Archive for music

Emily Turnage

Posted in interviews, music, news, update with tags , , , , , , on June 4, 2013 by intoviews

what is your name?
Emily Turnage
how would you describe what you do?
I’m a singer/songwriter
what are you currently working on?
I’m working on my solo career, writing new songs, recording and just getting my name out there
what has had the greatest influence on your work?
It’s changed so much throughout the years, in the beginning it was family and family friends who all enjoyed music and played it together at gatherings, then I started to really appreciate certain musicians and the music they made, how you could relate what they were saying to their personal lives. I wanted to do the same, because I wasn’t the biggest talker, so it was my means of communicating in my own way.
what is the greatest misconception about you or your work?
I honestly couldn’t think of an answer for this one
what do you see as the main strengths and weaknesses of the medium you work in?

The strengths, is that I can make enough music with just the guitar and my voice to entertain a crowd for a number of hours, and the setting and packing up isn’t too bad. But the weakness is that it’s easier to focus on your voice when it’s the only thing your using, playing guitar at the same time while singing can take away from that focus, and also, you can only do so much with just a guitar and your voice
how has technology impacted upon the work you do?
I haven’t experimented with technology quite yet (it’s a little pricey in this field), but I like to keep it simple anyway. My next purchase WILL be a loop pedal. You can record your voice or guitar and then keep it playing while you can add to it, which means you can layer upon layer your musical creations. Sounds like fun to me!

what’s the greatest piece of advice you would like to pass on?
Appreciate everything you have but don’t sell yourself short. Demand what you deserve.
and just be nice. All the time. It’s contagious

where can we find you online?
www.facebook.com/emilyturnagemusic
www.reverbnation.com/emilyturnage
what are you reading at the moment?
Oh goodness why did you have to ask that? The second book in the Twilight series, New Moon
what are you listening to at the moment?
My sister planning out her errands tomorrow with my brother and her husband. Includes Sam’s Club and Staples. Wish I could go…
anything else we should know?
I play at Ruby’s Elixir every Monday night. You should come out. Ladies get their first glass of wine for free. Gets kinda crazy

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Meredith Yayanos

Posted in art, film, interviews, music, news, update, writing with tags , , , , , , , , on June 3, 2013 by intoviews

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What is your name?
O HAI! I’m Meredith Yayanos. How are YOU?

How would you describe what you do?
Lots of music, words, and imagery. Most of the stuff I make and do ends up being conversational and collaborative in nature. From 2007 – 2012, I was devoted to an online/print venture called Coilhouse Magazine with co-founding creator, publisher and partner Nadya Lev, as well as many other wonderful weirdos. It was, and remains, “A Love Letter to Alternative Culture”. The project’s on hiatus for now, but <CHEERFULPLUG> you can download all six of our print issues as free PDFs at the archival website, and the blog also contains thousands of entries on a wide variety weird and beautiful and funny topics. </CHEERFULPLUG> These days, I’ve gone back to making music pretty much full time; I play violin and theremin and sing. Score films. Oh! And recently I’ve started dabbling in making pretentious artsy fartsy films of my own. That’s been fun.

What are you currently working on?
I’m finishing up the final leg of production of an album of “haunted chamber music” by The Parlour Trick, my duo with fellow multi-instrumentalist Dan Cantrell. Ghostly, modern classical/aggro-ambient instrumentals. Piano, violin, theremin, musical saw, witchy vocals, harpsichord, celeste, pump organ, electronics, etc. Right now the project’s badass designer, Star St. Germain (who also worked on Coilhouse!) and I are sussing out all of the packaging for the Parlour Trick CDs and vinyl, which should hopefully go to press and be available for sale shortly. Meantime, on my lonesome, I’m devoting the bulk of my time to various aspects of reward fulfillment for the hundreds of Kickstarter backers who chipped in to get the album and related materials funded. (Any of you guys reading? You know who you are! HAY. I LURVE YOO. SORRY IT’S TAKING SO LONG.) You can buy the music digitally on Bandcamp. I’m also about to shoot a second Parlour Trick music video in New Zealand with my sweetheart, Madeleine Ledespencer, and a bunch of amazing folks we know from the Weta / Wellywood film industry. I seriously have no idea WTF I’m doing, yet. But I’m excited!

