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April 4, 2022

Interview with Cy Dune

We had the pleasure of interviewing Cy Dune over Zoom video!

Cy Dune is the explosive, post genre positive punk project of artist/producer Seth Olinsky, the co-founder of legendary underground noise folk experimentalists Akron/Family. Sparked by a...

We had the pleasure of interviewing Cy Dune over Zoom video!

Cy Dune is the explosive, post genre positive punk project of artist/producer Seth Olinsky, the co-founder of legendary underground noise folk experimentalists Akron/Family. Sparked by a turn towards the primal, transcendent energy of rock music and informed by his lifelong love of early blues music, Seth has explored Blues, 50’s rock n roll, and 60s/70s proto punk through this unique lens via his Cy Dune project. He recently dropped the latest album from his Cy Dune project, Against Face – a metapunk blast through 20th century art school punk forms mashed together into one hyperreal, hypermodern 18-minute tour de force, due out March 3rd via Lightning Studios.

Along with the album announcement, Cy Dune shares the album’s title track which features a drummer exhausting, relentlessly flat floor tom pattern, a spazz jazz guitar solo and, lyrically, “a sort of ranty, self aware sincerest jab at the modern cultural techno rat race problem we humans all have, with a little nod to ‘No Fun’ from The Stooges.” Olinsky adds, “But ultimately, as with much of Cy Dune songs, the new track represents fun with music’s societal forms more than a hardline ideological perspective, and fits mostly in line with the truly committed aspect of the Cy Dune music again and again to Energy Music and its positive impact on humanity"

The album release follows the fun, no wave single “Don’t Waste My Time,” released in late-2021. The track was Cy Dune’s first new music since 2019’s album Desert.

Seth’s projects have always had a post genre approach to music making. Collaging several genres simultaneously to create multi-meaning, and purposefully juxtaposing authentic and pure songwriting sincerity, with self-aware meta-meaning and pranksterism. Take for example Akron/Family’s scope from folk balladry to post jazz improv to the BMBZ project, a pre-meme internet noise take down interpretation of the S/T II album. Nothing was ever as it seemed on any given, first seen surface with Akron/Family, and it took a deeper investigation to find out about the whole story and how all the pieces fit together.

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3 (57s): What's going on. My name is Adam. Welcome back to bringing it backwards. A podcast where both legendary and rising artists tell their own personal stories of how they achieve stardom. On this episode, we had a chance to hang out with Seth from the band side, side-on over zoom video. Seth grew up in a small town and he talks about how he got into music. Started off on piano, but quickly moved on to guitar and just became obsessed with guitar. He talks about a guitar teacher. He had growing up. That was a huge influence on him. He ended up going to Berkeley school of music to study guitar from there. He moved down to New York city and that's where he formed the band Akron family. 3 (1m 37s): We talk about the success of that band. Eventually starting his project side, dune his first two records with <inaudible> starting his own record label and all about this brand new record. He just released called against face. You can watch our interview with Seth on our Facebook page and YouTube channel at bringing it backwards. It'd be awesome if you subscribe to our channel like us on Facebook, follow us on Instagram, Twitter, and Tik TOK at bringing back pod. And if you're listening to this on Spotify or apple music, it'd be cool if you follow us there as well, and hook us up with a five star review, 4 (2m 11s): We'd appreciate your support. If you follow and subscribe to our podcasts, wherever you listen to podcasts, 3 (2m 17s): We're bringing it backwards with side-on this podcast about you and your journey and music. And we'll talk about the new record. The record came out. What today? 5 (2m 26s): Yeah. Well, yesterday, yeah, yesterday. Yeah, yesterday, today. It's sort of a Thursday, Friday release. 3 (2m 32s): Very cool. Well, that's, that's super exciting. So I wanna talk to you about that as well. 5 (2m 36s): Awesome. Thanks. 3 (2m 37s): Awesome. Well, do you mind, I don't know if you mind touching on the Akron family at all. Cause I know it's part of your story. Totally. And we won't stay there too long, but I was just, I want to hear Carrie, I'm just curious about it and then into, into your new project, 5 (2m 50s): We'd love to sounds great. 3 (2m 51s): Cool. Where were you born and raised? Were you born and raised in New York? 5 (2m 55s): I was actually born in New Jersey, but then before the age of one move to Pennsylvania. So I grew up in central Pennsylvania. Williamsport is the name of the little town. It's like three and a half hours from New York city. So beautiful small country town, Pennsylvania. 3 (3m 13s): Okay. What was it? What was it like growing up there? 5 (3m 17s): You know, it's funny. It's like when you're where you grow up, you just think it's normal. Like that's the way things are. But it was like to me it was normal, small town America. It's like we knew all our neighbors and you know, like I would go down the street and hang out with my friend and we watched, we really liked Footloose watching Footloose and that BMX really red. So it was great. And it was weirdly like a kind of, you know, I imagine we'll talk about this later. When I looked at your questions, it was like a, really a music town for being a small town, few amazing teachers there. And so there was just a lot of kids that, that were really talented musicians and there's a lot of music stuff going on. 5 (3m 59s): So it was kind of a cool little town to grow up and it was very idyllic, lots of beautiful nature around creeks, fly fishing, that sort of thing, but also a lot of music stuff going on too. 3 (4m 9s): That is awesome. So, well, what about your family? Were they musical at all or are they musical at all? 5 (4m 13s): My family does not play music, but my dad's really a passionate music listener, you know, like kind of guy like put a record, a CD on close his eyes and like listen to the whole record, really going on a journey. 