ARTIST INTERVIEW: TAYLOR MCCLURE

by will milne

Sara Button

Photo by Holly Therrell. 

Photo by Holly Therrell. 

If you have been to Rubber Gloves in the last three years, you’ve probably seen the black and white mural that was designed by Denton transplant, Taylor McClure. He has also worked with local artist Mick Burson on other large scale pieces throughout town. Dude gets around. McClure has collaborated with Pan Ector, worked as an artist in a guild of creative-types in New York, and is currently splitting his time between the big apple and Denton. We pinned him down and bugged him with a few pesky questions about important things such as tacos and T-shirts. Read on for more...




WDDI: How long have you been an active artist?

 

McClure: Well, I've been actively drawing every day that I can remember. I definitely drafted more at 4 than I do now, because of adulthood and all. I really can't think of a period in life where drawing wasn't an important part of the day. As a "career" artist, I've been getting paid for work since I was still studying printmaking at UNT. Printmaking made my work accessible to everyone because I could make them from scratch, and sell them affordably. I could also trade work with other people, which is mutually beneficial. Printmaking is the the core of my professional career as an artist in one form or another. It informs all aspects of my work, even when there is nothing being printed. 


 

Wait a minute... we would recognize that face anywhere. You used to live in Denton & work for Pan Ector, right? Tell us about your affiliation with Pan Ector.

 

Haha there are actually lots of bearded white males that look like me. It's like spotting a wookiee or something. I lived in Denton for about 5 years while I was attending UNT. In the summer of 2009, we (later known as Pan Ector) acquired our first t-shirt press, and everything else required to print shirts and other textiles. So while learning the process of printmaking at the university, I was learning the business of printmaking at home. It was like I was double majoring or interning. We continued to collaborate as a business collective until I decided to relocate to Charlotte, North Carolina in 2012. Since moving away, I've continued to function as a satellite illustrator for them. 

What made you leave Denton?

I left Denton, or my home of North Texas rather, to jump into the deep end of the real world. I felt hungry for risk. I wanted to fully submerge into a situation where I had to step up and push myself to a higher level of being. I know this all sounds vague and quasi-spiritual, but it's what I really needed. I felt as though my options were to either take a risk or play it safe. I was all done with my schooling, and at a pivotal point where something had to shift, so I shifted to the East Coast to see what was up. I made it work for about 2 years, and met lots of special people that have helped to shape my world view for the better. I came back to Texas to reconnect with my framily and family as an improved version of myself. 

I left Denton, or my home of North Texas rather, to jump into the deep end of the real world.

We heard through the grapevine that you have a new gig that takes you to New York part time. What's the deal with that? 

That seed was planted back in 2009 when Drive By Press visited UNT as visiting artists. That is essentially what I'm doing now. Drive By Press is based out of Brooklyn, and has been touring the country for nearly 10 years, waving the banner for printmaking. I did a few initial gigs with them before moving away from Texas. Joseph Velasquez, cofounder of DBP, was living in Texas at the time, so I would help assist him when he needed me. Once I got to Charlotte, I was freelancing for myself for about a year before I got in touch with Greg Nanney, the other cofounder based in NYC. From that point on, I've been linking up with Greg to tour academia or work up in New York for event printing. My job description is rather multifaceted. 

What is your preferred medium?

Any and all ink. Don't mess with the press. Ink is the link. I'm only halfway joking. My preferred medium is collage, but not what you might have in mind. With printmaking, I have an excess of hand-printed material. I discovered this problem while still in school. That's when I realized that cutting all of these prints up and seasoning them with paint and additional printing was really really fun. Printmaking is such a calculated, nearly scientific process. To be able to throw all that out the window and create new compositions with scissors and knives is raw. I learn more about my work from taking it apart and reassembling it than any other process. I might pull a screen print and shrug at it, but that same print has the potential to be re-contextualized and given a much more interesting life beyond its birth from the press. 

 

What artists inspire you? 

