Sunday, 19 November 2017

Interview: Trick Mist

Trick Mist Fraction
Photo: Ste Murray

Trick Mist - Fraction

Info: With the release of his latest single 'Fraction' we caught up with Dundalk native (now Cork-based) and electronic artist Trick Mist to talk new sounds, new environments and a recent trip to India which was used to hue new inspirations for his song-writing. 

Of 'Fraction' itself and its accompanying video by Graham Patterson (below) Trick Mist reveals; "'Fraction' is about those times when you are living as a shadow of yourself. Those rough times when you're working towards something but it takes its toll on your personality. I was heading to India and sacrifices needed to be made in order for that to happen. We hope when we make sacrifices that we experience reward. It's frustrating but ultimately rewarding to come out the other side of it and feel like your full self again. What Graham has done with the visual is concealed the element of reward. It's a striking, exposed and heavy portrayal of sacrifice and we never know whether it's worth it or not." 

Remy: You spent a significant amount of time on your debut EP Jars in Rows which you released at the end of 2015, the promotion of which carried through to a good chunk of 2016, collaborating with visual artists to create a video for each track. Not long after that you were also touring with fellow Dundalk electronic artist and friend VIDEO BLUE to promote your split 7" A-side 'Crumbs Abound' / 'Disco Nap'. Whilst undoubtedly highly rewarding, did you feel at the end of this period that a break was required to recharge creatively which ultimately led to the trip to India?

Trick Mist: Yeah I needed to open the next door for myself I think. Promoting and gigging material that's released is very rewarding and necessary. But you always need you're next thing. I wasn’t sure what this was going to be so heading off was perfect. I had so much time to think and write when I was away, which was amazing. Head space really is a most precious commodity. When I left initially I did need a break but it lasted only about 2 weeks! Week 3, I went up to a tiny, isolated village at the top of a mountain to start working away on stuff in-between getting pointed at and laughed at! 

Remy: Your first releases as Trick Mist were mostly recorded while living in Manchester, where you spent a number of years before returning to Ireland and settling in Cork this year. It's been a few months now, do you feel like your new environment will influence your next material / music?

Trick Mist: Yes it most definitely will influence my music. I think where you are has a big impact on the music you make. That has always been the case with me anyway. Jars in Rows was totally observational, it was made directly after I relocated to Manchester and I owe it to the place. My music is often a forum or platform for my curiosity and things or topics that interest me. Place is crucial in determining these things. I feel like i’m in a very interesting position now being back in Ireland having spent so much time away, firstly in the UK and more recently further afield in India and the Far East. I'm viewing the place with fresh eyes. I feel like a curious foreigner and I hope that never changes. 

Remy: In the description of 'Fraction' you allude to a type of burn out and taking the brave decision to make sacrifices and essentially just 'leave it all behind' when you went to India. You recorded a lot of the sounds we can hear on the new single whilst over there, from nature to local traditional instrumentation, can you tell us how you went about this process in terms of capturing the sounds and ultimately try and describe what the trip itself meant to you from a creative and personal perspective?

Trick Mist: I brought a hand held zoom recorder with me. I knew I would encounter amazing sounds. I brought it everywhere with me. I captured a wealth of material. India is the loudest place! There is no such thing as silence anyway, but in India there REALLY is no such thing as silence. Often I would be recording some of my own vocal bits and a tuk tuk or a herd of buffaloes or whatever would just come crashing in to embellish my take! You leave those bits in. You have to surrender yourself to it. It's such a musical place. People go about their morning routines unashamedly blaring music from their houses at 6am. Religious songs punctuate the day. The bus driver pumps the tunes on the particular rough parts of journey to get everyone through it. People use music for different things. It was just amazing and humbling to observe and capture some of those uses. 

At times I found it hard being away from my own music in terms of output, momentum etc. I’d try to remind myself and my other half in her wisdom kept reminding me that I was filling up at the most amazing well so to speak. It was the most inspiring, personally fulfilling, thoughtful and interesting time I've ever had and It's hard to feel like you’re missing out when you gain those things. I'm a big believer in inspiration being redundant unless paired with a work ethic though, so I spent a lot of time working. Belting away on the sleeper trains, buses and hotels. Recording, getting ideas down as they came, planning and thinking. What I gained was precious. Both creatively and personally it was immense. 

Photo: Ste Murray

Remy: You have had vast experience of the music scene in Dundalk and the U.K. over the past decade or so, as well as the Irish festival scene having played Electric Picnic earlier this year among others, what are your early impressions of the same in Cork city? Does it already feel like home and somewhere you are excited to perform live in?

Trick Mist: Yeah it absolutely felt like home very quickly. The thing that struck me about Cork as a newcomer is the openness of the people. They are open to ideas and not closed off and cynical. This is a great thing. It's a known gripe that smaller venues seem to be a bit thin on the ground. But to me it's an overwhelmingly positive place to be a musician. People are interested. There’s a dedicated demographic and people make things happen. Plugd Records being back appears to be a catalyst and the screw is turning. There is loads happening. I'm looking forward to playing more here. I played my first show in an intimate candle-lit café called Alchemy and the audience were so unbelievably attentive. If that's anything to go by I'm in for many more a magic night here. 

Remy: Finally, with 'Fraction' now out there and released, what plans do you have going into 2018 as Trick Mist?

Trick Mist: I'll be getting about the place. Playing live and working away on my debut album. It will be out early 2018. All the work I did while I was travelling was going towards the album. So I started an album while I was away and I've to finish it now at home. I think that makes it an interesting proposition. 

Trick Mist plays a hometown gig at The Spirit Store in Dundalk on the 29th of December with VIDEO BLUE and admission is free, details here.

'Fraction' is now available for purchase on digital format and CD which includes a remix by Phare which was recently featured with much praise on Nialler9.

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