3 (4m 26s): He 5 (4m 26s): Definitely turned me on to like jazz and, and certain blue stuff early on. That definitely was a part of the beginning of my music journey for sure. 3 (4m 34s): Sure. What was the first instrument you learned? 5 (4m 38s): I studied piano actually. Speaking of my parents weren't musicians, but we took like some like father, son, piano class where we learned piano at the same time, but I studied piano like when I 3 (4m 48s): Was, 5 (4m 49s): When I was a kid, but I never really like was very super dedicated to it or, or overly passionate about it. I liked it. But then I switched to guitar around the age of 12 and got, just, was like head over heels for a guitar. And just like, it was just obsessed with like just became obsessed with guitar and music and bands and the mythology, that whole thing, which is my songwriting and singing and production and all that other stuff. 3 (5m 22s): Sure. Well, first off that's awesome. They did a father son piano thing. I wish that maybe I could find one if I looked it up, but like that's really rad. 5 (5m 31s): It's kind of fun. And I was like, you know, I was probably better than him probably at an early age. I gave me confidence. 3 (5m 38s): Sure, sure. Well, you talked about, you know, the town he grew up in being a musical town, whereas this, did you, were there a lot of shows happening? Like how did that kind of intertwined 5 (5m 47s): At that time? There were, there were definitely like through middle school and high school, there were the, you know, people had punk bands and hardcore shows at the, like the YMCAs stuff like that too. But then I had a few different guitar teachers. I had some awesome guitar teachers, my early guitar, first guitar teachers before I really knew what I was doing. Like I was playing classical guitar because, you know, or had a nylon string guitar because I don't know if that was what they recommended you start on. But all these guys have like really long hair that were just like metal shredder dudes. And then at some point I started bringing in stuff like Robert Johnson or skip James or Kenny Burrell, jazz guitar, music, and stuff. And I think they were like helping me transcribe describe it, but I could tell that they weren't the right place to find that information. 5 (6m 34s): And then I do another friend found this other guitar teacher who, who also had a background as a, a metal shredder too, but he had gone to Berkeley and he was really well studied, played jazz, wrote jazz, did all this stuff. And then he was just in the beginnings of sort of starting what is now become this kind of like full fledged music school in our small little town and like a really, you know, like a passionate, dedicated teacher music educator and, and sort of like, you know, one of the first like mentor teachers in my life that it really was like, okay, yeah, you're pretty good at this thing, but like how much better could you be? And it was like, really, like, he challenged me to like, be better than what I was like just easily go down to like, you know, fi you know, and, and so, yeah, so that started my study of jazz. 5 (7m 23s): And I ended up going to Berkeley and studying jazz and jazz composition, stuff like that. But yeah, but he went on to start like just a side note on him. He went on to start this music school, but what it was when I was studying with him, the guys that I was in a band with Dana, from Akron family, that drummer, we were all like eager to learn stuff. And we were like, he would teach us these classes of music theory in his kitchen. We'd go over to his house. And he would, we would sit at the kitchen table. We analyze real book, core changes doing, you know, you know, analyzing chords, learning mode, all that stuff. We were in high school and he went on to start the school. And now there's all these kids and they do insane productions. They put on pink, Floyd's the wall at the local theater, or like random cafes in our town. 5 (8m 4s): And there's these 14 year olds reading down the bar charts on the, in the real book. It's kind of like a weird, insane thing. 3 (8m 12s): That's awesome though. Wow. What a cool like thing to start in your town? I mean, I grew up in San Diego and, and I can't think of anything cool like that. 5 (8m 20s): I live in San Diego now we live in ocean side. Do 3 (8m 23s): You really, I was wondering you had to be in Southern California with a weapon like that. 5 (8m 28s): Yeah. And then actually, so then yeah, so left Berkeley and then I moved to Brooklyn. That's where I started Akron family. And then after about, I don't know, six or seven years of living in New York city and touring, I actually left and went back to my hometown of Lynchburg for a few years before coming out west. And my teacher, Dave, his name is Dave rumble. And the, his music school is called the uptown music collective. He had gone on from like these informal classes and like kitchen, literally to like having started the school. And I went to visit him and I was just like, this is insane. How many students do you have? And he's like, I don't know, 90 some. And I was like, my friend Regina worked with this composer, Reese, Chatham, who wrote a orchestra for a hundred guitars. 