Tuesday 3 June 2014

Interview With Sean Beard (Waves Crashing Piano Chords, H8-Track Stereo)

Interview by Brayden Bagnall

Sean Beard is the man behind Waves Crashing Piano Chords and H8-Track Stereo. He's also a Juggalo. 
I interviewed Sean, who happens to be a very nice dude, about his noise, his label and how horrorcore and power electronics make strange bedfellows.

FBN: Hi there! Who are you and what do you do?
Sean: I'm Sean Beard.

FBN: Tell us about your main project, Waves Crashing Piano Chords. How did that come about, how long has it been going for?
Sean: It came about slowly. I started the project in 2005, but the first live performance wasn't until 2008, and all the gigs from that year were just showing up and crashing local events without permission. A year later around late 2009 I started getting asked to play gigs.

FBN: What made you want to start such a harsh, violent power electronics project?
Sean: I'm just doing what I wanted to see/hear, and felt wasn't being done.

FBN: WCPC's setup is pretty minimal - microphone and amp - would you say this is to place more emphasis on the performance and vocals, as opposed to the noise and gear?
Sean: Those are the only sounds that I want to hear. Though some of the records from 2012 had an mg-1 concertmate synthesizer on them. If I could incorporate more gear, and still put on the same performance that I do - I wouldn't. 

FBN: Speaking of performances, your live shows get pretty hairy. What drives you put on such a confrontational show?
Sean: The whole drive for me is that it should be a confrontational show - otherwise I wouldn't enjoy doing it.

FBN: Do you think confrontation is a vital part of noise music? Why so?
Sean: I think the idea of making noise over music is or intitially was confrontational, so yes.

FBN:The obligatory 'Juggalo' question - is the face paint to deliberately annoy people, a way to break down barriers between musical subcultures, you embracing your Juggalo heritage or all of the above?
Sean: All of the above.

FBN: I've heard that fellow Juggalos turn up at your show, despite the fact your music is a far cry from horrorcore. How does that go down?
Sean: A lot of people into WCPC I've noticed don't necessarily listen to or even like noise otherwise. As strange as it may sound locally I seem to attract lots of "regular music" listeners - lots of pop radio and country fans. I think that comes from crashing and performing anything but noise events for the first few years playing out. In fact.. I was never asked to play a "noise show" until early 2012, which as it turns out is the easiest group of people to offend because almost everybody doing noise is a total pussy who thinks boring an audience out of a room counts as pissing them off. I've had lots of juggalo fam attend over the years, and some even paint up for the occasion. Great feeling. 

FBN: You also run H8 Track stereo, a label that specialises in some pretty obscure formats. Why do you release stuff on 8 Track and lathe cuts as opposed to tapes or CD?
Sean: 8-tracks are the misunderstood format - they have a bad rep, but there's something about them that draws me in. I guess i'm just attracted to bad boys. The lathe cuts are just a good way to get a release playable on a turntable without having to press a large number of copies.

FBN: Waves Crashing Piano Chords just released an Atari 2600 cartridge, tell us more about that?
Sean: Basically it turns your video game console into a two-voice synthesizer so you can make a bunch of harsh noise and feedback sounds with it. It can also be used without a tv so you can hook your Atari into an amp and get wicked.

FBN: What are your top three noise releases of all time?
Sean: White Hospital - Holocaust + We Wish You A Merry X'mas 7"
Whitehouse - New Britain
Bloodyminded - Trophy

FBN: Finally, any shout outs, fuck yous, thank yous or words of wisdom for the world wide web?
Sean: The label just turned a year old on May 29th. A big thank you to anybody who has supported it or WCPC in any way, that of course includes this great blog. Much wicked clown love.

Waves Crashing Piano Chords has two brand spanking new releases: one of which was reviewed here and another tape which can be streamed/downloaded here.
H8-Track Stereo is having a sale right now, which you can go suss out here
Big thanks to Sean for doing the interview!

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