Friday, 29 March 2013

Week #13| Starpilot- Fleur Dans Un Voyage Psilocybine

Week 13, and we're visiting Canada for Easter and featuring Starpilot, an artist that has had releases on both Pxl-Bot and here on TWG! Be sure to check those out after you've checked his track!  

WT: What was your first introduction to non-game chiptune music?
Starpilot: I think it was the example programs in the c64 user's manual actually lol.
WT: What programs do you use, and what are your favourites?
S: Renoise is by far my favourite. I don't really use anything else these days. I used to use Milkytracker and LSDJ and cybertracker and goatracker.
WT: What are the main influences, musically, that goes into your writing?
S: I honestly have no idea how to answer that. Not just because it's never really ever been the same influences anyway but because I don't really rely on anything to create. I've always had the natural ability to tap into an endless flowing river of creativity and imagination in my mind. It's been both a blessing and a curse, although recently I've learned to look at it as much more of a blessing.

Also, I think I should mention that absolutely anybody can tap into this river of creativity. They just have to shut off the part of their brain that tells them how things should be and just let their minds do what's natural. Everyone is naturally creative. We just cut ourselves off from it though developing an inner critic. Destroy your inner critic, your fear of what other people think, and your fear of being wrong, and you will never ever ever have trouble creating, ever! I talk about this shit a lot on my blog.

WT: What went into creating 'Fleur Dans Un Voyage Psilocybine'?

S: Drugs and chocolate and magic.

WT: What spurred the name Starpilot?

S: I chose that name over 10 years ago. I dunno. It's just who I am I guess. It suits. Also, Eric Burdon & The Animals? Skkyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy Pi-lot! How high can you fly? Do you ever, ever, ever, reach the sky?

WT: Do you play live often?

S: Yes. Very. I love performing. And some very cool plans in the works that I am not at liberty to discuss at this time.

WT: How long have you been writing music?

S: I've been writing music my whole life. I guess I started actually writing music when I was 12. That's when I started teaching myself how to play guitar. I never took lessons and learned how to play largely by writing my own music. I played covers here and there but I mostly learned how to play music by writing my own music. But I was always interested in music in some form and would noodle on keyboards and organs and stuff throughout my childhood. My grandfather had this great organ from the 70s that I've always loved. There's a picture of me playing it at age 3 wearing these giant headphones with a great big smile on my face.

WT: Could you give us a brief rundown through your prolific amount of releases please?

