Pretty Bruises 2001

Interview with Pretty Bruises

August 13, 2001

Q: What piece of musical equipment would you be most reluctant to part with and why?

A: My ears. With ears, mind and a good imagination a person can make music with anything.

Q: Describe your recording set-up.

I have a nice private studio with good mics, a Mac G3 running CuBase (and older Mac running an old version of ProTools), Mackie d8b mixer, analog and digital synths including a nice new modular synth (MOTM by Synthesis Technologies), piano, etc. If you want the full boring list you can find it on my website. These days I’m not using MIDI very much, mostly tracking audio direct into the computer or scratch tracks onto digital tape then bounce to hard disk for editing.

Q: What inspires you lyrically?

The perceptions of things on the periphery, the sort of events or thoughts that slip past us without our noticing. I like the sense of recalling a memory of a dream right before it slips away into obscurity, with the gauzy abstraction that comes with the sense of dragging a lost memory away from the shadows into the dim light of recall.

Q: Are there any bands or artists currently creating work that you feel deserves greater attention (and why)?

A: Anyone doing anything that’s truly personal, regardless of the current pathetic state of the music industry! I like some fairly unknown struggling singer songwriters: Jill Knight, Aiko Shimada, for example. Just honest personal music.

Q: What are some of your favorite books? Authors?

A:Here are a few:
Jorge Luis Borges – Ficciones, Book of Sand, Dreamtigers
Gabriel Garcia Marquez – 100 Years of Solitude
Italo Calvino – Invisible Cities
Nick Bantock – The Library at Purgatory
e.e. cummings – complete poems
Doris Lessing – Shikasta
Stanislaw Lem – Solaris
J.G. Ballard – short stories
Nicholson Baker – Vox, Mezzanine

Q: Name some albums that had a great impact upon you in the past.

A: There are too many important albums to name them all, but I’ll name a few great ones at random here, as they pop up in my memory:

Robert Wyatt – Rock Bottom
Terry Riley – Shri Camel
Talk Talk – Laughing Stock
Jan Steele/John Cage – Voices and Instruments
Julian Priester Pepo Mtoto – Love Love
Tangerine Dream – Rubycon
Popol Vuh – Tantric Songs
Cluster – Sowiesoso
Throbbing Gristle – Heathen Earth
Hariprasad Churasia – Rag Lalit and others
Ali Akbar Khan – Connoisser Recordings Volume 1
Sun Ra – Cosmos
Keith Jarrett – Organ Hymn Spheres
Wire – 154
Arvo Part – Tabula Rasa
Steve Hillage – Rainbow Dome Music
Nico – Marble Index