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Yeah, I said that… It’s true. I love sleep. It’s a time for peace. I love to live inside my dreams. My personality… Tricky. I don’t know, honestly. I’m a mixed up guy. I’m in my late twenties and still trying to carve a path; a path to what? I’m not sure. That’s the reason I make any kind of « art, » be it music, writing, anything really. I hate referring to myself as an artist in any sense, but absolutely, it’s driven by my personality, my quirks, my fears, and my desires.
Je vais Ã Malibu Wands quand jâ€™en ai marre de tout.
Pink Priest started sometime between 2007 and 2008. Originally, I wanted a project that would be focused on the living setting, loud amplifiers emitting beautiful, shimmering, ambient music; drone music, dirge music. Heavy, but focused, and beautiful. Things changed from the original plan, and by the middle to late end of 2008, I was making my own music, solo, as an experiment. That stuff became the early Pink Priest work.
Gremlynz was… initially it was started just because I was annoyed by the name Pink Priest and some of the directions the music of Pink Priest had taken. I looked at how easy it was for people like Spencer Clark and James Ferraro to just create all these names and projects, so I took a cue from that. Gremlynz was going to be absolute minimalism. It started as a project to express some sense of nihilism (most of my work is rooted in some naive sense of nihilism), but amplified. The original idea was to allow Gremlynz to slowly take over and let Pink Priest fade into obscurity. Some things popped up, and it was really impossible to let that happen. So Gremlynz remained a side project, but honestly, some of the Gremlynz material is my favorite of my musical output.
Well, shit… There’s so much music that’s inspired me over the years. i was thinking about this the other day actually, like, what artists were absolutely necessary in inspiring me to make music… I’d have to say first and foremost, My Bloody Valentine was always a key… Their entire package of sound. It was very inspiring. Red House Painters, I discovered them when I was, like, 16 and have never been the same. The way Mark Kozolek approaches sound, minimalism, structure, and words. That’s always been a huge inspiration. Other artists, necessary… The Cure was important early on and even today, albums like Pornography and Faith. A lot of noise musicians inspired me… Prurient, Wolf Eyes, Kites, Work/Death; these were artists I respected and very much had a vibe I wanted to at least touch upon. Others, I don’t know, stuff like Slowdive, Fennesz, Steve Reich, William Basinski — huge, huge influence, Angelo Badalamenti, Harold Budd, Brian Eno, etc etc etc, tons of new age artists. There’s just so much. My musical influences are vast.
It’s definitely a way to free myself and a way to cut myself off. I think it’s a harsh duality. The music is very bipolar. I like that. I don’t want to let people in too easily. Honeysuckle is a heavy listen. I’ve been told that. « Dude, your record is weird. » « Dude, it’s too hard to listen to. » I don’t apologize for that. I don’t make music that you can just drop the needle on and immediately mentally masturbate. It’s intentionally a hard listen. Honeysuckle was coming from a place of absolute desperation and turmoil. I wanted the album to reflect that, not in just a way where you say « oh… he must’ve been so hurt. » but rather in a way where you feel absolutely fucking dismal too. It’s cruel, but it’s beautiful. Yuck, I must sound like such a pretentious asshole.
With Swallow Your Dreams, knowing it was going to be the last Pink Priest release; and in the future there will probably retrospective releases, but Swallow Your Dreams is the last Pink Priest release of new material. I’m not doing anything else under that name again. Anyway, I wanted to do the absolute opposite of my first full-length LP release, Honeysuckle. I didn’t want to retread any waters. Plus, the album had a theme of finality, destruction, restructure, hope, and decay. So I expanded on that idea with long, floating music. Whereas Honeysuckle displayed despair and decay in another way, through sadness and sorrow and anger and pain; Swallow Your Dreams displayed sadness with hopefulness and brightness, and yes, it was dark, but in a completely different way.
People have said I build a wall between myself and the listener with my music… That’s very true, but it’s up to the listener to decide how they get over that wall. They can chip away at it and peek through, or they can knock the motherfucker down and come join me in the the weird room I reside in.
