I decided that I would go ahead and interview Vaervaf, since I had recently gotten into listening to his work. Please be aware that this interview was done via Skype chat.
First question, tell me a little about your past.
Any prospect of making music seriously came from the glory days of YouTube Poop in 2008 when people started realizing their edits could be musical and it was all completely alien to us and beautiful. Back then I made YouTube Poop with the 2nd worst to Windows Movie Maker, Imovie HD. God that was fun, my stuff was pretty bad but I just ate comments and eventually I realized I could make short clips with the same time and jump them around. I'll find some old garbage for example because back then it was so incredible to me *burps tomatoes*
Oh Christ... THIS
I remember being curled fetally with a laptop making this completely engrossed and this is one track. The peak of that feeling was Corkvein, like Regional Champs. Sheer effort and weaving. These days I'm trying to just... screech? Pop screech. Anyway that's how I met jeri/orangy we were little YouTube Poop buddies, we appreciated the art.
So, I'm guessing that YouTube Poop was what inspired you to make music?
Yeah. Also I was into a LOT of slick sample loop garbage, stuff I PHYSICALLY can't listen to these days, like lemongrass and hip hop instruments. (link) I went through all the Grease stuff in Weaveknee. That was a blast.
Who are some of your favorite music artists?
I just got over Death Grips, right now I'm listening to Danny Brown, Duncan Sheik and screechy dubstep. When I can't decide between any of those I listen to Giles Corey. I'm kind of staring at Spotify trying to think of others. I listen to my music and jeris more than anything else. There's also Peter Gabriel's soundtrack to the Last Temptation of Christ and scattered Arabic music albums.
What albums that you've made so far were the most challenging to put together?
Corkvein I edited the most but that's because it had intricacies that required it and I loved it and wanted it perfect. I don't really do that anymore. The hardest to make was Flarehand. I was just in a bad mindset. What came after that one? Hold on...
I think it was Cork. Yeah I was folding in on myself. I really hate Flarehand.
What about your favorite albums that you've made?
Emotionally, Weaveknee. Technically, Corkvein. Favorite is probably whatever is most recent. Although I'm starting to fold in on myself again. So Eyepox is a little shaky.
Actually no, I like Eyepox because I think I finally made the weird opera I was thinking about way back when I made World Boss March.
In Spinefold, some of the songs that were on there seem to also be part of Orangy's Soundcloud. Did he really have a part in making the album or is it some sort of a pratical joke?
He just made the songs and gave them to me, I made the second half of Random funny internet memes, I guess. He always has a part, either way.
What made you want to take such a bizarre turn with Hipcatch and Greengums?
I didn't make music for a long time because the new WoW expansion came out. I switched computers and didn't have my big library of music to edit anymore, so I just starting recording white noise and me going AAAAAAAAAAAAA and the 808 kick I got from jeri. I really wanted to develop what I started with spinefold's summer roll and chewing the witness, because I connected with those.
Were the lyrics in Greengums basically random words put together for the sake of it or was there something more to it?
Hold on let me look at them...
Yeah, Greengums is a tapestry, I really appreciate Sam for the cover because it captures the feeling really nicely.I lobbed jux out of nowhere and wanted to keep talking about it, neat lifestyle and social decay/evolution.I probably won't end up writing lyrics for Eyepox because it's too primal. I like it better that way
I'll get specific: brik is a love song for shitty weird internet friends and sources of stimuli and endorphins. It revolves around comfort, squirming and activities. I should mention that I haven't written a song once, although I had the Shane Dawson's coffin thing in my head a lot for jux. I improvise and if it sounds right I keep it. Finding out what the lyrics were happened when I was done, I went and took everything off and isolated them to find out what they really meant. It helps a lot for singing it, writing lyrics does. Elliom is practical application and getting money from the internet; tense shoulders, operations. Yumdeath is a trip to the gas station to get dosage of high fructose corn syrup and seeing real humans. Laodl is the most scared and vulnerable one, trying to drag people down with him under the guise and having a hard on for conviction when there isn't much of a leg to stand on. It's fucking miserable lol.
