Heathen Harvest: What is your real name and background (that you care to share with us)?
My real name is Dustin. I grew up in a remote, small town area of Florida and recently graduated from Full Sail
in Orlando, FL.
HH: What exactly does "Praew Jik" mean?
It's a Thai nick-name of someone I knew in highschool. I don't know the exact meaning of it, but it's always stuck with me. I think it sounds beautiful.
HH: What is your past music experience like? What other projects have you been a part of?
I haven't been a part of any serious musical projects... just some jam stuff here and there ranging from jazz to black metal to acoustic stuff. I've played guitar, bass, and piano for about 8 years.
HH: Are you in any other project currently?
No. I am planning on releasing some more music-based stuff under the name Of the Sky which I've performed ambient work under before. I'm also discussing some collaborative projects with a few folks in which we'll collaborate via mail and net since we live in separate countries.
HH: How did you gain your knowledge of electronics?
I took an electronics course at Full Sail and have been doing reading and research on my own. I wouldn't say I have a really strong grasp of it, but it gets me by and I'm always in the learning process.
HH: What got you into harsh noise? What bands have influenced you over the years specifically?
I started doing some noisey stuff for fun and because I enjoyed it, but had never heard of it. Then in 2003 I saw Godspeed You! Black Emperor!
, who had Black Dice
open for them. That was the first time I'd heard any "noise." Then I got a couple of Merzbow
albums from Alien 8
when I was buying some Shalabi Effect
and Set Fire to Flames
I didn't really listen to any noise other than those albums I bought (Merzbow- 1930/Merzbow- Pulse Demon/ Masonna- Inner Mind Mystique) for a really long time. Then in 2006 I started listening to Gerogeri, MSBR
, and some older sound experiment stuff. I'd say Merzbow influenced me a lot since it's the only noise I listened to (those albums in specific) for several years. I also really enjoy a couple of Masonna's albums, Nurse With Wound
, and some of KK Null
s stuff. I don't listen to a lot of noise, really. I have a lot of non-music/non-noise influences that have a much stronger effect.
HH: I've noticed you live in a "Winter Park, Florida"...quite a ironic town. What part of Florida is this in and how is the situation of your side of town?
It's a small city/town right next to Orlando. It's a little less cluttered. There's actually some nice trees and wooded areas, and some yards! Still nothing like where I grew up where the closest store is 20 minutes away, 100 acres of land with rivers, springs, lakes, animals, farms, etc. It's a big city in comparison to where I am from.
HH: It looks like playing out live is a big part of what Praew Jik is. What was your best show so far and why?
I'd say my favorite show so far is when I played Al-Fuckin-Right fest here in Orlando in Dec 2007. The show didn't go very smoothly and got moved to someone's house because it was so behind schedule. It was in a very small living room with no lights on at all... just had a wonderful environment. I did the "Stare in the Windows of the Soul" performance where each person of the "audience" meditates while staring into the eyes of a complete stranger. A lot of people told me that was a very intense experience for them. Jen Sandwich wrote a review of a show where I did the same performance, which you kind find on my freewebs page or myspace.
HH: You had your first out-of-state show earlier this year in Stone Mountain, Georgia. How was Freedamn Fest? Can you give us a rundown on just want exactly this festival is?
Freedamn Fest was amazing. It was in a remote mansion that you'd never know existed! It was like a dream hippie-commune next to a lake in the woods. One of the coolest places I've ever been. It was really nice seeing Kawabata Makoto
again, too. Freedamn Fest is a fest held at Blak Casl and curated by Sounds from the Pocket
HH: You're also organizing a pre-INC mini festival in Orlando. What bands have signed up for the bill? Feel free to give the booking information for bands interested in playing this show as well.
Yes. So far the bills consists of My Left (Uterus), Byron House
, Praew Jik, Of the Sky, Xdugef
, Secret Abuse
, Wet Hair, Evan Miller
, Kristin Calvarese
, Human Adult Band
, and Abominable. Right now it is scheduled for noon til midnight, but I think I'm going to have to shorten it to 7 til midnight. Anyone that wants to play can E-mail Praew Jik
HH: So it seems everyone and their mother have fallen for Mr. Cyberpunk's ill games. What led to your split/collaboration with Kenji Siratori? What can we expect from it?
