Sun Araw “I really don’t feel that inspiration is a thing that people have, I think it’s a place people can go.”

Photo: Iria Dust

Keeping it real these days is no easy feat, and finding something original to say is even harder. So it’s a blessing that we have folks like Cameron Stallones still out there, wading freely into the deep end in search of radical new visions to wrangle from the innersphere. It’s been a long journey he’s taken down the twisting pathways of Sun Araw, and musically it might seem like he’s come about as far as one can come from his early days of shredding echo loops into the psych-tropic canister. But mentally, he’s just been getting closer and closer to the point.

Lately, Stallones has been flexing his Texas roots out with a shimmering question mark of an LP, The Saddle Of The Increate. It’s a deep and divine slice of frontier majesty, an unclassifiable and homespun Herculean epic as interpreted by a single grain of sand caught between your teeth. Stallones had a lot to dish about it, so we had the following chat over pupusas and a few games of pool, and as you can see, the conversation tended to shift about, like the colors of clouds hanging sweetly over a balmy Utah sunset…

So before we dive into the new record, I have to ask what’s going on with Alex Gray? He seemed like a really big part of the project for a few years, but I haven’t seen you two play together in a minute, and it seems like he’s done making music as D/P/I.

Well he and Jessica [Smurphy] actually just moved to the Yucatan. We might do some European touring together soon, because getting him a flight over there is easy, and we don’t gotta rehearse, me and him. But for playing anywhere else, he’s a bit out of the zone. He’s an extremely passionate dude, and when he goes in a direction, he goes in the direction. He’ll definitely keep making music, and you can quote that [laughs]. He might not share it with anyone else, but it’s in his bones. He’s literally one of the finest musicians I’ve ever met in my life, and in a way that’s so natural and organic. As an instrumentalist, he can play circles around me on anything, except maybe keyboards, which I can’t really play either. But on guitar, and sax, and drums, he’s insane, and it just comes from his natural mojo. It’s part of his being, you just watch it unfold. When we had to stop playing when he moved, it was tough to readjust. Because we had been playing together for almost six or seven years at that point, and I hadn’t realized how symbiotic what we were doing had become. When he was gone I all of a sudden had to rebuild the structure, and be like, ‘What do I want the live thing to be like?’ And I hadn’t had to think about that when he was there, because our minds would just meet and then become something.

There are definitely two distinct phases of Sun Araw in my mind, where before there was all the early Not Not Fun fuzz, and now there’s this new wave that’s driven by these sparse, blippity rhythms, and it does feel very symbiotic with what he was doing as D/P/I.

He really inspired me to start using a laptop, because now I use a laptop live and I don’t think I’ll ever go back. I might find other ways to integrate it, but… it’s always been a looping band, and I think we got it to a really cool place, me and Alex, where we were doing audio looping but it really didn’t sound like it or feel like it. But once you move to MIDI looping, the possibilities are literally infinite. Once you’ve tasted that, I can’t imagine wanting to go back.

I just don’t understand on a physical level how you actually make music like you do now. Granted, I don’t really have experience working with MIDI controllers, but your music just doesn’t even sound like looping anymore. It’s so changing, it feels like it never truly repeats itself, even for just one loop.

I mean a lot of it on Belomancie and the new one isn’t looping, really. But it’s still sort of psychologically looping, if that makes sense? It’s like, I’m hearing the loop in my head, but I’m playing something different. I think I still structurally think about music that way. I think that’s forever burned into me, for better or worse. And it can be kind of limiting compositionally — you’ll notice not a lot of Sun Araw songs have like, chord changes [laughs]. More recently some of them do, but that was always by design. It was always by seeking after a certain trajectory.

Well the new one definitely has some notable chord changes in there. It feels like these may be the first true ‘songs’ in the Sun Araw catalog.

I definitely knew when I started seeing what was happening when I was making it, that that was going to be part of it.

So, why cowboys? What got you riding on the honky tonk train?

