One of the most prolific and artistically engaging artists of his generation speaks with ReGen about his latest Ka-Spellian endeavors.
An InterView with Edward Ka-Spel
By Ilker Yücel (Ilker81x)
With the glimmers of hope that the pandemic’s end may soon come to pass, I’d like to start by asking first simply… how are you? In what ways do you feel you were able to maintain your creativity throughout the lockdowns?
You were recently featured on cEvin Key’s latest solo album, Resonance. Would you tell us about the songwriting process between you and Key? At what point is it decided whether a track will be a Tear Garden song or under a different moniker?
This also applies to your other projects – what determines for you which project a track will be part of?
Ka-Spel: cEvin sent me the instrumentals and asked me if I could write lyrics and add my voice for songs that he wanted for his solo record – great pieces too! Even so, I always knew they were destined for Resonance. With TG, we both write the music and send it through cyberspace.
You’d also released a collaboration with Motion Kapture in late 2019, Alien Subspace. What other collaborations do you currently have in the pipeline that you’d like to share with us?
You and The Legendary Pink Dots have taken full advantage of such online platforms as Bandcamp and Spotify to consistently release music – new, as well as reissues/remasters. What are your thoughts on the way modern technology has made it easier to release and discover music?
On the flipside, what do you feel have been the major disadvantages, and how do you feel you’ve overcome them?
Ka-Spel: I consider Spotify to be a necessary evil as it’s pretty much like giving the music away to a huge corporate machine, but Bandcamp has been great for us. I do love the accessibility to new music afforded by these platforms.
I understand you’re planning to release your new album, Prints of Darkness, on CD and vinyl later in the year. As physical media seems to be enjoying a bit of a resurgence with the popularity of vinyl and cassettes, what are your thoughts on this?
Ka-Spel: It will always be popular as it’s tangible… a thing of beauty that can be held in two hands. I wouldn’t want everything to be reduced to a simple folder.
Tell us about the new album, Prints of Darkness. What sorts of themes did you explore in the lyrics, and in what ways do the continue and/or contrast with material you’ve written up to now? Were there any changes in your approach to the recording or production? After making music for so many years, what excites you the most about the creative process?
What possibilities do you foresee for live music to survive or evolve in the wake of the current situation? A livestream obviously doesn’t hold the same power as a live show, but as it’s become part of the status quo, what sort of possibilities do you see to use new and online technologies to keep music alive and maintain the excitement of audiences?
Ka-Spel: Haven’t tried an online performance yet. I’m fussy about sound quality. I confess I want to be in the same room as the audience. It’ll happen again, eventually.
Similarly, with the pandemic hopefully nearing the end, we are seeing more tours being planned/announced; how do you feel touring will change – both across the board and for yourself personally?
What’s next for you?
Ka-Spel: New LPD material… very close now.
Photography provided courtesy of Edward Ka-Spel