Residency Earth Interview with JP Jenkins and David Weinberg
What influences you toward music within and outside of your performance on Swan Island?
Friends 100% One of the first times I met David was also one of the first times I played in Olympia. Maybe I am mixing up the times but this is my story so I'm sticking with it! Anyway, we showed up at this coffee shop (one of those places that existed after Starbucks but before Blue Bottle and not a place I would have ever expected a noise show in). My band Super Unity was up to play with Foque Mopus (David and Nash’s amazing band). They showed up in home made Super Unity t shirts...we were basically delighted and confused and I am STILL stoked!! Then during their set they started by recording the audience and just made the people talking louder and louder and more distorted till glorious cacophony!! I knew then that these guys were my people. For me music is always an expression of the relationship I have with the person I am playing with. It expresses the joy of spending time with and care I have for that person. It's a super fun thing to do while hanging out. Its seamless with drinking coffee or smoking a joint, making a joke, talking about dumb news or gossiping about family and friends..its just a life. I’m not sure I totally have ever understood the process of participating in the music or art market for that reason. I have, and do but it feels a little kayfabe compared to the real real of being in the moment with friends you love. Also influenced by Sand, Acoustics and Plastic...also various types of metal especially street sweeper blades.
Sand. Friends. Acoustics. Plastic.
I was a superfan of JP’s group Super Unity Group since seeing them at the Oly Experimental Music Fest around 2005. They took on mythic proportions in my eyes as a fledgeling know-nothing who’d just stumbled onto the gateway drug of “free” music. One time we went to a big cave in Priestpoint Park with a motley cru of string wielding pluck heads, smoked an absurd amount of weed and made the most perfect cacophony of sound. That cave isn’t there anymore, must’ve eroded. Pretty profound to think that we’d happen to sync up along another shore some ~15 years later, still getting lost in the mesh of our favorite habits. Theuduhloo Kabanunu.
What are your favorite sounds of the PNW (natural and otherwise)?
Hard to say favorites...I don't really trust my tendency to heirarchicalize. I do like to follow my attention however. Living in the basement has put me in touch with all the sounds of the house I live in. There is a slight tapping in the pipes when the toilet is running. I can hear the pitter patter of the cats as they move around the living room and hallways. Each roommate has a slightly different squeak of the floorboards that I am starting to be able to tell apart. When they are wearing shoes, when they are wearing socks. The sound of a coffee grinder muffled through the floor and the slight sound of talking in the morning. The low hum and occasional clicks from the furnace, The overwhelming roar of the on-demand water heater every time someone takes a shower or washes the dishes. I am often drawn to the occasional dings or blips...mainly because they thwart my ability to name them. Maybe someone's text message? The microwave is done? Hard to say. I think if I were to put them in an order the ones that I can't name would be at the top.
Shcrpblplplrplrpolububububudunkunkunkunkshreeeeershhhhhkshkshhhfffvfvvvperhaps the ultimate soundscape found all over pnw that I never tire of is the babbling brook. Forest Park has some of the very finest. The Willamette we jammed with for this, is far too large to qualify as a brook, but some of the forest park streams I speak of channel into it so it goes.?. Babbling is a word that I think says a lot about saying well anything at all really. The case of the missing punctuation marks smooth-rock carved by water. Babbling brook: I love how this has become the official title. Streaming filters teeming with higher math dynamix trailing off into the ear hairs. The shallower ones tend to gurgle the prettiest. Most nights I now listen to a simulation of it on my google home device. Of all the noise-canceling-noise-generating settings, the one I find myself returning to the most is ye ole babbling brook. I’ve tried getting used to ocean waves but somehow it lacks the lullaby I yearn for. Streams like consciousness designed to mimic the most improbable approximations of white noise one cloud imagineablububububupkchhshshkfflplplipipiipliplipblipbliplbiplblikpikupikitupikxsssshhhhh
What led you here in terms of composing, performing and listening?
Again, streams of friends led me here. Hard to place how or why I grew a taste for the otherly in the world of sound. Medicine for boredom? Novelty seeking genetics? Oh yeah, no doubt Olympia played a crucial role in gearing me towards the freer forms. It was a golden era of house shows when I was growing up there. I saw my favorite band Unwound’s last show when I was 17 and knew I wanted to carry this torch. When I formed Foque Mopus with Nash, I naively thought that whatever this sound is that we stumbled on, it was destined to explode in all directions. When we were the house band and Yes Yes, Oly’s premiere all ages venue, the average attendance would be between 5 and 10 heads, but they all went on to form their own brands. d Yellow Swans were also a huge gateway for us after we got to play with them and they liked our CDr debut and released a split with Noggin, I felt like we’d really made it. They assigned me the role of noise ambassador of Oly, so I got to set up tons of amazing shows with the best and worst noise acts at the time. Really do feel real grateful for the noisy underground scene that bubbled all around us. Also buying my first Dr. Sampler was a real aha moment, realizing that I could probably just play glitchy loops for the rest of my life and it doesn’t even get old.. Good times.
I want to shout out Kelvin Pittman, Joe Foster, Bryan Eubanks, Jason Zappa, Shane Ronet, Mark Kaylor, Heather Vergotis, Doug Theriault, Moth, Asa Gervich, Matt Cunitz, Zac Reno, Zac Nelson, David Rafn, David Barnes, Mitchell Brown, Gregg Kowalsky, Keith Reynolds, so many I am forgetting, all the bands, all the teachers...they helped me get to this moment. “From the time you were very little, you’ve had people who have smiled you into smiling, people who have talked you into talking, sung you into singing, loved you into loving.” - Mr Rogers. I’d like to take this space to acknowledge how much these people have done for me...and of course you all for putting this together and David!!
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