There are honestly three things that came together that made the record what it is. There was this one day where I was watching these four Q.E.D. lectures that Richard Feynman gave in New Zealand in the mid 70s, and that was a big part of it. Then there was this Alice Bailey book that I was reading about the Zodiacal interpretation of the Labors of Hercules, which I had never considered, but there are 12 labors of Hercules, and then there are the 12 signs of the Zodiac, so it’s a book showing how the story is just a walk through the Zodiac, among other things. And then there was this really profound… there’s this restaurant in Alhambra that’s the only restaurant in L.A. I think that serves food from Borneo. I was going there a lot, and just eating this super-thin, super-spicy, hot, seafood egg noodle soup, you know? And I jokingly started calling it a South Asian cowboy record to myself. But the cowboy thing really came from this realization — the Hercules thing was interesting to me, because I had never really thought about the Hercules myth or cared about it at all, or even seen it as deep, and then it was like, ‘Oh, well here’s an in-road to understand it.’ And it’s all just like herding cattle. He has to rope these horses, then he has to go catch this boar, then the last one, the Pisces one, is he has to herd the Cattle of Geryon, and Geryon is this monster, this three-bodied, three-headed, three-everything monster that guards these cows. And Hercules has to get these cows and put them in a golden cup and sail them across the ocean. It’s a cool story.

So the record does have a narrative, which is a first, and it’s the story of that. Me trying to retell that story, but then also in the midst of this investigation I discovered that there’s this group of people called the Toraja, a tribe on the island of Sulawesi, Indonesia. They’re mostly known for these incredibly elaborate funerals that they do, where the funeral bankrupts your family for generations. You build a whole village, and you raise money for the funeral, which can take 20 to 30 years, so you keep the dead body preserved in your house, and you bring it to dinner and you put food in front of it, you live with it for all that time, for years, with this corpse. And then you have this huge festival where you invite the whole island, and you spend every dime you have on it, and some that you don’t, but then everyone has to bring tributes, so you kind of get paid back, I think. And it’s just wild, it’s this week-long ceremony that goes on and it’s multifaceted. But what I got really interested in was that they have these temples that they build, and the temples are shaped like saddles. So like, “Heaven is a saddle” is one of the refrains of the record, and you might ask, who rides in the saddle? It’s a very interesting question. It’s like a koan. No one. No one rides in the saddle. But no one is something. Nothing is demonstrable.

It’s interesting to me how cowboys are this old-fashioned, mythical thing in America, usually associated with an older time, but you’re bringing it up while your music is easily as far out as it’s ever been, easily as non-referential to anything that’s come before it.

That’s really flattering to me, because those are two of the things that I care about the most when making music. I want it to be as futuristic as possible, and I don’t want it to sound like anything I’ve ever heard before. And it’s a struggle to do those things, and sometimes you ask real hard questions. Sometimes I’ll make something for hours and listen back and go, “Am I crazy? What is this?” But I’m really satisfied with how everything came together on this one. There is a logic to it, and I think part of what becomes interesting for me as an artist is to cast that logic further and further out, or deeper and deeper inside the music, so what you’re actually listening to is generated by the logic, but you’re not hearing the logic. You’re not hearing the bassline like it really would be played in a certain sense, you’re hearing an abstraction of it. It’s like making a sketch of a sketch, it’s a really curious sort of process.

I feel like your music has always had a really strong sense of humor to it too, all the MIDI presets, and riffs that are so simple and off-the-cuff that they sound almost amateur, there’s always some goofiness afoot. But The Saddle Of The Increate does feel much more upfront about this.

Yeah, it’s a comedy. I felt like I had to say that too because I felt like people might not realize that it is supposed to be funny. Like, just so you know [laughs]. It’s okay to laugh at this. I’m definitely laughing at it.

I know improvisation is a big part of what you do, but with these explicit narratives and more complex instrumental styles that you’re into now, do you think there’s less of that on Saddle than before?

