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Monsquaz interview [Jan. 6th, 2006|11:36 am]
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Netpal Monsquaz is a musician I got to know via the Zappa.com forum.

His music can be found here: http://monsquaz.dmusic.com/

Here is the interview:

Cap_Scaleman: You have made a few albums in your life, but when did you start and why?

Monsquaz: I started sometime in November 2002, when I was playing around with
a program for the Mac, called Mac Audio Toolbox, which is a simple
tone generating program. I was just beginning to get into abstract
music at the time, and upon noticing an audio recording function built
into the program, I thought something along the lines of "hey, I could
use this to make music." So I did. In less than a week, I produced my
first album, titled "lel." Less than a month later, I started work on
my second album, "Gender Neutral," and it went from there.

CS: How does an intriguing piece of music sound to you?

M: It's hard to describe, but it's usually something that stirs my
attention by registering as unique. Whether it's a sound effect,
several or more sounds, a melody or progression, etc., doesn't matter.
I simply like things that don't sound familiar.

CS: Do you look for inspirational music intentionally or do you rather
make a random pick out of a group of unknown musicians?

M: I'm willing to pick from random, but I'll sometimes check
recommendations, as well. I've found some great stuff using both
methods, alike.

CS: Which one of your albums do you see as biggest artistical achievement?

M: Retired Chili Dog, my third one. Generally, I find that the more
albums and songs I go through, the better I find the output and
variety. RCD has a different variety of sources: audio samplings, MIDI
compositions, and just about anything I could find on the internet
that could make cool noises. Some of it I'm not entirely pleased with,
but I think it's still rather fun to listen to. If I had to give any
one album to a label as a demo, that would be the one.

CS: Why do you prefer midiprograms? Do you find those programs as more
interesting because of the lack of use of the midi form in other
musical forms?

M: Well, MIDI is a rather broad term. Wikipedia can explain it better
than I can. In the case of my music, however, I use programs to record
music as MIDI signals into .mid data files that mine or anyone else's
on-board MIDI software synthesizer in their computer can play. Later,
I might import it into a sequencer like Apple GarageBand to resample
it into something more polished, if I think it's necessary.
I find the general consensus among the scholarly types of music
production is that these files by themselves, paired with the default
software synthesizer that most people are familiar with, are very
cheesy and unprofessional if used as anything other than rough
sketches, but I toss this assertion aside, especially if I can find
something in a .mid that catches my ear.
As far as preference goes, MIDI just happens to be the easiest, most
accessible form of writing and recording music that I've found without
the use of actual instruments or specialty hardware, of which I have
no training in, or ready access to (with an exception of an Edirol PCR
30 MIDI interface keyboard I received as a gift a few years ago). I
think it's more of a matter of practicality. Work with what you have,
as well as with what you can obtain easily.

CS: What do people think of your music? Do you have other peoples
comments in mind whenever you do music?

M: It's usually either a nugget of dung or gold for most people,
although I've received plenty of mixed comments about it. I rarely
ever take peoples' comments into consideration when making music. I do
what I please, and anyone else liking it is an added bonus.

CS: Would you ever try and put your music on a netlabel?

M: With what I have, sure, but I've got a lot more work to do, both
habitually and technically, as a musician, before I consider
submitting to a label as a continual artist.

CS: What kind of music do you prefer the most?

M: Whatever sounds good usually does it for me, as described in my
answer to your second question. My taste spans a lot of genres, but
there are some genres I could totally blacklist. For example, people
in some online social circles I've frequented and seen both now and in
the past, keep raving about these allegedly spectacular "underground
hip-hop" artists that stand out from the rest, but I've been
disappointed by each of them. I have never *honestly* liked any form
of rap or hip-hop, excluding some filk artists/groups here and there-
The Lords of the Rhymes, MC Hawking, etc. Mike Patton put out a
collaboration album he did with The X-ecutioners last year, and I
liked that, as well.

CS: Do you have any interest in other artforms such as painting or litterature?

M: I like viewing the occasional painting, but I do very little visual
artwork. I also try to read books often, but I'm more likely to do it
away from home, like in school or on the go, as it's difficult to pry
myself away from the computer to do the latter while at home, unless
it isn't very late at night and I'd be about ready to go to bed soon
either way.

CS: Any favourite author/artist in those genres/artistical areas?

M: I think Dali and most of the classic surrealist painters are good,
and even proto-surrealists like Hieronymus Bosch. My taste in visual
art usually echoes that of my taste in music, so I might find anyone
interesting. Those ones just happen to stand out.
It's no different for literature, either. Searching for a good
perennial favorite author, or several authors, is a hell of a feat,
but Kurt Vonnegut has been my current favorite since the summer of
2004. Joseph Heller, whose Catch-22 I started reading a while ago, was
into tongue-in-cheek humor like Vonnegut, but I vastly prefer Kurt's
brand. I think it's the more blatantly surreal humor that does it for
me. I liked Douglas Adams for the same reason.

CS: Do you think that you got the ability to write a novel?

M: No, not right now. Creating a good plot is difficult, and I'm not
quite up to it at the moment. It's a creative avenue that might be
worth checking into in the future, though.

CS: Have you ever met someone who's been a cultural snob?

M: Yes. It's happened far too many times, or far-too seldom times I
took very seriously, to describe any that stood out, though.

CS: Does the fact that there is snobbism in musical areas bothering you?

M: Of course. It's a pain in the ass to deal with, but quite frankly,
I think music has the highest rate of both snobs and snobbery out of
any popular artform I've seen, even ahead of literature. It's pretty
much a given to find snobs, especially in a given genre.

CS: Thank you for this interview?

M: Yes, thank you. A pleasure.