Is it just an aesthetic choice, or does indie culture really exist?
Indie art has been around for 20-odd years now. I think the word “indie” could go back to early 1990s in the US.
How would you describe the artistic style of an indie artist?
When I say art style, I’m talking stylistically or in language. Like there really are only two basic things that people look at as “art styles”: classical music and hip-hop, but the rest is all over the place.
Indie music is just an art style. So it’s really subjective. I’ve got a very subjective idea of what constitutes art, but it’s not really a word. The word used by the music press is “the sound.” But the word is always “pop-culture reference,” not just music.
Where do you draw the line between your work and your bandmates?
I don’t do a lot of work with my bandmates, and there are plenty of bands that do. I’m just not as good. When I work with my bandmates, it’s always me, and that’s just who we are. So there’s a little conflict between us. We can’t pretend to be like other bands because other bands are more or less like it.
How would you explain your “pop culture reference” to nonartists?
I’m very specific about who I write about. There’s a certain reason I don’t want to name a band, just because I don’t want that to influence the music. I don’t want anybody reading my review knowing that I wrote about them without knowing what I did about the art itself.
For people trying to understand indie music on the level of pop culture, like the way the music was made, I think it’s important to understand the artistic process that went into making records, because they are making a connection.
The most difficult part of indie art is that it takes people’s imaginations away from what they may experience in their everyday lives. It’s a little like an art movie, you can’t take my image out of my head and make a movie about the film, you know?
Did you ever have any fear of being judged or misunderstood?
No, because I’m a person who lives a life of extremes. The last thing I wanted to do was make music that people would be upset by — that’s just not me.
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