A Future in Noise ♪♫♪: Interview With Calvin Markus (Dead Times) II


Previously interviewed here at A Future in Noise in October, 2009, Calvin Markus (from Dead Times) has kindly granted us the opportunity for another Q&A session! Their latest release I Love Myself and I Want to Live, currently available as an AFIN exclusive, is discussed within as well as Markus’ solo soundtrack album on Vulpiano Records Three Days of Sound…:

A Future in Noise: How have you and Dead Times changed since our last interview (music-wise and/or otherwise)?
Calvin Markus (Dead Times):  Not long after that interview, we went through an unseen inner collapse. Travis and I didn’t even talk about Dead Times for awhile. We did other things. This was most likely because a lot was promised to us that never happened. I think we felt like a lot of our efforts weren’t going anywhere. Dead Times has made no profit. We have only lost money throughout this project. The only form of payment we get is from people enjoying our music and telling us that they do. We are in a stage of rebuilding. We haven’t given up. We need to keep getting better. Continuity, progression, and honesty is what matters. We are making music for the sake of music.
AFIN: What is the main inspiration behind making I Love Myself and I Want to Live?
 CM: The inspiration came from wanting to turn a depression into something positive. I started drafting the framework for it in an art history class I was taking last semester. It’s all I could think about. I wanted to make an album that was uniquely enjoyable and life-affirming. I felt that Dead Times had covered a lot of dark, obscure, and moody territories with our previous releases and it was time to offer something new.  The idea was that the album would start out in the depths of despair and gradually climb up until it reached a pinnacle of joy. I consider the album a “how to” guide on handling an existential crisis. Creating meaning for yourself even when existence seems firmly rooted in meaninglessness. Taking responsibility for your life, finding your passions and becoming an individual. There are no religious or spiritual undertones to it. It’s elegant and concrete. The title of the album is a direct play on the Nirvana song “I Hate Myself And I Want To Die”.
AFIN: What was the recording process on the new album? Everything seems to sound very crisp and professional, while maintaining your unique sound.
CM: The crisp and professional sound is due to Robby Fronzo producing and engineering it.  We recorded most of the album at his home studio. We also recorded in the basement of a barn and a racquetball court.
AFIN: Your previous solo release was the soundtrack to Three Days of Sound – how did making this soundtrack come about?
 CM: Elliott Sellers, the creator of the film, used to play drums for Job For A Cowboy. Josh, the manager of my previous band was once the manager for JFAC. Josh introduced us once Elliott and I weren’t playing in our bands anymore. We jammed a couple times but never started any official projects. Elliott played drums on a Dead Times song called “Wet Static” that was released last year. Soon enough Elliott ended up moving to Hollywood to go to film school. He made “Three Days of Sound” and asked me to do the music for it. I feel really lucky about all of that. He’s one of the most motivated and creative people I’ve ever met.
AFIN: What was the experience of doing a film soundtrack like?
CM: It’s something I’ve always wanted to do and hope I get to do again in the future. This particular soundtrack was an intense experience. I was working 3-8 hours a day on it for about a month. It was stressful but awesome and worthwhile. Hopefully the film will be out later this year.
AFIN: Is there anything in particular you’re hoping listeners gain out of I Love Myself and I Want to Live in particular, and your music in general?
CM: I recommend listening to it alone, from start to finish on decent speakers. I hope they gain some kind of satisfaction from listening to it.
Calvin Markus – Official Site | on Last.fm 
Dead Times on MySpace Music | on Last.fm
Tumblr: Dead Times | Voidism

A Future in Noise ♪♫♪: Interview With Calvin Markus (Dead Times) II

A Future in Noise ♪♫♪: Interview with Calvin Markus from Dead Times


Calvin Markus, from Dead Times (a band which has been previously featured here, and one of my favorites of the 2000s – see also the reviews on Midnight Glass and Voidism, Vol. 1 + Graves House split cassette), took the time to answer some interview questions for A Future in Noise. I think that Dead Times is making some of the most cool and important music (as well asart works, literature, and film!) of any band around right now, independent and otherwise, so I would strongly put forth to the reader that this is a band to keep an eye and ear out for now and the future. On to the interview!:

A Future in Noise: When and how was Dead Times formed?
Calvin Markus (Dead Times): Dead Times was formed sometime in 2008. I was walking home from somewhere and Travis called me and asked if I wanted to start a project. We both came from radically different bands, genre wise. He played drums in an indie/folk band. I played guitar and sang in a metal/rock/punk/odd-time/I don’t know band. We started this project knowing we didn’t want it to be like anything we had done before, we really didn’t want to become “just another band” or even worse “just another local band”. So we became an on-going project, not necessarily a band. I’m hesitant to call us band because a band sounds so official, so relationship based, so planned and structured. We want to be free and loose, natural and comfortable.

