Artist Interview: Europa
Talk to us more about your latest release
The Europa – Supernova project has been a collection of me producing one rapper, but mainly 2 tracks for about 5 different female vocalists. I am a guitarist first, vocalist second like Johnny Cash, Mike Ness, and of course Joe Strummer, so I’ll be focusing on producing, mastering, engineering unless a red-hot rhythm section falls into my lap one last time. Like Brian Setzer’s situation post-Stray cats (one of my biggest influence).
What inspired you to write this release?
Well, I never stop programming beats, then pads, piano, guitars, and words/melody (always in that order), so when the opportunity came to email my song for someone to add a vocal too and vice versa, a whole new world opened up to me. Being from the garage band ethos, I could never have imagined this style of working. And I must say, although I did most of my music, fanzines, apparel, and promoting through my own force of will, my Graphic arts teacher mentored me, and my father by his absence gave me freedom of action. So I wanted to help new artists as much as I could to give back simply for the joy and karmic wonder of it.
Any plans to release a video?
Hopefully, I meet a young filmmaker and is inspired enough to do a cityscape, sort of fast-paced or frenetic camera movement of Tokyo to a song I have of that name. To be frank I am a musician, writer, graphic designer (a la Warhol’s Campbell print), and studying blogging and web design. I leave the painting to the gifted painters and the same for everything to playing Chess or Film direction. I love to read and grow, but I also know thy self if you will.
Any plans to hit the road?
I don’t keep a calendar because I could be in Miami recording a reggaeton LP, or a live on location DJ set. Mostly I work in my home studio, and having started professionally (literally one a cable show repeated 1000 times between 1986-1990), I have played a thousand gigs in one of the 5 bands I’ve led, played guitar/ keyboards alongside DJ’s at warehouse raves in 1991-1995 when they were illegal parties. I moved to LA at 21 and Vegas before returning to Orlando in 1999. I’ve recorded in Manhattan at P Diddy’s Vault, so when I am off, the Florida beach, freestyle frisbee, tennis, and life need to be lived in order to have topics to draw from once it is again time to work.
As an indie artist, how do you brand yourself and your music to stand out from the rest of the artists out there?
I have been fortunate enough to be on the crest of alternative, punk, and EDM. My fanzine The Melting Pot created from 2/90-07/92 was positioned at the perfect time so as to get record company promo kits from Korn, Tool, Rollins Band, Ice Cube (Wicked LP), White Zombie, plus another 20 more, and I made it a point to bluster my way backstage to get interviews with Billie Joe from Green Day and Greg Graffin from Bad Religion. Therefore I have a certain level of mutual respect with many people in many positions and I know how to trade a favor. I use it for artists I support as well as my own projects.
Who have you been listening to lately?
I am a self-described OCD music fan. Thanks to youtube I can go from Rites of Spring to Enigma, Chopin into Duran Duran at Coachella, Fugazi to The Police in Tokyo 2008, and so forth. Other times Robert Johnson, into Beastie Boys, Rage Against The Machine live 1999, to an early TSOL concert at Long Beach Polytechnic. And so and so forth. Lou Reed, Fugazi, Public Enemy, to Yellowcard. If it has a nostalgic purpose or I see The Breakfast Club and then Don’t You Forget About Me is alive and well. I rely on young people I trust to tell me what’s hot right now, and believe it or not I ignore the charts. I feel those are for the grey middle of which I am far apart from.
What else is happening next in your world?
I actually wrote about an hour and 40 minutes of instrumental music that flows from one area to the next when I was 14 and learned to pick and move beyond power chords alone. The night before my father passed I walked a Martin 12 string into his Hospice, greeted him, and played the whole 100 minutes of it nearly until my fingers bled. He cried tears of joy most of the time, and when the final A minor chord rang out he reached for me, hugged me and told me how proud he was of me and apologized that this was his first time saying it. I waved that away and told him I loved him and would see him in the morning…That morning never came but it was one of the best times if not THE best time in my entire life. The whole wing listened. it was supernatural. I plan to finally record it 30 years later for posterity. It could take 6 months, easy.
Thanks for an awesome interview, Glenn!