What is the greatest misconception about you or your work?
Oof… I guess it’d be that lot of people think I’m an extrovert. I’m really not. Actually, I’m an extremely shy, anxious person. Always have been. I started performing on stages in front of people when I was five. Then and now, I’m terrified of crowds and exposure. You’re basically talking to an introvert who, at some point, somehow managed to convince herself and everyone else otherwise by developing halfway-adequate social skills. (Related: I’ve had a solo music project in the works called “The Ever Present Tense” for well over fifteen years now. It’s like this hideously sparkly paste-jewel-encrusted lithopedion baby cataloging my various neuroses, including GAD, PTSD, and BDD. Woohooo, partaaaay. Sure to be an instant classic.)962839_10201112870372994_1252226957_n

What do you see as the main strengths and weaknesses of the medium you work in?
The allure of wordplay, yum yum. There’s that delicious brainmeat frission that happens when you read or craft just the right turn of phrase. But the medium has its weaknesses, too, in that words… well, they fail. A lot. Words fail me every day. All the time. Because they put me at a remove from more atavistic sensations, connections, communications. Which is why I love music so much– the ribcage-expanding, gut-and-capillary level reaction it can trigger. Music is my magick. Also, the visual resonance of art and design: when I lean both my body and my brain into a piece of music… I see landscapes and I feel textures. And then that’s when the most unfailing words come– stories that have steeped in sounds and images.

How has technology impacted upon the work you do?
Immensely. In too many ways to count. Coilhouse Magazine couldn’t have existed without the global network we all built together online, and the kinship that sprang up from it. More generally, I’d say that many of the most wonderful collaborators I’ve worked with, across multiple mediums, are thanks to BBSs and chat rooms, and later on, social networking sites like Livejournal, Twitter, Tumblr. Every day, no matter where I am in the world, I can interface with authors, fashion photographers, editors, musicians, and filmmakers… all thousands of miles away. With a good pair of headphones and an Apogee One, I can (and have) recorded full-length film scores on my laptop in the midst of traveling internationally. I’m about to email this interview to you while I’m at ten-thousand feet in an airplane. I have cherished loved ones that I’ve never met face to face, and it’s a non-issue, because we’ve found ways to share our art. This world, and my subsequent work, is largely post-geographical, and I find that miraculous.

What’s the greatest piece of advice you would like to pass on?
The world can be brutal and unyielding. Please don’t let that take your luminosity away. Stay open. Stay kind. Stay grateful. Cherish yourself and cherish your loved ones. It’s good to be gentle, and it’s okay to yield. Do not be afraid to work veryveryeveryhard for a longlonglongtime on whatever it is that you love without receiving any validation or reassurance from outside sources. Just enjoy the adventure and rise to meet the challenge of the work itself. Don’t waste time worrying about what anyone else is going to think about the work you do, because it’s really none of your business. Most importantly, stop waiting for someone else to give you permission to be who you want to be, or to do what you dream of doing. And finally… regret is okay, and remorse is often warranted. But shame? Shame is bullshit. Shame is a colossal waste of life, so please, PLEASE work to find ways to regularly unpack whatever shame you have accrued. Pull it out of yourself, somehow, and burn it. Dance around that fire until it dies down, and then walk away.

Where can we find you online?
http://theparlourtrick.bandcamp.com/
twitter.com/theremina
theremina.tumblr.com/

What are you reading at the moment?
If music is my magick, then reading is my ritual! “The John Varley Reader” (a great collection of his short stories spanning thirty years), “Gun Machine” by Warren Ellis (relentlessly badass), “The People’s Guide to Los Angeles” by Laura Barraclough, Wendy Cheng, and Laura Pulido (highly recommended for anyone who’s curious about the invisible underpinnings of that city, both structurally and culturally) Haruki Murakami’s 1Q84 (gobsmacking!), and, most affectingly, the first 200 pages of a novel-in-progress by a very brilliant friend. Re-reading, actually, multiple times a month, as the working draft evolves. Watching this story grow from the ground up is easily one of the most spellbinding and nourishing experiences I’ve ever had, or ever will.

What are you listening to at the moment?
On heavy rotation this week: Sun Ra’s “Space is the Place”, Shostakovich’s Piano Trio No. 2 In E Minor (Kalichstein Laredo Robinson Trio recording), Sibylle Baier, Gazelle Twin, K. Flay, Cabaret Voltaire, Miles Davis’ “Bitches Brew”, Goblin, Clint Mansell’s score for “Stoker”.

