Jim Black

"Chaos vs Beauty"

Alasnoaxis project is sometime describe like “Seattle meets Iceland sound”. What do you think about that and can you tell us more about these band ?

Chris Speed and myself are from Seattle and Hilmar and Skuli are from Iceland. I think people imagine the distortion/grunge attack of a Seattle rock band at times meeting the cold, spacious, yet unpredictable terrain of Iceland. Which I think is more poetic than actually true but the bands sound definitely deals with extremes in dynamics, tonality, action vs. stasis, and chaos vs. beauty.

You, Ellery Eskelin, Brad Shepik but also John Zorn or Drew Gress (and others) use to play in club like Tonic and Knitting Factory. Journalists call that the avant-garde new scene. What do you think about that ?

I would agree Tonic is the best place for all kinds of new music in New York. These musicians and many others like Arto Lindsay, Cuong Vu, Gold Sparkle Band, and many, many others are all in the mix there.

Can you tell us which visual artists influenced your work ?

Obiviously, Yoshitomo Nara (from the Splay cd artwork) and general 'kawaii' culture in Japan to Sarah Sze sculptures to Mathew Barney's works to Jackson Pollack, Warhol, and my latest favorite Gerhard Richter.

What do you know about french improvisation scene ?

I have met, have gotten to hear, and have played with many very great musicians in France. Because I travel so much, I do not divide the improvisational scene around the world by country anymore. There is absolutely wonderful music and musicians EVERYWHERE now, plane flights, the internet and cd's being the way to connect. But of course France rocks.

I read in an interview that you are found of Haut Médoc Cru Bourgeois Château D’Arsac 96 or 97 !

And Pomerol, Graves also. I have no problem with the great wines of France ! The heavier the better..... and chevre chaud.

Interview by Jean Delestrade

en français