Mark Cavazos – Interview (January 5, 2019)
Interviewed by: Aaron Thomas Wells
For those that are quite possibly familiar with the obscure underground band, Neurotic Carousel or might be aware of them; May have noticed to prepare themselves for the unexpected when it comes to the band Leader’s Mark Cavazos. Hell, even with the band in itself; Neurotic Carousel, you never know what to expect there as well, constantly shifting with no labels or genres to each release with no fair ground of caring. As contortionists of band mates along down the years with front man, Mark Cavazos is always looking for new Creative outlets to look towards experimenting his musical ways and has always been his vices. Mark’s Mind perspective’s that revolves around this seem to have always guided him in many directions throughout all of his work for almost a little over a decade. To even state, most of what he’s done alone speaks on its own behalf! Simply seeing, hearing the music says it all. So, it would eventually be apparent for him to try something different at an ever randomly known angle, from then on time’s on. To those that care or pay attention, in that respect. But when? What, Why? Honestly, to Mark Cavazos this never quite seems to matter much nonetheless.
Yet he did it again in 2017! Another project source he put forth to surprise listeners out of the blue! Our very own Isolated Eclipse Records, features Mark in this interview; our Signed based innovator to the musical arts, Mark Cavazos (Neurotic Carousel, Tentorii Cerebrium) to present us with a new Work. Himself and just himself naturally. Under his Own Name. His approached newer Solo work now as a Pianist composer. After an awaited hiatus, we rewind ourselves back to the late Winter of 2017, Mark decided to digitally release his debut intentionally on his Birthday in 2017, a Solo full-length album submitted to Isolated Eclipse Records, titled “Moth Shadow Silhouettes”, as a more melancholic morose atmospheric piece, that’s based primarily on more piano and vocals. Whom thereafter gained several public responses and recognition, permitted Airplay, promotion and was instantly signed to several other labels right after.
A welcoming year to 2019, we as Home of Isolated Eclipse Records will welcome this interview and delve further off into his Portway insight to his past implemented work back lining his Solo Piano Album, “Moth Shadow Silhouettes” (2017). Here we have Mark Cavazos,
-Hello Mark. Excellent approach at going Solo yourself with “Moth Shadow Silhouettes”, basing it on mostly Piano, why did you find the foundation to utilize it around this instrument? Was there a certain reason?
No certain reason or exact foundation, so much. Correct however, I wanted to try and bring a new sound. I think I just felt like going on with a different instrument. I always wanted to make a Piano album by myself, in my Own certain style. Primarily prioritized it with mainly piano and vocal only, keeping it simple. It happened, I picked it up along the way. It just felt right at the moment and with the time frame I was phasing with.
-Your playing seems to be inspired by classical efforts and effects, the types you would hear in dramatic and depressive movie soundtracks. This style of yours is quite your Own type and distinguished. I must ask, how long or many years have you played piano for? Where did you learn this certain tone?
I just picked it up naturally. Started with simple major and minor chords, in the beginning. It started from there. I don’t know how to play so well, in all honesty. Only years, I dabbled with keyboards back then. I learned more professionally if you want a time frame, in just 5-6 months. Purely Self-taught. I don’t know how to read music or ever took Piano Theory. I just practiced. I was visual with the chords and have that “certain ear”. I can still play the same songs exactly the same. Directly over and memorized. Naturally, it just came to me. I don’t know how else I can put it, just that I’m more of an intuitive writer, piano player and composer.
-How long was the recording and writing process to finish, “Moth Shadow Silhouettes”?
Learned to play Piano and compose music in less than half a year of 2017. Writing and recording was about the same time length. Once finished and copyrighted with the Artwork and intentionally released as an accomplishment to myself, on my Birthday. Made Airplay and Signed to others in Winter 2017. Everything all in the same one year. I don’t know how it all happened so quickly. Just seemed to pan out that way so patently and fit directly in time. Just coincidence. I have no idea, how that all worked in one year but it did.
-What gave you the creativity and idea in the concept for this record?
I was going through so much overwhelming haunting thoughts and trauma within the last past 4 years. I couldn’t eat, think, sleep, had major insomnia and had lack of ambition. Fell into a foul state of deep depression. Especially the prior year of 2016 and same year of 2017. I didn’t know how else to release these detrimental bottled repercussions alone, besides making this album mostly intensely intimate and therapeutic. To vent out and release this pain. So as mentioned, this record was more personal as a self-reflection upon myself and based on those years. I know it sounds greedy. But many others related to these songs obviously. To me this felt gracious at the same time, that many could connect with the music. Because everyone is human and has emotions of grief, loss, sadness and sorrow, bargaining, depression, guilt, anger, yet this was somewhat filled with so much other therapy as well to the affection that many other listeners bonded with what I romanticized with the writing.
I titled the album, “Moth Shadow Silhouettes” sincerely on my Own personal note and kept Private.
-How was the writing process like?
