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Maestria New-Yorkaise

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Découvert un peu par hasard sur le site Epitonic.com, par lien croisé entre Will Oldham et Jason Molina de Songs;Ohia, Maestro Echoplex et son premier Ep "Last Night I Saw God on the Dance Floor" (depuis disponible en Europe grâce à la structure belge Zeal Records) fut pour l'éuipe de PurJus une vraie claque ! Il nous fallait en savoir plus.
Par email interposé, voici notre entrevue avec le Maestro, plutôt bavard dans ses réponses, en version originale bien sûr.

So the story begins when you're 19 and you decided to learn how to play guitar... but what exactly happened : why did you decide you'd become a songwriter ? Had you been in bands before ? Why did you chose guitar in the first place ?
I definitely wouldn't say that becoming a songwriter was ever a conscious decision. I never woke up in the morning, brushed my teeth, and said to myself, "today I'll be a songwriter." I think what happened was that at some point in my late teenage years music hit me like a truck, and from then it was only a matter of time before it would become clear how it would fit into (or take over) my life.
I picked up the bass when I was 16 because a friend was playing bass at the time, but I eventually found myself playing it as if it were a guitar. So it made sense for me to switch. It took me a couple of years to figure out how to play it enough even to be barely competent, and I remember having particular trouble incorporating the high B and high E strings (the ones not present on a standard bass). While all of that was happening, I felt that there was a lot that I wanted to communicate that wasn't being expressed in my daily life, and it wasn't being vented when friends and I would just "rock out". I was never interested in keeping a diary or anything like that, but it was under these circumstances that I took a chance and actually wrote some thoughts and ideas down in a book. I guess that also around that time I somehow got the notion that some of these scribbles could be sung, turned into vocal lines for some snippets of songs that I had been tinkering with in my bedroom. To be clear, at this point neither the "songs" nor the "lyrics" were "good". I was just trying to develop some form of personal release that would help me maintain my sanity.
"Disconnected...," from the EP, was written around this time and was probably the first song that I actually felt proud of, and it was definitely the first to develop some kind of connection between the lyrics and the music. I'm still working on it, trying to sharpen my skills as a lyricist and a musician, trying not to do things that are a waste of my time or of any potential listeners out there.

What did you listen to when you were a kid or teenager ? we can surely hear influences from Will Oldham and other modern-folk artists.
The first two CD's that I actually bought were Public Enemy's "Apocalypse '91: The Enemy Strikes Black", and Nirvana's "Nevermind". Those two groups left a significant imprint upon me, though I guess you wouldn't know it by my music. In terms of contemporary acoustic stuff that I listened to as a teenager, Elliot Smith comes first to mind. I haven't listened to any of his records in a long time, but his music definitely hit me pretty hard.
I can hear strains of Smith in my songs far more than I can hear Will Oldham. It's funny, I don't own a single Will Oldham record, but Maestro songs seem to draw comparisons to Oldham's stuff a lot. Friends have played his records for me, and what I've heard has been great, and I'm certainly aware that many other modern-folk artists would probably consider Oldham a key influence. But I'd say that the more likely reason there's any commonality between my music and is that we've probably been influenced by a lot of the same songwriters--Neil Young, Paul Simon, Tom Waits, Johnny Cash, Dylan, etc...

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