No, it really is improvised actually. I just jam in a room. I jam a keyboard for nine minutes, and then I jam a guitar on top of that for nine minutes. I just sit there and record every track. So it’s really very, very improvised, and almost never forethought. Sometimes I’ll be like, “Oh, I want a transition in this song!” So maybe I’ll surgically insert something that isn’t originally there, but that’s very rare actually.

It’s interesting that you say that because this album especially, whether it’s improvised or composed, it does feel more constructed compared to your previous work.

I think that’s true. I was trying that, I think it’s much more compositional. I wanted the compositions to be really strong and to be elaborated in a certain way. But it’s interesting because it really is generated from improvisation, and I only harp on that because it’s very important to my understanding of inspiration. I really don’t feel that inspiration is a thing that people have, I think it’s a place people can go. And I think that we share large pieces of emotional territory, like we all know sorrow, right? It’s like a countryside full of stuff. And as it gets more and more fundamental to the human existence, it becomes more and more in common, the things that we all share. I think that inspired art comes from those places, it comes from psychological space. If you go deep into psychological space and your imagination, you can pull out these things. But the reason it can resonate across centuries, the reason Hercules can make a difference to me, or Alice Bailey who wrote that book in 1917, is that they’re touching something that’s held in common.

You recognize it. It comes to you, and maybe it’s in a different format than you’ve ever seen before, because you don’t look at Byzantine painting or whatever, but you recognize something, and that’s why you feel something. And you might not be able to articulate it — usually when it’s at a really high level, you definitely can’t articulate it, because it’s happening in a space that is above the duality of language. But I think for me, improvising is the way that I practice figuring out how to go to that country all the time. Because I think that almost everyone gets kind of a free ride there once or twice, that’s why a lot of people can make a great album, or a great painting. But to continue that over the course of a career, we all see our favorite artists take pits and falls. It’s a windy road. But there are people that I see where I can tell that they’ve maintained, and the practice becomes, “How do I get a free ticket back to inspiration? How do I get there on a regular basis with my will?” It makes you a servant of the muse, that’s what they used to call it. And I’m about that. Servant of the muse, for sure.

So that’s the ticket is always playing, always recording it?

I think for me, it’s the way I can push myself out of my intellectual mind. Because I don’t think the intellectual mind has the deepest root in a person. I think there are parts of us that are not intellectual that are actually much more fundamental and generative of our experience. So when it comes to composition, plotting a chord change versus playing one in a moment, they’re completely different things. Because one is being generated from the intellectual mind, which is cool and it can do all sorts of stuff, but what it’s really good at is craft, and inspiration is not craft. Inspired art is not craft. I would say that most music is craft, it’s the recreation of a form, or the working out of a genre or a form or something. And obviously because of how I’m saying this and the context in which I’m saying it I’m gonna sound like I’m being judgmental of that, but actually a lot of my favorite music is craft. A lot of reggae and dub is craft, it’s taking fixed forms and experimenting and extrapolating, but really crafting these objects, crafting dubs, you know? And that’s part of the creative practice, all art involves craft at some level of its production. But before that comes the inspiration. And then obviously you see art that’s committed to finding new territory, and not crafting objects that are recognizable, but creating something totally new. That’s a totally different part of the mind that is able to do that, it’s the sort of thing that makes you dream, and all that stuff.

This is sort of a non-sequitur, but do you listen to classical music much?

I do, more and more. Especially early 20th century like Górecki, Varése is really huge for me, Charles Ives, a lot of that stuff has become really interesting to me. Kind of just creeping backwards from Stockhausen and people like that, and seeing, ‘Who were their heroes?’ I just read this book called Give My Regards to Eighth Street, it’s a really amazing collection of essays by Morton Feldman just all about that time, about all those dudes just chilling and hanging, and it sounds groovy dude. They were up to some business in New York. It was really inspiring to imagine a creative group of people all sharpening each other, and seriously discussing the principles of what they were doing.

