Sexy Seattle synth-rocker Farchild finds inspiration in heavy metal

August 25, 2008 at 12:28 am (Alternative Rock, Industrial) (, , , , , , )

Interview by Julian Wilson

With an icily sexy synth-rock sound that is more Sheffield, England than Seattle, Washington, Farchild slashes perceptions of the Emerald City’s aging global image of Grunge Central. Like Santogold, Farchild is opting for a retro-futuristic makeover of pop music, uniting alternative rock, hip-hop, and electro-pop in darkly alluring fashion.

Julian Wilson: Your music strays dramatically from what has been viewed as “the Seattle scene” for nearly twenty years now. Is it harder to develop a following for a decidedly electronic-based style in the Emerald City?

Farchild: Ha. Well, I’m not really from Seattle so technically I’m allowed to deviate from the norm. That is a valid question, however. It definitely might be more difficult to develop a Seattle following for electronic-based music; but then again, that’s not really going to stop me from creating the music I want to. I think there’s a balance to be attained when it comes to satiating your own artistic needs & satiating the needs of “the public.” In that respect, I guess I’m a bit selfish. In the studio, I prefer to let things take shape naturally, without a formula, and without worrying if “the public will embrace my style or shun me.” In essence, I do want I want.

Wilson: How long did it take to you to develop your style?
Farchild: Still developing, actually. I’m pretty new to the biz. Starting producing on a very hobbyist level about three years ago in college on “Cakewalk” with a computer microphone. Things kind of snowballed from there. Taught myself guitar, got back into piano (took classical lessons as a child), bought a little synthesizer keyboard and started cranking out tunes and programming in my dorm. Having few options as far as sound capacity/ equipment forced me in a certain direction, kind of molded me into a one-woman band.
Wilson: Of all the new artists currently, who do you have the most artistic kinship with?
Farchild: I have unwavering respect for Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails, or really any artist who produces their own music. Seems to be a bit of a lost/ non-existent art in the mainstream. I also like Reznor’s business model. He’s rather hands on, to say the least. I’m also a fan of female artists/producers Bjork and Imogen Heap. They’re quite talented as well. At the end of the day, I find myself having the most fun locked away in my studio producing and songwriting, turning knobs, layering sounds on Pro Tools, writing lyrics – pursuing music in it’s purest form. Can’t get much better than that.
Wilson: Are your lyrics based on your personal experiences?
Farchild: Yes. Writing/poetry is incredibly therapeutic. I have a lot to get off my chest. I personally feel compelled to write about things I’ve been through, keeps things honest. When I settle down one day and get rid of all my young adult angst, then maybe I’ll start telling other people’s stories. 
Wilson: What artists are your least obvious influences and in what ways did they inspire you?
Farchild: Metal! I love metal! I wouldn’t categorize Farchild as metal at all, but I think I’ve been influenced by the genre. I just love gritty, angry, guttural music. A friend in middle school turned me onto Korn and something about the genre just resonated with me. It was pained. Twisted. Beautifully ferocious. I’m a big fan of Linkin Park, Slipknot, Rage Against the Machine, Otep, System of a Down, Tool. I love melodic metal: Metallica, Dream Theater, Lacuna Coil. My music is tends to be melodic and a bit on the dark side so that influence is there


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An Interview with DOTMIG

April 18, 2008 at 2:33 am (Alternative Rock) (, , , , , )

Written by Kyrby Raine

Believe it: One of the most intoxicating, absolutely infectious albums of the year is the beer-splashed and crazily versatile Sexy-N-Lean from DOTMIG, otherwise known as New Yorker Steven A. Mignoli. Leap-frogging from heavy metal to blues to Americana, Sexy-N-Lean reinvents the rock & roll wheel, bravely shifting musical styles without jarring the listener but instead reeling us in for a night of non-stop entertainment. DOTMIG recently spoke to me about his career and emotionally rejuvenating CD.

Kyrby Raine: What does DOTMIG mean?

DOTMIG: A wall street term I consider as  hot commodity.
Raine: Or represent?
DOTMIG: [And] will develop into a hedge fund.
Raine: Your music is incredibly eclectic, shifting from one genre to another. Where does this versatility originate from?
DOTMIG: I went to a lot of concerts; my girlfriend’s father owned a big ticket agency.
She had every venue in the tri-state area for free and kick-ass seats for  every show.
My zodiac sign of Sagittarius plays a large part in my versatility. Always going on impulse and not looking over my shoulder enough. When I was hanging out with my friends I grew up with, it was classic rock: the Rolling Stones, the WhoLed Zeppelin. Then came Ozzy Osbourne, Judas Priest, Motley Crue, Def Leppard, Posion, etc. But with chicks it was dance, disco, Bryan Adams, Bruce Springsteen. I couldn’t help it. I just love all types of music. But back then, you don’t tell your friends you like club music unless they were Hispanic. My high school was made up predominately of Cuban descent. So club music was born, and DOTMIG likes to dance.
Raine: How has the music scene in new york influenced your work?
DOTMIG: Not so much the music scene. My style is unique and fueled by New York City, but not influenced by other bands in the area. I’m not bragging at all. Talent is everywhere. It depends on how you market your product. Big city big dream living in the mecca, a metropolis of art and culture. Creatively influenced is the easy part. Getting published is the hard part.
Raine: What songs on Sexy-N-Lean have the most meaning for you?
DOTMIG: OK, let’s start with anger management. “Back With A Vengeance” gave me a chance to really express how I was feeling inside. I had so much anger built up and frustration. So I started the first verse with my mom and my sibling and blasted them in the lyrics. Followed by the pre-chorus and then the hook. “Back With A Vengeance” is my anthem to the music industry as well. I’m here to stay. “Going to the Top” has always been my motto: If you  want the best in life, you have to earn it – there’s no free rides. I’m still paying for mine. I work real hard in every project I start so “Going To The Top” is where I plan to be. “Dive Bar” has a comical theme and a business background I grew up in. My dad took me to work at a young age in the beverage industry, which is still owned and operated by my family. We have Dive Bar accounts in downtown Jersey City, and I have been to every one of them since the age 21.
Raine: There seems to be an interesting tale behind “She’s My Muse.” Who — or what — is it about?
DOTMIG: This is my tale of who my muse was?  I met a girl from California named Diana who believed in me. I was not in the music industry when we met. I was producing a cable commercial for the family business. Hoboken Beer and Soda outlet in Hoboken, New Jersey. Diana helped with the script, and we incorporated a rock scene. She insisted for me to play the lead. It went well and gave me confidence. Diana was by my side for the next four years, and DOTMIG was born.

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