q and also a :: J Foley
The two last songs I really heard was “WWW” and “Yard Man” off the Razor X Productions record Killing Sound that was put out twelve years ago. This is a comp of stuff assembled/produced in part by The Bug and it is audio crack. I can barely understand what anyone’s talking/shouting about, the audio levels are beyond in the red, most of the thing sounds like it has an early 80’s video game spliced into the mix … as you can tell it’s pretty much perfect. One of those records where you’re like “there’s so much to listen to in the world … yeah, I’m going to just put that record on again for the third time today.
q: What is the first album you remember purchasing for yourself?
First album I purchased … that’s tough. The first 7” I purchased was “Crimson and Clover” b/w “Oh Woe Is Me” by Joan Jett and the Blackhearts. I got it from Coconuts Records on North Avenue in River Forest, IL. I was probably 7 or 8 – no idea how I raised the $3.25 to get it. I was both a little disappointed (it wasn’t “I Love Rock and Roll” which was sold out) and also kind of scared because it was a record and it was mine.
q: What is the last album that you purchased?
The last album I purchased was a haul from the local Salvation Army on Steinway Street – a Reader’s Digest 10 (!) record box set of big band stuff, a collection of Mozart Symphonies (I didn’t really know he had numbered symphonies), a 3 record set of Bach keyboard stuff (always going to be fine) and a 2 record set of Rachmaninoff piano pieces because I have no idea what he sounds like and they were in unplayed condition. All very acceptable background music.
q: What is the best and worst thing about being a musician in 2018?
Worst thing about being a musician is the same thing about being a citizen – there’s an incredible amount of information and it is exhausting to find your place in it. The best thing is that you have the potential for an immediate connection with fans and influences that’s like nothing that’s ever happened before.
q: I would like to give you this space to complain about cassette tapes.
Ahem. Cassette tapes are a blend of the worst aspects of CDs and vinyl. CDs are inferior to vinyl in these areas: the medium will likely deteriorate, the artwork/aesthetic package possibilities are much more limited. Vinyl is inferior to CDs in these areas: the medium is more subject to physical imperfections, multiple copies cannot easily be shared or stored. Cassettes are worse than either of these formats on all of these points, while also relying on a mechanically complicated machine to reproduce the sound. They have nothing to recommend them. And remember – I’m the guy who records all of his music onto analog tape, so it’s not like I don’t appreciate analog recording. Because I sure do.
q: What should we know about the Drone Loops?
Almost all of the most compelling music for me is the end result of constraints. By agreeing to stick with a set of people or instruments or rules (or all of the above), musicians will develop a body of work that draws you in. If you’re U2 and you’re willing to create any type of song that pays and you’ve got anyone in the world that you can get on your record, who cares? But the Jesus Lizard will all stuck in the same apartment when they wrote Goat, Benoît Pioulard made Sonnet when he committed to dropping digital recording, Corrupted just made the most painful single song they could muster with “Paso Inferior”. I think saying no to most things and focusing on the few things you say yes to is more likely to yield lasting results than being open to whatever. The “Drone Loops” work was made from a specific process and forced the question – by severely limiting what’s available, can I build music that’s compelling and varied? I’m happy enough with the music that I want to do 20 more songs than I’ve already done.
Oh and, here a video about creating the Drone Loops.
You can purchase a physical copy of the Drone Loops EP 1 @ http://controlledburnrecords.com/catalog/releases/j-foley-drone-loops-ep-1-out-5418