Waters Session - September 2011

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This Session
Violitionist Sessions

Session Date: August 29, 2011
Posting Date: September 26, 2011
Artist Hometown: San Francisco, CA / Oslo, Norway
Links: ThisIsWaters.com, Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr
Label: TBD Records (Radiohead, Autolux)
Recorded by: Michael Briggs

O Holy Break Of Day
Back To You
For The One

ONE: Tell me about your van, Felix (née Nessie). How did you two meet, and what prompted the name change?
Van Pierszalowski: Felix and I met in Santa Barbara, California. I bought Felix, at the time Nessie, with my own money that I made fishing for salmon in Alaska. That’s what I spent most of it on. I have a deep love and respect for that piece of machinery – It’s transported me safely across the distance around the equator six times in four years. It used to be named Nessie, because it kind of looks like the sea monster in Loch Ness, like a sea green. But now, with a new project, a new band name, a new everything, new guitars, all-new everything, it needed a new name, and Felix is the name of my great-grandfather. He came over from Poland. So, I’m kind of giving him a little shout-out.
TWO: As someone who has traveled all over the world, how do you think that traveling influences the music that you create?
Van: It kind of just makes it…in some ways it forces you to be more self-reflective, because you’re moving all the time. I haven’t had a job or steady friends or anything to distract me for the last year and a half. I’ve mainly been in Oslo or New York, where I don’t really have that many friends and I don’t really have that much going on, so it forced me to just really work on my songs and focus on what this new project would be like and what it would sound like.
THREE: When you were in Port O’Brien, your music was more folk-influenced and acoustic-oriented than the material released so far with WATERS. What’s driving you in this direction?
Van: It’s kind of what I’ve really always wanted to do. I mean, Port O’Brien was more of a full band and we had a lot of different viewpoints. We started off definitely like a “folk” project, even more folky than it ended up being. Also, my favorite bands have always been bands like Nirvana, Sonic Youth, and Dinosaur Jr., and I just really wanted to make an album that was louder, noisier — I love rocking out onstage, and I wanted to be able to form an album where we can do that and have a good time.
DJ: So, the album was written with the live performance specifically in mind?
Van: No…well, that was kind of in the back of my mind, but on the album there are a few softer songs, too.
DJ: I was only able to find a few of the songs online – “For The One” and “O Holy Break Of Day.”
Van: Yeah, the others are only available on torrent sites right now. [Laughs]