PAPIO

Talking Transcribed
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Talking with Donovan Izumi about his music

There are two kinds of people that make music / art: people who do so because they "like doing it" and people who do so because they "have to". The people that "have to" do it because they are compelled over everything else in their life to express something in them that cannot be expressed in any other way. And they are drawn to the work because their creations are their progeny -- their gifts that they leave to the world. That's what a true artist is. That's what Donovan is.

Recorded on 2019-02-17

Speakers: Donovan Izumi and Joseph Weidinger

All right, Donovan Zooming. I think my first memory of you was that marching Mizzou. In the fall of two thousand eight, we were both freshmen. As I recall, we were both into music. But our paths didn't really cross that much until years later, when I started working at shakes downtown, like, five years ago. I remember. I remember reconnecting with you then as you were working there at the time, and you were working on what would become the album sleeper.

Yeah. And when that finally came out in early two thousand fifteen, I remember sitting in my favorite chair inside my apartment with all lights turn off, listening to it, doing nothing else and thinking I never listen to music like this, but this is fucking awesome. Oh, thank you. That's what I got for an intro. So, Donovan, thanks for joining me here at Shakespeare's South that downtown on this Sunday night.

Speaking about Shakespeare's You worked that shakes on and off for years, as did I. And you were one of the hardest workers. From what I remember when we work together. Thank you. Where does that hard work ethic come from? Um Ah, a few places. Part of it is probably just the way my parents raised me. Um, part of it wass back in two thousand twelve, I got fired from a like a past job that I had worked at for two and a half years.

After that, I kind of had this really deep fear of being fired because it really, like, kind of messed up my life. For a while, the job market wasn't really great. I really struggled tto, find another job and keep myself fed, sold my car for groceries. So when I started it, Shakespeare's, well, you know, it was life changing, you know, was eating again. There's making better money than I had ever made, and I did not want to screw that up or lose that, um and then also, at the time, I was in a serious relationship, and I was living with the person, and you know you're in that situation.

And I like, I kind of kind of felt like a responsibility, too, you know, Just not not get fired. Be valuable. Keep moving up. And, um, you know, we're, like, trying to build a household together, you know, kind of thing. So it was a lot of things, and now, you know, I just don't even think about it anymore. Um, a big believer in mind over matter, And, ah, I think most people are capable of a lot more than they think they're capable of.

Um, you just have to be, like, pushed to your limits to know where they are and Shakespeare's did that for me. And a lot of ways, Um, and, like, grew my work ethic even more cool. You know, we both one of the hardest physical jobs at Shakespeare's is rolling pizza. And we both have or had, at one point an obsession with rolling pizza. God, what do you love about rolling pizza, by the way? Um Well, um, like I knew from the beginning when I started there that I wanted to be, like one of the top, you know, valuable people like that was my goal.

And, ah, you know, I picked out pretty quickly that a rolling is hard and be You have to prove yourself, Tio, like be trusted on that, Like, like for a Friday night rush. It took me a really long time to be able. Teo, hold that down. Um, so like once I started learning how to do it. I just kind of craved every little ounce of improvement I could get. It was, it was kind of like cum fu or or or like learning guitar.

You know, I just got really into the details, and I got fascinated by how I could like, um, press down on the pin like unevenly or like offset the pin on the crust to get this different results or this different shape and No, I just like things like that. Like the whole like, consider the pebble idea. Consider the pebble. Yeah. Like what's that? Me? I've never heard that. So I don't know. It's kind of ah, cliche.

Um But like like in Zen Buddhism, there's this idea of ah, considering the pebble on the idea is that you can potentially learn more from just like meditating on this single pebble for a really long time and learning everything you can possibly learn about that pebble. Um, then you would learn from, like, you know, just like passively walking down a gravel road where you're, like, literally surrounded by rocks and pebbles, right?

Eso, uh, I don't know, it's it's a really tough one. The answer. No, you answered it. I just I just I got I have the hunger t good at it and it did something good for my brain at the time. So what about we'll go ahead and also like being really small and not very muscular, like I really I wanted to prove that I could, um, roll is hard and fast as people who are a lot bigger than me, right? Like AP. Not that he was.

He's not an enormous person, but he has that sort of athletic physique that right? It just looks like he played high school sports and given with pen and he can, you know, Yes, that was Yeah, and I saw him doing that, and I was like, howto How do I get to that level? And I started thinking about, like, physics and body mechanics and anatomy and my dough, consistency and all these other things. But by doing that, you know, I was able to eventually, you know, move up, dude, that's that.

That was exactly this is, like, the same for me. And it's ironic because, uh, you know how hard we had to work till I get that Get good. You know, um is like a p never even thought about it. And he's just, like, naturally gifted that at these sorts of things, and people are like that, you know, throughout life. But ultimately, you know, if you want something badly enough, you can get it. So right. Exactly.

So you mentioned gets hard and like being obsessed with the details. Did you start learning guitar or base first? Because I primarily know you as a bassist. Ah, Well, I guess I like started learning them about the same time. But then I went several years without really touching base. Um, I didn't get serious about base until college. Really? Um, when did you start playing guitar and bass? I wass twelve years old.

My mom had bought an acoustic guitar for herself that she she never really played. It was just laying around the house. Andi, I messed around with it a little bit on DH. Then I started a band in middle school and the the low brass class, The baritones and Tubas way got taught a little bit of bass guitar because we were, you know, reading bass clef. And that was where they would get the bass players for the jazz bands in the junior and high schools.

Um, so, like I learned howto like do Walking Blues and I learned how to read. Um, but I was way more interested in guitar, then base for a really long time. And then college. My focus shifted, and now I identified as a bass player. Pretty, pretty strongly is compared to guitar. And were those your first two instruments when you were twelve or thirteen? Or whatever the reasons of music before that. Those in the euphonium baritone?

No, I, uh honestly, I didn't know that I even liked music until middle school. What were you interested in before that? Ah, I was really in the Legos and video games, and I wanted Teo grow up to be like an architect or an engineer. Something like that. So video games. What kind of video games to play back in those days like this is when you're twelve eleven, Like, I'm trying to think of what was out. Wasn't more PC games are like consul around that time?

When I was twelve, I, um I just had like, a Yeah, I had a Nintendo sixty four s. I played like some of the classic platform er's donkey call Banjo. Zooey. Um, I've been in. I've always loved the old Sega Genesis. Sonic games Sonic sad. Talk to one of my favorite games of all time. I still play it. Actually, I have, like, a Nintendo three d s. And I'll just pull it out just to play that game. Oh, I was thinking you were hooking up this legacy.

