XARRIVIEWZ I: Sid Lucious aka /\Kirk’s neWave Post~punk in a Xyber-age

XARRIVIEW ‘1’ kicks off a multi-stage interview series covering different genres in music (future writeups will feature progressive metal, post~punk Bossa Nova and electronic ambient noise artists) with this writeup on NEW WAVE. The much misunderstood bridge~point between the postpunk and college/alternative/indie rock future formations is described both from within (as a songwriting performing musician) & with objective perspective (as a professor of music and expert fan) by ‘Cpt.’ /\nu Kirk in this month’s inaugural XARRIVIEWZ edition.

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How did you get into music as a player/writer performer, and were those 3 aspects done in  stages or together? What influences got you rolling initially and do they still get you amped to write songs?​ Which instruments came first, and how/why did you end up learning to sing and play various rock string or piano based tools? Was technology something you integrated from the beginning as a fan of 80’s new wave?
 
At 15, I started playing synthesizer in new wave bands and recording my own music
At 18, I started playing guitar, singing lead, and writing songs
 
I’ve never taken piano lessons – I’m totally self-taught, and thus terrible.
 
I took guitar lessons for about a year, which taught me the unified neck, and a bunch of chords. Chris Haines, the guitar player in my first band, taught me most of what I know, and instilled some very good habits. I owe him a great debt.
 
I took singing lessons early on because I was having trouble doing long sets without losing my voice. I studied with a more traditional opera/belting-type teacher during a semester home from college.
 
In Los Angeles, I studied weekly for several years with a guy named David Gabriel, who I later found out was also a voice teacher for a number of famous rock and R&B singers. He turned me into the singer that I am today, and I remain grateful.
 
I have always thought modern musicians have to do it all – you have to write, record, and perform. I was heavily influenced by people like Jean-Michel Jarre, Tomita, Prince, Stevie Wonder, and Thomas Dolby: people who did everything.
 
My writing influences are numerous, direct and indirect. Sometimes I will hear a song and think “I would like to do something like that vibe/melody/hook/whatever”, and will kind of go off from that. Often my inability to produce perfect copies results in something different and hopefully interesting.
 
Often I get an idea for an entire album or work at once – I’ll realize I want something that pulls together a few thematic concepts and some elements of particular influences. It will all seem quite obvious to me, but by the time things are finished up, most of that ends up obscured.
 
As for specific influences…
The first 2 records I really “owned” and listened to were “Oxygene” by Jean-Michel Jarre and “Kosmos” by Tomita. Everything about those records shaped my musical views, for better or worse.
 
Influences in High School…
“Blue Monday” by New Order was literally life-changing. I had never heard anything like it, and immediately wanted more, and wanted to make something like it.
 
I was (and am) a big fan of new wave, both the critically acclaimed stuff and the critically reviled stuff. Some of that is because it’s the music I heard as a teenager, when everything is new and exciting and wonderful. Duran Duran, Simple Minds, The Cure, Bauhaus, The Chameleons (UK).
 
Thomas Dolby’s “The Golden Age of Wireless” and “The Flat Earth”. Sounds and songs.
 
Prince “1999” and “Purple Rain”. These are perfect records, the former like a weird, dirty, mysterious set of 12″ singles and the latter a more cleaned-up (in every sense) rock album.
 
Peter Gabriel’s “Security” was a masterpiece. It really changed my thinking about what a “pop record” could be.
 
Cabaret Voltaire’s “Micro-Phonies” and “The Covenant, The Sword, and The Arm of The Lord” were a big deal. So was Shriekback’s “Oil and Gold”.
 
Gary Numan in particular was an artist I really liked as a teenager. He was just so weird and different, and kept changing his sound with such total disregard for the mainstream.
 
Bowie and Eno. Together and separately. Bowie for “Low”, “Heroes”, and “Lodger” (and “Scary Monsters”. and “Ziggy”. And…everything) Eno in particular for his ambient music and philosophy, and “Another Green World”.
 