6 (9m 14s): They had a big scratcher from the Virginia lottery could be a big hit for you. The game gives you the chance to win up to $1 million, Virginia lottery, scratchers, everyday wins, visit a lottery retailer near you for rods and more information visit VA 5 (9m 29s): And I was like, tape, would you, if I could pull it, he was living in Paris at the time, this composer, I was like, if I could pull this off, you know, would you want to do this a hundred guitars here in Williamsport with your kids? And he's like, yeah, that sounds awesome. And reset only ever done the performance in Europe. It had never been staged in America. And I got in touch with him through my friend, Regina managed him and we ended up staging the first performance of this a hundred guitar symphony in our small town with all the kids, you know, Jonathan Cain on drums who like played in swans and all these like proto punk, early eighties, hardcore New York bands on drums, Josh Abrams. Who's a bass player from Chicago that like Chicago underground quartet, like amazing bass player from Chicago came in. 5 (10m 16s): And then we just had, like, we ended up not having a hundred students had like 80, and then we just filled it in with all the local, like metal dude guitar teacher's shoes. And we put on the first American performance of the reach out on 100 guitar piece. So it was pretty fun. 3 (10m 29s): That is so cool. That is really cool. So we'll real quick to back up a second. So from, from high school, like learning, I mean, it sounds like your way into like jazz and that technical style guitar. And you went on to learn that at Berkeley too. You, you went there for that. 5 (10m 45s): Yeah. When I went to Berkeley, the focus was on jazz performance and then with a sub focus in like composition, cause even from an early age, I was really passionate about guitar, but I was also always, I always was really passionate about like starting bands and, and songwriting. I didn't get this like singing until later towards high school and into college. And, but I was just always really passionate about songwriting and, and you know, stuff like that too. So when I got to Berkeley, I mainly focused on guitar and it was just like, you know what, like practicing in the practice rooms all day drank a lot of year, but Montay went really well with scales. 5 (11m 27s): There was a teacher at Berkeley did Mick Goodrich. I don't do play guitar 3 (11m 30s): Poor. I mean, I can, but I'm not good. 5 (11m 33s): When I start, when I studied with my teacher and Williamsport, there's this book called the advancing guitarist, which is this really cool book by this he's like a jazz guitarist, but almost more famous as a teacher, this guy, Mick Goodrich, he wrote this book advancing the advancing guitarist. He was pat Mathenia teacher. You know, the book is just really like philosophical and conceptual about how to get outside the boundaries of like traditional guitar technique. It's hard to explain, but it's, it's a really kind of amazing book. And so I was really excited about studying from him as well when I got to Berkeley. So I got to study with him and all these other amazing teachers. 5 (12m 14s): So, yeah. 3 (12m 15s): Did you start any bands while you're going there or is it mainly just focusing on studying? 5 (12m 19s): And I, when I was at Berkeley, it was all, I was like jazz obsessed and it was just like playing jazz with everybody, playing traditional tunes, writing jazz stuff, but it wasn't like I didn't have any bands when I was there. I had bands all through high school and then, and then there, I still played with some of the musicians, Dana. I kind of always played Dana, the drummer from Akron family. He and I grew up together. And, but then yeah, at Berkeley it was just like all jazz, still playing with some of the bands from home, but didn't really start any bands there. And then when I went to New York, I started in New York, still being very into the jazz thing. But then I was kind of, that was when I started to kind of make the switch where I was like, you know, I, I liked jazz, but I really, really want to do bands and songwriting and production and incorporate some of the techniques and ideas and theories that I've gotten from jazz into, you know, other forms of music, I guess for, 3 (13m 16s): Did you, why did you choose to go back to New York or, and then how did you meet? Was your, was the drummer for Akron family living there at the time too? Or 5 (13m 25s): I went to York, I went to New York because I actually laughed. I didn't finish at Berkeley. And then I went and I took some classes at NYU and I was going to finish maybe considering finished school in New York. I was also going to go finish school at the conservatory at Oberlin. And then, and then, 3 (13m 42s): And Ohio over LA my girl, my grandmother went there. 5 (13m 48s): That's amazing. 3 (13m 49s): She did. She went there for a, she was a singer and she went there. 5 (13m 53s): That's so cool. Yeah. So I was gonna, I was gonna finish there and then, but then I got to New York and honestly I just sorta fell in love with New York, like living in Boston. I, I liked Boston. There was a lot of cool stuff going on. There's music, all the colleges had interesting lectures and all stuff going on, but I didn't like really fall for the city. But then when I moved to New York, I just kinda was like, I just loved New York city. And I loved the street level of it and like being exposed to all the people and the ideas. And like, I just found so much music that I love and being a jazz fan, there was all this vital jazz music going on. There's this, I'm seeing this guy that I really love his bass player. 5 (14m 34s): William Parker has sort of a whole scene or it's not his scene, but it's sort of like the, the free jazz scene in New York. I mean, there was like the John Zorn more downtown New York avant-garde already side. And then there was like the William Parker, more free jazz energy music posts, Albert Eiler Coltrane said they were playing concerts all the time. And there were rock bands when I first moved to New York. It was like that whole, yeah. Yes. Strokes, Oneida, rock, liars, rock, rock revival thing going on and, and turned Matador records. Oh, you did? 3 (15m 10s): That's 5 (15m 10s): Awesome. Yeah. Yeah. I photocopied a lot of pictures of Interpol. It was like pre-internet, you know, so it was like, yeah. So, so I kind of just, I just love New York and then, and then got into making music with a bunch of people in New York and then started Akron family and just, it just sort of all started happening. And so I ended up, I ended up not finishing school and just going, making records and going on tour and stuff