Digital Leather es una banda (o como dice el mismo Shawn Foree, un proyecto) que todos ustedes deben conocer. Por eso nos dimos a la tarea de tratar de conseguir una entrevista con su líder. Aunque pensamos que no nos sería posible, al igual que todas las otras entrevistas que hemos llevado a cabo hasta ahora, aprendimos que no se pierde nada con preguntar. Lo peor que podrían habernos dicho era que no. Y que bueno que no fué así, porque Digital Leather es una de las bandas favoritas de todos los colaboradores de este blog.
La historia de Digital Leather se remonta a los principios de la década pasada, cuando Shawn Foree era estudiante en la Universidad de Arizona, su estado natal. Allí comenzó a grabar música en su cuarto, utilizando el dinero de becas y préstamos estudiantiles para comprar el equipo necesario. De esta manera se grabaron los primeros tres díscos de Digital Leather. Eventualmente la música de Mr. Foree llegó a los oídos de Goner Records (mediando la influencia y ayuda de su grán amigo, el fenecido Jay Reatard, quien también servia como manejador del proyecto). Desde entonces ha lanzado un sinnúmero de discos, EP's y sencillos. Además, ha aparecido como músico invitado en discos de otras bandas de sus panas (muchas de las cuales amamos), tales como Tokyo Electron, Lost Sounds, Earthmen & Strangers, etc.
En la entrevisa que leerán a continuación, Shawn nos habla sobre su nuevo EP que saldrá a la venta próximamente, sobre las razones que le motivaron a no continuar trabajando con el sello Fat Possum (quien lanzó su LP más reciente "Warm Brother" en 2009) y sobre las peripecias de un músico independiente en la carretera. Esperemos que leer esta entrevista los motive a conocer y apoyar a este excelente artista.
NBC: Hi Shawn! Thanks for accepting our interview request. As you know, our blog is based out of San Juan, PR, so for those readers who might not be familiar with your band and work, please tell us what Digital Leather is, how long the band has been around, who are the past and current members and what city are you based in?
SF: Digital Leather is a project more than a band. People from different parts of the USA have participated in it. It began in Arizona as purely electronic around 2002 with me and Ryan Wong (Reatards, Destruction Unit, Tokyo Electron). I've played with about ten different lineups since then. Right now, I am in Omaha, Nebraska and DL is a three piece punk band. No synth. The records and live shows are usually two very different things.
NBC: How many singles, EP's and albums has Digital Leather released so far? What labels have you recorded for so far? Do you have any extra copies of anything laying around you might want to donate to a few poor puertorrican record collectors?
SF: I think I have about 40 total releases. I started by making my own cdrs and
selling them at shows. The most notable labels I've worked with are Goner and Fat Possum. I just signed a contract with Absolutely Kosher.
NBC: Tell us about the upcoming Digital Leather release, titled "Infinite Sun". Where and when was it recorded? Who plays on it? When is it coming out? What does it sound like?
SF: Infinite Sun was was recorded mostly in Omaha. It's an EP. Half the songs feature a full band. the rest is just me. It was supposed to be out june 21, 2011, but there have been some issues with the back cover. I heard the test press but i was too drunk and high to give you an honest answer of "what it sounds like." The themes of the album are death and surfing
NBC: It's well known that the late, great Jay Reatard was Digital Leather's manager. Was he still managing the band at the time of his passing? Who is currently managing the band?
SF: Jay was manager until the end. He was even a band member for a tour in 2006. He's still the manager.
NBC: We noticed that "Infinite Sun" will be released by Volar Records. Why is it not being released by Fat Possum (who released 2009's excellent, well received "Warm Brother")?
SF: Fat Possum is really more concerned with commercial-sounding music. I don't want to be part of that. My goal, as an artist, is to grow. not to be on a car commercial or tv show. That's bullshit. They're free to do what they want, of course. I'd just prefer something else.
NBC: Throughout your many years of touring, who is the biggest dick you've ever encountered? Please tell us the story that backs up your answer.
SF: The biggest dick i've ever encountered on a tour was myself. I got really drunk and went walking the streets looking for cocaine. I met a giant black man named Delicious on a random street. I let him drive our tour van to his friend's house. then we drove into an alley and did some. It was fake. And he kept the 10 dollar bill we used for snorting. At that point I realized that this dude could kill me and take off with the van and all our gear, but he didnt. We drove back to the bar and the whole band was standing outside looking perturbed
NBC: What are the best five live shows you have ever seen in your life? Please tell us the year and city in which you saw each one of these shows.
SF: Pitchfork Fest 2010, Coachella 2008, Lollapalooza 98, fuck. I'm just joking. i don't know. I randomly saw Faust in North Carolina a couple years ago. We were playing across the street. That was cool.
NBC: What bands or records are you listening to at the moment? Anything you wanna turn us onto?
SF: Kraftwerk s/t. their first lp has no keyboards. It's all flutes and real drums. I like the label Crash Symbols, too. It's cassette only and there's no theme to their releases, but pretty much everything they do is good
NBC: What are Digital Leather's touring plans for 2011? Any chance you might play a show down here in Puerto Rico? You can totally crash in our office if you promise not to clean anything up...
SF: I'm gonna sit on my fat ass and eat chinese food
NBC: If you could form a band with any five other musicians, living or dead, who would you pick. You cannot select any of your bandmates, and you must include yourself in the lineup. Also, what would the band be called?
SF: I was living in Berlin last year. King Khan and I performed an impromptu punk show at a club opening. It was called Anal..shit I don't remember. Anal something. Oh yeah. Shaved Anus!
NBC: Are there any labels, indie or otherwise, with whom you would absolutely not work with again/at all in the future? Which? Why?
SF: I'll give any label one shot. I know my music is hard to categorize and difficult to market.
NBC: What cities that you've visited as a touring musician are the most pleasurable to visit? Which are the worse?
SF: Austria can be pretty bad in general. I like New York, Budapest, Portland can be fun. I was forced to smoke crack at knife point last time I toured through Portland, which was awesome. Ohio sucks. They're all a bunch of fat idiots. A lot of cool bands have come from Ohio, but you would never guess that by visiting there.
NBC: Any final thougts, comments, complaints? This is your last chance to get anything you want off your chest....