The first 2 Run-DMC albums (“Run-DMC” and “The King of Rock”) were also very important to me. I was a breakdancer in high school. I thought Run-DMC was great, and those first 2 albums were so stripped-down, minimal, uncompromising, and futuristic. They were my gateway into hip-hop, and I saw close parallels between them and Nitzer Ebb, Front 242, and other early minimal industrial artists.
 
Pink Floyd. Aside from their brilliant, dark songs, they also made ALBUMS, not collections of singles. Complete, cohesive works around themes, with album art designed to fit the whole.
 
Influences in College…
College was when I really got into guitar bands, having kind of filled up on synthesizers previously.
 
I discovered Buzzcocks and spent about 3 months listening to them exclusively. Great melodies, great pop songs, clever lyrics.
 
I got into metal for a while, and listened to “Master of Puppets” and “Ride The Lightning” by Metallica a lot. Thick, heavy, powerful records which made me want to practice guitar.
 
Talk Talk’s “Spirit of Eden” came out while I was in college, and made me stop and listen over and over. Their whole concept of moving beyond songs, beyond tempo, beyond repetition, and making something so beautiful…it’s like Debussy. How can any musician not be touched by that?
 
Durutti Column “The Guitar and Other Machines”. Beautiful, half-instrumental, half-sung. Made me realize it was OK to make “pretty” music.
 
Van Halen “Fair Warning”. Eddie makes guitar playing sound so easy, and of course, it’s not.
 
Influences Post-College…
“Nevermind” by Nirvana. This record killed metal dead overnight. It changed everything for everyone. Not bad for what are basically folk songs with distortion.
 
“Nebraska” by Bruce Springsteen. Was on the back of a cassette with Nevermind. Listened to it over and over in my car. Minimal, dark, powerful. He somehow makes very specific stories feel universal. Another record made by someone on their own.
 
Gang of Four and Wire are also bands I got into in a big way at this time, way in advance of their hipster renaissance. Both extremely inventive sonics and songs.
 
Aphex Twin. Unique electronica, simple and complex. I prefer his quiet stuff to the things that sound like drum machines exploding.
 
Adult Influences…
Harold Budd. I listen to him more than all of the other artists on this list combined.
 
David Sylvian (“Blemish” and “Manafon”) and Scott Walker (“The Drift” and “Bish Bosch”). Both ex-pop stars who have moved in increasingly idiosyncratic and unusual directions. Both strong singers. On my good days, I imagine that I am following a similar trajectory.
 
I have always been interested in music and technology – my childhood coincided with the rise of the synthesizer and the transition from analog to digital audio. Really, the history of the 20th century is largely how music reacts to technology. Generally, I saw technology as an enabler and way to move beyond limits. Can’t find a drummer? No problem, use a robot. Can’t find a band? No problem, use a 4-track, be your own band. Can’t play piano? Sequencer will take care of it. And so on.
 
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Which leads us to pt.II of the questions: what aspects of the New Romantic, gothic, ambient, synth-punk (ie Gary Numan) and later 4AD bands as well as the megastars of the genre regarding New Wave in general inspire you specifically? Name the artists who you learned from. Define on your terms what the differences or similarities between punk, new wave and the later terms college/alternative/’indie’ rock mean for your music?
 
My answer to this question would be different nearly every year you asked me.
 
But one constant is just that “alternative” artists (in that they are an alternative to typical rock from 60’s-90’~) is they are just different. Darker, weirder, spikier, funnier, sadder.
 
In my youth I would have said that “new wave” was a movement, not just music, and that it was about accepting everyone for who they were – black, white, straight, gay, pretty, ugly, weird, normal. Of course, that turned out not to be the case. But I felt that sense of freedom and welcome and family in the best of that music, and the price of not having that movement in the darker and sadder stuff.
 