like that. 3 (15m 36s): Yeah. So like, tell me about getting like when the Akron family starts going, like, what was the first kind of big success like milestone that happened with, with the band? 5 (15m 45s): I mean, we started making music and we were kind of like living like a dual life as a band where we were recording. We had like this weird loft out in east Brooklyn, which of course when we moved into, we thought, wow, we're going to play music all the time. And then the first day we got in there and we like started raging and then all like four neighbors came and were like, you can't do that. This is like, we all live here. This is not a rehearsal space. And we were like, oh right. So we got our rehearsal space, but then we started making like recordings in the loft, but they had to be really quiet because the neighbors, yeah. So we were making, and we were using fruity loops, which is now like mostly made people, make trap music on fruity loops, know beats and stuff, but we were using it to make really weird, you know, kind of like post folk cut ups, you know, quiet music with lots of interesting sounds. 5 (16m 39s): We were really influenced by like gastro Del Sol and GMO roar, some other stuff that was going on. And it was right around the time of like Yankee hotel Foxtrot was coming out. I don't know. I just feel like people were like blending songs with sound and interesting ways. 3 (16m 57s): Yeah. I mean that you guys did that incredible and accurate family. I mean, there's so many different sounds within each song it's got full, but then there's like totally a totally different sound that comes in and like psychedelic at moments. 5 (17m 10s): Yeah, definitely. And then we had, it's a really crude setup. So we had to like record the songs one way and then kind of cut them up and then paste them back together in the computer and putting all these weird sounds. And then, and then we had to sort of other life where we had a, you know, a rehearsal space and we would just go and play as loud as we possibly can. And like, you know, improv crazy noise, rock music for an hour. And then, and then play shows around New York city. So we have these kind of two lives. And then we ended up signing with young God records. And then that was when we, and then we, Michael Shira PR helped us produce our first record. And then, and then we played on his angels of light record and toured with him. And that was tough at the beginning of touring and, you know, playing live, playing live so much on those early years where we toured, like, I know we were just on the road all the time. 5 (17m 59s): And I think that really like was such a big experience and learning experience as a musician to where you go from having all these ideas, to really being able to try out all the ideas all the time, you know, real time in front of people get that experience. 3 (18m 13s): And when, when you were in, when you were in a Akron family, what would you say if you could like pinpoint like a, like a big change in the air, like a big milestone for the band, as far as like achieving like a big goal that you were set out for 5 (18m 28s): All, we really want to be on a record label and then, you know, we were sending, I, I, we like made these like CDRs and decorated them with all sorts of stuff and, you know, and, and we, and we sent them out to like all record labels and, you know, but, but ended up signing with young God records, he had just put out the defender band hearts first record when, and you know, which I had happened upon his first show in Brooklyn at peach Canstar. And so, yeah, so that was, that was a big moment for us was like signing to Signing a record label because that's sort of, that's sort of opened the doors to us for like a booking agent and touring in Europe, all, all this stuff that we were excited to do. 3 (19m 12s): Yeah. It was it, I mean, I couldn't imagine being in a band that you get signed to a label like that, especially then it was like, that's like the dream, right? Like, oh, we got signed to a record label. Like, did you guys have like a big celebration? Or 5 (19m 26s): It was kind of funny because I remember it being like, like it happened and then we were like, wow, like, it sort of was like slow too, because like, we, we, we started that relationship, but then went on to make the record and work on his record. It took like another year or a year and a half before it actually came out. So in a weird way, it was kind of like, like we were so excited and I was kinda like, oh, you know, okay, well, okay, now we get to work. And our year and a half later, the record comes out and the touring happens. But so there wasn't any like, you know, like NBA finals, champagne, Is there anything in retrospect that would have been, 3 (20m 9s): That's pretty funny. And obviously the band went on for a while. Right. I mean, without a ton of records, what six or seven albums and 5 (20m 18s): Yeah. I mean, yeah, yeah. 7, 6, 7, 8 records. Yeah. We put out a bunch of records on young. God did some fun collaborations ended up, you know, w doing some collaborations with some jazz musicians that I'd always really looked up to and Jasper came sort of brought them into our universe of sound and, and hybridizing that. And we put out a bunch of records with dead oceans. 3 (20m 41s): Oh, wow. Okay. And then, sorry, go 5 (20m 44s): Ahead. 