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hand of Blau, shoulder of Veirs

A Conversation with Laura Veirs (continued)

PM: And the larger-than-life Karl Blau on bass and guitar, a very strong but gentle presence; what a great musician he is.

LV: Yeah. He's made quite a name for himself around the world, as a solo act.

PM: Oh, really? See, that I don't know.

LV: Yeah. He's got an incredible vast catalog of music that he's made.

PM: Oh, in a solo way?

LV: Yeah. It's under his name, Karl Blau, it's on K Records. You can find out also about his more recent project called Kelp Lunacy, or Kelp Monthly, I guess he changed the name. Anyway, it's at kelpmonthly.com, you can find out about all of these CDs he's made. For a while he was making one a month.

PM: [laughs]

LV: And some of them very avant-garde and out there, and some of them are very strong pop songwriting, and everything in between. He does collaborations with all kinds of people in the Northwest, and is totally prolific. It's a wonder that he can tour with us, because he's got a family, and it's amazing that he can make the time to do this while he's really in demand for his solo work as well.

PM: I'm going to have to get with Karl on his own tunes, see if we can't feature some of his kelpmonthly and some of these releases in Puremusic, and get some people turned onto all the great stuff he's doing.

LV: Yeah. He's a very influential songwriter, and he also does great recordings, and has done lots of stuff basically on four-track. That used to be his main method for recording. Now he does eight-track.

PM: Eight-track reel-to-reel?

LV: Tape, yeah.

PM: Yeah. Like old Teac machines and stuff?

LV: Yep.

PM: Wow. And this show, in particular, I was very taken with the contribution of Steve Moore on keyboard. I guess it was mostly Wurlitzer. Does he also do projects or music on his own apart from the Saltbreakers?

LV: Yes, he does. He does his own project Stebmo.com, which is basically the website for his solo record--not solo, they're under his name, but collaborative jazz compositions in one place. And he has another record, which is more kind of instrumental beats and crazy sounds, more like Fourtet, if you've heard them.

PM: Uh-huh. [Tucker adds in an email that he thinks Steve has called it Casio dub jazz.]

LV: But yes, he's really doing a great job with his own music, and also collaborating with all kinds of people all the time. He's basically always on tour. And he also tours with Earth/SunnO))), which are those sort of black metal bands out of Seattle.

PM: No, I don't know them.

LV: So those are his side projects. He also plays in sort of a jazz jam type band, Skerrik's Syncopated--what is it, a sextet? Quintet? I don't know. This guy Skerrik, he's a really great saxophone player and bandleader. So Steve has like infinite projects going on all the once. And basically that's the thing about this band is everybody is just totally prolific and energetic, and really pushing themselves to always be doing something musical. Everybody in this band--more so than me, they're all just psychotic music fans, and they just are constantly taking in music and learning about new stuff, and turning each other on to new stuff, and buying records at weird obscure shops on tour, and it's just nonstop.

PM: Wow, it's a beautiful thing. And it's really not that common for road musicians to be that obsessed with it, and in so many bands, and into so much new music. It's very admirable.

LV: Oh, yeah. They're really good people to have around.

taking a break at Flora



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