Motivated people inspire me, I don't really care what their work looks like. Of course I have a list of contemporary artists that make work I admire, but at the end of the day, the people you surround yourself with are the ones that will inspire you to push forward. I'm not talking about competition, I'm talking about generating an energy and thriving off it. It's uncommon and precious. I experienced it at it's greatest while still in school and collaborating with Pan Ector, because I was constantly surrounded by people busting their asses. When you're in that kind of environment, you are naturally lifted to that level of energy, or it's not for you. If you stick around to put in the work, you will be repaid with inspiration and fulfillment. 

 

Street tacos or Banh Mi?

I'm sure it would be pretty simple to make a savory fusion of the two. I don't know how good it would taste, but most likely delicious. If I had to choose between the two, I would choose the street tacos, but only if they were arepas. (Editor's Note: arepas are delicious. Dude knows what's up. What about cachapas, though?)

If we wanted to purchase a piece of your artwork, what is the best route for that?

I should have set up an online store years ago. I've basically been selling most of my work directly to people I know, which is unfair for the online community. I plan to have a fully operational online store by October. As for now, if you're interested in any sort of work from my hands, feel free to drop me a line at mr.tarantuga@gmail.com and I'll get right back to you. Also visit my portfolio at tarantuga.carbonmade.com

 

 

 

SOFAR SOUNDS: DOUG BURR / GOLLAY / NITE

by Alyssa Stevenson

Words by Danielle Longueville, Images by Shaina Sheaff

This past Sunday afternoon, Sofar Sounds DFW, a live music discovery group, invited us out for a little backyard show in one of the Denton's most beautiful backyards. Sofar alwasys features three young acts from around the metroplex. Yesterday's event featured performances by Nite, Doug Burr, and Gollay. Read on for the full scoop on how SofarSounds gets down. 

In 2009, Sofar Sounds launched a venture dedicated to showcasing the talents of up-and-coming musicians from specific areas. They looked to provide an intimate setting for a handful of audience members and then share samples of audio and video from the performances for all the world to see. In 2011, Sofar made its way to DFW. Sunday's performance marked the second show for Denton and we couldn’t be more impressed by the large turnout of Dallasites and Fort Worthians in our neck of the woods.

Nite

Nite

Denton-natives Kyle and Myles Mendes of Nite (they’re twins, by the way. Check out their twitter handle.) kicked off the night with a toned-down version of their typical set. They still managed to impress their highly-attentive audience despite the fact that it was...daytime. With dueling Korgs and a collection of 80’s-centric percussion samples, Nite laid out a rather eccentric set that reminded us of a well-mixed blend of M83 and Neon Indian with some Tears for Fears thrown in for good measure. Their haunting lyrics were carried by a somewhat ominous, tone came as a pleasant surprise.

The familiar, talented face of Doug Burr kept the wheels a rollin’ along with an emotionally delicate and heartfelt set that showed off a few tracks from his upcoming album to be released in January. We fell especially in love with Doug’s song “Country Girls in City Dresses,” which paints a sensational image of a man’s adoration of an unknown girl on a train, whose demure personifies the phrase “you can take the girl out the country, but not the country out of the girl.”

Fort Worth indie rock group, Gollay, closed out the afternoon with a quaint, harmonious set. Frontlady and serial performer Rachel Gollay was an absolute treat. With a voice likened to Laura Marling and songs of love, hope, and the idea of being a receptionist, we loved everything about her performance. Her fellow bandmates Taylor Tasch and Russell Jack did an excellent job of accompanying Gollay’s lead vocals with some serious falsetto harmonies. 

We were genuinely impressed with the integrity of artists, welcoming crowd, and even the awesome backyard we were in. Be on the lookout for more Sofar shows in the Denton area starting in January. For more information on how to get involved or to sign up for the waiting list – yes, we said waiting list – for future shows, visit SoFarSounds.com. We look forward to hitting up the next show!


