Oh man. Pulling no punches. The tough questions right out of the gates. Twitterview. Yes…. no. Yes. Twitterview.
TS: too bad, I like Twinterview better.
KA: You’re right. It’s Twinterview. Just the hard-hitting nature of that first question really had me on my heels. Twinterview.
TS: 09 has been a big year, Way Out West, The Seeker EP, Red River Records, and new album. You must have a big work ethic
KA: Some of it is work ethic, some of it is feeling like lightning struck – repeatedly – for the first time in about three years.
TS: Striking while the iron is hot so to speak. The Seeker EP came out this Tuesday, correct? tell me about it.
KA: Yeah, digital only, just like its companion piece Way Out West. All home-recorded covers done on my laptop between gigs…
KA: I wanted to hold people over until Nowhere Nights was released, and I’ve been playing these tunes for years. Seemed obvious.
TS: a companion EP to Way Out West so to speak. I guess I’m not the first to say Way Out West doesn’t sound like a covers album
KA: No, you’re not, and that was the point. I had been playing these tunes for years so it was only natural to sort of inhabit them.
TS: I love the way you reworked the songs into your own. What are some of your favorite cover songs?
KA: Wow, too many to list. John Cale’s “Hallelujah.” Pearl Jam’s “Fuckin’ Up,” Cat Power’s “She’s Got You.” Yours?
TS: I really love complete reworkings, such as Vanilla Fudge’s “Keep Me Hangin’ On”, and Steppenwolf’s “The Pusher”
KA: Vanilla Fudge! Well played. I don’t love that new Dead Weather record, but their take on “New Pony” is pretty cool.
TS: So what actually made you decide to record Way Out West and The Seeker on your laptop, and do an all digital release?
KA: Necessity for the laptop. I’m living and touring in Europe for most of this year and wanted to make a record on my own, for fun.
KA: Digital-only: Nowhere Nights is gonna get the all-hands-on-deck PR treatment, and these were just stopgaps for fans…
KA: so it was quick and easy to put them out that way. I’m one of a dying breed who still likes to unwrap a record when I buy it.
TS: Well I think it was a good play for you, you seem really tuned in to finding a niche in the changing music biz
KA: Thank you. People really seem to dig the covers thing. I was shocked, frankly. It was a gas to record. As for the business…
KA: people who don’t/won’t/can’t adapt get left behind. I love the way blogs have changed media. You’ve seen that firsthand, right?
TS: Definitely. I like to think of music bloggers as the new DJs and Zines all rolled into one. Although a little more chaotic
KA: But it has really opened things up. People interact instead of just being told that something is good or bad, y’know?
KA: Used to be, “oh DeRogatis hates this record, it sucks or he sucks or whatever.” Now there’s dialogue.
TS: Yes, such as what we are doing now. The lines between fan, artist, and media are getting a little blurry
KA: How is Twitter going to change things for everyone? People can critique shows as they happen, post MP3s hours later, etc.
KA: To my knowledge, this is the first Twinterview. Blurred lines can mean more of a community, or more bickering and backbiting.
TS: Twinterview pioneers, going down in history!
TS: It’s certainly an exciting time to be a music fan, how do you feel about the internet/blogs/mp3’s/etc.. as an artist?
KA: I think it’s great. Anything that gets people involved in making or discussing art is great. I still listen to records, but…
KA: the iPod (or any MP3 player) has changed the way people listen to music. Anyone who says otherwise is kidding themselves.
KA: And blogs and Twitter allow for the dialogue I mentioned, so it’s great. The more people listening, free or not, the better.
TS: very nice insights. I also still enjoy records…vinyl records. That is my favorite trend in music nowadays….
TS: Vinyl records with digital downloads. Such as what your doing with your upcoming LP
KA: Mine too. One of the first things I bought when I moved over here for the year was a portable turntable and some records.
KA: Weird to see vinyl at those big box stores now, though. Vinyl is one of those things, they got it right the first time, y’know?
TS: Haven’t any records at the box stores around here yet, but nothing like the record experience in my opinion
KA: Yeah, it’s a whole ritual, unwrapping the record, dropping the needle. Such a warm sound. I saw vinyl at Barnes and Noble.
