Independent Clauses | n. —unusual words about underappreciated music

Electronic Conversation about-Robot Music

September 1, 2007

saocover2sao1sao2Electronic Conversation about Robot Music

When I heard about minimalist/down-tempo electronic artist Matthew Curtis’ (aka Second Act Overture) plans to release an EP named Robot Music, I was excited. Not only because the diverse electronic soundscapes that SAO creates are excellent, but because the theme of robots fits his sound so very perfectly. From cold, slow-moving pieces to glitching, beat-happy songs, the theme just seems to fit. Even more exciting, the EP will be free and available online (with a host of other material) at secondactoverture.com. I caught up with Matt online, as should be expected for an interview about Robot Music, and talked with him a while.

IndieC: So Robot Music is coming out – what’s going to be on it?

IndieC: I know there’s some remixes and such

saoverture: Well it’s going to be three original tracks. “Abiogenesis”, “Yes? I’m Synthetic!”, and “Broadcasts”. Then I’m also letting people know about a remix done by Lucy Daystarr of “Broadcasts”. The other two remixes I’m keeping secrets until the release.

IndieC: so it’s another EP? Was it designed with an EP in mind?

saoverture: Yeah. And this one isn’t even the last one planned before I focus on a full-length. Haha.

IndieC: Do you like putting out EPs more than albums, or is that just the way it played out?

saoverture: Well I feel like with EPs I have a lot more freedom to move around and to change styles. I can focus on one theme, release it, and move to another concept. Each EP so far and set for release have a central theme which is a lot harder to accomplish with a full length album.

IndieC: what’s the theme on this one?

IndieC: just the general idea of robots, or is there a central musical theme like on Ode to Strings?

saoverture: It’s actually a concept EP (if there is such a thing) about a specific event in my life. It’s been a major focus point in my mind for some time and I felt it was time to have closure. What better way than to release it as a collection of songs?

IndieC: that’s awesome.

IndieC: I love concept albums….I think they’re a really unique listening experience

saoverture: Me too. I think it can express ideas a lot better than individual songs with individual agendas.

IndieC: Do you think that you’ll do a full concept album when you get to focusing on a full-length?

saoverture: Probably to some degree. It should be a lot easier to, since I plan to focus more on the lyrical aspect of music when I start the writing process for a full-length.

IndieC: You’re going to add vocals to your music?

saoverture: I already have a few songs with vocals, they just haven’t gone through the full post-production process yet.

IndieC: So are you doing a lot of promotion for Robot Music?

saoverture: I haven’t left my computer in days it feels like. New music video, new website, remixes, podcasts, etc. Oh, and I have a video game being produced as we speak, haha. I got to see a few graphics and it looks mighty fun.

IndieC: Video game?

saoverture: Yeap, featuring the Robot Music robot and a few Second Act Overture songs.

saoverture: You can never over-promote.

saoverture: I take that back.

IndieC: what do you think has been overpromoted?

saoverture: I refuse to see any movies being promoted by Myspace.

saoverture: But Myspace gets on my nerves in general.

IndieC: that’s a bold statement for an artist who spends a lot of time promoting online

IndieC: I agree, generally; but still

saoverture: Yeah, it’s a necessary tool, and the problem is they (the owners) know that.

IndieC: what do you think about virb?

saoverture: I doubt they’ll have much success, but I’m still rooting for them. Out of all the sites for music promotion, I vote Purevolume.

IndieC: even though they cater to artists more than fans?

saoverture: Especially since they cater to artists. Music shouldn’t be how many friends you have, it should be about creating art and finding like-minded people. If you could do that with social networking sites, that’d be great, but all you get with those are spammers and bands with 33000 “fans,” 98% of whom have never even heard of the band.

IndieC: So that’s the goal of all this promotion: to find like-minded people?

saoverture: Personally, my goal is to find three or four people who are inspired by my music. I want to make music that people, even if it’s just a few people, find moving.

IndieC: So how ‘big’ do you envision SAO getting, in your wildest dreams?

IndieC: If you’re more concerned with real interactions and affectation instead of numbers

saoverture: I’d like to be big enough to have a proper tour. Then I’d go around to every city with fans of my music and we’d get trashed and party (in that order).

IndieC: it doesn’t get much more DIY than that

saoverture: Haha. I’m really happy with where I am now. I would like to tour, and I would like to meet like minded people. That’s it. Good Charlotte can keep the fame and money.

saoverture: Oh and I want to meet Chris Corner.

IndieC: Who’s Chris Corner?

saoverture: Singer for the Sneaker Pimps for their second and third albums. Also he has a side project called IAMX. Above all others, he’s my musical role-model.

IndieC: That’s really cool.

IndieC: How has he influenced your sound?

saoverture: The Sneaker Pimps are what got me into down-tempo/trip-hop music. Also their devotion to an ever-changing musical style has influenced my decisions as a musician.

IndieC: Very cool.

IndieC: so you said you’re happy with where you’re at as a musician – you don’t have any big aspirations of having this as your primary career?

saoverture: I wouldn’t want to be a musician for a living. I do however enjoy making a living around music. My dream career would be owning a venue or a label, but not being a musician.

IndieC: Unless you’ve got any other things to add or ask me, I think we’re pretty much done on this interview.

saoverture: Just that everyone needs to watch the new music video and download the EP (it’ll be free, so why not?).

-Interview conducted by Stephen Carradini

Stephen@independentclauses.com

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Stephen Carradini and friends write reviews of instrumental music. We write about those trying to make the next step in their careers and established artists.

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