WHAT WE DID: SEPTEMBER 29th

by will milne

We try to keep things light and fluffy here at We Denton Do It. After-all, there are plenty of local news outlets for you to peruse, but we just wanted to take a quick moment and extend our thoughts to those affected by the tragic NCTC softball crash this weekend. Our hearts are with you. 

What We Did is our weekly roundup of photos that you all (and us) have taken over the past seven days. This week we see images from Dog Days of Denton, The Baptist Generals anniversary show, and much more. 

If you'd like to be included in What We Did, tag your images with #WDDI on Instagram and check back here next Monday. Click the images below to be led back to the photographer's Instagram page. Have a great week!

Tooth-testing at Dog Days of Denton

Tooth-testing at Dog Days of Denton

Pig on a leash. 

Pig on a leash. 

Hannah Gamble went to Paschall Bar for the first time. 

Hannah Gamble went to Paschall Bar for the first time. 

The Baptist Generals celebrated their 15th anniversary at Dan's Silverleaf on Saturday. 

The Baptist Generals celebrated their 15th anniversary at Dan's Silverleaf on Saturday. 

In "band years" they're 90. 

In "band years" they're 90. 

@jasmyne_rose and art. 

@jasmyne_rose and art. 

Impromptu house shows are the best house shows. Photo by @ThePaigels. 

Impromptu house shows are the best house shows. Photo by @ThePaigels. 

Y'all ever use that little spoon? 

Y'all ever use that little spoon? 

"The Girls of Cafe Brazil Denton"

"The Girls of Cafe Brazil Denton"

Photo by @BeastManCaravan. 

Photo by @BeastManCaravan. 

Brian Daskam agrees with us that the inside of the courthouse is just as beautiful as the outside. 

Brian Daskam agrees with us that the inside of the courthouse is just as beautiful as the outside. 

Matthew Long, beveraging it up at Paschall Bar. 

Matthew Long, beveraging it up at Paschall Bar. 

DOG DAYS OF DENTON

The Dog Days of Denton was this Saturday and was basically awesome. There were tons of dogs and dog activities including dog singing, agility classes, duck herding, and much more. You could even get a glamor (sorry..."glamfur") shot of your dog taken. 

The Greenbelt held it's Green Fest this weekend. 

The Greenbelt held it's Green Fest this weekend. 

Armadillo Ale Works is taking over Kroger. Thank god there's no pumpkin flavor yet. 

Armadillo Ale Works is taking over Kroger. Thank god there's no pumpkin flavor yet. 

Sofar sounds held a Denton showcase this weekend. We'll have more on that soon. 

Sofar sounds held a Denton showcase this weekend. We'll have more on that soon. 

More Greenbelt. 

More Greenbelt. 

No taco today, but here's a bike. Maybe @SundayPrintShop rode it to go get a taco after he took this? 

No taco today, but here's a bike. Maybe @SundayPrintShop rode it to go get a taco after he took this? 

OAKTOPIA FOLLOW UP

by will milne

Are we the only ones who are unable to have another human being put a band around our wrist without it getting stuck on our skin/arm-hair? What do y'all do? Should we just shaved our arms before festivals? Oh well. 

Oaktopia round 2 was this past weekend. A mostly younger crowd came out in droves ready to see a set of mostly-local bands play throughout most Denton festivals. There were a few hiccups (Neon Indian's DJ set got moved to Saturday) as there are with any large festival, but there was also a heck of a lot of fun. We had a bunch of coverage of the event last week (did you check out our interview with Will Wiesenfeld of Baths yet?). Yesterday, the Observer posted a much-contested review of the festival which even brought along a response post from another blog (#BlogFight). Internet drama can be fun to read through. Especially when it involves local music. That said, we had a good time at the festival this weekend and are looking forward to Oaktopia round 3 (and hoping to hear an announcement that it will happen sometime soon).

Below are a few photos of the event from Will Milne, Danielle Longueville, and a bunch of #WDDI's from y'all. If you're still jonesin' for more pics at the end, then click on over to the Observer here to see some pics from our buddy Ed Steele.  


