Hieroglyphic Being Interviews Virgo
This week sees the re-release of a benchmark album produced by house music’s most enigmatic duo, Virgo. Jamal Moss aka Hieroglyphic Being (from Chicago house music’s new school, Mathematics Records) poses a few questions to Virgo’s Eric Lewis and Merwyn Sanders.
JM: Name of Artist/Band? Include all band members names and instruments played on this album.
V: eric lewis, merwyn sanders, instruments we used was guitar, bass, keyboard (Roland Juno 2), Roland 505 drum machine
JM: Do you consistently practice your musical craft every day ?
V: Yes we practice every other day if not every day sometimes. Merwyn has studied voice with Vocal Mechanics here in Chicago and with his uncle’s company, Opera Ebony in New York, and played around Chicago on guitar doin’ singer/songwriter material. Eric is always on his bass or guitar and created new tracks in his home studio.
JM: Do you tape yourself and listen back critically?
V: Yes we do, and that’s how we realize after coming back and listening that we may not even I like it, but on the flip side somebody else may hear and like it. Quite honestly we are very critical.
JM: Do you take every opportunity to hear other musicians local and national who perform in Chicago ?
V: Between the two us, Merwyn gets out the most to check out local bands and acts, and not every opportunity, there’s just not enough time.
JM: How do you describe your music to people? This is not a short answer. Discuss it.
V: The music with Trax records is house music. We know our music is a little different, but we consider it deep, melodic, house music. Something you can dance to but at the same time sit back listen and chill to.
JM: What image do you think your music conveys? Do not avoid the image issue!
V: Positive. Notice the song titles are all introspective. What’s life about, things we were goin’ through. So the imagery should be unique to each person that listens. In terms of a pictorial image, I would expect it to be space, be it inner or outer.
JM: What are your long-term career goals & what should other artists who are inspired by Virgo should do if they wish to follow in Virgo’s legacy to further that sound?
V: Actually, we only have to come to that now, with the resurgence of the Virgo album. We always wanted to make a living with our music and become “stars” like every musicians does, but we also saw the importance of education and other career goals. With new technology and the YouTube it is more readily available for new artist to put out music. As for other artist that are inspired by our music we would say, just make music for the sake of making music and not to make money. If you stay true to yourself it will be more fulfilling even if you do not profit greatly from it.
JM: What are your songs about? (What specific themes do they cover?)
V: Most are about our experience as young men growing up in Chicago. They’re about going through life. As for theme(s) , we didn’t have specific theme in mind, but as a collection, a theme arrived inadvertently, and that is LIFE. We wanted our music to be an escape from day to day worries as it was for us making it.
JM: Who is your fan/customer base & do wish to expand that base and to what targeted audience? (Analyze this question thoroughly.)
V: We never had a particular fan base in mind and we still do not. We always wanted to make music for people to hear our emotions translated into music. We never had a”person” in mind. This stance may come from our days at clubs where all walks of life, race and ages were in attendance. Simply, we wanted everybody to listen to it.
JM: What question or questions that interviewers always forget too ask that should come up but never do . ( Present that question & be the interviewer /interviewing you by giving that answer.
V: The question that no one asks is….
How do you make the music/ work together to come up with the songs?
We feel, and we can’t be sure, that we approach/create music in a unique fashion. Most people would think that a 4:32 song would be sequenced, but we actually played each part for 4:32. If you listen carefully you will hear many mistakes. There were parts of songs that were “sequenced” but not done in the traditional fashion.
No one has asked…
How do you two get along?
We have known each other since 1977. We have never even so much as been in an argument not even on the basketball court.
This entry was posted on Thursday, March 11th, 2010 at 13:27 and is filed under Interviews, Music News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.