Classic rock didn’t “speak” to me. I could hear it and appreciate it as catchy or powerful or cool or beautiful, but it didn’t feel like it was “my” music. The styles you mention – New Romantic, gothic, ambient, synth, 4AD- those felt like they were of our time, our lives. When I was depressed, these records made me feel less alone in the world. I will always love them for that.
 
I thought punk was supposed to be iconoclastic. It was supposed to be freedom (and nihilism). DIY. Push boundaries. DRAW boundaries between the old, clueless world, and the new one. In the early days, perhaps it was. But it quickly ossified into a stylistic straightjacket as uninteresting as, well, reggae.
 
Punk was political,angry, and serious. New wave could be those things, too, but it could also be light and funny and sunny. Punk bands didn’t use synthesizers or drum machines.
 
College rock or indie rock is what happens after the new wave ebbs. There’s now a body of work for people to be influenced by, and to cross pollinate with classic rock. That intersection is what leads you to a band like REM, who owe as much to classic rock traditionalism as they do to the post-punk era, for example. College rock is also what happens after the mainstream sees there’s money to be made and moves in for the kill.
 
In terms of my own music, all of this just meant that if I wanted to be a musician, I could do it any way that I wanted, using any sounds or styles I chose.  In some ways that made it much harder, as everything was fair game. But I loved the feeling of freedom.
 
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What role, if any, did the Carrier Communications cassettes play in getting you wanting to play in bands? Did seeing, recording on both (Beta? VHS? where are they now, right?!?) video & reel to reel audio a couple Jesus Wept shows help with that eureka light~bulb moment, that super-80’s Maxell commercial {with urban legend ‘Was it Peter Murphy in the ad?’} feeling of “Hey’ I can do this too?” Did XARRIER instill a D.I.Y. faith in yourself, (which was our goal to our small group of fans)? To get out from the crowd then design your own musical path to shine a light down. . .
 
The Carrier Communication cassettes were instrumental in my growth as a musician.
 
Carrier’s releases showed me that anyone could make a great record – a serious, complete artistic statement. You did not need tons of gear. You did not need a major label. You did not need a recording studio.
 
You could do it yourself. All you needed was passion, ideas, and energy.
 
That went from the actual contents of the tapes to the physical tapes themselves, which had beautiful covers and packaging to accompany the content within.
 
The live shows – ranging from basement events to nights in DC clubs – furthered that sense of “anyone can do this”.
 
I was also impressed with Carrier’s range. It wasn’t just gothic stuff or ambient noise or jazz. It was “whatever we think is good”. That sense of openness and freedom unconstrained by “genre” was powerful.
 
And of course the specifics of many of those releases also played a key role in my musical growth. Wept’s combination of darkness and pop, rawness and polish, is something I still chase today. John Hong’s beautiful instrumental music reminded me it doesn’t all have to be darkness and angst (and that sometimes the most beautiful music conveys darkness better than the ugliest music can). Releases from Vorticite as well as Xopher {Climatron} opened my ears to broader sonic possibilities.
Whether or not XARRIER & Jesvs WEPT was before, concurrent, or after your interest in becoming a rocker, which early pro~band small club or basement/garage party performances also allowed you to see how it was done up close and personal? Did seeing any certain touring acts teach you the ropes?

I went to a bunch of shows in DC at small places like DC Space or the 9:30 Club, when I could manage to get in while under age. Most of those shows were unremarkable. I remember seeing Wept at DC Space, and it was great to see people just like me playing there – again, showing “this could be you.”

From high school, what I remember most were basement shows. I have no idea whether or not parents were home and sanctioned these events, but somehow, every month or so, some kid’s basement was opened and bands would play.

Any time Wept was playing, I was there. I did my first-ever solo performance with synthesizer at one. I had no idea what I was doing, and I am sure it was terrible, but I loved every second of it. Eventually, the band I was in played a few of these shows as well. I have a few photos and many, many fond memories.

