Interview Project #4: Porn On Vinyl

Front Cover

Porn On Vinyl is Aidan Wall, a man forcing dreams into mp3 files via the kindly intercession of a nylon-string guitar, his voice and smothering layers of lo-fi fuzz of more the Daniel Johnston variety than, say, the Wavves variety. In ebbs and swells, Wall provides moods that vary from cosy reassurance to panic-attack unease, all with the same, utterly minimal set-up. Sample tracks won’t really communicate the vibe, so you’re best served downloading his album, I Spent The Night Thinking, With Short Periods Of Sleep Interrupted By Visions.

Porn On Vinyl – The Moon Song

Porn On Vinyl – Steam

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Q 0.5 How are you?

I can’t complain.

Q1 Nowadays, when everybody has a decent computer and gear is more available, it’s much easier for anyone to make music and have it heard quickly – does the bedroom music explosion devalue music at all by making it so easy to do?

I don’t think the bedroom music explosion has devalued music. The songs would exist whether or not they were heard. The fact that it’s easy to record now doesn’t really affect the song, which would be there whether it was recorded in a studio or in a bedroom or not at all.

Q2 Is downloading a good thing? Does the fact that it’s possible to get so much music so easily and for free make it more disposable at all?

I wouldn’t say that downloading is a bad thing. It might make certain music more disposable; meaning you could download an album, not really like it, and just never listen again, compared to buying the same album on CD and feeling you need to get value for the money you’ve just spent. It works the other way round though, when you download something really good, and actually want to pay for it. There is alot of music being made nowadays. Finding the money to pay for every new CD released is impossible. I’d say a fair share of the market is people who download a lot of music and buy what they merit worth owning. I’d place myself in that demographic anyway.

Q3 Is there anything that makes your music quintessentially Irish? Is it intentional?

There isn’t really anything in my music that’s blatantly Irish, but I’d definitely be writing and playing different music if I lived elsewhere.

Q4 Do you find it difficult to self-edit, or to take a step back from your music and look at it objectively?

I used to just sit down for an afternoon, record a song and then put it in the archives. My first album was just a collection of these songs, which were recorded the same day they were written on, and not thought about too much. Lately I’ve been spending longer writing songs and pruning through lyrics and certain parts on guitar, or just demolishing songs and placing a piece from one with another.
It’s hard to look at something you’re attached to objectively at times. For example knowing something doesn’t rhyme as well as it should, but knowing that that is what you need to say in the context of things.

Q5 Is there a Dublin scene, or even smaller genre-based scenes? Are you a part of one?

It seems like there is a Dublin scene of some sort, but not particularly genre specific. You can’t really go to a gig without recognising someone from some obscure home recording project or music project in general. Places like Anseo and The Box Social seem to be on to something. If there were lo-fi/electronic/DIY/experimental scenes, I would guess that The Box Social and Anseo would be their homes. I suppose I’m not really sure what constitutes a scene, but I’d guess I amn’t part of one.

Q6 Name a non-musical influence on your music.

Twin Peaks.

Q7 Take one of your songs and explain the process of writing it from the beginning to the finished article.

Initially I wrote lyrics before anything else. The lyrics for my song Steam were written in August 2007 and were added to some chord progressions I wrote in July of the next year. In my first songs, the writing of the music and the lyrics were spaced really far apart, but recently I’ve been writing music and lyrics around the same time. I basically just pick up the guitar and play what sounds nice to me (I unfortunately know nothing about music theory at all).

Q8 Has music criticism ever influenced your music, or at least made you think about it differently? I mean proper reviews, but also blogs or even just hearing someone you don’t know talk about you.

I don’t really get… reviews… but when people I don’t know say that they like particular songs, I sorta wonder why they like some more than others, and I suppose that might slightly influence what I’ll put on the next album or something, at a logical level. But at the end of the day, what sounds good to me will be what I make.

Q9 Have you ever felt guilty for trying to get other people to take an interest in your music, if you aren’t making the effort with new music yourself?

Assuming by “my music” you mean music I’m into; I wouldn’t say I feel that guilty telling my friends what to listen to. I know that with some people it goes by mood, so if I recommend a friend something and they don’t really get it, they might get into it at a later stage. I’m alot like that aswell. A CD I listened to once and shunned could become my favourite CD for a while depending on what I feel like listening to at that particular time.

Q10 Would you call yourself a traditionalist with regard to music, either as a listener or in how you go about writing/recording/performing?

I suppose I am a bit of a traditionalist in my listening habits, considering I believe in listening to full albums (I cringe at iPod shuffles). As for my own music, I’m not really that sure.
I’d assume most people write songs the same way as me, ink and paper, instrument and fingers. My performances so far have been pretty traditional (guitar and vocals), but I’m hoping to make things a bit more interesting by bringing some friends in for shows at some stage soon. I’d say that my recordings are a mixed bag of traditional/untraditional.

Q10.5 What’s something you’re listening to right now?

Lots of Bob Dylan, who I’m only now beginning to appreciate. I’ve also been listening to an album which my friend made, which he’ll hopefully let other people listen to at some stage. I’ve been listening to Patrick Kelleher’s album a lot, which is really good. I’ve also been listening to some study orientated music, like Talkdemonic and Mice Parade. My listening habits are pretty erratic, so next week I could feel like listening to something completely different.

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18 responses to “Interview Project #4: Porn On Vinyl

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