[JAPANESE WALLPAPER INTERVIEW]
Gab Strum, AKA Japanese Wallpaper, lives in Melbourne, Australia, where he makes music.
Find his music here // a remix EP & regular EP: http://soundcloud.com/japanesewallpaper
He remixes people like The XX and Bon Iver.
His EP is very minimal / spacey. If you like things minimal & spacey, you will probably like it.
‘I mean when Radiohead put out In Rainbows for free, I think I was nine years old’
MATTHEW SHERLING: How do you perceive your approach to making music?
GAB STRUM: I base my songs on things I hear, but the type of music that I listen to doesn’t really come through in what I make. Usually I start with a loop or a melody that I like and build on it, adding loads of different textures and percussion. Sometimes I’m just messing around with different synthesisers and patches though. It’s not very uniform.
MS: So you’re in Australia, correct? What brings you there? So much fresh music seems to be coming out of there recently. Tell us about the scene as you see it.
GS: Yeah I live in Melbourne. I love it, there’s such an amazing music scene here and everyone’s so supportive. It’s a real community and it feels great to be a part of. There are loads of people here, especially in the IDM/electronic scene who are doing great things, people like Jonti, Chet faker, Galapagoose, Oscar + Martin and I’lls’. It kind of sucks that because of my age I don’t really get to see as many people play as I’d like to though. It’s also really nice that people are starting to take notice of the Aussie scene overseas — I think Gotye’s probably to thank for that. I mean, he’s been around for ages and has put out some pretty great music in the past. I think it’s really cool that he’s had so much success overseas, he definitely deserves it!
MS: What is your average day in Melbourne like?
GS: I love when people ask me that. it’s really no different to anywhere else. When I’m not at school I spend my time writing music, seeing bands and buying records.
MS: Who & what inspires you most?
GS: I guess, the thing that inspires me most is seeing other bands play, I mean I remember going to see Billy Joel with my parents when I was really little and thinking ‘one day I’m going to be up there’ and yeah I guess I’ve never given up on that.
MS: How do you see the Internet affecting music today?
GS: Well, there are some people like Jack White who are just like ‘the internet is killing music’ but then there are others who really use it to their advantage. I mean when Radiohead put out In Rainbows for free, I think I was nine years old, I remember downloading it just because it was free - I had never heard of Radiohead before that but that record just blew my mind, it really inspired me to start experimenting a bit more with my own music.
Even with illegal file sharing and stuff, I mean I know that it’s wrong but I’ve been exposed to so much music through that, I think that the more music that musicians are exposed to, the better. I always wonder what the current musical landscape would be like without it. I don’t think it’s as bad as everybody says.
MS: As a last question, what film would you recommend to the reader?
GS: Well I just saw Moonrise Kingdom the other day and that was really nice, my favourite movies are Into the Wild, Zoolander and Innie (that Sigur Ros concert movie), so yeah any one of those four are really really great.