Revived on life support council from years ago. Now, now, that's that's too much work. Um, but yeah, I was really into platformer games on DH Then as I got older, like I got more into, like, first person shooters and stuff, of course. Now, I'm not really into those kinds of games anymore, but the halo Siri's was really important, made growing up through high school. Like like the story in the world and the characters.

Like What about the music and the music? Yeah, Who did the music for the jack? Someone maybe, um ah. I can't believe I don't remember this. Um, something no, Donald. Huh? Anyways, um, didn't the music and video games inspire you to go down the music rabbit hole more or was mostly band and or rock bands or something like that? Um, so, ah, and high school, I started getting more into Halo and I got really pulled into the soundtrack.

It always stuck out to me like the first Taylor game came out in two thousand one. I had been exposed to it. I just couldn't play it at home. Um, and then I got to like, my senior year of high school, and I was thinking about college. And what do I want to do? And like, write music for games was kind of what I came back, Teo over and over again. Ah, I didn't really stop pursuing that for quite a while. Really?

So that was always the plan. Yeah. I wanted to be a composition major and, like, move, outlast. And And you did all those things you did study composition. You graduate with composition. Agree? You moved out. Well, you know, something like that. I ended up getting your performance degree. It's really It's a really old story. Uh uh, But, yeah, I moved out west, and the idea was like, Okay, I'll be, like, closer to Seattle.

I can go to the big gaming conventions and do networking and, you know, meat industry people and all that, um, and while I was up there, like I put together a bunch of, like, demo pieces, like soundtrack e type stuff. Um, but yeah, I don't know. It takes a lot of time and effort and investment to pursue that seriously. And, ah, I kind of hit a point where my priorities shifted and not saying I would never try toe get soundtrack gigs like ever, but not really worried about it right now.

Yeah, that's funny, because when I went out there, um, Ron Jones, who does the music where he did the music for Family Guy, I sent you like a ton of e mails to everybody that I had an e mail address to and like, only one person responded. Basically, it was Ron Jones's Kay, and he said, Be prepared to put in five to ten years of your life pretty much working endlessly without any pay before you start to have any traction whatsoever, right?

And I thought, Oh, well, he's surely he's talking about, you know, like someone not as experienced as I or something like that or whatever, but it was very evident within the first few months That's like, Oh, no, no, no, he's talking about literally Everybody has to go through this and that's pretty much when I game. I'm like, This isn't it. This isn't as important to me as it is these other people. Jesus, right?

Yeah. And you know, every industry has articles you confined online, you know, written by people who have been successful in their respective industries and reading those kinds of articles with, like, game music, composers and the stuff they go through. That five to ten year period of just like suffering and rejection and writing hours and the hours of music's that never leaves your hard drive like you pour your heart and soul into it and you bury it immediately.

Like like I can't do that. And then, like the life, have it stuff they talk about, like like now, social life. Your friendships and relationships get strained. You're hungry, tired, depressed, like it it I like I eventually got to the point where I was reading these articles thinking like the article says, It's about how to make it as a video game composer. But they could have said that like, this is the ten steps toe howto ruin your life, you know, right?

I don't know if I worded that very well, but like that was the impression I got was like, wow, that's that's not what I want todo right? And plus your music is, um yeah, your music is so, so much more personal. And I think that to write that kind of music, you have to have an attitude of, like, if you bring something that you worked hard on to someone like a director or whatever and they say, I don't like it doesn't match Mike.

When people did it to me, I'm like it. So I took offense to it. You know, it's hard to detach myself like I worked hard on that. And just like I don't want to be my own boss, I don't want to be subject to someone else telling me my music's that our crap and that doesn't fit. It's just like and like That's a cool thing about what you've done with Vina tricks. Is that how you pronounce it? Yeah. And the eighth or tree is like Aretha Tree was a tree either Tree is, is that, you know, at you're your own boss thing, Do whatever you want, and you know, it comes with certain ups and downs.

And one of the downs, I guess, is that you're not out whatever the West Coast like making music for video games. But, you know, it's it's a type of, you know, thing that works for you, regardless. So, yeah, I feel very fulfilled by what I do now, and that's that's really more important to me than anything. You know, Just do what I do. And I put it out there and, like, I don't really make a lot of money doing it.

Um, but I don't know, like, like kind of like you. I can't detach myself from the material that I create very easily. So you've had those two bands? Could you tell me the origin of those And like what prompted each to get started and or like where the name comes from? Um, yeah. So the ether tree um, started out as my solo project in high school, which I started because I had, like, three or four hours of Psalms written like a lot.

Jesus school. Yeah, like I Because when I started playing guitar, um, when I was eleven, I don't know anything. I just assumes that everyone who played guitar wrote music, so I thought, Oh, okay. I have to write music now. Hi, Bree. Um, and ah, so Well, they're saying, Yeah, so, like, I started writing songs pretty much as soon as I started playing guitar. And so, like I had this huge back catalog of stuff that I couldn't do anything with.

Like, I wasn't really allowed to play in bands the whole lot in high school, You see? So you mentioned earlier that you weren't allowed to play these games either like your parents pretty strict or something. Ah, well, the, ah, the the like the the Games. It wasn't that I wasn't allowed. It was just that I didn't have the systems or the money to buy them, but, like, yeah, I wasn't allowed to play in bands a lot it is what it is.

That was this. Now that that was just my home life back then, um But yeah, So I got tired of waiting around for, like, a band's toe to come to me, and I had a hard time connecting with other people And, like, getting them interested in what I was doing. And the kind of the turning point, which, like this mindset, like, kind of carried it with me, is like, OK, I can just do the salt myself. And that was that was prompted by reading this particular book called Days of War.

Nights of Love. Which is this, like, super like, fringe, politically charged, like, anarchist thing. And how old are you? I was I wass, uh, eighteen when I read that book, Um, but it kind of shook me up. It made me realize, like, okay, if I just forget about, like, what everyone has told me about how I'm supposed to go about making music happen. And if I just throw out everything the society has told me about, like, what's good and bad, you know, just be true to myself.

Like I could just record all this stuff myself. Like, multitrack. Um And is that before or after you had, like, several hours of music recorded, so I'm like I so like I wrote and I wrote and I wrote And then, like, I didn't have a bands, but I wanted to put out an album, and ah, then I read this book and decided, Oh, I don't need a bands. I'll just I'll just try to write or like Record and create this album on my own, which is what I did in my senior year of high school over the course of I think it was January that January.

I just It wasn't very good, but I did it. And that was more important to me at the time that doing it Well, it's just like, put out now, The man right s. So that's how the ether tree got started was just me being mad about not having a band. And then just trying to find solutions around that and trying Teo figure out how to have a creative outlet in the absence of, like, other people helping me. So I did, too, just like super awful releases like that just by myself.

