interview: a year

by umegatani yuta for mdc

What is your favorite music in 2022?

Soul Blind
Brock Van Wey
His Hero is Gone
Cave In
A Winged Victory for the Sullen

Been listening to mostly hardcore punky / crusty / ambient electronic / modern classical music this year. One of those. Missed a lot in the middle, endeavor to check out more soon.

What is your favorite Movie, Book, Game, etc for 2022?

Sarah Kendzior - They Knew
Kim Stanley Robinson - The Ministry for the Future
Eric Schlosser - Command and Control
Lawrence Anthony - The Elephant Whisperer

What was your most memorable experience in 2022?

My father was very sick in the hospital, and eventually died. This, and being with my family for months, was obviously the most memorable thing. While not a happy time by any means, spending all the family time, endless dinners of mostly frozen food which is easy to make, because your soul is fried, but then the quiet talking with my mom over hours and hours and months, about everything, it was priceless. In life we don't do that so much it seems. We grow up, and then we head out and spend all sorts of energy on other things, on work... much of which is one day revealed to be quite silly. Spending lots of time in the beautiful nature of my home, it was also very good. And as funny as it sounds, a major highlight was hanging out with a chipmunk who lives nearby, who I have been feeding for years, and who this year was feeling brave enough to climb into my hand for the first time. 😊 Little things...

What was 2022 like for you?

It was a sad year, but also a year of the good & the real. I like the real. There is a goodness in it, even when all is sad. Specifically, much of my year was spent in family time, interspersed with futile attempts at work. The rest of it was spent in quiet focus, trying to make some good things happen. Thankfully I succeeded, after hammering away at it, and ended up releasing the newest drumcorps record, which is a personal best and lifelong goal achieved.

On the craft front, this year is when I've started to really hear some of the finer details of audio - the difference between different compressors - preamps (cables even, hellll...) and figuring out how to get your work into the "butter zone" as I like to call it lately - the place that feels right. The production focus of the past few years seems to be catching up to where I'd like it to be, finally. It takes some time. Now is when you become one of those audio weirdos? Well, check back in a few years and we'll see. Did a lot of mixing and mastering for people this year, which is gratifying, to help their music be the best it can be too.

Also good this year was making my first art book. You put your work online these days, but taking a moment to collect it in physical form let me realize I'm actually a visual artist too, and a writer of words, maybe even a bit of a poet. Feels good and real.

This year I also decided I won't tour until covid is resolved, which could be a long time. I was undecided for a while, and scheduled for a gigantic tour with Igorrr and Otto von Schirach. The tour was cancelled and rescheduled five times, and eventually happened, but I had to cancel my part of it for family reasons. Now... try as I might, I cannot make myself believe that touring is a good idea, and I will not be doing it for a while. Sorry.

The good news is a) all energy is focused on making new music, and b) I have toured like hell for a long time, everywhere, and there are SO many stories. This quiet time is letting all those memories bubble back up again, and I've realized that the whole story is completely hilarious. It would be a good book! So, I'm writing a book. It's half about music, and half about travel and culture - all the little things you see & people you meet along the way.

What do you want 2023 to be?

Peaceful, healthy, and full of great music. Working on several new releases for the year, in various styles. Hopefully some good progress on the book. See you next year, still quiet, with lots more good work done.