Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Kief with Grant Evans

Kief is the game and Grant Evans is the name.  It is an absolute honor to chat – kief-style - with this esteemed artist and co-owner of Hooker Vision.   Many of you know Grant from his awesome, yet recently defunct project, Nova Scotian Arms.  Also, he and wife Rachel Evans emit some of the most blissful vibes around in Quiet Evenings. The latest batch of Hooker Vision includes two new releases from Grant: Tactical Gamelan, which is a self-titled release; and Fleeting Talisman, from his side project, Crippling.  Last week, Housecraft released Peyote Cristal, which is a collaboration with Adam of Sacred Phrase/Dry Valleys.  Well, the tasty trichomes have accumulated and the glistening nug is giving me the ‘are you gonna smoke me or what' eyes.  I believe in community and sharing.  Therefore, let’s fire it up together, friends :)

let's blaze on together, folks.  peace and love to my friends at Humboldt Relief :)

1) What does it feel like to begin new projects - Crippling and your self-titled projects - after recording under the Nova Scotian Arms moniker for the last few years? Also, could you please give us a little background on these new projects?

Grant:  The stuff under my own name isn’t too far removed from the last few NSA releases but it’s really exhilarating to no longer be associated with something I started so long ago and that went through so many incarnations. I’m still utilizing different types of tape and tape loops but I’ve been able to add some much-needed aggressiveness that was lacking from the old stuff by experimenting with different feedback and delay systems. I’ve pretty much left the synth untouched for the past year. For Crippling, it’s just about having fun and getting loose. It’s not a project that I think a lot about. It’s still very process based but there’s an element of spontaneity that’s lacking from my other work.

2) Two of your last Nova Scotian Arms recordings - Cult Spectrum, Digitalis; Winds over Silmäterä, Hooker Vision - are also two of the best. Where as Cult Spectrum presents a heavier sound, Winds over Silmäterä is one of the most serene sounding releases I have heard in some time. Could you please talk about the experience of recording these two releases?

Grant:  Thank you. Cult Spectrum was recorded at a time when I was a going through a kind of down period emotionally. I was really insecure about the process of recording an LP, among other things. It was also recorded before Winds Over Silmäterä but the release was delayed several times so it ended up coming out a few months after Winds. I’m glad it’s the final NSA work, in a way, because I feel like it does kind of briefly sum up that project. I used pretty much every instrument I had at my disposal for Cult Spectrum but for Winds I stripped it down to mostly Rhodes and chord organ recorded to tape. I enjoy putting limits on what gear I use for particular recordings; it becomes another aspect of the process. Because of that, Winds was a more focused recording and I feel like it (along with Sacred Drift) is the most honest work I accomplished under that moniker.

3) One thing i've noticed in the last few years is the myriad of wonderful labels that have appeared. What are some of your favorite labels?

Grant:  Mostly small tape labels... Florida and Canada seem to produce some of the best. I have a lot of respect for all the little guys; people who fund everything themselves, out of pocket. It’s not always easy to tell who has a genuine interest in music and who’s full of shit. There’s plenty of both operating right now. Eternal love for Housecraft, Rotifer, Fadeaway, Hobo Cult, Old Frontiers, Tranquility, Kim Dawn, Sonic Meditations, etc.

4) What are your top 5 releases of all time?

The Beach Boys- Pet Sounds
Aphex Twin- Selected Ambient Works Volume II
Burzum- Filosofem
Pink Floyd- The Piper at the Gates of Dawn
Miles Davis- Bitches Brew

Thank you, Grant!  peace and love to you, friends :)