Heute im Bedroomdisco Adventskalender: ein Interview mit einem schlauen Burschen: Circlesquare!
Mathe war gestern. Geometrische Formen unso. . . BUH! Aber daraus ein Kunstprojekt entstehen zu lassen ist wiederum cool! Jeremy Shaw alias Circlesquare ist das gut gelungen! Anfang 2009 erschien sein zweites Album „Songs about Dancing and Drugs“ auf !K7 in Berlin. Eine laute, exaltierte New Rave Platte ist Songs about Dancing and Drugs wie der Titel vielleicht suggerieren mag aber sicher nicht. Packt also die Neonknicklichter wieder ein. Anstatt die Tanzfläche nämlich zum Pumpen zu bringen, verweilt Circlesquare lieber arty und kühl am Rande der Tanzfläche. Im minimalistischen David Bowie Style reflektiert er das Partygeschehen vor sich, nicht abschätzend, lediglich distanziert. Versteht ihr nicht? Dann wird es Zeit für das Bedroomdisco Interview mit Circlesquare! Sehr erhellend! Viel Spaß!
1.) Band facts
– Name: Circlesquare
– Band members on stage: Jeremy Shaw, Dale Butterfield, Trevor Larson, Graeme Mitchell (visuals)
– Founding year: 1999 (2006 in its current state)
– Residence: Berlin, Germany
– Current album: Songs About Dancing and Drugs
– What is the story behind the name Circlesquare?
It’s a ubiquitos thing – circles and squares, the most primary shapes. I think the initial idea was that it didn’t really impy anything, or color the music before you’d heard it – and that hopefully you’d a bit surprised when you did, even though you had had no real idea before.
– How did you get into music making?
Just by being a super-fan really. By the time I was 10 I had a record collection full of Bowie and Pink Floyd records. I played the bassoon in elementary school for 3 years and then dabbled with the guitar in and out of high school. In 1997 I bought a sampler after hearing DJ Shadow’s Entroducing and then it just kept going from there.
– How would you describe your style of music?
Slo-mo techno folk with dusty-fluorescent cold waves
– You moved from Vancouver to Berlin. Why is the scene in Berlin more appealing to you?
There’s just a lot more of everything here – it’s a major, forward-thinking city where culture is still valued in a very high regard. Vancouver, although beautiful and nice to live in, can be very conservative and often shows little interest, or at least little support for the arts…. This of course creates a strong underground, but undergrounds wear thin when the ceiling feels like it’s never going to open . Plus, the proximity of Berlin to the rest of Europe is a major selling point and it’s just a wonderful place to be in general.
– If one takes the albums title „Songs about dancing and drugs“. Why did you dedicate your album to these topics?
They’re two subjects that are incredibly prevelant in our times – in a lot of times, really. Next to religion, they’re the most common ways that people seek transcendence and they’re activities that have inspired a lot of what I do – be it as a spectator or participant. There is so many aspects to each – infinitely inspiring and never without a new twist. So, when I looked at the songs and lyrics I realized those were the most prevalent themes of the album (and have pretty much always been with Circlesquare) I thought it was a fitting dedication.
– You have designed the cover artwork of „Songs about dancing and drugs“ on your own. What do you want to express with it and how does it refer to your music?
It’s based on an art piece of mine which is the broken black light bulb hanging, but without the Circlesquare logo drawn on it. It was from an exhibition I did in 2005 called Anti-Psych where I was discussing the death of the psychedelic experience in youth due to the newer, harder, faster drugs that have taken over America; making things like LSD look very naïve in comparison. So, the black light bulb represents about the cheapest, lowest-form of basement psychedelia possible; found in many a teens bedrooms everywhere throughout the 70’s and 80’s. Yet the bulb is broken, rendering its psychedelic capabilities useless, and poetically referencing the death of an idea. This is further analogized by the fact that crystal meth users smoke the drug out of shards of broken light bulbs. For the purpose of the cover, I scrawled the Circlesquare logo on a new version of the piece and then shot it as a 3D photograph; perhaps in an attempt to re-introduce the psychedelic to the image… I’m not entirely sure, but I really like how it looks and I think it refers to the title of the album in many ways.
– When one is opening your CD, you can read the sentence „Best heard from the floor“. Why do give such an „advice“?
It’s said that on all Circlesquare releases since the first album on Output in 2003 – it’s a bit of a play on words in that one might immediately think the dancefloor, but then upon listening, you may think of lying flat-out on the floor… on just standing on the floor. It’s actually very non-specific advice really, so it’s actually not much advice at all. I like the idea of a band knowing the prime situation/loaction for their music to be heard in – or at least where they feel the optimum intent would be relaized.
– Our favourite track on the album is the opening track „Hey You Guys“. Can you tell us how it came into existence?
Hey You Guys was a song that I’d had written completely in mind far before ever recording a single note of it. The chorus actually came to me after me and some friends had taken a road trip to see David Bowie at the Gorge in George, Washington in 2002 – we got held up in border traffic for 3 hours and then were pulled over by the over-zealous customs officers and searched which ended up arriving at the show just as he had finished . I was totally heart-broken. Then on the solemn drive home, I wrote that chorus in my head… so something very postive ended up coming out of a terrible day.
– Can you name your 3 top albums of 2009? Why?
I actually can’t! I haven’t been listening to a ton of new music this year – while on the road we generally end up listening to older records for the most part. I can name some favorite songs of the year though –
The Horrors – Sea Within a Sea
The Field – The More That I Do
Neon Indian – Mind, Drips
Pantha Du Prince – Behind The Stars
Paul Ritch – Evil Laff (Konrad Black remix)
Grizzly Bear – 2 Weeks (Fred Falke remix)
Animal Collective – My Girls
Ben Klock – Subzero
Bat For Lashes – Daniel
What do you associate with Bedroomdisco?
A blog with great taste!
Thanks Jeremy Shaw aka Circlesquare for your answers :)!
Und jetzt gibts noch ein bisschen Slow-Mo- Techno-Folk auf die Ohren! Circlesquare mit Dancers: