Well, I kept hearing it wasn't what 'normal' or 'healthy' people do is to interview themselves, so leaning towards the side of caution I roped in a good buddy of mine to grill me on my own page. This interview was conducted by Atlas Castle!
Try to picture this: I was heading towards a Tuesday rehearsal with one of my side projects, when suddenly my phone went crazy! I could see Chuck’s name popping up all over my screen --> All I could think to ask myself was, “Damn! What did I do wrong this time?”
Some texts and talks later, here we are! I’m the honored man interviewing Chuck on his own website ... seriously? If you ever wondered about how it feels to be powerful, trust me, I’m still looking for that answer, haha.
Let’s go straight to why you guys are still hanging on to my words! Our man Chuck W. will be releasing a new EP “Heavy Metal Dust Bunny Cynicism”, on May 27th. I had the pleasure to listen to it in confidence, before anyone else. I’ll describe this effort as pure madness on a high level, with a very avant-garde punk electronic touch... trust me! What I love the most about Chuck’s universe is that you need to go for the whole package to understand this really likeable soul. The first time I heard “Get Your Shit Together!” I wanted to know more. Thankfully, Chuck is a very genuine guy, easy to reach and talk to, which makes the whole experience absolutely worth it.
Let’s get to why we are here today! Who’s better than our man himself to introduce us to “Heavy Metal Dust Bunny Cynicism”:
Hey Chuck, how are you doing?
Well, hey, hey. Not too bad. Breathing. Writing. Could certainly be worse! Thanks for the interview!
And thanks to you for the invitation!
So, for the people not knowing anything about you yet, describe who you are in exactly 10 words! Go …
Oof 10 words. I think we both know I like to talk so this will prove interesting. Ny Based Experimental Electronic Musician Whose Been Doing This Forever
Let’s go straight to the point: If a random listener had only time to pick up one song on your EP, which one should it be and why?
Good question. I’m not one to say, “I don’t have a favorite,’ or, ‘I can’t pick.’ There’s always a leader among the pack as far as that goes and for this effort, hands-down, I’m going with ‘Bunny’, the first single. There’s no denying it’s whacked out. It transitions arbitrarily but somehow continues to have a flow to it. The fact it stretches so far out and reels back in easily at the same time is probably why it wins.
What is your favorite part in this whole process? Playing, writing music, PR strategy...?
It’s funny. When I first was injured to a point where drumming was no longer going to be occurring I had a shit load of time on my hands. With that time, and in between Percocet, I found an interest in understanding the industry I so desperately sought inclusion with. Became fairly decent at Marketing thanks to it, and definitely see behind the curtain to understand, realistically, what this game is all about.
That said, I hate all of that shit. I may have found an affinity for it, but that doesn’t mean I enjoy doing it. It’s tedious as hell. In an ideal World, I’d be happy to pass that BS work to a manager because it should always, always be about the MUSIC!!!
I totally get you here man! Managing the whole process can be really tiring, but at the end, you know exactly where you invest your money. And if you don’t get the right results, then you can only get mad at you for not pushing enough, right? ;)
Yes, exactly and for that reason me and me don't get along swimmingly.
What are you next investing your time in musically and why?
Ooh, you slick - - Never sharing shit with you again! The answer relies on if I tell you or not.. . . Eh, fine, here we go -
At a point after releasing the predecessor to Heavy Metal dust Bunny Cynicism, Small World, I myself grew sick of the dour nature of the songs and frequently being associated with the anxiety and paranoia contained in this LP.
So how to differentiate? The only reasonable path away from this theme, what I call, the Road to becoming Dashboard Confessional, is to slam the brakes until you can pull a full 180. What’s the 180 to whatever the hell Small World was? I think that one’s pretty clear - happiness. Throughout the creation of the new EP, I had to keep this thought at the forefront all times.
Did I reach my goal? Not sure because the natural way in which I approach creating music always tends towards darker melodies. Aside from this whacky notion of a ‘happy’ album I wanted to explore something a little more relaxed. The two intertwined in the form of five solid tracks, entirely written via Softsynth. This is somewhat Atypical. There’s always an odd bond of mechanical industrialism and fluttering MIDI until an even middle ground is reached.
It seems only natural that the follow-up to an entirely Softsynth EP, would be to release another within the same thematic vein which is all hardware. That is the truly hard shit. Writing a ‘happy’ ep on all hardware? Wish me luck . . .
Good luck, Pal! Aye, I’m not doubting for one second that you’re gonna go through a very rich and interesting process on your next release. Go get them all my friend.
You like random?... Because I know I do and you’re in my world now! So, please share 6 facts we don’t know about you?
Six? Jesus you Europeans are fucking over achievers, okay -
I did in fact begin College for a degree in Music but actually graduated with my Bachelor’s in Cinema Production.
I cannot play any sort of wind instrument for the life of me. It’s not exactly a breathing/lung issue, as it is embouchure. Could never make that shape with my mouth.
I was actually a pretty damn good Baseball player as a kid. Played for ten years, until I saw just how serious everyone began to take a silly game.
I flipped a car on it’s top one time, on the way to a Nine Inch Nails concert. The County Police took the car … somewhere. But, the important part was that we still made the show - with plenty of time.
My medical marijuana dispensary is next to the local kids’ theme park, where I found myself in trouble as a teen frequently.
And this one, don’t hate me - I’m actually - SHHHHHH - I’m not much a fan of Electronic music. I appreciate good music regardless of genre, but I find my own preferences don’t typically go in the direction of Electronic.
Dude, you know that my heart belongs to heavy music, so I can’t be mad at you for not being much a fan of electronic music ;)
It's not your judgement I fear but find it important folks know Strummer will always outrank them and there ain't shit to be done about it.
How did you write this EP, can you share the story behind it and your process?
This will actually be the easiest question of the interview, believe it or not. My main strong suit as a multi-instrumentalist is a decent knowledge of Theory. Theoretically I could play any instrument. I just have no chops for the majority of them hah. Piano is an instrument I will ever stretch beyond Amateur-At-Best status. But, I get how they work. Just have giant meat hands with no reach.
So why the fuck did I just explain all that ^^ I got somewhat deep into the Arturia V7 Collection one day and there was no removing my laptop from my person a few weeks as I messed in piano roll. Ultimately, I looked at the amount of material I’d rather not put in the trash bin and I'll be damned if there wasn’t enough to forge ahead with the idea of the EP. Without allowing myself the chance to mull it over too long, I zipped up the stems to send to Audio Engineer Extraordinaire, Dan Fur. And, now, here we sit haha.
Being amazed by all your hardware, can you describe your process?
There was actually no hardware used in the making of Heavy Metal Dust Bunny Cynicism, but I do have a pretty regular approach to conjuring what I do amongst the machines.
Typically, I begin with the Korg MS20Mini lined into the SQ-1, because I can’t play for jack, remember? I’ll patch up the MS20 in some weird way and let the SQ1 do the rhythmic driving.
If deciding to incorporate the Make Noise 0Coast, I will connect an ⅛’ from the MIDI Out on the SQ1, into the MIDI In on the 0Coast. This is to keep the wily beast that is the 0Coast under some amount of control. I know, at least, it will be following the gated sequence same as the MS20 no matter how much I may fuck up at any point the tone of the 0Coast. Worst case scenario, you just kill the volume.
By this point there’s usually some sort of melody, or skeleton of one forming. Depending on personal need, the Mother 32 calls the shots from there. I’ll bring the pattern North on the ol audio spectrum if I need a lead part still, but where this fucker shines is as a bass lead. Preferentially, that’s what it’s used for but it goes where it’s needed, like Batman.
Simple personal call at this point - Do I get something going on my volca sample, or not? The one advantage to leaving that running, even if not actively playing, is that this, yes, allllllllll of this, is necessary before you can accurately clock all these devices to a proper BPM. So, it’s usually at least on.
Last, what might be my favorite machine of all 7(?). The Moog DFAM. God fucking damn, do I love this thing. Any time someone asks me whether they should or should not buy it, regardless of the price I’m already telling them to buy it. I got it day one, as soon as they were shipping. It was the most plug and play thing I’d yet to play on but by having complete tone and velocity control, there was no fucking with this thing. So, I always try to keep soooome semblance of rhythm chugging through this bit last. I say some because it’s easy to get very ambient with it, very quickly. Beautiful fucking engineering Moog had on that one, for real.
Time for some more random questions: If you had to be shipwrecked on a deserted island, but all your human needs—such as food and water—were taken care of, what two items would you want to have with you?
2 items.. I mean depending, my laptop. Let’s figure there’s no internet, though. I’m going to go …. with …. shit, uhm, my Volca Sample for the fact I can switch around my banks and always have new sounds. For spacey, whonky noises to coincide with the Sample I’m going to go MS20. I know that’s a statement because of the totality of what I have but - - - - Gun to my head, those filters bring it home.
Can you describe a regular 24 hours in the life of Chuck?
No, not really.
Can you tell me a little more about your #BioDay on Instagram?
For all the Tech we use as Producers, I’m an old school pen and paper person. If it’s not written on my pad, you can forget about it getting done. I also hate procrastination and try to get things done absurdly in advance. That said, Bio day was something with the capacity to be be planned in advance but also very well thought out - Thus the length of the posts.
I find it important to know where the Artists you choose to support and align with stand. It’s something which should be out in the open and discussed. If that is how you choose to use your platform, use it to actually say something and not float through life like a common piece of fucking driftwood, as most do.
Since you’ve been doing plenty of online shows on your social media platforms, are you interested in doing stage performances?
Ah, like the old days. Fucking absolutely! Issue stands, though, that not much of my material is "recreateable" I could probably come close but it wouldn't be the same
The truth is that I love winging it. Going in without a clue what I aim to do. I do practice before larger occasions but since I shove 15 lbs of shit in a ten lb bucket, it's again not recreateable, no matter how hard I my try. Nerves will get to you, you’ll begin to sweat and *poof* - there goes remembering a set list. Improv is so much more freeing to me, whether what I played happened to sound good or bad.
It's two personas, I explained to a friend once. You have me…. Hi, what's up? … And you have what I've cultivated. Coming in you don't know the fucking difference. And that, right there, is something I love to play off of.
What sort of show would you hope to be able to do?
I'm thinking we need to budget minimally for lasers, at the least lasers. From there, equal parts balloons to back lighting. Some confetti. What's a powdered wig cost to rent these days?
Let’s say we finish the interview and you step outside the office and find a lottery ticket that ends up winning $10 million. What would you do?
Oh, easy. First, Katie, my wife, gets shiny things because she likes and deserves them. But following that, it’s a good ol’ ruckus at Guitar Center where you can go as crazy as you want and it’s on me. Next steps - Eh, I don’t like to plan that far in advance usually for that sort of thing . . .
Finally, and this one is important, so please pay attention. What do you think your cat dreams about?
Oh, without a doubt it's a dream where either he causes or happens upon Katie and my bodies to have a feast of epic proportions.
… And we’re Done! I’d like to thanks Chuck for the trust and invitation to interview him on his own website. If you’re still in doubt about what to do when May 27th’s coming, just press play and dig deep into a ride you’re not yet to forget. Chuck became my favorite music scientist and I’m more thrilled than he is about his own release. Stay safe out there.
Pre-Save Heavy Metal Dust Bunny Cynicism at Linktr.ee/chuckw - Thanks!