Interview – @RichAucoin

Originally published on www.musicnews360.com , finding the stories between the songs.

Electro-pop with a flair of DIY Punk attitude, @RichAucoin travels the globe preaching the power of now and the joy of community. With confetti cannons and a technicolor parachute, Rich Aucoin engulfs even the most cynical with an irresistible presence and a playful affirmation of life.

On March 16, Rich Aucoin released the new Hold EP, and announced his PRESS ON tour. As part of the tour, Aucoin is bicycling across the United States, to raise awareness for mental health by donating 100% of tour proceeds to Mental Health America and The Canadian Mental Health Association. Aucoin will be joined by bandmates in each city as he pedals across the deserts, mountains, and forests of America.

@MusicNews360 corresponded with Aucoin as he biked across Southern California (hopefully, he was not typing while on the bike!). We chatted about Eckharte Tolle, Koala Bears, and Fabreezing the Parachute. Check below for excerpts from our conversation.

Website // Bandcamp // SoundCloud // Instagram // Twitter

Rich Aucoin – The Middle (Official Video)

MN360° – What is your astrological sign?

Virgo

MN360° – What is your spirit animal? How does it manifest in daily life?

Koala stay calm

MN360° – If you could have a superpower, what would it be?

The ability to know what people are listening to on their headphone while they walk by.

MN360° – How does Canada produce such great music?

Ketchup flavoured chips

 

 

MN360° – Have you noticed more Americans moving to Canada, as of late?

No but welcome !

MN360° – What first sparked your interest in music?

Seeing a symphony play Rhapsody in Blue at 5 had a big impact on me for sure.

MN360° – What was your first instrument? Did someone gift it to you?

I think recorder might have been before I started piano at 6. My parents gave me the recorder. Mom still has the piano.

MN360° – Who is your least obvious musical influence?

Wu Tang

MN360° – What is your favorite Beach Boys song? Why? Where can we hear it in your music?

Good Vibrations. Just such an ambitious recording attempt. There are hours of cutting room floor versions of the song too. I’ve heard a bunch of those too. You can hear its theremin melody replayed on theremin in my song Brian Wilson Is ALiVE.

MN360° – What is your process for writing/recording new music?

I score my songs to movies.

MN360° – When was the first time you brought out the parachute during a performance? What inspired its introduction?

2009 NXNE. Saw it online while buying something on EBay and then thought it’d be fun to do in the show.

MN360° – How do you keep the parachute from not smelling stinky?

Fabreeze

MN360° – How do you decide on the movie clips you show during performance?

Look for scenes with the same emotional content.

MN360° – What is the story behind your ‘Gender is Over’ shirt?

It’s a great fundraiser for trangsgender equality groups. Check them out at www.genderisover.com

MN360° – Are you a fan of Eckharte Tolle?

I’ve looked at his books at my mom’s.

 

MN360° – How often do you have to reload the confetti cannons?

Every shot!

MN360° – What is your ‘truth’?

“Don’t be a dick”

MN360° – Do you believe in magic? Can you give an example?

Yes. The feels you get from Can You Get To That by Funkadelic

 

MN360° – What percentage of your songs would you say are autobiographical?

42%

MN360° – Can you tell us more about your bike tour across the US?

LA to NYC. starting with getting some kicks on 66.

MN360° – What is the furthest you’ve ridden your bike in a single day?

170km

MN360° – Any dreams/visions/insights experienced while riding for that length of time?

Please get off the highway before the sunset.

MN360° – Do you see a connection between performance and religious experience? Does rhythm play a role in that?

Both are communal joy.

MN360° – How did you meet your band mates? How did you ask them to join your band?

Various ways. There have been about 260 people that have backed me up at this point.

MN360° – What is the strangest thing you’ve experienced on tour?

touring

MN360° – What do you do to occupy yourself between shows while on tour?

Planning the next shows.

MN360° – How about strangest place you’ve crashed while on tour, or bike tour?

Slept in the parachute a few times in some odds spots.

MN360° – What will music sound like in 100 years?

It’ll continue to expand in all directions like a web spreading outward and with more intersections of various strains of genres.

MN360° – If you had to describe your music as a color, what color would it be?

teal

MN360° – If you could have a billboard with anything on it, what would it say?

Gender is over, if you want it!

http://www.genderisover.com/

INTERVIEW – @JOHNCRAIGIE

This interview first appeared on www.musicnews360.com .

Credit: Bradley Cox

Website

Instagram

Twitter

Spotify

Tour Dates

Discography

Live Studio
Capricorn in Retrograde… Just Kidding… Live in Portland (2016) No Rain, No Rose (2017)
Make Your Own Legend (2011) Working on My Farewell (2015)
Live in the Living Room (2008) The Apocalypse is Over (2013)
October is the Kindest Month (2011)
Montana Tale (2009)

 

@MusicNews360 caught up with @JohnCraigie between two nights of recording a forthcoming live album in Portland, OR (@MississippiStud & @DougFirLounge). We talked about the apocalypse, fractals, astrology, and hanging out with @JackJohnson. Below are excerpts from our conversation.

 

MN360° – Your performance is both song and narrative. How did storytelling become part of your act?

JC – The storytelling was around way before the music. Growing up, I was the class clown. I was the guy who would tell the stories. So that’s older than the music and came way more naturally. The music was a lot harder for me.

“Growing up, I was the class clown. I was the guy who would tell the stories.”

– @JohnCraigie

MN360° – What sparked your interest in music?