I don't remember exactly how this collaboration came about... I think I asked him if he would be interested and he agreed. I just thought it would be interesting to create a sound track to his spoken stuff. There's really no noise to this release. There's more musical qualities, though they are very minimal. I used pianos, cellos, guitar, and a lot of heavily processed recordings of house appliances. I also used some computer generated drones and sequences on a few of the tracks.
HH: You've also got a split with Slut Kull, owner of 412 Records whom you've coincidentally released "Machine Tranquille" on in '06.
Yes. He's a great guy. I plan on doing many collaborations with him in the future if both our schedules permit. The split with Slut Kull has been done for a while, but we've been unable to get it released for some time. It should be out here in January.
HH: How did you come to start releasing on Smell the Stench? A few acquaintances of mine from the group Realicide (Cincinnati) are also affiliated with them, or have been in the past (Release: "I will Pump!" CD-R.)
Leigh of STS emailed me and asked me if I wanted to a CD-EP and a net release. I told him yes and now we're always emailing each other back and forth about future plans and releases.
HH: Have relations between them and yourself been good?
Yeah, everything has been great. Leigh's been very nice and a pleasure to work with. We have a few more releases planned for the future.
HH: Do you have any big plans for the future?
I have some plans to do some bigger shows overseas, but don't really want to talk about them until they're confirmed. I'm actually planning on doing less shows to focus on my family and get a lot more done in the aspect of recording.
HH: What is your vision of harsh noise? What is your ideology behind it? What does it mean to you?
It's mostly a meditative process for me. Heavily influenced by surrealism and surrealist automatism. For me it's how I express and release my sub-conscious... which I believe controls the sound and gives it its life. I've done a large handful of my recordings without being able to monitor the sound. Just closing myself off and letting everything flow. I hope that the end product will help others tap into their sub-conscious.
HH: What does this creative outlet allow you to get out of yourself?
It's really my form of meditation. It helps me in self realization and discovery. I get the most out of it when someone tells me that it's helping them in that way... or doing something for them personally beyond just listening to a release.
HH: Who handles your artwork?
So far... either I or Jen Sandwich
has done the artwork. I've had Jen do quite a few releases for me, because her outlook on art is much the same as mine. We've had some very interesting coincidences come up in her art about my vision in the noise without even telling her about them.
HH: Your music has been classified as "psychedelic harsh noise". What is different about your music that would land this title? It seems like that's a small subgenre in the noise realm.
I'd say because of the themes that relate to the sub-conscious, psychedelia/psychedelics, and spirituality.
HH: So for the most part it seems like there's a pretty big lack of information about you on the internet, although if you google your name there's quite a bit of listings. It would seem that your musical presence is mostly about peaceful spirituality and self-discovery/metamorphosis. Can you go into in depth detail about who you are spiritually and how it comes through in your music?
I'm a very peaceful person. I am a believer in non-violence, towards people and animals. Thus I am a vegan... which is a HUGE part of my lifestyle. Spiritually I draw from Buddhism, Taoism, Universalism, meditation, and lucid dreaming. Though I don't affiliate myself with any teachings in particular. I have a very strong disliking of negative themes and hatred. I don't think that it directly comes out in my stuff, simply because of how abstract it is... but people have told me the connections that they have with it, so apparently there's something there that people see.
HH: Do you have strong political beliefs? If so, what are your views? Currently what is on your mind as far as world events?
I do have strong political beliefs, but lately it's hard to do more than get irritated with all the nonsense happening. The topics that bother my mind the most are those related to world resources, pollution, animal rights, and the general well-being of our earth. We're too caught up in all the consumer bull-shit to see where we are heading and that treating each living being with respect is far more important than material possession or control. People have yet to come to the realization that every action has a reaction. The majority of the people are just relying on government to take care of their problems... the problem with that is pretty obvious.
HH: Do you plan on collaborating with any artists besides Kenji and Slut Kull in the future? Your section of the US is literally writhing with artists.
Yes, absolutely. Mostly with artists and bands outside of this area (and more out of the US than in). A few that are in the works are with Yellow Crystal Star
, The Two Year Curse
, The Power of the Lion, and some others still in discussion. I do actually plan on doing another collaboration with Kenji Siratori, but we're going to collaborate using each other's sounds.
HH: Thanks for the interview man! This closing paragraph is for you to speak whatever is on your mind, or to give us any news concerning you and your projects.
I really appreciate the interview. It's an honor to do it for you. All the best to you.