I heard about PLEASURE CURSES when they wrote me to let me know about their tracks, which are FUCKING AMAZING!!!! They realized you have to speak my language to get my attention, which they reference below. Believe me if you are actually able to write songs, you fucking MEAN them, and you’re not fame hungry, I’ll be giving you the post of your dark-electronic-wet-dreams, these guys are pretty fucking special, so I’m rolling out my blackest carpet for them. THESE MUTHERFUCKERS ARE FROM THE 2ND DARKEST PLACE IN OUR HEMISPHERE, WASHINGTON, DC, OR THE DEVILS CUNT AS I PREFER TO CALL IT. ALL I CAN TELL YOU IS THESE GUYS ARE ON TO SOMETHING PRETTY FUCKING SPECIAL. BEHOLD THIER EXCLUSIVE FREE DOWNLOAD SHIT FOR IVIYH IN ALL ITS BEAUTIFUL SPLENDOR. GET THIS AMAZING TRACK BELOW THEIR MOST BEAUTIFUL SHIT “MARCESCENT” FREEEE DOWNNNNNNLLLLOOOOOAAAADDDDDD
FREE DOWNLOAD OF PLEASURE CURSES EXCLUSIVE TRACK FOR IVIYH HERE: Marcescent (RGHTCLCKSAVLNKDWNLDAS)
OR, STREAM + DOWNLOAD THAT SHIT HERE:
Can you tell my readers a little about Pleasure Curses and how you came together, were you in past bands, how did your name come about or what inspired it?
JA: Evan and I first met when we were about 10-11 years old at a summer camp where they teach kids how to play an instrument and then put you in assigned rock bands. We were never actually in a group together but we had mutual friends through that so we would see each other every summer for a few years and grew up alongside one another. Then I moved to Italy in the middle of high school and eventually to England where I played in a band called Hexed Hands. Our crowning achievement was probably playing the same festival as Echo & The Bunnymen and Blondie and gigging in Manchester clubs where bands like Joy Division and The Smiths started out.
After that group disbanded, I moved back to the US and caught up with Evan. We were both coming from bass, guitar, drum format bands but still wanting to make music so we turned to working on the computer with samplers and synthesizers to substitute for a lack of other members. We traded demos and shared bands and comedians that we loved/hated and it was like we picked up right where we left off ten years ago.
As for the name, it can take on a lot of meanings. I like the juxtaposition of darkness and light that the name gives off and I’m also probably a little obsessed with the concept of luck/fortune. It also has a dirty meaning that makes sense since “Rock n’ Roll” is slang for fucking but everyone seems to have forgotten that.
EM: Around middle school and early into my high school years, I was in a band called Shapes Not Sounds with some friends I met at the same camp I met Jahn. We played out for a good while at some great places, but split after a while and I just kind of went inward with music, super secluded and introspective. Then recently, I heard some of the stuff Jahn was doing with his group Hexed Hands and loved it, so I did a remix for him. He was seeing someone that goes to the same university I do, and when he was in town we just started messing around on our computers as both of us had been making electronic music by nature of our situations, but not so much with other people. We just clicked, I feel like I knew we had to keep doing what we were doing.
Who are some of your biggest influences?
JA: My parents listened to a lot of stuff like Elvis Costello, Eurythmics and The Talking Heads. Apparently they first met at a college party and hit it off after dancing to The Soft Cell’s ‘Tainted Love’ so I kind of owe my existence to that. I’m just glad it wasn’t ‘Sex Dwarf’. I love The Clash and the David Bowie/Lou Reed/Iggy Pop trifecta and generally most bands that John Peel went out of his way to support or Nick Launay produced. I listen to newer stuff too but it can overwhelm me. I believe things you hate about music or art can influence your work as well. It’s really all over the place from day to day.
EM: When I was younger, I was really into some of the bands from out of DC like The Bad Brains (SNS almost opened for them once), Fugazi, The Black Lips, and Q & Not U. But my Dad has always listened to older funk and blues, and a lot of disco, and that’s always been a part of my background. But my brother is from the bay area, and after he got out of his whole “so-cal-pop-punk” phase, he started playing a lot of hip hop stuff for me like The Pharcyde and Tribe Called Quest. One day he played some J Dilla instrumentals, and I asked him where the words were, and he was just like “there are none, you’ve gotta listen to the beat, the rhythm, listen to what he’s doing” and as soon as I did I was just like “Ooooh, mannnnn” and I knew I loved it, the rhythm, the heavy beat, everything. You could say J Dilla changed my life.
Can you tell me about labels you like who you feel are putting out some of the best new music, do you feel like being on a label is important these days?
JA: Looking forward to Jai Paul’s album on XL. I like how DFA and WARP records operate and Dischord still has this cohesive sound to their recordings because the artists on their roster often use the same studio. I’m fairly sure that all music is going to be completely free in about 20 years. The business model of selling units especially when they become an intangible product is going to be hard to support for long. Now most big labels are just figureheads with funds to pay for promotion.
EM: I love everything Ghostly International has been releasing. There’s some really great talent there. Producers like Gold Panda and Shigeto I really admire and love, and Phantogram and Matthew Dear are doing great things musically. I’ve also been listening to a lot of artists from Young Turks records, like The XX, Chairlift, SBTRKT.
What blogs do you enjoy the most, what makes them special?
JA: This is where I admit that I don’t read too many blogs because there is a mentality of bandwagon hopping that goes along with what bands or genres are ‘In’ and suddenly you read the same article re-written 20 times. I do however like this blog called The Strut for finding weird tangential stories about artists like David Bowie’s juggling hand double in Labyrinth and I love The Creators Project series where they feature people who use technology to execute their art and design. I’d also like to thank IVIYH for ‘FUCKING LISTENING’ to us.
