A change of workflow?-Interview with Mark Stone Part 2

This is a follow-up with Mark Stone, who is part of the Dirty Country Band and plays a mixture of country and rock. My last interview with him was almost 2 years ago. You can view my interview conducted 2 years ago here: https://wworldcommentary.wordpress.com/2018/05/30/interview-wednesday-mark-stone-and-the-dirty-country-band/

Here below is Mark’s response:

Mark Stone: My workflow has changed remarkably this year and there is no doubt it has changed drastically since our last interview

Last year I wrote over 100 songs released 19 singles and 2 EPs.  I started and left a Patreon page and now incorporated a subscription-based service from our new Bandzoogle website.

And you know what it all boils down to??  I focus my time and energy on what brings me the most joy and will continuing my creative works.  It’s all about breaking larger goals into small scaleable steps.  People quit because they don’t see their progress. By taking larger goals and breaking them down into smaller scaleable achievements, it’s much easier to see your progress for yourself and for some like myself seeing that a dream is possible makes it a plan.

Having a plan of action to achieve smaller scaleable goals to reach makes a dream a plan one can act on in reality.

W.: How may other independent musicians benefit from your experience?

Stone: I’d like to think that everyone I collaborated with this year could and or did benefit from a conversation with me about what I’ve learned this year on the topics of sync licensing, songwriting and or music production unless of course, it was a collaboration with one of my instructors then I’m not sure I taught them anything other than I’m determined.  I show up and I’m in it for the long haul.

W.: What else do you want to add?

Stone: Last year was the blueprint for improving this year and it’d already off to a possibly award-winning start as I’ve been nominated for the Midwest CMA Maverick Award-


This award goes to an individual or group who best exemplifies the spirit of being a “maverick” in the music industry. An individual or group who is steadfast in their commitment to country music, who remains independent and often times unorthodox in their approach to delivering their craft.

Best of luck to Mark Stone and the Dirty Country Band and we thank Mark Stone and the Dirty Country Band for answering these questions and to accept this interview with us. You can listen to their albums on their website/streaming platforms (such as Spotify). They are also on Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube. These are the websites:

Twitter http://twitter.com/mst0ne
Facebook http://facebook.com/markstonemn 
YouTube Originals http://www.youtube.com/c/MarkStoneandtheDirtyCountryBand
YouTube Covers bit.ly/MS-TDCB

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Interview with P. Wasy

The following is an interview with P. Wasy, a piano player who composes piano tracks for collaboration with electronic producers. She is stroked to compose for any Electronic Genre, because it keeps things interesting! Below is my interview with her:

W.: What makes you start your music career?

P. Wasy: I’ve played piano since I was 5, and studied through Royal Conservatory all through my high school years and into University. Although I continued to play and teach piano, out of University, my focus turned to Broadcasting.  I was a DJ on Commercial Radio in Vancouver and Victoria Canada for many years. So I was broadcasting other people’s tracks! But through it all, I continued to play and compose, I just didn’t compose for the purpose of putting my compositions out into the world—until I discovered Personal Recording Software 3 years ago.

W.: So you have mentioned broadcasting on Commercial Radio. While you are in your broadcasting career, which particular musical genre are you primarily broadcasting in?

Wasy: I always worked at Adult Contemporary Stations. So mainstream AC Top 40. I remember when I begged, begged the Program Director to play ‘When Doves Cry’ by Prince, it was such a beautiful day when I saw that track on my day’s playlist. I promptly talked all over the Intro and probably ruined the first day of airplay for that track for millions of listeners!!! I never did that again….but it remains one of my all-time favorite tunes. I must add Prince to my list of musical influencers….

W.: Speaking of musical influencers, are there any singers/bands that also influenced your music career, and how have they influenced you (in any way)?

Wasy: That’s a loaded question, W. I love so many bands/artists, and their ability to make you feel something when you hear their music. Kate Bush/Armin Van Buuren/Earth Wind and Fire/Bruno Mars/Post Malone/Portugal. The Man/Imagine Dragons/Calvin Harris/Chainsmokers, and of course, Prince as mentioned in the last question. However, as key influencers—it’s the Classical composers Debussy/Chopin/Satie/.

W.: Let’s talk about your latest collaboration track, “Somebody,” which sounds great! Tell us the story behind the collaboration and the track.

