Friday, February 6, 2009

Band Interview: Blind Man's Colour

You've read correctly. Beginning a new segment here at fork/knife, we're proud to present the first of many exclusive band interviews on our blog. Expect one or more email interviews a week from great unsigned or relatively unknown bands to give you a better picture of their personality and to give insight on their music.

Blind Man's Colour (BMC) is a duo of Kyle Wyss and Orhan Chettri, who create rather lush soundscapes of psychedelic samples and sounds. They sat down to answer some of Donovan's questions:

fork/knife: You've clearly drawn a lot of inspiration from Animal Collective, including performing three covers of songs from Merriweather Post Pavilion. How much does their music affect your musical thinking process?

Blind Man's Colour: We've been listening to Animal Collective for a couple of years and can shamelessly admit that they're probably our favorite artist. But we are in no way attempting to copy or imitate their style. We take inspiration, absolutely, but we come from different backgrounds and times and strive to make our music reflect that. When we sit down to write a song, we don't think, "OK, how can we make this sound like Animal Collective?" It's more that what we listen to can be detected in what we write, naturally. So, yeah, Animal Collective is a big influence because of how intriguing it was to find that 'perfect' band in terms of what we thought of as music in general before. But we've never tried to gain success by stealing ideas or anything, but we're prepared for hearing a lot of that.

f/k: What's your favorite aspect of your live shows? Your least favorite?

BMC: The problem with us in terms of playing live, is that since starting to write music together in middle school, we've only played for an audience about 5 times. Because of this, we've gone through phases of practicing 'live' for fun, to just making computer music and recording instruments on top. We've always been a sort of Recording band, but the times when we have played together, we really like mixing the sounds of all our instruments into basically one sound, where you can't really distinguish between any of them. When we eventually do start playing more shows, they'll probably sound a lot more ambient compared to any recordings you may hear. But right now, we're all at different colleges in our freshmen year, so we don't exactly know how soon or how much we'll be playing right now.

f/k: Some of your popularity can be at least indirectly attributed to Kanye West featuring you on his blog. We at fork/knife admittedly are not too fond of Mr. West, and yet are undeniably impressed with some of the artists he advocates. How has the inclusion of "Jimmy Dove" on his website changed Blind Man's Colour?

BMC: Well, about 4 months ago was when the first blog "I Guess I'm Floating" discovered us by means of the AC covers posted on the AC message board. Things were pretty steady, until the Kanye West post. It was definitely surreal to think about, but didn't directly get us than many fans. It was more the indie blogs that followed up after reading Kanye, which then led to some awesome record labels contacting us (for a change), so a release is now in sight!
We don't really read celebrity websites or television, so we hadn't heard about some of the silly and arrogant things Kanye has said or done until friends or people on MySpace explain how Kanye was a "Douche." Back in early high school though, we definitely listened to some of the early Kanye West demos when he was a new artist and thought they were really neat and influential for popular hip-hop music, but we honestly haven't listened to any since.
But people have sent us links to articles about how the Kanye West blog is actually just run by a ghost writer, but either way, we just appreciated that he (or a ghost writer) enjoyed our 'dope shit' enough to share to the insane Kanye fans.

f/k: I've noticed a lot of nature references in your music and especially in the music video for "Never Hope for Treasure." Yet, a lot of your musical sounds come from electronic sampling. Do you consciously strive to create a balance between technology and nature in your songs?

BMC: Balance is crucial to us. We're both in love with electronic and natural sounds, so we try to do each justice by mixing them together. We've seen our electronic programs as a more successful tool for making something sound more organic, because of the endless tweaking and editing that goes into it. This may sound sort of oxy-moronic, but it's how we've always done it. But since we've been using the same program for years, we're probably gonna focus more on getting some professional recording equipment to make more surfy guitar based stuff. Definitely not straight up indie rock though. "Never Hope For Treasure" is a song we wrote a little over a year ago when we had been roaming through the woods all day, and sort of realized how boring just sitting and watching television or playing video games was compared.

f/k: How would you describe life as unsigned musicians?

BMC: Life as an unsigned musician is rather simple and enjoyable, making music at our own pace without unwanted pressure or distraction. Hopefully if our album is successful, we'll be able to make a decision from there. Especially being in school and just getting settled in that life, we're not fully prepared to start a big music career yet. We love not having the pressure of doing stuff we don't want to do, so that's something we're negotiating with labels.

f/k: What do you think about the way the internet has changed the musical business model? It seems like more unique bands have more of a chance nowadays than ever before. Do you think the internet has played a role in maintaining your originality, knowing that your songs could still reach people without being on a major record label or playing on MTV?

BMC: We don't really know what to make of the internet. The internet is nuts, but we're definitely thankful for living in this generation, because we've been that live band who has to tour forever to get known. So, we feel sort of guilty being able to just post a song on the internet and then having fans around the world without ever seeing our faces, but it's also very neat that we can do that. About illegal downloading and all, we definitely like to support bands we respect. But we know the majority of people who will get our album, will have just downloaded it. Being under our parent's wings still, that's really the least of our worries. But yeah, the internet has done some crazy things for music.

f/k: What's one band out there that you wish more people knew about?

BMC: James Holden (James Holden's MySpace Page)

f/k: And finally, would you say a fork and a knife are more similar than they are different? Or different than they are similar?

BMC: We're spoon folk.

Blind Man's Colour- The Warm Current's Pull
BMC: This song is actually more about that feeling when you're listening to music in headphones when falling asleep. Just that feeling about halfway through an album when you're half asleep and can't comprehend time or where the sounds are coming from and you feel like you're sort of being tugged around under water. We've gotten a lot of "this sounds like Animal Collective's Water Curses EP," but we wrote it before Water Curses. We hate having to talk about all the Animal Collective stuff and will eventually ignore it, but one thing we want people to know is that we finished the album at the end of summer 2008, long before Merriweather.

More pictures and songs on their Myspace page, so go check it out here.

Blind Man's Colour seem like solid guys, so support them when you get a chance, and look for more interviews in the days to come.

-Chandler. Questions by Donovan

No comments: