- Posted on Feb 28th 2011 5:40PM by Linda Laban
Before forming any of his artistic identities, Angelides spent his early years in Worcester, Mass., and later Connecticut. Five years ago, he was invited to play in San Francisco, and he fell in love with the city and its innovative music scene. Angelides packed his bag and went west, basing his new stage name on 'Eskimo,' a 1979 album by San Fran post-punk experimentalists the Residents. Angelides spoke with Spinner about why he started playing bass, the musical usefulness of shovels and why, if you see him getting into your elevator car, you're probably better off taking the stairs.
Your bio mentions that early some of your influences included Primus and the Prodigy, who were both huge in the mid-'90s but quite different musically.
What drew me to both was the bass. That was the first time I appreciated how amazing a big bass sound could be. It inspired me to start playing an instrument and I obviously chose bass. I basically leaned to play by trying to copy every Primus song I could.
That would definitely form some nice calluses and build up your finger muscles.
Yes, it certainly did!
Before going solo, did you play in bands?
Yes, but that was back in high school. Nothing serious.
When you perform, is it pretty much just you and your gadgets?
Yes, it's just me. I prefer it. I did the band thing and it seems like most of your energy is spent on keeping the equilibrium between members. I prefer the freedom playing solo gives me to create any sounds and music I want to.
You do have a collaborative music project called Eskamon, too.
That's me and Amon Tobin [Brazilian DJ/producer]. I thought it was important to differentiate between what I was doing alone and what me and Amon do. I'm concentrating on Eskmo right now because of the album I released last fall. But we will be doing more stuff together, not live, just in the studio.
How would you classify your brand of electronic music?
I don't know. I suppose it's in the dance category, though I never listen to dance music. I can't remember the last time I listened to a dance record at home. But, then, if Aphex Twin released a record, I'm sure I'd be the first to buy it.
You say you like to make field recordings. What sorts of sounds do you capture?
It can be anything: a twig breaking, a bird, a machine. I also create my own new sounds. I'm always raiding the kitchen for pots and pans and things. I'll incorporate pretty much anything. I want to be able to form music from as wide a range of sounds as possible. One time I played a shovel on stage.
You banged away on a shovel, or with a shovel?
I was beating it with drumsticks and looping it to create a big sound. It worked really well.
What comes first when you're making music: a sound, beat or melody?
It can be anything. Some pieces have come from a very basic childlike melody. One song came from recordings I made when I was jumping around and banging on the walls of an elevator.
Hopefully you were alone in it at the time.
Yes, I was.
You must have been praying no one stopped the elevator and got in. You could have been arrested.
Actually, someone did get in, but I managed to convince them that I wasn't a crazy person.
Catch Eskmo's SXSW Set on Friday, March 18 at Beauty Bar (617 E 7th St.) 11PM.
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