Artists name/Band: Rick Stasel – Knew Music

Music Genre : EDM

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Rick Stasel,

What Musical Genre Do You Feel Best Describes Your Music And How Would You Describe Your Sound?
Psychedelic Campfire Music / Acid… Bluegrass, nor Jazz – Spontaneous compositions, Honestly, I wish you’d tell me. My music is a process, it’s based on, multi-track improvisational recording. I usually don’t know what I’m going to get when I sit down to record

How Did You Get Your Name? Is There A Story?
“Knew Music” is just a play on the words, it is neither new nor knew. After thinking about it, it made sense though. I took music theory in school, but I wasn’t a Major. I know enough to know, I don’t know much. So I focused on the ‘sound’ aspect of music, that it didn’t need to be in a certain key or time, those were all conventions, maybe like life, sounds inter-mix, birds sing, traffic goes by, maybe someone is talking in the distance or playing their radio loud, it’s all random sound, but it sounds alright, we don’t even think tonal or atonal, because we don’t expect it to be, but when we hear a song, we expect it to be tonal. This is all true of rhythm too, why not have several rhythms concurrent? The trick is to make it all sound, okay.

What Are or Have Been Your Musical Influences?
Wow…, all the regulars and more… or less, My personal messiah is Hendrix…, on so many levels. Besides that everybody, I just listen to the sound and how it affects me. I love it all, it’s all an audio experience.

What Are You Working On Now? Any Future Collaborations We Can Look Forward To?
I really would like to record my ‘songs’ the ones I can play again and again, all of these I would have to learn, they were just whatever I played at the time, then multi-tracked but I’ve done lots of different stuff, I’d like to record my songs with a band of people who could play, they don’t even really have to be people, long as they can play.

What Is Your Ultimate Goal In The Music Industry? What Is Your Plan Of Action?
I’d like for my music to be heard, I’d like for it to be liked, but mostly I’d like for my music to inspire. I’m an old man now, many of these tunes were recorded 20 years or more ago. I never pursued a career in music, I didn’t see much of an audience for what I do, and I didn’t want to hustle gigs, I’m a recording artist.

What Is Your Favorite Track To Perform Live and Why?
I don’t perform live, but that’s almost all I record. I like to play some of my songs and covers but none of this stuff is designed for a live performance. At one time I thought it might be cool, to do it live each set being a ‘track’ overdubbing the previous set, and by the end of the evening you’d have a 4 track overdub, problem is keeping people around past the first couple sets, even my friends would have left by then.

What Has Been The Biggest Challenge In Your Career Thus Far?
Self-confidence, putting my music out there. Thank God, for the internet. I never received a lot of reinforcement.

What’s Your Typical Songwriting Process?
These pieces were all recorded live, then over-dubbed, to create a mosaic, three-dimensional sound paintings. I call it a musical ‘Bob Ross. Going in I have no idea what I’ll end up with, it’s just the layering of different sounds all based on what was previously recorded. I aim to create an audio experience, more than a ‘song’.

How Has Social Media Influenced Your Career As An Artist?
A portal to get my music out there, information, and inspiration. I love social media, not all the platforms but I love that everybody has access to it, it’s overwhelming and dilutes a lot of great art but the commonality of it is amazing. We don’t need a gatekeeper anymore. In some matter or another, I’d like to throw all my message-in-a-bottle, into the sea.

What Are Some Tracks and Artists Currently On Your Playlist?
I listen to what I hear, I don’t think I have a playlist, I like to listen to my music because I hear what I’d like it to be. No, I don’t really have a playlist, depends on what I’m thinking about then I search it out. Music is always playing in my head, externally or internally.

What Did You Do Before You Started Making Music?
Hard to say. I lived the life of a child, saw the Beatles on Ed Sullivan, and decided I wanted to play music since then I’ve flirted with that notion but didn’t pursue it. It clicked, just as it did for my whole generation, some of them made it, most of us didn’t so we played in local bands, or open mics, if we were lucky we were local celebrities, but most of us just recorded on our tape recorders, then computers or played around the campfire, I did all three.

Any Advice For Young People (Men or Women) That Want To Succeed In The Music World?
Succeed? I guess first define it, make a living? I’d like to say follow your dream, but it didn’t work for me, It’s been a professional sideline, I have a home studio and have for 50 years, I multitrack, I spontaneous compose on a groove and sometimes a drum beat, it’s all pretty simple. It’s just what you do with it, is it unique? Look at music or art as what you are, what you will leave behind, and what really matters. Your art might be your job, it might be your hobby, and it should always be your passion. It should always be what you think about, it should always be about what you think you must do better than yesterday.

What Would You Change In The Music Industry If You Were A Top Music Executive?
I don’t know, I don’t think about it much, I just like to play and fortunately for me, I don’t have to pay the rent from the financial benefits of playing music. I think it’s sad some artists make obscene amounts of money and others make almost nothing, regardless of their talent. Too bad they can’t be a better form of distribution of wealth, not for me, but for those who need it.

How Do You Feel About Originality?
The top three considerations that appeal to me the most, are how different one sounds. We’re all continuations, nobody is entirely different, just the next step along the way, I’d like to think I was a step, but I might be happy with being a misstep. Two is the cleverness, was it a take-off of a previous sound or something completely different, and third how representative of what the artist is, can you listen to the artist and feel how he sees things? Who knows if it’s what he intended, but like a photo sometimes it looks more like you than you think, you look.

Is There Anything Else We Should Know About You Or That You Would Like to Add?
Now I would like to do my own self-interview:

Do you have any words for aspiring artists?
Yes, Try to find the spirit you are through your artistic expression, don’t worry about if it’s good enough, except for you. Always compare yourself to yourself yesterday, not to others, and always try to be a little better the next day. Look back on what you’ve done with pride, it is you, and you are unique. It’s all good. Peace and Happiness, yeah Happiness.

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