The Knocking at J and J's. Photo by Will Milne. 

The Knocking at J and J's. Photo by Will Milne

Bone Doggie and the Hickory St. Hellraisers on the courthouse lawn. Photo by Will Milne. 

Bone Doggie and the Hickory St. Hellraisers on the courthouse lawn. Photo by Will Milne

Neon Indian DJ set Saturday night. 

Neon Indian DJ set Saturday night. 

Will Wiesenfeld of Baths Saturday on the Main Stage. 

Will Wiesenfeld of Baths Saturday on the Main Stage. 

Taking a break by @ThePaigels. 

Taking a break by @ThePaigels. 

That pesky drone by @ThePaigels. 

That pesky drone by @ThePaigels. 

All sorts of people were doing all sorts of stuff up on the courthouse lawn and around Oaktopia. 

All sorts of people were doing all sorts of stuff up on the courthouse lawn and around Oaktopia. 

Brave Combo on the courthouse lawn. 

Brave Combo on the courthouse lawn. 

Baths sums up how we felt about this year of Oaktopia. Photo by Will Milne. 

Baths sums up how we felt about this year of Oaktopia. Photo by Will Milne

INTERVIEW: BRETT REES

by will milne

Interview by Sara Button

Photo by Shaina Sheaff.

Photo by Shaina Sheaff.

Brett Rees is a Master Print Maker. Seriously, though. He recently completed this graduate degree at the University of Wisconsin in Madison. Rees and his wife have recently replanted their roots back in the rich, Denton soil after living in the Midwest for the last four years. We talk to him about his artistic process, creating for musicians, and what brought him back to Denton (spoiler: it was mostly the spicy foods) in the interview below. 


WDDI: What inspired you to become a professional artist?


BR: Unrelenting compulsion to draw + need to make money = professional artist.  I'm not sure how to explain it other than that.  I think if you are truly dedicated to something, you find a way to make it work for you.  Also, I am lucky to have the support of some great, inspirational people.    

 

What brought you back to Denton? 

I wasn't born and raised in Denton, but it feels more like home than anywhere else.  I went to undergrad at UNT and fell in love with the town. It took me getting out of here for a while for me to realize that. After graduating undergrad, I worked in Dallas for a while doing digital photography and printmaking. I really liked my job but hated the commute and didn't see myself doing it forever.  

One of my goals in life is to become a teacher...specifically to teach visual arts at the university level. I want to inspire kids, or I guess young adults, the same way I was inspired by my professors. So, we (my now wife and I) packed up and headed north to Wisconsin where I attended the visual arts graduate program at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Four years and two degrees later, we're back in Denton.  

Turns out, finding a job teaching visual arts at a university is pretty difficult for people right out of graduate school...who'd a thought?  Add the relentless winters and missing family and friends to the equation and you got some bummed out dudes ready to get back to Texas. With our families closer, we are settling back into a familiar place that has a great arts community. My portfolio has gotten much larger and stronger and I am working a commercial art day job and bangin' out as much personal work as I can on the nights and weekends. I will keep grindin' and honing my portfolio for the next round of teaching applications.  It would be a dream come true to land a job at UNT.

 

You've done some artwork for national touring bands in the past, what were some of your favorite pieces?

Yeah, I'm trying to get into that more.  It's convenient that all of my studying in school was centered around printmaking in visual arts.  It kind of lends itself directly to doing poster designs and stuff for bands.  

I have a good Denton story about the first time I got to do work with a nationally touring band, Murder by Death...which also happens to be my hands-down favorite band for the past ten years or so. MBD was playing a show at Rubber Gloves and I had a show going on at La Meme Gallery (which used to be connected to Rubber Gloves). The gallery was closed by the time those dudes got into town. However, they needed somewhere to store their equipment before the show so they ended up stashing their gear in the gallery. Anyway, the show was great (as usual). I had a few drinks enjoying the show (as usual) and happened to let slip to Bryan Denny, who booked the show, that those guys were my favorite band... so much so that I had a piece in the show next door that was directly inspired by one of their songs.  

