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Jason Liang has a chat with Priori on his brand new LP "Your Own Power" and more.
Interview with Priori
Feb 09, 2021

Jason Liang –  The cover art for your album "Your Own Power" is dazzling. I see stock charts blended with orchids in a perplexingly satisfying design. The artists you worked with, Matt Cangiano and Ellyson Gasparetto, did an excellent job of expressing your musical style and the feel of the album into an accurate visual form. What was it like coming up with the cover and working with them?

Priori – Thank you! I'm super happy with it. I discovered Matt’s work as I was working on the album and it made so much sense with what was on my mind at the time. I can see a lot of parallels with the way we approach making art, exploring different techniques, blending old/new, natural/digital. Elly also did an amazing job on the design. We met through Angelina Nonaj who did the Little Flower cover art and we've been working together since. It just feels natural and the result always complements the music really well.

JL –  Would you say the relationship and blending of digital and physical forms is something you deliberately explore?

Priori – Yeah I see technology as only one aspect of our lives. Personally, I think it can be super exciting but also really unnerving. Some days I want to make sounds with a half broken max patch but some days I just want to hit two sticks together and record that, it really depends.

JL –  I read briefly from RA that you explored new instruments and studio wiring which helped develop more unique sounds. We’re there any notable experiences (positive / negative) in trying out these new forms of production? As for studio wiring, how long have you been using synths and what’s the process been like?

Priori – I share a studio with my good friend Patrick Holland, and even though we are producing very different music at the moment, we've always managed to find a way to wire things in a way that works for both of us. All the equipment is hooked up to a patchbay and a mixer which allows for a lot of flexibility in recording but also re-amping, effects returns, summing, etc. On this album and most of my recent music, there are very few elements but I spend a decent amount of time on each, trying different effect chains, compression settings, etc. until I think it sounds exciting enough. For now I find that way of working to be the most rewarding. In this particular case I also tried summing the songs outside the box for the first time. I'll probably only know if I like the result in a few months, for now my ears are still too close to it.

I'm not a synth wizard by any means, but I've been using them for a bit over a decade now and I feel like I've gotten way better at getting them to do what I want them to do. A special shout out to my friend Matt Salasiak, the wizard himself, for helping me understand and maintain a lot of those tools.

JL –  I’m assuming synthesis wiring can create near endless possibilities with sound development. Are there moments you ever feel overwhelmed when it comes to tweaking a particular sound? Or are you quite adept at manipulating things to produce what you intend?

Priori – I've gotten better at this I think but in general yeah, less is more. I really try to understand the tools that I use and introduce one thing at a time. Our studio space is relatively small so it forces us to only keep the equipment that we use. I am super grateful for software and I use it a whole lot, especially for mixing. But ultimately, physical instruments are really much better at keeping me focused and in control.

JL –  The opening track Winged is stellar, I've had it on repeat ever since first hearing it a few days ago now. Are there any tracks on the album that you feel particularly satisfied with?

Priori – Thanks! Glad it resonates. I'm quite happy with 'Oyl', if only for the fact that it is so sparse. I think there's only 4 elements but somehow they sound pretty rich and musical to me. The last one too, 'Liminal'. It's mostly one synth being tweaked and mangled in real time but it took me a while to get it to feel the way I wanted to.

JL –  I am always intrigued by the titles of a tracklist. Are there any double meanings or personal inspirations with the titles you chose for the album?

Priori – I have a notepad where I record any title ideas that pop into my head. For 'On A Nimbus' the titles were really thought out and conceptual but the process was more intuitive on this one. I just opened that note and assigned what felt right. I love world-building, so I get pretty specific mental pictures related to each song, but I reckon that will be different for everyone, which is kinda fun.

JL –  In terms of influences, are there any particular works or artists that inspired you during the creation of 'Your Own Power?' (Doesn't have to be other musical artists, but can be anything in general)

Priori – Yes, I re-read 'The Left Hand of Darkness' by Ursula K LeGuin while I was making this, which might be responsible for the slightly colder vibe. Won Kar-Wai movies. But also for sure some things I was listening to a lot at the time : Bowery Electric, Biosphere, Loveliescrushing, Talk Talk, anything Chain Reaction.

JL –  How long did it take to produce the album from start to finish?

Priori – It probably took close to a year all in all but I always like to leave things for a bit and come back to them before finalizing. I lose perspective very quickly so I've learned to give things some space. I probably spent 4 months of active work on this.

JL –  As someone who collaborates quite naturally and frequently with others, how is it balancing your own solo work alongside other projects? Are there ever any hiccups with prioritization?

Priori – The pandemic really put a damper on collaborations for a bit and it gave me time to recenter myself and focus on my own music, which is something I want to keep some time for in the future. Making music with people you like is fun though.

JL –  Recently you came to Vancouver for a show at Paradise which I missed out on regrettably. How has your experience travelling and playing live shows again been? I read in another interview you enjoyed spending time in nature; Vancouver has quite amazing access to the outdoors, did you manage to explore outside the city a bit?

Priori – Yes! My girlfriend is from Vancouver so I got a nice tour. The mountains are incredible. Saw some crystal blue lakes and glaciers. Beautiful stuff.

Paradise was fun and the energy was great. I love playing long sets in small rooms. I kind of like the way things have been honestly. Playing fewer shows makes them feel more special sometimes. Sustain-Release was a real treat, probably the most fun I have ever had playing a live set.

JL –  Lastly, are there any final words about 'Your Own Power' that you would like to share?

Priori – I hope it brings about some interesting thoughts and feelings. There is a remix package set to come out early next year that I'm pretty excited for. Thanks to everyone for listening x

Interview with Priori
Feb 09, 2021
Jason Liang has a chat with Priori on his brand new LP "Your Own Power" and more.
Carousel Image

Jason Liang –  The cover art for your album "Your Own Power" is dazzling. I see stock charts blended with orchids in a perplexingly satisfying design. The artists you worked with, Matt Cangiano and Ellyson Gasparetto, did an excellent job of expressing your musical style and the feel of the album into an accurate visual form. What was it like coming up with the cover and working with them?

Priori – Thank you! I'm super happy with it. I discovered Matt’s work as I was working on the album and it made so much sense with what was on my mind at the time. I can see a lot of parallels with the way we approach making art, exploring different techniques, blending old/new, natural/digital. Elly also did an amazing job on the design. We met through Angelina Nonaj who did the Little Flower cover art and we've been working together since. It just feels natural and the result always complements the music really well.

JL –  Would you say the relationship and blending of digital and physical forms is something you deliberately explore?

Priori – Yeah I see technology as only one aspect of our lives. Personally, I think it can be super exciting but also really unnerving. Some days I want to make sounds with a half broken max patch but some days I just want to hit two sticks together and record that, it really depends.

JL –  I read briefly from RA that you explored new instruments and studio wiring which helped develop more unique sounds. We’re there any notable experiences (positive / negative) in trying out these new forms of production? As for studio wiring, how long have you been using synths and what’s the process been like?

Priori – I share a studio with my good friend Patrick Holland, and even though we are producing very different music at the moment, we've always managed to find a way to wire things in a way that works for both of us. All the equipment is hooked up to a patchbay and a mixer which allows for a lot of flexibility in recording but also re-amping, effects returns, summing, etc. On this album and most of my recent music, there are very few elements but I spend a decent amount of time on each, trying different effect chains, compression settings, etc. until I think it sounds exciting enough. For now I find that way of working to be the most rewarding. In this particular case I also tried summing the songs outside the box for the first time. I'll probably only know if I like the result in a few months, for now my ears are still too close to it.

I'm not a synth wizard by any means, but I've been using them for a bit over a decade now and I feel like I've gotten way better at getting them to do what I want them to do. A special shout out to my friend Matt Salasiak, the wizard himself, for helping me understand and maintain a lot of those tools.

JL –  I’m assuming synthesis wiring can create near endless possibilities with sound development. Are there moments you ever feel overwhelmed when it comes to tweaking a particular sound? Or are you quite adept at manipulating things to produce what you intend?

Priori – I've gotten better at this I think but in general yeah, less is more. I really try to understand the tools that I use and introduce one thing at a time. Our studio space is relatively small so it forces us to only keep the equipment that we use. I am super grateful for software and I use it a whole lot, especially for mixing. But ultimately, physical instruments are really much better at keeping me focused and in control.

JL –  The opening track Winged is stellar, I've had it on repeat ever since first hearing it a few days ago now. Are there any tracks on the album that you feel particularly satisfied with?

Priori – Thanks! Glad it resonates. I'm quite happy with 'Oyl', if only for the fact that it is so sparse. I think there's only 4 elements but somehow they sound pretty rich and musical to me. The last one too, 'Liminal'. It's mostly one synth being tweaked and mangled in real time but it took me a while to get it to feel the way I wanted to.

JL –  I am always intrigued by the titles of a tracklist. Are there any double meanings or personal inspirations with the titles you chose for the album?

Priori – I have a notepad where I record any title ideas that pop into my head. For 'On A Nimbus' the titles were really thought out and conceptual but the process was more intuitive on this one. I just opened that note and assigned what felt right. I love world-building, so I get pretty specific mental pictures related to each song, but I reckon that will be different for everyone, which is kinda fun.

JL –  In terms of influences, are there any particular works or artists that inspired you during the creation of 'Your Own Power?' (Doesn't have to be other musical artists, but can be anything in general)

Priori – Yes, I re-read 'The Left Hand of Darkness' by Ursula K LeGuin while I was making this, which might be responsible for the slightly colder vibe. Won Kar-Wai movies. But also for sure some things I was listening to a lot at the time : Bowery Electric, Biosphere, Loveliescrushing, Talk Talk, anything Chain Reaction.

JL –  How long did it take to produce the album from start to finish?

Priori – It probably took close to a year all in all but I always like to leave things for a bit and come back to them before finalizing. I lose perspective very quickly so I've learned to give things some space. I probably spent 4 months of active work on this.

JL –  As someone who collaborates quite naturally and frequently with others, how is it balancing your own solo work alongside other projects? Are there ever any hiccups with prioritization?

Priori – The pandemic really put a damper on collaborations for a bit and it gave me time to recenter myself and focus on my own music, which is something I want to keep some time for in the future. Making music with people you like is fun though.

JL –  Recently you came to Vancouver for a show at Paradise which I missed out on regrettably. How has your experience travelling and playing live shows again been? I read in another interview you enjoyed spending time in nature; Vancouver has quite amazing access to the outdoors, did you manage to explore outside the city a bit?

Priori – Yes! My girlfriend is from Vancouver so I got a nice tour. The mountains are incredible. Saw some crystal blue lakes and glaciers. Beautiful stuff.

Paradise was fun and the energy was great. I love playing long sets in small rooms. I kind of like the way things have been honestly. Playing fewer shows makes them feel more special sometimes. Sustain-Release was a real treat, probably the most fun I have ever had playing a live set.

JL –  Lastly, are there any final words about 'Your Own Power' that you would like to share?

Priori – I hope it brings about some interesting thoughts and feelings. There is a remix package set to come out early next year that I'm pretty excited for. Thanks to everyone for listening x