I also remember a few “big shows” we went to that were huge disappointments. New Order came through touring behind “Low-life”. I remember that they were just awful live. Bad sound, bad arrangements, terrible vocals. And they didn’t play Blue Monday. There were other incidents like that, and what I took away from all that was:

1. Be awesome. Don’t be boring. Don’t suck. If you can’t bring The Rock when you play live, best not to do it. Play as best you can, and put on a SHOW. Don’t get up on stage looking like you just walked in off the street.

2. Play the hits. You already know what your crowd wants. Give it to them, don’t be awful towards them.

3. Don’t be a jerk. Be punctual. Start and end on time. Don’t screw over your opening band or headliner. Don’t treat the audience with contempt.

In college, I got more serious about watching bands – how they set up, how they played, how they interacted with the crowd. This reinforced the rules above, and my college band was soon booked as often as we wanted to be, sometimes with 2 shows per weekend. I knew we were doing it right when all the other bands started copying us!

I lived in Los Angeles in the 90’s, making a run at being a professional musician. Whenever I wasn’t in the rehearsal studio writing and rehearsing, I was out at clubs watching other bands, and taking notes (mentally, or actually on paper). I was amazed at how many good bands ruined themselves by not following the rules, and how many mediocre bands got traction because they did.

I also learned that you had to treat it as a BUSINESS. You couldn’t just play the few clubs you liked whenever you wanted. You had to think about how you cultivated an audience beyond a small, brief “scene”. You had to get out of town, go farther afield, and keep adding new fans.

But I have to say I probably learned the most about all that from my time fronting cover bands. Cover bands are professional operations, and are usually run more efficiently and better than many tours of signed bands.

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Please delineate an abridged/ abbreviated ‘band family tree’ including key collaborators as per your own musical rock & roll journey. How did learning and performing cover versions help you develop into a songwriter? Which local regional or national acts did you aspire to be as good as and as you achieved each level who did you reach towards next?
 
The Panther Moderns. (one performance at talent show, 1986)
Me – vocals, programming
Brian Johnston – Mirage
 
We covered “We Care A Lot” by Faith No More, dressed as Droogs from “A Clockwork Orange”. My first time on stage in front of a crowd. I loved every second of it. Then Wept stole him as their keyboard player(!), which precluded further serious collaboration.
 
“Friends”/The Bridge. (1986-1987. New wave band, played half covers and half originals.)
Max Friedenberg – vocals
Spencer Lamb – guitar
Howard Olsen – bass
Darow Han – drums
Me – synthesizer

This band played many a show with Wept, and there was some inter-band rivalry. If I recall, both bands had grown out of previous things like “The Suckies” and “Baby On Board”, which had variously involved Pete Reavey, Skip Burns, and some of the Wept members?

I did a few sporadic instrumental recordings with John Hong and Brian Johnston. I played music with a bunch of people (Larry Rouvelas, Melissa Christopher Green, a brief stint with Mental Art Society), trying to get a band together.
 
I was also a big supporter of Wept and its members. I remember following Will and X around with a video camera for some kind of art project, which I can no longer remember. I do remember trying to get Wept and John’s stuff distributed through an art gallery my parents frequented.
 
Mona Lisa Overdrive/Shockwork (1988-1991. Half party covers, half originals)
Me – vocals, guitar, synthesizer
Chris “Chaines” Haines – guitar, backing vocals
Mark Graham – bass, backing vocals
Josh Marks & John Goodchild – drums
 
After a one-off attempt at creating something like my old high school band (where I played keys and sang backup), I decided that a) I wanted something different, b) I wanted to play guitar, and c) I wanted to sing.
 
Chris Haines taught me the basics (and good habits) of playing guitar. His friendship and musicianship were critical to my development. We shared favorite records – he gave me things like Metallica, I gave him things like New Order.
 
While we tended to co-write original songs, I was the chief architect of the band. I wrote all the lyrics and melodies, and many complete songs. I was also the person who transcribed and arranged all the covers and taught the parts to the band members.
 
The Coyotes (1989-1991. Cowboy music, covers and originals).
Me – vocals, guitar
Mark Graham – bass, backing vocals
Ian Davis – guitar, backing vocals
 
Because of how our school worked, people ended up taking different semesters off. When Chaines wasn’t around, Mark and I started a new band with our friend Ian. Somehow, it ended up being a kind of fake cowboy band, with a sound somewhere between Chris Isaak and Wall of Voodoo. We did originals and a rather diverse batch of covers including actual cowboy trail songs.
 
If I had been smarter, this is the band I would have tried to get signed with. It was fun, it was beautiful, and it was destined for a brief existence, as Ian went off to get his PhD and then start a videogame company while Mark became an architect.
 
Mark (in addition to his role in my other band) proved to be a great musician to play with – very melodic, and willing to try anything. Ian was also great – a showman, a gentleman, and able to put up with my Lead Singer’s Disease.
 
Shockwork/Figurehead/The Quiet Room (1991 – 1994. Post-industrial.)
Me – vocals, guitar, programming
Chaines – guitar, backing vocals
 
Chaines and I spent 4 hard years trying to get signed. We pushed each other in good and not-so-good ways. We wrote some good material and a few great songs. Just not enough. And we failed to sufficiently network with other musicians, and failed to play out enough to learn what it would have taken to build a following.
 
We did however, meet:
Chris Fudurich – drums, programming, producing
John Kaizen/Vurpillat – bass, programming
 
Chris and John had been in a synth-pop band together. We wrote songs and became great friends. They were the last rhythm section for my main L.A. band before Chaines and I parted ways.
 
Both Fudurich and Vurpillat would play synth in my brother’s band, Don Knotts Overdrive. I collaborated frequently with both of them as well, on my own projects and on their own solo projects, contributing vocals, guitar playing, and more.
 
Vurpillat, my brother, and I were also part of a Neil Diamond tribute band called “The Neilists”. We dressed in gold lame jumpsuits and played old Neil Diamond songs like AC/DC. We played 5 shows and got 6 magazine write-ups, including People Magazine. We were interviewed for a documentary.
 
Fudurich is now a rather successful engineer/producer/manager. Vurpillat has given up music and doesn’t talk to any of us anymore.
 
My brother Ryan deserves a lengthy mention. He started playing guitar around the time I started playing synthesizer, and immediately became a much better musician than I did. I have always looked to him as an inspiration.
 
He moved to L.A. and lived with me for a time. He eventually joined and started fronting Don Knotts Overdrive, taking them from a schticky, shitty costume band to a super-tight late-90s indie pop/rock outfit that would have slotted nicely between Devo, The Cars, and Weezer. Of course they got signed, and of course they immediately broke up.
 
Ryan also joined legendary space-rock Hawkwind associates Farflung as well as their offshoot project Anubian Lights. His work with both is by far their best.
 
Ryan and I did make one record together – an album called “An Observer”, where he brought mostly-complete sketches to my studio for production and finishing. I still think it is some of the best work either of us has ever done.
 
He’s mostly given up music at this point, being a husband and father, and also extremely bitter about the music business. Like you and John H., he remains someone I look to as a creative hero. He has always been inventive, cool, and ahead of the curve. If he has a weakness, it is a failure to finish projects. I may not be as “good” as he is, but I do finish projects, and that counts for a lot.
 
During the back half of my time in L.A., I also:
…played bass for Dan Meyer. Originally a member of L.A. post-grungers Dashboard Prophets, Dan made a great Americana/rock demo album but failed to get signed. We did a bunch of shows. He wrote great songs. Having moved back east and become a family man, he is just now getting back into music after 20+ years away.
 
…played guitar and co-wrote songs for Bug, an L.A. pop-punk band. Originally started by bassist/singer Tom Murray. He asked me to join, and I promptly fired the other 2 guys in the band (brothers, who were drunk and unreliable). We replaced the drummer with Bottom 12 drummer John Montgomery, and immediately gelled. We did a bunch of shows, and 2 albums – the cassette-only “One Last Page”, a kind of send-off to punk, and the deliberately commercial “Dropping Some Downers”, which attracted some label attention, but by that time I was “done” being professional.
 
…played synthesizer with Tyler Bates (ex-Pet, ex-metal guy, now famous film composer) in his last-shot-at-making-it band WIDGET. I had a blast, but Tyler and I were both at a point where we weren’t sure if we wanted to keep shooting for a deal or do other things. I left L.A. to work in digital music, he became a film composer
 
There were a bunch of other people I played with and/or knew and hung out with (Failure, Tony Hoffer, Justin Meldal-Johnsen, Gwen Mars, Agnes Gooch, Electrolux, Gary Finneran (Ex-Idols, Tuscaurora)) but those are the significant ones.
 
Notorious (2001-2003. 80s cover band).
Me – Frontman
After moving to SF, I decided if I wanted to keep doing music, I didn’t want to be stuck with a bunch of kids determined to “make it”. I didn’t do anything for a long time, but after realizing how much I missed live performance, I decided maybe a cover band was the way to go. No pressure to write songs or make it, and everyone would be “pro”.
 
I ended up joining Notorious (I didn’t realize it was an audition, and I ended up beating out a good number of other contenders!) as their front person. Finally, I could just sing lead and concentrate on working the crowd and performing. I loved it, and honed stage presence and persona.
I also helped their musical direction, creating backing tracks, working on dance moves, stage business, song selection, and more. But it was tough to balance all of this work with the demands of creating Rhapsody, and I eventually quit. The other folks in the band saw it as a career, I saw it as a hobby.
 
Still, I learned more about being “pro” and performing during that time than the entirety of my previous musical existence combined. Ironically, the manager of Notorious (which was originally a Duran Duran tribute band) now manages the ACTUAL Duran Duran. Tragically, the band’s founder John Byrnes took his own life some years ago.
 
Sid Luscious and The Pants (2004 – present. Faux-80s revival)
Me – Frontman
 
At some point, every artist tries to bring together everything they know. Such was the case with SLAP. It was originally going to be a recording-only project – a “reissue” of a fake/non-existent 80s album period piece designed to exorcise all my 80s influences. I wrote and recorded everything in my basement from 2003-2005.
 
Some metal musician friends of mine heard the early demos and decided they would be the actual band for live performance. Over the years that line-up has shifted somewhat, but the drummer (Matt Gramly) has remained a constant.
 
Of course, it’s turned out to be the most popular thing I’ve ever done, and have spent much of the last decade pretending I’m a failed 80s pop star. I write catchy pop songs packed with covert and overt references and allusions to new wave favorites. It’s been fun, and a welcome alternative to the darker and more serious music I have also pursued.
 
I’ve also played guitar and bass for several of my friends’ bands (Palace Family Steak House, Disciples of Vice, Victim Nation) and done extensive recording engineering and producing.
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Where are you aligned in relation to the post 21st century paradigm? Post record stores, post ‘hard copy’ cd/tape/vinyl into pure downloads? What did you think of the millennial generation’s odd feeling that music should be free?! How does the artist now navigate best this digital domain? IS the small band better off now being able to self promote using various free platforms to post music, including social media? Or was it easier in old-guard ‘pasteup flyers’/ record label hierarchy ‘majors’ era?

It’s a better time to be a musician than at any other time in history. You can make and distribute a record for practically zero dollars. High quality recording gear and instruments are dirt-cheap or free. The internet means you can even learn how DO all of that quickly and easily. None of that was possible 20 or 30 years ago.

At the same time, it is a terrible time to be trying to make a living as a musician. For one thing, thanks to the previous point, there are a ton of people making records now. That flood of content means people pay even MORE attention to hits and less to up-and-coming artists. And then there’s the fact that most people don’t care about music enough to pay for it – they either just don’t care, or they think it should be free.

Some people think music should be free. I disagree, but it’s easy to see why. For one thing, many musicians continue to tell people today that how they want to listen to music (YouTube, subscriptions, MP3s, etc.) is “terrible” and “not real music” and thus, not worth paying for.

For another, there’s been real inconsistency about what’s legal and not legal, and what’s OK and not OK. Why are some things taken down on YouTube and some aren’t? Why can some blogs give away free MP3s and some can’t? Why can’t fans redistribute the same free MP3 they got? And so on.

Fans hear over and over that record companies are bad and artists aren’t getting paid. So from their perspective, who cares about paying? The label can suck it, and it’s not harming the artist (since they’re not getting paid anyhow, or because the artist is so rich, why should they keep getting paid for a song they wrote 40 years ago?)

And there’s just a flood of music. Supply and demand. Lots of supply pushes demand down. For the last several years, I’ve been telling the music industry their biggest problem is not getting people to pay FOR music, it’s getting people to pay attention TO music.

What I’d say is many of the old obstacles are gone. But the obstacles that remain are the really tough ones: Are you good enough to stand out from everyone else? How do you get people to pay attention and care?

But also, maybe you don’t have to “do it for a living”. Is there anything wrong with having music be a hobby, serious or casual? In the past, you couldn’t make records without a deal. You can now. And you can get gear and play shows and whatever you want. There’s literally nothing stopping you from making great music.

Being a “rock star”? Well, that’s like saying your ambition is to be a “successful businessman”. You’re focusing on the wrong part – the money, the fame, the lifestyle. That’s the part that doesn’t matter, or that can disappear instantly. Focus on doing what you love, and find ways to enable that.

Did your time as a professor of 20th century music self-influence your current music? What does your cover band and solo original music sound like now? Does your day gig in the music industry conflict or compliment you songwriting process? 
 
Designing the course “A History of 20th Century Music” and teaching it was as important an experience as any bunch of years out of my life.
 
While working on the class, I immersed myself in music history and theory, researching and synthesizing. To teach anything, one must understand it well. And during the teaching, the students had so many insights, I think I learned more than they did.
 
Certainly, revisiting all those exciting compositional ideas got me thinking about how to put some of them in other contexts. Studying art movements was inspiring as well.
 
Mostly it just reminds me that all musicians struggle to create something new, and something that is representative of their particular moment in time.
 
These days, my original music falls into one of 3 categories. I have a “fake 80s” band (Sid Luscious and The Pants) that allows me to pay homage to the music of my youth, and to entertain crowds when I play live. I aim to entertain, and writing, recording, and performing with that in mind takes a different set of skills than just being an artist.
 
I do more “serious” alternative rock stuff under my own name (“Anu”) as well, which tends to be darker, more concept-focused, and “artier”. These are typically recording-only projects, because a) nobody wants to play it live and b) I’m pretty sure nobody wants to see it live. That’s OK.
 
I also still do the odd bit of ambient music as “Captain Kirk”.
 
My day job for the last 15 years has been working in the digital music world, designing and building music subscription services. Aside from having far greater impact on the music business in a very different way than I imagined, it supports a lifestyle that allows me to buy gear and support my composing.
 
In my better moments, I consider myself {in the light & shadows – Ed.} Charles Ives, who gave up composing to innovate and lead in the insurance industry, and wasn’t recognized as a great composer until he was near the end of his life. He gave his music away for free and did it because he loved it. Look up what “amateur” really means and where it comes from.
 
Thanks ‘Cpt.’ Kirk aka Sid Luscious for your new wave genre & solo career primers. Your in-depth replies to our complex & specific questions sets a standard for future XARRIVIEWZ! In particular sharp focus is ‘band family tree’ delineation, something which may become standard.  
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