Painful, yet very heartfelt. It helped me release so much depression and trauma, I had gone through. I was very satisfied with the result and finish of this release.
-What type of Piano brand model did you use, to record this full-length? Was this some type of Keyboard with an effect or Grand Piano brand you bought? I noticed from the sound itself, has a certain old antiquated vibe to it. I’m guessing Grand Piano…?
An Heirloom actually. It’s an extremely old Antique Grand Piano (still tuned), that’s been passed down and ran through My family line generations for more than half a Century. It’s definitely older than old. Taken very good care of as, well. That vibe you're hearing, is the natural “antique” sound itself, throughout the album on the instrument. I don’t even know what brand model it is at this point or have a clue, it's very outdated; for being a very aged Antique instrument, with that very organic antique tone you hear.
-Have you thought of playing live sets for this album to promote it?
Not for this. Not at any Venue or Place. Mainly because I would need to use an actual Grand piano. They’re too heavy to hold on stages. I will never bring mine to a concert. I would do a personal performance live however, if anything. That I have always considered, for guests, friends, etc. No charge. If time permitted. Heh!
-How do you feel about Isolated Eclipse Records, being a new home to you?
It sets well. It feels like my original Home. Accommodating to the other blends of bands on there.
-What influences did you get from other Pianists who inspired you to play piano?
Tori Amos! Olivier Latry. Bach. Mozart. Basically, mixtures of any classical music helped “my ear”. Mixed with depressive atmospheric soundtracks from names by Clint Mansell, Akira Yamaoka, and Hans Zimmer. I blended all of these elements as sources. Eventually of course, to as one does. I created my Own style; thereafter.
-Why are Moths so significant to this album?
They are my Spirit Guide Totem animal. Not to also mention, what they represent by what means this album gave me the reason to write it as well as almost in a poetic manner and so somber. It pieced and fit. So, I found it interesting to base this album title as, “Moth Shadow Silhouettes”.
-You use any other instruments for this album?
Only 2 tracks on this album are not piano. One is all sound effects with voice for “Moths leading me up the staircase” and I also used my 70’s Vintage Bontempi Magnus Chord Organ on another track “Forgive Me”; pure Chord Organ and vocals only.
-Was it your idea for the Front Album Cover? Which is an excellent front cover photo art cover by the way, in my opinion.
Yes. It was my idea and concept. A Photographer, by the name of Remi De Lino captured and photographed all the work within the whole album. Including the Front Cover and back, inside covers.
-Any plans for a physical release?
Yes. But I’m not sure when however. But I plan to press or print “Moth Shadow Silhouettes”. If anyone is interested, just keep posted.
-How did you feel when your Solo Album got Airplay, promoted and signed to other labels, including Isolated Eclipse, from immediate public response? What was your first reaction?
First off, I’m not very good! How!? Hahaha! No seriously. Perhaps, I’m too modest about my work and don’t give myself enough credit over it, mainly. But, I’m not very good. So, I was actually in shock more than I was surprised and thrilled! I thought this release, would go unnoticed. But I’m very deeply thankful that others out there enjoyed it, appreciated it and that it got recognized to a little higher of a degree. It made my year a bit better having that this been broadcasted on Airplay especially in other States. Seeing just the reality of comparing myself with others out there, that I’m not alone…others going through these songs so, just as much as I was whom also related with my songs. Any people that relate with my music in any case for that matter and their genuine solitude for that is an incredible feeling. I absolutely adore these listeners and fans, as much as I adore writing the music. Made me feel really great.
-Do you have any future plans to later on continue with other Mark Cavazos solo piano albums to be released in the future?
Even though I would love to do more releases and I enjoyed writing, playing and composing the first, as a Piano composer. I strongly doubt they’ll be follow-ups continued to anymore Mark Cavazos (Piano Albums). “Moth Shadow Silhouettes”, might have been the first also last debut that was a side project, put out under my name. Main reason, was I no longer have access or possession to that Antique Grand Piano. So, to answer your question. No. No intentions or plans in the future of continuing this Solo Project, under myself anymore. Primarily because I don’t Own or have that same Piano, at this time anymore. I refuse to do another release, without that Heirloom instrument of mine. A shame too, because I had already started on a couple other newer material. But it wasn’t near finished recorded. But sounded incredible, by the time the Piano was taken from me! Yet you never know in the future, I might just one day surprise everyone with that final track that was half recorded and finish it. Hmm.
-What do you think of the Music Industry today?