The reason I bring it up is just because recently, like specifically the last couple of days, I’ve been making a push to actually dig deeper into classical music and understand it more. Because I’ve listened to a lot of that 20th century stuff, a lot of minimalism and Stockhausen and the crazier music from the past century or so, but I’m still a total stranger to…

Yeah you’re talking like, Mahler. That’s sick dude, Beethoven is crazy.

Exactly. But we’re on this subject of craft, and I just can’t imagine that sort of music being improvised. Listening to that music, it’s so put together.

But also, also: Mozart and Beethoven both describe the experience of being able to perceive their compositions outside of time. They both talked about hearing it all at once, and then they would have to write it out. There’s documented writing of them discussing that. And that’s very interesting, because to me, in the framework that I just laid out, that implies that that shared psychological space is outside of time. So the perception of time is something that is maybe produced by our senses, but isn’t fundamental to mind. Like mind is not necessarily inside time. And that’s an experience, and that’s one experience among many sorts of experiences that humans express from time to time that have that quality, of being able to experience something, just for a moment, that doesn’t exist linearly in time. That doesn’t express itself in duality of now and later, and this and that, and hot and cold, you know? And then the difficulty of bringing that thing back and transcribing it into your 7th Symphony or whatever. It’s interesting to me.

But you’re right, that transcribing part of it is the craft, that’s the chisel. And for me, it’s mixing. The playing is all inspiration, and then the mixing is all craft. And this record I mixed the longest I’ve ever mixed. This record took me the longest any record’s ever taken, almost three years, and the mixing was really deep because it’s the first the record I’ve ever made that was completely MIDI-generated. So basically when I’m recording, I’m recording data, not sounds. So I’ll pick a synth and I’ll jam on it, but then deep into the mixing process you can be like, ‘I wanna try a different synth.’ And with MIDIs you just have the data of what you played, and you can apply different synthesizers to it, and re-trigger stuff. Which to me was something I had never explored, so that made it take a lot longer. Because usually it’s like, ‘Well, it sounds kind of shitty, but I’m stuck with it!’ But with this it’s like, I can really tweak it forever.

What do you think the ultimate difference is between your earlier music compared to what you make now?

I just like clarity now. I think clarity is much more psychedelic. Obviously I think with the early stuff, it’s cool to create atmosphere with reverb and all that, and used well it’s really important, and I still like the way my old stuff sounds, I really do. But I don’t have any interest in doing that anymore. Because to me, when you say you want it to be as far out as it can be… I really am interested in psychedelic music, like psychedelic music as an active principle. Psychotropic music, music that when you listen to it, it changes the way you feel, and the way that maybe the room looks. And that was really what Belomancie was all about. In the writing for that album I said, “These songs are like corridors and chambers.” And I could tell you which song on there is which. Some of them are like corridors, and some of them are like chambers, where you sit and it’s in the room with you. And that’s something that I think has become super important in the way I create music now, I just want it to be extremely transformative to the space that it’s in. And being in a crazy psych-rock band like Magic Lantern or whatever, having like 50 guitar amps and five distortion pedals is a certain kind of power, but a single digital koto note played in silence is a totally different kind of power. And it’s, in my feeling, way, way more powerful. But also more delicate, and harder to hold together. And because of that I think sometimes the shows, when they go bad, it’s really hard. And it could just be the space, that you have to really fight something, because it really is hanging together on a thread.

Photo: Iria Dust

It does feel like your music needed time to eventually get to the level that it’s at now. Because all the earlier stuff, even though it is experimental, you can see how it might have a more wide appeal in the general psych-rock circuit, and make it onto popular video game soundtracks. That’s actually what’s really cool about it, it’s profound in its own way but it’s also easy to just hang to — but your newer music definitely raises the bar for the listener.

