Multi-instrumentalists always make the best interviews. And multi-instrumentalists with a solid history make for fun interviews. Today we get both in the form of Preston Maddox, current member and co-founder of STFU with Dean Garcia of Curve and SPC ECO fame, and member of Bloody Knives.
This interview is a treat because not only is Preston knowledgeable and insightful as to how the music industry is, he’s also fun to talk with. He also gives a solid inside peek at the inner workings of is current project STFU and their new double albums ‘Yum 1’ and ‘Yum 2’.
Alternative electronic maverick producer Dean Garcia, the musical mastermind behind seminal alternative rock band Curve and electronic dream pop duo SPC ECO, once again joins forces with Preston Maddox of post-punk noise-rock band Bloody Knives for their second album under the moniker S T F U, which released June 22. This sophomore effort is actually a double serving of albums YUM 1 and YUM 2, complementary kin to one another. The duo released their debut LP ‘What We Want’ back in 2016.
S T F U creates music laced with unfolding hypnotic loops that gradually progress to uptempo electronics, trip-hop laden beats, lush noise entwined with shimmering synths, and Maddox’s hazy trance-like vocals. Preston Maddox says “YUM1 is more songy and YUM2 is more dancy, I like them both for different reasons, and kind of waver back and forth between them as far as which one is a favorite.”
“Working with Preston on all of the records we’ve made it’s without a doubt the most painless and connected recordings I have made outside of my close family. It’s almost as if the records make themselves as in there was never any doubt or soul-searching as to what it should, could or want to be..it just was it’s own self from start to finish, we just made it happen,” says Dean Garcia.
“This album was an exchange of ideas that sink or swim, it’s an oddity, a seemingly disconnected process, but ends up being a most thrilling, fulfilling, connected and creative process for all, that sticks everyone like glue and only makes you want to do it all over again.”
Apart from his nearly 15-year history with Curve and his decade-long project SPC ECO with daughter Rose Berlin, Dean Garcia has also toured the world several times and recorded multiple albums with such established artists as The Eurythmics, Mick Jagger, Jeff Beck, Bryan Ferry, Sinead O’Connor and Ian Dury. His other projects include Blurred City Lights, Das Bleep and M A D with Monty from Jesus & Mary Chain. Apart from Preston Maddox’s involvement in Bloody Knives and S T F U, he is also touring bass player for UK anarcho-punk band Conflict.
While their many commonalities and common circle of friends are what originally brought these two artists together, these two artists record and co-produce S T F U albums in two separate studios. London is now home for Dean Garcia, while Preston Maddox is based in Austin, Texas.
“This record shows the process and development of a focused and new sound that is more a combination of its parts rather than the sum of them. I was trying to push my vocals some to include more rhythm and focusing on tying phrases together that speed the phrase up at the end of it and create winding rhythms that circle in on themselves like a whirlpool. More rhythmic and less lyrical. I’ve always wanted to make dance music but not EDM,” says Preston Maddox.
“I have a love for ground-level recording and music, things made on instruments that are not good enough and recorded on whatever is affordable. The technology used beyond its intended purpose. Especially with early electronic music, as there was no blueprint then, no technological support, that was all dedicated to guitar rock then. Skinny Puppy and DJ Screw live in the same musical universe in my world, to me the degrees of separation there are quite small, the authenticity is what matters most.”
All S T F U releases are available exclusively via the band’s own Bandcamp.
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