Culture Shock Interview: Ty Segall
Bari Where is your favorite place to write music and what process do you usually take when writing?
Ty My bedroom, the process is really just trial and error. I just try and do different stuff and some of it is really bad, and some of it I work on more. Doing that while recording is how I do a lot of my writing.
Bari Are you still working with any of the bands you were in, and what has it been like working solo versus playing in a band?
Ty No, I’m not with any of those bands anymore. The main difference [between playing in a band and playing solo] is that I’m writing 100% of the music. I’ll have a complete idea and it’s more up to my brain, which is cool. But what’s awesome about writing music with other people is you come to a different conclusion, because they always bring something to the table that you would never think of doing if they’re good at writing. But it’s really nice to execute ideas that I really want and have complete control. I’m always down to collaborate with people though, always and forever. I’m collaborating with someone on a new album that will be coming out over the summer.
Bari So far, you are following a pattern of cranking out albums at an alarming rate of about 2-3 a year. Do you typically put a lot of thought into the compilation of an album and how coherent it will sound, or are you more focused on individual songs?
Ty Well, I’ve always been focused on the whole album as an idea. But I’ve gotten a lot more focused on it in over the past year, because the idea of the album is the most important thing to me.
Bari What was the idea behind Melted?
Ty It flows; it works the whole way through. The idea was wanting to have transition and a little bit of noise to help it flow really, really well. There really was no thematic, long running idea, except for paranoia and mental illness. The theme is kind of a warped reality from the brain, which I was kind of feeling, so there’s a lot of that going on. The bottom line is that the songs sound great and work well together.
Bari Do you have themes that you write about the most, and what are they?
Ty I write about weirdo problems in my brain that I notice or that I’m making up what I have, and just random stuff. Topical things, like standing at the station, just pretty random things. A lot of those have to do with my perspective of a person who’s brain is their worst enemy. There are a lot of different themes… bleakness is another one. Sometimes I try to write a love song, which I’ve been a little successful with.
Bari Where do you want your listeners to experience your music?
Ty Where ever they like, as long as they listen to it. I like listening to music with headphones on, that kind of experience.
Bari If you could play a set with any musician, who would it be?
Ty Jimi Hendrix, it’s cliché, but worth it.
Bari Who is your biggest musical influece?
Ty I have too many influences, there’s not one particular thing that is my biggest influence.
Bari Who/what got you into music?
Ty I think my parents; my mom says that ever since I was a baby I’d sing in the backseat. I’d sing a long to hair metal, like the song Cherry Pie; my mom says that was my favorite song when I was a baby.
Bari What are you most looking forward to about your trip to Culture Shock?
Ty Playing and hanging, the whole thing. I’m stoked.
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