Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Sunshine Girl: The Silver Garden

Since the latter half of 2015, Kyle Trujillo has been wandering the labyrinthian fields of experimentality. After a string of self releases for his project ‘Sunshine Girl’ he elected to keep an experi-mindset but to sever his ties to the prolonged sound maps of old in favour of shorter, more focused material, whose songs reveal a greater intensity to the listener. Last March’s EP “Breathe Through Machines” demonstrated this new rebirth and the full album release of: “Everything is Real/Everything is not Real” (which came out in May on Splitting Sounds Records) took it even further. 

I caught up with the eighteen year old North American to pick his brains on cinema, literature and talk of another major change on the near horizon.…
Watch his music video for latest single ‘Observation’ (share on blogger button)

DMD: First off, how did you get the name Sunshine Girl?
Kyle Trujillo: Sunshine Girl comes from the song by Faust, "It's a Rainy Day, Sunshine Girl”.

DMD: How was the recent show? Do you have more of them planned for the future? Was that your very first SG show?
KT: The show didn't end up happening due to a booking error. I don't have anything else planned for the near future, but there's always time for that to change. I have performed as Sunshine Girl a couple times before, but this would have been the first that was more than a single song. High school performances. There will be another show sometime. I'll find one eventually.

DMD: What is the Orange County California music scene like? (for experimental music too)
KT: I'm not involved with much in the real world, though I heard recently there is a small noise scene working in this area.

DMD: Have you always lived in California?
KT: I was born in Texas, but have lived in California since I was very young.

DMD: What were the last couple of albums you listened to that really had an impact on you?
KT: I’ve been listening to a lot of Death Grips for the last couple months, so i think that's probably the most important records in my head right now. Especially The Powers That B and No Love Deep Web
DMD: Great stuff, I’m very late to the DG party only recently hearing Exmilitary, what an amazing time for music!
KT: Absolutely. I started there too. It's thrilling to consider what might come next.

DMD: Growing up, what music really inspired you to grab an instrument and start making a racket?
KT: I really don't know how I turned into such a freak with my music taste. I remember a little bit of Sonic Youth about two years ago and hearing the name Frank Zappa and then I leap forward to what I have now. I played trombone in elementary school then got a guitar in eighth grade. It all went downhill from there, though it started off mellow enough.

DMD: Since your first batch of releases how would you say the sound of SG has evolved over that period of time? Was there a turning point in your approach on a certain release?
KT: I think I've had three real points musically. The first was on the track ‘Two and a Half Rabbits’ from Three Tusks. This was the first time I used Audacity to really pick apart a recording and mangle it into something else entirely. After that there was a large change in ethos starting with Breathe Through Machines. That was when I began to build each track as a complex piece of its own, rather than a succinct splinter of the whole. I used the technique of recording an improvisation session then completely rebuilding it with Audacity into something new.

Of the three changes this is likely the most important as I believe it has absolutely changed the power and quality of my work. Before this album I could expect to finish a track in under two hours, sometimes closer to one. Starting here, every track needs upwards of five hours before I feel the idea is realizing itself, and sometimes it can take several days of work to finish the concept. There is a third stage of my work arranging itself at the moment as I move toward a series of dense and succinct tracks built around complex, evolving rhythms and the inclusion of central melodies or melodic themes.

DMD: Do you consider SG a ‘noise’ project? Also what are your feeling on using noise?
KT: I couldn't call Sunshine Girl a noise project or anything in particular. It's always just been my whims and interests. Whatever I can get to sound good in my ear. I use noise sometimes, but I'm not really interested in adhering to any idea for too long.

DMD: What other sorts of bands have you played in the past?
KT: As for previous bands, nothing substantial. I covered Paranoid by Black Sabbath at a talent show once but the whole experience and performance are just frustrating to think about afterward. Aside from that I've only performed alone or with others taking direction on my own compositions.

DMD: What are your current favourite Movies and Books? (as many as you want to list and why you like them)
KT: The Triplets of Belleville and The Royal Tenenbaums for my movies. I Watched them recently and both ended up in my top five. The first really impressed me with it’s extensive use of pantomime and detailed imagery to relate clear and strong emotions. The Royal Tenenbaums fascinated me because its story-telling reminds me of Hemmingway, where every character has an iceberg of thoughts and emotion to hide behind the actions and expressions shown. There is a real depth to them which only appears when reading between the lines of what is displayed. 