AFIN: When did “voidism” become integrated into your work? What are the concept’s origins and principles?
CM: Well, the initial creation of Voidism came at the early stages of A Loose Portrait of Body, which was a book of experimental poetry, illustrations and music that we released ourselves. The book covered, very subjectively, the collapse of the ego, of form, of structure and the pervasion of emptiness. Writing it was one of those times where I felt incredibly connected to an obscure source of creativity, like I was tuning into some cosmic frequency. Voidism’s principles and origins, on the surface level, are something close to that. Tuning into that stillness and transferring it into art. Defining the movement concretely isn’t simple. A set definition would be to put Voidism in a cage, it would tie it down, there would be no room for growth. Outside of it’s philosophical atmosphere, Voidism is simply about bringing important artists and musicians together to try and create refreshing, intriguing and powerful work. Dead Times and Voidism are both important artistic outlets in my life, both projects flow throughout one another.

AFIN: How did the Voidism art and music compilation come about?
CM: A small group of individuals, including myself, established it in July. It was the first volume of hopefully many, many more.

AFIN: What’s the artistic and musical inspiration behind your upcoming Black Pine Circle EP?
CM: There was no particular or deliberate inspiration for these songs. They happened naturally. We write and record songs very fast. They fit together well. They’re best friends and deserved an EP.

AFIN: What are some of the biggest inspirations for the work of Dead Times, art-wise, literature-wise, and music-wise?
CM: That’s a good question. I think my biggest inspiration for anything artistic I do is the feeling that I should be doing all of these projects. By that I mean, if I don’t finish or actualize all of the ideas I have then my emotional welfare is severely threatened. Ideas are loud. They don’t sit quietly in obscure corners of my mind, they demand my attention. There’s definitely bands, musicians, filmmakers and so on that inspire what Dead Times does but they aren’t the sole reason for our endeavors. I have a really specific taste for art forms and to try and capture these aesthetics, to create things that I believe in and truly like is definitely inspiring. I read a quote in high school on a tacky poster hanging in some classroom that read something along the lines of “write the book you’ve always wanted to read”. I now realize that I have subconsciously (or consciously) integrated that attitude into all of my creativity.

AFIN: Any contemporary 2000s artists’/musicians’ work that you admire?
CM: Absolutely. To name a few: Black Eyes, Daughters, Past Lives, and Justin Timberlake.

AFIN: Where do you see Dead Times headed in the future?
CM: In reality, I have no idea where we’ll be in the future because I never thought we’d even get to the level we’re at now. Doors are always opening. Opportunities are always arising. These doors ceaselessly opening and closing can get a bit obnoxious, can lead you to feel like you’re merely wandering around with no direction. Dead Times isn’t just another door in this seemingly endless metaphorical hallway. Dead Times is a hole torn through the roof. You have to learn how to hold hands with disappointment, turn loss into gain, find success through failure, and work with what you have at the best of your potential. This is musical enlightenment. The future is bright as long as you hold the light.
Look out for the new Dead Times release Black Pine Circle EP on October 30th on Matte Black Editions!
Dead Times on MySpace Music | on Last.fm (lots of free downloadables – check out “Mirrors in Reverse” and “Wet Static / Elliot Sellers”)
Tumblr: Dead Times | Voidism

A Future in Noise ♪♫♪: Interview with Calvin Markus from Dead Times

VULPIANO RECORDS, Worthy Eardrum Party – Lost Property (VULP-0010)

Another fine Vulpiano Records release, VULP-0010 is Worthy Eardrum Party’s Lost Property, a compilation of home recordings. Comprised of past/present Henry’s Phonograph members, Worthy Eardrum Party combines a dose of nostalgia, recalling classic 60s melodic harmony (“Power Shift”) and garage themes (“Watching the Spiral”), with a penchant for sound exploration and crafting memorable, summery tunes. Upon initially hearing Lost Property, I was entirely blown away as to why there weren’t thousands of listeners for WEP on Last.fm and elsewhere – get listening now and help spread the word!

Download here on Internet Archive: https://archive.org/details/WorthyEardrumParty-LostProperty2010

Mirror on Mediafire: http://www.mediafire.com/?y2iyymmtzqn

Worthy Eardrum Party: Last.fm | MySpace

Recommended Tracks: “Power Shift” and “I Will Say Goodbye”

Source: VULPIANO RECORDS, Another fine Vulpiano Records release, VULP-0010…

VULPIANO RECORDS, Derek Piotr – Alias Splinters Routine (VULP-0008)

VULP-0008 is the latest Vulpiano Records release, Derek Piotr’s Alias Splinters Routine. In Derek’s own words…: “my ALIAS project is completed. for over a year i’ve toiled,crafting nine tracks,eight of them short and a longer final piece which incorporated my close friends and I uttering my definition for the word ALIAS: “an alias, that which is an alternate title for a person or object. another name that denotes a new purpose for a familiar thing. this new title may be the result of decisions or pressures either internal or external, and typically affects the associations or properties of that person or object at least somewhat dramatically. this new title can be a symbol of change or can simply occur because the old name has been issued to a replacement object.” I (Marilyn Roxie) even appear in the personnel, reading the definition for “alias” on the 9th track! Derek Piotr is easily one of the most uncompromising artists on Vulpiano thus far, blending field recordings and an array of sound collages, making Alias for a challenging, unique listening experience. Also recorded work under Pi.o.tr – see also related project Derseem (with Carahanni).