Wasy: I had been working this track on my piano for about 8 months….I had no idea what to do with it. I still didn’t have any personal recording software set up. The son of a friend of mine, was looking for original material so I said ‘Hey…I got something, you may want to work with it’. Limes, is a genius with Beats….he turned my straight piano track into what is now ‘Somebody’—contemporary, Lo-Fi, and a relevant genre. Without Limes, that track is a bit of boring tune…..this is what I mean by collaborating with other people. Electronic producers hear things in these piano tracks and turn them into something much more interesting than I could do on my own.

W.: Tell us your latest project, such as collaborating with Robert P. Kreitz II.

Wasy: Twitter is a fascinating thing…..out of the blue, I receive a message from Robert wondering if I wanted to do a collab. Robert is a Hard-Core Industrial Techno. I’m lalalla melodic piano :). My first thought was perhaps this kind man dm’d the wrong person!?!? Are you sure?????? Here’s an Artist who somehow had the vision to see that our two musical styles could somehow cohabitate. Believe it or not, once I had his Hard techno tracks, my piano came pretty easily and he is now in the process of turning our compositions into Hard techno-magic 🙂

NOTE: You can see my past interview with Robert P. Kreitz II’s here: https://wworldcommentary.wordpress.com/2019/01/14/interview-with-robert-p-kreitz-ii/

W.: What are your goals in the future?

Wasy: I am over the moon, working with other people. This is where I am most comfortable. I learn from every new Artist I collaborate with, everyone’s style is different, so it forces me to work differently with each new collaboration. This way, I am less likely to get stuck in one place with my composing. It’s fascinating, and I have never been happier in my career—thanks to everyone else!

W.: And you have a tip you want to share with us regarding Spotify, right??

Wasy: Yes, when you see a Spotify playlist being promoted on Twitter, and it’s full of Indie Artists—give it a Full Stream (or at least 30 seconds so the Artist gets their stream count!) You will be exposed to a plethora of inventive and innovative music where the quality of the Sound, and the talent is superb.

Thank you P. for sharing the tip, responding to our questions, and to accept this interview with us! You can follow her on Twitter (if you want to get in touch with her!): @pwasySounds

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Album Review: Jon Ross Album “Journey Through Life Volume 1”

Happy new year! Starting this year, I’ll be doing album reviews. Depending on the popularity of the series, I might be doing this series often. The first album review I would like to review is my friend Jon Ross’s 2nd album “Journey Through Life Volume 1.”

According to Jon, the album covers a variety of genres, covering from tender ballad to classic rock, and even has a couple of tunes people might find themselves singing along to. This is different from his first album, as his first album was based on 6 random songs that Ross thinks that it would sound back to back on an album. But his second album, “Journey Through Life,” all the songs have something that ties them together. This is just volume 1 of his “Journey Through Life,” as volume 2 will be released in 2020.

There is a story behind the tracks and the album, mostly regarding Ross’s life and things that he has experienced. His first track, “The Road Less Traveled,” sets up the rest of this album. According to Ross, he thinks that the track has “words of encouragement of doing something different and not always follow in everyone else’s footsteps as people through life.” The track is also inspired by the Robert Frost poem, titled “The Road Not Taken.”

The moments that Ross covered in his second album includes his wife, jobs he hated, his autobiography, the birth of his first child. He was also inspired by poems and quotes he viewed.

In my personal opinion, this album is deeper and in-depth compared to Ross’ first album. The lyrics from almost every track has a message for us to remember. Think of it as motivational speeches and life experiences embedded into the tracks of the album. Or even if you’re not a person who read autobiographies but want to get the gist of it through music, then the album is for you.

As of the tracks, it was top-notched. Ross’ voice really blended with the instrumentation really well. One emotional track that left me in tears was “Miracle to Me,” and according to Ross, it’s to commemorate the birth of their first child. I also enjoy “Tonight (Baby, Baby).” Any huge 80s fan (myself included) must listen to this track, as it gives a throwback feeling of the music back then (those “drum machines” sounds…really retro)!

Finally, he wants to dedicate his album for us all and our journey through life, which I believe is inspiring and touching, and a positive and energetic message to lead us into this new decade and this new year! 