The cinematic aesthetic of my music is absolutely intentional. I would never say I’m a cinephile or whatever the term is, but I love movies. I think initially, it was something subconscious. I’ve always paid attention to music in films, and that’s been an influence. Angelo Badalamenti’s work with David Lynch, Alexandre Desplat, John Carpenter, Cliff Martinez, so many more; people who have done amazing scores, but also just films with great soundtracks.
A dream of mine would be to score a movie, do something very unsettling, or something very beautiful for film. I’d love to work on movies, make soundtracks, compile music, etc.
Ha, I guess I sort of just explained that. Yeah, all those people inspired me. It’s not just about the music of a film. It’s about the action and control and style of films and certain directors. Refn makes amazing films with style and class and there’s an element of cool and chaos in his work. That inspires me. Korine made movies that were visceral, hard to watch, and yet I connected with them on personal levels. You can put a film like Gummo against a record like Honeysuckle and I think you can understand there’s something, at least on a very basic level, similar in spirit and soul of the two projects.
It’s not just about violence or grit or harsh nature, it’s about love too. I made a vague ode to the film Drive, not because Gosling crushes a guy’s head — though that scene was pretty fabulous — but because of the lead up to that. There’s beauty and love and passion and a fairy tale reality to that. That is just as inspiring. I love romance; couple that with some shocking imagery, maybe violence maybe not, but… Yeah. You get my point.
Ces deux disques apparaissent sous ton propre nom William Cody Watson ? Est-ce une faÃ§on d’en finir avec Pink Priest ? Those last two records have been released under your real name William Cody Watson. Is this a way to signify the end of Pink Priest?
I don’t like even saying I’m the « executive half » of Bathetic Records. Yes, it’s a business, but I don’t want to be so formal about things like that. Jon Hency is the absolute, end all be all, mastermind of Bathetic. He’s amazing at what he does. He is a genuine worker, he puts in the time, he makes the calls, he finances, and he gets things done. He’s the dude, that at the end of the day, puts it together, makes it happen. I love that dude.
I’m absolutely 100% fortunate to be involved in Bathetic at the level I am. Luckily, I have been friends with Jon for close to 5 years now (if not longer) and we’ve developed a pack. We’re brothers. We’ve been through the ringer together, and we’ve established a way to work together effectively and efficiently and I could not be more proud of what Bathetic has become. We’re doing things I never thought possible. We just released a spoken word cassette by Eric Paul… it’s like « WOW, is this real? » That may not seem like such a big deal to anyone, but Jon and I bonded over a mutual respect of Arab On Radar, so to us. That was a huge accomplishment. It’s a fantasy come to life, and I’m so excited. And now, with Omar having been on board for, shit I don’t even know, it just seems like he’s always been there. Now, Omar is in with us, and he’s amazing… He’s an amazing artist, as well as musician, and he’s helped us develop our style. It’s very humbling.
Early on, I wanted to work with everyone… I wanted to release as much music as possible to anyone that would release it. I met a lot of amazing, accomplished, grateful, and just infinitely nice people through spreading my work around early on. I couldn’t be more thankful for people like Shawn from Night People and Brad from Digitalis for giving my music a chance early on. My collaborations with other labels, continues with certain projects, but at this point, my heart is pretty much with Bathetic, in regards to my own personal releases.
Pourquoi avoir sorti Honeysuckle et Swallow Your Dreams sur La Station Radar ? Quel est le fin mot de cette rencontre ? Why was Honeysuckle and Swallow Your Dreams released on La Station Radar? What did you get from this collaboration in the end?
La Station Radar was a label I reached out to early on. I respected what they were doing. I had heard the Jen Paul & Jeans Wilder split 12″, and loved it… I just respected them. I reached out to them, they offered to start with a small cd-r release, which was Western Futures, the first official Pink Priest release. After that, they just offered me a chance to release an LP, a full-length vinyl release. I was absolutely delighted at the prospect of that. You see, starting Pink Priest as a solo project, my dream was just to release one vinyl record. After that I could’ve called it quits, with my dream achieved.
I worked on Honeysuckle for maybe a year or less, and sent it in… However many months later, there it was. Red vinyl wrapped up in an amazing James Hines collage jacket. It was perfect. La Station Radar made my dream a reality. I couldn’t be more grateful.