Totally man, thank you. And that’s where I was at, that’s what I wanted to hear, and I’m really proud of that. That record especially, I mean all of them, honestly, but On Patrol in particular, I’m really proud of that record. When I listen to it now, it still has a quality where I think the way it was recorded — which was really crazy, I mean I still record in a similar way, but it was extremely primitive — but it sounds great to me. I wouldn’t really change anything about it, except maybe remaster it or something. But yeah, I think Inner Treaty was a line, where a lot of people didn’t cross that line. My albums have been progressively less “successful” in a music industry sense since that zone, and I totally understand that. It doesn’t surprise me, and I’m not bitter about it. But my interest is in making what I find interesting to make. That’s my priority.

You’ve talked about the psychedelic experience, and how important it is in your work to convey that, but what does ‘psychedelic’ actually mean to you? It’s a word that gets tossed around a lot.

Yeah, it means like, fuzz guitar, right? [laughs] No, it doesn’t mean fuzz guitar. It’s like how I was saying with the word ‘psychotropic’ — for me a psychedelic is something that you ingest in some way and it alters your perception. And of course demonstrably, everything does that. Water does that, the color of your shirt does that. Everything changes your experience. But the human mind has certain patterns that it follows normally when it’s left to its own devices, and the will isn’t being used in a really strong way. And it’s possible that there are other patterns, right? I mean you can breathe weird, like when you were a kid you ever do those things? Lean over and do the head rush, you can do all sorts of stuff [laughs]. To me, psychedelic is something that has a profound effect of cracking, breaking, giving space, or giving transformation to that normal brain function. Obviously unto that definition, anything can be psychedelic. Music, food, I mean dude Szechuan? Go have a crazy Szechuan dinner in San Gabriel, tell me that’s not psychedelic dude. You walk out of there tingling. You’re in a fire brass brassiere, it’s crazy.

It is about change in a sense, and movement. The sense of not just staying on one unmoving path.

Well some people would say that part of the problem is that we always change, but the problem is we don’t realize that. We pledge allegiance to a part of our self that actually is not the main part of our self. Change allows you to notice. Like, you don’t notice what apps are running on your phone until you look. And then suddenly you realize, ‘Oh, all these apps are running, it’s slow,’ and it’s like, yeah, well you got 10 apps running! I mean, I don’t like to compare the mind to a computer, but it is a decent analogy, right? You see some people who sees things like they’re just running an app, it’s just a filter between them and the world. And the mind is that, the mind is like a filter, it takes in stuff and interprets it. So when you know that, there’s not a problem. When you don’t know that, it’s a problem. Because then you’re like, ‘Well that’s just how it is!’ And it’s like, well, for you in this exact moment of space-time, which was actually different five minutes ago but you didn’t even notice because you’re not even aware that you’re changing. The person that wanted to go get a snack is not the same person that is talking to his wife on the phone, you know what I mean? They’re different people. So I think change is cool. I got really ratified by [Marshall] McLuhan at a young age, which is weird [laughs]. He was the first media theorist, ‘the medium is the message,’ that was his deal. It’s deep, but his vibe was that it doesn’t matter what’s on TV, TV is TV. TV is the medium, TV is the message. The medium is the message. And it’s the same thing, people don’t realize that just watching TV changes the way you think about everything. It changes the way you experience the world, it changes everything about you. So he was really about eliminating the Western-European idiom from early philosophy to now, which has been based on this idea of the objective third-person point of view, that there’s an objective reality. And that’s not demonstrably true! [laughs] Whose is it? What does it look like? It’s all being experienced by someone and therefore interpreted. There’s not one world, there’s thousands and thousands of worlds.

I know you’re originally from Austin, did that play into the vibe you had making this album?

