Guitarist David Lord’s latest release under the Francis Moss moniker is Tickor. The album finds the Wichita-based musician continuing to work in his highly imaginative manner via a series of compositions that have rather organic origins. Joining Lord on this new release is percussionist Will Erickson (Team Tremolo, Spirit of the Stairs).
Jedd Beaudoin: Most of your records have a concept behind them. How about this one?
David Lord: A friend of mine in Sweden works with this group that goes up into the old growth forests in northern Scandinavia. They’re working to preserve those forests. One project [involved] trying to track or document all these certain types of mushrooms in the northern parts of Sweden. [My friend] sent me a booklet full of all these different kinds of mushrooms. So, each song here is about a different mushroom in northern Sweden.
I want to talk a little bit about the role that nature has played in your music. Did you grow up enjoying nature or was that something that came later on?
I grew up camping. My family would always go on a long vacation each summer and we’d camp the whole time. I don’t know that I appreciated it at the time but maybe it set a foundation for appreciating it. Living in Kansas, it’s beautiful, you’ve got a big sky but you don’t get much with the woods, the forests. In my travels, I’ve had little glimpses of that. I come back and make music as a way to connect with it. If I lived in a place where I was going to the forest every weekend maybe I wouldn’t write music about it. Maybe it’s a way to pretend to be in the forest because I think there’s kind of a yearning for that.
I notice that when I travel, I experience changes. This last summer I went to Minnesota and as I was driving, somewhere in Iowa, I noticed that my breathing changed. The air was different. I felt good and I found the feeling inspirational.
Exactly. That’s another thing that happens. When you go into a place like that with that much natural energy and that much density of life. To me, it opens up places in my mind. Usually, rather quickly, I can go back home and translate that into music. A lot of my music has come from an experience where, literally, I’ll be in the forest and I can feel this little component in my mind open up that has a sonic element to it. I can feel a type of music come from it. Then I’ll go back home and it’s still there and I just try to make music from it. Honestly, that’s where a lot of this stuff comes from.
You also brought Will Erickson in on this project to play percussion. Did you know all along that you wanted to use him or did it come to a point where you thought, ‘Gosh, this could really use percussion and Will’s the guy?’
When I wrote it all I thought it would be just guitar. I didn’t plan on having percussion but the songs really seemed to call for it. I asked Will to come and try it out. It turned out much better than I had anticipated. It really helps ground and bring the compositions to life, I think.
Is live performance something that you still enjoy doing or do you see yourself as being more oriented toward the studio?
I enjoy the studio a lot more. I always feel like I should play live, so it’s always on my mind: ‘I put out an album, I should probably play a show or two.’ I haven’t really been able to put together a group I’ve been totally happy with. Playing by myself with the loop station is a little bit limiting. Overall, my preference is to just to record. I do enjoy playing live but I haven’t been doing it that much lately. I’m also getting older and I don’t like staying up late. Playing a bar show where I’m up until 2 a.m., I tend to turn those opportunities down most of the time. I hope to play live more, it’s something I’m always telling myself I should do.
Jedd Beaudoin is the host of Strange Currency. Follow him on Twitter @JeddBeaudoin.
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