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Anything else we should know?
Yes. Please, please support the artists who make the songs and stories and pictures and dance and theatre that move you. If you appreciate their art, and you can afford to do so, please *buy* that art. But even if you can’t afford to buy their work, then talk about it, share it, celebrate it in some fashion that respects and values the artist as well as the art. Give them credit. Say their names.

Mild Maynyrd

Posted in interviews, music, news, update with tags , , , , , , on June 3, 2013 by intoviews

me3 What is your name?
Mild Maynyrd.  Pronounced like that singer guy from that one band.  My government name is Dan Black.
How would you describe what you do?
I’m an artist.  I express myself.  I write, I paint/draw, I take photos, I dance (none of which well)… but for the purposes of this conversation let’s focus on music, eh?  When it comes to music I am a producer and instrumentalist of all shapes and sizes.  I take snippets from all across the musical landscape and mash them together to create a sound that, hopefully, is a good representation of me.
What are you currently working on?
Mostly a new record that is the complete and utter opposite of the last LP I made.  But I’m also doing a few other things: I’ve got some beats I’m making for a few different rappers, I’m working on a little children’s music, and I’ve got a bizarre cover I’m doing.  I’m also always working on becoming a better turntablist – there’s a lot to be desired there – by spinning records in my basement.
What has had the greatest influence on your work?
It’s cliché I know, but what I currently perceive as my Earthly existence.  Everything I have done.  Every person I have met.  The places I have been.  The things I’ve been through.  The articles I read.  The art I consume.  The way the wind blows, the color of the skies.  The buildings and the train tracks.  The trees and the rivers and the stars.  Every flicker of electricity inside my head, a result of some form of sensory perception.me2
What is the greatest misconception about your work?
I don’t know specifically about my stuff, but I will say for musicians that do something similar to what I do the greatest misconception is that it is easy.  I can’t believe we haven’t reached a point yet where we consider a turntable an instrument or sampling an art form.  Dictionary.com states an instrument is: “a contrivance or apparatus for producing musical sound.”  When one uses a turntable, he/she uses both hands to manipulate the device for pitch, tone, speed, and inflection the exact same way one does with a harp, or set of drums.  I can say first hand, it is not easy.  Perceptions on sampling though I think are starting to change.  Because what people are realizing is how different Oneohtrix Point Never samples from Jake One, who samples very differently from Flying Lotus.  It’s actually amazing how quickly a distinct sound begins to take shape once the process has been done multiple times.  A great example of this is that challenge where producers are given one record, the same record, to sample with and what comes out is always extremely different than the next person.  I find it fascinating that I can sample a Delta-Blues song from 1928 and it’s got the same feel as a track that samples a Hardcore song from the early 2000s.
What do you see as the main strengths and weaknesses of the medium you work in?
The main strength of music – especially instrumental music – is how universal it is.  An interesting melody is an interesting melody no matter what type of artificial barriers (be it class, gender, racial, nationalistic) have been set between us.  Music is one of the hammers, one of the main hammers, that can knock those walls down.  Instrumental music can be difficult for people to wrap their heads around though.  One of my friends was telling me one time how his nephew was baffled when he came over to his house and he had on music with no singing, and how he would never listen to anything without any singing.  It can be hard to break through that mindset.  I think instrumental music is difficult to wrap one’s head around because it isn’t necessarily providing a clear context.  It can be like watching a very obtuse art film that doesn’t exactly state its intentions to the viewer.  It exists in an undefined place.  The listener (or viewer) needs to fill in the gaps a little, which is great if the listener is willing to take that leap: they can create all sorts of contexts.  Maybe some people are creating a context for the song through the eyes of the perceived musician, others are perhaps applying context to their own lives, and still others maybe are applying a context devoid of the listener or creator’s lives, or no one’s lives at all.
How has technology impacted upon the work you do?
Greatly.  I don’t know if I would be able to do what I do without the technology of the past 10 years alone.  First of all, we live in this miraculous world where for a few hundred USD anyone can have a very decent, easy to use, home studio to write, arrange, record, mix, and master music in.  That is a powerful concept; I think it ties to how in the second decade of Century 21 so many talented people are making so much wonderful music without any sort of rules or guidelines.  Experimentation can really flourish when you’re not paying the same amount of money just for an hour’s worth of studio time.  The other technology for musicians is obviously the Internet.  I don’t want to get to into that because I’m sure there have been Master’s theses on the subject that blow away anything I have to say about out of the water.  I will say for me personally the Internet is responsible for hooking me up with the guys, and girls, I make music with: the wonderful people of Black Lantern Music.  And without them I would not have taken what I (currently) do to the next step and really tried to refine it and get better at it.
What’s the greatest piece of advice you’d like to pass on?
I don’t know if I have much to offer by way of advice, considering my philosophy.  I know I always tell myself to try new things and keep it varied.  It will sound like me no matter what instruments, key, tempo, time signature, etc I am using.  Plus, if something isn’t working I can always just throw it on the back burner or toss it.  Everything isn’t going to work all the time, but I’ll never know what can work without a willingness to try new things.
Where can we find you online?
Well, like I said I’m a part of the Black Lantern Music club.
We’re at:  http://blacklanternmusic.com/
My Bandcamp: http://mildmaynyrd.bandcamp.com
My Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/mild-maynyrd
My Twitter: https://twitter.com/MildMaynyrd
What are you reading at the moment?
I was attempting the classic Don Quixote for a while, which actually I should get back into.  But damn is it long.  It has to be one of the greatest pieces of literature of all time.  It’s a satirical, smart, funny, at times self-loathing read that will have you perplexed how it was written 500 years ago.  I’m always reading some comics though.  Saga, Manhattan Projects, and The Massive are probably my newest favorite comics.
What are you listening to at the moment?
Oh boy.  I listen to so much music.  I’ll just rattle off the last few artists I’ve listened to: No Bird Sing, Medeski, Martin, & Wood, The Bronx, King Crimson, Robert Glasper Experiment, Mixed Blood Majority, Radiohead.
Anything else we should know?
Yes, that you don’t know anything.  Most likely.

