Sunday, September 09, 2012

10 Questions with pesimst


Hailing from Oklahoma City, pesimst is an electronic project that defies easy categorization and explanation.  The brainchild of a gentleman by the name of Matt, pesimst recently released his debut album Gleek on Demand (read my review here). 

This interview was conducted via email September 8th-9th, 2012.

For more information on pesimst check out his Facebook, Twitter, SoundCloud, Rhapsody, and Last.fm pages. 

Dave:  When did you start playing and writing music?

pesimst:  I’ve been playing drums as long as I can remember. I grew up in a shitty little town called Drumright, and the school band program was dissolved when I was 12. My parents sprung for private drum lessons when I was 15. I studied under a phenomenal drummer in Tulsa named Brian Cupp. He opened my eyes as to how complex and boundless music could be. When I was about to graduate high school, he offered for me to become his apprentice for a year. Unfortunately, my parents thought this was a bad idea and decided I should go to college immediately. Neither happened, as I had no interest in college. I became interested in writing around the age of 16. Out of necessity, this led to me teaching myself guitar, bass, and keys.

Dave:  You recently released your debut record Gleek on Demand.  What’s the story behind the record?

pesimst:  The title comes from me overhearing someone say that they knew someone who could “gleek on demand,” and the phrase just stuck. This was years ago, before the word “gleek” became associated with that horrible television show. Musically, I really enjoy odd time signatures and using multiple time signatures in a composition. I’m also a big fan of unusual tuplets, such as fitting 7 or 9 notes into a space where only 4 or 8 would usually be. As far as the lyrics go, I prefer instrumental music, as I find all lyrics to be absurd. I find someone singing the words “I love you” as equally preposterous as someone singing “Your butt cheeks is warm.” When I write lyrics, I tend to create characters in which to present the words, so my lyrics are usually used to mock the type of character I’m presenting and do not necessarily express my personal opinions or feelings. 

Dave:  You released Gleek on Demand digitally through a number of different online sites, but you didn’t use BandCamp.  How did you decide which sites to use and which ones to skip?

pesimst:  I distributed the album through Tunecore, and the album was placed in all of the stores that they do business with. This was the most cost effective method for me and, perhaps even better, caused virtually no headache.

Dave:  The songs on Gleek on Demand are all over the place.  What was you inspiration behind the record?  Was there any specific type of sound or aesthetic that you were going for?

pesimst:  My inspiration, as well as the reason that the music is so varied, is the fact that I like music. As for sound and aesthetic, I don’t prefer one genre to the next. All the music that I find attractive has one thing in common: it has balls and attitude. This is not something that I think can be taught; either you have it or you don’t. It’s also nice when the people presenting the music are really good at what they do.

Dave:  Do you have any specific type of writing process?

pesimst:  I have ideas all of the time. I try to capture them as they happen before they disappear, whether it be by inputting them into a computer, playing them on an instrument and recording them onto my DAW, or simply humming them into my phone. Then, when I have time to sit down and work, I can go through all of the snippets that I’ve documented and see which one grabs me and says, “My turn!” If I hit a wall with something, I move onto something else.

Dave:  Do you plan on promoting the record with any life shows or tours?  How would you perform this music in a live setting?

pesimst:  This has become quite a frustrating issue for me. I would love to present my material in a live setting. The first problem is that I refuse to do it alone. I find the method of playing individual parts and looping them over each other both empty and boring, and I have no desire to utilize the straight folk singer-mic-and-guitar method, either. The second problem is, while I do have a bassist and a drummer who want to play this music, getting together for rehearsal is a nightmare. The need to support my family has forced me become a full time-plus university student. In May, I will have earned my second degree in three years. The bassist, Mike, works overnights and plays in a couple of bands already. The drummer, Anthony, works a schedule that varies weekly.

Dave:  What are your thoughts on the music scene in Oklahoma?

pesimst:  I know practically nothing about it. I’m somewhat of a recluse, so if there were bands out there that I would enjoy, I wouldn’t know about them. As far as Oklahoma bands that have had national success, I can’t name one that I like. 

Dave:  This is a High Fidelity inspired question.  What are your top five all time favorite bands, albums, movies, TV shows, books/authors?

pesimst:  Bands/artists: Frank Zappa, Gutbucket (from Brooklyn), Primus, Chris Potter (especially the Underground), Eric Dolphy
Albums: Impossible to pick only 5. They would probably all be Zappa albums, anyway.
Movies: The Big Lebowski, Dr. Strangelove, Idiocracy, Rushmore, Alice (by Jan Svankmajer)
TV shows: The Simpsons, King of the Hill, South Park, Workaholics, Real Time
Books/authors: Biographies. And Orwell.

Dave:  What’s next for you?

pesimst:  Writing more music that no one will ever hear.

Dave:  Any final thoughts?

pesimst:  Absurdity is all around us. Look in the mirror and laugh at yourself. 

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