Wednesday, 7 May 2014

SIGNS:.:Exclusive Mix + Interview


Q: How did did this all start for you?

if we are talking about the very beginning, i began playing saxophone in the second grade and picked up drums in the sixth grade. my brother taught me a bit of bass guitar, i started teaching myself guitar, and eventually started teaching myself every instrument i could get my hands on. i played in a bunch of bands in oklahoma growing up, and released some music with a band called idols after moving to texas.

signs started on january 1st, 2008 in austin, tx. at the time it was a multi-instrumental weirdo art-folk thing. very different from what i’m involved with now. the ideas were fantastical and grandiose and it was a wonderful outlet for me at the time -- very appropriate for someone who didn’t know what they wanted to sound like but knew that they had a lot of ideas. after a certain point i grew extremely frustrated with the project, and around the same time that was happening, idols was starting to take more and more shape, and so signs just kind of got put on the backburner for a while. after idols had disbanded, signs was reborn as an electronic project.

Q: So since then what have been some of the high or low points for you? Like awesome shows you’ve played, people you’ve met along the way.. You must have some cool stories.

low points: there was a period of time during which signs was totally inactive. there was a period of time where i was homeless. there was a period that only ended a few months ago where i felt like i’d reached a brick wall and like all of my ideas were just rearrangements of ideas i’d already had.

i’ve also had some wonderful times -- i’ve played showcases at several editions of south by southwest, i’ve encountered, befriended, and played shows with LOTS of incredible artists, and the last month alone accounts for 16% of ALL my listens on soundcloud.

I sold Ariel Pink some weed a few years ago. I have shared stages with XXYYXX, The Hi-Yahs, Ritualz // Light Asylum  TEEEL, MADDEN, Bestial Mouths, Strange Powers, Mr.Kitty, FUNERALS, and in a few weeks I’ll be opening for Spazzkid. I also once played a show with a friend during SXSW that Sean Lennon came to and seemed to enjoy thoroughly.


Q: There must be a bit of a story behind the name of your project “signs”.  What inspired you to choose it?

when i started making solo music, i was geeking out about semiotics. I guess the short version of this explanation is that all names are signs -- symbols, or things that point to an idea or thing. so why just point to one thing when I could point to them all, or whichever ones I want to at a given moment?

i’m also of the belief that images and symbols are among the most powerful things in the world (if not the most powerful themselves). i’ve always kind of believed that it’s a good rule of thumb when naming a great music project that if you can’t add “rule(s) the world” to the end of it, it’s not good enough.

Q: It’s interesting how some symbols can be seen to projected total control of everything. It’s also very important in consumer culture like status symbols when people aspire to be walking advertisements. There really are some powerful symbols out there. What is in your opinion are some of the most powerful?

It’s hard to pick one. I’m of the belief that a multiplicity of powers are active at any given time. Ones that come to mind readily include the cross, triangles, the sun and moon.

Symbols of status, as you mention, are very frequently occurring, but I think their power may be overstated. I feel like people are wising up to the fact that a lot of folks who flash status symbols are desperately pump-faking while real ballers don’t necessarily have to be as in your face to impress you.

I think it’s important to remember when thinking about things like the eye of providence that, more often than not, the perception of power is enough to create power. As such, the projection of total control shouldn’t necessarily be equated with total control.

Q: I personally feel like there is a lot of negativity in the world what is something positive you have experienced lately?

I’m happier and healthier than I’ve ever been. I’ve recently experienced the power of true love. And as far as music is concerned, the last several months have been the most productive in my career and have seen the greatest growth, both in terms of sound and following.

Also, I would recommend that anyone seeking something to disrupt negativity in their life should get a puppy. (for real)

Q: What is the most amazing or beautiful thing you can think of?

mathematics is pretty amazing, and in a sense beautiful. it’s sort of wonderful that something as apparently chaotic as the movement of smoke can be precisely calculated and replicated by reference to formulae and algorithms. and, as boards of canada taught us, music is math; for example, notes in a given key or mode or scale are reliably determined by simple mathematical operations (which is only scratching the surface of the deep relationship between music, or sound more generally, and math).

Q: If you could be anywhere on earth where would you love to be right now?

is it so much to want to own an island? I want to be on an island that I own.

Q: What if anything scares you?

tons of things. I’d say some of the biggest ones are failure, isolation, rejection, and the possibility hurting the people I love. I’m also scared of people having sinister intentions and it not being apparent.

Q: What do you value the most in life?

freedom, honesty, exploration, color, sound, bravery, overcoming, unity.

Q: Who have been some of your biggest supporters with this project and who are some artist that you like supporting?

Big supporters of mine for whom I have nothing but love have been Nattymari, MADDEN, FUNERALS, AAIMON, Textbeak, TOMBZ, spf50, Pe† Ceme†ery,, Bestial Mouths, We Have The Technology, Blam Lord, and the folks at Aural Sects and Post-Religion

I also have to give some love to my locals, Hot Britches!, Baked Blake, Scorpio, City of Hungry Ghosts, Knifight, and Flavor Raid. My best friend Kyle has also been nothing but a force of positivity for me since day one, and he’s not only helped more than he knows in the progression of signs, but our collaborative project Glampirez is pretty awesome too.

Q: Tell us about your latest album...

The tracklist of “HOW SWEET OF YOU” if read in order is a love note


It was written for/to someone I love with all of my heart.

The sweetness theme is also intended to be reflected somewhat in the sound; there is definitely still some of the darkness from my previous records, but it’s certainly less brooding and angry.

I’m putting the finishing touches on a new EP. One of the tracks from it appears on this mix (and another unreleased track that I may not release outside of this mix). You can expect it to drop by July, as a joint release between Aural Sects and #neversleep.

The new Glampirez EP will also be available very soon via Aural Sects.

Wow well such an honor to debut a couple of tracks on this mix! And thank you for agreeing to do this interview and thee amazing dj mix exclusively for us!!



*forthcoming Glampirez EP via Aural Sects, expect it in late May
*forthcoming EP in July, undergoing finishing touches
*my first album “HOW SWEET OF YOU” came out w/ aural sects in nov 2013
*EY/STAR single came out w/ aural sects a few weeks before that and has some remixes
*banana clip EP aural sects aug 4 2012 via aural sects
*NEVER EVER EP june 26 2012 via post-religion


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