Jaymz a.k.a. Cellartapes on music as an escape & solace
Today on the Drooble blog we have Jaymz a.k.a. Cellartapes. Listening to his music is a transcendental experience fueled by a conscience that’s spread wide open. His varied musical taste, far-reaching spiritual side, and profound body of work make Jaymz a musical soul deserving of a spotlight. We reached out to him with some questions and the man happily obliged. Read our interview with this most fascinating musician.
Hello, Jaymz! Tell the world about yourself. How did you grow up to become the varied, well-versed musician you are today?
Well, I don’t really see myself as being particularly varied, nor well versed. I used to hide out in spare time at school from the larger kids in the music-school buildings and taught myself to play guitar using a book someone had left lying around. I spent a lot of time making noises in between doing temp jobs, as permanent employment doesn’t seem to be a thing anymore. It’s really about making sonic journeys and dwell-points or atmospheres that come partly from within, and partly from the tools used.
Introduce your current musical projects and tell us what makes each one special for you!
Modo/Stasis are an act very close to my heart – their Rubrik is ambience of different flavours. Pedro Agno is a bit more varied and tends to be easy to listen to — the tunes we do with him generally lack darkness of any kind, and he uses a lot of found sounds, which I enjoy.
The Sonic Soup Jam-Band are a bit more of an attempt to conjure a realistic band out of thin air by using any passing musicians I can get my hands on. I always thought it would be a neat idea for a band to have a choice of sets that would correspond to different billing times, so as to fit with whatever part of the day, weekend, or year they are playing.
How did you learn to play the clarinet and saxophone?
I learned the clarinet at school after the piano, but then I dropped both for twenty years whilst ‘teaching myself’ to play the guitar and bass and learning to program synthesizers.
What brings you to wind instruments, in addition to the guitar, bass, and keyboards?
It was a part of my formal education, which means that even now it still kind of feels to this day when playing piano or clarinet that someone is standing behind me with a whip.
How did you cultivate such a varied musical taste?
At different times of day or night, different types of music appeal. Certainly musical patterns can be made in so many ways – liquid smooth, turbulent, chunky, flaming, blobby – I could go on all day with the onomatopoeias, but I’ll spare you that!
Your love for different artists is all over the place!
It is well said that attention is like a pendulum — my own appetites swing to and from between requirements for varied distances from the polar extremes of habit and novelty. So some stuff I like can be very challenging, detailed, and energetic — and in the end it can be very tiring! So it’s nice to have something slow and soft sometimes to fall back on. And then at other times, I feel the need for solidity and earthiness. so a different kind of sound comes on.
You have been playing music for over 20 years now. How do you find the drive and inspiration to keep going?
It really all comes from my own sense of not yet having satisfactorily reproduced what I hear inside, that there is always room for growth and change or for putting something a different way. There’s only a very small amount of the music I like in existence, and so I will keep on plugging away at making more.
How is your local music scene? Do you feel like you fit in?
The local music scene is fueled by Rock, Metal, and Reggae, so I don’t really fit in much — although I am always keen to get people involved in some way. It’s an ecosystem, it’s not like Africa would have lasted long with nothing but lions.
You have a notable spiritual side. How did you get into esoterics and metaphysics – and more importantly, how did it change you as an artist?
I think I reached a sort of stress-related crisis in my mind, where I saw a tidal-wave of information approaching and felt the need to decide, before it landed, how much of it I was going to have to deal with. It marked a change in attitude from “I must and can be expected to deal with everything that I ever see, and everything that I ever see is all I will need to deal with in order to play well at life” to “everything is overwhelming – I am a shrimp on the ocean, tossed to no shores by the law of averages and at any moment a whale could come and gulp me down along with millions of my friends and family.”
It’s a humbling experience, but it comes with the realisation that nobody else is different, however hard they pretend to be powerful and in control.
What artists would you love to collaborate with the most?
That’s really hard! I want to say Roly Wynne (RIP), or on the possible side, Kavus Torabi. He is a latter-day genius and I’d love to absorb more of his sonic aura.
What are your favorite software and hardware tools for music production?
Hardware — I couldn’t live without my 4-track tape-recorder for recording parts in stereo!
Software — Sony Acid / Sound Forge. I know people say they’re dated but they do what I need them to, and I like the idea that not everyone making tunes is using the same kit and samples and hooks.
What is your biggest musical goal?
To create a fairly permanent standing-wave in future-history that draws in more people, providing them a space to find self-realisation through empathy and connectedness.
How has being on Drooble helped you as a musician?
Drooble is a great place to foster new contacts and collaborate with them!