Northern Transmissionscaught up with Hundred Waters’ Paul Giese. The band is currently in the middle of a North American tour in support of The Moon Rang Like A Bell.
Northern Transmissions: Can you talk a bit about your record release party for The Moon Range Like A Bell? It took place in the middle of the Arizona Desert, in a town called Arcosanti.
Paul Giese: I had heard about Arcosanti while I was in architectural school. It’s an architectural landmark. It’s this urban desert laboratory that was built in the 1970s, based on Paolo Soieri’s design to learn alternatives to urban sprawl. We were driving back to Los Angles, and it was on the way. We knew that we wanted to check it out. Right away, we discovered that it’s a spiritual and special place. We wanted to do something different for the release of the album, and we knew right away that was the perfect location to do it. We wanted to bring together a whole group of people that really love art, so we invited all of our artist and musician friends. It was really great, and people came from all over and performed.
NT: Your album came out on Skrillex’s OWSLA. Hundred Waters is obviously different from most of the acts on the label, so how did the relationship come together?
PG: Our manager is a close acquaintance of Skrillex and his team. He really believed our music would be a good fit for OWSLA. Also, I think at the time, Skrillex was looking to broaden the label a bit, and add some different musical styles. The label has so many good people, they really believed in what we were doing, and doing presently. In the beginning we thought it would be a really strange fit. But it has really worked out well for us.
NT: What is the music scene in Gainsville, Fl like? Any Tom Petty sightings?
PG: Haha! No, we’ve never seen him around. There’s a really healthy punk and folk scene, as well as a number of people doing electronica stuff. Nicole was playing around in the folk scene a bit, although her music doesn’t really fit into that category. All of us were involved in various projects, pretty un-related to the band before we got together.
NT: The band lived in a pretty unique place for a while.
PG: Yeah, we lived in a pretty special house. It was right next to a university, as well as in the middle of a housing project. While we were living there, the housing project got condemned and torn down, they had to move all those people out. It was like we were living on this island. We played shows there and wrote music. The house was really great, we had so much space and had the opportunity to make noise and do what we wanted. What’s interesting too, is that the place had also been a karate dojo, supermarket, and car repair shop.
NT: The Moon Range Like A Bell has quite a number of different influences. Laurie Anderson and Burial, to name two. How would you describe your music to an outsider?
PG: If they had a general weird music section in a record store, or a section to discover new and different sounds. We do want new people to stumble upon our music. I think we subconsciously try not to make it fit in any section or category. The genre or type of music we play has never been discussed among the band, in terms of putting a label on it.
NT: It says in your bio, that your music is inspired by the Austrian artist Hundertwasser, hence the band name. What effect does he have the band’s writing?
PG: I think that we have a hard time defining ourselves or our sound. The band is definitely not a tribute. We really like the mysticism of the name. It does have a couple of different meanings. We are definitely familiar with his art and designs, and admired his discipline. I think the way we use his name, might be ok, haha.
NT: Which five albums are still inspiring you?
Actress – Ghetto Life
Stars Of The Lid – Avec Laudenum
Alan Hawkshaw – Frontiers Of Science
Sharon Van Etten – Are We There
Sun Kil Moon – Benji