An Idea Of a Horse is sometimes staggeringly hard, and sometimes flowing and ambient-like. How did you manage to combine your influences to make something with such variety?
Too much coffee! That’s the secret behind all of the madness! Seriously though, I think it was half really concerted effort and half complete hair-brained chance and experimentation. Both Shannon and I draw inspiration and influence from more sources than we could even name, many of them in the realm of literature and various visual media, and we simply tried to create an amalgamate from all of the noise floating around in our informational spheres that accurately reflected where we were at those specific moments in which we created the songs. Does that even make any sense? It sounds a little hippie-tastic to me… It’s really hard to describe the sonic stew that “…Horse” came out of.
I suppose the most concise way to say it is that we are both really diverse, easily distracted, and paradoxically extremely focused. The dynamic of the record is simply an aural reflection of the two of us working together in every extreme.
How did An Idea of a Horse evolve over time?
It started out to simply be a cyber-grindcore project somewhere along the lines of Agoraphobic Nosebleed. However, since Shannon is really all over the place with his writing, and I just can’t resist conceptualizing everything to death, it turned into something which is obviously a lot more multi-faceted than that.
As far as our technical approach, we’d typically start out with a really basic drum and/or synth skeleton, and then remix it a million times, cutting it all to shreds and adding new elements each go ’round. It was a really labor-intensive way of writing?in fact, the thing took us something like a year and a half from conception to completion!
Your lyrics seem to tell some sort of stories; is there a connection between tracks across the album?
Most definitely. The whole album is written around the idea of progression or digression, and each song is a portrait of some manifestation of one of those two states of being. Some of them, such as “The Threshing Floor Blues” and “26 December” are obviously very personal, and others like “Short Arm” are more attempts at painting pictures of the way others approach their developmental processes.
How does your live band compare to the two of you?
Well, it doesn’t really, as there is no live band. I live in Brooklyn, New York; Shannon lives in the wild country bordering Springfield, Missouri.
Are you actually objectivists, or just fans of Rand?
That’s a really tough question. I’d say that fundamentally, yes, both of us are philosophically grounded in objectivism. I won’t speak absolutely for Shannon, but for myself I can certainly say that the only logical and scientific viewpoint that one can truly hold would dictate that there are, in fact, objective truths about everything, stemming from the world of science and mathematics. I’m not really going to go into a full-on treatise on objectivism, but suffice to say
that there are demonstrable absolutes in the physical world, and I believe that those translate into the philosophy that encompasses all of human interchange. What is good for people to do in their dealings with one another is certainly quantifiable based on the fundamental value of human life and the right to existence, and a person’s “rightness” can be measured by their adherence to or deviance from those absolutes. If you want more on the structured system of
objectivist thought, read “The Fountainhead.”
We are, after all, just a Rock & Roll band.
How do your philosophical leanings play into your music?
I guess the best answer to that is probably two-fold:
A). They certainly drive the both of us to produce music that is as well-constructed as we can possibly make it while simultaneously accurately reflecting our states of being and thought while writing it.
B). By using the lyrical and visual aspects of the records themselves as a means to put forth our viewpoints and create stories in which couch particular ideas that are pertinent to different aspects of the human experience.