Dad Interview with Jason Lamoreaux of The Corrupting Sea
Name: Jason Lamoreaux
Bands: The Corrupting Sea; Aural Blankets
Websites: https://soundcloud.com/the-corrupting-sea; https://soundcloud.com/user-151436379; https://thecorruptingsea1.bandcamp.com/
QRD – How old were you when you first realized you wanted to be a musician?
Jason – I started playing bass when I was 16 & played around with guitar a bit before that. I actually took bass lessons right away when I picked up the instrument. My parents rented me a bass for a bit to make sure I stuck with it & I loved it. I worked all that summer & bought my first bass. From there, I just kept playing bass & wasn’t really in a band until I went to college.
I do have memories of sitting at my parents’ upright piano & playing sustained notes, creating ambient melodies, at a young age. It’s odd that I came back around to being an ambient artist. Back then, I had no idea what ambient music was or that one could record such things & people would enjoy them. I’d never heard Eno or Budd, etc. & when I encountered that music in my adult life, it was kind of a revelation.
QRD – What are a few highlights of your musical career?
Jason – Well, I guess I’ve never had those, at least not yet. My first 3 to 4 releases will be coming out this year. I will say that I’ve had a great response to the tracks & every musician who I have shown them to has been really supportive. Summer before last (2014?), I was hanging out at Frank Lenz’s house & he asked to hear my tracks. We cued them up in his studio & he offered to mix the album. He has the tracks now, so I’m excited to see what he does with what I’ve created. I’m really hoping to put it out on vinyl with my record label Somewherecold Records, but that’s expensive & we will see. Also, Jon Attwood (Yellow6)& Tom Lugo (Stellarscope) have offered to do remixes, which I’m thrilled about.
QRD – At what age did you decide you wanted to become a father?
Jason – I guess I always expected to become a father once I got married. I was married at 20 years old & still am married to the same wonderful person. My partner is amazing. Anyway, I always thought we would at least have one child, which we did. It happened earlier than we planned, but that’s neither here nor there. Once that kid is in your life, you never want to go back.
QRD – What are some positive & negative impacts your family has had on your career?
Jason – Oh, I have never seen music as a career. I mean, now that I have the label running, that affects finances I guess, but that risk usually comes out even or better. Also, hours sitting in my office recording takes away from family time, but my son is 19 now & my adopted daughter is 18 (she came to us when she was almost 17), so that’s not as big of a deal. I didn’t record when he was younger.
QRD – What are some positive & negative impacts your career has had on your family?
Jason – As I said above, hours away from the family recording. However, I’m very careful & sensitive about time with my partner. Nothing is more important than her. I also take time out to always see what’s up with my son & daughter. I take them to concerts, play video games, & play D&D with them.
QRD – Have your children effected the music you make &/or listen to?
Jason – I guess, as the person who writes about music, I often influence my kids when it comes to what they listen to…. It’s a bit weird. However, my son finds some great bands. My son’s first concert was Jesus & the Mary Chain & I took my daughter to see Chvrches for her first. She also went to see The Cure with me. So, I introduce them to a lot of bands. In terms of what I write, much of my writing/composing is incredibly emotive. So, I guess, in many ways, they always are a part of my emotive make-up from day to day. Bad days create moods for me that are darker in my music & good days help me to create brighter, more euphoric tracks.
QRD – Do you think being involved in music has made your children different than their piers?
Jason – Absolutely. Yes. I mean, my son’s first concert was Jesus & the Mary Chain. What other person that age can say that? I’m taking them to see Sigur Ros in June & they are excited. My daughter is going with me to see A Place to Bury Strangers. So, our sound worlds converge a lot & they end up introducing their friends to a lot of music their friends would never have encountered. In terms of what they listen to all day? Well, they do listen to music I would never listen to & I encourage that. They have to have their own thing & that’s important to me.
My son isn’t really musically inclined, but my daughter plays a ukulele & has been doing a great job learning how to play it. It also means I get to use the instrument at times in my own recordings.
QRD – Have you had problems with the lack of steady money from a musical career providing the security you feel necessary in your household?
