PULP WITH THE BLACK CREATURES pt. 1
The Black Creatures is the genre-fluid lovechild of Jade Green and Xavier out of Kansas City, Missouri. The groupʻs latest project, Wild Echoes, released in August of 2020, was a project of love, patience, and experimentation for the two. Through the many years of writing and working to understand each other’s capabilities and growing throughout, Wild Echoes explores a myriad of genres, topics, and vocal styles fitting of the projectʻs title.
As I asked the duo if we could start with the interview, Xavier exclaimed, “Wait! Iʻm not ready yet” taking a serious pause before stating, “I have to say, I love that top” showing his outgoing personality from the very beginning.
Q & A
How long did it take to release Wild Echoes from concept to finish product?
(Xavier) Ummm, four years. We always planned an album liked Wild Echoes we just had other things going on and released the EP and other album.
(Jade Green) AND Xavier moved to another state!
(Xavier) Only for like a year and we weren’t finished with the other album yet either.
(Jade Green) We finally got together and put out Wild Echoes and it feels so good to just sit down and be like “We did that” as Jade said the final sentence, they pointed their finger up as though pointing to something and boasted a giant smile.
(Xavier) After years of just putting out concepts like “Hey! We should do this thing” and “This thing should do that” and “What about the way that puts an image in someone’s mind.” All that time learning stuff is what really took so long and made the process so interesting. When it was towards the end of it, we just busted out recordings.
How did being in different states affect making music together?
(Jade Green) It really out things at a stand-still! Though the rough draft of the song we made together, Glass thoughts, we made remotely. I sent over a recording with the worst quality possible off my webcam microphone and was just like, “So do you like this song? This is good right? Can I post this on SoundCloud?” Xavier said, “Absolutely not. This is not SoundCloud ready at all.” He actually didn’t say it like that he said, “No we should get a mic and actually record it.” Did we even complete any tracks while you were out there?
(Xavier) Yeah. Iʻm pretty sure we did two. I think we did A Summer With You. It was written and produced but we didn’t record it yet because we ended up recorded it like 5 times because didnʻt know how to do all the vocal-mixing stuff.
What have you been doing in Quarantine outside of working on the album?
Xavier) Trying to live… Well usually weʻre just doing shows so weʻve put a lot of time into our online presence. Iʻve been doing a lot of video games and just working. Weʻve spit-balling ideas about what we want to work on in the future.
Xavier went on saying, “We want to go into that with a fresh mind but weʻre still squeezing the blood out of Wild Echoes” while making a squeezing motion with his hand and a strangely appropriate grin making Jade and I laugh.
(Jade Green) Iʻve mostly been reading books after I discovered I could actually read books. Wait let me clarify that, I learned how to sit and actually read a book and comprehend/retain what I was reading instead of having to read the same paragraph over and over again. Iʻve been flexing my reading skills over quarantine and reading a lot of political and science fiction pieces. Towards the beginning of quarantine, we were doing a food garden! That was really fun; we got a lot of cucumbers, strawberries, and squash.
I suggested Dracula to be Jadeʻs next read.
Fetishes is such a beautiful sounding song, what was it like working with Shilow? How did that relationship form? Your [Jade] voice is so melodic and pop-like in this song, what inspired you to change into this sound for this collaboration?
(Jade Green)Well for one, I love Shilow. I was literally just talking to Shilow about doing more stuff in the future. Gosh, how did we meet Shilow?
(Xavier) We did a show with—I have shirt—we did a show with, Frvme and Shilow. Shilow hit us up later and was like, “Hey. I really like what you guys do, that was a super sick set, I have this song and I think you guys would sound great on it.
(Jade Green) So he came to us with almost a full song and asked Xavier to just write his verse and it’s a really good verse. So, we sent it to him, and he invited us out to this place that just looked like a normal house; when you walked in, it was a recording studio! The guy there was like, “Hey, whatʻs up? I just live upstairs.” It was the first time we had been to a recording studio, so it was really cool.
(Xavier) It looked like a studio though. The living room was like a lobby; the coat closet by the front door was a recording booth with a mic, sound dampening things, and instead of a normal door, it had a big glass door. His parlor that connected to his living room was just all the recording equipment. I was just like “Wow, this is wild.” It would be so cool to live in a house that’s a production studio and then you just go upstairs and go to bed.
(Jade Green) I think youʻre right, I think I do sound different on that track compared to Wild Echoes. I think its because Shilow came to us with the idea already. Shilow is this person who has traveled, literally, the world, is a rapper and kind of totally a pop star too, so I just wanted to accentuate this idea. Wild Echoes definitely gave me the opportunity to come into more of a stylistic singing.
How do you see your background in opera affecting the way you [both] write lyrics and accompanying music?
(Jade Green) Iʻm always thinking about spacing, dictation—are people going to understand what weʻre saying—but that all really comes out more in recording. Music theory thoughts constantly come through my brain. When I was in high school, I became the Soprano section leader and that really helped me when working with Xavier and to push him to start doing doing more vocals.
(Xavier) Jade definitely gives me a lot to work with know their vocal range, style, and approach. With production I have to make sure I leave room for Jadeʻs voice. When I and produce I do it with layers and frequencies in mind when I come up with concepts for lyrics for Jade. For example, The Grey Rainbird, I try to go for things that are, often times airy, when I know Jadeʻs going to use their Big-room voice then itʻll fit and the other stuff doesnʻt push away from it. I also have to make sure the instruments say, “Look at Jade!”
(Jade Green)one of the great, and also funny things about Xavier and I are, we are just so wildly different. We are just so different. And I love the shit out of that individual in the box right there but, MAN we are so different. It has sharped us though! It has given us socio-emotional tools to be able to talk to other artists and other people with a goal in mind and respect the way others work and be flexible with that.
What Juice would you be?
(Xavier, without a hint of hesitation) Pineapple.
(Jade Green)Oh you said pineapple?
(Xavier) I tricked you earlier when I said grape earlier because I knew you would remember.
(Jade Green) Itʻs your favorite?
(Xavier) Yes, so I would BE pineapple juice.
(Jade Green) You are what you eat. I would be… Cherry juice concentrate because its real tart and real sour but there are real health benefits if you keep drinking it! Iʻll…teach you how to keep a planner… I don’t know.
(Xavier) Planners are a health benefit.
(Jade Green) Gotta get that fresh squeeze.
(Xavier) I was just about to say that!! Get out of my mind.