Interview w/Ant Parade

12 11 2009

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SCB: So Brigid, tell me a little about yourself and your music project Ant Parade:

AP: I substitute teach and play music, so I feel like I’m living two lives some of the time. If my students saw me playing, it would be incredibly weird. And funny. Especially if I was in costume.

I am collaborating long distance with my friend Eric in Arizona, but I don’t know what we will end up doing. He remixed one of my existing recordings, and we might try to do original tunes in the future.

Mostly I use tapes, loops, drum machines and the like to make sounds that come out as songs sometimes. I usually sing live over tapes, so a lot of the instruments are invisible.

SCB: You’ve been doing music for a few years now; what motivated you recently to go solo or have you had a previous solo recording/live project before?

AP: It took me a long time to unlearn how to approach music. I always thought, if I couldn’t get things to sound the way I wanted them to, I would give up. Eventually, I kept at it long enough that I started to like what I was getting down on tape, and that was a huge relief.

SCB: That’s always a good feeling! So explain the process you use to record these reliefs:

AP: I have one big room to myself, so it can be a mess of wires if I need it to be, and I basically do most of my recording and practicing at home. I practice for fun, but it can get sort of lonely sometimes since now I’m the only one there. I miss jamming in bands with my friends. But writing alone for me is simpler, out of necessity.

SCB: I feel your music has a very dimension bending/celestial sound to it that immediately throws me out into space then slowly find contact with orbs of light that exchange hidden secrets with me. Is this the kind of floaty sound you approach towards or does Ant Parade just naturally come off that way?

AP: Well, as far as the secrets go, I feel like writing words for music is kind of like telling a secret, or saying something to the clearest of your ability to someone, whether or not they’re even listening. I try to create ambient sounds because some can take you out of time and into a meditative feeling or place.

SCB: Exactly. I think all Brian Eno and other ambient musicians wanted was for people  to just ‘listen’ to your surroundings more and tune in to the songs of the universe. Or at least be inspired by the sheer beauty of simplicity. What musical period and/or era of time that you feel your music relates with the most?

AP: I’m not really sure. Listening to music from all different decades growing up has shaped me, and probably influences the way I do things. But I think of different songs as coming from different places in time and music. So recordings of monks chanting, and lo-fi, 3-piece rock bands? I guess that could be pretty contemporary.

SCB: Also if Ant Parade was a painting, what piece or style would it be?

AP: I think it might turn out like a kid’s drawing. Knowing it was done by a child would change the way people saw it, but they could still wonder what was meant by it.

SCB: Oh yeah, I love children drawings! I wish I had any trace of my old childhood art… simplistically surreal. Regarding shows, how do you feel about some people automatically dismissing the quality of an event because of reasons such as location or the show being free?

AP: I haven’t encountered that actually. Usually people are glad that shows are free, and then they show up. Or at least ask how it went. I think having shows outside the traditional bar scene is a good step in getting an attentive audience.

SCB: For real. I’m sick of asshole drunks at bars. Tell me something about your first couple releases including ‘Love Machine.’

AP: The band I used to play in, Dead Horse Detective Agency, did a lot of practicing and played a bunch of shows, before as a 3 piece, and once I joined as a 4 piece. We did record a full-length album, but never had it mixed down and/or mastered.

I also played with Sean Halpin (CrAow and M[L]U) and Shane from DHDA in a band called Violence or Violins. Yet again, songs were written, but we never finished recording.

It took a long time for me to start releasing music solo for a number of reasons. I’m just glad to be getting stuff done now though, and finding opportunities to play shows. Cephia’s Treat is releasing a split record with Body Rot and Ant Parade. They are also releasing the mini CD ‘Love Machine’ soon of songs I recorded at the end of this summer, which is going to be out soon.

SCB: Yeah! I’ve been to one DHDA and two VOV shows and they were both really amazing. Definitely had artistic energy. ONE LAST QUESTION: Who’s playing the solo tour with you this winter and at what destinations?

AP: Alright, I think the ratio is 7 bands, one van. Russian Tsarlag, Haves&Thirds, S2K, J. Zagers, Father Finger, Moondust Plus, and myself. We’re going to be playing shows up Florida, through Georgia, South and North Carolina, Tennessee, and back through different cities. It starts this winter in Tampa on Christmas, and ends back here again (or maybe in Sarasota) on the 4th of January. Things are mostly solidified.

SCB: Ah man, that sounds like a lot of fun! I’ll be catching the Tampa show on Christmas after family dinner for a real present. Thanks a lot Brigid for taking the time to talk about Ant Parade with me, and I can’t wait to hear those releases coming out around the corner!

AP: Thank you, Scott!

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2 responses

12 12 2009
#6 D.O.T. – Ant Parade « Super Cosmic Bros.

[…] Interview […]

11 04 2010
Ant Parade Releases « Super Cosmic Bros.

[…] Ant Parade is a project that Brigid (from Tampa) has slowly started 3 years ago and has over time mastered her craft of lost soul sounds that enchant the darkness with light melodies and ethereal vocals. Her sets have always entranced the audience and it’s good to see some releases that came out over the course of the past 5 months. I’ve posted material of hers previously on here and an interview. […]

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