Week in Pop: Fat Tony, Generifus, Tape Deck Mountain

Sjimon Gompers

Third Ward by Los Angeles artist/icon—Fat Tony; press photo courtesy of the artist.

Tape Deck Mountain

Le tour de Tape Deck Mountain; photographed by Jeremy Harris.

Chronicling the creative adventures of Travis Trevisan, we have the world premiere of “IQU” from Tape Deck Mountain featured off the upcoming album Echo Chamber Blues available February 23 from the artist’s imprint nineteen98. Traversing the landscapes of San Diego, Brooklyn to Nashville; Trevisan works in the mediums & trades from art house visual arts [as seen in the recent directed video for WRITER] to arranging & sequencing styles of sound that signal the fabrics of the future elevated by the analog anachronisms from yesterday’s innovations.

“IQU” is the latest chapter in the Tape Deck Mountain canon that showcases the latest developments & expansions of dissonant ambiance along with a harmonic sense of emotive delivery. An aesthetic narrative that began circa 2009 with Ghost [and probably even earlier], Trevisan’s contributions to the internet-obsessed pop world are one that held tight to the analog aspects of instrumentation & art in the digital age. The Tape Deck Mountain aesthetic embraces the interplay & opposition between both the web-based constructs to the testaments from tangible & visceral devices & consoles that are a part of this creative exchange. Travis’s work speaks & sings to aspects of the vaguely familiar, where distortion carefully combines the harmonies & melodies that triggers fragments of light in the archival halls & bookcase rows of our collective consciousness. “IQU” offers the listener an adventure of the mind where every note, bass hum, chord progression & percussive component carries an impact that feels unique & electric. Trevisan breaks through the digital veil with something that feels organic & wholesome that has been created from the ground up for our consumption.

We had a chance to catch up with Tape Deck Mountain’s Travis Trevisan in the following insightful interview session:

Describe how living in Nashville inspired the new album Echo Chamber Blues.

I wouldn’t say the album is too much influenced by Nashville, living in Nashville actually gave me time to reflect on my time in Brooklyn/NYC. Not that Brooklyn isn’t inspiring in the moment, it was just too easy for me to get caught up in the rat race of paying rent. I wrote a total of maybe 4 songs during the 3 1/2 years I was in Brooklyn.

How has your San Diego upbringing informed your own creative disciplinary paths?

Growing up in the suburbs San Diego the whole mindset of music for a small group of friends and I was to rebel against 90s surf and skate culture by attempting to listen to mostly British bands. Pop punk was the devil and bands like Spiritualized, Verve, and Kent where the holy grail. There was no compromise at the time, I wanted to be as far removed from anything having to do with beach culture as possible. I can now finally listen to Blink 182 and Sublime from an outsider nostalgia perspective, but the music of Tape Deck Mountain is continually informed by that anti-surf/skate mindset of my youth.

What felt different for you while making your third album?

I wrote half the album on a bass guitar. Writing on a new instrument helped eliminate any remaining writing block from NYC and gave the songs a fresh perspective.

The new drummer in the band Andy Gregg owns a studio (Phantom Center) that we recorded in, so there wasn’t so much of a time crunch as before in the past. We didn’t have to stress about the clock running and we could spend time rearranging and making as many subtle changes as needed. In addition the album was mixed entirely out of box, aka no plugins, so any effect you hear on the record is an actual physical piece of gear.

Styling out with Tape Deck Mountain; photographed by Jeremy Harris.

From work in the mediums of both sound & visual arts; how do you find both respectively inform one another for you?

I find music much more intuitive. Music has always come first for me and the visual art has always been something complimentary to support it. I occasionally do some design work outside of music and it’s always a struggle when there isn’t a musical reference to support it.

Current Nashville artists that the world hasn’t discovered yet?

Fever Blush, Rails, Marlos E’van, The Inscape, Sheep Shifter, Idle Bloom, & Ttotals.

Other lesser known artists that you want to give a shout out to?

Always and forever—The Spookfish, Paul R, Slavve, Dean Cercone, & WRITER.

Thoughts on the future of Tape Deck Mountain?

Echo Chamber Blues is definitely the most upfront record we’ve made to date, in response we are definitely going to attempt some left of center concepts for the next release! Stay tuned.

2018 mantras & meditations?

More shows, more Planet Fitness, less worry, less beer.

Tape Deck Mountain’s new album Echo Chamber Blues will be available February 23 via nineteen98.

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