And then I started bringing in drummers to help me, and that's kind of how I've worked ever since. It's usually just me. I write all the songs and the music, and then I have a drummer who comes in and I give them, like, basic drumbeats as a guide. But then they have freedom to do, you know, whatever they want to do, because I've played a little bit of drowns way back when but like, I just don't have the vocabulary, you know, um Ah, And then there there were times in college when the ether tree was upto, like, four or five people.

But like, I was still the one, you know, writing the parts and stuff. You were the Billy Corgan. Ah, maybe that's association that you don't want to. That's fine. Um, and so windows, like the ether tree die in Vina tricks is born like, How do you decide when to start a new identity? I guess. Um, well, okay. So, like the Easter tree name, um, like when I started the ether tree, I had this idea that it was going to be my project for the rest of my life.

And I was tied up with likes the meaning of the name. Like like my body of work. Is this tree of, like, ethereal abstract stuff or or whatever? Um, so that was That was the concepts and But what happened in college after I started playing with Taylor Thorn? I don't know if you remember him, I don't remember him, but I've seen his name and I've listened to those albums, or at least the first one third one.

And it's like that guy is a bad ass drummer. I mean, both even invent tricks. The guy, I don't know his name or I don't know him, but he's a great drummer to you. Always You I don't know if it's because you demand a great drummer or you hear a very drummer near like, I want you on my record both. And I've just had really good luck with drummers that I haven't had with, you know, like guitarists or basis or whatever.

Um, but yes. So I played with Taylor for so long that, like the tree became something different to me. Wait, You know, we got pretty close his musicians, and it got really hard to imagine doing the ether tree without him. And also it's a time I know the last couple years of the ether tree just weren't very fun at all. It made me hate playing guitar. I didn't play guitar. Hardly at all for a couple years after that, um it is.

Yeah. I was just building up Tio. I was just done, like the album, That last album, Sleeper, which, honestly, in my opinion, is just like a masterpiece. Like, what is that just so much work that, uh, it killed kind of your the process? Sort of, I guess. I don't know. It was just so many things. Like I just knew it was time. It was time to move on and do something different. And ah, yes. So then I started thinking about Venna tricks or the ideas that would become Venna tricks.

And, ah, a lot of what founder tricks is is a direct response to the things that the ether tree wass that either didn't like, or I kind of, like, fell out of love with or whatever. Um, just wife Venna trick sounds so different. So can you give me, like, one example of what you're talking about? Is it like something really detailed like the treatment of Or that the presence of so much guitar, Something like that?

Or is it more abstract? Actually, there's a lot more guitar on venna tricks. Um the ether tree wass. Really educational. Um like. I don't know, like I would write parts or Psalms, just kind of out of curiosity, like, Oh, I wonder what will happen if I do thiss or Oh, I'm going to write enough for Ah, it's like a metal band and a string quartet and you know, it would just start doing it. It didn't have a whole lot of direction or clarity.

Um, and I just I reached way too far too often. Um like just trying to do things that just like, wouldn't really work. Um I was really dissatisfied with my song lyrics. I was dissatisfied with how I was conveying meaning I I was dissatisfied with my performance is, um I don't know it. I guess you could say like like if I had continued with ether tree, Um, I don't think I would have progressed this far as I have.

Just, like starting over with a new band and completely re thinking, like who I am as musicians. So it allows you to do what I write. Music. Okay? Yeah, yeah. You get trapped by the identity of, you know, whatever project are banned. And that make that could make it harder to grow. Um, no, I like that explanation. Um, so are there any when you when you write a song, where are you? Do you like a dutifully sit down and say I'm going to write a song?

Or are you walking home And some idea comes to you or like what's the circumstance? Oh, um you know, that depends. Ah, it has changed over the years. Of course, nowadays, I have so much time kind of set aside for writing that you don't I don't really worry about what I'm going to squeeze in song writing time. Um, and if I'm just like out and about, like like it work or grocery shopping or whatever I'm like, I'm too distracted by my environment to really think about, like, Psalm lyrics or anything.

S O Most of my writing and idea generation just happens in my apartment. Um Ah, but like back in college, my big thing was like going to the piano practice rooms in the Fine arts building. And I would go there, like, three or four times a week just to sit down at a piano plank, out chord progressions and melodies. And that's that's where a lot of the sleeper stuff came from. And do you Are there any rituals or teens in your creative process?

Um, well, I back everything up. Ah, you sound like you've lost a lot of work. Ah, yeah, I've lost files before. Like when we were working on the ether tree album. Esperanza There's this really awesome trump and solo that our friend Mike Rabbit and did at the end of one of the songs. And the file just disappeared from Taylor's computer just just vanished. And we got to the studio and found out. And I'm like, the whole song drives towards that solo, and it's just not on the album.

Wait Could do anything about it. So, like so That's probably the most routine thing. Ideo. I'm just, like, very rigorous about making sure my files are backed up and very clearly named like I have a whole like file naming scheme I use. Ah. So I guess a lot of my ritual has to do with, like, organization and feeling comfortable that what you make is not going to be lost, right? Yeah, Exactly. So I'm not scared every time I turn on the computer.

What kind of audio workstation to use? Um, I use Q Base. Really? Okay. Me, too. Isn't it the best it isthe? Yeah. I'll understand why everyone uses pro tools, but Q Base like Hans Zimmer uses Q Base. Once I saw that, I'm like, Oh, yeah, this is legit. Yeah. Yeah, I love it. And they Ah, the engineer that the ether tree worked with on our first two albums. He used Cuba's. So I I was kind of visually familiar with it already, and that's why I want with it.

But I haven't regretted it at all. When you write music, do you write the notes down like in a notation editor like Finale or Sebelius? Um ah, it depends. I remember for Sleeper, you had scores, but that maybe it was an academic. I always well, right. I always end up notated what I write. Um, But, you know, sometimes they just pick up a guitar on, like, some riffs come out. And I might not know Tate them for, like, six months or whatever.

Um I really don't like finale at all. Um, it's good for like writing counterpoint. Like like if I'm thinking Mohr in like a Class Cole kind of mindset, like, you know, I was trained in notation, like with the classical counterpoint. But if I'm thinking and Mohr metal post hard core terms, I'm probably just going to pick up a guitar and start jamming till something comes out. Uh, Yeah, I don't know. Like my setup is consistent.

My organization is consistent, but like, I just let the ideas come to me. However, they're going to come to me whether that be like no Tate ing and composing and finale or composing on the piano roll in Cuba's. Or sometimes I still write like I'll compose with a pencil like on staff paper. Like I have this like string quartet piece that I wrote writing the writing the train from like my neighborhood and Portland's to go to the mall one day, like I just I took my staff paper with me and like it's composed all this like, bye bye ear.

And do you feel like when you do, you trust you? You're more than you trust your hands in the sense that when coming up with ideas, unlike that gets hard, your fingers will do certain things all the time, even if you don't really want them. Like if you have an idea in your head and you're trying to get it out over the guitar like it's always going to come out on some Qatari away, which is good because it's idiomatic.

But the same time, it's like not quite what you envisioned. Do you ever get that sensation? Yeah, absolutely. So, like if I try to write a guitar riff in finale without a guitar in my hands, it always comes out being like a little bit more difficult or less idiomatic toe perform. Um, but then that pushes me to, like, learn different things or, well, just look at it and be like, Ah, this will work better if I like bridge this gap a little differently.

Anil, tweak it, you know, to make it work better. And when you compose near had, like, are you using? Like a really strong sense of relative pitch. Just like map everything out or Oh, no, no, my my audio ation skills aren't that good. Um, I I Ah! I hear and think about music in a very visual way. I think that's because my grandmother was an artist, and I like Drew a lot as a kid, but like so like this song that's playing right now.

Like I can mentally graph it like this. The people listening this can't see. But, you know, imagine this square, right? And the kick is down low in the center and then, like somewhere in the upper mids is that synth line. And then, like the voices right here, you know, I think about color. I think about spatial relationships. Um, I think about rhythm a lot, and I think about motive, IQ development a lot.

But like the pictures never like so clear in my head that, like I know ah, and a minor seven court goes here and progresses tio d minor nine or whatever. That's funny because I think that cord that was playing or this song is based on a minor. I'm ninety percent sure that's a great pop key. So that's interesting. So what do you I guess what what I'm curious about is what you actually write down on paper than when you're on the train.

If it's not specific notes, Well, it was specific notes, but I just didn't know exactly how it is going to sound interesting. Okay? Because, you know, like with, like, like with classical Siri training like Aiken. Aiken. Look, and I can analyze what I've written. And now, like, okay, this's any minor seven chord. Um, I was, like a vague idea. Like what? That color sounds like. Like I can hear the rhythm, And I had no problem.

You know, I just kind of try to make educated guesses, like about what would work on. So, like, if I'm writing that way, like my choices tend to be maybe a little bit safer because I'm more worried about, like, functional harmony, Just out of practicality. So do you ever. I was thinking this the other day. Do you ever think that your, um, education gets in the way of your writing? Yes, absolutely. Um because just for a little context here, I still remember freshman theory class.

They were like one hundred ten people in that class with McKinney and make any gave out this test that everyone was supposed to take, and it was to me, and probably you, too. It was pretty basic stuff, like how many Sharps are in a major, that sort of thing. But I don't know how I did on the test, and I don't know what the average of the class was, but I do know that the next time we all met in the classroom next Monday at eight o'clock or whatever, they were about as a fourth of as many people.

And they're probably like thirty people after whatever or is some huge drop off in. And the people that did stick like after a couple of years, those thirty people, half of them would say, Got music are studying music, killed my whole Ah, love for music in a way you're and I thought that that's just kind of away being funny sometimes, but the same time. I can't help but think often that God, I almost wish I could see the world without all this training now, you know, And I was wondering if that affected your or if you felt the same way, right?

Eso the problem was getting on education and music is that. I mean, you might be really interested in all the material, but it's, you know, it's still stressful being in school and dealing with assignments and exams. And you build these negative associations between music which you're supposed to love with with all your heart and soul. You know, it started all the stress and maybe even like trauma. Right.

Um And then I think for a while, I kind of forgot how to function without class school theory. Um, and I got so invested in it because I thought it was so important, like, Ah, well, I want to be like the's professional people. Surely they're, like, just up to their eyeballs in theory and stuff. Um like going through college. It's it's not just that. You're being inundated with all this material, but you're also having it presented to you.

Um, like through the filter of, like, like the viewpoints and the biases of your professors, right? It's not necessarily. No customized for you or anything, right? They put down like an image of, like, here's what good music is here's would have really good class of modern classical work is And you're like, OK, I'm supposed to want to be like this, and you kind of forget about how what inspired he originally to even come here?

Yeah, sort of u s. Oh, yeah, like the like the Easter tree started. Basically, it was sparked by, like, my love of, like, punk and hard core um, and then that book I read. And then I went to college and had to assimilate this totally different philosophy, And I just rolled with it. But it took me a long time to really get back in touch with the things that made me want. Oh, be a musician and made me want to do things the way I wanted to do them.

And to kind of resolve the conflicts between those two things. You know, the punk in hard core medal and rocks that I grew up on, um, and then the classical and jazz stuff that, like I had, uh, kind of cram in there somewhere, right? Yeah, but you're you're at peace with it. For the most part, like I am now. You are now. Yeah, inventor tricks was ah, like, that was part of the whole Vanna tricks. Thing is like, I got to figure this out.

I got a I got to find my balance and, you know, really figure out what my voices now, that's funny, cause I had a question about that later on. In fact, I might as well just like Skip to now, um, if I can find it because it's just so perfect. It's what does identity mean to you? As a musical artist or a human being, you choose. Ah. Well, um, I believe that you are what you consistently d'oh um I believe the human body is a vehicle, um so, like, like I I I I identify as a musician, and that's not something I do lightly.

Like I identify that. And I tell people I'm a musician because I consistently do music stuff that makes sense. Um, and then, like my identity as a musician is just like, What are the things I can do and what are the things I do consistently as a musician? Right? So I don't like I can write classical music, you know, um, but I don't. So I'm not a classical composer, All right? My like to me like action and identity or sort of inextricably linked.

Right. So you're saying, basically, you can write classical music, but because you don't and you don't consistently, then you don't identify as a classical music composer, right? Even though, like, I know my theory, sort of, um, and I I used those techniques and that framework to help me, right? You know, kind of very not classical stuff, but I don't consider myself a classical composer. I'm not part of that world, right?

I don't do the things that those guys do. Um, although one time you thought that's what you wanted to do and b because the identities can't thrust upon you university. Yeah, and then kind of, in a more abstract sense like thought is an action. So, like, part of identity is the things you think, um and the things you feel. Um just this. The things about you that are true and that aren't going to change, you know?

