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Interview: Five Questions For Eyeliner

Interview: Five Questions For Eyeliner

Chris Cudby / Thursday 19th July, 2018 2:00PM

Wellington vaporwave artist Eyeliner has announced a coloured vinyl reissue of his acclaimed third studio album Buy Now, set to drop via local independent music champions A Low Hum in August. Initially conceived as a coffee-loving side project for studio wizard Luke Rowell (aka party-starting digital pop producer Disasteradio) while he was recovering from a knee injury, Eyeliner swiftly took a life of its own, capturing the hearts and minds of listeners across the globe. The success of his insta-classic 2015 collection Buy Now (first released by US avant-pop facilitators Beer On The Rug) led to the artist bringing his live experience to such fancy venues as the Philadelphia Institute for Contemporary Art. To celebrate the launch, Eyeliner will be wending his way through the US for a series of shows in August and September. We had to know more, luckily for all Rowell was up for a quick electronic chat with Chris Cudby, direct from his mountainous capital city headquarters...

1. How does it feel to revisit Buy Now?

Oh man, honestly listening again to Buy Now doing the remaster for the vinyl was pretty weird, the parts that I thought were really complicated were actually really simple and the parts that I thought were really simple were quite complex. It was really weird with 'Windchimes' because that was kinda riffing on the vibe of the music from My Neighbour Totoro, like a really chill Japanese vibe with open inverted 7th chords and stuff. I only watched it once then wrote 'Windchimes' years later, but caught the movie again and I realised I kinda channeled it really well after only hearing it once.

2. What does vaporwave mean to you in 2018?

Vaporwave in 2K18 seems to be a haven for young people exploring the origins of their world as-they-see-it and I think that is pretty cool. There's a mythologising of the past that young people have always done (me included) and I find that process so fascinating. There's been a lot more up-and-coming MIDI vaporwave which always has a place close to my heart. Satin Sheets' St Francis and Bakhman's Downstream Integration have been great!!

3. The Eyeliner live experience is second to none - what kind of showbiz tricks and tips do you bring to the stage?

I have begun to think about Eyeliner live as me "conducting my computer" and kinda channeling the memory of writing the song into my body (plus goofs and gags). I ordered a conducting baton on AliExpress this week. I like the idea that the style of music implies a lack of handwork, that there are no manual gestures in it, and channeling this lack of obvious craft live is real FUN.

4. What will 2018 bring for Eyeliner?

I wrote an ambient record for Eyeliner that I recently realised I only liked a few parts of it. The next one is going to be called Keep Calm & Carry On, but in the case of the ambient tunes it was all "Keep Calm" but not enough "Carry On"... so it seems this new one is a little bit ambient, but also there is some really hyper boogie stuff, a bit of 2-step and a bit of a return to the uplifting drivier tunes that were in LARP Of Luxury. I had a pal remark that Buy Now was really filmic and vibey, but not as uplifting as LARP Of Luxury, and that kinda stuck with me. So after this vinyl release I'll get onto finishing up this new one. Spoiler: lots of deep feelings in this one! It might be the emo album.

5. What is your opinion on the state of our current NZ music awards? Do you feel as an electronic artist you're left out in the cold?

I never really felt engaged with the music industry here and I don't see how that could change, but in terms of music awards I'm always up for a free feed!!

Bonus question: Does Eyeliner have a message for your fans?

Bless you all and stay COLD CHILLIN'... more new tunes pretty soon.

The coloured vinyl reissue of Eyeliner's 'Buy Now' is available on Friday 24th August via A Low Hum.


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