Now this is a little bit of a hazy recollection, like I said; I was drinking, but next thing I know Bryan tells me that MBD wants to talk with me. We met in the gallery and talked for a bit about their music and my art.  It was pretty awesome. By the end of the conversation, Adam Turla tells me to keep in touch and to send him over some mockups for posters etc.  About a month later, I had a a few pieces to send them.  One ended up being the album art to a 7" Split that they did with Sam Lowry. Another became a t-shirt design for them.  I was pretty pumped when they sent me a bunch of the records with my artwork on the front of them!

Since then, I've had a few other opportunities to work with MBD and it's been a great experience.  Those guys (and girl) are really awesome and very supportive of the arts and young artists.  Hopefully you'll see some more work that I've done for them soon.  

Also, they still have some posters for sale with my design for their winter 2013 tour up on their website.  You can grab one here.

I've also had the chance to do some poster designs for Why? that I'm pretty proud of.  For those two, I hand printed the edition for each poster.  Took a lot of time, but they turned out great.  

What inspires you to create on a daily basis?

That's tough question. I'd say everything. I use art as a filter for my understanding of the world. Nothing is off limits and everything plays a part. I'd say the other very important part of the equation is the discipline to work at it every day...and I mean every day. The repetition of working daily helps me to stay in the zone and come up with new material. When I get home from work, I go directly to work on my own stuff.

Don't get me wrong, I still find time to enjoy myself and hang out with my family and friends, but if I miss a couple of days or so from working on art, I get a really antsy feeling; like I'm a failure or that I'm not trying hard enough.  

It's just a lot of self discipline, sacrifice, and dedication. Like anything else worth doing.

 

Heavy metal or heavy on the hot sauce? 

Both.  Maybe even at the same time.  I will say, the food is one of things that I've missed most about Texas. Spice is nice.

 

What are your artistic plans now that you are back in Denton?

I'm just going to keep making work, applying for teaching positions, and trying to get into some galleries around here. The Dallas gallery scene has gotten better since I've been gone so I'll be trying to sneak in there somewhere. That's the life of just about any artist my age.  

I do want to do more album and poster designs.  There's much more opportunity with local bands around here. Also, I have some looming goals to do some sort of a book of illustrations and some animations. I've done small projects for both in the past but I want to do longer, more in-depth stuff. I really want to do an animated music video type-thing. That would be a great notch on my belt. It just takes so much time so it's hard to do on spec; if it doesn't work out, I will have waisted a lot of time that I could have been doing something else.

 

What is your preferred medium?

That's a good question.  I'm all over the place.  

My area of study in school has always been printmaking, but that covers so much right there. As far as printmaking goes, I'm terrible at stone lithography, okay at etching, pretty good at relief, and can slam serigraphy. What I consider my area of focus within printmaking is how digital technologies have changed the process. While at UW, I got to play around with 3D printers, cnc machines, and had access to some great print facilities that integrated digital printing technologies into traditional print studios.  

One of the hardest things about being an artist with a focus in printmaking is that once you are out of school, you don't have access to the majority of tools that you need to make prints! That's why I was, and still am, not very good at stone lithography: it's not very practical and pretty much impossible to do outside of a school or a professional print studio. 

Anyway, computers are what I'm into for the most part. Even for some painting and drawing stuff, I will digitize sketches and play with compositions in Photoshop before I commit to doing the painting. It helps too that the professional jobs that I have had are all centered around computers and art in some form or fashion. Like I said earlier, I was a digital printing and photography technician for a while in Dallas. That got my Photoshop chops up to a million. I did a bunch of web design stuff while I was in grad school and now do graphic and web design as well as video editing and still photography...and now am in digital publishing. 

At the core though, I still draw and paint nearly everyday. I usually have at least one painting going at all times and draw constantly.  As far as painting goes, watercolor is my main jam. For some reason, I understand it really well. How the paint will lay down and how I can manipulate it to do what I want. Painting with acrylics is ok for me. More of a means to an end.  I don't enjoy the process as much. I've dabbled in oils too but it's just not where I think to go normally. 