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Tickle

Posted in interviews, music, news, update with tags , , , , , , on April 5, 2013 by intoviews

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what is your name?
my name is ewan but my friends and non-colleagues/parents call me tickle. i use tickle as a stage name generally too but also recently with my newest project i’m calling myself mic master mick. it’s tickle though really.
how would you describe what you do?
i work helping people to fund the rest of my life which i spend with friends loved ones and making sort of hip hop music. i think it’s hip hop but who knows what everyone else would say…
what are you currently working on?
at the moment i’m trying to encourage interest in a couple of new releases. I’m trying to get folk to check out the third ep by burning bright when it’s released on 15.2.13 it’s some sick beats by salemanders and fine ass cuts by dj symatic. with some raps by me too. plus one of the tracks features solareye who is the rapper for the band stanley odd. i was so chuffed to get him on the ep he’s one of my favourite rappers both in scotland and beyond.
plus i’m doing the same promotional type stuff, gigging and making videos and so on, as part of ill papa giraffe, an ongoing project with myself as mic master mic, producer konnsky as king kong kutmaster k and dj symatic as biggie b boy beatmaster b.

what has had the greatest influence on your work?
all the hip hop i listened to when i got into it properly for the first time at the end of the nineties. it was a good time to discover hip hop. i didn’t know for a long time that the nineties or thereabouts are known as the golden age of hip hop. i just noticed the sweetest and freshest music i’d ever encountered.

what is the greatest misconception about you or your work?
i’m not sure i’m well known enough to have enough people knowing my stuff to generate any misconceptions. i guess there might be some folk who might say it’s not real hip hop that i make or people might think i put on my weird hybrid scottish english accent just to rap when i actually sound like that all the time. some guys have not included me in their idea of what constitutes scottish hip hop. i dunno. people with misconceptions are probably misconceiving shit cos of issues in their heads not mine so i don’t think about it too much…

what do you see as the main strengths and weaknesses of the medium you work in?
i love the beat. i’ve done spoken word a bunch and it’s great. you have total flexibility and that’s amazing but i love the beat. if there’s a beat, it’s you and the beat and that affords interactions that are more interesting or more fun than the interactions with plain silence.
it’s like silence plus plus.
i’m not sure about weaknesses. these are fat breaks we’re talking about. what could be wrong with them?

how has technology impacted upon the work you do?
no tech: no wax, no wheels of steel, no rocking the mic, no hip hop.

