Not everything in the human mind is bright as sunshine. The Pacific Northwestern artist Cairo Pythian takes a walk down the obscure and crooked alleys of human behavior and the outcome is a dark and catchy 12″ of music that Cairo refers to as “adult contemperary”. I caught Cairo for an interview talking about his new album and about choosing to be an outsider. Have a read and listen to a few songs.
All right, Toytowne – your 8 song 12″ – just got out on Olympia based Perennial Death records (Milk Music, Broken Water, Sonskull ect.). Your music isn’t exactly typical pacific northwestern music – how will you describe your music?
I describe my music as adult contemporary, because I am adult and this is 2012. A lot of people try to call my music cold wave or dark wave or synth pop, but it’s really just none of those.
Is there a scene for your sort of music going on in the northwest or is it you and all the grunge types?
Hell no! There is no scene that I’m in. There are plenty of scenes, but rarely am I invited into their inner circles. I was kind of in the Olympia scene, but my off color sense of humor has exiled me from that clique. I think there were 12 people at my last show in Olympia. However I do have a nasty group of friends I choose to spend my time with, we’re called Donald’s Crew. While other bands might brag about smoking weed and cuddling with lesbians, we smoke hard drugs off of foil and fuck Romanian transsexuals.
I think there is sort of a creepy and dark but in the time alluring and sexual feeling about the album. Try to describe the universe and the themes of the album.
Basically, If Knut Hamsun made a record, it would be Toytowne. Most of the themes have to do with the sides of love people don’t want to look at, or emotions people deny feeling. Misogyny, soul suicide, betrayal, impotence, insanity, adultery, female masturbation, stalking… All the real stuff.
How did the album evolve from song ideas to actual songs? How do you work?
Well, first off, I’m a recording artist, not really a live act. I play about 3 shows a year, so I don’t ever practice. I book studio time, go in with an idea, and after a day of work walk out with a song. I don’t make demos because I tend to get too attached to a certain sound or feeling from the home recorded version, and find it hard to recapture, so I like to wait until I’m in the studio, then just bust it out.
There is a nice not too produced sound on Toytowne but there are still lots of details and different instruments. Did you record most of it yourself and who helped you along the way?
Toytowne was recorded at High Command by Captain Tripsballsington, over the course of about a year. I wrote all the songs on the album, except for LACED, Lucas Huer wrote the music on that one and I wrote the words. Dave Harvey contributed to every song on the album. In fact he plays all the best parts and all the interesting instruments, It would never have become the record it is without him.
As many of the other artists on perennial Death your stuff is kind of hard to get and not online at all. Why is that important to you?
It’s not important to me at all. You know, a lot of bands say they are against it, but then they google search their dumb band everyday to see who is talking about them. Actually, my friend Lauren and I have started a website that will be up soon. It’s gonna have videos, songs and artwork. We’re gonna make it easy for people to come and steal our ideas.
I know there is a rich music scene in and around Olympia and Seattle. Do you have any local favorites we should check out?
What is your opinion on hip-hop?
I like the hard, heavy, dirty shit.
ZZ Top or Gary Numan?
What do you think of guns?
What’s not to like?
What do you do when you’re not making music?
Best thing in Olympia?
The I-5 on ramp north to Seattle.
Do you like black metal?
I like truly hateful black metal.
Nirvana or Melvins?
What is the best thing about Seattle?
What next for Cairo Pythian?
New album out this fall with supporting shows in LA and SF, tour of Scandinavia in the spring, and expanding our artist guild, NASJONAL.