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Soul Whirling Somewhere interview October 20, 1997

Soul Whirling Somewhere is a boy called Mike Plaster who lives in Arizona & has records released on Projekt.  His music is based around the acoustic guitar & keyboards & some people might call it slowcore.

QRD – do you think your new ep is a significant break from your earlier work?

Mike – yeah, definitely.  I've gotten more into recording better & getting away from four track demo thing.  I know a lot of it seems like I'm going into pop song area, which I'm not.  I've always wanted to do my music this way; I just never really had the equipment to do it basically.  I just feel that I'm growing as far as my ability to make music.

QRD – what kind of monster would you most like to be & what kind do you most identify with?

Mike – you mean movie kind of monster or any kind of monster?

QRD – any kind.

Mike – I don't think I'd want to be any kind of monster because monsters are bad & I don't want to be bad.

QRD – what's your favorite Swans song?

Mike – I'd say I think the best Swans song is probably "Failure" or if you count Michael Gira's last solo record he did a song called "Blind."

QRD – what one would you cover if a tribute came out?

Mike – probably "Better than You."

QRD – if you could be a Lisa Frank character, who would you be?

Mike – the lion cub with the lizard in his eye because he's gonna eat him.

QRD – what other projects are you involved with now?

Mike – I'm in another band called Zeta which I'm thirty to forty percent of with this friend of mine Devon I've been working with since 91.  & it's basically, I hate to give it this tryst of a summing up, but if you can imagine Depeche Mode's Violator album a little more 90's & a lot more ambient, that's pretty much what it sounds like.  it's still pop type music, electro-synth-techno-whatever you want to call it, but mellower & a little more up lifting than Depeche Mode's somber feel & the stuff sounds really good.  I'm not responsible for it, because the guy I'm working with is a genius when it comes to knob twiddling & all that, but it's good stuff & will probably do well someday.  it's just stuff we're doing together not on a label.  & then Jason Farrel & I have worked together as the Mineral Tap which is just him & me playing once or twice a year & we've been playing music together since 1990 & we always ultimately get back together in some formation of the band whether it's just him & me or somebody else & that'll go on forever.  we recorded in Detroit.  we went up to Michigan & recorded at His Name is Alive's studio & we did a four song demo up there that Jason tried to push around to some labels & if you've ever tried to do that, of every twenty you send out, two write back & they don't say anything good.  so that kind of went down the tubes & I'm thinking of swinging that by Projekt & see if they're comfortable releasing it.  it's like my stuff, but a little more acoustic.  kind of like a minimalistic Red House Painters kind of thing.

QRD – there's a rumor you might stop doing music & get a real job, how true is it?

Mike – that's somebody not understanding fully what I said.  at one point I sought to make Hope Was, my next cd out in February or March, my last Soul Whirling Somewhere cd; but I was never going to stop music.  I was just going to change the name, which I am still going to do.  but the way I plan it is I'm going to do the next cd which is a double & two ep's probably late summer early fall next year & that will be it.  that will be the end of the thing titled Soul Whirling Somewhere.  I hate the name, I'm sick of it, it's a tongue twister & nobody ever gets it right, & it sounds pretentious, so I just want to change the title basically.  so after that point I'll still be with Projekt & I've talked to the label & they're fine with me changing the name.  they don't think it's a good idea, but I'm not out here to create a big following, I just want to make music & be comfortable with what I'm doing.  I'm still going to do music as long as I can, it'll just be under a different title as of probably a year or two from now.

QRD – would you ever like to tour?

Mike – I'm not too crazy about touring.  not that I don't like touring, I'm just not real comfortable with playing live & I got to figure out what kind of live set I want to do.  because being up there on stage with an acoustic guitar is not something I'm comfortable doing & people don't want to see it, they want to see more of a show.  so I want to rework it, if I do it, for more instrumentation, I don't know if I'll have other people on stage or not.  I just got to get my plan down for playing live before I even consider touring.

QRD – would you rather be called folk or goth or ambient?

Mike – if I had to pick one of those I'd call it folk, even though I know all the Neil Young fans out there are cringing as I say that.  I'm certainly not gothic, I don't think I have any of the same ideologies as a lot of goths do.  & on top of that goth has an image that I'm not into & sure as hell don't dress like.  that's fine for them, but I'm just not into it.  ambient, I play to much guitar & sing too much to be ambient.  so I guess the only alternative is to call me folk.

QRD – is there another term you'd like to use?

Mike – the only way I can ever describe myself is, & this doesn't help people much, I imagine myself as a new wave Red House Painters if they had come out in 1984.  cause I like doing those ballady kinda sad folk songs, but I love electronics & I like putting that smooth spacey element into it.  so that's the closest thing to the way I think I sound.