Some you, new to Gymshoes Music, may listen to the first track of Sand In My Shoes and think: is it supposed to sound like that? Yes, it is and I’ll tell you why. 😀 Gymshoes music is (mostly) not live, not natural; it’s a one-person artificial studio construct. I’ve done stuff that’s real and rootsy (A Tropical Depression) and incorporated natural elements into my soundscapes (“The Beach At Sunrise”, “A Piece of Fiji” for example), but mostly that’s not the idea. Gymshoes music is mostly about creating something that can only be created in the studio. It’s about manipulating sound and rhythm, about editing bits and bytes. Some of you may sneer, but I have a somewhat punk attitude about it: like early punk musicians, I don’t have to be able to play these instruments—it’s legitimate not to.
I recall a discussion about a drum part with former Undead Monkey collaborator Hockinfinger. The band has never had a drummer more than briefly (something that breaks my heart as I’m a very rhythm-oriented girl who wants a long-term drummer). I worked up a complicated overdubbed drum part and he objected (rightly in this case) that no human drummer could play it. His criteria for creating a drum track was the limitation of what a human drummer could do with two hands and two feet. I can understand that. It depends on how real you want the track to be (and what the song needs).
On the other hand, Gymshoes music is not supposed to have that level of reality. 😉 I’m one person and though I might lay down a bit of percussion, I’m not a drummer. Doing strictly studio work means that I don’t have any limitations! I have overdubbed rhythm on a lot of the songs precisely because I can do something digitally that can’t be done in the real world! Artificiality is integral. So embrace the hopped-up guitar and manic polyrhythms!
Most contemporary music is a product of technology one way or another. If you’re listening to me play acoustic guitar in my living room, there’s no technology involved. If you’re listening to an mp3, you’re up to your neck in technology. 🙂 I play acoustic guitar, write songs with lyrics instead of samples—like A Tropical Depression—and enjoy rootsy music. But with the exception of A Tropical Depression, Gymshoes music is mostly fun manipulating sound and rhythm. So, yeah, it’s supposed to sound that way! 🙂