August 8, 2012

PINNED: Eyedress (Idris Vicuna)

From the surface of it, Eyedress’ new EP Half Japanese thrives on a deeply pained soundboard steeped in the memories of a past, of an old flame that fails to recognize the possibility of eternal love, of devastating death that leads to a thousand-fold inspiration. It’s obviously a sad, sad affair devoid of brightness and sunshine (well maybe except for “Teen Spirits”), laced with blurry womblike music that seeks refuge in isolation. Yes, it’s a common theme for most chillwave experimentalists dabbling into cosmic soundscapes and 80s synth-pop minimalism. They tend to evoke a certain feel, a certain atmosphere, a certain vibe that wallows in emotion and recluse. Eyedress, though does it in his own terms, devoted to making music that’s a hazy remembrance to one’s muted old self and past experiences.

Luckily, we got the chance to talk to the man behind some of the most refreshing pop tunes in recent memory. In this interview, he gamely shared his thoughts on Half-Japanese, his first gig as a solo artist and his other creative endeavors outside of music.

Q: How do you feel about the positive critical reception surrounding your debut solo project? Everyone I know seems to love your brand of distant and self-effacing chill-pop.
I'm totally unfazed by it. The only person whose opinion I really care for is the person I wrote these songs for.

Q: Your new EP ‘Half Japanese’ lingers around the themes of heartbreak, loss and adolescent angst. Is it safe to say that these songs are stuff based from personal experiences?
Yeah, all the songs I wrote on this EP were based on personal experiences, particularly with my ex-girlfriend who I met in Singapore, who is also half-Japanese. Which is why I decided to call the EP that way. But the last song entitled “Death Bed,” which was written by my friend Cat Cortes of Arigato Hato is about losing someone close to you so in a way it all makes sense because all the songs are about losing your loved ones.

Eyedress - Death Bed (Feat. Cat Cortes) from Idris Vicuña on Vimeo.

Q: So you are now part of the Number Line Records family. What made you decide to collaborate with an established independent label specializing in distributing free online releases?
I’ve played at one of their shows a long time ago. Me and Michael have been talking about coming up with a release for Number Line. So yeah, it took me awhile. I had to live a little and sooner or later, I’ve gathered enough inspiration to come up with some songs and as soon as I was finished with them, I immediately sent the tracks to him. And yeah, that’s pretty much what happened.

Q: Before Half Japanese, you’ve released the psychedelic and trippy beat tape 'Nature Trips.' How is it different from the previous work you’ve done for Bee Eyes and to your more synth-laden, lo fi pop solo effort?
Well, Nature Trips is pretty much a compilation of all my best beats. As to the stuff on Half-Japanese, they are more personal and the Bee Eyes stuff are just on another level of life that I can’t even describe because it’s kind of a lifestyle that me and my best friends share so that’s just another world of its own but it’s all pretty personal. I mean I’m a serious person and I only fuck with serious people.

Q: We got the chance to catch your first solo gig when you played at the Outcast Of The Universe’s video launch for “One Little Bomb.” How was it like performing on your own without your bandmates from Bee Eyes at your side?
It was nerve-wracking. Actually the person I performed with, Roman ak.a. Fuego from Fliptop used to be our drummer for Bee Eyes so it was natural that I decided to get him. But yeah, I was pretty fucking terrified but at least I can cross that off my list now. Haha!

You’ve also dabbled into directing music videos. Tell us something about your experience behind the camera, providing visual reels for fellow musicians Turbo Goth and J-Hoon.
We all need a fall back, and music and videos just go together so perfectly that I had to get into the visual aspect of creating. And being a photographer and graphic designer in my younger years, I guess it was inevitable for me to get behind the camera and express my visions. I really look up to Vincent Gallo who is my favorite director and musician so yeah I guess I'm just following in his footsteps because he showed me that being two things at once was possible.

Any plans for future releases/projects/collabos?
No plans right now. I just wanna focus more on Bee Eyes stuff and I'm gonna be shooting a music video for “Teen Spirits” this month so look out for that. Hehe!

If there’s one OPM album you’d be playing for the rest of the year, what would it be and why?
No End In SIght by Outerhope because it’s beautiful and really calm and dreamy. Totally my vibe.

Download Eyedress' debut EP Half Japanese under Number Line Records here.

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