dead professional - pillow talk + MFOA interview

virginia's dead professional has just released another of his studies in artful pop restraint, called 'pillow talk', and for the occasion, i thought i would ask him a few questions about the methods and plans that help achieve his brand of catchy musical asceticism.

MFOA - what is your recording setup like? i know that you have a lot of experience recording in real studios, like with the wolf parade folks. do you find that now with dead professional you have hit your mark with your home setup? a certain 'perfectionism' and cleanliness seems to be a big part of your aesthetic in dead professional and formerly in the cinnamon band. how do you feel about the differences between recording alone at home versus with a band in a conventional studio setting? does home recording help you achieve the aesthetic you are going for?

DP - yeah perfectionism is a good word for it. i can’t afford hours and hours of paid studio time and i hate subjecting other people to my endless tinkering and indecisive experimenting. so i really love being able to record alone. i’ve got an old low-end pro tools setup and i just record, edit and mix on my laptop until I’m satisfied. it think it works to a point but i’m not much of a techy. so i’d still love to get together with the right experienced engineer to really get it how i’d like it.

MFOA - i happened to observe some of your struggles trying to get a full length album 'right' by your own standards with the cinnamon band. i have noticed that with dead professional you have been releasing things one song at a time on soundcloud. is this going to be the dead professional way, or do you have plans for a full length record or physical goods in the near future?

DP - i’ve had a couple of theoretical albums that never saw the light of day with previous projects. it would be easy for me to disappear and work on some full-length dead professional opus for 10 years. but doing these small releases on a regular basis keeps me connected while i work on getting this new project off the ground. I do want to do a longer more traditional release soon. i’ve got songs. i’m just trying to get the stars to align a little first.

MFOA - you have said in other interviews that you strive to be a "songwriter's songwriter" along the lines of nick lowe or john prine. what aspects of the song do you focus on most when you sit down to write, in order to achieve this end?

DP - well, i love listening to songwriter’s songwriters. but striving to become one myself isn’t necessarily my primary goal. musically, i don’t think i ever do anything very surprising or sophisticated. i do aim for elegance i guess and some of my lyrics are clever. but i’d rather the listener be engaged by the content than impressed by the mechanics. i guess it comes down to tasteful editing. Nick Lowe and John Prine are certainly masters of that.

now on to what you all are waiting for, the new dead professional; a harmony laden, ronnettes 'be my baby' drum beat driven bittersweet confection 'about making a mess of things'. here's 'pillow talk'.


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