I feel quite fortunate to be the age I am. I mean, ignoring the fact that I'll never be able to afford a house and will have to work until I'm a hundred and fifty. The good thing about being my age is that I have a vague sense of life without the internet. I was only a kid when I had no internet at all, but I remember the changes: the internet becoming more normal, how exciting it was upgrading to broadband, how big a deal it seemed when everyone started having decent internet access on their phones. Seeing these things come into being means you at least have the ability to assess how they are impacting on your life. They're not just a given. For example, about six years ago I got off Facebook after recognising it wasn't having a positive effect on either my mood or my productivity. I could remember getting Facebook, so it was easy for me to make the decision not to have Facebook.This often means I'm a pretty late adapter because I have to see the merit in things before I get them. I only got my first smartphone last year because throughout my drunk years I figured having an expensive phone was a bit pointless given that I'd inevitably break/lose it. Once I was a bit more together, I felt like I could trust myself with one, plus I wanted to give Spotify a go (and a friend of mine was willing to give me his old iPhone for cheap). For what it's worth, I enjoy Spotify as a consumer a lot, but haven't quite made my mind up on it in terms of the big picture. Although for someone who started consuming music as a kid through WinMX, Limewire etc I suppose at least the notion that about 1p is making it's way to artists I like is a marginal improvement.So far, this probably sounds a little bit negative. It's not meant to. The internet has offered me so many incredible things and I don't take for granted the easy access it has provided me to things I've ended up cherishing. A few years ago, I had a job working in payroll for Western Isles Council. I spent the whole day sitting in front of spreadsheets entering people's work hours, expenses etc. At home, Faye had recently become incredibly ill and so my days were pretty much divided between Excel and caring duties. I had started reading some Henry Rollins travel books. I liked his attitude towards doing things. He went out and he got things done. His energy helped me when I was struggling with some of the newfound responsibility that I wasn't really equipped for. One day I stumbled across Henry Rollins' radio show. In fact, I stumbled across an archive of Henry Rollins' radio show. It was ideal for a job where I had to sit in front of a computer all day. It was full of music I already loved, music I could love, or music so alien and strange that I never would have come across it were it not for that show. It helped give me something nourishing to leave my work days with. If I heard a song I liked, it meant when I got home I could seek out the album and blast it round the house while I got stuff done. Whatever happens over the course of a day, if it involves discovering a new album you enjoy, for me that's a good day.I don't remember which song it was Rollins played first - but I remember being intrigued. It was a little scaled back compared to a lot of the stuff on the show. I remember reading the name of the artist on the playlist that Rollins put up on his site. Holland. I thought how stupid it was to basically have an ungoogleable name. A couple of weeks later it was a different track that stuck out to me. It wasn't until I checked the playlist that I realised it was the same artist as before. I did some digging and found a bandcamp page (with the slightly more googleable name of holnd) and found a whole host of albums. I'd only recently started using bandcamp, and loved the novelty of being able to find new music and get it directly like that. I grabbed an album, I think it was i steal and do drugs because a) it had a good title and b) it had a track on called softcore war - which I remembered being a lyric in one of the tracks I'd liked. Confusingly, the track called softcore war wasn't the one I'd heard that had the lyric 'softcore war' on it, but fortunately it ended up being a different track on the album so I wasn't totally out of luck. Next I think got i blow up. It was all new to me. I was listening to music without knowing anything at all about who was making it. I'm pretty prone to falling in love with the idea of a band before I even really listen to them - so this was a new experience. I guess what I'm saying is, if it weren't for the internet, I never would've found these things that kept me entertained at a difficult period in my life. I never would've found that great radio show. I never would've found a bunch of great artists through that radio show. I never would've been able to hunt down those artists and fall in love with their music. I never would've found hollAnd. There's no chance we would've crossed paths at all.Recently, I did some more hollAnd research and found Trevor Kampmann's site. I sent a speculative email admitting that I was a fan but knew literally nothing about him. Fortunately, Trevor was kind enough to humour me with some answers. There. That's what I was trying to get to. I probably could've just said that last sentence instead of all that other stuff.
According to your bandcamp, you’ve not put out any music as hollAnd for a few years. Have you stopped creating your own music recently or have you just been working on it in other forms?
Also, a synthesizer I'd used on nearly every recording since the 90s died in 2010 and I cannot find a replacement. If you know anyone with a mint Crumar Trilogy, please LMK. But I haven't stopped making music. When people contact me asking about a new hollAnd record, I just send them some songs. I hope to put out a proper record in the near future.There's a long list on your website of albums you've been involved with, be it through mastering, engineering or producing. To what extent does your own personal opinion of the music you're working on affect the way your carry out these roles?I mostly do mastering these days and in that capacity things are somewhat less subjective. In mastering I'm trying to bring recordings up to a standard. Part of that means honing the sound so that it will still be listenable 5-10 years from now. When I was engineering a lot of different records on a daily basis, everything about my studio, my ears, my tastes contributed to the recordings. I was recording bands entirely in the box starting in '96 and that definitely contributed to the sound as well.Your website focuses on a few different outputs - not just music. Is there anything you consider your current creative priority?