This Saturday Drew Daniel aka Soft Pink Truth will play a live set at Galacticia, the official Matmos afterparty. We’ve asked him some question about the impending third Soft Pink Truth album, his hometown and some other stuff. Hey Drew, we're super excited to have you down at Vogue this Saturday. You are releasing the first new Soft Pink Truth album in 10 years. Tell us a bit about what you have been up to in the last decade.
I moved from SF to Baltimore, became a Shakespeare professor, worked on and published a book about Throbbing Gristle and a scholarly book on Renaissance melancholy, put out several Matmos albums and toured with Matmos relentlessly. I wasn't just chilling out, but SPT was on the back burner.
The new album consists of a collection of Black Metal covers. What made you decide to cover that particular genre?
It's a genre that I have strong pro and con feelings about. I love some of that music a lot, but it is also a hugely problematic genre because of its association with shitty fascist/racist politics, the murder of gay men, church burnings, and a generally atavistic politics. So it seemed like a juicy target for queer critique.
Does your academic background in English literature play into your music at all?
The music taps into a different part of my brain and is in some ways a counterbalance to that way of thinking- maybe a "forbidden fruit" that I can sneak off and do when I'm not worrying about trying to get tenure?
Your current home city of Baltimore is probably best known to queer audiences as the home of John Waters. What recommendations would you give to potential Baltimore visitors (the queerer the better)?
The mainstream gay bars in Baltimore really suck, you should ignore them and go to small dive bars. Go to a vogue ball at the Paradox but get your beauty sleep because they don't even start until 4 am. Check out the queer parties Kahlon and Glitterthighs, go to Red Emma's and flirt with sexy communists, and maybe have sex in the shower at the Downtown Athletic Club?
Before Baltimore you lived in San Francisco. How do the two compare?
One has tons of money and privilege and infrastructure and the other has very little of those things. It's night and day, totally different sides of American society- the contrast is incredibly stark. SF is full of techbro new money and fancy restaurants, Baltimore is full of gutted and abandoned buildings. But it's no surprise that Baltimore is a way better place to be an artist right now: rent is insanely cheap so it's much easier to get by and have way more time to focus on your art practice.
You recently travelled to Australia. Did you end up recording any Australia-specific sounds while you were down under?
Every day I would take a picture of a different building and then I would "Play" the pictures with an application that sonifies images- so in a sense, yes, and in a sense, no.
And have you recorded any particular sounds on your current tour with Matmos?
We're playing a ton of new pieces, it's kind of scary, but we're letting go of the old songs and doing an all new set. Fingers crossed that we aren't stoned to death on the first night of tour!
What are you listening to on repeat at the moment?
Galacticia with a live set from Soft Pink Truth is happening this Saturday 31st May at Vogue Fabrics. It's the official Matmos afterparty. So come pop in.