Monday, April 14, 2014

Avoidant Interview

1.For those that have never heard of you before can you tell us a little bit about the musical project?
1. AVOIDANT is what you usually call a one man band or a bedroom producer. I started the project around 2007, messing with my laptop, after a series of frustrating experiences with bands I'd been jamming/recording with. So I decided to do things my way, with no second opinion on how my music should sound. That's not necessarily a good thing, but it made sense back then, and I got used to it, I had the chance to experiment a lot of things I otherwise, in a band environment, felt restrained to do. The first track I worked on was what became Prelude to an Eon, which came out on Enough Records in 2008, even though I first appeared with a track on a compilation called Fal├ęsia 2 for the same label. Since then I've released two full lengths, Birth in Carpathia and Songbook Sines. All of them are absolutely free to download or stream, so no harm in giving them a shot.

2.Recently you have put out a new album, how would you describe the musical sound of the new recording and also how does it differ from previous releases?
2. I guess the biggest difference is the inclusion of rhythmic patterns and binaural tones on some tracks, as well as a stronger melodic sense. Songbook Sines is not as abrasive as Birth In Carpathia was, in the sense that the drone doom/sludge influence was set aside, even though it shares a very similar bleak aura of isolation. I would say Songbook Sines is my medicated bedtime record, while Birth In Carpathia is the withdrawal insomnia record. My first recordings and a track I did for another Enough Records compilation, AtlanThis 2, on the other hand, are kind of messy style/concept wise, but I still find them enjoyable when I'm feeling nostalgic. There's also the tracks I did for a split with Ecos, a Portuguese trio, which I plan to remix one day, they are this really dense and thick wall of noise... but I reckon AVOIDANT has really departed from that kind of sound.

3.What are some of the themes and images you bring out with your music?
3. Isolation is the biggest theme, I think. Some sort of nihilistic pessimism towards the way the world functions. There is also the intention of evoking ritualistic or trance state imagery, and that explains the repetitive nature of AVOIDANT's sound.

4.What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'Avoidant'?
4. It comes from the personality disorder. It came about after I did some lame Internet quiz to determine my personality. Even though I don't consider myself an avoidant type person, for the most part, I thought it would fit the isolationist mantra behind the project. I was, after all, trying to avoid having any outside input to my creations.

5.You work all solo with this project, are you interested in using other musicians in the future?
5. AVOIDANT will always be I alone, but I won't ever say no to other musicians on stage, it helps take the burden off. I have many other collaborations and since recovered my fear of sharing musical ideas. I guess I've found people on the same page to work with. I've done a couple of releases with Rui P. Andrade, one with Jerome Faria, and I'm currently working on three different projects with Vitor Bruno Pereira, he's got a prolific bandcamp goin on with his Gerry Miroux project, you should check it out.

6.Have you done any live shows with this project or is it strictly a studio project?
6. I've played live with Rui P. Andrade, but it wasn't necessarily an AVOIDANT show, even though I think there were some of my tracks buried in the wall of noise. I would very much like to do so, though.

7.The new album came out on Etched trauma Records can you tell us a little bit more about this label?
7. Etched Traumas is a Greek netlabel. We're IMF recession buddies. They had curated my collaboration with Rui, White Mother, so I thought I could count with their support with Songbook Sines. It was Etched's fiftieth release, so I'm proud to have that number slot.

8.On a worldwide level how has the feedback been to your music by fans of ambient and noise?
8. It's been mostly positive. I've read nice comments so far. It seems to evoke a lot of imagery on the listener and I very much like that visual side to be part of my music. There's also been some less flattering comments, calling the new record too academic and missing hooks, but even those reviews have positive aspects to counterpart. I'm pretty conscious that the music I make with AVOIDANT isn't a multi-task tune or something you enjoy when commuting, and I'm perfectly fine with that.

9.Where do you see this project heading into musically during the future?
9. I'm always trying to improve my music and the experience it evokes, and for that I plan on rebooting my way of working with this project. I'll certainly experiment with new mediums. I've been writing a lot with the guitar lately, so maybe the new AVOIDANT will be far more guitar oriented, but, on the other hand, I don't tend to loose the rhythmic side of Songbook Sines. I tend to improve that aspect as well.

10.What are  some of the bands or musical styles that have influenced the music on this project?
10. I was listening to a lot of Stroboscopic Artifacts and Raster-Noton releases last summer, and that had some influence on the rhythmic decision I'm sure. On the noisy side of things, I was hooked on Pharmakon's Abandon for a long time. Also, I think metal will always be a big influence, even if not having a big mark on the AVOIDANT sound. I mostly listen to metal and hardcore, and I recall constantly coming back to Black Breath and Altar of Plagues when I was assembling Songbook.

11.How has your home country of Portugal reacted to your musical sound?
11. I guess it hasn't reacted that much, there's a vital group of people experimenting here, but the local blogs and zines hardly ever pick up on people like me. But if I could improve one thing, it would be a broader showcase of laptop oriented music on a live setting, without the dance element. Most experimental gigs occurring in Lisbon are jazz/analogue electronics oriented, I would like to see this multimedia/laptop music scene starting to have more meeting points, with crowds being into them.

12.Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?
12. I would like to thank you for the questions and the people that read this who enjoy my work. More to come.

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