Chain D.L.K.: When you listen to experimental noise, whatever you want to call it, does it impact you the same way conventional music hits its listeners?
Hollydrift: Hard to say, I guess. Music does have a profound effect on me whether it’sconventional or experimental. I mean, sound affects me all the time. Ifind almost all sound musical in some way. Not so much in rhythm andmelody but in an emotional or historical way. Let’s face it, when someonelistens to the Dave Matthews Band their minds aren’t being transported tointeresting places. However, experimental music can transport your mindanywhere simply due to the girth of the sound palette used. So, I end upwith the same conclusion I always come to: experimental music does have agreater impact. Most people are just too conventionally trained to notice.
Chain D.L.K.: Do you find that there are messages to be discovered in experimental music? Often wordless, styles? If so, are they specific or broad? Give me anexample.
Hollydrift: I think it really has to do with the listener. Messages, emotions, anything you get from music has to start with an imagination. If you don’thave one you’re pretty much screwed. It’s all there if you have the brainsto hear it. Arcane specifics and broad generalizations are bothrepresented in experimental music in parallel with natural sound. Wordlessstyles are acquired taste because they don’t lead you by the hand andspell every last little thing out for you. They give you a chance to think, be confused and then draw your own conclusions. This, of course, is quitealien to the average music consumer. He hears Hollydrift and immediatelybecomes disoriented. He wonders where the drums are, the singing, the hook…But I don’t think I can give you a proper example. Like I said, it’s all about the imagination capabilities of the listener. If you don’thave any, go buy Outkast, you’ll be happy.
Chain D.L.K.: Do you think ambient noise and other fringe noise-music genres are awave of the future and are destined to enjoy more mainstream recognitionor will such styles remain in the underground? If so, is the undergroundwhere they belong, not in a negative sense but simply in the sense thatthey are esoteric and appreciated by more rare, thoughtful people?
Hollydrift: Yeah, I think there does need to be a special kind of audio reserved forthe disenfranchised of our day. That is to say, there does need to be someway to escape the dung pool of modern popular music. Wave of the future? Ihave no idea. Yeah, maybe. It does seem like the world has lost the desireto even attempt anything new and unique. Rehash, redo, rerecord must besome sort of mantra chanted everyday by the big music and moviecorporations (what are there, two? ) and I think that pisses off morepeople than they realize. There is nowhere else conventional music can gobut back. We just don’t have the brain power to be unique anymore in thatarea. Then there’s the cool factor. Everyone is so concerned with fittingin and being cool. So yeah, I think maybe it’s possible for the dog ofexperimental music to have it’s day.
Chain D.L.K.: Do you get a lot of blank stares from people exposed to your music?
Hollydrift: Yes. My music isn’t violent, ugly, or cool and that’s why many people justdon’t get it. Those three things are so desired in entertainment that whenpeople hear music that doesn’t include ANY of them, they become lost. Inaddition, the type of music I do sometimes requires explaination. Iunderstand this. People hear experimental music for the first time andimmediately they have questions. If you’re lucky, they’re good questionsthat indicate a desire to learn rather than reject. I have had manyexcellent conversations with people who start out with a simple question, like: “What made you do this? ” or “What is that? “. It’s sort of likeeveryone wanders around in their own bubble afraid to not know or beunsure. For whatever reason, ego or fear, a lot of people are afraid ofthe unknown and would rather reject than learn. Even in music. I thinkthat’s sad, really.
Chain D.L.K.: Is the overall sound and progressive arc of any given Hollydrift songplanned in advance or do you make it up as you go along (hence, experimental)?
Hollydrift: Nothing I do in the studio is planned in advance. I gather groups ofsounds that I think may have a relationship and I bring them together tosee if I’m right. I usually am. This is where the experimental part comesin. Now that the sounds have a relationship, what do I do with them? Toreach a conclusion from that point takes weeks, months even. I remain opento what the sounds want me to do. I am, to a degree, simply a laborer tothe sounds. They think, I operate. However, the self rejection rate of mywork is in the stratosphere. I don’t seem to ever get anything done…
Chain D.L.K.: If you were offered a million bucks to leave behind experimentalstyles and embrace conventional music, would you?
