We got a peek at the new short film/visual EP/performance art piece that is KNO from Theyself. Pat (Doc) Dougherty was kind enough to answer a few questions to give us a bit of insight as to what to expect this Friday at Mortimer’s.
(Melodic Noise) It sounds like you have a really cool project you are working on, can you tell me who is involved and the name of the project?
a bit of a DIY passion project
it’s called, KNO
(MN) Can you describe what exactly the project is?
(T) i’ve always enjoyed experimenting with lo-fi recording equipment and film
so i made a movie, sort of a silent film
and i’m gonna provide the soundtrack for it live on stage
(MN) Is this going to be something that is only available online or on stage to view, or are people going to be able to buy merch?
(T) i don’t think it needs a DVD
as much as i want to avoid using words like ‘performance piece’
this project does have a lot of pieces and there’s a performance in every piece
all the visuals for Wolf Tower will be released on youtube eventually
and there will be copies of the cassette on hand for the show at Mortimer’s on July 26
a healthy portion of the KNO visuals will only be available on my patreon for a sliding scale fee
(MN) What is the Visual EP going to look like at your release show?
(T) i don’t wanna give too much away
because a lot of footage was specifically shot for the performance
i wrote some new music and cut a special edit of the Wolf Tower stuff for the show
the music from Wolf Tower was recorded one night in a hotel room
i used the same type of recording device i had as a kid, a little red 8-track
it doesn’t come with much space to tape so i had to record everything in one-shot takes
i heard headphones could be plugged into the input jack and used like microphones
so i recorded most of the music using these little earbuds
when you crank up the gain you could get some wild tones
i didn’t want to make an EP about my anxiety
i wanted to make music that sounded like anxiety
i tried to channel that by isolating myself in a situation where i only had one chance
the visuals were produced in a similar way, you’d get what you got
i’d find a shot, press record, and perform movements to the music
i had to distress the footage to fit the feeling of the tape in post
(MN) How did you come up with this concept?
(T) i’ve lived with anxiety for as long as i can remember
i wanted to take my least favorite feeling in the world
and try to turn it into something you could dance to
(MN) How long did it take you to put this all together/How long have you been planning and working on this project?
(T) one night to record Wolf Tower
one year to mix, master, and film
and another 6 months to plan the performance piece
(MN) What do you hope the audience takes away after experiencing KNO?
(T) i wanted to evoke something visceral
i didn’t wanna show a panic attack on camera
but i wanted the feeling of anxiety to be there like low-level background radiation
some might connect with it
some might be turned off by it
some might project it on a wall at parties and i’d honestly support that
(MN) What sets this apart from a series of music videos?
(T) i know i wanted to avoid using the words ‘performance piece’
but for me, the performance is what makes this a different beast
the music in the performance will be timed to the visuals playing behind me
the tape, the visuals, and the performance are all connecting pieces
and i made multiple versions of everything
multiple masters, multiple cuts of the movies, multiple visuals for multiple vibes
that’s all available on patreon but you don’t need to see every single piece to take the ride
each piece fits together to tell a larger story and there’s a tiny story in each jagged little piece
self-discovery is an overall theme, so i wanted to let folks choose what they wanna see
(MN) What is the thread that carries through the entire project?
(T) it’s about the journey
that’s the idea i kept coming back to
you gotta trust the process
it’s not about dwelling on it
or running away from it
it’s about moving forward with it
the future and past are important and sometimes informative
but they’re always distant or a little distorted
try focusing on the now
(MN) Why did you choose to bring a video element into the project rather than just keeping it a traditional audio EP and what went into that decision?
(T) making a movie with music was always in the back of my mind
whether or not i wanted to release Wolf Tower to the public was the trickier decision
i thought the finished recordings had a certain character but i wanted a reason to release them
putting out a tape has been a low-key fantasy of mine
cassettes are all my touring van can play so collecting them became sort of a hobby
i figured the lo-fi sound could sound cool on cassette, so i made a run of red tapes!
(MN) Will you be doing more projects like this?
(T) i like working with concepts
and i have a lot of fun messing with photography and film
but next time i wanna try something a bit prettier and a little less grittier
(MN) What are the influences for this project?
(T) haha i suppose i was under a few…
imagine Charlie Parr singing Radiohead songs
and Nick Drake is learning how to make a disco record
while Captain Beefheart watches Slow TV with the Residents in the living room
Theyself will be performing KNO Friday, July 26 at Mortimer’s, with support from Lucid VanGuard and The Nunnery.
And now here is a video sample from KNO.
Interview by: Andrew Perrizo
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