Father Interview with Loïc Josinski of Koyl
Name: Loïc Josinski
Website: http://koyl.net https://koyl.bandcamp.com/
QRD – How old were you when you first realized you wanted to be a musician?
Loïc – I fantasized about it during my teenage years, but back then I had quite a naive, MTVesque picture of what it’s like. I loved music & playing guitar but had big doubts about getting lucky enough to be part of a band that would tour the world in a private jet 9 months per year. So I wasn’t taking the possibility of making music as a career very seriously.
A few years later, at 21 years old, I was living in a dorm located 150 feet from the best music venue in town. As a birthday gift from my parents, I got a “membership card” giving me free access to all the gigs happening there for a year. I basically spent the year there & went to most of the gigs. The mix of seeing a lot of different bands on stage, from local to international acts, & being able to talk to technicians & see the crew at work made me realize that there was room in music even if you’re not Metallica or Guns’n’Roses. I left the school I was in (I missed most the early morning courses already anyway!) & moved to Paris the next year to enroll in an audio engineering school…. I got a degree, but it made me realize that being a musician was what I really wanted to do.
QRD – What are a few highlights of your musical career?
Loïc – I don’t know... music is more about self-discovery & personal growth to me so I don’t dwell on the past too much. There probably were some kind of achievements I guess, but the best of the journey so far, what’s really worth remembering, are the people I met along the way: being able to share something around music (sharing the stage, write or record with someone) is something quite precious. It creates a very peculiar intimacy you rarely find in any other way. Music is also a way to communicate with the world so what I consider as highlights are definitely there.
But I actually feel like I’m only getting started: It took me quite some time to find what I really wanted to do & come to the point where I thought I had something worth sharing. So, hopefully, there are a lot of highlights (& people) to come!
QRD – At what age did you decide you wanted to become a father?
Loïc – Is it something you decide? It happened at 31.
QRD – What are some positive & negative impacts your family has had on your career?
Loïc – The obvious answer would be less time & headspace for music. But it had a surprisingly positive effect: since my time is more precious, I tend to use it more wisely, I stopped procrastinating & tried to make what I do count. As a result, I’ve been making way more music & in more meaningful ways ever since I became a father.
QRD – What are some positive & negative impacts your career has had on your family?
Loïc – Making music keeps me from going crazy & my kid gets to see his dad doing something creative that he is passionate about. You’d have to ask them about the negative impacts.
QRD – Has your son effected the music you make &/or listen to?
Loïc – Apart from the fact that I now hear a lot of video game soundtracks when my son plays games, what I listen to hasn’t change much. He has never really been into kids’ music anyway: He seemed to enjoy Sonic Youth when he was a baby & now his favorite band is AC/DC. & it certainly didn’t change the music I make: age & experience did.
QRD – Do you think being involved in music has made your children different than their piers?
Loïc – Yes, I think so. Seeing his parents create probably makes him less fearful of trying things out; he enjoys to create & invent things too. Performing in public seems to be quite a natural thing to do for him. & I think seeing me using instruments in a not-so-usual way (playing guitar with a bow, playing guitar strings behind the bridge or nut etc...), makes him aware that there’s more than doing things the average or normal way; it makes him think out of the box more I guess.
QRD – Have you had problems with the lack of steady money from a musical career providing the security you feel necessary in your household?
Loïc – My income doesn’t depend on music, so no. I’ll be happy if one day I earn as much money from music as I put into it though!
QRD – Given the limitations having a family has on being a touring musician, would you have toured more earlier in life if you’d known?
Loïc – As I said previously, it took me some time to pinpoint what I really wanted to do & to be satisfied with my output, so it’s not really a question of knowing or not knowing that I would have less time to tour later. I’m actually not sure those limitations exist in my case. Given the music I do, I won’t go & tour the world for 2 months! If I tour & play far from where I live, it will more be like short trips (3 days to a week maybe) so it’s still very much possible. Plus he’s 9, so still a bit young to go with me, but in 2 or 3 years, why not?
QRD – Do you think being a father or a musician has a greater impact on your community?
Loïc – I can’t really answer the question since I don’t feel like I’m part a single community, but several & I’m not sure to know exactly what they are (fathers? musicians? underground musicians? lap steel players? my street? my neighborhood? France? Earth?). It’s quite a blurry & moving concept nowadays. But since everything we do makes us who we are, it certainly has an impact in some ways.
QRD – Would you rather see your children eventually become musicians or parents?
Loïc – It’s up to him to decide, not me! I’d rather see him happy.
QRD – Both family & music seem like things that will take up as much of your time as you’re willing to put in. How do you end up dividing your time?
Loïc – His mother & I are not together anymore & he goes to school where she lives, so I have him on the weekends & holidays. I still have plenty of time to make music & I sometimes get to do some stuff when he’s here as well (so I don’t get bored when he’s playing a solo game on the Playstation!).
QRD – What does your son think of your music?
Loïc – He usually likes it when there is stuff in it he can easily relate to (when it’s a song, or there’s a beat, or full instrumentation). He doesn’t dislike the more experimental stuff, but they do feel more weird to him at first, his reaction when I first played him one of my live-looping guitar soundscapes was: (as the loops kept on stacking) “but… you could make 4 songs with all that!” & “when do the rhythm comes in?”
QRD – Do you think you could ever do a musical project with your children?
Loïc – He’s been taking drum lessons for a year now & he’ll get an electronic drum kit for his birthday (he asked for both!) so, yes, we’ll definitely try to play together! We’ll see how it goes, but I’d really like to use some drum loops played by him in some of my tracks, even if they’re very basic.… Just to give him the sensation of hearing himself in a full composition.
QRD – Any words of advice to young people?
Loïc – Follow your heart, make as much of experiences as you can, get in new & uncomfortable situations, make mistakes (& learn from them), don’t listen to those who say you can’t, bend the rules until they break, think outside of the box until the box become irrelevant, find what you love & let it kill you (I might have taken this last one from Bukowski…).
QRD – Anything else?
Loïc – Answering these questions felt a bit like a psychoanalysis session; how much do I owe you?