2010 Artist Survey: Jamie Stewart of Blue Water, White Death & Xiu Xiu | Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
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Blue Water, White Death

2010 Artist Survey: Jamie Stewart of Blue Water, White Death & Xiu Xiu

Dec 13, 2010 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share

For Under the Radar’s 8th annual Artist Survey we emailed some of our favorite artists a few questions relating to 2010. Pick up a copy of Under the Radar’s Year End issue for interviews with: The Antlers, Bon Iver, Caribou, Club 8, Delphic, Rose Elinor Dougall, Gayngs, Hot Chip, Lost in the Trees, Love is All, The Love Language, Mogwai, of Montreal, Okkervil River, Yoko Ono, Owen Pallett, Plants and Animals, Mark Ronson, Superchunk, Tame Impala, Vampire Weekend, Sharon Van Etten, and Vivian Girls. Here’s a survey from Jamie Stewart of Blue Water, White Death & Xiu Xiu.

Top 10 Albums of 2010

I know these are supposed to be in order of preference but it is impossible. I love them all.

Grinderman: Grinderman 2—I am in love with you.

Shearwater: Golden Archipelago—I am in love with you.

Evangelista: Prince of Truth—I am in love with you.

Noveller: Desert Fires— I am in love with you.

Swans: My Father Will Guide Me Up a Rope to the Sky—I am in love with you.

(r): Drama Queen—I am in love with you.

Zola Jesus: Valusia—I am in love with you.

Oversteps: Autechre—I am in love with you.

Baby Dee: A Book of Songs for Anne Marie—I am in love with you.

Ches Smith and These Arches: Finally Out of My Hands—I am in love with you.

What was the highlight of 2010 for either you personally or for the band?

Going on an almost comically long world tour: Ireland, U.K., USA, all over Eastern and Western Europe, Israel, China, Korea, Mexico, Australia, Tasmania, New Zealand, USA again, Canada, Ireland, U.K. and all over Eastern and Western Europe again, and finally CUBA!

What was the low point of 2010 for you?

That we have killed more civilians in Afghanistan this year than in any other. FUCK YOUR WAR ASSHOLES!!!!!!!!!

What are your hopes and plans for 2011?

To go bird watching in Guyana.

What are your thoughts on President Obama’s job performance in the last year? Has your optimism, if you were an Obama supporter, waned?

He is a politician. What could anyone really have hoped for?

What are your thoughts on the Tea Party movement?

Amusing and idiotic.

With the Internet making every artist’s music potentially available to a wide audience, is it now easier to find listeners or more difficult because you have to compete with so many other musicians?

Music is not a competition. Music is just there and the people who need it will find what is right for them.

Who would you rather listen to—a totally original musician whose compositions are groundbreaking but difficult to listen to or a musician whose songs are immediately enjoyable but derivative? Why?

Why on God’s green earth would anyone want to listen to something derivative? I never understand why about 80% of bands even exist.

In the race to find new bands, are too many unworthy bands being hyped up by music blogs and websites? How are music fans supposed to filter through all these new bands being hyped?

Bands that are lame and uncreative will fade away and bands that are meaningful and are honest will last. It really again comes down to what someone wants from music. If someone wants music that can touch their hearts then hype is irrelevant and the cream will rise to the top. But if someone wants to be part of some trendy bullshit because they are jive, then it is easy enough to be bludgeoned by that in any number of places.

If your house was on fire, what would you grab as you were running out?

The arsonist’s hot ass.

If you could relive one day of your life, which would it be?

I suppose the day I was born. It would be really confusing.

What’s the strangest fan encounter you’ve ever had?

Someone mailed me a pair of underwear with blood on it every day for 30 days.

If you had a bucket list, what would be the Top 4 things on that list?

1. Assassinate the Koch brothers.

2. Go to Antarctica.

3. Make a ray gun that turns everyone vegan.

4. Buy an incredibly long whip.

Do you have any recurring dreams or nightmares?

That I am being chased by the CIA or cops.

Who was your first love and do you still keep in touch with them?

Chris Raymond. There was a lot of spanking involved so no.

Is there anything that most people are able to do that you can’t (such as drive a car, swim, ride a bike)?

Listen to Dirty Projectors.

Have you ever been starstruck when meeting another musician? If so, by who?

Oh I get starstruck by anyone famous. It is hilarious. But the most starstruck I have ever been was by Robert Smith. I was almost paralyzed.

What’s the weirdest thing that’s ever happened to you?

Holy fuck, so many weird things have happened to me that there is no way to pick one. When I was 17 someone left a huge dead dog in my car, but that is just the beginning.

What’s the most embarrassing thing to happen to you in the last year?

Probably being on tour with a band that I found offensive and racist and having the audience be more into them than us.

What or whom do you miss most when you’re touring?

Alone time.

When you think of the future, what scares you most?

Extreme weather events.

Do you (or did you) have any pets? If so, can you tell us about them? Who takes care of your pets while you are on tour?

Jasmine, the best cat of all time! Actually she was a foster cat that was adopted just before this year of touring. Sad but better for her. Meow.

If you could freeze time, what would you do?


What are your thoughts on chillwave? Do you feel that it’s a legitimate genre/movement or something simply created by music journalists? In general, do you feel that most scenes/movements are organic or are created by the media?

It does not matter.

What do you predict will be the next big social change?

Serious environmental consciousness.

In 2010, what was the best movie you saw, book you read, comic book you read, video game you played, and/or TV show you watched?

China Safari by Serge Michel and Michel Beuret.

Do you have any other thoughts about the current state of the world or the state of the music industry?

Be Good.




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