Chain D.L.K.: What is it about music like yours that speaks to those of us who enjoysuch fringe audio?
Hollydrift: That’s a good question. It’s one that’s hard for me to answer because Ican’t hear my music the way you or someone else would. I think the generalappeal is the non-abrasive nature of my work. I like to think that itspeaks to the gentler side of human character. And, again, I have noticedthat most Hollydrift fans are thinkers of thoughts not altogether groundedin reality. Those who would be deemed weird or strange tend to likeHollydrift. That’s cool because I’m both weird and strange and a whole lotof other crap, too. So, dude, I’m with you.
Chain D.L.K.: I find Hollydrift to be as lulling and relaxing or meditative as morestraightforward ambient/new age styles. Do you hear others say thatoften?
Hollydrift: Yes, I do. Like I’ve said, there is a large contemplative element in mywork, almost spiritual. True, Hollydrift is not overtly calming, if thereis such a thing, but my music does give rewards at lower volume settingsand with passive listening. I’ve had many comments from people who listenwhile they fall asleep and it adds a whole new listening dimension. Youdon’t necessarily need to listen to Hollydrift with headphones andunswerving concentration. Hollydrift can be truly ambient. It’s up to you.
Chain D.L.K.: Do you have Hollydrift groupies?
Hollydrift: Umm, currently there is what would be termed a stalker…But, maybe Ilike that.
Chain D.L.K.: Ok, how about just a good, solid cult fave fan base?
Hollydrift: Yeah, there’s a fan base. I love them all.
Chain D.L.K.: What’s the coolest thing anybody’s ever said about your work?
Hollydrift: “… More whoosh and swoosh from Hollydrift”. That’s kind of cool; whoosh and swoosh…Call me a dork but I think those two wordscapture Hollydrift pretty well.
Chain D.L.K.: Is this kind of audio stylings “music”?
Hollydrift: Sure. I truly dislike the idea that music must be in measured form. Itdoesn’t make a whole lot of sense when you consider how large our brainsare. Why lock yourself down to saying only musical instruments can achievea desired result. But yeah, the general population does like to be spoonfed by the mass media. However, movie music is looked upon as different. To the average Joe ANYTHING in a movie is music…Because if it’s notin a movie it’s nothing. Right? Right???It would be neat to maybe find adefault name for this kind of style. Then it wouldn’t be so threatening.
Chain D.L.K.: What makes the creation of such music so artisticly satisfying foryou?
Hollydrift: Because when I’m in the studio, I’m in another world. Because, fundamentally, I despise the world I live in outside the studio. Hence, I’m forever seeking escape. This causes difficulty in my attempts toemerge. That’s okay, though. While creating my music, I’m able to descendinto my mind and into the past. I find interesting what I encounterthere. Again and again I find post industrial America standing dominant inmy subconsceince as well as a whole bunch of trauma from my childhood. Life as a loser/loner is not pretty. Things stick to you. Sounds, visions, terrors are a way of life. I mean, when I was about 10, furniture spoke tome. You remember those things…
Chain D.L.K.: Name your favorite experimental artists?
Hollydrift: I don’t actually listen to experimental music. My taste in music is ratherconventional, I’m afraid. I dig bands like Curve, The Fall and My BloodyValentine…I listen to classical, too. The closest I ever came tolistening to anything experimental was in ’87 when I, like the rest of theplanet, bought Negativland’s ‘Escape From Noise’.
Chain D.L.K.: Have you ever considered exploring the harsher side of experimental?
Hollydrift: I sort of let the sounds dictate where we go. I would imagine if I was abit more of a hard-ass, I might get into the harsher stuff. But being thatI’m made of marshmallow and my head is in the clouds most of the time, I’ll probably stick with the quieter stuff. Harsh is someone else’s job…
Chain D.L.K.: Any last words for fans, listeners, etc?
Hollydrift: Well, I hope they’re not my last. Umm, ya know…Buy a Hollydrift CD. I think you’ll probably get into it.
Visit Hollydrift on the web at:
[interviewed by Kristopher Upjohn] [proofreading by Marc Urselli]