Gordon Voidwell: Drinking Whisky, Fights, Acid Trips And Touching Things

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Meet Gordon Voidwell from the Bronx. He makes sounds out of older sounds and sequences them to make “songs.” He’s been doing this almost everyday for the past...hell, I’m not even sure how long it’s been, but lets just say a lot of years. On days when he’s not doing music he spends some time toiling over the world, because sometimes, like a lot of us nowadays, it makes him feel weird. It happens to him a lot, actually. Which could be the reason why he currently likes to get into fistfights for no reason, and is living beyond his means. And is known to skip meals on occasion. If you see him out and about and feel like buying the man a drink, order a whiskey and/or scotch. He says society has told him this is what his taste should be. Which is exactly why guy has a hard time listening to bands on Pitchfork. Damn society. Damn them for trying to define our palate. As far as music he does listen to, his iTunes reports: Prince’s “Wonderful Ass” is his most listened to song, Andre Cymone’s “Kelly’s Eyes” is second, Bear Hands’ “What a Drag” is third, D-Stop’s “G+arl” comes in at number four and G.Q.’s “Lies” brings up the rear. Sans Gordon Voidwell productions, of course. Speaking of music and productions, Gordon Voidwell is releasing a new mixtape of about 20 songs in December. It’ll be entitled MalcolmXXXMcLaren and feature the tunes that didn’t make it to his album, but songs that were written in the same span of time (about 5-6 months in early 2011). Here's "Id Ego Superego." His album, Leap Into The Void, will probably be released in the Spring of 2012.

Gordon-Voidwell

Personally, I’m an analog person. I like VHS tapes and records. I like touching things. I firmly believe media is the message.

How would you describe your sound to a deaf person?
I would use sign language.

What was your favorite toy as a child and when/why did you stop playing with it?
I really liked Nintendo and then I really liked Sega Genesis and then I really liked Sega Saturn and then I really liked N64 and then I really liked Playstation 2 and then I was like, umm, YO! I should try real life. That was when I was like 18. Turns out, video games are better than real life.

Any colorful incidents involving a fan?
Sincerely, it’d be better if I didn’t go there in this space.

Favor us with a moment in life that changed the course of, or defined, your aesthetic philosophy.
This story begins as lame, but my freshmen year of college I had a terrible acid trip. I lost complete control of reality and my sense of time and place. Additionally, I’d do and say things that would unintentionally disrupt social norms. Over the course of the next year—from time to time my anxiety and depression would trigger flashbacks and I’d go from normal person to a freak out saying weird shit to people. It usually happened when I’d did drugs. Anyhow, it was really scary, but I think it made me aware of how confined we live our lives as “normal” people adhering to “normal” codes of conduct. I think there’s a power to realizing this and trying to subvert it to create a more complicated and compelling reality for ourselves.

Your creative arc. Alpha to omega, go.
I really don’t have a typical arc. For most of my early work (Voided Checks mixtape/Ivy League Circus LP) those songs were the result of two-three years of making songs at my own leisure and then reaching a point where I wanted to release them to the world. They were really the result of just feeling a need to make art. For this past album, I struggled to manage my time—to play shows, tour, switch band members, do interviews, shoot videos—and still feel energized enough to make music. At a certain point, I just shut off my phone, Internet and stopped talking to people, which was a though extreme, but helped me get in touch with me as an artist versus me as a brand or spokesperson for myself or whatever. It’s important for me to have space to work. I don’t like distractions and interferences. Other than that, I’m content to make music with very little resources, materials.

The movement from CD to MP3 was a big paradigm shift in the music biz. Crystal ball time. What will be the next big shake up? How are you going to come out on top?
I don’t have a good answer for that. Personally, I’m an analog person. I like VHS tapes and records. I like touching things. I firmly believe media is the message. Media will probably get increasingly more invisible until there’s a return to something more tactile again. These things tend to work in ebbs and flows. And also, hustle and flows.

Do you think there are any commonly held societal beliefs that are false?
The only universal belief I believe in is that there is NO universal anything. Maybe. For the most part. Sort of.