Wednesday, 23 June 2010

Interview With Alex Botten-Clark from Thee Moths

I have known Alex for years since back when I was 14 and got into my first band with him. He's always done music and now you can hear his latest album "Data Magic Analogue Wonder" Things have changed a lot since the days of thrashing acoustic guitars of Magnetic North Pole (the band we were in together)

This album has some very relaxing parts that take you on a little journey, I like listening to it while I'm making things since it is mostly instrumental apart from track 9 which sounds like a non intrusive monk chant, it doesn't distract me with words and instead puts me in a zone of concentration and relaxation and I like all the strange electronic noises and ambient sounds, It could be played while walking around a magical garden like in Alice in Wonderland because it sounds so organic. You should give it a listen. I also asked Alex some questions....

You can listen to the whole record here completely free - which is also where people can buy it for a total bargain of £2 (or, if you want the physical version) you can buy it from here

"Alex, was just going to ask you about your inspiration for this album and also could you explain how your music has developed over the years since now it is more electronic? "

The change was very gradual. I'd always done solo things over the years using the drum machines on cheap keyboards, but it was playing a weekend's worth of shows with LA's Lucky Dragons that really changed the way I thought about making music. Out went the guitar and songs, in came a Powerbook (later replaced with a MacBook). I like how portable and versatile laptops can be. These days the two I use live are pretty much just doing some light effects processing, but the options for more are always there. Even with a huge case of equipment I'm still hauling less around than I did when I was playing in guitar bands.

"Who is Will and Dani who you mention the album is dedicated to? "

Dani and Will are a band called Celer. They are married. Dani died suddenly last year. She is a friend that I miss. The the first two tracks on the album are named for Dani and Will.

"I would also like to know your thoughts on free music and why you have personally decided to let people listen for free."

I produce a LOT of music these days, often going only a couple of weeks between releases. Most of it now gets released as part of the ongoing SuperLimited project -where I put out records in tiny runs (anything from 1 to 20 copies) - but some are put up for free on the web. I'd rather 3000 people download something for free than 5 people buy a CD leaving me with boxes of unsold product under my bed. Many small indies would only do a run of 500 CDs and they would often not sell out. I'd get paid with a percentage of the pressing that I'd often just give away. Nowadays I can put something out, have it cost nothing to manufacture, and have many thousands of people hear it. I make no more money than I did, but I make no less.

The Super Limited stuff is totally different - once it's sold out that's it, I don't put the music up for sale online as mp3s....I guess I see the whole thing as an art project

"and one last thing, if people buy a hard copy "Limited to 50 copies in hand numbered and stickered arigato paks." what does "arigato" packs mean?"

Click here to see an Arigato Pak - they're card sleeves designed and manufactured by Stumptown Printers in Portland, Oregon. They are easily printed on, and far nicer than plastic cases.

Alex has many talents you should visit his personal website to check out his amazing art which should really have a whole new post all of it's own that I will do at some point, gig posters and listen to the many bands and music he has made including Magnetic North Pole.

and... last but not least don't forget to enter my Strawberry Anarchy giveaway (couldn't be easier, just leave a comment) it ends on the 30/06/10

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