My favorite livejournal belongs to silenceinspades. He was all like, 'why don't people do livejournal interviews with people who they think are interesting?' and I was all like, 'how about if I interview you?' and he was all like 'all right, I guess.'
SL: Why are you called silenceinspades?
SIP: There was no important reasoning behind choosing that as a livejournal name. It was probably between that and calling it some sort of Nordic barbarian name, like Elroc the Destroyer.
It's just a misheard Superchunk lyric. For a sort of mediocre indie band they have some really good lyrics. In their song 'Indoor Living' they are telling, what I assume to be, the story of a girl that never leaves her apartment and is only in contact with the outside world because her life is televised. At one point they sing about satellites communicating and say 'silence in space.' I thought they said 'silence in spades.' Though i guess 'space' makes more sense, it just seems less poetic and made me rethink whether or not the band actually does have good lyrics.
Also, people that know me in real life know that the odds of me opening my mouth are small unless we're discussing religious philosophy, comic books or the Gilmore Girls.
SL: You've been posting songs to your livejournal for a while now under the name Go Down, Matthew. What is the origin of that band name, and why did you choose it to represent your music?
SIP: Go Down, Matthew is from the Djuna Barnes book Nightwood. It was originally the name of a band I was in in college. I basically just thought it sounded cool but also, we were 3 english majors that thought we were going to make really intelligent 'post pop.' Then we just ended up writing songs, that weren't really intelligent, about girls.
I'd like to say that I kept the name because the book is about deconstructionism and constantly references other parts of culture and that's what I'm trying to do with music, but that's a lie. I still just think it sounds cool.
SL: When did you start recording? Was there a gap between the time you began writing music and when you first shared it with others? Do you record much that doesn't eventually get shared?
SIP: I started recording when i was a kid well before I knew how to actually play any sort of instrument. My friends and I used to make tapes and mostly give them to each other. We also gave them out in school. Something that made us instantly cool and brought us endless amounts of adoration.
I only write songs when I'm recording. Especially now that I only make music by myself. Like anything I make if I let the idea sit in my head for too long I just start to hate it and move on to the next thing. If I can't write and record a song in a few hours I give up and go do something else (like teach orphans to read).
For every one song I put up on the internet there are about 5 that no one hears. Again, if I record something and don't share it right away, I start to dislike it. The stuff i put on lj is stuff I recorded a few minutes before I post it.
SL: When did you first start posting songs to the Internet? Do you find the response from Internet listeners is similar to those who hear your music the old fashioned way (via CD, etc.)? If not, how do the responses differ?
SIP: I first started posting songs to the internet when I figured out how to post songs to the internet. The major difference between people that hear my stuff online and the people that heard it from a CD is that the internet listeners actually share an opinion. It may just be that it's easier to listen to or more people are hearing it so the odds of someone getting back to you are better. It may also be that people that are actually interested are hearing it. I'm not just giving a CD to my Grandmother and my Spanish-speaking neighbors.
SL: It's been a while since you posted a story, but the ones you have posted have been excellent. Does most of your writing tend to coalesce into the ultra-short story format of your livejournal posts, or do you write longer pieces in private? What are some of the differences you've noticed in writing these shorter pieces as opposed to longer narratives? Is it easier or more difficult to get your point across?
I'm constantly writing stories. I think the best stories get their point across in the shortest amount of time possible. I don't really like novels that are more than 300 or so pages long. It seems sort of pointless to me.
I tend to write short stories because of that but also because if I start a story and don't finish it, I very rarely come back to it. I wrote a screenplay for a friend of mine a couple of months ago and had to force myself to sit and write it for 12 straight hours, because every time I would begin to continue writing it I would change the entire thing.
The future is in the ultra short story. Right? People don't have time for anything else.
SL: For the last while you've also been posting original graphics to illustrate your posts (which I think are fantastic, by the way). When did you begin consciously incorporating a visual element into your writing and music?
SIP: When I was in bands I would always be designing cover art and fliers well before we actually had any songs. I also wanted to be a film maker when I was a kid before I realized you had to work with other people to do that. And I have been writing comics for a while.
Figuring out photoshop has made it so that I can sort of make the pictures in my head. I've been unwittingly devoting most of my time to that recently.
SL: Is it obnoxious when people ask you to explain your art? What are some drawbacks you've noticed of revealing the background and intentions of your artwork?
SIP: I like explaining my art. The biggest drawback though, seems to be, people will believe you are a pretentious bastard. Or at least, my fear that people will realize that I'm a pretentious bastard, because I think I might be.
I would like to go into my complete intentions for say, writing the song 'The Gnostic Hates The City On Xmas.' I'd like to explain that I thought it would be amusing to make a christmas song about a character that believes that not only is christmas a mockery of what he feels it's supposed to be but the entire world is a mockery of what it is supposed to be because none of it is real. But I usually don't, because I don't think most people really care.
SL: Is livejournal a significant part of your day? In what proportion to television?
SIP: Livejournal IS my day.
Sort of. I have a lot of downtime at work usually so I'm on the internet constantly and for some reason lj is the most interesting thing to me right now. I read a lot of completely random journals. I'm scarily into reading entries written by teenage kids about how they want to marry Rivers Cuomo and hate their parents. I think it's brilliant.
I've been thinking about how well a livejournal anthology book would do. Only because on certain nights, I think this style of writing has surpassed the normal 'blog' style and is going to be the 'new thing' in literature. Then some nights I think about the guy that invented the spatula and how fucking strange that is.
I only really watch television on the weekend. It makes me turn into an angry old man that hates everything and I'm not sure why. Except for the Gilmore Girls, The Golden Girls and Rosanne. Seriously.
SL: Any livejournals you'd like to recommend for our readers?
SIP: There are about 20 completely genius people on my friends page. And 2 I absolutely hate. I'm saying don't read those 2. There also used to be this old guy that read palms for a living that was constantly trying to pick up teenage girls on his livejournal. Sadly, he's not around anymore.
Image by silenceinspades and stanleylieber