After Honeysuckle was released and had sold relatively well, they offered me a chance to do another LP. At this point, I was already thinking about ending the Pink Priest name and project. I decided that my last LP with Pink Priest, Swallow Your Dreams, had to be with them. It only made sense. Beginning/End. Circle completed.
La Station Radar… Fleur and Jerome; both amazing people. Absolutely. They helped me reach a dream I didn’t think was possible. I’m forever grateful to them.
Oh man I don’t know. I don’t have a career. I’ve been doing music, in some form or another for the past, well, over ten years. Just in the past 4-5 years have I gained any real notoriety. I’m appreciative of it, but I don’t consider myself having a career. I think in this whole time, I’ve maybe pocketed 400 bucks through my solo music. I don’t care about shit like that. I love when anyone listens to my music and feels something from it, negative or positive. That’s all I care about.
Music industry? Whatever. Good luck to everyone trying. Listen to Black Flag, listen to Henry Rollin’s Get In The Van, talk to people who are cool. Fuck hype, etc. I stay away from a lot of it. I don’t listen to bands that wear, like, neon green sunglasses and shit.
Regarding Impose, good dudes over there Always been angels to me. I haven’t written for them in a while, because my brain just kinda shit the bed, but those guys are great. Support Impose.
Quels sont tes projets futurs ? Any other plans/future projects?
Oh for sure. I still have tons of things in the works. I have my first full-length vinyl LP, under my own name William Cody Watson, coming out on Bathetic in the next couple months. The record’s called Bill Murray, and yeah, that’s really what it’s called. It’s an ode to a man who really inspired me. So there’s another film reference. Yeah, it was an intense labor of love. I personally feel like it’s the best thing I’ve ever done. Toot my own horn for a sec. So, yeah, that’s coming out…
Me and Dan from Cough Cool have a new Scissoring tape out called No Dreams/No Regrets. It just came out on Skrot Up. It’s a psyched out ass-gazer, desert haze, weirdo trip out for 60 minutes. It’s a deep vibe. People should definitely check it out… And there’s more Scissoring stuff in the works. There’s probably going to be a Pink Priest retrospective type release with some unreleased material and some of my favorite « classics » stripped from certain limited cassette release. That’ll hopefully come out at the end of the year, through Intercoastal Records and Holy Mountain.
Other than that, I’ve decided to step back from my solo work for the rest of the year to focus on my writing. I’ve got several writing projects in the works. I just released my first official zine, Mating Season For Goons, on Calico Grounds. I’m excited about that. I’ve got another zine project in the works, it’s a split zine between me and a friend of mine from wayyyy back, Garrett Crowe. He’s an amazing writer out of Chattanooga, Tennessee. We just started our own little collective of writers and such, Satan’s Crystals Art Collective. Hopefully, we’ll have our fingers in a lot of nice things here in the near future.
Que doit-on te souhaiter pour 2012 ? What can we wish you for 2012?
Ha, I think I just summed it up. 2012 will have the Bill Murray LP on Bathetic, lot of writing, more zines, more Scissoring stuff, man, other than that? Who knows. Bill Murray is absolutely my pinnacle of 2012. I go to sleep at night thinking about that record. Other than that… Writing, just lots of writing. Go buy my zine.
01. This Mortal Coil – Another Day
02. Harold Budd – Juno
03. Kyle Bobby Dunn – An Extension
04. Steve Roach – A Darker Light
05. William Basinksi – D|P 2.1
06. Fennesz – 015
07. Nine Inch Nails – The Day The World Went Away (Quiet)
08. Bell Orcheste – Water-Light-Sifts (Tim Hecker Remix)
09. Terry Riley – Poppy Nogood & The Phantom Band
10. Dead Can Dance – Dawn Of The Iconoclast
11. Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds – (I’ll Love You) Till The End Of The World
12. Peter Broderick – Part 3
13. Flying Saucer Attack – September 25th 1997, No. 4
14. Harold Budd + Ruben Garcia + Daniel Lentz – The Messenger
15. Brian Eno – Three Variations On The Canon In D Major: French Catalogues
16. Skeeter Davis – The End Of The World