Nouveaunoise consists of Nial Conway and Conor Gaffney, coming to grips with every sort of synthesised sound, deteriorated loop and warped organic noise they can conjure. Their debut album, which can be called “long anticipated” without the risk of sounding clichéd given that they’ve been knocking around for three or four years, taking in the Analogue compilation amongst other things, will be released in May. It’s called Paraphrase Accolade, and on the strength of the free double A-side (which you can hear and download below), it’s gonna break ground. Expect to be complaining that it’s not nominated for the Choice in nine months time. Both members answered some questions and it wasn’t 100% clear at every point who was saying what, so I’ve just posted it as if each question was answered by the Nouveaunoise hivemind.
Q 0.5 How are you?
We’re good thanks. How are you?
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?
It’s a great thing that music software is available for almost anybody to get their hands on it.
Lots of really unique music and genres are the product of new bedroom producers.
If anything the value has gone up / it’s not all that easy to do it well.
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?
There is two sides to this in my view
One is that I love the fact that you have access to the limitless amount wonderfully strange and amazing music, from crazy free jazz records made in the 60s to a library of some dead guy’s synthesizer experiments. Anything you can think of is documented. This wouldn’t exist without the internet and the possibilities of sharing all this otherwise forgotten music that you could never dream of having access to.
It has huge value to us and affects every aspect of our music making process.
But then there’s the whole modern music side and sharing mass amounts of new releases, in general it does devalue the music and making it extremely hard for smaller artists to make a living from sales.
Q3 Is there anything that makes your music quintessentially Irish? Is it intentional?
No, not that I’m aware of.
Maybe that fact that we live in Ireland, which hasn’t got huge amounts of well known electronic artists, frees you up from being influenced directly by a certain scene, which is a good thing. For example, I lived in New York for six months and all I made over there was hip hop beats and I came home with an old mpc3000 and about 300 records?!
We certainly don’t think about making Irishy music. The Ireland we live in is a mix-mash of international influences anyway and we are a product of that.
Q4 Do you find it difficult to self-edit, or to take a step back from your music and look at it objectively?
No, we’ve always been very critical of my own music. I think especially if you’re producing electronic music you have to be very aware of this and not get carried away while making/listening back to it. In general most electronic artists are all using similar setups regarding software, ask any producer no matter the genre what they’re using and they will all roughly say the same thing. What we’re saying is that these programs are capable of making any kind of music, be it rock, electronica, hiphop, techno, dubstep to jazz, and because of this every time you open your sequencer the possibilities are endless and it can pull you in different musical directions. The hard part then is staying focused and making it all work together to form a coherent sound that is recognisable and more importantly your own.
Q5 Is there a Dublin scene, or even smaller genre-based scenes? Are you a part of one?
We’re sure there is but we’re not really part of it, nowadays the only time we go out is to get a break from making music and just chill with friends.
Maybe after our album is released and we start gigging again our view will change.
Q6 Name a non-musical influence on your music.
I don’t know if we have a non-musical influence on our music. Competitive peer pressure?
Q7 Take one of your songs and explain the process of writing it from the beginning to the finished article.
It takes us forever so it would take even longer to explain.
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.
There was that time that Phil was scuttered and he likened one of our tracks to that of Gangsta Trippen by Fat Boy Slim. Prick.
The only bit of criticism that pushed us to change certain things was the sound quality of our productions. When we started making music it was all about getting our ideas down. We were and still are really interested in the sound you get off old tape where everything warbles and hisses. The methods we use to add character to our sounds also bring with them a lot of problems in the mixing stage. Up until about a year ago we knew nothing about how to mix properly. We never thought about the technical side of the mix and pretty much broke every rule possible but this blatant disregard was part of the sound . So for the album we took a long time to learn the proper way of doing things and with that information you can still break a lot of the rules that give you the character only that now we can make it sound a lot better.
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?
Getting other people to take interest was never our concern. When we first started making music it was for our ears only and we had no intentions of that changing. Then the MySpace boom came along and we decided to just throw music up there for the craic and it just took off really. For a short period it was really exciting and everybody was making a huge effort to support each other’s music without even knowing it. Everybody was constantly complimenting each other on new tunes. Every day you were on MySpace you found a cool new band/track by someone you never heard. Now though it’s harder to find new unsigned bands as MySpace has become a desolate spam pit.
Q10 Would you call yourself a traditionalist with regard to music, either as a listener or in how you go about writing/recording/performing?
Q10.5 What’s something you’re listening to right now?
Polar Bear and Clark Growls Carden.
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