Download here on Internet Archive: https://archive.org/details/DerekPiotr-AliasSplintersRoutine2010

Mirror on Mediafire: http://www.mediafire.com/?bnjtdngyk0n

Derek Piotr: Last.fm | Blog

Recommended Tracks: “Endless New” and “Alias”

Source: VULPIANO RECORDS, VULP-0008 is the latest Vulpiano Records release,…

VULPIANO RECORDS, Sampler EP Vol. 1 (VULP-0011)

VULP-0011 is an EP sampler compilation to allow those unfamiliar with the label or who haven’t yet to hear the best of the most recent releases! You can read more about Vulpiano Records and our artists’ endeavors in our press release.

Download here on Internet Archive: https://archive.org/details/VariousArtists-VulpianoRecordsSamplerEpVol.12010

Mirror on Mediafire: http://www.mediafire.com/?ydzqjjmtdlm


1. Le Fils des Trois Mousquetaires – “invisible”

2. Zapa – “Amar En Silencio”

3. Calvin Markus – “Dilated Nothingness”

4. Anton Rothschild – “The Completist”

5. Ian France – “High Places”

6. Worthy Eardrum Party – “Girl I Can’t Forget”

7. Tiny Tide – “The Smiths & The Cure (#9 Version)”

8. Vito Genovese – “Trip Down Stairs”

9. Derek Piotr – “Precurs”

10. Ava Zandieh – “Calendula”

– See more at: http://vulpianorecords.com/post/397850046#sthash.BZBqbnwb.dpuf

Source: VULPIANO RECORDS, VULP-0011 is an EP sampler compilation to allow…

VULPIANO RECORDS, Ava Zandieh – Patterns and Drones (VULP-0009)

Vulpiano Records release VULP-0009, Ava Zandieh – Patterns and Drones. Ava (rackandruin on Tumblr) came across Vulpiano Records through me posting about it (as neonsigh). She introduced me to the project which she recorded for International Album Making Month in October of 2009. Patterns and Drones is the final version of that album, with some of the original songs included, some reworked, and brand new ones added in. Patterns and Drones is primarily piano-based and made ethereal through Ava’s soulful, yet light and airy vocals. Peaceful, yet introspective and somber, this album is one of our loveliest releases yet, and one that bears repeated listening.

Download it here on Internet Archivehttps://archive.org/details/AvaZandieh-PatternsAndDrones2010

Mirror on Mediafirehttp://www.mediafire.com/?ljwlzknwjoh

Ava Zandieh: INAMM

Recommended Tracks: “Calendula” and “Any Moment Now”

Source: VULPIANO RECORDS, Vulpiano Records release VULP-0009, Ava Zandieh -…

VULPIANO RECORDS, Anton Rothschild – Year of the Kitten (VULP-0007)

Vulpiano Records release VULP-0007, Anton Rothschild’s The Year of the Kitten. An expert blend of poppy and electronic elements with a dash of melancholy from the start in title track “The Year of the Kitten”, Anton’s newest release is one of his best and certainly an EP I am proud to have part of the catalog here. Anton, also affiliated with the consistently excellent Dainty Records (including release The Diffident, a top independent artist release of 2009 at A Future in Noise) is a master of the melancholy, as his Last.fm bio states: “the bleak heart of his music is nestled delicately within a blanket of cathartic, almost uplifting compositions”. “Eurostentialism” and “The Completist” are truly danceable, while “A Town Beside the Sea” turns the mood more somber and introspective and “Mouser” closes out The Year of the Kitten with a glimmer of hope and calm. My favorite EP of 2010 thus far!

Download here on Internet Archivehttps://archive.org/details/AntonRothschild-TheYearOfTheKitten2010

Mirror on Mediafire: http://www.mediafire.com/?mmgkumazm22

Anton Rothschild: Last.fm | MySpace Music

Recommended Tracks: “The Year of the Kitten” and “Eurostentialism”


1. The Year of the Kitten

2. Eurostentialism

3. The Completist

4. A Town Beside the Sea

5. Mouser

Source: VULPIANO RECORDS, Vulpiano Records release VULP-0007, Anton…