An interview with Boy in Static

Do you have a favorite track on Newborn?

Each song does something different for me. There’s something about “Warm Blooded” that I can’t quite describe. When I finished that song, it seemed to live and breathe on its own. Something bigger than the individual words and sounds I put in. It is also one of the strongest songs live.

“Newborn” feels the most exciting sonically. A lot of very ordinary instruments (strummed acoustic guitar, viola) came together to form a new mass of sound. To me it sounds both warm and terrifying at the same time.

What was the most important part of the recording process to you?

The most important part for me actually happens just before I start recording the song. I write songs in a very ordinary way, with just a guitar or piano. But then I walk around with the song as just pure chords and melody in my head for a long time until I think I have the

right sound and arrangement in my head. Weeks, months, or even longer. Then there’s almost always a moment when I know what I want that song to sound like. And it often changes the song completely.

For example, “Broke” was a slow, quiet piano piece that I wrote years ago. One day, I sang the melody in my head over a Sonic Youth song, and it felt right for me.

What inspired you to start making music?

Strangely, I never really thought about it. My parents signed me up for piano lessons as a kid, and I guess I just never stopped playing.

Is the name “Boy In Static” symoblic?

I came up with the name before I recorded any songs. So I didn’t have “a sound” or anything yet. The name just seemed to fit. My friends all said it fit me perfectly, but no one could quite describe why. I like that it could be the name of a painting or something.

Do you have plans for any future recordings?

I’ve already started recording songs for the second album. We performed two of the new songs throughout the 13 & God Europe tour. They’re more confrontational and raw than the first album. If the first album was born inside of a dream state, this one will feel like waking up from that dream.

I also hope to release a vinyl-only 12″ that will have a couple Newborn b-sides, and a couple remixes. Alias from Anticon has already finished a really stunning remix.

What was it like to tour with Notwist?

Touring Europe with 13 & God (The Notwist and Themselves) was amazing. They’re all unbelievably nice people, and 13 & God performs one of the best live shows I’ve ever seen. The whole touring experience is brand new to me, to be falling asleep on a tour bus in

one city, and waking up in another. Very surreal.

The entire tour was really inspiring. We perform as a full live band (no backing tracks). We try to let the live sound be its own creature, instead of duplicating sounds from the record. The entire album was made in a very lonely way, by myself in my apartment. So performing for so many strangers in person was really beautiful. Very immediate, raw, and real.

We also performed a cover of Bjork’s “Unravel,” a song that I’ve been living with for a long time. It’s really cathartic to be able to sing that one on a stage.

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