least I hope it's not boring. No I don't know what I'm talking about.

[Someone emailed me the other day and said my tracks sounded like the Pixies and Mogwai performing the soundtrack of Blue Velvet, which made me laugh. That's probably my favourite description.]

How did you start out making music?

A couple of friends and I started jamming and gigging in a sonic metal band towards the end of school, meeting other like minded musicians and getting into Fugazi and Sonic Youth. We grew up near Aberdeen during a period when the scene had lots of cool people doing lots of different things. One gig we'd be playing on an outdoor stage near the city centre, the next a well established venue, the next in the basement of a restaurant after closing without the owners consent. We formed lots of bands, put on gigs, arranged charity nights and also formed a free DIY festival. It was a good way to develop ideas with people and make friends.

What process goes into the way you write songs?

It's varied. At first I wanted to just fuck people up - so I'd think of song ideas with dramatic shifts in the middle. I used to try and write complicated riffs and have lots of different things going at the same time... Now I just try and do simple things well, but maintain something interesting within a song.

With the EP, Exu__Wow, it was a lot different. I had all these ideas but no real band at the time so I just started recording all these parts myself using a few mics and lots of endeavour. It was pretty hard to know exactly how a song would turn out, because they'd never been played in a practice room, or jammed with a few mates.

Whatever parts I couldn't do or where I needed to borrow an instrument, I would get friends to help out, which was a relief because then the process wasn't so lonely. It just meant I'd have to travel all over Scotland to do it, like I needed a piano so used a friends at his flat in Edinburgh, the drummer was in Stonehaven, so I recorded his parts in a portacabin where he stashed his drums, the girl who played violin was in Glasgow so we recorded in her Uni etc. I even recorded in Princes Street Gardens late at night with a friend and a box of wine, it was harder climbing out than it was getting in! Doing things this way meant the writing process was over months and months rather than a few days or whatever. I've changed it for the new tracks I've been writing - keeping things short and punchy.

What can people expect from your live shows?

A swamp techno rave inside with rain! Or more precisely 4 to 6 people playing anything from synth, guitars, bass, double bass, strings (possible), samples, drums, loops, melodicas, soo soo (type of Indian flute), bells, pieces of metal, piano and anything else someone wants to bring into the mix. I'd like to say we'd have trained bats that circle the crowd while we play in a mud pit, but that's something else entirely.

What are you all listening to at the moment?

Well for me, I'm really enjoying listening to Minutemen again. I've been reading This Band Could Be Your Life, which is all about the DIY post punk bands in the 80s, and Minutemen are in that. Sonic Youth (Sonic Nurse), the new Liars record, Thomas Truax, The Thermals, Jesus Lizard, These New Puritans, Sidca, Lightning Bolt, Julee Cruise, !!!, Wire and Autechre. I can't say for sure about the guys who are involved in the live band (see below), but I know two guys like Mastodon, one guy likes Dinosaur Jr and Times New Viking and the drummer, well he's anywhere between Prince and white noise, but then drummers are a bit off the scale anyway.

What can we expect to see/hear from you in 2010?

Well the EP will be out at the end of this month and I'm currently practising with a lot of the musicians I recorded with, so lots of gigs in Scotland with hopefully dates in England and other cools places, so long as it can be budgeted. I'm also doing a bunch of other projects, both music and art related. If people want to keep up with Deathpodal events and related projects then check out my site, I guess.

Keep an eye out on the label I'm with, Electropapknit. There's plans to re-release the first PVH (Project Venhell) album, as well as a PVH / Copy Haho members improv project, and that's just for starters.

Deathpodal - Every Superstition Shall Be Removed (MP3)

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