Ten Questions with Ches Smith

30 12 2008

Ches Smith is a drummer/composer living in NY. He is an extremely busy and fast rising presence on the new music scene. If there was a tabloid covering free jazz, than he would have been caught by the paparazzi playing with such numerous figures as: Marc Ribot (in Ceramic Dog), Devin Hoff (in Good for Cows), Mary Halvorson, Tony Malaby (in These Arches), Xiu Xiu, Trevor Dunn (in Trio Convulsant), and many many more. Luckily Ches was able to take time out of his busy schedule to answer the Ten Questions.

You can find out more about him here:
Ches Smith

He has many great records out, including his solo percussion album Congs for Brums which can be purchased here.

And his group Good for Cows has a 10th Anniversary show coming up, so keep an eye out on their site.

1: What got you into creative/improvised music making, and what keeps you there?

There was a scene of punks who improvised in Sacramento, CA where I grew up. They were older than me, I looked up to them. I thought noisy improv fit nicely under the punk umbrella. Also, these people led me to believe the idea was to be open to a lot of different stuff. This style of ‘mentorship’ continued when I met Jake Pavlak and Dana Axon in Eugene, Oregon, Willie Winant and Mr. Bungle in the SF Bay Area, and Marc Ribot in New York.

2: Breakthrough album(s) and Why?

John Coltrane’s Om, and A Love Supreme, Miles Davis’ Nefertiti, Slayer’s Reign in Blood, Minor Threat’s Complete Discography.

Also, attending many concerts at a creative music series in Eugene, Oregon from age 17, and hearing Gino Robair, Derek Bailey, Bill Frisell Trio (w/ Joey Baron), and John Tchicai, among others.

3: How do other art disciplines affect your work?

A good idea can be used across disciplines.

4: Favorite Film(s)?

Recently: Trouble The Water, Milk, Synecdoche New York, Ornette Coleman: Made in America.

A long time now: American Movie, Divine Horsemen, Cannonball Run, Space is the Place, Stranger Than Paradise.

5: Favorite Film Score(s)?

No Country for Old Men

6: Favorite Fiction Reading?

Right now I am reading Tolstoy’s War and Peace. Too soon to tell if it is a favorite.

7: Favorite Non-Fiction Reading?

Paul Farmer, ‘The Uses of Haiti’, Maya Deren ‘Divine Horsemen’, Twyla Tharp ‘The Creative Habit.’

8: Favorite Guilty Pleasure Music?

I don’t feel guilty at all for listening to Blowfly and the Mentors.

9: Favorite Under Rated Musician(s)?

John Amira, Prurient, Carla Bozulich, Sunny Murray, Milford Graves, Peter Magadini.

10: Recommended Artist(s)/Shout Outs?

David Horvitz, Lucky Dragons, Miya Osaki, Wu Fei, Angelica Sanchez, Howard Wiley.




2 responses

31 12 2008
Avant Music News » Ten Questions with Ches Smith

[…] Glowing Realm: Ches Smith is a drummer/composer living in NY. He is an extremely busy and fast rising presence […]

16 01 2009

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