Nadja interview

Here it is kids. Our first interview. An amazing moment for sure. Nadja are one of the heavy hitters in recent musical memory, having released eight million records over their brief career.

Aidan Baker was gracious enough to give us a moment of his time, and fill us in on what's coming up in another busy year, both as one half of Nadja, and as a solo performer. Read on.

HSS: You are one of the most prolific musicians in the world right now. Do you see this pace continuing, or do you see yourself taking a breather soon?

Aidan: I think I may be forced to take a breather soon, yeah...for one, who knows how long people will keep listening to what I produce. For another, it would probably be beneficial in order that I don't burn myself out or start repeat myself more than I already might have. Also, I've got some writing projects that I've been seriously neglected for awhile now -- so a break from music would allow me some time to work on that.

HSS:The word "drone" has become quite the marketing tool over the past few years. Do you feel this is an apt term to describe your music, or does it leave something to be desired?

A: I suppose it's fairly apt, considering there's usually some drone-like element to most everything I do, even the more pop-/song-oriented material. I think people's understanding of drone can leave something to be desired, though, whether they are dismissive of it as 'easy' or unaware of its historical relevance.

HSS: My personal favorite releases of yours are Thaumogenesis and Bodycage. Do you have a personal favorite of all your releases?

A: Probably those two as well, actually...and maybe Touched.

HSS: You've recently done some touring. Any interesting road stories/incidents?

A:We were in Big Sur, California last March -- which we'd always wanted to visit after reading Henry Miller and Richard Brautigan and the likes -- and (naively) thought we'd try to find a place to stay there. Everything seemed to be booked up until we found one place that had a vacancy. We asked how much the room was...and were told it was $1400 a which we just burst into astonished laughter and left, appalled at what was once a remote, artists' retreat had become. We found out afterwards, that this place was some world famous spa where you stayed in treehouses on the side of a cliff...but still.

HSS: Some musicians live in a vacuum (ie California black metal bands). How much does your location/surroundings contribute to your sound?

A: I suppose it does effect us, yes. We haven't really recorded in different settings to date, but when we play live, certainly the surroundings and circumstances -- the venue, the audience, other bands on the bill -- have an effect on our performance/sound.

HSS: Your music has a very cinematic feel to it. Are there any films that have had a significant impact on your sound?

A: Another interviewer recently asked us what movie we're soundtracking (at least in our own heads) and Leah answered "Carnival of Souls" and I said "Breathless"...but I don't know if either of those really had a "significant impact" on our sound. As for some favourite directors, here are a few: David Lynch, David Cronenberg, Terry Gilliam, Wong Kar-Wei, Jean-Luc Godard, Peter Greenaway, etc.

HSS: Many musicians need to be in a certain mindset to create their music. Can you record a Nadja album on a sunny day when you're happy?

A: Yes.

HSS: Whats your favorite Black Sabbath song?

A: Um...Black, War Pigs...or maybe The Wizard.

HSS: What have you been listening to lately?

A: Here are some things I picked up and have been listening to a lot the last few weeks: Carla Bozulich/Evangelista - Hello Voyager, Sixteen Horsepower - Live: March 2001, James Blackshaw - O True Believers, Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds - Dig, Lazarus, Dig, Kayo Dot - Choirs of the Eye, Zeni Geva - Trance Europe Experience, Sun Kil Moon - April, Melt Banana - Speak Squeak Creak.

HSS: Whats your favorite Kids in the Hall skit?

A: Anything with Bobby Terrence (Bruce McCulloch's sullen teenager character), but especially the guitar-duel with the devil one...and the "nice fucking ham" one...

HSS: What does the future hold for your music (Nadja and solo)?

A: Nadja is (or will be, at least) working on new records for Alien8 and The End, as well as finishing up collaborative projects with Bloody Panda, Atavist, and Pyramids, and a DVD project for Beta-Lactam Ring Records. We have new releases forthcoming with Essence Music, 20 Buck Spin, and Consouling Sounds and in the fall Profound Lore is releasing a 2xCD edition of Bodycage and Daymare is doing a 2xCD release of Thaumogenesis/Thaumoradiance. Plus, there are vinyl editions of various albums coming out with Conspiracy, Basses Frequences, Level Plane, and Important Records.Solo, I'm working on new albums for Die Stadt and Alien8 and have a couple compilations of older material coming out with Important and Taalem, as well as a re-issues of some older, out-of-print albums on Basses Frequences and Beta-Lactam. We have plans to do some extensive touring of Europe in the latter half of this year and the beginning of next...and hopefully getting over to Japan and maybe Australia, if we can manage it...

No comments: