Friday, July 06, 2007

Band of the Week

Canon Blue

This is the story of Daniel James (a.k.a. Canon Blue) of Nashville, Tennessee. It is a story of passion and patience, of skill and friendship, and of sacrifice and reward. It was October of 2006 that Daniel, after five years of labor, put the finishing touches on his debut album, "Colonies". He announced the release via a post to his myspace blog, and began distributing the album for free to whomever inquired. The music on "Colonies" is a wonderful mix of soft piano pieces, graceful and skilled vocals, and electronics ranging from chaotic to controlled. This music is powerful and was being placed in the hands of whoever happened to stumble across Daniel's myspace page. However, behind the scenes he was also sending the album out to various labels and musicians in hopes of something bigger. One of the individuals who obtained a copy of "Colonies" just happened to be in the band Efterklang, and in turn closely related to the record label rumraket.

That brings us up to the present state of affairs for Canon Blue. "Colonies" has been remixed by Chris Taylor of Grizzly Bear, and mastered by Christian Vogel. It is receiving a face lift courtesy of Ben Tousley, who created the cover for Grizzly Bear's Yellow House album. The album is slated for a European release of Sept. 24th, but there has not been a US date set as of yet.

With all of this excitement, Daniel was still able to take a few minute and talk to us about his signing with Rumraket and what the future holds for Canon Blue.

Orange Alert (OA): How would you describe your music?
Canon Blue (CB): An overly self conscious, romanticized interpretation of my life.

OA: Your recently signed with Efterklang's label Rumraket label. How did that come about? Where there any other labels interested in your work?
CB: Rumraket came about rather casually. the label is run by efterklang and I had been emailing back and forth with one of the guys for a little while. When I finished my record I sent it to him...he was kind of enough to pass it on and it kind of went from there.

OA: Before your signing you were giving away copies of your self-released debut album "Colonies". What was the motivation behind that? What has the response been like to Colonies?
CB: The motivation was probably more guilt than anything. I think I felt bad about charging for something that I made on a laptop in my bedroom. Plus its a very personal record and I felt that if someone really wanted it, they should be able to have it as a gift.

OA: What is you opinion of the current state of the music industry? How has the interent (mainly file sharing) affected the musician? What is your opinion of the music blogs?
CB: I don't really have an opinion really. I'm more interested in growing as a writer/producer/engineer than in trying to figure out what the next stage is for the industry side of things. Obviously i'm affected by it whether I want to be or not, so i'm not completely oblivious. But, I'm going to be making music regardless of if and how its released so I tend to try and only focus on that.

As far as blogs go, I think they have pros and cons. It's a great and effective way to transmit information and communicate, but at the same time its added an incredible density to an already overpopulated medium. Its really hard to keep up with anything now, especially with regards to music.

OA: Who are some of your biggest musical influences?
CB: While I was making colonies, I was listening to a lot of Scott Walker, Cristian Vogel, Tom Waits, and Claude Debussy.

OA: Under band members on the myspace page for Canon Blue you only list yourself. Did you play all of the instruments in Colonies? Have you performed live, if so how different is the sound of Canon Blue live?
CB: I played almost everything minus the odd violin and drum track. it was more out of necessity than anything. I really like the idea of collaboration, but there wasn't anyone around really when I was writing so I just ended up doing it myself. Live, it will be a different setup. It will be me and one other guy on drums. A lot of samplers and keyboards. We'll need to reinvent a lot of the songs in order to pull it off, but I think that will keep it more interesting for everyone.

OA: What's next for Canon Blue?
CB: Working on a new ep for the fall, putting together some remixes, touring etc......

Check out the finished version of Pilguin Pop (mp3)
For more information on Canon Blue and to check out more of his music visit his myspace page or his Virb page.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Canon Blue rocks!
nice interview as well