–by Quincy Tejani, Music Connoisseur–
Devan Kochersperger, the man behind Nashville music project Grave Pool has experimented with a combination of shoegaze and dream pop ever since his debut EP Dinosaur Hell was released in 2014. Now, about to release his sophomore LP, we thought it would be nice to talk about what got him started as an artist and also which direction he’s heading in in the near future. Here is the interview:
Quincy Tejani: What encouraged you to start writing and recording your own music?
Grave Pool: I’ve always been playing music as long as I can remember, I think writing just became an extension of being able to record digitally with Garageband back when I was a teenager. Before I really knew what production or engineering was, the ‘sound’ of records was always what I was listening to more than the lyrics or music. Exploring DAWs and recording my own ideas gradually led to recording instrumental tracks, and finally to writing my own songs.
QT: Who are you major musical influences? Do you have any specific artists who you really idolize?
GP: The older I get the harder it seems to dislike much music I hear, but it also gets harder to find the same emotional excitement I felt when discovering music as a teenager. My fascination with groups can stretch any facet an artist can represent from songwriting, to production, to visual style, to historical relevance. The Beach Boys, Built to Spill, and The
Magnetic Fields are probably the three groups that have had the most profound influence on my musical interests overall.
QT: Are you working on any new material lately? When can we expect a follow up to Mnemonics?
GP: I’ve been working on a sophomore LP for almost a year now, since before
Mnemonics even came out. The bulk of its framework was created over last summer when I was living in Pittsburgh. I was a bit nomadic at the time and didn’t bother taking a guitar with me. As a result, most of these songs began with synthesizers and drum machines rather than guitar parts. It’s sometimes hard to find time with my last semester of graduate school going on at the same time and working on producing Wildfront’s debut LP, but I’m hoping the 2nd Grave Pool LP can be released sometime later this year.
QT: What’s the music scene like in Nashville? Do you find that there is a large audience for the genre that you work in?
GP: Music City will always be dominated by country music. However, The Black Keys, Jack White, and The Kills all live here as well. While Broadway is what most people think of with its tourist filled honky-tonks and country western gigs, East Nashville has a burgeoning local scene these days. It can be intimidating to live in such a competitive space filled with the best of the best musicians, but that leads to a lot of fantastic local acts.
QT: What albums are you most excited to hear in 2016?
GP: I’m most excited for Dinner’s first proper LP. The compilation of EP’s that Captured Tracks put out last year has been on constant repeat for me the last few weeks. I absolutely adore his baritone voice and neo-80’s production.
QT: If you had to choose one country to perform in, which country would it be?
GP: Tough call, I really love traveling but haven’t gotten to see nearly enough of the world. My unreasonable travel attraction has always been with Scandinavia. I would love to play a show in Oslo or Gothenburg one day just so I could explore Norway and Sweden respectively.
QT: Finally, what are your thoughts on Donald Trump’s presidential campaign?
GP: As a cynical progressive it’s very disappointing to see so many Americans fall for his act. In the words of Morrissey, ‘that joke isn’t funny anymore.’