what’s the greatest piece of advice you would like to pass on?
make music you like to hear or perform. and don’t listen to advice.

where can we find you online?

released eps

http://www.blacklanternmusic.com/oneep.php?subid=35
http://www.blacklanternmusic.com/oneep.php?subid=38
http://www.blacklanternmusic.com/oneep.php?subid=4

RED RIVER by TICKLE on Black Lantern Music
www.blacklanternmusic.com

18:54
Solletico Ranting
ill papa giraffe videos
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cM9HDVwFflQ
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4aKpRaQZNC8

Love The Government by Ill Papa Giraffe
www.youtube.com
Album Out 25.2.13 www.blacklanternmusic.com http://www.facebook.com/pages/Ill-Papa-Giraffe/358484910887599 Extract from the Book of Ill Papa Giraffe 1 From t…

19:06
Solletico Ranting
what are you reading at the moment?
the aquitaine progression by robert ludlum and surely you’re joking mr feynman by richard feynman.
what are you listening to at the moment?
new beats by salemanders and konnsky for lyric writing. simply red through the wall next door to my brother’s room. loki saying shit http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kNDFKIaLZ8
http://www.blacklanternmusic.com/oneartist.php?id=26 CHURCH OF WHEN THE SHIT HITS THE FAN always… first disciple yo.

anything else we should know?
um, i love you all but the people i have met i love more, mostly.
burning bright by burning bright out 15.2.13 ill papa giraffe by ill papa giraffe out 25.2.13. gigs coming up in major and minor scottish cities and check it.
i’ve recently been persuaded to the pro-indeppendence side of the scottish independence debate. unimportant on the macro but significant to me and many millions of scots. vote yes!

Hana-li Pendery

Posted in interviews, music, news, update with tags , , , , , , , , on May 12, 2011 by intoviews

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what is your name?

Hana-li

how would you describe what you do?
I’m a pop/rock singer/songwriter. I tend to write positive and uplifting songs but from a dark place as I feel that’s very easy to relate to and is my own personal brand of inspiration.

what are you currently working on?
I released my debut EP entitled “From the Dark” last August and recently released a single and companion music video for a cover of Muse’s “Undisclosed Desires”. You can watch it here – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LqBQhImnZoo. The EP and single are both available on iTunes under Hana-li.

what has had the greatest influence on your work?
I think traveling and seeing the things people are coping with all over the world on a universal level has really opened my eyes in a way that no schooling ever could. I’ve seen people live in the most horrifying conditions both mentally and physically and that’s what fuels me to write and communicate to people. I want to let people know what’s out there but also that we can always rise above the challenges of this strange and beautiful world.

what is the greatest misconception about you or your work?
I think people really get who and what I am and do when they see or hear it firsthand. It’s always about the communication and connection with my audience whether they’re there at a live show or it’s through a recording. I think that always comes through.

what do you see as the main strengths and weaknesses of the medium you work in?
The strengths are that we can now capture so much emotion and create so many sounds to really convey the full concept of a song. I think the greatest weakness is that you can make anyone sound good and therefore a lot of real talent and dedication goes unheard. That’s why I don’t use any Auto Tune or Melodyne on my stuff. If you’re going to be a singer, you should be able to sing!

how has technology impacted upon the work you do?
Microphones are so evolved now that they can capture everything an artist does and finding the right microphone for your particular voice is key! Also, there is a great new product called CLASP that allows you to record on reel to reel tape but edit in Pro Tools. This is revolutionary in that now you can have the warm sound of tape with the ease of Pro Tools. No more splicing! My EP was all recorded to tape this way and you can really hear and feel the difference.

what’s the greatest piece of advice you would like to pass on?
When performing, it’s not about you, it’s about your audience. It’s all for them. Take the time to get yourself comfortable in the room, theater, arena or whatever the venue may be and then forget about yourself and deliver your soul to them. That’s why they come.

where can we find you online?
www.facebook.com/HanaliMusic
www.Hana-li.com
www.YouTube.com/HanaliMusic
www.twitter.com/HanaliMusic

what are you reading at the moment?
I’m actually between books right now. Any suggestions?

what are you listening to at the moment?
I’ve been really into Imogen Heap and “Ramalama Bang Bang” by Roisin Murphy lately. Also, Justin Nozuka has an incredible voice and he rocks live too! Right now however my husband has “The Seed 2.0” on by The Roots. Great jam!

anything else we should know?
I love New Hampshire more than any other place on the planet and I have 5 dogs!