That’s my album review for Jon Ross’ album “Journey Through Life Volume 1.” If you like this series or have any album you want me to review, email me at wworldcommentary@gmail.com

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Interview with Andrew Boland from “Andy’s World Journey”

Photo credits: Andrew Boland himself

The following is an interview with Andrew from “Andy’s World Journeys.” This is an interview I have conducted back in July this year, so most of the materials reflect the time. Andrew is a keen traveler and travel blogger from Melbourne, Australia. A veteran blogger since 2006, his original intent for the blog was during his visit to West Africa, where he wanted a method to keep in touch with friends and family back home. Originally called “The Greater World,” the blog is what we’ve known today as “Andy’s World Journeys.” Here below is my interview with him back in July:

W.: What motivates you to start traveling and writing your blog?

Andrew: I never need the motivation to travel! I pretty much start planning my next adventure as soon as I get home from the previous one.

W.: How long and how much do you travel often?

Andrew: Well, life in 2019 is quite different than my life 10 or 20 years ago. I used to work as many hours as I could for a couple of years and then try to take a long trip, up to a year or so if I could. These days I am married and have to be more realistic, but I try to travel internationally from my home in Australia once a year for as long as I can afford, usually somewhere between 3 and 6 weeks is the absolute maximum I can
manage these days.

W.: What locations have you visited so far?

Andrew: At last count (in July), I have visited 78 countries, including my home in Australia. It’s hard to summarize! I have visited every continent except Antarctica. A lot of Europe, West Africa, a great number of countries across Asia including a bunch of countries that are not on your typical tourist map like Central Asia (Kazakhstan etc.) and so on. I enjoy exploring places that may be considered a little ‘out of the way’.

W.: You have written EBooks for your audiences. What is the motivation that allows you to write EBooks?

Andrew: Actually, I wrote the ebooks an awful long time ago now. It was a chance to put all my experiences together in a way that might be interesting and useful to others. I was living in Japan at the time, and I had a fair bit of free time on my hands, so I thought I would give it a go. It wasn’t a raging success or anything, and I’m sure they weren’t very professional, but it was an interesting exercise but it’s not something I’ve continued doing.

W.: Recently, you have written about blog posts regarding Eurovision, and I enjoyed reading them! It seems like you are a Eurovision fan. Based on this, what are your thoughts regarding Eurovision 2019?

Andrew: For me, Eurovision isn’t quite the same as it used to be. It used to be rougher around the edges, some songs would be seriously weird and dreadful. Which I miss as I find these days it’s a bit more vanilla in a way. Not completely of course. 2019 had some good songs, some interesting visuals and the like. But also a lot of ballads which failed to excite. But you always get something fun and interesting. And I’ll keep tuning in and seeing what’s on offer each year. They have shortened the voting portion of the program which is definitely a good thing as it used to go on longer than the songs themselves!

W.: Also, you have written a lot of music-related blog posts (especially Eurovision). Is Eurovision-type music the kind of music that you usually listen to?

Andrew: I tend to listen to a wide variety of music. Some of my favorites are Queen, The B-52s, and pop of the 1990s, so it’s music from the past rather than current music. And of course, I never mind listening to Eurovision!

W.: Back to travel-related, you also have a YouTube channel sharing clips of your travels. Do you hope to expand your YouTube channel in the near future?

Andrew: Yes, I have been putting travel videos for years now too. I enjoy editing and producing little videos. It’s handy because I sometimes use videos in my blog posts and I can directly pop them in from my Youtube channel. Whenever I’ve been away I usually pop a few videos online. I have a big trip planned for the end of the year taking in more Central Asia, Spain and Portugal which will give me plenty of new material to write and shoot videos about.

NOTE: You can check out his YouTube channel here: https://www.youtube.com/user/TheGreaterWorld

W.: What are your hopes in the future? Also, what countries do you want to visit in the future?

Andrew: As mentioned later this year I’ll be off for a big trip which will take around 7 weeks. I’ll be visiting six countries I have never been to. Next year will likely be a quieter year, and my wife and I have very basic plans to return to South America in 2021 but that’s still a LONG way off and plans often change. I would like to visit more of Africa – the Southern and Eastern countries in particular, and Mexico but when I can make this happen is anyone’s guess at this stage.

W.: Are there any final thoughts you want to share with our readers?

Andrew: Thanks for this chance to spread the word about my blog! Traveling is something I’ve been passionate about now for over 20 years and it’s great to share experiences with others. Don’t let little fears stop you from journeying to places you really want to go to! It is truly one of the most satisfying things you can do in life! Thank you! All the best!

