Torch bearers

There seem to be two fundamental tendencies in music today: On the one hand, a move towards complete virtualisation, where tracks and albums are merely released as digital files. And, on the other, an even closer union between music, artwork, packaging and physical presentation. Where do you stand between these poles?

I support both and see no reason why they can't exist harmoniously, though I am not a big fan of people experiencing new music for the first time digitally behind the cold death grips of a computer screen. I'd much rather have people experience the almost holy process of un-wrapping a record, taking a drive or laying on a couch and getting lost in sound. Digital files take away from that ritual and create their own process of accessing that is much less warm and relaxing in my opinion.
The role of an artist is always subject to change. What's your view on the (e.g. political/social/creative) tasks of artists today and how do you try to meet these goals in your work?

Artists carry an important torch that has been burning for thousands of years - throughout political and social upheavals, throughout climate shifts, through all of human experience. They are the true stewards of truth and beauty and put forth as much effort into what they do as any other profession. I am always reminding myself that, as a musician, I have a straight up obligation to be true to myself as a human being, and to constantly do my best to connect with people on a level that I feel is critical to myself and to them. I do this by trying to be patient with the way life is developing and to surround myself with people of similar inclinations.
Music-sharing sites and -blogs as well as a flood of releases in general are presenting both listeners and artists with challenging questions. What's your view on the value of music today? In what way does the abundance of music change our perception of it?

Good music is good music and is valued subjectively as such by the listener, regardless of how hot and heavy it's being pumped out there. It can create a bottleneck, like the abundance of anything else, but if anything I think it encourages people to dig deeper and sift through the mess to find something that truly challenges and connects with them. It encourages people to play detective more and investigate what's being thrown at them with greater diligence.
How, would you say, could non-mainstream forms of music reach wider audiences?

I'm not sure. All good underground forms of music have their own 'scene' with their own passionate devotees who do what they can to spread the word and expose bands they appreciate. With social media becoming more and more central to everything in life - for better or for worse - the possibilities are endless in terms of how creative people can get to reach wider amounts of people.
Usually, it is considered that it is the job of the artist to win over an audience. But listening is also an active, rather than just a passive process. How do you see the role of the listener in the musical communication process?

The listener is of paramount importance and should be treated with respect by the artist. Not necessarily catered to unequivocally beyond all expectations, but certainly acknowledged more than a lot of self-indulgent experimental artists sometimes tend to. This doesn't mean the listener is always 'correct' when it comes to analysing someone else's piece of work, but they should be acknowledged as an active, important participant in the process of creating, recording and performing music.

Reaching audiences usually involves reaching out to the press and possibly working with a PR company. What's your perspective on the promo system? In which way do music journalism and PR companies  change the way music is perceived by the public?

Everyone involved in pushing a record has their own set of unique duties and skill sets to bring to the table. A PR company definitely knows how to push something a lot better than I, as just a guitarist / songwriter, would when it comes to press and exposure. Personally I just sort of let them do their thing as it isn't my obligation / skill set. They obviously play a huge role in forming a public perception of a record and I'm cool with that aspect of what they do. In a way, it's also a creative endeavour that they undertake and I find that exciting.

Please recommend two artists to our readers which you feel deserve their attention.


You can read and hear more about Caspian at caspianmusic.net

Previous page:
Digging in the rubble  
2 / 2