“Brooklyn-based musician Alexei Shishkin has been translating moods and reacting to the overlooked minutiae of everyday life for years. Beginning his solo project in Los Angeles while his roommates were out at work, the urge to write and record has traveled with him to Portland, OR, and then to New York. As his work has progressed, Shishkin has remained faithful to his home recording roots, and the intimate, self-reflective nature of this process has become intertwined with the often personal, emotive lyrics. Drawing inspiration from artists like Stephen Malkmus, Dean Wareham, and Doug Martsch of Built to Spill, Shishkin has nevertheless carved out his own niche and style with a thoughtful mix of lo-fi bedroom pop, forthright songwriting, and jazz-influenced guitar.”
I have known Alexei Shishkin thanks to Forged Artifacts, who released his music on cassettes. I had a few copies in our shop as well, but they are all gone now. His music has been always highly enjoyable and this new album is no exception. Slacker lo-fi rock with a strong emphasis on vocals and lyrics is something that every reader of this blog can enjoy. The album is full of gems and it was a pretty joyful ride to listen to the songs. I am really enjoying using the saxophone in the melodies, it works so well. In recent months I have been really digging that indie musicians are using more saxophone in their songs as in previous years. I recommend you find some time and listen to this album from the first song to the last.
There are so many great albums out this year and this is definitely one of them.
I have talked to Alexei and asked him our 3 questions.
What inspired you to start making music and what keeps you making music?
Well, first off let me say, I didn’t choose this life… this life chose me. and wow, am I blessed to be in this position! As a young boy, I saw how wealthy all of my favorite musicians were and I thought, “damn, this music stuff is a fool-proof method to lifelong opulence and generational prosperity!” — and honestly, that’s what keeps me going! so far, “the music game” has made me affluent beyond my wildest dreams. I own a private island overflowing with exotic animals, many of that haven’t been seen by humans in decades. I have been able to take ballroom dancing classes with the royal family of Monaco (Albert, you scamp, if you’re reading this, your mother taught you a thing or two! lol, love ya, Grace). Most importantly though, thanks to the immense reserves I’ve been able to harvest from the music industry, I’ve been able to increase my antique instrument collection nearly 10x year over year — those of you with a trained ear may be able to hear some of those highly sought-after, incredibly rare tones on my new album GOODBYE SUNRISE (out august 4th on the Rue Defense label).
What was the most challenging thing in your music (artistic) path?
A wise man once said, “Obstacles don’t have to stop you. If you run into a wall, don’t turn around and give up. Figure out how to climb it, go through it, or work around it.” Who was that wise man? Michael Jordan… or at least, that’s what a pop-up-riddled quote website tells me. And no matter who said it, those words ring in my ears daily like a terrific bout of inspirational tinnitus. They actually won’t go away and are quite debilitating. I’m serious. I’ve tried pills, surgery, psychotherapy, acupuncture… nothing is working. Please, reader, I URGE you, if you have any treatment options, any ideas at all, send them to whoisruedefense.com and in the subject line write “Michael Jordan Tinnitus Remedy”. We’re done living with inspirational ringing in our collective ears!
What would you dream to do if anything was possible?
What happens to a dream deferred?
Does it dry up
like a raisin in the sun?
Or fester like a sore—
And then run?
Does it stink like rotten meat?
Or crust and sugar over—
like a syrupy sweet?
Maybe it just sags
like a heavy load.
Or does it explode?
I hope not, because that would be a mess. Thank you for this thrilling interview! And reader, if you have any questions, just make your way down to Defense Street! That’s rue like flour and fat but spelled differently, and defense like the thing keeping the neighbor’s dog out of my yard! whoisruedefense.com, baby! turn on, write in, drop out 👅.