20 maart 2008

Interview with Philip Price (The Winterpills)


Zoals ik al eerder op mijn blog had gemeld is de plaat 13 Songs For Right Now van Philip Price één van mijn favoriete platen aller tijden in het singer/songwriters-genre. Philip was zo vriendelijk om medewerking te verlenen aan een interview over de totstandkoming van deze plaat (uit 2002), het werk met zijn huidige band The Winterpills en ex-band The Maggies en de toekomstplannen. Zie hier het resultaat van dit openhartig interview:

I love your lyrics a lot (and your music of course). Phrases like "talking to you is like ringing a bell" or "you hate your teeth but you like to smoke" make me laugh instantly. What do you consider yourself the Philip Price-style of writing lyrics?

I seem to have evolved a style of writing out of necessity because I cannot write the way my heroes write. Not to be too self-deprecating but songwriting to me seems a series of compromises between what I hear in my head and envision lyrically and how it arrives on the page. I haven't been able to make peace with it but feel it is good enough. All that aside, I suppose my writing begins confessional and ends up adhering to its own internal poetic logic, not all of it too pretty. In other words the confession gets written away.

I tend to get very inspired by other's writings and lyrics and want to emulate in some way but never really know how. Sometimes I just try to write a song as if by someone else. What I end up with becomes mine.

What are your favourite subjects to write about and why?

When I began writing, I only wanted to create dissonance with my words. Later, I began a form of somewhat clinical explorations of failed relationships and dissolution. Eventually I allowed a romanticism to slip in and found this was the most true way for me to write. So, internal conflicts and strifes, hopefully made universal. Narrators come and go, evaporate and re-appear like old friends.

On your MySpace page you highlight the quote "I don't want no more cold nickels", which seems to be related to your song Cold Nickels. Have you been dispappointed so many times?

No more than my share. But that song did come out of the experience of my father's death, along with many others from that period. That song is too complex even for me to figure out. It came out of the experience of watching him go through chemotherapy, which seemed to me like injecting cold poisonous metals into your body and how I could not bear to have him tell me any kind of goodbye.

You write on the cd `No musical instrument of any kind were used on this album`. A funny way of stating that you use only a guitar to play your songs. Ever thought of adding different instruments?

There's lots of instruments on the album. I put that there in order to be contrary. Not very funny, I admit.

You played in The Maggies and nowadays are part of The Winterpills. Isn´t it difficult to play in a band when you are also a solo performer? What do you prefer to do?

I completely prefer a band. In fact, I don't really do any solo performances these days. Winterpills is my full-time musical vehicle. Having a band is hard on logistical levels (touring, money, etc), but I always hear so many parts for my songs that whenever I do play solo, it seems far too undeveloped and anemic-sounding.

What are your thoughts about today´s music industry, I mean you are still an unsigned artist or not? And are you able to make a living out of your activities as an artist?

Winterpills are signed to a small label called Signature Sounds, which partners with Soft Alarm. It's a real label, not just a logo, and without them it would be very hard. I think labels still have great validity, but really only as independents - like your favorite tiny bookstore with a bookseller who loves books and knows them and can help you find your way through them. I have many views on the state of the industry but they are very boring.

I still have not found a way to make a living from music, though. For many years I was raising a family and could not tour extensively. Now I am on my own and touring much more than I ever did, and I'm very grateful for the opportunity, or having stuck to my guns long enough to see it come to this. There is no question that Winterpills has been the most successful, artistically and financially, than any other project I have been involved in. Which is not to say we make any money. Enough to keep the boat afloat, shall we say.

As far as I know you never toured in Europe? Any plans to show your face over here one day?

Yes. That's all I can say right now. We have signed with a UK publishing company that plans to bring us over sometime in 2008.

Is 2008 the year where we can expect the new Philip Price solo album, because it´s been a while ago?

No solo albums in the works. A new Winterpills album comes out in July. All my energies have been going towards that. Perhaps next year there will be some leftover songs for a solo album. There are enough songs for several solo albums, but its a matter of devoting the time and energy to doing it properly, which would mean taking a break from Winterpills, which I cannot do at this point.

Thanks for your answers and hopefully this free publicity will bring you some more sales over here, because to me it´s a mystery why your music never has been picked up by many more music lovers.

Thanks Chenque, maybe we'll sell a couple. Everything is very mysterious.

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Let's do that! Werk van Philip Price is heel eenvoudig verkrijgbaar via de prima internetwinkel CdBaby. Let op er zijn wel twee Philip Price's te vinden op deze site, je moet deze hebben. Hier is overigens ook alles van zijn vorige band The Maggies te koop voor een schijntje. Hugo Vogel van altcountry.nl tipte mij Robot Stories van The Maggies, die ik nu in bestelling heb bij CdBaby.

MySpace Philip Price

Website The Winterpills

Foto Winterpills by Ana Price-Eckles

1 opmerking:

Stan zei

Goed interview! Ik vind het zelf ook vreemd hoe ze nog zo onbekend zijn.

Ik denk dat Robot Stories je wel zal bevallen. A long dark see you en Leaning slightly forward zijn twee favorieten.