My top 5 movies: 
2001: A Space Odyssey
Taxi Driver, 
The Royal Tenembaums, 
Black Swan, 
The Triplets of Belleville. 
I’d recommend them each a million times.

The last two books I read were The Enormous Room by E. E. Cummings and Amerika by Franz Kafka. E. E. Cummings' prose is absolutely gorgeous, though the story is slow as hell. I enjoyed Amerika even though it doesn't hold a strong resemblance to his other works. I learned about halfway through that it is, in fact, an unfinished first novel. Neither are quite favorites, but both interesting.
That list goes (in any order): Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man by James Joyce, The Stranger by Albert Camus, On the Road by Jack Kerouac, Naked Lunch by William S. Burroughs and Siddhartha by Herman Hesse.

DMD: Do you ever think about writing a book?
KT: Absolutely. I'm practicing it with short stories at the moment. I tried to rewrite Naked Lunch last summer. Actually I just tried to steal the concept of a perfectly incomprehensible novel. It's a mess, nearly 700 pages in 52 days. The trouble is there is a story in there somewhere. In between pages filled only with typos and punctuation marks.

DMD: Do you plan on releasing your Albums/EPs physically?
KT: I’m going to release some physical copies eventually. I just need to get to the point where they might actually sell.

DMD: What (physical) formats are your personal preference?
KT: I suppose Vinyl with CD in close second. I haven't received my audiophile badge yet so I couldn't say which sounds nicer. It's really a toss up because though the album sleeve is roomier, a nice little cd booklet can be a powerful thing.
DMD: I read somewhere that Vinyl is apparently the biggest seller right now…maybe because its a large piece of collectable art.
KT: Always good to stick close with the powers of trendiness...That's something that edged vinyl over as well. CDs aren't old enough to be retro so they just seem like relics.

DMD: What are your 10 Desert Island Disks?
KT: Big Black - Songs About Fucking
Can - Tago Mago
Death Grips - The Powers That B
Deftones - Saturday Night Wrist
Faust - Faust
Radiohead - Kid A
Slint - Spiderland
The Mothers of Invention - Uncle Meat
Throbbing Gristle - D.O.A.
Tool - Ænima

DMD: Do you work as a Train Engineer?
KT: I suppose that, in the truest sense, I do not work as a train engineer. I do have a vinyl record filled with the sounds of steam engines, so that might be close enough.

DMD: What is your current recording set-up?
KT: I record either into my laptop or cellphone. A lot of my recent work is made entirely from short, abstracted voice samples so I haven't found myself trapped in by the meager gear quite yet, but I know it's coming of course.

DMD: What are your thoughts on the music industry in 2016? In your view Is paying for music almost a thing of the past?
KT: As for the music industry, I'm too new at this point to make any informed observations. It's possible the industry is in a state of transition due internet sharing, or this might be the state it resolved to. I've never interacted with the music industry in a meaningful way, so it's hard to provide any clear thought on the matter. 

Another twenty years might not be enough to catch what's really happening as the future is built from the minds of everyone involved. It's always too soon to be sure, but this is way too soon, at least from my perspective. I'll have to pay attention and get back to you on that when I'm 30 or something….I’m gathering information, on this and other subjects always.

DMD: What can you compare from Everything is real / Everything is not real to your latest work?
KT: I’m actually working on a stylistic change, somewhat major. Everything is real / Everything is not real was constructed entirely from improvised guitar pieces cut up in Audacity and reassembled into various styles…..I’m playing with more electronic styles and melody to an extent. My recent single is an idea of what is cooking, but I'm shaking it up with every track I make. 

That's the idea of experimentalism, huh? I'm still learning how to do everything. For the time being I'm going to make more music but release less so whatever is heard is the best and whatever is released can be promoted and worked with for a longer time. Singles for now, and exploration. I'm working on a split EP for the summer. I'm going to try playing with music videos too, given that greater chance to focus.

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