Friday, August 21, 2009

Joe Tagg/ Solaram

JT: After 13 years of playing with The Three 4 Tens, I played my last show with the band on December 13th, 2008, at Mojo 13 in Wilmington, Delaware. It was a benefit show to help raise some money for the son of a good friend and colleague, Chris Tucker from the band, The Situation. Chris had passed away in an accident that summer.

The name of the new project is Solaram. I guess I started writing the bulk of the new material over the winter of 2008, with the exception of two of the tracks that I had left over from a few years back when I was playing with Himalaya. I started the actual recording part of it in February after I secured a contract with Rainbow Quartz. The album (Love And The Sweet Divine) should hopefully be out in October. I say hopefully, 'cause the date has changed something like three times already!

I've been working with Ryan Van Kriedt from The Asteroid #4. He's got a great ear! It's been great working together. Totally laid back. It doesn't hurt that we're on the same page as far as music goes, either. Ryan and I laid down most of the tracks. We had some help from my friend Mike from The Three 4 Tens and my friend Jeff on drums. Also, Brian and Jamie from Himalaya came in and did some guitars and pedal steel. All great players.


JT: Well. I guess you could say it's a bit dark at times. I've lost quite a few family members and close friends over the past few years. Definitely rough, coping with all of it. I've had some other issues as well, and I guess this album captures that period of time perfectly, for me. My first love is, and will always be rock 'n roll, so the record's not this gloom and doom piece either.


JT: I'm not too good with song titles. I have piles of cds. No cases or sleeves, all around the house. My girlfriend, Carla, hates it and lets me know often! I will say that anything by Zeppelin, The Beatles/Stones, The Who, The Pixies/Spacemen 3/Stone Roses...I can go on.


JT: I haven't been getting out too much, especially since I started with this record. I know it's been a while...I'm gonna have to say Spiritualized at the TLA in Philly, last August!


JT: I've been reading Songbook, by Nick Hornby. It's a collection of stories of different songs, and how they connect him with moments of his life. It's a pretty cool book, definitely worth checking out. Everybody has these songs...not necessarily these particular songs, but...


JT: Well, for the immediate future, finish this record and tour. I've already started work on the follow up. Other than that, maybe a couple weeks in Paris or Amsterdam or both. They're my two favorite places on earth.


JT: I've had a lot of other jobs. I worked at a movie theater, I worked with insulation in low income housing. I was an electrician's assistant, a carpenter's assistant. I worked at a wood shop, did demo work on houses in Jersey. House painting, clean-outs, moving furniture. The list goes on...


JT: I love film. I would love to score a movie some day. I also love to travel.


JT: 2001.


JT: Jackson Pollock.


Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Mike Wolff / Mr.Doodle Interview

Tell us a little about yourself.

I am Mr.Doodle; an artist, illustrator and designer, thoughtfully manufactured out of lego in the beautiful Sussex countryside some 30 years ago. I lived in a tree until the age of 10 when I discovered I had the ability of flight. These days I like to produce beautiful, weird, surreal, pleasurable, intricate, enticing and exciting images, objects and virtual environments. I like the colours green, yellow and orange in no particular order. Qualities I admire in others include open mindedness and integrity. In my youth I had a penchant for tree climbing and dressing as Superman. Nowadays I prefer to indulge in sophisticated doodling, meditation and cheese on toast eating. Which reminds me.... I think I've left the grill on. Oh... and since the passing of the millenium I have been on a quest. It's exciting!

What has been inspiring you lately?
That's a tricky one as inspiration springs from everywhere and everything. Right now I'm loving the work of Brosmind, Universal Everything, The Monsters Illustration Collective, Cristina Guitian, Kill Pixie, Micheal Rea and Sarah King to name but a few. I think looking at other people's work - especially your contemporaries - is a very good way of getting motivated and inspired to create, but in terms of the actual content of my work, inspiration is often found in the most mundane of places. Looking at clouds, watching people, toys, children's books, plants, dreams, meditating, just looking around at the stuff that surrounds you in life - and I mean really looking, often from a different or more objective viewpoint... The list could go on forever, but you get what I mean.
Do you ever have creative slumps? What do you do then?
I think most creative people have creative slumps as you call them. It's very difficult to be 100% creative 100% of the time. I try to see this downtime as part of the overall creative process though. As a positive instead of a negative. The calm before the creative storm so to speak. I also find that meditation helps in maintaining a more consistent creative flow.
Describe your work setting.
A desk by a window. A room with a view. Lots of stuff to inspire and use. The inevitable bank of white, black and silver technological equipment. Plants, books, wire, toys, tools and trolls. Gourds, pens, paper, stones, artwork on the walls, wooden objects, postcard and music... always music.
Which artists have most influenced you and why?
When I was younger I got twisted by Salvador Dali and other surrealists. Their art just seemed to make sense to me. It's likely that the surreal nature in a lot of what I do stems from spending ages looking at his work when I was back at school. Nowadays, with the internet we are exposed to so much more contemporary artwork and artists, so the avenues for inspiration and artistic influence are far greater than ever before. I have hundreds of artists' websites bookmarked, and admire a very wide range of creative people, so again it's difficult to name names, but those who are doing something unique or pushing the boudaries of their field are always a head turner. I also love to see other people who are embracing the world of the doodle.
Other than art, what are some of your interests?
Reiki, cycling, cooking, tea drinking and exploring the inner mysteries of life
If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be?
Maybe Australia. I lived in Melbourne for a while and loved it there. Anywhere with nice warm, sunny weather for most of the year would be ideal. Preferably somewhere with nice beaches also. I'm sure there are many amazing places around the globe that fit that description.
In what city do you currently live? What are a few must see spots you would recommend?
I live in Brighton, England. It's a great city with so much to see and do. The most famous landmark is the Royal Pavilion, which looks like a bunch of giant onions on pillars, so you'd have to check that out. The seafront in summertime. Take a stroll through the North Laines with all it's funky little shops, cafes and other delights. If you're planning a trip in May all the better, as the Brighton festival transforms the whole town into a cultural wonderland.
Did you study art or are you self taught?
I studied illustration at University, although whether it actually taught me that much compared to what I have subsequently learnt through self teaching is debatable.
Do you have any upcoming events or exhibitions?
Not too many plans at the moment, but I will be taking part in an exhibition later in the year as part of the Spraygraphic artists community. I also want to exhibit in Brighton at some point, so will have to look into making that happen before the year is out.
Favorite quote/ lyric from a short story, poem or song?
I'm not really a fan of selecting a favourite this or that. There are so many pearls of wisdom out there to choose from. Saying that, I did hear this quote from Gandhi recently and it stuck with me. "Keep your thoughts positive because your thoughts become your words. Keep your words positive because your words become your behaviors. Keep your behaviors positive because your behaviors become your habits. Keep your habits positive because your habits become your values. Keep your values positive because your values become your destiny."
What are you currently reading?
The amazingly inspirational 'Ask And It Is Given' by Esther and Jerry Hicks, and a wonderful collection of short stories in 'Love and Obstacles' by Aleksandar Hemon