S: Ok, well, I'll give you a rundown but I will omit the stuff I did before I got into chipmusic. I released at least 5 years worth of albums before I ever made chip. My first two chip albums were Sunspots on the Surface of My Brain and Noise Annoys. Noise Annoys was my first LSDJ release and Sunspots was a mixed release of stuff made in Garageband, Ableton Live, and LSDJ. I don't really consider those albums to be any good and have left those albums off my discographies and such. That was back in 2010. I also scored the soundtrack to a short horror film called The Bionic Carcass in 2010. Both the music and the film are available online somewhere.
The Milkytracker Experience (2010) - A complete Milkytracker affair. It sounds cool and the composition is ok but I started getting side-tracked by Renoise by the time this was ready to be released. This album actually didn't get released until later in 2011. This album has a very urgent dysfunctional sound to me now. And in reality, it was never actually finished, nor will it ever be.
For Absent Friends EP (2011) - Gameboy + Guitar + Vocals. This album was a bastardized version of how I sounded at my live shows in 2010 & 2011. Loud screaming guitar, wacky vocals, nutty performances, crazy psychedelic and noisy fx, and a gameboy making drum/bass/blippy sounds. It was a heart attack waiting to happen lol.
Internastellar (2011) - This is what I wish was my first LSDJ album. It's mostly dance music with experimental noises and cool melodies. All the songs were written around what I did on stage at the time.
Too Much EP (2011) - More LSDJ-ness. I like this one a lot more than Internastellar even though it didn't get as much attention. The composition and instrument design is much better and I started getting a lot more experimental with my LSDJ stuff. I became really comfortable with LSDJ at this time.
Bravery, Repetition, and Renoise (2011) - A 3 song EP of Brian Jonestown Massacre covers done in Renoise. Contains vocals. My first Renoise release.
Reveal (2011) - What I really consider my first Renoise release. It's also some of my first dabbles in DnB and IDM. Psychonauts In Love meant a lot to me at the time. This album has its moments of potential brilliance and some cool ideas, but otherwise it's really lacking in production and flow.
You May Now Enter (2011) - Released on Pxl-bot. The first album someone asked me to do, which was really important for me at the time. This album was only going to be an EP but I ended up writing more music than I intended to and really didn't want to cut too much. I still ended up cutting 4 or 5 songs from it lol. I made these songs in the heat of summer in a small room with plain white walls, chain-smoking, dripping with sweat. I'm not sure if that comes through in the album's sound though lol. I actually didn't think much of this album when I finished it and thought Pxl-bot would be disappointed by it. Turns out, that was all in my head. I was still coping with some heavy mental issues at the time. This album turned out to be a pinnacle point for me as my composition, ideas, and production really exploded at the time of making this album. Ironically, despite my headspace, this album was definitely my best work at the time.
Space Cadet (2011) - This is some of my most ‘poppy’ sounding LSDJ stuff. This was a big album release and was also the first album I got professionally printed/copied/etc.
Registers EP (2011) - Released by NoiChan. A heavy experimental album of LSDJ tunes. Some of these songs were pretty heavy and intricate.
Sparkling (2012) - Released by 8081. This is probably one of my best works. All Renoise. Many many different styles and ideas. Some of these songs were made in 2011. This album got rave reviews and to this date it's gotten the most plays/downloads. This album is really more of a compilation of different tracks made in late 2011/early 2012 and doesn't really come together as a coherently packaged album. But it's definitely some of my best work.
Experimentalist (2012) - Released by NoiChan and DMG Control. This album is extremely experimental and I made it with a very apathetic attitude as by this time I was starting to get bored of LSDJ and gameboy sounds. It does contain some pretty cool stuff though. I stopped performing with the gameboy around this time.
Gate and Glitch (2012) - Released by Pterodactyl Squad. This was my first album of IDM/Glitch/Noise stuff. I made it in Renoise. LOTS of wackiness and glitched out insanity and pure unadulterated ear piercing noise in this one. This is the kinda album that might piss off your neighbours lol.
Ragged Smile (2012) - Released by The Waveform Generators. This album took a very long time. Way longer than I intended. I got back into adding guitars and vocals to my music for this release. This contains some synthpop songs I still preform on stage to this day.
Nomad Planet Single EP (2012) - Released by The Waveform Generators. The single Nomad Planet from Ragged Smile + some outtakes.
Flight of the Commodore (2012) - Pure Commodore 64 madness. What more can I say?
Tired of Gameboy Music (2012) - My last ever gameboy album. This album was just all the LSDJ songs that I had made since Experimentalist. I became very bored of the sound of the gameboy at this time and vowed to never make gameboy music again unless I could find a completely brand new and never-done-before way to use it. At this point I could care less about it. I really find the gameboy sounds boring these days. I'm much more attracted to the sounds of the c64 and Atari computers.
Energies I (2012) - The first of the Energies trilogy. A semi-conceptual trilogy outlining the many energies that surround us all. It plays with the idea that everything, every thought, every action, every word, every feeling, is made of energies that vibrate throughout the 7 dimensional spaces of the universe. This first part of the trilogy is a mix of guitar-driven alt-rock, instrumental ambient experimental idm, psychedelic analog synthy stuff, and even some beck-style hippop, chipdub, extreme goofiness, and experimental psychedelic folk.
Frozen Solvents On A Windy Day (2013) - I was working on two projects, one that was along the lines of Gate And Glitch and another with rave/club/house type stuff done my way. Neither project got finished and I released it as one weird dark glitchy techno album.
Energies II (2013) - Released by Sociopath Recordings and Skrow! Media. This is definitely my best work imo. All instrumental. Flowing melodies, walls of sound, waves of emotion, interesting rhythms, interesting sounds, good composition. It's the creamy middle between the two rough cookies of the 1st and 3rd parts of the Energies trilogy.
I currently have a few album projects on the go. One of them is a pure ambient meditative album called Brain Surgery In A Forest. The other is an album of instrumental tracks with experimental FM synthesis. And of course, Energies III is in the works which will be mostly guitar-driven stuff.

WT: How was the transition into using guitars and vox for you?

S: It was no problem as before I committed to making purely electronic and chiptune music, I released many many albums of guitar-based music with vocals. In fact, I used to make electronic music as a goof. Just something to play at parties for my friends. Nothing I really considered worth much at all. My main interest was in playing guitar and singing in a band setting. After being in a few bands and finding it really hard to keep a good band of committed people together, I brought in the gameboy so I could play on stage without a band. Eventually I found people were really more interested in my electronic based stuff and so that's the direction I went. But I still find myself more interested in playing guitar and singing. I love to sing and I still compose a lot of my electronic music on guitar.

WT: In your opinion, what has been your favourite release to work on and most defining moment yet?

S: Honestly, I have no idea. Each one has its ups and downs, problems and triumphs and mistakes and learning experiences. It's hard to say because some of it was made during period of time in my life where I was definitely not well yet I was creating pure gold.