3 (20m 46s): No, I was just going to say once, you know, you guy, from what I read, it just, it kind of, you got you and the rest of the band kind of just started your own little, it started on different side projects and that's kinda how it, 5 (20m 59s): Yeah, I think around like the last record we met, it was subq versus, and I think that, I think my that time, it was just like everyone was sort of naturally starting to go creatively in different directions. And then I think 6 (21m 12s): They had a big scratcher from the Virginia lottery could be a big hit for you. The game gives you the chance to win up to $1 million, Virginia lottery scratchers, everyday wins, visit a lottery retailer near you for rods and more information. Visit VA 7 (21m 27s): Hey, everyone. We wanted to tell you about another music podcast that we've been loving, the broken record podcast from Pushkin industries, music industry icon, Rick Rubin, along with producer, Justin Richmond and authors, Malcolm Gladwell, and Bruce Headlands. Sit down with the artists you'd love for unparalleled creative insight into your favorite music. You'll hear revealing interviews with some of the most legendary figures in music like Neil young, Andre, 3000 Alicia keys and Bruce Springsteen. And you'll learn about up and coming stars like Michelle Zauner, who talks about her big plans for her dreamy indie pop band, Japanese breakfast. This April, they're celebrating the red hot chili peppers, new album with John for Shantay Anthony Kiedis flee and Chad Smith, all in conversation with Rick Rubin. 7 (22m 15s): They share stories and songs from the new album, and also never before heard insights about their decades, long dynamic and chemistry, listen to broken record wherever you get podcasts. 5 (22m 27s): You know, for me too, I was starting to not want to tour quite as much because we tore it all the time and wanting to do more writing and composing and producing projects and stuff like that. So just sort of like became like a natural pause that just sort of has been an ongoing, natural pause, you know? 3 (22m 46s): Sure, sure. When did you end up getting out to you? Well, now you're in San Diego, but did you move to San Diego? Was that your first move from the east coast or 5 (22m 56s): Know? We hopped all around. We left and came to Portland first. We were in Portland for a little while, which was great Dana from Akron family that drummer moved to Portland as well. And he's still there. He loves him, which is an awesome music town, too. Lots of great musicians in Portland bands in Portland. And then, but we got kind of rained out a bit in Portland. And so we went to Tucson, which has kind of like the opposite. And I think even a little bit of a back and forth there where people get rained out, they go to Tucson and then they get dried out and then they go back to port there. So there's a bit of a thing that is an awesome music town too. Obviously Mary hachi and Mexican influence, but a lot of great studios. 5 (23m 39s): And I think Paul McCartney lived there for a little bit. Yeah. And 3 (23m 44s): I know his wife loved Palm Springs. That was like her favorite place. 5 (23m 49s): Yeah. Palm Springs is great too. And then we moved to LA for a bit. And then we were in Joshua tree for a few years. And then, and then again, we kind of got tried out in Joshua tree and ended up being like, let's go try out of Oceanside and then yeah. 3 (24m 5s): Now your San Diego, that's amazing. I mean, the project you, you just put the record out with, this is your first album for Shirley's. 5 (24m 15s): No, no, no, no, no. This is my fourth release. Seiden I, the first one I made the first record in Tucson and then the second and then the second and third record in Joshua tree. So there's a record called no recognize. There's a record called shake. 3 (24m 35s): Okay. 5 (24m 35s): Record called desert desert, obviously. And then, and then this one against base, you know, I think with this project side dune in general, I was like, when I moved to Tucson, you know, I had just, I kind of was like wanting to revisit like some like early influences that I mentioned, like early blues music, you know, skip James different sort of, you know, primal early, early blues influences. And then that sort of like led to like investigating early rock and roll musics as well. You know, 50 stuff up into prodo, punk music and stuff, like kind of in a way, all the different sides and records have been like me kind of like digging into the language of different American blues and rock idioms, you know, for lack of a better word. 5 (25m 35s): And then up into this new release, which kind of has like more of like a hair brain take on kind of like punk and new way 3 (25m 43s): That'd be. Yeah. 5 (25m 46s): And it's, but it's kind of all over the place. Cause it's like, it's, it's not one, it's not meant to be like one specific sound it's like each song kind of goes into like a different era of punk in a way. And then it's kind of like brought together with these kind of interludes. It's sort of just like an explosion, 18 minute explosion of rock music, energy, punk, punk, energy music. It's fun. 3 (26m 12s): Yeah. No, it's a rad, it's a great record. I was listening to it and I'm like, gosh, this is a lot different than what he was doing with that. <inaudible> you also have a record label that you started. 5 (26m 23s): Yeah. Yeah. 3 (26m 26s): Pre side. Or was that around the same time you started? It was around the same time 5 (26m 31s): <inaudible> and lightning. And then we put out other side projects from other artists and some smaller artists and some bigger artists and you know, some stuff I've produced and just, it's kind of been like a bit of an experiment. The, the label, I'm not really a traditional, well, we also just sort of do a magazine sometimes. And so it's like, it's kind of like an art project meets record label where we're just trying to create like, you know, a context for different projects with different artists and collaborations to come together and do different projects. 3 (27m 7s): That's really rad though. That's I mean, well, I'm curious, you put out what you put out desert and what 2019 prior to the pandemic. 5 (27m 15s): Yeah, yeah. I guess, yeah. Time's been so weird. I can't keep it. It just feels like everything went on pause and then it's like, so yeah, I think that it was, it was definitely before the pandemic probably like, you know, six months to a year before. 