Feed Me’s new album Calamari Tuesday has hit the shelves. If you missed yesterday’s release, check out our official review of Jon Gooch’s debut album. To commemorate Feed Me’s artistic milestone, we’ve got an exclusive Dancing Astronaut interview with Jon in regards to his new album. From jestingly waxing poetic to singling out his favorite songs, Feed Me elucidates Calamari Tuesday from an artistic standpoint.
How does it feel to present the world with your first full-length album?
Like hatching from a gilded Fabergé egg into a bath of warm honey. You move your arms slowly through it like long slumbering Phoenix first beats it wings, and slide down the plughole, unhindered by bones or a tangible form. Instead of a dark tube you find yourself tumbling through a blue kaleidoscope sky of confetti feathers, bouncing from cloud to cloud. You smile as doves peck your tumbling body to pieces and you become a pure sine wave, a golden chalice, a beautiful memory.
What does this album mean to you? What have you invested in it emotionally?
I didn’t find it an easy process. Threading the work between touring was difficult, so thinning out shows allowed me to finally work on it as a solid piece of storytelling and bring the tracks closer. I enjoyed the last few days I spent on it though, I am happy with how it came together.
How do you view the album from an artistic standpoint? What does it attempt to convey?
The continuing adventure that’s been living Feed Me and a sort of international diary of my experiences. I’ve said before, but hopefully it’s optimistic, dynamic and colourful.
How did the process of making Calamari Tuesday differ from your process on your various EPs, namely Big Adventure and Escape From Electric Mountain?
These were both designed specifically as EPs, I treated CT more so as something you can hopefully listen to all through and feel you’ve learnt something. I grew up listening to albums like I would watch films or read books, even though technology has changed, the album as whole is a format I still hold a lot of faith in. EPs are easy. Apparently even making a single and having it remixed 6 times means you have written an EP. Lazy.
Have the live performance aspects of Feed Me influenced the production of this album? Are these tracks designed at all with your live performance in mind?
I don’t let live production aspects influence how I write tracks too much. Not much of my music is much used to DJs, I’ve never been too accommodating with intros or structure. When it comes to live performance I usually write and edit specific versions to make performance possible, and fun. Maybe it would be a fun challenge to make a mix-friendly record at some point, but this isn’t it.
Much of the album has heavy instrumental portions, from beautiful piano sequences on “No Grip” and “Fiasco” to the heavy rock elements of “Lonely Mountain.” Can you speak on the live instrumentation that went into the album?
I play a lot of guitar and piano in my spare time, and pulling electronic music out a purely digital box as often as possible is something I’ve always enjoyed doing. Production isn’t about perfection, I spend as much time adding nuances and imperfection into a project as cleaning it up, I like the extra facets you gain with a voice, guitar, instrument. I hired a fantastic session Trumpet player for Ophelia also, definitely something I’d like to do more of.
When so much of the audience is inexperienced and focused on a ‘drop’ – I think it’s important to remind people that the most effective ones are earned with good writing, not with massive tension and acceleration. Part of finalising the album was also turning it all down a bit, backing off the mixdowns, letting it breathe.
Why did you decide to use “Orion” as the album opener? What kind of mood does it help set for the rest of the album?
It’s unresolved, pensive, and restrained. The introduction takes a lot from the science fiction soundtracks and Pink Floyd that I listened so much to growing up. I wanted to paint a clear message without using a full palette, it’s a machine waking up a piece at a time.
You’ve worked with Tasha Baxter on various occasions, and in many ways, “Ebb & Flow” feels like the natural followup to “Strange Behavior.” What’s your chemistry like with Tasha? Is there a connection between these two tracks?
She’s been difficult to work with at times, but with such a beautiful voice and honest writing the results have always been worth the work to achieve them. The track originated from a production I made for what she’d written for her solo work. Unfortunately the label that released it in her native South Africa folded, and I always felt the vocals deserved more exposure. ‘Bikes’ is worth looking up.
What are your favorite tracks from the album? Which are the ones that you are most proud of producing?
Lonely Mountain took years to complete and almost became a remix, or separated into other tracks – a number of things. As it stands completed it feels like a condensation of what I’ve been trying to achieve up to this point, in one piece of music.
I am really pleased with Ophelia also, working with Yadi was great and really brought the track to life for me. As it stood it was a redundant idea that didn’t sit with the album as I wanted it. I know some fans were attached to the old incarnation when I had it as a working title called ‘Abel’…I think they’re just over enamoured with sound design and missing the point.
How should Calamari Tuesday be listened to?
Backwards at 80% speed whilst the darts is on. I have no idea. You tell me.
Any words for those who have just picked up the album?
‘Musket’. ‘Serendipity’. ‘Thankyousomuch’.