Definitely, I love country music. To me the pedal steel guitar is literally the most beautiful instrument in the world. There’s nothing that I want to hear played more than a pedal steel guitar, someone that can really play that thing is like… I can’t describe the way it makes me feel. So that’s always been something I’ve wanted to include in the band, and for whatever reason the time was right for all this love to come out. I also have to give a shout-out to discovering Terry Allen’s records. He was a huge inspiration for these songs. Someone handed me Juarez maybe two-and-a-half years ago and it blew my mind. And the writing thing with this record, the lyrics, I spent much more time on them than I ever have before. I was really interested in stretching that part of it. Because I like to write, I enjoy writing, but I’ve always had a hard time because there are certain words that I don’t want to hear myself sing, you know what I mean? [laughs] I’m not confident with my voice, so I can write things that I think are great, but it could never be a song because I won’t sing the word, like…whatever [laughs]. I just can’t stand it. The thing about the Terry Allen records is the scope. Like Juarez, it’s funny because that album is literally just piano and voice, and that’s it, but the scope of that record feels so immense because of the way it’s written. And I was really inspired by that and I wanted to challenge myself to do something like that, because I had never tried to write something that felt really generous and lengthy and that you could really go into in some way. And I don’t know what you would get out of it, because I think it’s not clear what it’s really about [laughs]. At least in a certain way, I think the sentiment is present. There’s a lot of specificity in the writing for me, but that’s meaningless to anybody else. And it’s not actually worth sharing because it’s totally meaningless, it was just what I used to generate the thing, but the thing is now its own thing.

Do you miss Austin at all?

I really do because my parents don’t live there anymore, so I never get to go back. I would go back for SXSW, which was just the fool’s errand of fool’s errands. I went there three times in a row always promising myself, “This is the last time I’m ever coming to this fucking psychopathic…” It’s like the worst tumor of Western culture, the idea of what fun is. Like a music festival? It’s like, brought to you by Skynet! You can’t imagine worse circumstances to play or listen to music. If you sat a team of people down to be like, ‘What’s the worst imaginable venue situation to watch music and to play music?’ they would come up with SXSW. It’s beyond reason. And I had a really good time there in the early days when there were all those parties you could play, cause those were always great. But then they cracked down on that shit. It’s like, ‘Why don’t you come and play for 250 bucks,’ it’s absurd. And obviously there aren’t 700 sound men and women in Austin, so it’s just some poor bartender who’s pissed, and you walk in the door and you’re unrolling your first cable and they’re like, ‘Hurry up man you’re cutting into your set time!’ And then all the PA’s are on limiters because you can’t have a show here and a show next door and a show next door because of the sound bleed, so everyone has to play really quietly, so artists are always trying to turn themselves up more because it’s so quiet, so they’re always distorting through the PA because they’re maxing out their levels and they’re fighting some bitter-ass drunk bartender who’s just like ‘fuck you bro.’ It’s totally insane.

I’ve never been before and that’s definitely the vibe I get, it doesn’t really make me want to go. It seems like the music is just the label they put on the package.

It’s just hardly noticeable, and hundreds of thousands of good bands play there every year, and no one knows. I mean I’ve seen some powerful performances there, there’s places where you can control the vibe a little more. But for the most part, for someone like me, it’s just like eating dog turds. It’s like, I’m not gonna punish myself like this. I’m not gonna present my music in a place where it’s bound to fail, that’s just being irresponsible.

On the flipside, how do you feel about L.A. these days?

I really, really, really love L.A. It’s complicated, but I really love it, and I have a hard time imagining leaving it. I think if I left I would probably just leave the country, because that’s the only thing that would be attractive enough. But I truly love this city, the proximity to nature first and foremost, and the food secondmost… San Gabriel Valley is a gift to humanity. I never dreamed Chinese food could make me feel that way. It’s kind of my biggest hobby, eating noodles in the San Gabriel Valley. I’ve talked about it at other times so I don’t want to repeat myself too much, but it really is a city unlike New York or Chicago or the other major cities in America, where it had no modernist planning, really. Outside of the downtown area, which is the catty-corner, it’s its own little grid, but the city isn’t laid out on a grid, it’s sprawl. It’s like the first really major sprawl, and it was generated by all this crazy immigration. Where I live, in Glendale, there are more Armenians in Glendale than there are in Armenia. And it’s this strange diaspora that happened, I think mostly due to the tragic goings-on there at the beginning of the century.

