Friday, December 17, 2010

Grey Kingdom (SCQ's Year-End Questionnaire Part I)

If you’ve missed the rise of Grey Kingdom throughout 2010, don’t fret – you’ve arbitrarily landed upon the perfect moment to check out his EP The Grey Kingdom. Although first heard amid summer’s heat, these acoustic but richly produced four songs sound even more stately and bittersweet in December’s rare moments away from the consumerist’s rush. Spencer Burton, the songwriter behind Grey Kingdom, refers to the silence of nature in this mini-interview, sharing his muse and favourite records.

SCQ: Every list-lover's favourite question: what are your top albums of 2010? Feel free to include any older yet worthy records you discovered this year.

SB: oh my. there are so many different things I have been listening to. bands like baby eagle, Diamond Rings, shotgun jimmie, the lovely Fred Squire. I have also been listening to some older records. patrick sky, Elizabeth Cotten, Goblin. too many to list really!

SCQ: What were you listening to a lot of while recording the excellent The Grey Kingdom?

SB: I was listening to a lot of older albums released many years before the current. Artists like Patrick Sky and Elizabeth Cotten. Some more recent releases include baby eagles "dog weather" and shotgun Jimmies "still jimmie"

SCQ: Be cocky for once in your life: what was the finest thing you did all year? That moment where you actually thought "shit, I nailed that..."?

SB: Cocky? well I don't know how cocky it is but... I went on a hike the other day. I love the woods. I love the smell of trees and rotting leaves. I love the silence. I love the rushing of distant falls and the wind blowing through the trees like some kind of enchanting lullaby. I wandered for hours, just me and the wind. I stumbled across the most beautiful mushroom. It was so tall, it stood with a few others like it. It was white and flakey. It was perfect. I brought it home with me to study it. I found out it was called Coprinus Comatus or as some people refer to it as "shaggy mane". I found out this mushroom was edible. Although edible I still found it rather terrifying to attempt to eat it. after a few tests and some more reading, I was almost certain icould handle it. I ate it. I ate it and lived! That was pretty fine.

SCQ: Effect and Cause: The echoes and ambience that stir 'Haunted' satisfied a melancholic longing for good wintry folk that has gone largely unanswered this year. Okay, your turn: confess a true tale that inspired one of the songs on The Grey Kingdom.

SB: Songs, not all songs, but most, I believe are inspired by love. Love for anything. Good weather. Sunshine. A perfect piece of pie with an even more perfect cup of coffee. The love of fear. The love of going on hikes alone or with another. The love of a good woman. I could never tell you the truth about a song. I want each song to mean something different to everyone. If people know what they are all about. It leaves nothing to the imagination.

songs are about love.

SCQ: If all the reasonable and implausible ideas in your head came to fruition in 2011, what would they be?

SB: If all my ideas come to fruition. The ideas I consider reasonable and or implausible. Everything would change. We would wake up in the morning not to our jobs but to wild, rolling fields filled with tall silver grass and golden birds. We would fight not with each other but with our enemies. Enemies of mankind. Demons, creatures of the night. We would never struggle (but for the last piece of pie!) and love would run like water down a never ending stream of cool calm hopes. Life would be much different, yes. We would live in homes we made ourselves and eat the foods we grew and gathered. There would be no restaurants or fast food chains, only taverns and fine gatherings. There would be no guns or tanks. There would only be swords and cold steel. Battles would ring with the sound of metal on metal, no bangs or explosions. Music would echo through the lands and be looked upon as magic. Above all things the artists would rule and because of that love would be stronger than all emotions.

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