State Of Music: Part 14 : Rhode Island - Vio/Mire

Seeing as the clocks went back and that I have started work after two weeks annual leave, I thought I would give you a State Of Music discovery to ease you into to this autumnal Monday.

A quick newsflash before we get into the music. Choose My Music now has a mailing list. The plan is to send out a retrospective mail once a week with information on all the bands covered, details on the upcoming State Of Music albums and various other bits and bobs. You can sign up using the form on the right of this page or click here

Also, if you visit the main State Of Music page you can also find out how you can help me on my musical adventure to discover one band or solo artist from each US State

Vio/Mire was another early discovery on this little American adventure of mine, but it took me a few attempts to make contact with the man behind the brilliance.

Vio/Mire music could be described as simply complex with its layers of instrumentation and sounds which are not instantly apparent.

To me there are elements of Sparklehorse, the Beta Band and other such great acts which have graced this fair planet to please our ear holes. See what you think below and find out more about the creator with the rather brilliant interview under the album stream.

CMM: Welcome to Choose My Music. I suppose the first question is - who is Vio/Mire and where in the world would we find you?

Thank you. Vio/Miré is what I use to describe my music and art. It is just me, Brendan. I live in Providence RI.

CMM: And how would you best describe the state of Rhode Island?

It's really small and people are always kind of irritated here, but it is an amazing place. It was founded on religious freedom and is supposedly so small because it was purchased for a fair price.

CMM: How long have you been recording music and how did it all start?

I recorded my first tape in my friend Sean's (Holy Sheet) basement with Chris Ryan (Deer Tick). We must have been 14. It started because I really wanted to learn how to play all my favorite songs, but then immediately discovered that it was much more satisfying to write my own. Once you write them it feels essential to record them.

CMM: I often find behind most solo recording artists there is a frustrated tale of playing in bands before deciding to go it alone. Is that the case with you?

The only band I ever really played in was this first band ever with Chris and Sean, which wasn't frustrating at all. V/M just started as some recordings I felt like making in my apartment and, though there are often collaborators involved now, I am sort of guarded and controlling about it so it remains essentially a solo project.

CMM: How best would you describe your music?

Oh I don't know. I usually tell people it is quiet and kind of gloomy.

CMM: What is the music scene like in Rhode Island right now? What the genre of choice out there at the moment?

Providence has a great underground scene thanks to lots of empty warehouse spaces and lots of wacky people. Music around town is often loud and harsh largely thanks to Lightning Bolt's legacy, but generally anything goes around here unless it is really bad.

CMM: One thing I am hoping to find in this series is some kind of link between where a band is based and their music. Do you feel as an artist you are influenced by your surroundings and the scene around you?

I think so. I think Providence pushes me to feel comfortable being a little bit more daring in my recordings than I otherwise would be. I also think Rhode Island is a particularly beautiful place, here in New England with all our trees and shores, which somehow creeps into things through imagery and tone and pace.

CMM: What other influences does the band have, musical or otherwise?

I really like Gyorgy Ligeti and Charles Ives and Philip Glass. I also like old things, things that people are throwing away, and very fine things.

CMM: Could you perhaps give a run down of the music you have released so far?

6/2005 - I think 8 songs on a disc where every package was hand-painted. There were probably 50 CDR's.

2/2006 - I went to live with my brother in Bolivia for 5 or 6 months and write music while he wrote poems. I recorded this record in the apartment I rented there. This was also self released, though I have no idea how many copies I've made. There have been lots of different covers over the years.

March 2007 - This was recorded in Northampton MA and featured strings by Chris Ryan and Emily Thomas. My friend Marguerite Keyes made these amazing covers for them that were all very exactingly hand-cut. We made 125 and released it on a tiny label called Leisure Class.

January 2009 - I went to Iceland in late 2008 to try to have a similar sojourn to the South America trip. I stayed and recorded with Alex Somers (Parachutes) in his and Jonsi's (Sigur Ros) little house in Reykjavik.

VM / Looking Glass - This was a 7" released by Tip Top Recordings in London that came about after I went on tour there. I recorded it in my little warehouse space in Providence.

CMM: Are you able to get out an play live much?. Where are your favourite places to play both in and out of state?

Yes, I tour as often as I am able. In state there are some not-totally legal venues that I especially like but that maybe would be best left unnamed. I also really like AS220 here in Providence. There are so many great places I've played. Just thinking about it now, I really love going out to the west coast and doing shows there. And I love going through the South. It's so slow and warm there. I had an amazing time touring everywhere I went in Europe, particularly London and Berlin.

CMM: What's next in the pipeline for you?

I'm working on a record now. I am also scoring a SciFi film that my friend David Colannino has written. It takes place 320 million years in the future and I'm going to do a live soundtrack to be played while the film is projected. I'm booking two tours now too for the end of this year and into 2012.

CMM: And finally, where can people reach out to you online and where can they get hold of your stuff?

viomire.com is the website, which has links to download everything. The 7" is through Tip Top and also I think you can get it digitally on itunes. VM also has a presence on the usual social websites.

Dom