Top ten tips is really clear really developed, I can explain each and every thing about that one. Jux is kind of the material plane besides taking place in the future which is weird. Top ten tips is a mirror of it because it's the internal/spiritual side of the general computer wastoid. I don't think a lot of people ever get past me saying top ten tips and fucking freaking out in the beginning. I was trying to show saturation of shit nobody cares about the things that just sit at the bottom of the net like fish shit on the rocks, the name comes from those web ads that are like, one secret tip to losing weight, one weird trick, top ten mom tips...but anyway thats what it is. Garbage and it gets melted by the screech.
What can we expect from your next album, Eyepox?
Same old shit, just more attached and hashy, like buried in hay. More cooing vocals.
How long does it usually take you to make an album or a song?
Songs sit in a project file until I put them on an album, it isn't really a question of time anymore it's when I feel confident enough in a package, that's proving hard for Eyepox. I'm not on some timetable, I used to clock 30 minutes a month. Despite actually having games to play, I'm steady on music work, it's just not satifying because I keep making the same stuff. Like I said I need a new angle.
What games do you play?
I really hate video games, video game people and video game culture but I'm deep into World of wWrcraft right now with a couple other friends and we're on a roleplaying server because we all like to write, even if it's about shithead orcs elves and armored corpses. Last thing I was playing was arma 2, a military simulation which is like call of duty except the person you need to shoot is a mile away, also you have to read maps and pretend to be tactical even if the enemy AI and general clunkiness of the game eradicates any notion of realism. I play GTA 4 because I appreciate the physicality of everything and the gunplay. I like Fallout New Vegas because you can play a card game in it.
Why do you hate video games and things that revolve around it?
They are poorly made and blown out of proportion and not worth a "hobby", millions of dollars are stuck in them but they don't exploit the potential they could. I also hate that one of the only things I can actually connect with someone about in person is probably that they play some shitty video game that I've either heard of or played. I hate couples that both play video games, I hate Skyrim, I hate Minecraft. I kind of want to fall face first into a mattress and become encased in stone. That's a video game. I mean you could fool these idiots into thinking it's a video game. But no it's just the climate and the media surrounding it like "gaming journalism". This guy who got a degree in journalism to talk about this medium that has money pouring in and out from every orifice and doesn't have much to show for it and people don't get it. It's because i'm on a higher level of consciousness for better or worse, I'm living a video game.
Do you view other industries, such as the movie industry or the music industry, the same way that you do video games?
No, I have a huge languishing gooey love of pop music whether or not the production is bad or not, like have you ever listened to an instrumental of California Girls? Me and jeri are inspired by NSYNC a lot, old pop is better. I don't like k-pop because it isn't catchy and movie people are just insipid. Who cares if I like Ghost in The Shell and SLC Punk?
Any favorite movies?
Charlies Angels (the one with Cameron Diaz and Lucy Liu and Drew Barrymore), Heathers, American Psycho, SLC Punk, Trainspotting, Ghost In The Shell, Fight Club (despite the shithead meme fanbase and MRA masturbation, it has a really good soundtrack), Kung Pow: Enter The Fist, and Harry Brown
Do you have any hobbies?
I write, draw, can't skateboard or even look at skateboarders because it makes me miserable ever since I dislocated my shoulder doing it, opening folding knives with thubscrew, I'd like to take up fondling guns, people tell me I like to walk too much, standing in the cold or pretending I'm in stalingrad, dancing, badmiton, watching tennis, cool clothes.
Before I conclude this interview is there anything you'd like to end off with?
Remember not to watch To Catch a Predator vids on YouTube because you'll be in the related videos for 5 hours. Thank you!!
Check out his work over here: http://www.breakbitmusic.com/artist/vaervaf