When we first met our next featured artist not only were we taken back by his uniqueness but we were totally intrigued by what he has in store for the future and what better way to see what was in store then to ask him to be a part of our latest compilation! –Lucid-In my dreams Well good news and lucky for us he said yes. Join us as we meet the artist known as 555!
Sev: So for those who aren’t familiar with you and your music, who are you and where are you from?
My name is Christopher Farstad, Chris for short. I am a musician who hails from Minnesota, now living in New Orleans, LA. As far as my music, I’d say it’s pretty safe to say has spanned from the psychedelic electronics of the Krautrock, to Punk and Dub persuasion later moving on to “vaporwave,” ambient and footwork. I try and make music that delves into trash culture and high culture equally and uses tones and compositional elements from New Age music like Deuter, Ray Lynch, or Iasos along with intensely percussive elements from many different sources. It could be Carnatic classical music, it could be DJ Rashad, it could be Omar Souleyman, it could be Frankie Knuckles, it could be Carl Craig. I try not to repeat myself and resist having an overt genre that I’m working in, but it seems to congeal more or less along those lines.
Sev: What is your earliest memory of music?
My earliest memory of music is rewinding the credit sequence of the VHS copy I had of the Land Before Time to hear Diana Ross kill it over and over on that track. I don’t really care about the movie in anything other than a nostalgic way, even if I seem to remember the first one being significantly better than the rest of the series. It’s a crazy song, you should re-listen to it if you’re not sure if you remember it!
Sev: What’s been your craziest “Green Room” experience thus far?
Opening for the indie-rock guitar goddess Marnie Stern and having her convince a friend of mine to watch her little Yorkshire terrier while she played her set which was kind of weird. I also played a “Psy-Trance” festival in the middle of the woods in Minnesota about a year ago, which was basically a couple of decorative wall coverings strung up around a stage area and was more black-lights than speakers until they finally found the cables that Collin the Sound Guy was supposed to have brought. Like any night after a strange Raver/Forest Elf colony foray, illegal things were done. Let’s just say I half remember listening to Los Saicos in the parking lot of a Super America and some extended dancefloor edits of radio static improv sessions on the long drive home.
Sev: Do you have any rituals that you do to prepare for a show?
I usually bike if the show is in New Orleans. I haven’t played in like a tour capacity at all really just from lack of resources, but I’m working on that. I prepare for it by practicing, rehearsing everything from the way I physically pack things to the best sequence for whatever interpretation of whatever tracks or setting I’m working with. I’ve played at yoga studios, I’ve played clubs, I’ve played houses. It’s always different, depending on where I am and what I’m doing. I try to practice flute at least a half hour a day, if not more. I’m just trying to stay focused about it, trying to get better, and that’s basically it. Every second of your life is preparing you for what’s coming, whether you know it or not, you know?
Sev: There’s a lot of new music out there these days, what are you listening to? what do you recommend?
I really don’t know, whatever you need to hear. I’m pretty all over the place and inconsistent in my listening habits. I get obsessed with things, then drop them later and treat it as a log in the expanding file of the mind or whatever. The Internet has completely changed how music happens in my life, and especially as someone who can remember going to record stores and buying records because you couldn’t hear this music any other way, I can’t really recommend anything other than to listen to as much as your can take before it eliminates your desire to listen to anything at all. I listen to music in a lot of different ways, I use a Buddha machine* for biking, I listen to cassettes, I download records, I listen to youtube videos, I listen to birds. It’s all kind of the same thing on some level, and really just comes down to emotional preference. I’ve been making mixes through Mixcloud, and that’s kind of become something of a running sound map of all things 555. I’m trying to make a mix series that kind of this half auto-biographical/temporal thing where I try to only create mixes from actual cassette tapes, then sequence them digitally and treat it as a broadcast of this collection that I’ve picked up, but then also half this ongoing record of musical ‘zones’ from the past that resonate with what I’m trying to do as a musician in the present. So I recommend that! Other than that, check out carnaticradio.com for ad-free musical bliss.
*A free Buddha machine, or “chanting box” can be obtained from the Amitabha Society @ http://www.amtbweb.org/tchet420.htm
Sev: So how can people find your music and get connected to you?
They can find my music on Mixcloud, on soundcloud, on youtube through videos I’ve lent music to, through file downloading services like Soulseek, and through my Patreon page where you can get all my music for under $2, and it uses pooled funds to concretely express support when new albums are released. It’s pretty brilliant, and I’m only just winging it as far as how this kind of thing is done. If you’re super interested you can be one of the $15.55 people who can look at all the attendant material surrounding the creation of new things and feel extra good about supporting an independent music artist. There’s no other connection that would really make sense, I feel. What else can I really give than that? I’m not trying to say other ways of connection aren’t possible, but I am personally very skeptical of the illusion of access that Web 2.0 has seemed to give people. I have a Facebook page, I have a Twitter account, and I sympathize with people who are at best ambivalent about social media. I just treat it as different kinds of filters to reach different kinds of people. Go on, reach out!
I started a Patreon campaign, so if you want to support the project, check it out at www.patreon.com/555 and listen to everything at www.mixcloud.com/555sounds
Soundcloud and Bandcamp are still available at
www.soundcloud.com/555sounds and 555sounds.bandcamp.com
Som Hassel from the album Nine Gates by Nic Wilson:
Rainbow Death from the album Solar Express by Nic Wilson: