PULP WITH THE BLACK CREATURES pt. 2

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With your consistent mix of numerous genres, where do you pull new inspiration from and how do you keep it from being too overwhelming?

(Xavier) There is not a shortage of ideas. Honestly, the problem is we have too many ideas. I remember finishing Wild Echoes and jade just kept having so many ideas and I had to say “no, we have to get this album out.” And I was having ideas too, so I had to be like “No, Xavier! We have to mix this album and get it to the masters.” Weʻre constantly consuming media, meeting new people, watching movies, and playing video games and Iʻm like “This is some music inspiration, here.”

(Jade Green) One of the things to help it not be so overwhelming is, Iʻm the type of, Iʻm the type of guy who thrives off chaos—itʻs something Iʻm trying to avoid doing for the rest of my life because one day, I am going to be older than I am now and Iʻm going to hate that everything in my life is so chaotic, so it’s something Iʻm trying to work on—one of the things that’s really helped me has been my part-time job that involves working with other artists to help them find paid opportunities; now I don’t have to compartmentalize my passion for music like I did when I was teaching or working at a bank, things like that. Iʻm doing things that are my life-blood and fill my cup back up. To avoid being overwhelmed, I just take little bites of this great big monster Iʻm trying to devour (words, I, think we should all live by in this overwhelming society). Lots of note taking also help me; I have notes in my house, on my phone; little voice memos just everywhere.

(Xavier) Oh, that’s me! I have a lot of video recordings of me in my car because I know I can open the camera without looking at my phone. I just record myself saying a verse while Iʻm driving. I have 184 recordings on my phone of just me singing or noting random things, vocal clips or me just thinking of things when I don’t have pen and paper; this is after deleting hundreds of the; Iʻve had this for for over two years and I still go through and delete things.

Xavier held his phone up to the screen to show us his voice memos app like a trophy.

What inspired the bandʻs logo?

(Xavier) Itʻs hard to say, it was just like this thing that materialized in our heads and we came up with the same thing; it was just this grasshopper woman and we were egged-on by the idea of it.

(Jade Green) Like something to do with monsters and the real monsters are humans. I donʻt know, Iʻm not really sure.

(Xavier) Jade! Don’t you know the real monsters are the friends we made along the way?

            I chimed in with “And that’s the true treasure of life.”

(Jade Green) Exactly!

 

How did you [Xavier] begin rapping? Your natural cadence is so clear and shows control throughout, it sounds so precise every time.

(Xavier) On my fatherʻs side of the family, everyone talks extremely fast, I somehow inherited that even though I lived with my mom; I was the fastest talker of my house. I guess I just made it a point to make sure I was at least understood; If I was going to say a bunch of words to someone really fast, Iʻm going to have to work on my diction. I didnʻt practice but I just knew people would ask me to repeat myself otherwise. It just naturally transferred to hip-hop and rapping. I was actually interested in rapping when I was third grade; I was not good. I think the only song I wrote was a diss-track to my little because I was seven and it was the only thing I had to talk about. I gave up on that because I couldnʻt find other members to join my group.

(Jade Green) Oh, it was going to be a group?

(Xavier) It was going to be a group. I was so edgy when I was a kid, well, I was trying to be edgy but I couldnʻt because I was such a soft-boy. We were going to be called The Thrashers, but I gave up on that; I still knew I wanted to do something with music though. We ended up needing my voice for 20 & 22; I wrote something and asked Jade to rap it and they were like, “No. You wrote that, youʻre rapping it” and I was just like “Bro?? youʻre really leaving me out here like that?”

(Jade Green) That was the defining moment. You also wrote about moving back from another state.

(Xavier) Yeah, I wrote a song about this girl… I hated hearing my voice in the recordings, so I had to keep recording over and over and over and over again because I kept hearing myself and wanting to fix the little mistakes or improve other areas; it sounded so weird to me—admittedly, it still sounds weird to me when I listen to the old recording. I still record dozens of times for other tracks. I tell Jade to leave whenever I record my tracks because I know theyʻll get bored and be like, “Dude, okay you have to stop.” I wonʻt, and that’s the problem. When we were recording Wild Echoes, we didn’t live together so I would tell them to go ahead and go home, this is going to take me a long time. Iʻm such a perfectionist already so itʻs worse when Iʻm doing my own stuff.

 

What was the writing process for Fear & Chaos?

(Jade Green) The song used a lot of the stuff that weʻre passionate about which is, Sci-fi and Horror. We really, really love horror movies and we made a lot of references to Harry potter, Charmed, The Blair Witch Project, The Wizard of Oz, and the Grudge.

(Xavier) The writing process took a while though. We had most of the beat and we kept building the beat as we were building the lyrics. I had Jade come over and show them new sections of the beat or something so we could riff over it. We had some whole piece done and coming back to that and then go back to riffing.

(Jade Green) At one point we just looked at the foundation and realized we had to get rid of it. We began writing grade ʻAʻ lyrics and these are grade ʻCʻ.

(Xavier) It was one of the first few songs we built with the lyrics going in the same direction. It fit really well with that mold of writing the lyrics and making the beat at the same time.

 

Do you see yourself maturing through your music and refining your skills in a particular genre you frequently work with?

(Jade Green) Music was something I wanted to take seriously before I was even double-digits years-old. Being signed with a record label gave us some guidance and the incredible DIY scene here provides a community for us. Iʻve a lot of time and opportunities over the last six or seven years to work with a lot of people, learn from them, and trade skills with them. Iʻm playing bass and working on this drum machine now where initially I could only read sheet music and sing!

(Xavier) I pursue a lot of different things, music or otherwise, with a goal in mind so I’m like “I don’t need to do all this extra stuff, I just need to do this one thing”: with music, its exactly the same. I don’t see myself getting more intense with everything that’s around me. If someone was like “Do you want to play sax?” I would be like “I don’t need sax for any of my songs so Iʻm not going to pick it up.” If I needed sax for one of my songs, I would learn exactly what I need to do that part and never touch it again or until I needed it for another song; that’s just how I am.

(Jade Green) That’s what you did with my bass.

(Xavier) Yeah, if we need bass for a song, Iʻll practice bass for a week so I can put this in the track and then I give Jade their bass back. I think Iʻm just going to keep focused on the things I specifically need because that’s just how Iʻve been and if that skill ends up developing into something—like rapping, now I have notebooks full of rap—then Iʻll keep it in my repertoire, but it has never been the goal to just keep picking up new skills. 

 

Well, thank you for your time today; I had a lot of fun, I actually think this is the most fun, Iʻve had.

(Xavier) REAGAN! You think this is over? I have a question for you!

Oh, okay! Iʻm ready!

(Xavier) What was your favorite track on the album? There is no wrong answer.

Honestly, Fear & Chaos was my favorite because every part of it that came together—the opening was really interesting, having Jadeʻs voice sound so different, it was really cool, and youʻre voice came in and I was like “OKAY”. It was the song that really, really caught my attention listening to the album.

Our conversation lasted nearly an hour and was full of fun stories, memories, and an inside view of their close friendship throughout!

~Reagan Thornley

If you missed part 1 read it here!

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