16 August 2010

Fresh Meat Monday - The Douglas Firs

Would you care to introduce yourself?

Hello, my name is Neil, and I make music under the moniker "the douglas firs", which I have done so since Summer 2003

How would you describe the music you make?

It is the music of one man, potentially mad, going mad again, and again... In actuality, the first record was an amalgamation of all my favourite music thrown into a mixer and reproduced badly, in effect accidentally making something that sounds original. I recorded a lot of it in churches, as they were the only places kind enough to let me use their equipment.

The new record is a lot darker and minimal, with more emphasis on dischord, disharmony and dissonance. The three Ds (of death?).

I love ambient music, so I've tried to replicate that element using organic instruments. There's piano, sax, trumpet, organ, and so on.

The first record, yet to be released, is a concept record that is, on the surface, about flags, sight/blindness, life/death, synaethesia, the hardening of the soul. Oh - and moths.

How did you start out making music?

Using a four track and an acoustic guitar, in my shed in Aberdeen. I recorded about 40 demo songs in 2003.

What process goes into the way you write songs?

I've been trying out different methods - recently I've discovered the joys of working under pressure. I have been utterly suprised I could work this way. I have found I write really quickly, and there is an element of creativity you can force into existence. This was when I had a church residency for one month last year.

Saying that, some songs have taken years and years, and some have still never been fully realised.

What can people expect from your live shows?

It's a little more pronunciation live, with about seven people, and more guitars. There's an emphasis on principles, or ethics. Fugazi are one of my favourite bands...except maybe we're a little less aggressive.

What are you all listening to at the moment?

I'm particularly liking the following - Sean McCann, Polvo & Kurt Vile.

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

An EP, an album, and maybe even a second record - if I can ever allow myself to be happy with it.

The Douglas Firs - Soporific


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