by the partae

What is your name and role within Vinyl Williams?

i’m lionel williams, i play guitar / keys & sing in the group, & record everything except for some overdubs executed by ian gibbs.

How did you start?

listening to slowdive for the first time in headphones in a rainbow jacuzzi (this really happened…)

Where are you based?

non plus ultra, virgil village, los angeles, usa, xol.

Please give an example of your music writing process?

i usually begin with a vague memory of the future that contains slices of heavenly sonic spaces, architecturalized by pop.  without really flueshing out the song i start by doing a couple improvised drum takes with hits & fills in places that a song might naturally have, so that it can start to write itself based on those progressive moments.  the snare runs into a carvin mx1622 board with some spring reverb that’s in the console, and the rest of the drums run into a tascam-1800 to logic pro x.  guitars are then layered and recorded through my fender deluxe. sometimes i compose the bass before guitars, actually, which is as off-putting but can drive the entire composition to a free place of allowance, where i can create lush guitar drones over complicated bass melodies.  noises & bloops next, & vocals absolutely last.  procrastination of the vocals can be justified by the fleushing out of the melody which comes over time by running through the song in my head over the course of days or weeks.  any longer and the track usually never has a chance of being finished, just getting lost in the aether.

What are you working on right now?

a new album and some disparate singles.  the theme is aphelion, which is a cosmological holiday where our earth is the furthest from the sun.  it happens to land on the same day as independence day in the united states as well.

What is your gear setup?

a 50s turquoise strat body with a 2000s neck (a jax mutation bought from caveman vintage when they were in chinatown, now in lincoln heights), a jaguar hh, epiphone hofner bass, art dynacomp pre amps, ashly pqx-572 stereo parametric eq, rode ntk condensor, a couple 57s, modge-podge drums with a towel over half of the acrolite snare, with the snares tuned extremely tight, boss harmonizer for polyphonic 5ths, boss rv-5, boss dd-7, crybaby wah, phase 90, mind bender vibrato, warped vinyl vibrato, tc shaker vibrato.

What do you like to do outside of music and does it affect your music?

i’m usually forced to work on music videos to hustle enough rent & cash for smokes coffee weed and bulan thai.  i do enjoy it but it gets extraneous to work on a laptop all day everyday.  sometimes i like to go on hikes to try to summon ufos.  sometimes i go to ceremonies at the sapphire lodge (the rest of my band goes way more than i do), but usually i’m just home working on videos & music like a cracked out hermit with not enough vitamin d.

How would you describe your music genre?

celestial pop.

Do you know any music theory?

layman’s theory.  i know what sounds good to me, like a 9th chord with the added 11th, the mixolydian & egyptian modes, basically iasos’s chord chart repeated ad infinitum.

What are your plans for the future?

a short tour later this month (june 2017) and some festivals this summer, music tastes good fest, co-pop (chaz bundick from toro y moi’s fest in oakland), and hhhooopppeeefffuuulllyyy underground music showcase in denver. o and festivals in australia? (book us?!)

How did you get into music?

started on piano when i was 5 & didn’t really resonate with it.  when i was 10 i became submerged into hearing backstreet boys’ albums from start to finish on boomboxes, subsequently having the eerie desire to play drums to them.  the band that was recording at my dad’s studio in midway, ut at the time was called the lesbian muff divers (nasty, the lead singer was actually from australia).  we made a contest of who could play drums better to backstreet boys, between me or my friend jesse compagna.  basically we both lost because at least one member of lesbian muff divers shot up a bunch of heroin and then felt willfully compelled to call us out on our unconscious hypnotization. then came the cool stuff – blink 182, then coldplay, then the oceans 12 soundtrack, then boom… the rest is history…..

What are you listening to at the moment?

gold celeste, halasan bazaar, squelchy and the nimroot wets, unknown mortal orchestra, sleep party people, arthur verocai, robbing millions, syd arthur, the free design (listen to heaven / earth right now), hoops, azymuth, pentangle, nite fields, piero umiliani, eternity’s children, curt boettcher, the zombies, arik einstein, phantom band, novella, basil kirchin, enoch light, golden daze, violens, valet.

Who are your top 5 influences and icons?

turk dietrich from belong, jaki liebezeit from can, vini reilly, ariel pink, gary wilson.

When are you playing next?

june 16 @ hm157 in los angeles.  if this is published afterwards we’ll be doing co-pop in oakland on july 8.

Please feel free to include any extra info.

about to release a 360º video for spaceface – that ones going to be a trip.  also working on a 360º video for temples, and several regular videos for some usa acts such as faintlife, stephanie morgan, & golden daze.


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