3 (27m 28s): Okay. And where are you where you able to like tore that record or support it and then how did that affect your, you know, then being sent? 5 (27m 37s): I don't think I played, I don't, I haven't played any shows honestly. No. Yeah. We played, we played a few shows locally in LA and stuff like that around that record and that, and then I think the pandemic hit and then I haven't really played live very much since then, you know, but, but I do a lot of production work and composing work and stay busy. I come like always recording records and composing and writing and stuff like that too. So I do, you know, some film and TV projects and then, you know, I have a few other siding records that I'm finishing now too, as well as some, some other projects. So I stayed busy with music, but unfortunately it hasn't been live for. 3 (28m 21s): Okay. So, well, what this, the newest idea record that you just put out when, when did you start writing that? Or was that a project that began once you tell me, like yeah, like pandemic hits and then everyone's kind of like focused in, on, you know, news what's happening here. And then how quickly do you, are you able to get creative again? Get back into music? 5 (28m 40s): Yeah. I mean, I, at first, when it first happened, I w I like took off for a little while and I was just like, you know, the whole world like pushed pause. And then I was like, oh, I guess I'm, you know, I guess I'll start writing and making music again. And then a few of the songs on against space. I had written back in SA in early sessions for the last record and didn't end up finishing them. And so I started with those and then I started writing some new stuff and then, and then really the focus and finishing, it was just how to put it all together. And I started writing these crazy, like vapor wave transitions, all the like weird psychedelic since stuff too. 5 (29m 21s): And I think during the pandemic to the beach was open so we could go surfing. So we started going, we were going surfing and somehow Divo became our going to the beach surf music. 3 (29m 32s): That's awesome. I don't 5 (29m 33s): Know why it just was like, it's just really pumped to go surfing. And so I, and I never really, I don't know if you have this experience too, but sometimes I find bands and I'm like, somehow I just never really explored that band yet. And I'm just, of course I knew who diva was, but I'd never deep dived into the catalog. So I just kind of like got really into that listening, going to surfing. And so that, then that took the record to bringing more sin into some of the punk stuff. And then, so that kind of brought in a new wave sound. And so then it was just like putting the, putting all the different pieces together 3 (30m 8s): Right on. And do you recall, I mean, you're obviously in a studio now, do you record everything at your house? 5 (30m 12s): Yeah. Yeah. I record and record everything here and yeah, we're actually putting, getting ready to move into a larger studio space, but yeah, everything's been out of the home for now and then the home studio. 3 (30m 25s): That's awesome. I mean, was that something you had already prior to, were you already doing, you're recording yourself at home prior to 5 (30m 32s): Yeah. Yeah. We've been in different places, so the setups have changed over the years, but after COVID, it became a home studio for awhile, but yeah, but I've been, I've been recording and producing stuff and composing for probably the last, you know, 10 years, you know, sort of dovetailed with kind of like spending less time on the road, a backroom family, and then getting into more composing work and studio work. 3 (30m 57s): Sure. Do you record any other artists? Like, do you engineer other sessions there or anything like that? 5 (31m 3s): No, I, I I've done like collaborations with artists and then there's a, there's a new artist on lightning alley, Monique. I helped co-produce that music. It's more like electronic pop, you know, post genre, electronic pop music. I can send you a link after the call. 3 (31m 22s): Oh, cool. 5 (31m 23s): Yeah. So, yeah, so get involved in a handful of projects, but then, and then mostly off shoots of something that I need to collaborate with or produce, but it's less like traditional recording, like miking up drum kits and stuff like that. 3 (31m 35s): Okay. And how are you out scouting town? Like how do you find artists or your label, or do you have other people that kind of help you on that end? Or 5 (31m 42s): It's more it's, it's not like that. It's like we do most of the ANR, but it's more like, you know, friends or friends of friends or just something we hear. And then we hit them up and want to collaborate on a remix or do something. And then that naturally leads to, you know, putting out some of their music, you know, lately we've been doing a lot of collabs and remixes with people from all over the place, which has been great. Like we just did a remix for that artist. I was talking about Allie unique, a cool young DJ out of Peru, you know, some people out of Europe and just like, I don't know, we've been really excited about, you know, collaborating with people globally and reaching into like different sounds and cultures and ways of making music and how like digitally we can collaborate now. 3 (32m 31s): That's cool. I mean, I know recently there hasn't been much room to go out and check out shows and stuff, but like, are you involved at all in the, in San Diego scene at all? 5 (32m 42s): And not as much as I'd like to be. I mean, I hope hopefully soon because we've moved down here. Right. We moved down and we were like, you know, surfed for a few months. We're like, ah, let's go meet all these people. There's also cool music stuff going on. There was, there was a place out in Escondido called ship in the woods that was doing cool shows and had just had their first festival. And then, and then COVID hit and I was just kind of like, oh, there's, you know, there's no shows, there's nothing going on, but it's, it's slowly starting to happen again. You know, it's like all belly up and there's all sorts of cool stuff going on around here. 3 (33m 11s): Yeah. Yeah. I, I, cause I moved to Nashville and I moved in February 20, 20, February, February, 2021. We moved here. So yeah. And I was born and raised in San Diego. I spent a little bit of time in San Francisco, but yeah, it's, it's interesting. I love talking to people that are there in San Diego. Cause it's, I can obviously relate directly to that, but I remember that that festival you're talking about in Escondida, my in-laws Candido and yeah, so I remember that being announced and just like, it's crazy to think 6 (33m 42s): They had a big scratcher from the Virginia lottery could be a big hit for you. The game gives you the chance to win up to $1 million, Virginia lottery, scratchers, everyday wins, visit a lottery retailer near you for rods and more information visit VA, 3 (33m 58s): How much it, just everything, you know, when it all shut down, like all these things that were going to happen in San Diego. And then it was just like, oh, nothing is happening. 