Um what part of music making is extremely tedious, But you enjoy anyways. Um, two things I guess like. Yeah, like when I write a piece of music, a Kant's usually like immediately perform it. Except I've either like written and finale or like I've written it, but I haven't like practiced it to performance level, so I enjoy that process of like. Pushing myself and practicing and learning too, like be able to play this thing that really only exists in my mind on DH.

Then lyrics are really, really tedious for me. Um But that's where like most of my catharsis comes from, um like just forcing myself to confront the things that I want to need to write about and unpacking that stuff and trying to get these very complex emotions and feelings and memories down on paper in a way that makes sense. And it's really hard sometimes. Sometimes I'll have a song and I know what I want the lyrics to be about.

And it'll take me like three months just to find the words Not not because I can't just sit down and, like, you know, B s my way through some rhymes or whatever. That's not enough for me. You know, I have to. I have to write something that feels true to me and is that kind of year? The intuition behind that? Is that what you used to determine? I'm done writing lyrics for the song or whatever, or is it it just or it doesn't I'll do all the syllables, have tto add up and like it has to be true to yourself.

But also I'm like a technical level. All these little details have to be just perfect or whatever. How calculator or your lyrics, I guess, is what I'm asking. Or do you just go for your just to yourself in the raw sense? And if it like it'll it'll stack up. Just find it in the song if if they're if the meaning behind the Miss what you want um I think a lot of my motivation. Toe right music with lyrics like it all like why bother with lyrics?

Right? You could make somebody feel something with an instrumental piece, Obviously. Right. So why bother with lyrics while like he listened to a symphony and whatever composer wrote whatever Sympathy Symphony, you know, they're just trying to make people feel something right. Generally they're exceptions, I'm sure, um But like I want to be understood as a person. Um, I have this need Teo, like, take experiences that I don't even understand myself and put them in a song be like, Oh, OK, Now I understand this thing about myself.

And then you just put it out there on the internet or whatever and hope that it does some good for somebody else who's maybe gone through a similar experience. So, in other words, you don't even know who you are, Really? Until you've written it a song. It's just like Dr Buds always said, Wow, that quote, he would always drop. Like, I don't know what I think until I see what I say. You know, that's funny because I never heard Dr Bud say that.

But my friend Jerry, who Ah, writes a bunch of questions and interviews a bunch. People, um, he has a question that somewhere, someone he perhaps the question with a couple of quotes where I don't know what I think until I've drawn it. Or I don't know what I think until I've written like we'll say that, so I'm I'm happy. That's all coming around. It's like, Oh, God, this is something Dr Budd said. They even makes more sense because, no, it's true, like being validated.

I guess youse think about what the brain is and what it does. Stall like his fucking firestorm of Neuron is going off is too much. You know, you can't. It's really hard to distill anything, right, but then you go to write it down. Just like picking word by words, picking words out of this stream of thoughts, figuring out. Yeah, what you actually think without all the other stuff going on around it? It's like Ah!

It be like if you photoshopped everything in this room out except one thing. Right. And now that's missing, so But also is it for you when you get this? So when you write the lyrics down on paper, you don't even have that moment then of being Oh, yeah, that's what I think it has to. You have to have a run on a paper, whatever. You have to sing it. You have to record all the other parts. You have tto make some master and go through the whole thing.

And then you listen to the finished product and finally get to the point where you can say, Oh, yeah, this makes sense now. Um I mean, that's kind of how it used to be. Um nowadays, so, like like, usually I'll finish the lyrics for a psalm like months before I record it. And I work really hard to try and get the lyrics to, like, a final state Towe where, like, they can stand on their own like just a za piece of poetry.

Um, and then I'll try to build the music around it, you know, So it all compliments each other. Um, I never liked that sensation of, like, Oh, I'm not going to know how I feel about that line I wrote until I get the Masters back a year from now, the meaning of the songs is important enough to me that I invest a lot of time and getting getting them toe where I'm happy was just the words and isolation seeing on the pages.

When is that point? Yeah, Um, so speaking of recording those guitar solos or whatever, Are you the kind of guitar recorder a session musician of your own music that when you have, like, a twenty second solo you do you learn the entire solo until you can play the entire salute solo? Or do you say ass is really hard? I'm just going to court the first ten seconds, then the next eight and in the final two.

And and I'm just gonna stitch together because those last two seconds are really hard, you know? Well, like solos. I generally improvise. Oh, like I thought You said you were some of it out or something. Maybe those plays, like I write lead lines that air like soloist IQ, whatever. But like if you're thinking like Breitbart memory, but that kind of stuff like like when you say solo, I think about that in, like, a jazz context.

Okay, right. But if I have, like, a really difficult riff for lik when I'm demo ing no rolls, I don't care. I'm just trying to get, like, a representation of the idea with, like, Riel instrument sounds so that I can hear it and make sure it works and that it's playable at all. Um and see, like how far I have to go to be able to perform it, um um I don't think there's, like, any thing wrong with, like, editing stuff together.

Yeah. Like like what's more important, like my ego from being able to say, like, Oh, yeah, I played that without editing it at all. And, like, maybe I did, but maybe it kind of socks, too. But like, I could just, like, stitch it together ten seconds at a time, have it sound way better and who I was listening to it later. They have a better experience with it. So basically, you kind of do both. But you don't think that has to be one way or Yeah, I strive really hard.

Um, it's like, get better all the time. Build my technical skills I try to do is few edits and spices as possible. Um, I tried to avoid pitch correction, Um, but at the end of the day, um like I've already gotten What I'm going to get out of the music. I've already gotten the catharsis, right? So there's this point where things shift from catharsis to craft. Right, Um and if you let the ideas from catharsis affect your craft too much, you're going to end up with, like, No, it was good of a product, Right?

So when I'm in the craft stage, I'm just thinking about, like, audience experience, and you'll hear people say all the time. I don't worry about what anybody else thinks. Uh, not really like. The audience is the whole point. Meet music is about connection. Um, so, like the first van it tricks record was like, the first record I've ever done. Um, with no pitch correction at all on my on my vocals, I was never like able to do that before, like, Ah, I'm a notoriously flat singer.

Um So like the first time I went to a studio, I was like, Oh, I want it. I don't want to use auto tune. That's not punk rock. Then I was like, I just I just wanted to sound good, right? Yeah. You know, because it's more about the composition, like from your perspective, like you compose your study conversation, whether you're whether you're composing something classical or jazz or whatever, right? If you're writing a rock too, and you're still composing in your mind, right?

And I'll worry about, like, performing everything one I have to perform on a stage, you know? Yeah. So I think, you know, just do what you gotta do. Yeah. Yeah. You know, you mentioned playing on stage A. Most of your work in the past decade has been geared towards recording and producing stuff that way. Is there a reason why you favor that? Over trying to go out and hustle and get gigs. And she liked that, um Well, part of it is just like like chronic anxiety, depression and stuff like that.

