Avenging Wind (formerly known as Fathom 9) is one of the numerous artists I discovered thanks to artist and musical encyclopaedia Gq Tha Teacha, who put me on his Untitled (Pulse Beta) album when it was released back in 2011. I told you about several of his releases since then and played his music regularly on my podcasts. Now, two years after his debut album, Revenge of the Nice Guy, came out, Avenging Wind is back with an amazing sophomore release, entitled Dump Truck Blues: Battle Cry of the Wanderlust. Besides sharing the multi-talented and multi-faceted artist’s taste for long titles, I also admire his music and how he finally decided to explore and share more sides of his artistry with this new album. I am therefore quite proud and happy to present this interview to you. To say it was overdue would be an understatement, but let’s say good things come to those who wait. So, to celebrate the release of DTB and allow you to learn more about Avenging Wind, I asked him a few questions about his creative process, various aliases, performing, the album and much more. I hope you will enjoy reading this interview as much as I did and that you will be curious enough to enter the artist’s universe. Now, without further delay, let me introduce you to Avenging Wind, in his own words…
Discover the interview after the jump…
First of all, could you tell us who is Avenging Wind? How and when did you realize you were an artist and wanted to make it your career?
Who is Avenging Wind? An elemental expression of Nature; a storm made flesh; Avenging Wind is a culmination of what Fathom 9 couldn’t (or wouldn’t) be.
Music/Art etc. has always been a part of my being, and I have always found some way to express it. I was always the kid who walked the school hallways, or the neighborhood, with his headphones on, blasting and performing his favorite artists’ songs. I was always passionate about good music. In 1995, I began to take a serious look at the prospect of making a living from my art. As we all know, when a seed is planted, it takes many long years for the tree to grow, and bear fruit. Nearing 20 years in, I am still here, growing and evolving in my craft, enduring the pains that come with struggle, as well as the rewards of growth.
Your new album, Dump Truck Blues: Battle Cry of the Wanderlust was released on November 5th and it sounds like a new type of project for you, including some forms of expression and subject matter you didn’t really touch upon until now. What is this project all about?
Dump Truck Blues (DTB) is a blank canvas for me to create a new narrative of expression. Many people box me in as one particular kind of artists, whereas I am a Multitude. DTB was a way for me to introduce other aspects of my diversity as an artists to the world.
You have different personalities, which you express in different ways (beatmaking, writing, MCing), but also with several aliases as an MC. You really create many dimensions with your work. Could you tell us a bit about this versatility and how important it is for you to express varied thoughts and feelings through your art?
Well, my myriad monikers allow me to express the varied ranges of my personality. Coupled with the fact that I am a Gemini, multiplicity is inherent.
True, I can come up with as many aliases as sure as the day is long, but with each character, whether minor or major-I try to create a uniqueness about them, from voice to psychology, and link it into the over-arching anthology of…Me.
Speaking of beat making and production, do you have specific processes when creating, or is it more something that will change which each track and project? Where do you usually find inspiration?
I would call myself an emotional creator. Producing/Beat Making is a form of meditation for me, and I don’t always create from any specific direction; just go with the flow. When at last I DO find a theme or direction, I then seek to create an eclectic but cohesive project. The production on DTB was a move into another direction of fusing various musical genre influences in order to create a different groove. It wasn’t my ‘normal’ style, so there was concern abut how it would be received, but personally—this new arena of production is exciting!
You are a very talented writer and really have a way with words, providing the reader with thought-provoking and deep, personal or insightful social/political content. Is it important for you to touch people with your words and create something they can relate to emotionally and/or intellectually?
Interesting question. Words are indeed an important part of my creative arsenal, allowing me the space to wield worlds and paint landscapes as vast as my imagination can stretch. The emotional component, and the way in which it is articulated connects me with the listener. Synergy is key: connecting music and words AND performance of both into a cohesive expression. They are each interdependent. I, the artist, am no more than an additional component to the entire expression; I do not stand alone from it. WE are the song/poem etc.
As an MC, you profess to be a specialist of “the science of mic aggression”. What exactly is that about and how does it translate when you are on stage? How do you feel about performing live and sharing your art in such a direct and personal way?
I LOVE PERFORMING LIVE!!!! There is no way I can describe the feeling in words. The Science of Mic Aggression is…an experience, for both artist and listener. When I am on stage, I am not just performing a song; I AM THE SONG, and with the energy the audience is responding with, We have an intimate connection. With the Science of Mic Aggression, artist and audience are equally a part of the canvas, though each of us may interpret that experience differently. What is the Science of Mic Aggression? It is the Blue Note; I can’t tell you. I can only show you…
You are extremely productive and creative, you are always releasing music or working on new projects and it seems to me like you just can’t help it. Art seems to be an outlet for you, a way to express yourself and share some of yourself with the world, as well as a way to touch people. Simply put, are you addicted to it?
Whether it is with your production, writing or MCing, you always touch upon spiritual and emotional subjects, which may not be expressed very often nowadays (not in mainstream music in any case). Do you feel part of something bigger than you, a sort of community of like-minded people who aim at awakening and enlightening their peers? Do you feel people are ready for this sort of message?
Simply, what I do as a soul in this human experience, what I do as an artist—is a commission from the Universe. The gifts I have been granted are meant to be shared with any and all who are open to receive them. If there is ANY message within the art, then it is simply: FREEDOM.
There is, however, a heavy price to pay for this freedom, and it is felt through the creative process. What people receive from the artist, is the butterfly. They have no idea of what the caterpillar went through in order to birth this life into the world, and while the artist is free to shape and articulate myriad expressions and reflections of their reality, in many instances, that process is painful.
As I mentioned earlier, you are very productive and there always seems to be new projects and opportunities for you. Anything you could talk about in terms of future releases or collaborations?
My main focus is to push Dump Truck Blues as far as possible, through the continued release of album singles and live performances/shows. Currently, I am working on creating The Wanderlust Tour, which will have the artists involved travel to cities and perform not only our music, but in each city we visit, we will perform an act of community service, in collaboration with that city’s local artists and organizations etc. (Look for The Wanderlust Tour Fundraising Campaign to launch very soon). The tour will be a grassroots effort to spread our music to newer audiences, collaborate with other independent artists in an act of solidarity, and galvanize community upliftment.
Of course, creation will never cease, so as the ideas surface, I will keep creating.
I’m also resuming work on my first book of prose poetry, and looking forward to release it in late 2014.
Anything else you would like to add?
YES! Please support Independent Artists!!!!!
Also, Please support and purchase Dump Truck Blues: Battle cry of The Wanderlust on Bandcamp:
You can also find it on iTunes, Google Play, Amazon Mp3 etc.
If you are on Facebook, please like my artist page:
For booking/inquiries: firstname.lastname@example.org
Now that you know more about Avenging Wind and Dump Truck Blues: Battle Cry of The Wanderlust, you can discover the project on his Bandcamp page, or directly by clicking on the link below. Listen, enjoy, support and share!