5 (34m 7s): Yeah. Yeah. I know. I know. But there's, there's stuff happening. I mean they just built and we saw them in bed and they just built the new, I don't know, they call it the band shell down in the park. That's the symphony plays in the summer. There's a new, there's a new venue for the symphony and the summer. And then I just, 3 (34m 25s): You ever go to that venue and there's a venue right there in Oceanside and the, in the sand. Is that what you're talking about? 5 (34m 29s): No, no, no. I don't know. What's that? 3 (34m 32s): It's like an, it's like a, I can't think of what it is. It's like, there's like a big stage. I they've had a big, <inaudible> 5 (34m 41s): Asking people. I keep asking people when I run into people that are like locals or like involved with a city or one, whatever, I'm like, what's up with that amphitheater. And they're like, oh yeah, they, they want to do something. Maybe. I don't know. These people say this. These people say that it's like such an awesome spot. Like we need to do some shows there. 3 (34m 58s): Yeah. I worked for a radio station for a long time in San Diego and we, we, yeah, we did. We did a couple of shows there. It was pretty good. It was crazy. Yeah. It was cool. 5 (35m 7s): Yeah. No, it's it's so prime. It's like a great spot. 3 (35m 10s): It's yeah. It's it's it. No, yeah, it is. It's an awesome spot. It's but it's so funny because when it comes down to like, like promoters and everything, it's very easy to just to see the show without having to pay, to get in. If that makes any sense. And we had issues with people just kind of walking in. Cause there's no real, 5 (35m 30s): It's not a very controlled environment. It's probably better for like a free free city. 3 (35m 37s): Fuck. The outdoors is better 5 (35m 38s): For a free thing. Yeah. Then like it's, it's not a very, a block box entry. 3 (35m 44s): All right. That's all. I was wondering if they're doing anything there because especially now with all the venues hurting, I'm sure it doesn't help. Like, oh, let's hire this huge artist to play this big amphitheater that we can't control people coming in and out of. 5 (35m 56s): Yeah. Yeah. No, they haven't been doing much there, but shows are starting to happen again. You know, you know, Tyson, psychologists played at belly up and then 3 (36m 7s): I met him. I 5 (36m 7s): Met a local band here at Mattson two. Have you heard of these guys, you know, the Mattson two And I think on a car card, I met them up at tree four. I don't know. I went to, have you heard of this music festival tree, Fort music Fest out of Boise? 3 (36m 23s): No, I haven't. No. 5 (36m 24s): I was going there for about like I went to, I did like six or seven years of going there and I was, I wrote this piece for like 20 bands to play at the same time called band dialogue. So like, wow. 3 (36m 36s): It's 5 (36m 37s): Easiest to do at festivals because there's so many bands there. So like organized for the festival to get bands, to, to kind of participate in it. And then we'll meet in the morning and I'll pass all the instructions. I started to teach them during the day and then the evening we do the performance. So it's like outdoors. So it's just like, we'll take over a block or we'll shut down a street and do it in another street. Or it's just like this giant, I've done it in giant, like lines are facing each other or the last few years of a tree Fort. We did it in these big circles. So it's just like 20 bands and the crowds all around. And then we'd like, let people walk through sort of two. And it's just sort of this massive sort of sound sculpture with all these bands and all there's different sections that have some are like more Sonic and some are more rhythmic and there's different things going on, but it's kind of cool because you also get the, like each band has their own gear and sound. 5 (37m 30s): So you have like a metal band over to here and this kind of electronic band here. And so everyone's like, you know, playing the similar figure, but you walk around and you can sort of hear the, the colors and tones of each band coming through. It's it's cool. But yeah, I met these guys from Mattson too. They're twins from down here at great guitarist and drummer. So they've been playing some shows locally. 3 (37m 52s): That's cool. Wow. How do you even arrange something like that? I mean, do you come up with the whole piece? Like how, I don't know, like how did you hear all these elements together to make 5 (38m 1s): Sense Like influenced by, like I mentioned that I, I, that composer the a hundred guitars. Yeah. I ended up after that performance, I went on and because the way he arranged it, he has some conductors. So I went on and became sort of a sexual leader and sub conductor for him. And we did performances in San Francisco and the UK, and we ended up doing 200 guitars at Lincoln center. And so I, you know, just from that, like I learned a lot about his process and how he arranged things and organize things and produce things. And then there's an amazing, I don't know if you know this Japanese band, the boredom's Amazing noise rock band. 5 (38m 42s): They did, they did a hunt. How many trouble? 