We thank Andrew Boland from “Andy’s World Journey” for responding to these questions and to accept this interview with us. You can check out his blog here: https://andysworldjourneys.com/

You can also subscribe his YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/TheGreaterWorld

Follow him on Twitter: @WorldJourneys75

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Follow me on twitter: @wworldcomment1.  

Interview with Renuka Walter

The following is an interview with Renuka Walter, who owns the blog Voyager For Life. It is a solo female travel blog about inspirational travel stories. It also focused on travel related tips and advice. Below is my interview with her:

W.: What motivated you to start travelling and writing your blog?

Renuka Walter: I always loved traveling. It was my inherent love I guess. Blogging just happened. I didn’t plan it. I started blogging casually and enjoyed it so much that converted it into a profession.

W.: How long and how often do you travel?

Walter: I try to travel as often as possible. I like slow travel, so I take long trips – 12-15 days at least.

W.: What locations have you visited so far?

Walter: I have visited almost all the states in India, except for a few states in North East. Also, I have traveled to Italy, Australia, Jordan, and Malaysia.

W.: What prompts you to love photography, and how do you incorporate it in your blog?

Walter: I love photography. I don’t know what prompts me. I guess beauty prompts me – the landscapes, the nature, the people, the culture, and anything and everything that’s quirky and interesting.

(NOTE: She has written an article about pursuing photography in her travels, which you can view here: https://www.renuka-voyagerforlife.com/2015/08/how-did-i-learn-travel-photography.html)

W.: You are also a writer, tell us about your books and why it did not get published.

Walter: I have written only one book so far, which remains unpublished even till today. I wrote it 8-9 years ago. I couldn’t work towards its publication because I got busy with travel and blogging. The book is about a girl’s journey of life and what she chooses to do.

W.: Do you still want to write a book in the future, about travelling. 

Walter: Yes, I’d love to write about travel. I have a few ideas, but I can’t talk about it. 🙂

W.: So far, you have written suggestions for travelers. What are some of the main tips you want to share with travelers when they are travelling to a never-seen-before destination?

Walter: If you are traveling to a new or an offbeat destination, just be prepared for it – be well-researched about it. Read about your destination, talk to people, follow relevant people on social media and have a written plan. But, leave room for spontaneity, too. Let your itinerary be flexible so that you can experience unexpected fun and adventure.

W.: Apparently, you have been recommended by some websites regarding your blog. What are your reactions when you heard that you had this honor?

Walter: I’m always happy to see my name in a list. It’s obviously good to be recognized.

W.: What are your hopes in the future regarding which countries you want to visit?

Walter: I want to explore a few countries in Europe. I hope that it happens soon.

W.: Are there any final thoughts you want to share with our readers?

Walter: Save money. Travel. Explore. Experience life.

We thank Renuka Walter for responding to these questions and to accept this interview with us. You can check out her blog, Voyager for Life, here: https://www.renuka-voyagerforlife.com/

You can like her on Facebook: facebook.com/renukatravelbuff; follow her on twitter: https://twitter.com/renukawalter; and follower her on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/voyager_for_life/

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Interview with Joe Montaro (broey.)

This was an interview with Joe Montaro (known publicly as broey) from Scranton, Pennsylvania (in the US), the town known famously from the American television sitcom “The Office.” He is currently 23 years old and consider himself to be unique. Here below was my interview with him.

W.: What makes you start your music career?

Joe Montaro: I’ve always had a passion for music and have a lineage of musicians in my family. I’m a self-taught multi-instrumentalist and have been playing music for about 13 years. I started messing around with garage band on mac when I was in my teens, but it wasn’t until a few years ago that I started to get more serious about production. After listening to pop music and hip hop for so long, I grew tired of hearing the same chord progressions and themes within the music, so I decided to take my own path and do something that hasn’t been done yet. I try to remember that often times the best songs are the ones that haven’t been made yet… so why not make them? There’s something so powerful about creating in my mind. Creation is the work of the gods. So, in a sense, being an artist is similar to being a god.

W.: Are there singers/bands that influenced your music career, and how have they influenced you (in any way)?

