Saturday, November 08, 2014

Seven questions with ... Pascal Normand aka 18 Seconds

Lately I haven't been posting as often as I used to due to a combination of busyness (work + life + running weareallghosts) and a need to recharge the old batteries. I guess I've been looking for inspiration to write.

The thing is with inspiration ... sometimes you have to stop looking and let it find you! Case in point is the music of  Pascal Normand aka 18 Seconds ... a lovely chap from Montreal, Québec, Canada; who plays the most delightful ambient guitar. He got in touch to say 'hi' and to tell me about his music. His EP - "When the fog dissipates" - is a delicious mix of guitar and atmospherics that reminds me, at times, of a less frenetic mid-period era Radiohead. It really grabbed my attention and inspired me to write again.

Normand knows his way around a guitar and this shows, he can go from jingly to fuzzy with ease ... and in doing so, he creates wonderful instrumental tracks that engage the listener. They certainly engaged me.

Anyway ... as is my want, I asked Normand if he'd consider answering a few questions. I am delighted to say he agreed.

Please Note: Normand asked me to say that English isn't his first language. After reading his response I hope you are as ashamed as I am that your 'second language' isn't *that* good!


1) Who are you and what do you do?
My name is Pascal. I am passionate about music. I don’t make a living playing music, but I do it because I love it and it allows me to use my creative side. As long as I can remember, music has always been a big part of my life. I remember when I was a kid, listening to hair metal bands on my yellow Sony walkman and playing air guitar. LOL! Seriously, I don't think you can describe who I am without talking about music. So now, as a hobby, I like to compose and record my own music. It's really a DIY thing where I do everything: I write my music, record it, mix it and publish it. Hopefully, I had some help on my first EP for mastering and to put together the cover.

2) What are you working on at the moment?
Right now, I am working on my second album. I released my first EP last year, and now I can't wait to put some new music out. When I look back, I am not totally happy with my first EP. I mean, I'm really happy I have finally put out some of my music, but there are things I wish I had done differently, or taken further. So now I know I have to make it better than what I've done previously. Since music is a hobby for me, I don’t have the luxury to do it full time. Which mean that I can’t really work on too many project at the same time. So right now, pretty much all the time I have for music goes towards the next album.

3) Who inspires you?
That is a very difficult question, unless I could write over a million words. As a musician, there's no doubt music is a big inspiration. And in many different forms. So there are many different colors in my musical landscape.  I listen to a lot of different stuff, and somehow it all inspire me in one way or another. But I am also inspired by the people in my life, such as my wife. She is a big inspiration for me.

- Name an artist who has inspired you.
It’s hard to name just one. I guess I would say Sigur Rós. Their music is so unique, so beautiful. I would probably have to name Jonny Greenwood from Radiohead as well. He definitely is one of my favorite guitar player, and he really influenced me as a guitarist. And I could go on and on…

- Name place that has inspired you.
I find Montreal to be a really inspiring city, and for many different reasons. First of all, it’s got a very active musical scene. There are a lot of great bands coming from here and being surrounded by so much artist and creative people is definitely inspiring. But aside from that, I like all the different cultures around here. All the colors, the smells, the savors, a true ode to life.

- Name some "thing" that has inspired you.
The first thing that comes to mind when I think about “things” that inspire me are the tools that I use to make music: my guitars, my amps, my pedals. I guess I am a bit of a gearhead. LOL! But just having a new piece of musical gear often inspire me to just sit there in my studio and play.

4) What drives you to do what you do?
Pleasure. Pleasure and passion. I don't know exactly what drives me. I just feel that I just could not stop.

5) What values do you wish your creativity to express?
I don’t think there are specific values I want my music to express. However, there are some values like love and justice that are very dear to me. So I guess, somehow, it must reflect a bit in what I create.

6) What role does community play in what you do?
Inspiration. Help. Support. Mutual aid.

7) What is next for what you do?
Music, music, and more music. As I told earlier, I am working on my second album and I’m really excited about it. I would also like to do some new videos, whether it’s a music video for one of my song, or some more loop-based songs like I did in the past. It’s not totally clear right now, but one thing is sure is that in the coming weeks, I’ll be focusing my efforts on my new record.

I'd like to finish by thanking you for reading this, and for your interest in my music. That means a lot to me.



Thank you Pascal!!!

Have a wee listen to his EP - "When the fog dissipates" - below and, if you can, give him a couple of bucks ... I want to hear more from him and want to encourage him to keep going, keep creating.

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