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Interview
Bleachboys

Bleachboys

Interviewed by
Thomas Lambert
date
Thursday 14th February, 2013 10:16AM

Bleachboys is the musical alias of the tape-wielding sound artist Maya-Victoria Kjellstrand of the United Kingdom.  Also a member of Melbourne's 'Hex on the Beach', she is in New Zealand this coming week playing shows with expat-Wellingtonian and fellow Sonorous Circle member Matt Faisandier,  aka The Convoy. We caught up with her over email to discuss her path to noise music, her process of creation and women in music...

Where are you from?

I was born in London, but I lived on the south coast of the UK in Brighton for a long time. I now live in Melbourne and have been here for 3 years.

What are some of your general interests?

I'm really interested in History, especially in secret history and folk lore. Oh and cats I love.

What are some of the highlights of your musical endeavours?

Writing the music for the UK Institute of Contemporary Arts 60th birthday where I played with 30 of my favourite artists/ musicians / people was a very special event.

'Noise' music is somewhat of an esoteric affair. What led you to its pearly gates?

I moved to Brighton in my late teens, which is a town that holds a joyous amount of braintanglers and noisists. I became friends with and later joined (for some years) the Polly Shang Kuan band (http://www.myspace.com/thepollyshangkuanband). They primed my mind with weirdo sounds, and I was glad of it.

What is your process for sound creation? Please describe your current live performance setup and why you chose said elements for sound creation/manipulation.

My equipment list includes some nice old tape players, a reverb and/or delay unit, occasionally tremelo...sometimes contact mic. The focus is really on the tapes and old tape players. They are organic team mates, their sounds change with age and weather. I make tape loops, use lots of found sound and create sound collages which I might structure a performance around.

What informs your musical decisions? What do you wish to conjure or communicate? From what state of mind do you create?

I often have a theme, or a story I'm thinking about. From that I create the elements I feel invoke that vibration or narrative.

You have a piece called 'Chthonic Worship', bands called 'Hex on the Beach' & 'Macroprosopus Dancehall Band'... pagan themes, witchcraft & magic abound... How do you see your music in relation to these ideas?

I think a lot about makers, who create in balance with the universe. This is a theme that has been dominant in my mindframe, even before I started to make music. All art I create is in keeping with these thought patterns.

You have played in several large ensembles in the past - Leopard Leg (10+members?) and Macroprosopus Dancehall Band (30 members?!), for example. How does your approach to music differ between solo and group performances?

I really enjoy creating large scale pieces, I'm not very precious about how I "want things to sound", more about how they grow and the different energies that are created when many people come together to form sonic architectures. I have played a lot more solo in the last few years, mostly due to moving across the globe and leaving many of my musical collaborators behind. Solo is easier to load in...

It seems you have put together a few all-women groups - is this a conscious choice or is it just how it works out? And if so, is there a particular feminine vibe or dynamic that you prefer?

It's been a conscious decision and a need/want I've had to increase the presence of women within the music scenes that I've been part of. I am attracted to people who have never played an instrument before and many of the groups I have created have had a core of 'non-musicians'.

Coming from the UK, and now living in Melbourne, how do you find the 'underground' music scenes compare? London is home to such handy sources as 'The Wire' magazine, the 'ICA' and 'Upset the Rhythm'. What was your experience with these institutions and have you found any equivalents in Australia?

In the UK I was very lucky to be supported by all of the above. Melbourne's music scene is a lot smaller and a lot more globally insular. In saying that Melbourne does have a very strong DIY scene with lots of inspiring projects operating (eg. Sabbatical ( http://www.sbbtcl.com/, KIPL http://kiplprojects.blogspot.com.au/)

Please recommend us some of your favourite bands, musicians, artists, books, movies, anythings...!

In Melbourne I really like watching Dead Boomers, Oranj Punjabi, Sean Baxter, Spasmoslop and Dick Threats.

--------------------

BLEACHBOYS and THE CONVOY in NZ:

Saturday 16th Feb, Wine Cellar, Auckland (free show)
Thursday 21st Feb, Puppies, Wellington (with Sky Burial)

links
sonorouscircle.com/bleachboys
sonorouscircle.com/theconvoy
hexonthebeach.bandcamp.com
see more

related gigs
Thu 21st Feb
Puppies, Wellington


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