Allen Learst

Posted in interviews, news, poetry, update, writing with tags , , , , , , , , , on May 10, 2011 by intoviews

what is your name?
My name is Allen Learst.

how would you describe what you do?
I’m a writer, so my work when I’m working well, is a solitary endeavor. I have written essays and poems, but my real passion is the short story.

what are you currently working on?
I just finished a novel and a small collection of short stories that I’m sending around for publication. The novel, Bonefish, has been rejected 13 times (lucky number), and the short story collection titled Places Part Dream is at a contest.

what has had the greatest influence on your work?
My friendship with the writer, Gordon Weaver, has had a significant impact on my work. He was my dissertation director in 1995 and we have remained friends since. He still reads my work and gives me writerly advice, which is invaluable. Other influences include reading and re- reading every short story that makes me say: “I want to do that!” and “Where does that power come from?” Those stories have been written by Tobias Woolf, Flannery O’Connor, Nathaniel West, Jim Harrison, and Alice Munroe.

what is the greatest misconception about you or your work?
I have written and published a lot of stories about Vietnam and some of the reaction has been that Vietnam is old hat as subject matter, but the truth is that war stories can never be exhausted because we keep fighting them, people keep dying, and the public continues to accept it, which is beyond my rationale. So I keep writing the stories to show how war changes us in ways we don’t understand and will never understand unless we are willing to reflect on the senselessness of it all.

what do you see as the main strengths and weaknesses of the medium you work in?
The strength of the medium is that, like any artistic pursuit, it cannot be exhausted. If you think about it, the short story is a relatively new form, maybe two, three hundred years old at most, and that’s young compared to the art of the novel or the art of poetry—and even those forms have not been exhausted. So I think the short story will be around forever—that is its greatest strength. If there is a weakness, it might be plot because there are no new plots; there is only the “how” of the story, which is far more important than the “what”.

how has technology impacted upon the work you do?
Wow. Technology is wonderful, and the internet is a marvelous research tool. I once wrote a story that took place in Key West. It’s called “A Place Part Dream” and was published in the Chattahoochee Review. I had only been to Key West once about 20 years before I tried to write the story and I needed some specifics about birds that hung out on the coast. So I went online and looked up Black Skimmers, which turned out to be a good bird to use in the story because it had metaphorical properties. My point is that I found what I needed to give the story its verisimilitude and it took a matter of minutes. What a great tool. I’ve done this many times for other stories.

what’s the greatest piece of advice you would like to pass on?
I teach writing so I’m giving students advice every day, but the single best piece of advice, and it’s already a cliché, is that if you want to be a writer spend your time reading every chance you get. It’s old advice, but it’s important. Also, don’t waste too much of your time reading “how to” write books. The best way to learn is to imitate the masters. They are your teachers. And at the risk of putting myself out of a job, I’ll just say you don’t need me to become a writer.

where can we find you online?
I don’t have a website, but I’m on Facebook and if you Google me, you’ll see what I’ve been up to.

what are you reading at the moment?
The Blind Assassin, by Margaret Atwood, Story by Robert McKee, Close Range by Annie Proulx, Shadow Country by Peter Matthiessen, The Farmer’s Daughter by Jim Harrison, and The Theory and History of Rhetoric by James A. Herrick.

what are you listening to at the moment?
Miles Davis, George Harrison

anything else we should know?
Like I tell my students, don’t give up. This works for everything in life.

orrin grey

Posted in interviews, update, writing with tags , , , , , , , , on April 22, 2011 by inndecks

what is you name?

Orrin Grey.

how would you describe what you do?
I write short stories. Most of what I write is weird or supernatural, but I’m not really in it to be scary or examine the dark side of human nature or any of that. I primarily write because I want to have fun, and I want the stuff I write to be fun, and what’s fun for me just happens to be monsters, ghosts, old dark houses, cursed books, ape fiends, haunted movie theatres, resurrection men, and mad monks.