JC – One of my friends, a dear friend who I credit for having a huge influence on me. He was a little out of the box, really artistic. He had a different way about him. He wasn’t buying into the normal, suburban way, you know?

So he got a guitar when we were about 15 years old. He was really talented, playing the guitar a lot…I looked up to him. One day, he showed me…He was like, ‘It’s not that hard!’ He showed me some chords. That was the pivotal moment for me. The moment I knew it was possible. It changed everything.

I think that a lot of times you just need someone to be like, ‘Yeah, you can do this!’

“I think that a lot of times you just need someone to be like, ‘Yeah, you can do this!’”

– @JohnCraigie

 

 

Credit: @littlegreeneyes

Also, in the early 90s, Bob Dylan was not cool. I knew Dylan in the sense of a historical figure, but I had not heard his music. It wasn’t until someone gave me a copy of Freewheelin’ … that was the catalyst for my songwriting.

“It wasn’t until someone gave me a copy of Freewheelin’ … that was the catalyst for my songwriting. 

– @JohnCraigie

MN360° – You have been quoted as saying, “I know that the purpose of music is not to make people feel better, but to make them feel like they are not alone.” Can you elaborate?

JC – People listen to sad songs when they are sad. Why do we do that? It doesn’t cheer us up, but that’s not the point. The point is…What we are really seeking with art is connection. To feel like, ‘Oh, they get it.’

If you’re bummed out, ‘Walking On Sunshine’ is not going to work for you. That doesn’t do it, and we all know that… It’s funny that we disregard that reality.

The best music is relatable, it makes us feel like we are not alone. That’s what I have always thought the purpose of music is… on all levels, whether it is a happy song or a funny song or a sad song.

“People listen to sad songs when they are sad. Why do we do that? It doesn’t cheer us up, but that’s not the point. The point is…What we are really seeking with art is connection. To feel like, ‘Oh, they get it.’”

– @JohnCraigie

MN360° – You studied math in college. How does math influence your creative process?

JC – I was at UC Santa Cruz, so it was more of a hippie kind of math. Lot of fractals. Lot of looking at pineapples, you know, getting high. Lot of looking at ferns…Storytelling is somewhat mathematical. Not so much in what we think about as math, like algebra. More so in putting things together–structure.

“Storytelling is somewhat mathematical. Not so much in what we think about as math, like algebra. More so in putting things together–structure.”

– @JohnCraigie

On structure, songwriting and architecture…How crazy is it to visualize how a building is going to look before you make it? Songwriting is similar in that you hear the general vibe you want before laying the foundation.

MN360° – Is the Apocalypse over?

JC – That was a metaphor for all the hippies who were talking about 2012, the end of the Mayan calendar. Remember that? They were like, “Cool, Babylon will crumble! I won’t have to work my stupid job anymore.” So the lyric is a reference to that. I guess I should have put quotes around “Apocalypse.”

Credit: @danielnjohnson

“I guess I should have put quotes around ‘Apocalypse.’”

– @JohnCraigie

MN360° – What is the most uncomfortable place you have slept while on tour?

JC – Many years ago, I was playing in this town called Winter Park, Colorado, up in the mountains. I finished the gig and was going to sleep in my Astrovan. Then, I looked at my phone, and the app said it was 1° outside…fahrenheit. I was like, “I’ll die…I’m from California. I’ll die sleeping outside.”

Went back to the bartender and said, ‘Hey man, I don’t mean to seem pushy, but do you have a couch I could crash on? It’s 1° outside, and I’m afraid I’ll die if I sleep outside tonight.’ Luckily, he said, ‘Sure, I’ve got to close up the bar. It’s going to be another few hours. Here’s the address. The door is unlocked. You can sleep in the guest room.’

‘Awesome!’

I get to the place, and it’s freezing in the guest room. Though, I was like, ‘It’s better than sleeping outside.’ Got in the bed, curled up, and went to sleep. Hours later, I woke up covered in snow–there was snow all over the bed. One of the windows…the blinds were down, but the window was open. Snow had been blowing in on me all night.

So I would have been better off sleeping in my car.Though, I just went over and closed the window.

That was a weird night, for sure…

MN360° – Do you follow astrology? Is there significance to your album titled ‘Capricorn in Retrograde… Just Kidding… Live in Portland’?

JC – I am into astrology because I lived in Santa Cruz for 5 years. Originally, the title was going to be ‘Mercury in Retrograde… Just kidding’. After talking to some friends, I thought it would be even funnier and maybe a little less intense if I made up something that doesn’t exist, ‘Capricorn in Retrograde’, which is not a thing, you know.

MN360° – What is your astrological sign?

JC – Gemini.

MN360° – How was the time you spent on tour with @JackJohnson?

JC – We had a lot of fun. Probably the funnest thing we did…we had a night off and went to see @JohnMayer perform at The Gorge. You know, I would not normally go to see John Mayer in concert, so it was a trip to go to that show with Jack, sitting there with these two elder statesmen of modern songwriting. That was a surreal night.

MN360° – What percentage of the time do you perform with your eyes open?

JC –  I’d say 2 percent–when I’m making a joke about having my eyes open.

(Referring to the song titled “I Wrote Mr. Tambourine Man”, featured on the Music News 360° – October 2017 Playlist).

Credit: @jayblakesberg

MN360° – If you could have a billboard with anything on it, what would it say?

JC – ‘Be nice to each other’. That’s probably cliche, but that’s what I would say.

“Be nice to each other.”

– @JohnCraigie

Credit: Maria Davey