Thursday, October 21, 2010

SHOW & BONK Artist Interview/Spotlight: SCIFISOL


Friday, October 22
Chop Suey
1325 E. Madison
(click HERE for more info!)

Show & Bonk Artist Spotlight: SCIFISOL (Pleasure Boat Records)

About six years ago, upon meeting Christina Broussard (aka SciFiSol) in Portland, we quickly discovered our mutual (and unexplainable) admiration for the vocal talents of one Gino Vanelli. A years-long bond was set, as we’d periodically share our excitement in hearing Gino songs at bars, DJ sets, or in a grocery store.

Especially the timeless “I Just Wanna Stop”…

Which is why it was easy to forgive her for a slight delay in responding to my interview request, her excuse being thus:

SciFiSol: Hey Josh - here are my answers. I would have sent them earlier, but I was you know where! Watching Gino front row (in Portland last night)!! It was amazing and I just know he was singing to ME for a few moments here and there!

Of course, there is so much more to SciFiSol than unbridled love for 70s soft rock heroes. The Stranger’s Dave Segal writes that on her new album Inject Image, SciFiSol “explores some deeply eerie, psychedelic realms” and that within her “distinctively enchanted sound—over which she weaves her own processed, ethereal vocals—radiates a gripping, vaporous spookiness” (The Stranger, Data Breaker, October 19, 2010).

SciFiSol celebrates the release of her new record Inject Image at this Friday’s Show And Bonk showcase (copies of which will be available for sale), available through Pleasure Boat Recordings

Verse: When did you start making music?

SciFiSol: I was in a few experimental electronic bands right after high school and my first instruments were a MicroMoog, a Roland SH-101, and a Boss sampler along with a microphone, fx, and some bunny ears. From that point on, I was always fiddling with whatever hardware I could get my hands on as well as different software applications and beginning to delve deeper into sound design and song arrangement. I started my solo project as SciFiSol about 5 years ago, which was when I took it to the next level and started focusing on finishing songs.

Verse: Your collaboration with Let’s Go Outside on his track “I’ll Lick Your Spine” was one of the most effective ways to bridge the catharsis of goth and industrial music into techno music without being a “goth” caricature. Your vocals were obviously a big part of it. Explain the process of writing that song with LGO.

SciFiSol: The lyrics and production work were LGO's. He actually recorded a version of himself singing it, but wanted to try it with a female vocalist. At the time we were hanging out and working on a few tracks together so he asked me to do a version of it for him. It was basically about 12 takes of me in my bedroom closet, to dampen the ambient noise, singing and crooning until it was perfect.

Verse: The vibe of “I’ll Lick Your Spine” is certainly part and parcel of the new record. Your production and vocals convey a carnal energy that is not always convincing in the techno world. Is that intentional on your part?

SciFiSol: When I write songs, I'm not shooting for any one genre, or writing for any particular audience. That's why it's hard for me to "classify" myself when people ask me what style of music I make. I always just called it "electronica" because it's like a smorgasbord of a bunch of different styles. My vocal style aims to convey a raw energy that is not necessarily tethered to traditional styles of singing. The tone of the lyric always tends to dictate how it will be delivered. A dark and mysterious science fiction vibe is what I go for a lot of the time in terms of sound design because I feel like that kind of energy can pull one into deeper realms of thought. I guess that's why I like dark electro music so much!

Verse: Describe your live set these days.

SciFiSol: I use an array of loops taken from songs I've written using Apple Logic and external hardware including the Elektron Machinedrum and Nord G2 along with a bunch of effects and run them out of Ableton Live controlling it all with a midi controller. I have a bunch of effects that I run my vocals through and sing over the top. I also use an analogue beast of a synth knob box called the Utopia Synth.
At the moment, I'm working on getting a new electronic project going with some friends that will be a live band setting with me on keyboards and singing. I am really looking forward to being part of a band again because it takes a lot of the pressure off not having to create all of the elements alone. It's a lot more fun because you can tap into the energy of the people you are playing with.

Verse: Explain your Gino Vanelli fascination (one that we both share, by the way!)

SciFiSol: I fell in love with Gino Vannelli first time I heard him. I found a record of his called Storm at Sunup from Everyday Music in Portland and that was it! I adore his flamboyant soulful style, and even though it can be over the top at times that's what I love about it. He's one of those individuals that is very unique and doesn't apologize for it.

SciFiSol performs at the Show And Bonk showcase on Friday, October 22nd at Chop Suey (1325 E. Madison). Click HERE for advance tickets and HERE for additional Show And Bonk information.

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