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THAT'S THE JOURNEY"For me, it's like fighting with the machinery to get as close as possible to what's in my head. Usually the machinery wins 50% of the time." It sounds like the opening narration to some SCI-FI CHANNEL ORIGINAL SERIES, but it's songwriter/musician/former music critic G-MAN (or SCOTT G) explaining the process of making music. The problem is, G-MAN is no mere songwriter. He's more of a mad scientist, locked away in his own recording studio, with nothing but ideas to explore and sounds to make. It seems fitting for a man who grew up in a household of "audiophiles".
G-MAN TALKS TO ROCKWIRED
ABOUT HIS LOVE AFFAIR WITH SOUND
THE REJECTION OF JOURNALISM
AND THE HOPE OF PEOPLE MAKING LOVE TO HIS MUSIC...AT 130 BEATS PER MINUTE
INTERVIEWED BY BRIAN LUSH
"They (my parents) loved sound!" says G-MAN. Clearly something rubbed off.
His latest CD, MOTION POTION (DELVIAN RECORDS) is a space-aged tour-de-force thats as every bit science fiction sounding as a fight between a human and a machine should be. You can call it electronica, or you can call it trance but thats just marketing. ROCKWIRED calls it cool!
ROCKWIRED had the chance to speak with SCOTT G (B.K.A G-MAN) over the phone while he was in his studio. Here is how it went.
What's the big deal regarding the cover?
Well, it's a fool of the eye type drawing. All they are are these random geometric shapes but every now and then, it becomes a naked female breast and then it bounces back to being geometric shapes -- no pun intended. "Oh my God it's a breast- wait a minute!" It fools your eyes sometimes.
How did it all begin for you? Music, I mean.
My parents played a lot of records. My dad had actually built a stereo at a time when there weren't supposed to be stereos, I guess. He was always the audiophile, but for the BENNY GOODMAN era. He had these big MAGNET speakers and people would be like "...Thats ridiculous, you can't have 5 watts of power! Thats absurd!" My dad was an audiophile all during his college years and the rest of the world kind of caught up with him when I was born. I was already born into a place where the record player was a big deal. There was swing music, there was classical music and there was country. "...We don't really like it, but there's somebody yodeling. My parents liked sound, so there were STAN FREBERG records and weird sound effects records. This was back in the day when you could buy stuff like Halloween sound effects. Eventually I started my own record collection and began writing about it. Soon I learned that you could get free albums for it. people will send you CDs and people will let you go to concerts, so I did that for about ten years. I kept thinking that I would be a songwriter and i started interviewing bands on the theory that i could hook up with someone who could do the music that I heard in my head. And then it was like, "Wait a minute!" No one is interested in collaborating. they've got there own music that they want to do. if they needed a collaborator, they wouldn't need this journalist who just showed up. They think we're pencil necked geeks unless we're writing something good about them. Journalists , all across the board, don't have a particularly great reputation nor do they deserve one now that they've pretty much abandoned the idea of journalism. "Is this a press release? OK lets put that in..." It's great for a guy trying to get publicity but it doesn't do anything for me as a human being. We have opinions that are disguised as news.
I don't know if it's all that disguised.
These days, you have these miniature commercials in your news program and they tie it up in the end by saying, "Promotional fees were sponsored by..." You've got ads inside the news that you've just watched. Whenever you have authors on these news programs, my guess is that it's a paid placement, in one form or another, or in some cases, the people who own the network, own the publishing company. We are living in a "pay to say" society. It's tremendous for a person who wants to market, but for me as a human being, I'm appalled. Should I believe what I read in WIRED Magazine. i don't know who owns it now, but if it's RUPERT MURDOCH, I probably shouldn't believe it.
Absolutely! He's the reason I don't want to get a myspace page.
That's right. NEWSCORP bought up MYSPACE. I did a story on TOM ANDERSON and CHRIS DE WOLFE and I remember thinking that MYSPACE was going to be the future of marketing in music. Then, they crossed the 35 million mark and sold out to MURDOCH, but you know what? RUPERT MURDOCH doesn't care. If there was a huge liberal audience in this country and AIR America really took off, he'd buy it. It doesn't matter to him what's left or right. Problem is, liberals are so disorganized, it's embarrassing.
You can't get 'em all together at a tea party, let alone a political campaign.
They can agree that they don't like whats going on, but that's not enough. Any way, you were asking me how I got into music. I became a journalist so I could get free stuff but I couldn't get anyone interested in performing my stuff. Then i thought, this is ridiculous. I'll just teach myself to play guitar. how hard can it be?
How hard was it?
Well, I'm still learning. This is what I do. Everything else in my life up to that point was "...you do this in order to achieve this or that" No! Making music is making music. Yes, you can measure it by how many albums you've come out with. That's fine. If you're truly into it, while that album your making is being mastered, you're working on the next thing. Because that's the journey. My sixth album is done and now I'm working on the seventh. Why? Because I like making music. I also came to this because my life was altered by outside events. I got divorced and all of a sudden, I had a lot of time on my hands, I was sitting on the edge of a bed in a very empty house. You see it in the movies and you read it in books. People spiral downward, people plot and brood, or you could take the time to do all the things that you said you'd do if you had the time. I had a guitar, that was just sitting there unused for 12 years and I decided from then on, that this is what I'm going to do. I wrote my first composition and sent it to CARL VERHEYEN (guitarist for SUPERTRAMP) and I asked him "Is this anything?" I trusted him. I got guitar lessons from him when I interviewed him and he said " Yeah! It's really kind of fun. It's sort of FRANK ZAPPA meets DEVO" and I said "Cool!" I recorded an entire album in that vein and called it GRIN GROOVE. When it was completed, I had no money to promote it, so I wrote some press announcements about this new genre of music I invented called GRIN GROOVE, and people would argue about it, "You can't make a new genre of music!" but you know what? It got press. DJ's were downloading the mp3s of it and I got the attention of DELVIAN RECORDS.
Explain if it's explainable, the creative process.
for me, it's like fighting with the machinery to get a close as possible to what's in my head. Usually the machinery wins 50% of the time. It's the most thrilling combination of a human and a machine.
What do you want a listener to walk away with after hearing your music?
I want them to walk away thinking, "Wow! That's gonna be great to dance to with a bunch of people over" or "...That slower one would be good to make love to." Not, that there are a lot of slow songs on this album, but there is that one song thats got 130 beats per minute. It could work, if you did a lot of petting.