I pity it. It’s horrific. Dead, yet dormant. I don’t think there’s even such thing now as a Musical Industry anymore to be honest, everything is pure indie labels and Networking, promotion now. The Most majority of musicians and Artists that do music now, do it only because they enjoy writing so for its theirs, the drive and passion and it’s in them. I don’t care for being ever contracted to Major Labels. Or living the Prostituted Rock Star Dream. Since the Music Industry is dead in any case too for that matter. Most Bankrupt. Like seriously, who the Hell buys CD’s and music nowadays!?!? In fact, I wouldn’t exactly ever want to be completely Signed over and controlled. I’m not a whore to the musical Industry. I prefer Networking Labels only. Not Business Labels. Music is already dead to them and others, as it is. So many amazing artists out there in this World, get nothing, as they work their asses off. But they get no recognition whatsoever and trust me, I’ve seen so much talent out there. I’m sure you as well have and many others too that are reading this. But we have “talents” Majorly Signed that play on the Radio everywhere and worshipped by simple pointless easily done “written” music with about three catchy phrases and lines? And poorly written …and wait do they even use actual instruments in their songs? Because I can barely hear them? Uhm. I don’t get how this works? As opposed to other better bands and musical talents whom do the same, that can actually play instruments, however their work is just as meaningful and powerful with just practically only 2 lines. Not to mention makes passionate and logical sense that empowers you. You do the math, on how that goes? Seriously. A lot of bands that are majorly signed are just COPYCATS off others COPYCAT bands. Nothing original.
As to me I really don’t want to be labeled or associated near to these Major Labels. It’s not about money to me. The music industry is now dead.
However, if one thing is, I wished in my experience. I would enjoy to go Touring. Around the World too especially. Only because I get to see different places and sights I’ve never been too. This to me is defined adventure and pure embarking, other than that Contracting to a Major Label. Just NOT, I repeat NOT be permanently Signed, just contracted to do so and tour just once in a Lifetime. Ha! I, might as well be a Sell Out, to all my work, if to be Signed thereafter. If that were the case, I’d just stop doing music altogether. Which is out of the question. That won’t happen. I don’t need the World to approve my music, it’s not for everyone in that case. Plus, I don’t “try” tough to be like anyone else. I write the music I write, because I enjoy it and I love to do what I do. I’m not trying to impress the entire Musical World. I careless for the Mainstream. Seeing as that always is dying too and “trendy” (if it doesn’t leave a big impression, which nowadays they don’t); and as all trends do in nature. They die out and expire. I don’t mean to sound like a narcissist, this is just my opinion on the Music Industry today. You asked, so I spoke. My observation, on what I’ve seen. -Smiles-
-What keeps you motivated in Music? Don’t take this personally, I always ask this to mostly every and all artists and musicians I interview.
Experimenting is my forte. Always has. Phasing. Life. Creativity. Making something from scratch and thin air. Being and remaining inspired and constantly intuitive. It never ends honestly to me. So nothing ever gets old, because new ideas and concepts always are refreshing to me.
-So, what do you plan to do now in this current time with your Music?
I officially hopped back on the Carousel. Riding Solo now. Completely Solo. I'm now back officially to my Original band. My priority is back, to go back to my musical stand point, with Neurotic Carousel. Starting to work slowly and surely on new material. As things will surface. I plan to perform Solo in my Local area as well, in the future, this I know.
-Any future releases, you’d like to give us a heads up you might pull out your sleeve later?
Just novels. Can’t give exact dates. I hate promises, now at this point. But my novel “The Iris” is near completion, I’m working to finish it as soon as possible and copyright it, so I may release some excerpts.” That’s still on hold. But keep posted, until that’s officially announced.
-How do you see yourself in Life?
In reality. Still breathing and existent.
-Anything else you’d like to share with readers before ending this interview:
I’m thankful for everything and to my listeners that have followed me down the line of my work. Many thanks. Art is everything! Everything is Art! To everyone, I recommend to make something with art involved, something with your creative source, find your niche and tools for trade in this World to stay ambitious! You have talent to in your inner self to offer, but you must seek it. It really helps you therapeutically and to escape this World and reality. It’s relaxing and relieves stress and depression. Even if you don’t think it does, you’ll realize soon enough it does do its job! It doesn’t necessarily have to be with music. But something in the arts or crafts. Even funny crazed stick figures, are brill as well! Anything is art, no right or wrong when it comes to the Universal World of it! -winks-
Thank you, so much!
Mark. It’s been such a pleasure, having this session with you. You’re an amazing talented artist! I absolutely hope to see more of your work with the new Neurotic Carousel in your hands, you have in store for us in the future. Stay tuned everyone! Check out Mark Cavazos new 2017 solo Piano album, “Moth Shadow Silhouettes”, related release on Isolated Eclipse Records– by Mark Cavazos Collective out now! Isolated Eclipse has more in store for its Artists and more to come its way! Best of luck to you all! Thank you for sharing!
“MOTH SHADOW SILHOUTTES” HERE:
-Aaron Thomas Wells.
Copyrighted © January 5, 2019 by Aaron Thomas Wells.
Presswork-Media Review via Isolated Eclipse Records.
Publications License directed. All rights reserved.
Isolated Eclipse Records / Indie Label, Austin TX.
Info and Contact:
Isolated Eclipse Records
Mark Cavazos (Solo)
Interview by Aaron T. Wells
Isolated Eclipse Records