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10 Quick Ones with JIM REED of UNMAKER – October 2018

| 9 October 2018 | Reply

According to a recent press release: “Unmaker was born in late 2015 when Jim Reed guitarist of Richmond metal-punk command Occultist met future vocalist Aaron Mitchell (Slowing, Crater) at a local punk dive and the 2 bonded over discussions regarding playing music outside of the strict confines of punk & metal. They are set to release their full-length debut Firmament.  We get Jim Reed to discuss new music, influences, and much more in our 10 Quick Ones…

1. Tell us a little about your latest release.  What might a fan or listener not grab the first or second time they listen through?  Are there any hidden nuggets the band put in the material or that only diehard fans might find?

We are self-releasing our record entitled FIRMAMENT on 10/19 via digital & tape. The album is a winding journey that takes the listener from desert caravans, to the memoir of someone I knew personally who survived the Nazi death camps and then successfully defected from the Soviet Union, to post-human consciousnesses beyond our galaxy.  As far as “hidden nuggets” some of the songs are intended for the listener to draw their own interpretation, I think we’re too new of a band to have “diehard” fans quite yet.

2. What got you into music, and can you tell us about the moment you realized you wanted to be a musician?

I grew up in an at times dysfunctional household like many others out there. One thing that seemed to calm the turmoil at home was music. My father was a teacher, master mechanic, motorcycle racer & musician. My mother was a homemaker, artist, writer and activist. Both of my parents were avid buyers and listeners of records. There was a lot of old delta blues in the house and folk like Phil Ochs & Woody Guthrie plus staples like The Beatles, The Doors & Led Zeppelin. There were also deeper cut psych-rock gems like Ultimate Spinach for instance and heavy rock like Deep Purple. According to my mom at 3 years old I was beating on stuff and yelling the lyrics to Devo songs around the house and the first record I thought was the definition of “cool” was Michael Jackson’s Thriller. I don’t know if there was ever a singular moment that made me say “I want to be a musician”. I wasn’t formally trained and it just grew out of messing around in garages & storage spaces, jamming and experimenting with friends while growing up in a boring redneck town in South Florida. Originally I wanted to be an archaeologist or an illustrator. I guess the music that really made everything click in my head on a deeper level was when I was turned onto to punk rock via skateboarding culture in middle school.

3. Who would be your main five musical influences?

I have many more but here’s 5: Bjork, Motorhead, Leonard Cohen, Brian Eno, Minor Threat

4. If you could call in any one collaborator to do a song with, who would it be?

Probably Bjork

5.How would you describe your music to someone who’d never listened to you before?

Textured, dark, atmospheric with some rock and roll too.

6. What’s the best thing about being a musician?

Hearing things that have been in your head come to full fruition outside of your head.

7. When the band are all hanging out together, who cooks; who gets the drinks in; and who is first to crack out the acoustic guitars for a singalong?

Aaron or Chris might be the better cooks in the band. I’m never at home so I eat out a lot and I’m not sure how much Brandon cooks. We all can probably get the drinks in and Aaron is more likely to break out his banjo- which he’s pretty good on. As you can tell we probably should hang out more than we do- we’re all very busy outside the band.

8. If you weren’t a musician, what would be your dream job?

Possibly a physicist or running an animal sanctuary.

9. Looking back over your career, is there a single moment or situation you feel was a misstep or you would like to have a “do over”?

My only regret is that I didn’t start playing music sooner or start being real social until my late teens. I feel like a late bloomer sometimes but better late than never I guess.

10. If you could magically go back in time and be a part of the recording sessions for any one record in history, which would you choose – and what does that record mean to you?

There would be several but probably I’d time travel to November of 1988 to Hookend Recording Studios where David M. Allen produced The Cure’s Disintegration. It means a lot on multiple levels to me. I’m an audio engineer for a living so from the pure clinical/ production standpoint I consider it a masterpiece. The clarity and the panoramic / cinematic, stereo-wide feel of the record is insane and I haven’t heard anything like it since. As a musician the songs are great, rich and full of texture- it’s really a beautiful work to me.

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Todd ‘ToddStar’ Jolicoeur

Category: Interviews

About the Author ()

ToddStar - that's me... just a rocking accountant who had dreams of being a rock star. I get to do the next best thing to rocking the globe - I get to take pictures of the lucky ones that do. I love to shoot all genres of music and different types of performers. If it is related to music, I love to photograph it. I get to shoot and hang with not only some of my friends and idols, but some of the coolest people around today.

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