Sunday, December 23, 2012

Soulacybin - Interview


At a recent event by Elevated Arts and Entertainment in Denver, Grimey Gatsby got the chance to sit down with electronic music producer Soulacybin, or John LaBoone, a recent transplant from Kentucky. We asked John about his story in the music world, the importance of intentional gatherings in fostering community, and the significance of art in these uncertain times.

Soulacybin at Casselman's

How long have you been playing music?
I've only been playing live with this project  for about 10 months,  and it's only been about a year that I've been serious about doing this. My growth rate with production has been so rapid that 6 months to me is like a lifetime….Out of the womb no, ten months into it.

…And has that grown exponentially since getting to Colorado?
Oh yea, for sure got out here and got super inspired. The audiences out here, people are just so ravenous for music. They want bluegrass and then some heavy dub step and  then it's all over the board. As a musician I can connect even better, to people who aren't too genre-based or specific.

Is this your first digital music project?
Yes, it is.  The last eleven years of my life I played in bands.  Grew up playing guitar, switched over to drums couple years ago and I've been drumming with this group. We toured the Southeast and last year we played Camp Bisco, it was the biggest thing we'd done…and that kinda fell apart, and then right away my energy's got to go toward something else. 

And you get to do it all yourself that way too?
 Yea  if you do all the booking and you have to load the van anyway, when you only have to worry about yourself it's really easy.  It was a nice change. It's nice not to have to travel with a bunch of gear. I can go on a plane with my APC and my midi controller in a case and my laptop in a backpack and just take that.

So did you ever have gatherings like this (a collaborative evening of art, music, dance and flow artistry) in Kentucky?
No. There are small pockets of people who are down with electronic music, but the intentional gathering doesn't happen, I think.  And it will, and it is. It's growing, for sure. People are catching on to the fact that those events are really fun and are more beneficial to everyone of all kinds of interest.   It's the same benefit, that will go beyond just the fun of the night. Building  community and really building community within ourselves. There's not a whole lot of that going on there so it's nice to be out here.

Could you elaborate on the benefits of intentional gatherings? What you get out of them as a performer, or what you think the benefit is for the creative community?
Yea, I think  one of the main things is that it's kind of a call to action. It brings to light that no one is passive in the making of this reality. We're all actively doing it. So let's be conscious about it.  So if you can go home and think about that and retain that.  We had the opening ceremony tonight where we were asked to connect with our breath and our heart, and that's beautiful. And some people might not have the opportunity to do that before coming to an event like this.  And if they do that, they might feel something they've never felt before. And if you can go home with that, let that carry out in your actions and words, and the way you treat others. And it's also really encouraging everyone to let their artist out.  We're all artists, I believe.  Some of us just don't know what we're supposed to do yet. Things like medicine, that's art. Anything that a person could be good at, that's their art. The word gift. We talk about people having gifts, what do you do with a gift? Give it. It couldn't be any more true of that work.  So  I think it encourages people to find their gifts and then share their gifts. Having that community allows you the space here where you can just be yourself and be open.   In turn, you're open to receiving these new experiences, new feelings, new energies.  It's really how people  make spaces like these.  It's good for us to walk that kind of path always, not just at the gathering but realizing that we can take what we experience here and walk down the street with that .  Smile at the people you meet.  Not everyone's gonna treat you like you're treated here, but you can treat people how you would. 

You do a strong sense of co-creation when you're in a space like this, but it's all about taking that with you…
Yea, it's a great responsibility to carry love and to spread love. Fundamental…I think that's the bottom line.

Do you feel like that's especially a part of your purpose as an artist?
Definitely. It's the sole purpose. To share, inspire, instill anything positive in anybody. That's what I take from it. I've been so touched before by music. Breaking down in tears at a powerful moment at a concert or something. It's such a powerful force. So yea, I definitely use it intentionally. When I'm creating music, I'm really 'intentful' about the thoughts and my vibrations I'm holding.  Understanding that that's gonna be in the piece and that's gonna come across, even though people won't realize it.  And I've had affirming conversations with people, where they've picked up ion the one thought, the one dominant theme that I was meditating on whine I wrote that track.  

I do some things where I meditate with crystals and hold one intention real intensely focused and then maybe record the crystals rubbing against each other, while still holding that same intent. and incorporate that in my music, on a level that no one would notice by ear, but instead vibrationally and energetically. It's just on a whole different level and that intent, if people feel it, great.

How I said before, we're all actively creating this, and we should be doing it conscious rather than unconsciously. The same thing with my music, I intentionally create it to uplift. I like to say "throw down and uplift"

We recognize that this time we're in is pretty significant.  Do you feel an extra impetus to be creating or to be connecting with people? What opportunities do you think this provides for us and what would you like to see?
I think this is the time where we should really be loving ourselves. Self-love is so important.  You can't love anybody  else if you don't love yourself. I think  especially in this times, It's  really really really important that we let go of all these old things, thoughts, behavior patterns that we don't need and that no longer serve our greatest good.  And just to focus on being good to ourselves, being good to those around us. Creating what we can create. It's really important right now. In the past month I've had four new tunes pop out in a matter of days. So I think it's important to just be paying attention to what we're going right now, don't go on auto-pilot. Recognizing what's useful and what's not and being discerning about what we'd like to keep in our existence.

Soulacybin's SoundCloud

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