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Shawn Kilroy Interview

Shawn Kilroy is a musician, actor and filmmaker from Philadelphia...

MD: Tell us a little about the bands you have played with.

SK: I have had the privilege of playing with many of my favorite area musicians over the years. In my earlier days, I played with most of the Three 4 Tens guys, who I grew up with. I have also played and recorded with members of The Cobbs, Manta Ray, Black Landlord, Vibrolux, and Illinois. My last album features Mike SloMo Brenner pretty heavily, as well as Seattle legends Rich Stuverud and Jebney Lewis. Jenny Prescott and my wife Heather Kilroy round out the rest of the disc along with North Lawrence Midnight Singer Joe Boyle. Kevin LeBree is always in there somewhere too!

MD: Tell us about your music...
SK: Little bit of everything in there. Someone wrote an article saying I was an electro artist, and it kind of stuck and that's what I'm known for, but I also play rock and roll, psychadelic, punk, blues, disco, folk, fake-jazz and country & all kinds of pop music.

MD: Have you recorded?
SK: Yes, I've released 3 full-length albums since 2004. The Neon Gate, and Thai Stick Dragon, both self-released. My newest release, this year's, Hessian Love Songs, came out on earSnake, Gemini Wolf's label. All available on itunes. 2 as Kilroy, 1 as Shawn Kilroy.

MD: Where do you record?
SK: The first record was recorded at my old South Philly rehearsal spot. TSD was recorded above the Rocket Cat Café in Fishtown back in 05 when it had more of a crack-house vibe. Now it's a nice apartment, but back then old paint was falling off the walls and windows as Warlocks had sidewalk meetings and I made my beats. Hessian Love Songs was recorded at Pete Rydberg's 1935 Studio down on Bancroft.

MD: Playlist of a few favorite songs:
SK: Fugees - Ready Or Not
Joe Jackson - Steppin Out
Pink Floyd - Cymbaline
Stooges - Gimmee Danger
Sheryl Crow - Oh Marie
Go Go's - Lust to Love
Everything But The Girl - Missing
NRG - Need Your Love (Like the Sunshine)
Steely Dan - Don't Take Me Alive
BeeGees - How Can You Mend a Broken Heart
Iggy Pop - The Endless Sea
David Bowie - Soul Love
Duran Duran - Skin Trade
Visage - Fade To Gray
Bauhaus - She's In Parties
Led Zeppelin - Down By The Seaside
Barbara Streisand - What Kind Of Fool
Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds - Stranger Than Kindness
Neil Young - Will To Love
Tom Waits - Heart of a Saturday Night

MD: What was the last concert/ performance you attended?
SK: Judas Priest, Heaven&Hell, & Motorhead. It was perfect. Metal gets better with age. More evil and witchy.

MD: What are you reading?
SK: Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury

MD: Have you held any jobs you'd like to discuss?
SK: I'm producing radio spots for an ad agency in Voorhees. I like it.

MD: Any amusing anecdotes regarding your shows/ performances/ fans?
SK: Johnny Knoxville kept staring at my wife's ass at a show he came to at Silk City.

MD: What are some of your interests?
SK: I don't have any interests. I'm not even interested in making music. I have to do it or I get sick. I'm sure that sounds pretentious and phony, but it happens to be true. I write, record and perform music so that I don't have to live out my bullshit. I try to put the worst of myself into the work. Sometimes it works.

MD: Historical figure you'd like to have a beer with, given the chance?
SK: Barney Rubble, what an actor.

MD: Favorite movies?
SK: Blade Runner, Flash Gordon, American Werewolf in London, Road Warrior.

MD: Favorite comic strips/ comic books/ graphic novels?
SK: Blood: a Tale, Wolverine & Havok: Meltdown, and of course, The Dark Night Returns

MD: Favorite visual artists?

Shawn Kilroy's Website: