Home > Persoonlijk > Interview Devotionals – the original

Interview Devotionals – the original

Tyson Vogel is niet alleen drummer van Two Gallants, maar houdt zich tegenwoordig ook nog bezig met een soloproject onder de naam Devotionals. De muziek is ingetogen, maar durft ook uithalen. De originele versie van het mailinterview op daMusic vind je hieronder. Omdat het zo speciaal verwoord wordt door de goede man wou ik jullie de originele versie niet onthouden.
Are you a religious man? Does music help you with that? Why this bandname?

*I wouldn’t be as bold to say that I am religious man, but I have suspected that I am drawn to life, and it to me in spiritual forms. I feel a deep conversation is in constant ebb and flow from within and without. From within my bones to the air that streams at certain wingtips, from that homeless man illuminated, yelling toothless into an empty alley to that same sunlight that lays itself upon your loved ones brow, its deeply humbling feeling. I have been honored to have a similar relationship to music, and it finds form to transfigure those moments into something all its own. Music is its own deep conversation, and IS living. Religion or not, music is always a devotion to something. The name grew out of that philosophy. Upon our waking we are already a devotion, whether it be to the moment of waking or to your consistent heartbeat. We are all Devotionals.

On the first track there’s a deep breath/sigh before starting to play. Why is that (still on the album)?
*I wanted to create a space for silence. Breathe, it has its own sound. We say: “Take a deep breath.” to remind ourselves to calm down, to gather spirit in trying times, or to meditate/concentrate. I wanted to give form, reverence, to the most basic element of our being, one of the most consistent. It is an overseer and leader, will stifle or nurture. Every breath is a conversation and note, deep note.

You don’t seem at ease with singing. Why?
*Honestly I have to admit that I am a bit bashful about singing. It is something that I feel an affinity to but am uneasy in the process. I think it’s a psychological thing and is rooted in some moderate personality disorder, not a crutch or weakness. The song demands it be given form in its own way. These songs were conceived mostly instrumental for a purpose. They needed to be. And the voice, the singing, came the way it was, and in its frailty, for a reason.

Morning Due seems almost minimal. Is that what you had in mind?
* So much of this album is based around trying to excavate and express emotion in its most pure and unaffected form. Morning Due is the figurehead of that intention. It is minimal and absolutely planned in its simplicity. The album wrote itself. It is a conversation, a form to give form to a feeling and experience. I did not have any intention other than to give form and substance to a part of life that dictates us but is mostly invisible. Music is that form and substance, and I had no idea or preconception of what this album was going to be, but had an undeniable urge to let out what was looming within. I let it lead me, and as the songs took form and matured the design was revealed, the form of the album was illuminated.

There’s a deep kind of sadness hidden in these songs. How personal are they?
*Honestly, the album is intensely personal, but though these songs came from me, I don’t feel any ownership. I feel that these songs could apply to anyone, be from anybody. I was just a vessel, a medium to these sonic ruminations. They are yours as much as they are mine. They are explorations, witnesses to the heart. Yes, they are the product of an overwhelming darkness and personal living battle, but they are also an explored form of a guiding light, an ingredient that is a part of everyone’s experience and life when realized.

Is there a meaning behind the slowness of the songs (as opposed to some of Two Gallants’ songs)?
* The pace and space of these songs were the way they were conceived. The songs were born as mediations, ruminations. The pace of these songs embody the space and quiet from which they formed, and are devotionals to that space. Our lives are overrun with the fleeting inclinations of our time. Life rushes past us at such a pace these days and are affected by so much. These songs are a dedication to the slowness and that pregnant void that threatens at every breathe, at every stalled moment of disbelief, at every heartbreak, birth, residue of laughter, silent moment before sleep entrances or at that moment of waking next to the person you love. When you are wholely You, and life is invigorating every thought and movement. The slowness of this record is a mediation to those unforeseen moments.

The song titles seem almost impressionist paintings and the music fits the images.
*Yes, the titles are a keyhole look into that world, or is the keyhole itself. They are ideas to give form and dimension to the wordless conversation and experience that is rampant throughout each song.

I know you like to write (as in literature), yet most of these songs are instrumental. Are lyrics that different from poetry?
* It always comes down to how the writer approaches his writing, and I feel that there are a lot of traps and repetitions that are easy to fall into when writing song lyrics. I feel that words should come naturally (though that does not mean unpracticed) when honestly written. These songs asked to be instrumental and as much as my conscious, human brain, wanted to write lyrics/singing to them, it became very clear that it wasn’t right. Words are a complicated experience because we are a complicated species: the most simple expressions can carry so many interpretations, biases, ambiguities for us that I feel it can complicate the most simple of experiences. Writing is very important to me, but for this record it was the lack of words to allow for the purest experience, unbiased, that was important. Music is a universal language.

Does it bother you that people will mostly get to know this album because of your background as drummer of Two Gallants?
* I’m actually humbled that people would give this music the time even though is a much different direction from Two Gallants.

Why the break from Two Gallants? Why now? Does this have implications for Two Gallants?
* Adam and I have grown up together. We’ve known each other since we were 6 years old, but did the majority of growing into adulthood while exploring the world, ourselves and music together. It was important to us both to after being so intensely gone from our own lives, to return home and nurture out of ourselves the heartfelt intentions and lives that we had to put aside while traveling as Two Gallants. This break we are taking does not reflect upon Two Gallants. If anything this is a defining of Ourselves that will only strengthen the form of expression that is Two Gallants when the time is revealed.

We can’t wait.

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