Montaro: There are a lot of bands/artists that have influenced me. Kanye West is a major influence in my music. He helped show me that there are literally endless possibilities when it comes to making music. From sample flipping in his music, to being just downright outrageous with grabbing people’s attention, he showed me that the best way to make great art is with no barriers. The way that he is able to pull emotions out of people is what I admire most about his art. I try to mimic that for myself. I’m also influenced by Tame Impala and Kevin’s groovy and experimental sound. Tame Impala is another artist that taught me that when it comes to making great music, there’s literally no rules. Do whatever you want to do. That helps you develop your true style. There are many other artists that inspire me. Too many to name, but I am always listening to new music in order to find inspiration and new ways to expand my sound.

W.: What made you want to use that vinyl-type sound in your music?

Montaro: Man, there’s just something about vinyl that really gets me going. The initial drop of that needle onto the record gives me such pleasure. Those who have listened to vinyl know that it’s such a pleasant listening experience. Who knew that so much as a scratch from a needle could give such a raw and distinct tone? Some of the vinyl actually comes from vinyl samples, but I LOVE vinyl and think most music sounds better on it so I try to emulate that sound as best as I could. Also, fun fact, if you listen to my songs with a crossfade of a few seconds it sounds like you’re listening to a continuous vinyl record. I thought that was something cool I could do to kind of set myself apart from other artists. In the future I hope to release my work on vinyl and cassette because that’s what I was essentially raised on. It’s cool to see they haven’t gone out of style.

W.: What are some of the well-known vinyl tracks that you have sampled?

Montaro: You’ll be able to hear one on my track “Paradise”. It uses an Erik Satie sample, but with a twist. That’s my most popular track currently and it’s been featured on thebootlegboy’s YouTube mix “Raining in O S A K A”. It fits in very well with the setting for the mix. That’s really the only song I have published so far that uses a vinyl sample, but stay tuned there will be more. I have a playlist of song I intend to flip when I get the opportunity.

W.: Your music sounds very retro (in my own opinion) and jazzy (with the combination of hip-hop beats), and I really liked it! What made you want to produce music in this type?

Montaro: The type of music I produce is often referred to as “Lofi” or “Chillhop”. These genres are primarily jazz with hip hop beats like you stated. I’m a big fan of these types because I grew up listening to old school hip hop, which I feel is very prevalent within those genres in regard to the beat, and soul type music, which is where the rhythm parts come in. My guitar playing style in my opinion is soulful, bluesy, and jazzy and having an up-beat boom bap type of beat really is something that makes me groove. I don’t use vocals on my tracks because I want people to hear my music and go to a place that makes them feel just right, instead of hearing me tell them what is going on. It’s more fun to see what other people get out of it rather than me telling you what to get out of it. Words often get in the way. We should talk less and feel more.

W.: I saw you produced your first album, “A Walk in the Park.” Tell us about the album and the story that you want to express through this album.

Montaro: A Walk in the Park is essentially a concept piece. I’ve always had a great deal of admiration for artists who can conceptualize their work into something deeper than how it appears on the surface. When I first started producing this album, I wanted to accomplish just that: conceptualize and tell a story. Well, with a great circle of support and inspiration, this was my attempt at both. “A Walk in the Park” is an album that uses children’s book type illustrations along with synonymous track titles to help tell a story. It was super cool working with my friend Geori Vázquez, the artist who did the illustrations, to help bring this story to life. She really nailed what I was going for and I am super grateful for what she did. I encourage those who listen to create their own backstory and find a deeper meaning to the project other than what it appears to be! Art is a wonderful way to express ourselves and get a deeper understanding of each other. You can find the illustrations both on my Instagram and on my Bandcamp page (if you click on each individual track it will show you the piece for that track!)

W.: Tell us the process of producing your beats.

Montaro: My production process is really rather simple (to me at least). I always begin with a melody because that is what helps draw attention and catch the listener’s ear. Then I’ll either add a bass line then drum beat or vice versa to help figure out the groove. From there I just try to find complimentary sounds and melodies to help support the main melody. I have a general structure that I try to stick with, but of course when it comes down to it, it may not always be applicable. You have to be willing to break the rules and use everything at your disposal to make something truly unique and truly you. It’s never about equipment or lack thereof, it’s about the sounds you have and what you decide to do with them. I usually am able to hear one sound and know immediately where I want to go with it, but sometimes it’s not always that easy. Creatives often encounter roadblocks. My advice is to just keep pushing through because consistency is the only way to excel at anything in this life.

W.: Please tell us one of the favorite tracks you produced right now and why you liked it/why it was so special.

Montaro: I think “Reverie” is one of my favorite tracks that I’ve made so far. I remember during production having the melody and drum pattern on repeat for HOURS just admiring and vibing to it. I pictured this as being a song you’d listen to during the summer, cruising with the windows down or at your summer cookouts. I struggled with this track originally because I knew that it had potential and I wanted it to be perfect. It took me a few days to figure out how all the pieces would go, but once I heard the finished piece I didn’t even wait and immediately uploaded the two track EP “Daydreams, Vol. 1”. I couldn’t wait to share it because the sound was so dreamy and airy and took me to this place where everything was just right. I wanted everyone to experience that.

W.: What are your goals for the future?

Montaro: My goals for the future right now are a little all over the place. I am currently enrolling in graduate programs to receive an MSW and I hope to one day be a school social worker. Music for me at this moment is my outlet and something I enjoy doing for fun. It allows me to meet new people and have some awesome experiences too. With the right series of events I could see it being a full time job for me, but right now I want to make sure that I am able to provide for myself and a family down the line. So right now, I am taking steps that are beneficial towards both my music career as well as my professional career.

W.: Are there any final thoughts you want to share with our readers? 

Montaro: My final thoughts are that I want to note how incredibly grateful I am for all the opportunities I’ve had so far in my life in regard to music and life in general. I think is very important for all of us to recognize what we have when others may not be as fortunate. I hope that one day I could give back as much as I’ve been given in this life.

I want to thank W. for allowing me this opportunity to be interviewed and I hope that you guys were able to learn a little more about me. Hopefully, you’ll be seeing and hearing more about me in the near future! Follow me on my socials and on your preferred streaming services so you can be notified when I release new music. Also, make sure if you like my songs to add them to your playlists! There are some exciting things in the works and I’m sure you guys won’t want to miss out! (:

Thank you for the kind words, and we thank Joe Montaro for responding to these questions and to accept this interview with us. Follow him on twitter: @broeybeats and on instagram: https://www.instagram.com/broeybeats/

Checkout his bandcamp page with all his music here: https://broey.bandcamp.com/

His music is also on Spotify. The music was absolutely a delight to listen to, and I have added a lot of his music to my playlist (shows how much I enjoyed listening to the music!). 

Please also subscribe to our newsletter (interview recaps) by filling out this form: https://goo.gl/forms/yDdxNeOnfm3F65oG2

Follow me on twitter: @wworldcomment1.

Interview with Manipulant (also known as David Speakman)

This is an interview with David Speakman, also known professionally as Manipulant based on Lancaster (a little city in Pennsylvania, USA).

W.: Tell us a bit about yourself.

David Speakman: Hello, I’m David Speakman by day and Manipulant when time allows. I hail from a lovely little city in Pennsylvania, USA called Lancaster.  Lancaster has more record stores per capita than any place in the world (I’m pretty sure I just made that up, but there are loads of record stores here) I am an Aquarian (2/11) My favorite candy bar is Hershey’s with almonds and my favorite ice cream is Häagen-Dazs Swiss Almond Vanilla (So I guess I like almonds, I never put that together).

W.: What makes you start your music career?

Speakman: I have loved music as long as I can remember. Whenever I got a couple dollars I was off to the record store, so I guess it was inevitable that I would someday make my own. I think I started out banging on coffee cans or whatever else I could find that made an interesting sound and evolved into banging on coffee cans or whatever I can find that makes an interesting sound.

W.: Are there singers/bands that influenced your music career, and how have they influenced you (in any way)?

Speakman:I think all music influences what I do/ or don’t do in some way. But that is the easy way out. I will give you three albums that most influence what I try to do: OMD – Dazzle Ships. This was the first album I ever heard that made me realize I could incorporate any sound or any thing I wanted into a song and that was very appealing to me.  The Fall – In: Palace Of Swords Reversed.  This was the craziest thing I had ever heard at the time. A madman (?) ranting seemingly about whatever popped into in head over a repetitive gro ove. Genius. Tom Waits – Swordfishtrombones.  This album taught me two things-it was ok to write songs about the misfits in this world and that those coffee cans I used to beat on could actually work in a song. Sixteen shells from a thirty-ought six is still one of my favorite grooves. I hop around uncontrollably whenever I hear it.

W.: An non-related music question: let’s talk about your name. You have an interesting name of Manipulant. Could you tell us the story behind your name? 

Speakman: Manipulant just fit what I was doing on a couple levels. I have a job in the wine business and the term Récoltant-Manipulant (which translates roughly to estate champagne) always seemed cool to me. That and the fact that I do a fair amount of sound manipulation in my music made it a natural fit. Unfortunately, Manipulant translates differently across languages and is probably viewed negatively in some.  But, I like the name and it’s too late to change it now because the t-shirts have already been made.

W.: You have a new album released on valentines day. Could you give us a preview of the album, and why do you want to release it on 2/14?

Speakman: I’d love to. It is being released on 2/14 because that was the date chosen by Cap’n Bob at Submarine Broadcasting Company. I agreed because I’m an appeaser – and it falls near my birthday so that was pretty cool.

The album, Sundries & Souvenir is a collection of songs dating back to 2016 when Manipulant first became a thing and carries through 2018. I did record one new song called Melted Roses, Invisible just for the occasion.

It is being released in every format known to man – and some unknown. Vinyl, cassette, CD, Digital and something that cave people called 8-track.

W.: Tell us some of your favorite song from your music career and why.

Speakman: Electric Cigarette is a song I wrote in 2015 that was released on an album called Méthode de Narration.  It also appears on Sundries & Souvenir.  I think it is important to me because it was the beginning of what Manipulant is now.

W.: Could you tell us about what the song “electric cigarette” is about and why it’s the beginning of what you are now?

Speakman: E-cig was born from a chance interaction on a city street. A noticeably distressed (and probably high) man approached me offering an electronic cigarette. Of course, I attempted to blow him off by hurrying past, but as I walked by him he said something like-Take it, Jesus gave it to me and I don’t want it.  I didn’t think anything else about, but I awoke in the middle of the night and penned about a half-dozen versus about the encounter on the back of an envelope.

That morning, I immediately began working on the song-though I only ended up using a couple of the lines I had written on the envelope.

The reason I say it was the beginning of what Manipulant now is, is because it was written completely on a DAW (digital audio workstation) rather than a traditional band type of setting where different members contributed parts to it. Though I later added some live guitar and percussion to it, it put the idea into my head that I could compose and record myself on a computer. Some of what I now record is done 100% on my DAW with an occasional helper from live instruments.

W.: You have collaborated with Stoneygate (which I have interviewed before) for the single “Run.” Tell us about you collaboration experience.

Speakman: I approached Stoneygate with a song I was working on that really felt like it needed a female vocal.  She was an absolute joy to work with and I think she appreciated working outside of her comfort zone on it with me.  I do have to say, it is a much better song with her on it. Don’t be surprised if we pair up again in the future. I recommend working with other artists on occasion. It gives new perspective to your own work and you might even learn something.

Note: You can read my past interview with Stoneygate here: https://wworldcommentary.wordpress.com/2018/05/24/interview-thursday-jacky-stoneygate/

W.: What are your goals for the future?

Speakman: I hope to someday write the perfect pop song… and then completely ruin it.

W.: Why do you want to write a pop song, and then ruin it, given that the vast majority of the music market today relies on pop music?

Speakman: That answer was a bit tongue-in-cheek, though I don’t like the way popular music is force fed to the public. Given the choice, most people will still take the “Blue Pill” and remain in the fabricated reality of modern pop music, but some will choose red. As far as me ruining the perfect pop song, many a song have started out in my head as something that could easily fall into the formulaic main stream. It is once I begin the recording process and Maniputize it with my clangs and echoes and hums that it becomes something less of a pop song.

W.: Are there any final thoughts you want share with our readers? 

Speakman: Thank you for bringing obscure and borderline listenable stuff like mine to the masses. And to those reading this, yes, you are more cool than anybody else for seeking out new obscure and borderline listenable stuff like mine.

Also, I asked David if he could give us a preview of his new album released on valentines day. Here is the preview from his new album “Sundries & Souvenir”, as well as the preorder link: https://submarinebroadcastingco.bandcamp.com/album/sundries-souvenir

We thank Manipulant (David Speakman) for responding to these questions and to accept this interview with us. Check out his new album (released on 2/14/2019) when it releases then. You can follow him on twitter: @ManipulantMusic

His website is here: http://manipulantmusic.com/

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