I’m particularly attracted to the supernatural, and I’ve got a lot of opinions about how I like it best that I’m generally happy to go into at a moment’s notice. Basically you can sum it up by paraphrasing Mike Mignola when he said that the supernatural shouldn’t have rules and that it should contain stuff that’s “beyond human understanding.” My favorite supernatural stories always have some mystery in them, something that never gets explained.

what are you currently working on?
I’m a big fan of short stories, and I’m always writing those at any given time. I’ve got several coming out from various places in the not-too-distant future, and I’m hoping to get enough of them together to put out a collection in the next year or two.

I’ve never done anything novel-length. My longest work to date has been a novella called THE MYSTERIOUS FLAME that Dead Letter Press put out as a chapbook last year.

what has had the greatest influence on your work?
Two words: Mike Mignola. Seriously, I’ve got a lot of inspirations, and I tend to wear them all on my sleeves, but Mike Mignola’s art and storytelling style have really been huge, huge influences on my work (see the above quote about the supernatural). A lot of my other big inspirations I found through names he dropped in interviews and author’s notes. I was already into comics and monsters and weird fiction and pulp adventure before I discovered him, but his stuff really helped me clarify those interests into what they are now.

I read a lot, and I was influenced a lot by reading Lovecraft and the authors he read and that were inspired by him. From Poe and Hodgson and M.R. James to people like Fritz Leiber, Roger Zelazny, Brian Lumley, etc. Besides that, I’m a great fan of old horror movies like Hammer horror, the Universal monster movies, anything with Vincent Price, and so on. Since I love monsters so much, I of course love Ray Harryhausen.

There’s also a ton of other contemporary creators that I’m absolutely enamored with, and I’m always discovering new ones, so that list could go on and on forever.

what is the greatest misconception about you or your work?
Well, I think the biggest misconception is probably that people outside the genre have pretty narrow ideas of what they think fantasy or horror or science fiction are. When I tell people what I write a lot of them think of horror, and when they think of horror they think of Stephen King or slasher movies or whatever, and my work doesn’t really have a lot in common with most of that stuff. There’s a huge wealth of different kinds of writing within what gets classes as horror or fantasy or science fiction, and I think a lot of people who aren’t active in the genre are unaware of it.

what do you see as the main strengths and weaknesses of the medium you work in?
So far I’ve mostly only ever done prose, though I’d love to try my hand at writing comics one day, and the big downside of prose, for someone like me who is so influenced by movies and comics, is that it’s not a visual medium, so I have to try to get all those visual tics and such into the text in the form of mood or theme or atmosphere or what-have-you.

how has technology impacted upon the work you do?
I’ve never really written without a computer, so I don’t know if you call that impact, but the rise in digital technology and e-readers and more and more people having constant access to the Internet has made it a lot easier to network and submit to different markets, and also changed the nature of those markets pretty drastically. There are fewer and fewer printed venues for short stories and more and more Internet-only models, not to mention things like podcasts and so on.

what’s the greatest piece of advice you would like to pass on?
The best piece of advice I ever got re: writing came from Sarah Monette, who said to know your victory conditions.

where can we find you online?
I have a website at www.orringrey.com where you can find my bibliography and ‘blog, as well as links to my Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, and LiveJournal accounts. I also do a twice-monthly column on international horror cinema for Innsmouth Free Press.

what are you reading at the moment?
I read a lot, so that changes from moment to moment, but I just finished Mike Mignola’s latest Hellboy collection THE CROOKED MAN & OTHERS, and it was predictably wonderful and has gotten me on a Manly Wad Wellman kick. He’s long been a favorite of mine from among the old Weird Tales writers, but I’d not read more than a shamefully small handful of his stuff prior to this, so I’ve been checking out the wonderful collections of his supernatural stories that Night Shade put out awhile back.

I’m also eagerly awaiting my copy of the BEASTS OF BURDEN hardcover by Evan Dorkin and Jill Thompson. I’ve read several of the stories from it already, and they’re some of the best supernatural comics being published right now. Their protagonists just happen to be a bunch of dogs (and a cat).

what are you listening to at the moment?
I recently discovered Josh Ritter and I’ve been listening to his new album SO RUNS THE WORLD AWAY, and then just a couple of days ago I got turned on to Wolfgang Parker who does punk-infused swing that is just awesome.

When I’m writing I tend to not listen to anything with a lot of lyrics, so I mostly do movie scores and the like. The ROAD TO PERDITION soundtrack is one of the best writing CDs in my library.

anything else we should know?
I’m sure, but odds are you’re asking the wrong guy.

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