Rob Salazar dishes up a blast from the past with his Skylights EP. Poule d’Or recently interviewed the guy to hear what stories he has to tell, see for yourself:
Where are you from?
Kalamazoo, Michigan. A small town in mid America, a town that has absolutely no bearing on the sound of the music at all. It was always so bizarre living here because most of the music I have been influenced by all came from Europe and the UK. I feel like the “The man who fell to earth” living here.
What’s you musical history, any former bands?
Annex 82 was a concept created in 2005, right after a period of more mellow and down tempo stuff with my other solo project, Chromafeel.
It has never really worked out with me and bands. The problem is that with modern technology I can just do it all by myself, and so I usually am inclined in that direction, although I am never opposed to working with others.
I would love to find a good songwriter/vocalist who can be a proper actual member. A duo would be the closest I could ever see myself of having an actual “band”.
Is there a story to your band name?
I must have liked the word Annex and 1982 is my favorite year in music (At least it was when I came up with the name). I now wish I had come up with something more suave and catchy. It seemed more fitting early on when the music was more minimal synthpop influenced.
What inspires you?
Melancholy, nostalgia, deep emotions, pictures, artwork, people, the outdoors, travel.
How do you record your music?
I did all of Skylights on a Toshiba laptop running Ableton live 7 with lots of plugins and a small M-Audio USB keyboard while sitting at the dining room table. The E.P. was the result of about 6 months of focused work. I composed at first by doing very basic demo versions of the songs with nothing more than the sounds of piano, bass and and a very basic rhythm, so I would then pick out the ones that really seemed to stand out and just developed them from there. The whole thing was built from the ground up with the idea that the melody and feeling of the song had to be strong before I moved on to any flashy production. I also have a small room “studio” that I always try to get working, but half of the stuff is old and broken. I have a reel to reel tape recorder, some old 80s synths, effects pedals, 8 and 12-bit samplers and a few guitars in there. I have this romantic ideal of escaping computers and the modern world and just making music very old school, still very electronic, maybe like NEU! or Boards of Canada in approach. I now use a Macbook pro, which I will use as part of my live/ DJ setup.
If you could travel in time, where would you go?
1972 sounds like an interesting year – Clockwork Orange, Ziggy Stardust, Krautrock. Time in itself travel would be amazing enough, but the later part of the 20th century (60s-80s) would be the most interesting to me. Actually, I would like to see how and exactly who made the Pyramids in Egypt. The beginning of time would be interesting, so I could witness how and why it all went wrong.
What’s the last thing you ate?
A spicy Malaysian dish called ‘Nasi Lemak’
What’s your favorite pair of shoes?
A pair of black Doc Marten boots – because it is winter here at the moment, and they are classics. Otherwise, I usually like to wear a pair of white Nike high top classics.
Thanks for taking the time!
(thank you to Off The Radar for the heads up)