Jason – HAHA! MONEY!? Sorry….. I’ve made no money from music & don’t ever expect to. Well, at least not my own. As a label owner, it would be nice to hit on a band that can do well, but that’s not really my goal. I just want to give bands some exposure & connect them with possible fans. If money is made along the way for me & the band, then fine. But that’s a rarity.
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?
Jason – I’ve never toured. I’m not a live musician at this point. It would be cool to figure out a rig that could do what I do, but I’m not financially in a place to do such a thing at the moment.
QRD – Do you think being a father or a musician has a greater impact on your community?
Jason – For me, it’s global rather than just local because I write about music, record it, & I’m also a DJ on DKFM. My son, daughter, & their friends think I’m cool… well, they tell me I am. I have them fooled. I don’t place any greater value on people for being parents or not being parents. We all contribute in some way to something. Do I wish people were more collectively minded in the U.S.? Yes, absolutely. Given the horror of the current regressives in charge of almost every part of our country, it’s clear to me that many would rather be selfish than hospitable & kind. So, for me, it’s not about fathers or even musicians, but rather people contributing to their communities in whatever way they can. I guess what I’m trying to say is, it’s a people thing.
QRD – Would you rather see your children eventually become musicians or parents?
Jason – I don’t have either expectation for them really. I mean, I would encourage them to do art if they show the talent & pursue it, but that’s entirely up to them. I will love them either way & nothing will really change that. What is more important to me is that they are aware of their privilege & that they make society better by becoming allies to others who do not share in that privilege.
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?
Jason – I really just try to be mindful. Sometimes, I fail. That’s ok. You just have to be willing to watch yourself, get your shadows out of the way, & make sure you are doing what is right by the ones you love as best you can. Because I don’t do music for a living, it becomes a non-issue for me in terms of time. I mean, yes, there are moments when I want to record & the family wants attention. In those moments, the family wins. No contest.
QRD – What do your kids think of your music?
Jason – They think it’s actually pretty interesting, strangely enough. As an ambient artist, I expect them to turn their nose up, but they rarely do. Even their friends find it interesting. I guess young people today have this connection to music that I didn’t have access to. The internet, & not the radio, is so much more expansive & open & so many more kinds of music are available to people. While it becomes a burden in terms of trying to make music in the vast sea of artists & the whole free music download crap, the advantages are clearly in the exposure. Young people, if they look around, can have their understanding of music changed from what the larger radio empire wants them to hear. It’s a great thing. My kids listen to shoegaze, post-rock, ambient, post-punk, etc. It’s so great that they aren’t stuck on something like… well… I won’t name names.
QRD – Do you think you could ever do a musical project with your children?
Jason – I would love to. It would be kind of amazing. They both would have to learn music though. Perhaps I should get my kids in here to produce some drones & see what happens. Ok, going to do that at some point. lol.
QRD – Any words of advice to young people?
Jason – As someone on the other side of this question now, my answer is actually kind of broad because the answer I was given to this question by older people when I was young was full of bullshit. Do something you love, but don’t expect to make a living at it. Hard work is necessary for success, but it doesn’t always translate into it. People, in general, are greedy POS’s & won’t be rewarding your hard work if it doesn’t benefit them. Anyway, pessimistic, I know, but the world is one letdown after another & young folks should be aware of that.
I guess my other thing is awareness of self. I’ve always taught my kids that their white skin is a mark of privilege. If they can do anything in this life that would make me proud, it’s to make an effort to erase that privilege & life others up into equality & access. Yes, this means their privilege goes away, but any little move helps to erase the prejudice & racist society we live in. We can help do that through art, if that is our medium. My daughter is an amazing painter & artist. She has made some powerful images in this regard.
QRD – Anything else?
Jason – Thanks for giving me the opportunity to speak on the subject. I think many DIY artists like myself are able to do things without disrupting life too much with our art. Although, when you are down the rabbit hole in a recording, sometimes you just don’t want to come out. With family & any other balance issue, you just have to be mindful & set priorities. That’s my main thing anyway.