EM: I’m really into these two blogs Synthtopia and Create Digital Music at the moment. They really try to showcase the creativity present in the entire electronic music community, as well as keep you up to date with software/instrument developers and certain bands. CDM has some really good feature pieces, this guy Peter Kirn who’s really damn smart and a great writer curates it, and he gives a really strong objective analysis of new electronic music and methods.
Can you tell me about your first release you’re currently working on?
JA: We are working on a self-produced and released EP that we are planning to complete by the end of this month. We have the problem of having a wealth of material scattered in all directions that we have to put through the meat grinder into a finished work on the other end. Evan is the brain behind engineering and arranging of the final product while I take on most of the singing, initial songwriting and corresponding artwork/visuals. Doing things yourself costs less and makes you self-reliant but we could probably do with a third opinion on things.
EM: Hopefully it’ll be happening soon, me and Jahn have been working around schedule and geographic issues more so than musical ones recently, but we are going through a sort of quest for our sound, the way we’ve come together and how me make music has really been shaping what we’ve been putting together and I’m super excited to see what we can put out.
Can you give me an example of something you consider perfect?
JA: There’s a perfect balance of being lyrically clever and energetically engaging that I try to strive for but never know if I’ve reached. Sometimes imperfections are perfect.
EM: I don’t think anything is perfect, nor should it be. Bumps, bruises, scrapes, skips, pops, hisses, it’s all what people love about older music and can’t put their finger on, what they love about some art and can’t quite identify. Roughness is character, and it’s important: it’s a direct link to human production, as none of us are perfect. But I guess chilidogs are pretty close to perfect, I fucking love chilidogs.
If I were to vacation in your hell what should I expect to find there?
JA: mountains of paperwork, tangled up cords but never the one you need, smooth jazz…
EM: Oh man, probably a bunch of people playing Frisbee golf, being really rude and mean to each other for no reason at all. Frisbee jokes aside, the latter part really would be my hell. I just sort of like being at least pleasant with people, and I almost can’t stand someone who’s just outright nasty. There’s no point. We’re all here trying to accomplish similar things on the planet, you know? What’s the reasoning behind making that harder than it has to be.
JA: Your hell is an aggressive frolf match?
Have you had an experience with the supernatural that you’d be willing to share?
JA: My girlfriend bartends at a hotel that has a female ghost who gets jealous when women are present. My parents have ghost stories but they’re fairly long-winded. I’ve never seen one but there are most likely energies that are undetected and as of yet unexplained. This concept of traumatic energy manifesting itself after an event is an interesting subject.
EM: I really have never seen a ghost. Some might say that’s worth bragging about, but I’ve almost always felt the opposite. When I was little, I asked my mom why I hadn’t and she said it was because I was an overly critical thinker. I always just thought I wasn’t interesting enough for ghosts…like they had better people to haunt.
JA: If you were a ghost who would you haunt?
EM: Probably Prince.
JA: Why Prince?
EM: Why the fuck not. It’s prince.
Can you describe your most emotionally moving moment involving music? Or, the moment of live music that has had the greatest impact on you?
JA: Getting people involved while playing live is always a thrill. To see an ocean of faces looking back at you and reacting to something you came up with in your bedroom is still a surreal experience for me. I’m probably more emotionally moved by little things like chord changes.
EM: When I was 9 my dad took me to a James Brown concert and I had chills the whole time. The spectacle that he put on on-stage, how people were so stoked on him all around me, how my dad was just so happy and excited I was there, even as a kid I was just like “This fucking matters. Nothing else matters but something that can cause this.”
Some are saying this is the greatest era to exist as a musician, others say it’s the worst, what has your experience been like?
JA: First of all, the title “musician” has become pretty loose but that is the brilliance in recording technology becoming more accessible. I’m pretty sure we couldn’t afford to do half of the things we come up with now if we had to drop money in a studio to record it. In about two clicks of a mouse I can listen to pretty much any music ever recorded in all history. There’s a lot of shit out there but c’mon, that is pretty special.
EM: It really is both. It’s absolutely ridiculous that we can exchange and share music on such a global platform, even communication on that scale is astonishing. But at the same time, with all the technology involved, it does get harder to have a sound that’s all yours. So much that used to define peoples sound like where you were, who you were playing with, what instruments you were using, they’re sort of vestigial in the tech age. You can sample this, recreate that effect, go for this sound. It’s amazing we can do it, but it makes it harder to be original: you have to really try and understand what makes music music. I guess it’s sort of a musical natural selection in a way, but that doesn’t make it great.
Have you ever been to a psychic, would you be willing to share that experience if so?
JA: I don’t necessarily believe in that stuff but I’m interested in it and its often self-fulfilling prophecies. We actually have a song called ‘Nine of Knives’ which is named after and inspired by the 9 of Swords tarot card.
EM: We went to a palm reader in New Orleans who was also a fortuneteller and the lady told my dad that he’d die in a green car. So from then on, we’ve only had white cars, like not even a red or a blue one, my dad got so sketched out by colored cars in general after that.
If you could choose how the world would end, what would you choose?
EM: People need to worry about shit. Not everyone, but some people do, otherwise some insane developments wouldn’t have been made in history. So I’d like EVERYONE to just stop worrying, sort of like let the world just sink into blissful ignorance and fade away. That’d be super peaceful and poetic, everyone just sort of coexisting and that’s it. That’s how it ends. That’s way better than any war or fire or brimstone.
JA: maybe it has already ended and it just hasn’t caught up to us yet.