 

Where is the best place to go to view or purchase your artwork? 

My website works the best for both. I have a pretty good selection of my work from the past 5 years on there. Just updated it too. I have a Society6 account for some weird stuff; I haven't had the chance to do much there but I'm going to try and do more design oriented stuff for that account.  

The easiest way to purchase work would be directly through me via email, and we can talk about what you want.  I do a lot of commissioned work so if you don't see something you like, I can always put my spin on an idea of yours.

Get at me!

 

 

 

 

WHAT WE DID: SEPTEMBER 22ND

by will milne

Every weekend is a good weekend when there are dueling festivals in town. Either that, or every weekend is awful when there are dueling festivals in town. Really kinda depends on your outlook. Seems like most of y'all fall into the former category, though. It was hard to throw a rock and not hit a bassist upside the head this weekend. Stop throwing rocks at musicians on the square, by the way. Oaktopia and the Denton Blues Fest did it up big and there's more to come. Check out the images below to see fun from the past seven days of life in Denton, TX, click through to go to the photographer's Instagram page, and tag your images with #WDDI for possible inclusion in next Monday's What We Did. 

We'll have more on Oaktopia later today!

Bone Doggie and the Hickory St. Hellraisers on the courthouse lawn Friday night. 

Bone Doggie and the Hickory St. Hellraisers on the courthouse lawn Friday night. 

Beautiful square at dusk shots from @vallonsonore. 

Beautiful square at dusk shots from @vallonsonore. 

Some things are prettier without your glasses/contacts. @vallonsonore

Some things are prettier without your glasses/contacts. @vallonsonore

Trippy Tuesday night bike ride by @andresmenudo. 

Trippy Tuesday night bike ride by @andresmenudo. 

Finding the prettiest part of Denton. 

Finding the prettiest part of Denton. 

Good win again, Mean Green. 

Good win again, Mean Green. 

You haven't eaten pizza until you've accidentally had a piece of greasy, hot cheese fall off of a slice and burn your thigh. It somehow makes it taste better. 

You haven't eaten pizza until you've accidentally had a piece of greasy, hot cheese fall off of a slice and burn your thigh. It somehow makes it taste better. 

Cultivar Coffee starts 'em off real young, y'all. 

Cultivar Coffee starts 'em off real young, y'all. 

Hoochie's is lookin' pretty at night. 

Hoochie's is lookin' pretty at night. 

@MelissaLaree has a thing for film. We don't blame her. Pick some up for yourselves at Denton Camera Exchange. 

@MelissaLaree has a thing for film. We don't blame her. Pick some up for yourselves at Denton Camera Exchange. 

The Denton Blues Festival got a little rowdy. 

The Denton Blues Festival got a little rowdy. 

Ian Harber attempting to win some free ice cream. Good effort, sir. 

Ian Harber attempting to win some free ice cream. Good effort, sir. 

Hypnotic Donuts gets in on the #WDDI action. 

Hypnotic Donuts gets in on the #WDDI action. 

Donut pics are still going on strong. 

Donut pics are still going on strong. 

People taking pictures in the background of pictures means your photo will automatically get included in What We Did. 

People taking pictures in the background of pictures means your photo will automatically get included in What We Did. 

The "Jim" chicken biscuit at Hypnotic has fried chicken on a toasted donut with some sriracha. We've been clamoring for one of these for a while, but someone doesn't think it will taste as good as it sounds. 

The "Jim" chicken biscuit at Hypnotic has fried chicken on a toasted donut with some sriracha. We've been clamoring for one of these for a while, but someone doesn't think it will taste as good as it sounds. 

Cultivar is good 2 go. 

Cultivar is good 2 go. 

Patio weather came and went. Come back please, 70 degrees. 

Patio weather came and went. Come back please, 70 degrees. 

United Holland Mattress will soon be moving out to the antique mall by Rose Costumes. 

