STATIC AGE’s Andrew Paley and Bremen’s very own Zeki Min will join forces for a tour through German living rooms in early july.
Since both guys will share heaps of time together on the road, it is important to clarify important issues in advance – like the playlist in the car, favourite characters from The Wire, so both guys sat down for a little chat…
Zeki asking Andrew
Right at the beginning a personal one. What was your favorite place when you were kid and why?
The first one that comes to mind is a particular spot in the forest near the house where I grew up. We lived at the end of a dirt road in a tiny rural town in the woods of central Vermont when I was in grade school, and I spent a lot of time at that house alone during the afternoons before my mother would come home from work. I used to wander out into this area of the forest where the underbrush opened up into a clearing surrounded on all sides by dense woods, and there was a whole bed of ferns and moss around a single huge, collapsed tree. The only standing tree in the whole space was a single birch. I used to climb it and sit in the branches and just listen to all of the sounds of the space around me.
Thanks for reminding me about — I hadn’t thought about it in a long time!
You are a constantly traveling musician. But how did it all start with making music for you? Why pick up a guitar and not just listen to music?
My father is a musician as well, and so there were guitars around the house when I was growing up. I played a few other instruments in grade school before I finally picked one up though — piano, for instance. By the time I was maybe 12 or 13, I was focusing on guitar — and I really enjoyed just seeing what sounds I could make. I took lessons very briefly, but I quickly stopped as they were mostly based around learning to play other people’s songs — and I found the process of learning like that generally less interesting than just banging on the thing until I figured it out for myself (though there are a few exceptions there).
So yeah, ultimately, I don’t think making the leap from listening to playing was really a conscious decision — I just picked up a guitar and started making noise one day, and haven’t really stopped since.
Life on the road is often romanticized and not everything is as glamorous as people say. In the last year I sometimes wondered „Why am I even doing this?“. What is it that keeps you going? What is it that makes you leave your home, friends and family?
That’s a great question, and there are a lot of parts to what compels me to play music and tour. One thing — specifically on touring — is that I think it’s a phenomenal adventure, even when things are tough. There’s something incredibly compelling about seeing the world this way — I’ve been to something like 20 countries in the last five years that I never would have gone to without doing this, and I got to actually share some of the things that fell out of my head with people while I was in each of them. Even when tour gets rough — you’re homesick, or the van breaks down, or you end up crashing on a floor for two hours before getting up and getting back in the van and doing it all again — the fact that I’ve gotten to do any of this and see the world this way has been more than worth it.
We will be sharing the van for a tour in july. What will be records you will be putting on if you are sitting in the DJ-seat?
Hm…let’s see. I’m all over the map on my playlists. You can expect TYCHO to PROPAGHANDI to KATE BUSH and a bunch of things in between. We’ll see when we get there next month, but I’ll have some playlists ready!
I really love your solo music but you haven’t put out anything recently. What are your plans on new songs and records?
Thanks a lot. Well, I’ve been busy working on a bunch of things for the past year, including new solo songs, THE STATIC AGE’s next record, and a few other projects here and there. I’ve got a bunch of stuff getting close to being ready, so there will be some announcements later this summer/fall.
Andrew asking Zeki
If you could have someone listen to only one song you wrote, which one would it be? Why?
That’s hard to answer because you always have a very different perspective on your own songs. I’d say „Out In The Wild“. Just because I love this song so much, it’s atmospheric, and it’s special to me.
If you could go back in time, is there anything you would tell yourself on the day you played your first Show?
I’ve started playing solo shows four years ago. When I think back to the first show, not much has changed really, haha. My solo shows are always very improvised and in-the-moment. I don’t think I have any good advice for myself and it’s unlikely I’d be following to it…
What’s your favorite city that you’ve played? If you could play any place (that you haven’t yet), where would it be?
Recently I prefer the smaller cities, or villages and smaller venues. All in all my shows in Magdeburg have been some of the most special to me. Magdeburg Wohnzimmer Shows always have new and crazy venues and I’ve found lots of friends there. I never thought that I’d say that, but I always love to be in Magdeburg. But there are so many places where I found a home from home with beautiful people.
As for places I haven’t been yet, I love to tour other countries. I would love to play shows in Korea and Japan. That would be a dream.
When we’re touring together, what songs will you be putting on the driving playlist?
Well, I’m more of an album guy. At the moment I listen to the latest JOSH RITTER album a lot. But all of his albums I love. „Oh Fortune“ by Dan Mangan is also one of my favorites. And I would show you the music of my friends, TRAVEL AND TRUNKS, STUMFOL, COMPLAINTS and HENRI PARKER. Plus, to mix in some hip hop, one of the most played albums in my list right now is R.A. The Rugged Man’s „Legends Never Die“.
You mention that one of your favorite TV shows is The Wire. First off, that’s awesome. But I’m curious: who’s your favorite character?
I like Bunk, Kima and Freamon, but then, who doesn’t like Freamon? However, one of the things I particularly love about the series is that there really are no lovable characters in it. There is no real hero. They all have giant flaws and so the line between good and bad gets blurred, if not completely erased. This is one of the reasons I really dig this show.
03.07.16 GER Krefeld – Houseshow
04.07.16 GER Enkirch – Toms Musikkeller
05.07.16 GER Mainz – Houseshow
06.07.16 GER Leipzig – Stoned
07.07.16 GER Berlin – Houseshow