Um mental health stuff can kind of get in the way for sure. Um also like, I just I don't I don't know how to function as well, like a band setting, you know? And that goes all the way backto high school in junior high. Like I wasn't, um, allowed to go gm with my friends. I didn't learn how to do that. I don't know. I just don't have much experience like just showing out and being in a room with a few other people getting people together and going to talk to, you know, yeah, owners of bars or whatever.

Trying that's other social aspect of it is it has a has a price, um, that you don't want to pay. Well, it's it's not that it has a price. It's just like I don't have. I don't have certain social skills that, like a neuro typical person, has. Right, um It's not that I've never been like traditional bands or whatever. Um but I just don't get it. That makes sense. It's like, is it? If you're with the right group of people, if you were making music with the right group people, you would feel more obvious.

Oh, certainly. So it's maybe that you just haven't found the right group of people to do that. Those sorts of activities yet as opposed to it's more you could be more productive instead of working against that current to record on your own. Yeah, like the process I have is it's a lot of work, and it's really lonely. And I crave that, you know, really Organic Band's dynamic sometimes. But some something I'm always it's kind of at least passively aware of is it's like my own mortality and the fact that I just want to write and record and put out a CZ.

Much music is possible, Um, and that's more important to me than playing live. Um, that's more important to me than, like spending years trying to put together a band that's like, functional or whatever. Um. Like I know that I could make an album happen. Without, you know, like a real band. So that's what I do. I'm open to the idea of being in, like, a more traditional band. But no, No. Twenty nine now, and like I was in shades of eye for a few months, That was cool play.

It played on Ah, very their first dp, um, and that that was kind of the only real taste I've ever had of that kind of musical situation where we would all just show up and the guitar player would start playing a riff would be like, Okay, these air, the cords. What's the drummer doing? Locking with kick, you know, that kind of saying group composition? Um, it was cool, but it felt weird. I remember that that those pretty few months, because I think that was, like, five, four years ago or so or something like that.

But I have this vague memory of you playing in the bridge at the bridge. It might have been even during it, like an open mic or something, because Caleb and I used to always go to those things. Um, back in the day when? There, when the bridge existed. Um, I just wonder you holing up your pedal board up? They're like, Holy shit. This guy's got his his shit together, and ah, that must But that thing again, that must have been through tree.

Okay. Really? Yeah, I didn't I didn't have a pedal board that I used in shades of I know you did play out with ether tree sometimes. Yeah, they were like, five of you. You mentioned earlier? Yeah. Yeah, we had a full lineup and, like, you know, we had our standard live set that we would rehearse and all that. Were you the leader? Defacto leader of that group. Reluctant? Yeah, because it was your music and your songs and all that stuff.

Right? Right. But I was still, like, kind of cleaning to this idea of like me. If I find the right people who have enough of the same musical interest is me, the songs will just happen organically. And I won't have to be the one writing all the parts or whatever. Um Yeah, that it just never never happened that way. No, I think that's one thing that's really nice about it. The classical music scene is that the group's heir so formulated that and just so logistical and people are concentrating in and out between ensembles or you don't you don't have to worry about that like I gotta get a group together.

It's just like a The Coral Union is playing. I'm in the choir every week. I go practice with a bunch of other people when it's just right, get that feeling of being with a lot of musicians and playing music together. But you don't have to be like, you know, we're a family, We're goingto we have toe stick the south forever and you know, and and all the pressure and anxiety that comes with, like trying to start a band, is going to play live and try to get his biggest possible or whatever, right?

And also like in that same choir like nobody in the base section is going to be mad that they don't get to write their own part, right? You know they're not. They're not going to be mad that you know, somebody else wrote the music. They're performing. Um, it was very different. Mindset in the classical around there is in, like, the Rock realm. Right. Um it was like like, for venna tricks. Like, I'll tell people, like, Yeah, like I write all this music, and I'm looking for people to help me play it live.

We'll give you tabs and sheet music, whatever you need, and you'll have freedom to, like, put your own flavor on things. You put little ornaments on staff. And if you have a really good idea for something you think is better, just like, pitch it to me. Um, you know, like, I'm pretty, like, open Minded about that. But even then, you know people are late. Oh, I mean, I don't get to write my own riffs. Right there.

There's different. I don't know authority this, but do you see what I'm saying? Yeah. And was that an issue in the ether tree as well? Um, like, Because you want you want the feeling of avoid being in the's er tree like I would push people to write their own stuff? Um but they just didn't I don't know if they were scared or self conscious or thought they would step on my toes or something. Um But yeah, it just it just never, never quiet.

Like I was always trying to like. Mash together parts of these two different philosophies that didn't really work together makes sense. And in the back, your mind you're like, I'm your really insistent and dedicated to the idea that, you know, like what I do have to sound has reached a certain level. Um, of like when people generate ideas in the band, it's like, OK, yeah, yeah, go improvise. I needed a little part a solo on this record, Can you solo something on?

And I just want to be amazing and someone comes in there and they so long it's like it's bad or it's not good. It's not. What you had in mind just doesn't fit. Then you have to deal with that, sort of like telling them, Hey, I want you to play this instead or something like that. You When you want the feeling of being in a group, people with a group of people that when they play something, it just blows your mind.

That's exactly what I wanted it more. Yeah, there's got to be chemistry there. That's the chemistry out. That's the word on demand. The yeah inthe ether tree. Um, like I had a lot of chemistry with Taylor tend to have chemistry. Morris drummers, apparently. Um, so like when Sleeper came around, I had kind of given up on the full band idea. And like the band was kind of like dying generally anyway, like all through the last half of that whole three year writing process.

So we got to recording Sleeper, and it was me, ah, the drummer and the keyboard player, um, in the keyboard player played parts that I wrote drummer. He wrote his own parts on DH. Then I did everything else. Um, and I was just what I had to do to just make an album happen. Like I could have had this idea's crazy metal operas. I could've had that in my head for decades. And have it never happened if I had been to attach the idea of doing bands the way other people do?

Bands, quote unquote um, and now inventor tricks. I'm just like I'll entertain the notion of collaborating, but I don't stop and wait around for it to happen. Yeah, no, that that's well said. By the way, who was that? Who's the woman on the album on Sleeper that saying like a dream comes on down or something like that. It's right after that. Like tango, sort of somehow was on alto voice, but it's very clear soprano, very clear, crisp, like, kind of hipster rock.