United Holland Mattress will soon be moving out to the antique mall by Rose Costumes. 

Beautiful Denton exploration pic by @wildflowerartstudio. 

Beautiful Denton exploration pic by @wildflowerartstudio. 

INTERVIEW: BATHS

by will milne

Interview by Will Milne

We're pretty excited about Oaktopia year 2 which starts tomorrow (Friday). One of the reasons that got us so pumped was that Will Wiesenfeld would be bringing his Baths project to Denton this Saturday on Oaktopia's "Main Stage" at 5:30pm on Saturday. We've been enjoying Wiesenfeld's work for many years and are excited to see him play in Denton. We spoke with him on the phone last weekend and asked a few questions about graphic novels, Tarzan, and annoyed him by asking if he preferred showers to baths. 


Hey Will! Settle an argument for us. Would you define your own music as erotic or maybe even “sexy" or not at all? 

Ehhhhh. It depends on the song. There’s a different lyrical context to every one. It’s a very contextual thing. There are very asexual songs that I’ve written that aren’t about it [sex] at all, and then some are just steeped in it. Maybe if you had a specific song in mind...

 

Howsabout "Apologetic Shoulderblades" from Cerulean

Ahhhh.... "Apologetic Shoulderblades" is actually about Hugh Jackman in a roundabout, dumb way. So, that one definitely was. So, yeah. I haven’t touched that song in like five years, though. Hahaha. 
 

What’s the best found sound you’ve recorded that you’ve been unable to incorporate into a song so far?

Recently, it was a lot of these stone samples that my brother and I went and recorded. A lot of which that went into the song “Incompatible.” That was like two years ago and collecting the rock sounds was really fun. We actually put it together into a rhythm that was really cool.
 

We loved your piece on the podcast, Song Exploder, in which you broke down your song "Miasma Sky" (listen in the video below). Why did you choose that song?

I think every song could have it’s own little story. We chose it at the time because it was one we were trying to advertise because my new record had just came out and it made sense at the time. The podcast is run by a close friend of mine,  Hrishikesh Hirway, and he sort of asked us which one we wanted to do. I think it made the most sense at the time.
 

We read that you’re super into graphic novels. What’s the best one you’ve read this year?

That I’ve read this year?  Fun Home by Alison Bechdel. it’s a super super dark one. My friend Maré Odomo recommended it to me. He is one of my favorite artists and also knows his shit when it comes to graphic novels and comics and all that. When I was in Seattle recently, I just went on a shopping binge with him and his girlfriend. They recommended a bunch of comics to me so I came home with like six or seven and that was my favorite of the ones that I’ve read so far.

His stuff is amazing. You can check him out at @mareodomo.


Do you actually prefer baths to showers? 

Uhhhhhhh. I don’t know. It depends. There’s times when it just makes sense to have a bath and other times when it makes sense to have a shower.
 

You don’t feel more pressure or awkwardness of taking a “Bath,” having your artistic being “Baths?”

No, of course not. Not at all.


How important is having an energetic live show you?

It’s extremely important and it’s something that a lot of electronic musicians care a little less about or at it’s not part of their M.O. For me it’s really important because if you’re going to a show and to just play the track, that’s a different vibe for meI  don’t go to clubs - I’m not a club person. I don’t go just to see a DJ play. I just completely don’t care about that. It’s much more fun to put money down and see a performance. In my own head, with my own stuff, that’s what it was - trying to put on a show. It exists like that for me, but I totally get it, some people do that. And some of my favorite shows were my favorite just because I love the music even if the show wasn’t that good.
 

Is there anything you do specifically to make your live show interesting?

It took me and my bandmate like six months to figure out. We had to spend a really long time what we wanted to do with the live show and what made sense. One of the easiest translations was doing vocals. It immediately brings a really human connection to everything. In between songs I’m speaking to the audience and that keeps everything grounded. Beyond that, there’s a lot of physicality. We’re using a lot of electronic stuff on stage, but when we’re physically using it and you can hear the change in the music and make it sense with what you’re seeing visually that works out. We try to keep it fun for us and also not sort of overdo it, and make it gimmicky with how we were doing it. It’s a tough thing. We also don’t it figured out, but it’s worked for us for the last couple years.