99 drummers in Brooklyn. And then I was, I was just gone and I was like, oh, I love getting all these people together and meeting everyone and like creating this large sound. So I had this idea to do it with lots of bands. So I would say like some of the theories and ideas I learned from artists had done similar things in the past. And then it's just kind of like put, you know, putting those ideas together and kind of coming up with, I don't know, interesting things that you can do only with that many bands. Like either just looking at the drums or looking at the guitars or the sheer volume and insanity from like all, all of the musicians, just going nuts and making a lot of noise to like really beautiful things you can do when everyone's just playing like really quietly, but there's that many musicians. 5 (39m 31s): And then some of it's more like, I don't, I call it sculptural cause it's just like sound going from here to there or like surround, you know, it's kind of like, it's just sound moving around and these shapes on some of it's more musical, so it's kind of hard to describe. It's more, it's sort of a, have it have to be, they're kind of 3 (39m 47s): Right. But it's like, it's, to me, it's fascinating that you're able to like even orchestrate all these 20 bands, like, Hey, we're all going to be here at this time. And here's all the stuff 5 (39m 59s): No, that's, that's insane. Yeah. Yeah. It is. It's a lot of in the early days of doing it, I did it at hopscotch Fest and North Carolina. And it was, it was way more Renegade, the first few performances where I just like called a friend that lived there and she helped me like get a permit to shut down the street. And then it was just like emailing bands and convincing them to show up. And they had no idea what they were showing up for there. And then, and then not all band three music too. So I do it more like a it's more instruction based I guess. And so they just get there, they have no idea what they're in for and I hand them instructions and we work it out and it generally works out. Yeah. It's cool. 3 (40m 38s): Well, I mean, I did have you answered my question correctly. The first one were about how it all had to figure it out all together, but then even like, I just thought about the production of that too. Like getting everyone together, like, okay, how did he do, did he pulled out? 5 (40m 50s): It is kind of nuts organizing all the people, although the Fest that I've only done at festivals. Cause it's kind of just the time when everyone's in one place and they have their beer and it's, we're all there. And it's like buying that extra day in between performances. Yeah. Make it happen. 3 (41m 8s): Very cool. Well said, thank you so much for doing this, man. I really, really appreciate it. Yeah. I have one more quick question. I want to know if you have any advice for aspiring artists. 5 (41m 18s): Oh yeah. I saw that question earlier. Yeah. I mean my, my first bit of advice was songwriting advice. Like the thing I always tell people about songwriting is just to like write a lot of songs and, and let yourself off the hook from a good song and write, try to write 10 bad songs. And I generally find when I'm helping people out or people are working on something and you know, they go to write 10 bad songs. And then by the time they've gotten to five, they're like, I should, I kind of like these first three songs, you know, like there's something about the pressure of, of writing something that you're going to like that can be hard to start or, you know, you have that like critical voice in your head. 5 (41m 58s): So I think giving yourself the freedom to just like try things and make things and write things. And I think generally that's a, a great way to get started. Great way to start to write really good music in terms of, you know, general musical advice. I mean, I don't know. I don't know. What kind of advice do people usually give here? Okay. 3 (42m 21s): Never quit. Keep going. Don't have a plan B. 5 (42m 29s): It is like that. It is like that. I mean, you know, I thought about it too. It's like the world is so different now from when I started. I mean, it's so cool because there's so many outlets to get. There's so many different ways of making music. Now there's so many outlets to get your music out there. I mean, at the same time, it's like a can field noisy and distracted. Cause you know, there's like people don't have a lot of attention and it can be hard to like find people and get them excited about what you're doing. But at the same time, I think it's like easier than ever to like connect with communities. You know, I think music and community go really well together, whether that's like finding people and putting, you know, playing shows together or whether that's like an online community where you're sharing music, you know, whether it's, you know, SoundCloud or Mixcloud or whatever the, you know, depending on what types of music you do. 5 (43m 18s): So I think like just connecting with communities and interacting, I, I think that digital is like a crazy awesome format for collaboration working with different artists. I think that that stuff all leads to successful paths still. And then, you know, I mean, it's just kind of a, it's an exciting time to go to make music because there's just so many rad tools available from plugins and sounds. And then, I mean, I wish I had like, you know, Spotify or apple music when I was a kid, I had to go to the store. And I remember I was like, I heard of Elvis Costello and I bought an Elvis Costello city and I didn't like it. 5 (44m 0s): And I think I bought the wrong house bestseller, but I didn't listen to Elvis Costello, but it's like now it's like, if I heard all this gestalt just go listen to like 20 records and be like, this is amazing. And so, you know, the, the, the sheer breadth of music you can reference and, and digest and dig into is so cool. You know, and then there's, there's so many cool tools out there, band camp, you can just like release music and create community immediately on something like band camp. So I think it's a really exciting time to be. I imagined being a young musician and, and, and I think that the myriad of ways you can combine all these tools and sounds, it's like there's so much room for innovation and new sounds and new ideas.

Cy Dune


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