Sort of voice. She sounds like she plays things that mega churches or something, I don't know, on a dream come undone. Yeah, um, like in the middle section. Yeah, right after you're like first two verses or whatever. Like it used to seem so beautiful. When you think about calling, was all the union you That was Rachel Mallon. Okay, how did you come across her in her singing? Um, I was at the time I was doing Ah, sort of like an internship saying with Will Reeves, that central seller, I'll just go there and help him out with little things.

And he would let me just kind of hang out and observe his sessions that he was doing. Um and one day I went over there and he was doing a mixed session with Rachel Mallon for one of her projects. And I had been, like, racking my mind. Like, who do I want to get to sing this? Ah, this character in this opera, um, like like I couldn't I knew lots of vocalists in the school of music, obviously, but I couldn't think of anybody.

Teo, like, I thought, would have time and, like, be really interested in it and also have, like, the voice for that character. Um, and like I heard one of her songs playing over the speakers and was like, Oh, that sounds like how I want that character to sound, and it just fit really well. And she came in Teo, my home studio. Ah, one day. Ah, and she was sick, and she just, like, laid it all down. No problem.

Um, most of her stuff that she did is like, improvised or at least like heavily deviated from what I wrote. Because, like she Clay, I don't think she read music at the time. I don't now. Exactly. Um, I just kind of letter mess around, and it worked out pretty well know? Yeah. I like the fuel voices on that. Her and Lindsay's like they're just two very distinct voices and ah, and in your voice is pretty. Just think, obviously.

And like on that particular song, I like how your voice like you seem like such beauty available. And like the first and second time, like by the third time that comes around for you. Like your voice is like, half screaming or whatever. And it's just like, Is that a lot of interesting colors? From the voices, I guess is what I'm trying to say. Thank you. Um, yeah. Ah, So let's see where time is. Wow. It's already been an hour and movements So do you got, like, eighteen more minutes left or so?

Yeah, pretty sure. Cool. So I asked probably a few more music questions and getting some deep questions that closed out. Okay. Um, so songs on your record on your records very often flow together. I personally really like that. But how much is ordering? Ah, the ordering of the songs and how they fall together, thought out before their recorded and how much is an afterthought? Like? I guess I'm just putting this order and make him overlap a little bit.

So. Like one. Like the first bands that I ever got, like really into the band that kind of got me interested in music at all was Pink Floyd. Um, like I like I had this little like, tape deck boom box thing. And I borrowed this cassette from my dad that had two. Pink Floyd album is on it. One side was animals. The other side was metal and ah. I listen to that tape obsessively for like, three months till my mom screamed at me to, like, pick a different tape to listen Tio, it was ridiculous.

So, like the the idea of like, creating an album is a like a whole cohesive work was, like, always really important me like I was just obsessed with it, like, ah, that's what I want to eventually be able to dio um and for a long time, that was really difficult because I didn't know enough theory. I don't know to put stuff together like that. And I was trying Teo, like, kind of, like do it in post, I guess, like write all the songs and then decide what ordered.

But the man and then, like in the studio, try to craft somewhere transition. Um, now, um, like I come, like I actually composed the album as a whole. Like mice. Like my finale files are the entire like thirty minutes album My Cuba's project file. Like like I'm demo ing the second Vanna Tricks album. Right now, it's always been like a thirty minute long project Find you shared with me the demo fort and it was like, literally thirty five minutes right eventually on the final product that will be cut up into eight Psalms.

Bye. Like it's just so much easier to just write Thie album as a whole big piece. You see it all in the same window. You can compose the transitions and not, I wonder, Is this actually going work? Well, I won't know until I sequenced the tracks in post. What does that mean? You also, like, makes all the tracks like it helps ensure mixing consistency. But like on the first song, I'm trying. Imagine how it looks in the dog, basically.

And if you use that guitar on the first song, do you record on the same track for the last song or the middle songs? Or so? OK, so they're all makes the same, like when I'm writing in demo ing. Yeah, I don't I don't worry too much about, like, different tones or whatever I let I let will be the mixer basically, these days, um so, like composition. Like some of it is architecture, like court progressions, counterpoint, maliti, rhythm.

But things like, ah, Dynamics and Tambor. That's more like interior design or decorating, right S o. Like when I'm in a big thirty minute long project file. I'm just thinking about architecture, right? Building the skeleton. And then then then everything else comes later. Does that make sense? Yeah, I'll have to try that sometime. Because that's totally bizarre to me, like or just the idea of having, like, multiple songs and one project file.

Yeah, I've never even given it a single consideration. Yeah, it's great. Um, And, you know, if you got burnt out on working on one song, you don't have to load up another file. You just scoot your cursor over. And what does it get? Messy with the time signature tracks, though? Oh, no. I mean, it can be a lot to deal with, but I especially like, what if you change the tempo of something and granite you have to deal with audio warping to are those sorts of issues.

But if some of your tracks or synthesized or you could just throw all the events like, Yeah, So like sometimes all demo out a psalm and then decide. I want this five or ten klicks faster and then, like, wow! I'm not even going to mess with that until later. I'm just going to know that when I, like read M o this, it's going to be faster. Okay, so you basically what you're saying is that you're got the kinks before you get into the final stage of of Nothing can change now.

Yeah, like I would be very, I don't know, like writing concept albums and trying to bring, like, classical counterpoint architecture and what I do like. It would be really cumbersome and tedious and all that, but I try really hard to just keep making my process more and more efficient. And this idea of creating the whole album within one project file like it's supposed to help with that. All the other technical challenges, you know, just take him as you come and do it.

You can. It's not for everyone but you. How would you describe the music that you make in terms of genre? Um like, how would you describe sleeper? How would you describe the first PhyMatrix album? So we always described thie ether tree as being experimental post medal and right now, the stuff that, um I make with Vienna tricks. Ah, calling it neoclassical. Post hard core neoclassic. Oh, post hardcore. So not post medal was the difference between metal and hard core.

Just in a nutshell to someone who doesn't know anything like me. Um, like his metal. More of a legacy term for that's such a hard question. Answers is simply, um, yeah, so, like you, Khun Trace Metal back Tio Like the mid sixties, it's like bands like cream and blue cheer. Right. That's that's. Ah, that's where a lot of people sort of started the timeline. Um and it was sort of an expansion and a progression of, like, rock and roll.

Um, punk, um, you know, started taking off like, ah, late seventies. And it was, in large part a rejection of, like, mainstream rock and roll. It was meant to be like a counter. It's this other stuff, like including metal, right? Um And like a big a big part of punk is like you shouldn't feel bad. Like if you can't play guitar like everyone deserves to be able to play music and to bill toe benefit from that experience, like I uh oh, wow, ads.

