Interview with A Winged Victory For The Sullen

[editor’s note: all questions are answered by Adam Wiltzie]

Firstly, congratulations on the album. Can you talk a little about your use of composition as opposed to improvisation in making this record?
i suppose over the course of time that i have been making music it has always been assumed that all of my records are just me jamming out in the practice space with the tape recorder on. this could not be farther from the truth. this record was extremely deliberate, almost to the point of obsessively so. we have a long history of love for classical composition, and this influence seems very obvious in how it has manifested on magnetic tape vicariously through me and mr. o’halloran.

I read a review elsewhere claiming that you had both sacrificed something from your own styles in making this album. I’m not sure I agree. What are your feelings on the give and take of your collaboration?
that was a review, and opinion and not necessarily reality. yes, we have sacrificed a little bit in letting go of our own egos. we got into each other’s comfort zone. me in the piano, dustin in the soundscapes, and orchestrations. and i reckon this is why the recording resonates with so many people. it is the essence of what collaboration was always intended to be. two artists working side by side in the same room from the very infancy of the recording all the way to the final mixes and mastering. not trading soundfiles through the internet. not sending each other parts to work out in our home studios. we lived this recording together.

You used analogue rather than digital recordings for the project. How do you feel about modern day digital processing techniques?
well, the truth is it was a mix of both. we did the final mixes to half inch analog tape for it has such a unique texture and sound that it almost created a 3rd member of the group. i am quite ambivalent when it comes to digital. i both love and hate so many things about it that it would take a whole separate interview to even scan the surface.

What have the two of you got out of this collaboration other than a fantastic album?
massive debt, and the possibility of moving into this really great homeless shelter that dustin has scoped out for us in east berlin.

Explain the role of whiskey in shaping your relationship and your music.
a long time ago we met a lonely man named whiskey. he would not judge us. he would only listen to us and our slow moving chamber music. many a bottle was consumed, and our livers gently ache because of it.

Read album review of A Winged Victory For The Sullen


Interview by Ben Rutter exclusively for Headphone Commute.