KA: Since we’re using Twitter now, I gotta ask: who are your five favorite follows?
TS: 5 Favorite follows, I would say you, @kellywrobison, @JasonIsbell, @ThatKevinSmith, and @donttrythis. That was hard, yours?
KA: 5 favorite follows. Damn. For music, I love yours, @autopsy4 and @Rockstar_Aimz. @SarahKSilverman and @michaelianblack kill me.
TS: Yep, I enjoy all those too. So yeah, tell me about the new album Nowhere Nights
KA: and I’m adding two other favorite follows. In terms of people who “get it,” @shaneheadboy (great blog, too) and @ERIKAjaneC.
KA: Recorded Nowhere Nights at Jackpot! in Portland, with Eric Ambel who produced Dead Roses and The Reckoning.
KA: Essentially, it’s about all of the personal wreckage I left behind when I moved back to Portland from Bellingham, WA.
KA: It’s the first record I’ve made that’s entirely about my own shit, with one exception…
KA: The song “I Was A Photograph” is about Lance Cpl. James Blake Miller. Look him up. I’m incredibly proud of that song.
TS: as you should be. That’s an incredible song, one of your best in my opinion. Glad to hear it will be on the new one
KA: Album comes out February 2010, but we’ll be sneaking out a few vinyl copies this fall as a warm-up
KA: Thank you. Highlight of my life as a musician was learning that Blake heard that song and liked it.
TS: I think it’s one of those career defining songs. Has NPR called yet?
KA: Ha. Not yet. But here’s hoping they get wind of it. More people should hear Blake’s story. Those words are his as much as mine.
TS: so what made you decide to start your own label, and where does the name come from?
KA: I was pretty fed up with working with labels. I figured if somebody was going to fuck things up for me, it might as well be me.
KA: The name comes from a Dylan song, “Red River Shore” which was unreleased until he put out Bootlegs Vol. 8.
KA: I’m excited about the label. We’re putting out records by Chip Robinson (Backsliders) & Eric Ambel next year, along w/ mine.
TS: I did not know that. Dylan, Waits, Springsteen, I also hear a lot of Steve Earle, who else are you major influences?
TS: oops, did not know that about the Dylan song,never heard it. Let’s talk about Chip and Eric before getting to your influences
KA: Sure. Chip’s record is phenomenal. Just phenomenal. I loved the Backsliders and it’s an honor to be putting out his record.
KA: Eric Ambel played guitar w/ Joan Jett, he was a Del Lord, played in Earle’s band, produced the Bottle Rockets, Blue Mountain…
TS: Those guys are legends in my opinion. Been a Backsliders fan from way back & Eric has been involved with many of my favorites
KA: Exactly. They’re legends. Especially in the circles I travel in. I’m ecstatic to be releasing their records.
TS: I’m excited to hear them. Just hope their record label doesn’t f’ them over
KA: “Red River Records: Take the Money and Run.”
KA: Influences: Dylan, Waits, Earle, Springsteen, Townes, Prince, Redding, Cooke, Tom Russell, Pearl Jam.
KA: I grew up listening to Earle, Dylan, Pearl Jam and the Stones. I got real lucky with my folks’ record collection.
TS: so who or what made you actually want to start writing and recording songs?
KA: My grandfather played in a big band – The Many Sounds of 9 – in the 40s & 50s. He died when my mom was 18, before I was born…
KA: so music was sort of a way to get in touch with that. And the other thing that made me really want to write songs was…
KA: hearing Earle and Dylan at such a young age, knowing exactly what songs could be when done right
KA: Oddly enough, this may be the most enjoyable interview I’ve ever done. I gotta split soon, though, it’s 2:30 AM in Germany…
KA: And I’ve been getting up at 5 to make my girlfriend breakfast before she goes to work.
TS: understand, I’ve been enjoying it too. In closing, summarize yourself in 140 characters
KA: Define myself in 140 characters. “Kasey Anderson: A man among other, different men.” Hey, look at that, characters to spare.
TS: Hey, I’ll let you go and thanks for your time. Twinterview history…..made
KA: Thank you, man. It was really my pleasure. Holler soon.