Even the San Gabriel Valley for that matter, it’s this busted, faded, SoCal 70s suburb that’s turned into this hopping, super-deep Chinese neighborhood where you go to places and there’s no English anywhere. But it’s in a place that used to be a Taco Bell in the 70s, with the old Taco Bell architecture. The good Taco Bell architecture [laughs]. And it’s just totally psychedelic and crazy. And then there’s the film industry obviously, which is the main, maybe not originally, but quickly became the main financial power here. And that’s literally the manifestation of imagination. That’s the industry. The manifestation of imagination and all the cancerous calcification of goo around that, around people who are inspired and those who try to take advantage of that, to get a piece of it. That is the other main sort of architectural force here, so it’s a really, really cool place to live. Especially on the East, it’s so green, there are so many parks I can go to so close to my house where after five minutes of walking I can’t see or hear the city. And of course, the weather.

Yeah I love it out here too man, it’s such a fascinating city. Even though it does have these terrible aspects to it, it all still plays into what’s so special about it.

I mean there are parts of it that feel like hell. Also, because of the nature of it, and this is the film analogy, Los Angeles makes you the editor. You edit your version of the city, because it’s so big. I’ve got my zones, and they get bigger and they expand and you add new ones all the time, but there are places I never go. Like, I never go to Olive and Highland, unless I’m trying to see a movie at the Kodak or something. But yeah, it’s crazy. And dude, California? Because I love Texas, I really do, I have such a warm and deep blood-level resonance with central Texas just because it’s where I’m from, but the High Sierra? Yosemite? Joshua Tree? Anza-Borrego? The ocean, up and down, Big Sur? I mean it’s psychotic, it’s like, can’t let too many people find out [laughs].

I went on a backpacking trip for the first time this year. I’d done tons of hiking, like really extensive day hiking even, like 20-plus miles a day, but I had never done a backpacking trip. So I went on a 10-day trip across the High Sierra, from Sequoia over to Mount Whitney, and it was just like… it’s so necessary. To be in a place where you have to walk three days to get there? That’s the only way you can get there is to walk three days. I had never experienced a place like that. A place like that feels super-different from a city. And it does things to you. If you’re responsive to it, it tunes you. Because you’re there, and you can’t relate to it the way you relate to the city, so you start to relate to it in a different way, and then you start to feel really good. And then you realize, oh wait, people are supposed to relate to nature, but on a regular basis. Because it makes you behave differently and think differently and feel differently, it’s psychedelic, you know? And then you come out and it’s transformative, it’s really important.

You mentioned how green it is out here, and I think that might be part of the reason why I’ve always liked your music. I’ve always been really drawn to the color green, and just in terms of the sounds you use and your artwork, I get a lot of green vibes from it.

Woah. I get it man, greenery is big for me. Like, lush. Central Texas is very green, it’s not like West Texas or North Texas, it’s lakes and rivers and hills and big, old Cypress trees and oak trees. That’s deep in me, and then also obviously the jungle has always deeply held fascination for me. There’s always been a heavy jungle vibe in the stuff I’ve done, and I’ve tried to explore that and expand that a lot. I don’t think that most things sound that way necessarily, but yeah, it’s a deep color man. It’s the biggest part of the spectrum. I didn’t know that, someone recently showed that to me. Because it’s the middle, ROYGBIV, right? And it’s because the spectrum is parabolic, so as you approach ultraviolet or whatever, and it goes from green to blue, etc., it changes faster. So it’s green for the longest in that bottom of the halfpipe, and then as you go up the half-pipe the colors change really fast.

Oh my god dude, that’s good.

It’s good, right? It’s really nice.

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