Through The Fire _ Interview with Israel Vines
Yeah, it’s a case of cause, effect and constant innovation really isn’t it? It is really surprising how people can keep coming up with a new swing on things or something completely unique. What kind of other artists inspire you other than musicians and why?
In many ways, it happens when artists’ lives are as interesting as their work – or you learn a bit about them and you realize that there is very little difference between who they are and what they do. I appreciate singularity a great deal – an intense sense of purpose that never gets derailed by external forces. I’m thinking right now, particularly, of Marcel Duchamp, Francis Bacon, Charles Bukowski, Cormac McCarthy, and Stanley Kubrick. While they are obviously wildly different “types” of artists – they are all, to my understanding, cut from the same cloth. They are (or were) all fiercely independent, wildly creative, and very, very much in tune with themselves as individuals. Good, bad, or indifferent – none of these artists ever compromised their vision for any reason – and to have done so would have been tantamount to suicide. Compromise is just not an option for these kinds of artists, and that is a rare and precious thing.
You can’t beat people who are genuinely themselves, that’s for sure! I know this is probably a very difficult question, but, If there was one quote, one painting or so on that you could pick from one of the aforementioned artists that has appealed to you the most, what would it be?
That’s impossible, so I’ll mention the first thing that comes to mind…
“What matters most is how well you walk through the fire…”
Re the last Bukowski quote, to what extent do you think music has the potential to aid one in walking ‘through the fire’?
As far as how music aids one in walking through the fire, it comes down to the fact that you can’t walk through life fucking damaged all the time – and at the end of the day, music is a great healer to both the conscious and subconscious mind alike. Even if the music you’re listening to is brutal, grating, and punishing – that can be a cathartic experience – and catharsis is healing by definition on the mental and emotional plane. And – you know, when you identify with a piece of music, not just like it, but identify with it, it helps you realize that you’re not all alone in all of this mess; somebody out there feels like you do, or at least their artistic expression would leave you to believe as much. In terms of making music or DJing then, I feel as though I get to attempt to pinpoint exactly how it is that I identify with music, what it means to me, and then share it with other people. I’ve had success in varying degrees, and some utter failures – but the process is important, and when it works there’s nothing quite like it.
That is a really great answer. For me the cathartic nature is extremely powerful and it irks me when people don’t get that certain non overtly ‘happy’ music can be extremely calming. Could you describe an experience you had while producing a certain piece of music, that worked personally for you in a cathartic manner?… and also a piece of music written by someone else that works for you in the same way?
Well, DJing is always cathartic for me. I can get completely lost in what I’m doing (for better or for worse) and at the same time, hopefully, connect myself to whoever happens to be listening, whether it’s live or something that I record. In terms of making music, it’s tough to say…usually just the act of sitting down and working on tracks, grinding through the process, is something that works for me on a lot of levels. I’m not highly skilled at writing music. It takes work, but the work itself is really, really good for me…even when it’s frustrating. As far as the second part of the question – there are just too many that come to mind for me to try and nail one down as an example. So much of it depends on mood and context – it’s tough to say how one if more effective than another.