TIM KINSELLA King of the “atmospheric oddity.”
Joan of Arc

Mon Mar 10


[KINSELLA ALERT!] Tim Kinsella's two new Joan of Arc albums--So Much Staying Alive and Lovelessness (Jade Tree) and his forthcoming release on Perishable--are micro- and macrocosmic masterworks, respectively. So Much achieves a new level of synthesis between the distant and the catchy, the abstract and musique concrete--it's more textural soundtrack than rock trial. The Perishable release comments on the current American sociopolitical landscape, and promises to be more of an atmospheric oddity. With all this rock-making, what's on Tim's busily-whirling mind?

What are your thoughts on the domestic "policy" Bush "outlined" in his State of the Union speech? Particularly the "noble" call for car manufacturers to produce hydrogen-operated vehicles? What do you think of my use of "extraneous quotes"?

I caught the second half of a Superbowl party at my brother's place, and two nights later was a State of the Union party of sorts, so I've been having a tough time keeping the two straight. I don't watch much television, and especially not sitting in a room with other people all being quietly governed by that glow. If I remember right, the State of the Union was the one with all the cheering and the arrogant little guy beating his chest while stuttering and barking in code (Was that the place-kicker? Quarterback?) Do you have any idea how expensive it is to get commercial airtime on that? It's outrageous, but they say that a lot of people really just watch the thing for the commercials now because the commercials have really gotten very clever and entertaining. Like the hydrogen-operated cars (the technology has existed for years) that Bush dared to dream a child born today might drive when they get their license in 2019. Wow. And cloning--so sci-fi. I really felt like I was watching The Wall. He talked about "the soul" and "God." It's amazing how simple and effective their strategy is--they don't even particularly try to defend their positions--they just say what the people want to hear and do the opposite and trust no one will notice.

How are you using your voice to address issues in the current sociopolitical universe?

In the end, whatever music I make may betray my worldviews, but I tend to seek out simple melodic resolutions to seemingly disparate elements (and vice-versa.) I'm looking to the music to find out these things about myself; I'm not consciously trying to infuse the music with my agenda of social utopia as I envision it. And the Jade Tree/Perishable issue is simple. Jade Tree wouldn't agree to give me a cent to record for two years, so the songs kept piling up. Once I figured out a way to record them that didn't rely on them, I sent them an impossibly long record and said, "See you later, I guess." And they said, "We like half of the songs--here's half the money," and those are the songs they picked. Maybe I was being spineless agreeing to break the record into two, but I could justify it, especially once the distinction between the songs they wanted and those they didn't became so clear. And mostly I was tired and broke.