english > Brandon Bethancourt (ALASKA IN WINTER)

contact | search |

Brandon Bethancourt (ALASKA IN WINTER)

One man band with interesting geographical topics for us. Even his/their name is far far away from us, their first album "Dance Party in the Balkans" make us think...

Tell us something about Alaska In Winter?

BB- Alaska in Winter is dark, cold and lonely.

A brief history of how did you start Alaska in Winter?

BB- Well, the band is pretty much just me, and I just happen to get a lot of other friends and people to help out on the recordings. But it started when I dropped out of school for a little while and spent some time living in a cabin in Alaska. During that time I starting recording music on my laptop (which was during the winter) and I eventually came back to New Mexico where I added a bunch of other parts to the recordings with the help of my friends Zach Condon (Beirut), Heather Trost (A Hawk and a Hacksaw), my sister Hilary, and a whole bunch of other musicians from New Mexico and then I eventually put out a CD. This is how the project started.

Where did the name come from?

BB- The name is actually quite literal because the project started while I was living in Alaska in the winter time.

We really love your sound. Describe it in a few words?

BB- Oh, I don't know... my sound is always changing. There's a lot of different elements and sounds that come from different places that get mixed together to form what has come to be known as "Alaska in Winter". It's kind of electronic, kind of acoustic, kind of this, kind of that- never really in any one place at one time but some how comes out as a kind of coherent sound.
[ b.b. aka alaska in winter ]

b.b. aka alaska in winter

Your second album has been recently released. Has it been traditionaly difficult?

BB- The process of making the album was difficult, because I was living in Berlin at the time and I didn't have access to any instruments so I had to make use of what I had with me at the time, which was electronics/ synthesizers, and so the album turned out much different than the last one, and that may be difficult for listeners.

What influenced the sound of the second album? How was it created? Where did you took your "Holiday" this time?

BB- Well living in Berlin was a huge influence. I was there for half a year, and the Berlin electronic music scene definitely played a big part in my music, as well as the fact that I didn't have any access to instruments while I was living there so my music turned out very 'Berlinesque'- very electronic.

We're rather curious about this since we're, well, somewhat placed on the balkans. How did you came in touch with musical heritage of Balkans and in what why they influenced you?

BB- Ever since I was young I've been exposed to a lot of Eastern European/ Balkan music through my parents, and it's just something I've always been fascinated about being that it's so different than the average bland american music I also heard while growing up. But the big push came from a 5 week backpacking trip I did in 2006 through eastern Europe.

From what we've read in some other interviews, you've been to Slovenia and such? Did the road ever took you to Croatia?

BB- Yes, I did in fact visit Croatia, and it was lovely. I didn't get to see a whole lot of it but I visited around Rijeka and Opatija and some other little places along the rocky coast.

What is your opinion on all the release schemes going around these days? Do you think the future of music is online or that these are just clever marketing plots that work in a certain moment?

BB- It's really hard to tell. I think most music will continue to be distributed via internet, but there are always people who are fascinated with the physical element and tangible artwork of the music. There seems to always be an interest in things like vinyl records and even cassette tapes. I'm hoping to release a small EP on cassette tape someday... but who knows if anybody will buy it?

What's in the future for Alaska In Winter? Can we expect a concert here?

BB- It's hard to tell what the future holds for me. I'm sure there will be more music recorded, maybe a cassette tape, haha, and hopefully a show in Croatia... hopefully I can get to Zagreb or something.

Can you please write your favourite albums and movies of 2008?

BB- Favorite music of 2008 is:
Anoraak- Night Drive With You Mates of State- Re-Arrange Us
M83- Saturdays = Youth College- Teenage Color
Sebastien Tellier- Sexuality
Antony and the Johnsons- Another World Ratatat- LP3 Stephan Bodzin- Bremen Ost / Station 72 Favorite movies would only be "Highlander" but that came out in 1984 so I guess that doesn't count.

Tell me something I would never guess about you?

BB- I can't stand the sound of electric guitar unless it's in an 80's heavy metal song.

A ako Vam ovo nije bilo dosta, pogledajte sljedeće...

Interview with Alaska in Winter's Brandon Bethancourt

pedja // 01/02/2009


well hosted by plus.hr | web by plastikfantastik*