 

What are you listening to right now?

I’m listening to a lot of Sophie. I have a lot of love for club type music. "Bip" is my favorite one right now and the first track in the Boiler Room Session that she did recently.

I’m listening to a lot of the Cocteau Twins a lot and the Tarzan Soundtrack. We were talking about it recently and I just had to buy it.
 

The Brendan Frasier one?

No no no no no. The animated Disney one.
 

The one with the yell? The Tarzan yell?

I think so. I don’t know. I just know it’s all Phil Collins’ stuff with original songs that he wrote for the movie. Most of it reads like actual pop songs instead of a film score so it's fun.
 

What’s on the horizon for ya?

There’s a song that’s premiering in a couple weeks that I’m doing for a one off EP with a friend so I have one song coming out sometime soon and I’m working on the score for a cartoon called Being Puppy Cat, but all at the same time I’m starting to work on my next record - that’s my main focus, but it’s gonna be a while before there’s any news on that. I haven’t started recording yet.

The cartoon song, though, it’s gonna be on Youtube for Cartoon Hangover. The show is called Being Puppy Cat and it’ll be turned into a series and the first episode will be premiering in November.
 

Thanks for talking with us, Will! See ya at Oaktopia!

See ya next weekend!

 

Innovation Greenhouse Music Hackathon HAPPENED

by Alyssa Stevenson


Words by Danielle Longueville; Pictures by Zep Owell

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This past weekend, UNT hosted what they called a music hackathon. A “Hackathon” is a 24-hour event dedicated developing creative and innovative ideas to solving a problem or that would benefit a predetermined theme. The event is dedicated to changing the way people perceive music through composition, production, promotion, or even how people listen to music itself. The goal is to take this short amount of time given and come up with something people may not have thought of creating on their own.

UNT's Innovation Greenhouse, the organization which created the Hackathon, is actually pretty damned cool. It's a co-working space for students' innovation activities.  It collaborates and leverages with existing university resources while building new partnerships with the North Texas region businesses, startups, not-for-profit organizations, and governmental agencies. It fosters a lot of new ideas and encourages collaboration and co-working. 

The Innovation Greenhouse UNT are what we call “Hackaholics.” They love attending Hackathons of all kinds, so much that they decided to host their own. They've done everything from Big Data to Health and Wellness to Food to Renewable Energy Hackathons. Because of Denton’s traditional reputation for having a thriving music and arts culture, UNT believed that the Denton community deserved the opportunity to show off their fine-tuned talents at a Music Hackathon. This year, they wanted to kick it up a notch and try to involve the community as much as possible, and there’s been a lot of positive feedback and desire to be involved. For instance, this past weekend, they partnered with the American Heart Association Heartwalk 5k by providing local bands to play for their runners as a result of their interest in supporting our Music Hackathon.

Co-founder of Prekindle.com, Dave Howard, kicked off the weekend as keynote speaker, and we also heard from three other speakers from various niches within the music industry. People such as Tim Harman from the Ghost Note, Dustin Blocker Co-Owner of Hand Drawn Records, and Christy Crytzer-Pierce, who is UNT Adjunct Faculty and long-time PR Wizard all spoke at the Hackathon.

But this event wasn't just for coders and tech people. From musicians to developers, to people who are just music enthusiasts with creative imaginations - everyone was welcomed, and the result was pretty dang cool. This was a great chance for our community to network and learn about one another’s aspirations on a cultural level.

We're already super stoked about the next Hackathon which we don't even know any info about yet! We'll be sure to pass it on to you, though, as soon as we do. 

Keep in touch with UNT's Innovation Greenhouse to find out about future Hackathons. Info can be found at www.untmusichackathon.com or on their Facebook page