Chaucer

Published on August 14th, 2015

Chaucer

chaucerThe artistic petri dish that is South Florida — far removed from the pretentiousness that’s bred in a scene by any sort of sustained national spotlight — continues to create unique, exciting, and, most importantly, honest, artists. While there are plenty of cheeky, lo-fi bedroom projects already clogging the blogosphere’s bandwidth, South Florida’s Chaucer — the name Joshua Simkowitz uses for his music, is super awesome. Chaucer’s debut tape, BUSTED, brings a fresh take to minimalist bedroom rock that is as infectious as it is fun, and will appeal to fans of Ariel Pink’s charming early work, and displays songcraft that belies the novelty of the unique sound of the recording itself.

We spoke with Simkowitz in attempt to glean some background on an artist we’ve got on our shortlist of recent Florida favorites.

PH: What’s your recording process like? The stuff on the bandcamp has a very unique sound — even compared to the heaps of other lo-fi stuff that’s out there these days.

Chaucer: I just try to record a lot. I’m not really doing much else anymore, and I feel really bad for watching so much tv and stuff, so I just play music a lot and see what happens. 90% of my recording process is lighting incense so my friend/landlord doesn’t know I’m smoking cigarettes inside. I’m not trying to sound lo-fi necessarily, I’m just using the equipment available to me, and am not really that good at music; what you hear is literally me just doing my best. Which, apparently doesn’t sound very good at all.

Do you work alone on the recordings?

chaucer bustedThe last song on the tape has my buddy Adam playing keyboards and doing some noisy stuff, but that’s about it. I’m kind of a pain in the ass. I don’t think I would work well recording with other people. I’d have no friends left

What music directly influenced the project? It’s definitely got it’s own thing going on.

I don’t really have a conscious thing I’m trying to sound like. I’ve been recording and playing in punk bands since I was twelve years old, and after a lot of years and some dark drugs, this is what I’m doing now, and this is just how it sounds

There’s a lot of humor in the songwriting, and the little monologues are hilarious. Do you improvise those bits when you record? A lot of the subject matter is super out there and surrealist — how do you go about writing your lyrics? Is there a thread of your own reality in any of it?

I don’t ever really write down lyrics, I just think about it while I’m recording and go with it. So yeah, I guess it’s improvised. Sometimes I think about stuff at work and go home and record it. Most of it is just stuff that happened. I don’t really make things up. BUSTED was written and recorded in like a month and a half. I was kind of bummed out and getting really obsessive over people and things, and eating a lot of candy and staying up too late. I guess it worked out, though.

I’m halfway done with  my next record already. I just want to record and play music. There’s no ultimate goal here it’s just the thing I like to do the most, so that’s what I do. I’m just going to keep recording and releasing stuff.

LISTEN: https://mynameischaucer.bandcamp.com
~Von Bader

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