For the third installment I’m delighted to welcome Steven ‘Heatsick ‘ Warwick.
Having recently seen him live several times, I’m intrigued by the methods and approach of this one-man band:
MAGIC: So, the most difficult question first: what IS your favourite waveform, and why?
HEATSICK: I used to have a sine wave tone generator, but it broke.
Do you follow any rules or systems for writing your music?
the I ching? haha no usually it’s more establishing a flow and making sure the transitions interlock well.
Can you talk me briefly through the process of making a track?
I usually have a musical idea, and think about what instruments I would like to use, even if I don’t have them.
Sometimes ideas will come to me all at once like on the rush hour 12″. I just came up with all the ideas in one evening. I made a quick sketch of them so as to not forget them, and then went into the studio the next day and nailed them.
Normally I let things breathe over time, listen to them a lot in transit. when I am on certain routes or in my flat.
Also I read a lot so then I write about how they influence each other, streamlining an idea, revisiting it and refining it. Though I do also work pretty fast. I tend to test out an idea live, slip it out in a set and then go back and work on it.
What is the part of the process that you least enjoy?
I like all parts of it. I’m as happy writing as I am developing it and also playing it live, even editing is fun.
What is your favourite piece of equipment?
I really like percussion in general, but id like to use more drum machines and synthesizers. and brass. and piano.
Do you ever have a critical voice and / or an imagined audience responding in your head whilst working?
yes. I maybe think far too much, and can obsess over small details. after a while I decide its time to release it. it can make you anxious, but you just realise its fine to just get things out, and most of the time you realise that they are pretty complete after all.
What’s the atmosphere of your studio / workplace like?
well I have my set up in my room, and I’m about to get another room in my flat for working in, which I’m happy about as 1 room is too distracting and cluttered. the studio I started recording in is also really good. I like going to the studio as in leaving the house. feels good to be able to walk away from it and its okay.
What do you do when you get stuck?
freak out, just keep on going, you find something. change instrument. take a break.
How do you know when a track is finished? How do you choose a title for a piece?
its usually influenced by what I’m reading at the time, which I also tend to select around a topic. sometimes I show ideas to friends for feedback or just to expose it a little. its finished when I’ve had enough of it. the title is pretty intuitive for me, either I think how its sounds or comes already influenced by how I’ve been conceiving an idea beforehand.
What’s the track from your own catalogue that you are happiest with?
I’m really happy with “C´était Un Rendezvous“, as I finally sing on it and is also a step towards having a song, though it also structurally quite odd. I’m really happy with Andre‘s sax and it felt like a step forward.
Do you create in other ways than writing music?
I started revisiting films I made when I was younger, and its something I want to get back into. I have an art show in August, which is going to be including a reading, some performances from others and objects. I’m really excited about this. Also I collaborate on zines and did one myself recently (which accompanies, theoretically the ideas in the Déviation EP)
Are there people from other disciplines (e.g. painters / writers / architects) who have influenced your creative process?
yes definitely. I’ve worked for and with other artists like Josephine Pryde, Henrik Olesen, Jean-Michel Wicker and Sabine Reitmaier, Basso space and Starship Magazine whom I like personally and professionally and like to bounce ideas around. I also read a lot of non fiction/ cultural theory Frankfurt School etc, which is ongoing. I have a ingrained influence from JG Ballard and Dan Graham from my teen years. I get just as much if not more influence from non musical sources as musical. I really like early (Soviet) cinema, Benjamin etc. Fassbinder in his use of mirrors and theatricality and his cast and how he integrated a lot of themes in his work. When I was initially studying film and video I remember my tutor showing his work projected in this cinema and his light work with cinematic/ architectural space really left an impression on me. I also like that Ballard studied Medicine or Xenakis was an architect, it’s good to give a fresh take on forms.
What piece of equipment / software would you wish into being?
I think I would wish an operation that removes my fear in using synthesizers and technical equipment!
What’s the next thing you want to learn more about or learn how-to-do?
Just to be more technically minded in general. I find it so overwhelming. A friend who is a maths whizz gave a friend and I a 101 on his modular synth. and then suddenly I could relate to it. It’s not like I’m the monkey in 2001, but I did only get a computer 5 years ago!
How do you timetable / schedule your work time?
I’m working pretty constantly in terms of thinking about ideas. I always carry a notebook around with me.
and then in terms of writing, I play most days for a few hours.
If you could go back in time and be a fly-on-the-wall at recording sessions for any track or album, it would be….?
I would have loved to have be a fly on the wall during the making of House Crew “Keep the Fires Burning.” Such a good track, especially the relentless thumping intro. Every time I hear it, it just unleashes musical E numbers.
Sheer manual overload.
posted by MAGIC