A Outra Dimensão (AOD): How do you think that the fact you are doing a PHD in Ethnomusicology influences your music nowadays when compared to what you were doing before?
Julian Lynch (JL): I get asked this question quite a bit, so I feel the need to maybe clarify things. When I’ve read reviews of my music that mention my studies, it seems like people get the impression that what I do, or what the discipline does generally, somehow involves the collection and cataloguing of musical sounds. At one point in time, that was, in fact, a dubious goal of the discipline. But that historical trend is very far removed from my own work. If that remained a primary objective for ethnomusicology, I would have never decided to get involved with the discipline. While some ethnomusicologists work with and analyze music materials in a formal sense, this is not something that I currently do. In that way, what I do academically and what I do musically are typically two very separate things. Of course, in the broadest sense, the work I do has some influence on the way I choose to make music, but that could be said of any profession or any individual, really.
AOD: Do you believe we can say that you are part of an Indie music scene that is going on in New Jersey, together with artists like Ducktails, Real Estate, Titus Andronicus and also Big Troubles? What can we expect here in Portugal, when this New Jersey invasion takes control of Lisbon next June? How different will your live performance be when compared with your albums?
JL: I guess you might call it a “music scene,” although I don’t actually live near New Jersey anymore. I haven’t in about 7 years, but I remain very close friends with all of the bands that you mentioned, and I perform live with many of them as well whenever I’m visiting the NY/NJ area. As such, when we come to Portugal, you can expect 3 different bands sharing many of the same members! We are really excited to play for you, and most of us (all except Matt Mondanile, I think) have never been to Portugal before.
As for my live performance, I usually don’t attempt to replicate the sounds I’ve made on my records in a live setting. I think of these things as existing in their own ways, for their own purposes. The live group you will see will be 4 musicians, myself included, playing guitars/bass/drums. The songs have all been adapted for the stage, and will sound rather different, but I am happy with the way they’ve been reinterpreted through the help of my talented friends. The live shows I did up until quite recently were even more different from the records, actually. They were performed solo, usually, and consisted of improvised clarinet and other woodwind instruments.
AOD: How has the fact that you grew up in a small town have influence on your musical education, and what are the main differences from someone that has grew up in a cosmopolitan city like New York?
JL: Ridgewood isn’t that small, relatively, and it is very close to New York City as well. So, growing up, I was fortunately able to visit the city regularly with my parents, and my grandmother lived in Brooklyn so I was there quite often. I can’t really speak for the experience of having grown up in the city itself, however, so I’m afraid I might not be able to make a very accurate comparison for you.
AOD: After recording some self-release works you came out with label Olde English Spelling Bee, releasing Orange You Glad and Mare, and now you released Terra through Underwater Peoples. What are the main differences between working with these labels or recording by yourself, and how do you think that this international recognition of your work will have influence on your musical career in the short term?
JL: I actually still record the albums on my own, no matter who releases them. I don’t work in a studio or anything, but in my apartment. I don’t expect that situation to ever change, as it is what feels most comfortable to me. I think an example of the short-term effect of having my music released by these labels might be merely the fact that I’ll be able to visit Portugal and play music there! I really would not have had the opportunity to do something like that otherwise, and I’m really grateful for it. If you are asking about any effects on the way I will make music, I don’t think there will be any. At least, I have no plans to alter the sounds I choose to make based on an expansion in audience. When it comes down to it, my music does not represent a career path for me. It is something I do primarily for myself, though I am more than happy to share what I make with others and it pleases me to do so. But, I have made a different career decision, so thankfully I’m not relying on my music to pay my rent or buy groceries. For that reason, I would not feel compelled to make a “radio hit” or anything like that if the opportunity ever presented itself!
Patricia Lee Smith, poetisa, cantora, actriz, feminista, artista incontornável do Punk e Rock & Roll dos anos 70, deu-se a conhecer ao mundo da música quando lançou o álbum Horses em 1975. A forma como misturou poesia com uma sonoridade Rock and Roll, tornou este trabalho em algo inovador e surpreendente, tornando-se num dos primeiros rostos femininos associado ao movimento Punk Rock Nova-Iorquino. Uma artista inspirada e inspiradora, que muito reivindicou o poder para o povo de uma forma intelectual e artisticamente bela.
Julian Lynch – Terra – Terra (Underwater Peoples)
The Flaming Lips – Walk With Me – Gummy Song Skull (Lovely Sorts of Death Records)
tUnE-yArDs – Gangsta – W H O K I L L (4AD)
Rainbow Arabia – Without You – Boys And Diamonds (Kompakt)
Monogold – Spirit Or Something – The Softest Glow
Patti Smith – Horses – Horses (Arista)
PJ Harvey – The Last Living Rose – Let England Shake (Vagrant/Island Def Jam)
Julian Lynch – Water Wheel One – Terra (Underwater Peoples)
Julian Lynch – Canopy – Terra (Underwater Peoples)
Places – Black Lion – March
tUnE-yArDs – Bizness – W H O K I L L (4AD)