And so that's a really good question. This hard. I just don't know how to distill it. Okay, but they come from, like, two completely different like lineages of music and thought and philosophy. So hard core comes out of punk. Those What? Is that what you're saying? Yeah, Yeah, Um, so, like hard core is just, like, short for, like, hard core punk and, you know, is short for, like, emotional hard core, right?

So, like I get it now. Really, This is so frustrating. What's interesting? Because at the same time like it's frustrating. But you do, I think, make labels, I guess, like you could say, I've shifted Teo like thinking of what I do is being Mohr descended from punk and hardcore just because of, like My Intense is an artist. Um, metal, um, tens is to be more on the like. I guess Escapist side and then, like punk and Hardcore, is much more like realist, right?

I would have a hard time like writing metal music about mental health issues, but for some reason it feels easier. And if I'm like writing and more of a punk and hardcore style, um. Yeah. And like me and Taylor, we just wanted so bad to be metal. The ether tree wasn't really very metal at all. We just sort of like, identified with metal. So we felt like what we were doing must be metal. Yeah, um, but after the ether tree, like I got more in touch, I got back in touch with, like, my punk and hardcore side, um and started listening to, like, a lot more hard core then metal, like, just started resonating with me and and, like an even deeper way than it used to.

Yeah, yeah, it's a tough one, you know, that's interesting because we didn't even know. I don't know if anything I said made sense there. No, I did. I, uh it's funny because we didn't really talk about influences or specifics in like, When do you do you ever find um and I'm not going to ask you about, like, what you're listening to now, just because I'm more interested in a couple other questions with the time we have left, right?

But do you ever feel like as a person who went to that composing composition school? Um, that is at Mizzou, which is this fine art world, More or less that ninety eight percent of colleges in the United States are, You know, this is not like Berkeley. And maybe a few other schools are different. USC, they're different. But most other schools, their music departments are our music, you know, right? Yeah, they don't They don't embrace jazz like Berkeley does.

Right? Right, right. Yeah. But do you ever feel like as a composer and that sort of stress of the the art music and focus on originality that does that affect your ability to, like, listen to other people and love what they do? Or are how much of that bleeds through to your own music that you you even like the bleed through or do you sometimes feel guilty for the influence? In a way, I don't want no mascot this point.

But do I, like, have baggage attached to my classical education? Not necessarily. I'm not about the classical education, but if you go listen to, like, an album by one of your current favorite hard core artists. Um, are you going to come away from that listening, going, like, Okay, I got to get out now and make my own thing, Or are you going to be inspired from it? I guess is what I'm asking. Um, I guess I'm asking this because from my own experience of light going through this system, it's like I always kind of feel guilty about, um, liking other music in a way I don't I don't know if that makes sense.

Like how much I like that they Matthews band. I feel it bleeds too much into my own work or whatever, And I'm I'm supposed to be more original or whatever. Let's all just vocabulary so listening to other music, usually vocabulary, you enjoy the vocabulary. The musical vocabulary of Dave Matthews Band. Um, it helps you. To construct your compositions. There's nothing wrong with that whatsoever. Um, so, like, like you could pick out any one of my songs and I could go through, like, measure by measure and tell you this was influenced by these five bands, right?

And I know that, but, like originality isn't. Like. Like everything is derivative, right? When you hear something that really blows your mind, you think, Oh, my God, that's so original. Where did that come from? It's exit didn't go up to the mountain top and come down with whatever song. It's usually just like its synthesis of ideas. Right, um so I don't remember what the actual question, Wass, but I was basically just trying to see how much you feel or how you feel about listen to other people's music ideas and either, um, how influential is it to your own work in terms of Ah, I just I just being okay with, like, I don't know, for some reason, I struggle with that, like of like being inspired by the people stuff and like making putting in my own stuff like I do it anyways and it's like those little projects that we used to do in music school like friend would always right, keep on, keep on copying other people with great, you know, And I'm like, Oh, I I think I should feel guilty about that.

But I just totally ripped that off messy on those those riffs or whatever, you know, he's like No, no, no, look, even keep ripping off people. It's it's good and it's just some reason something inside me just struggled. You rip people off for a long time, you assimilate that vocabulary and then eventually you learn to do something new with it. So the vocabulary on specifically that one song. Since you said you'd go song by song, I'm just curious like a What's It called a dream and Done.

The song was definitely a dream come undone, Okay, A dream come undone There's like that it starts out with that court progression, and he's like B minor with a C sharp and then a G major with a A and then like a B flat chord with Anne on the top. It's just, like, awesome. Oh, that that intra bump Ah, uh, yeah, basically, and it's used throughout the song and it it's like the whole album comes into focus at that point, when it gets really big towards the end, like, I don't know, it just sounds like something from a giant epic movie to my ears.

And it's Do you ever get the sense that your film you're writing a film score or something like that in your music? So, like pretty much everything I do now is story driven? Um, and I don't think I would have ever been able to get the soundtrack influence out of my work anyway, um, so Yeah, I definitely do think in kind of cinematic terms when I compose, um I think about. I also think about like visual language and how composers like match visual language was how they underscore things.

Um, how plot is driven by what the music is doing. Yeah, I think about soundtrack music all the time. I just don't use it to score films. But I I use it to try to enhance storytelling. Do you ever think that the film you're scoring and innocence is your own life? Your own life story is it? Get that personal? I guess that every song he right is just like underscoring how you felt at that moment in time. This is it?

Um the official statement is that Vanna Tricks is a work of fiction, but, like, yeah, kind of for sure. Cool. I'm okay. We're almost that time. So I'm going to ask you two more questions, and I'm about to pick out which ones I got here. So I have these categories that I just come up as I write the questions and some of them I borrow from other people, but most of my road myself. But I have a category called heavy questions and possible closer, so I'll ask one from each.

Okay, um Yeah. Are we making that happen or watching it happen? Both. Okay. Good answer. And final question is. No. If your ruler of the world, what would you do on your first state? Oh, it's a terrifying idea. Um um I would do everything I could to make sure that everyone in the world was fad closed, sheltered, loved and safe. Yeah. Awesome. That's pretty noble. These you have. Ah. How would you get that done? I don't know.

Um just, uh I don't know. Like like what else? What do you want? The leader of the world to dio except make sure that everyone's needs were taken care of and that they felt like their life was worth living and they weren't. Like in danger. From, like, like harm from other human beings, you know? Well for me to feel that way. I need a wall built between here and Mexico. Just kidding. Just joking, Donovan. Thanks so much for joining me, man.

It's been great talking with you, man. Thank you. Thank you so much.