We recently featured I, Symptom’s latest single Miles Above The Baseline. In this interview spotlight, we chat with him about this new release, influences, challenges and much more.
Full Q&A along with the links and the video for Miles Above The Baseline below.
Where are you from and what style of music do you create? (In your own words, not necessarily in marketing terms or by popular genre classifications.)
Hi, this is I, Symptom from Budapest, Hungary. The short introduction says ‘electronic rock and roll outlaw’, and the main keyword is hybrid music. You can interpret it as ‘electronic music with lots of guitars’ or ‘rock and roll with lots of electronic stuff’. Imagine that mixed with a a healthy amount of crazyness and a garage rock kind of vibe.
What led you down this path of music and what motivates you to stay the course?
I had used a rather guitar-oriented approach for several years. And I was searching for a way to spice up the sound. I listened to industrial rock music such as Static-X or Crossbreed, and also to electronic stuff like Aphex Twin, Squarepusher or Venetian Snares. These influences made me realize that using electronic music as a mixin is an awesome choice.
What motivates me is the joy of experimenting. And also the fact that I can express real emotions via this kind of music, even the nastiest ones.
How is your new release different than previous ones? Did you set out to accomplish anything specific?
With Miles Above the Baseline, I wanted to create something beautiful. Something without the garage rock feeling. Something ethereal. This song is dominated by synths, echoes, and interference.
From the aspect of lyrics, Miles Above the Baseline is a methaphor built on methapors, which is a rare thing because I usually use 1:1 representation of thoughts. This ‘journey in space’ has different meanings, one of which is related to psychonautics.
What was the last song you listened to?
I have a metal project called Vanta, and I listened to the latest song Heptapod. It’s now out on Bandcamp. Besides, I did the mixing, and I listened to the end product over and over because I wanted to be a million percent sure that everything is in place. I ususally do this with all the songs I create. And I also listen to them just for fun.
Other than that, I was listening to The Germ Project, a compilation album created by a group of underground musicians including I, Symptom. It is an experiment, each artist created a song based on four samples. My favorite song of this album is A Thing When Sown by Crawlform.
Which do you prefer? Vinyl? CDs? MP3s?
Basically I prefer mp3s and other digital formats, because digital music is very easy to handle, and it’s portable, and you don’t need any special device if you want to play it. Of course it’s better to collect something tangible rather than something virtual. And it is said that vinyl sounds better than digital, which makes it attractive. I have observed that there’s a renaissance of vinyl and also audio tapes. I might experiment with these in the near future.
How about this one…. Do you prefer Spotify? Apple Music? Bandcamp? Or something else? Why?
I prefer Bandcamp because I really like the features and the user interface of the website, as an artist (the way you can add and publish your music, for example) and also as a listener (such as the way you can discover new stuff). And Bandcamp’s catalogue is full of outstanding underground bands and songs and albums. For example, I’ve recently discovered this awesome band Zarboth, my favorite ever since. And there are also treasures available such as Pryapisme or SUNN O))) or Coilguns.
Do you face challenges as an indie musician in a digital age? How has technology helped you (assuming it helps)?
I think the biggest challenge nowadays is to get people interested in the things that you do, and keep them interested in you. There are so many crazy things circling around so quickly that the threshold to reach a level beyond ‘meh!’ is really difficult to overcome.
I find technology helpful in a different way. I have and older version of Reason Essentials, which works like a virtual studio. The best thing for me in it is that if any musical idea comes to mind, I can create audio and listen to how it sounds ASAP. And I can improve the ideas after incubation, without having to spend a lot on studio gear.
Where can we connect with you online and discover more music?
If you want to be up to date with the news about I, Symptom, I recommend you to visit website http://isymptom.rocks, it is frequently updated. If you follow on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter, you can get the snippets of the I, Symptom related projects that I’m currently working on. I have a lot of projects by the way, so I’m always working on something. Music can be found on Bandcamp, and also on YouTube.
Anything else before we sign off?
If you like Miles Above the Baseline, it is worth subscribing to the I, Symptom YouTube channel, because the new material is comming soon.