Somojo Magazine

 

Blackbox - Shoresh

Hi, how are you?
Not bad actually. I've been able to maintain my sanity and ignore most of the false pressure! Sometimes it still gets to me like teaspoons step-dancing on my head but overall no complaints.

What made you decide to be a solo artist and not want to be in a band?
Going 20 years back I was in a punk band, later on I was in two more bands wanting to be a rock star! Then I put this dream aside for almost a decade and today I come from a totally different place. I've "settled down", I have children and I don't need to prove anything to anyone (except for myself). My music today comes from a much personal place and I know I couldn't express my true self if I was part of a band.

So who are the musicians you recorded your album with?
For the adventure I teamed with Amir Lev who was the musical director of the project and a close friend and then we recruited progressive rock band TREE who were really in to it although it's not their typical style. That was the spine of the album but we also had a few guest appearances.

How would you describe your music to someone who hasn’t yet heard you?
That would be a bit difficult, but I'll try my best. The overall feel is very inviting and comforting. People who love my album come from diverse ages and musical tastes. Some people mentioned similarities to Radiohead, Leonard Cohen, Nick Cave, Tim Buckley, Morrissey, Doors, Roy Orbison, Bob Dylan, Neil Young. I guess that just shows that you can't really pinpoint a specific genre. Most people find similarities in my music to artists they like.

What music did you listen to while growing up?
The first artist I remember really liking was Whitney Houston (come on… I was only 8 and it was before "the Body Guard") then came Dire Straits, Nick Kershaw, Paul Young, U2 and at around 14yrs old I was introduced with punk and hardcore. Dead Kennedys, Toy Dolls, Conflict, the Damned, Crass, Bad Religion, Black Flag, Minutemen (that's just a few which pop to mind). After that I got a bit softer with the Cure, Echo & the Bunnymen, Jesus & the Merry Chain, Smiths and later on Nirvana, Soundgarden, Pearl Jam, Radiohead, Smashing Pumpkins, the Verve, Blur, Jeff Buckley, Beck, Neil Young….   After that I felt no album can give me "that" feeling again, so I did my own J

When was the ‘I want to do that!’ moment?
Recording my album that expresses myself was the important thing for me. I can't look at music as a career. It might still happen but if it does, I'm afraid that moment might mark the end of my "real" contribution to the music world.

What was the last music you put on your stereo?
Tindersticks

Why did you call your album "Black Box"?
I felt I'm writing the songs as a testament for my time in this world. Like most of us, I can't figure out this 21st century untamed "progress" and there are more questions than answers. I feel I'm leaving a Black Box that portraits my sad, happy, confused, loving, intoxicated, warm and cold moments of my life in this era. In case we crash, maybe someday someone will figure it out…

The album cover and art is very unique, what can you tell us about that?
I wanted to pay tribute to people who pay to have the album the old fashion way (and not download) so they have a special bonus and get in to the right state of mind when listening. The album was manufactured in Sweden and the artwork concept and inside booklet artwork was done by me. Like the music, it was done in my informal manner.

Do you have a favourite piece of musical kit that you couldn’t live without?
I can only say I wrote all of the songs with my son's $50 classic guitar. I say, a good song has to "feel right" with vocals and a crappy guitar.

Do you try to capture your ‘live’ sound on recordings or do you think that the ‘live’ sound and recorded sound should be different experiences for your fans?
That's an easy question, most of the album was recorded live so I don't know what my non-live sound is. Natural tempo changes and small mistakes and off-keys are part of us and as long as there's the magic, who cares if it's not "professional" enough for some people. I don't make my music for robots.

Shoresh and the Hippies

Do you find the process of recording enjoyable and does it get easier the more you do?
For someone who looks at his music as a self obligation and knowing my family pays for my adventures with lost quality time, every step in making music has to be pure enjoyment. In my mind, you can't get the best out of you if you regard to your music as work. I almost cancelled a 3-day recording session due to natural-boost "dry season". Thankfully I have good connections J

Do you have any new recordings planned?
No, but after finishing the album I felt satisfied and uncreative and lately a new song got me on my toes again. The "Black Box" took me 4 years to write and even if tomorrow I'll have an unlimited budget and plenty of free time, I can't see myself writing another album faster. I believe I have to let time take its toll in order to offer something new and worthy.

Which are your favourite original tracks?
It really depends on my mood. My songs are very diverse and each has an important part in the album. That's the reason I couldn't release any singles. Some think I'm stupid, but I think I'm just dumb J

Do you have a method for writing songs?
For me writing and composing has to come together. The lyrics have to communicate with the composing and the composing has to lift the song writing to a certain state of mind. The second the song doesn't "feel" any more, it's off to the drawer.

Do you find song writing easy or difficult?
When I was younger I had to look around to find subjects for my songs, today it's more about things I have to get out of my system. It's easy writing songs, it's hard pealing off all the layers on the way to the core and staying focused. Most of my songs try to portrait emotions and feelings in the broad sense instead of a specific story. Maybe for that reason, a lot of people say they don't listen to my music, they feel my music. It could be a song I wrote to my son and someone would interpret it to the feeling he/she had in a completely different context. I like it.

Would you sign with a major record company?
That's a good one. There's no point wasting time on deciding to turn left or right when you're no even close to the intersection and your car is running out of gas. It's nice to fantasize with the question and I'm tempted to give the politically-correct answer, but I won't.

Which countries would be at the top of your list to tour?
England, Germany, Netherlands, most of Europe.

Who would you like to tour with?
Whoever will take me, knows how to have fun and have good down-to-earth karma.

How do you promote your music and get your music out to new fans?
You mean, how do I try?! I try to focus on being on sites which don't refer to music as fast food. Time will tell if I succeed but I believe my music is not time-limited so who knows, I might make it when I'm 80. Just kidding, I don't intend to live that long. I've made a pact with the devil. He'll give me the best life has to offer concentrated and early and I'll go sooner than later and work for him as his personal chef.

Do you think the internet is a good tool for independent and unsigned artists?
When I was a teenage punk I use to communicate with bands through the postal services (we're talking 20 yrs ago). I received plenty of tapes and vinyl so I got to hear lots of music and I remember opening every package I get with an eager expectation to listen. Fast forwarding a song would require getting up so you would actually listen to full albums while today listening to a full "unknown" song seems like a far away dream. No doubt it's not ideal for music like mine which requires time to soak in but at least I know, once it does, it stays for a long time.

Is there anything you'd like to add?
If you really want to give my album some place inside you, leave some room and it will fill you up. If you want to give it the regular 10seconds per song time limit, don't bother, you won't like it and that's completely fine!

Be nice, Shoresh.

You can hear/buy the full album on my site:

www.shoreshblackbox.com

 

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