Evolution in music is inevitable, there’s nothing that can stop it and nothing strong enough to even resist it. Hip-hop, and the myriad branches that grow from its core values, are no exception and alt-hip-hop solo project ‘Bent Self’ shows that this is nothing to turn your nose up at. His latest LP ‘Waves’ is a melancholic triumph in brooding atmospheres and intelligently designed soundscapes so it was only fitting that we got to pick his brain and dive deeper…
RR: What to you is the best rock album of all time and why?
That’s a really hard one….but I would go with Tool “Undertow” because it has that raw dark vibe with great hooks, originality and vocal dynamics. It’s under that timeless category so it will still sound fresh 20 years from now.
RR: How did you first discover rock music?
I was around 7 years old when I heard Guns N Roses ‘Welcome To The Jungle” on the radio with my dad and it just grabbed me instantly. I asked him take me to the Chevron to buy me the cassette tape and I played it on repeat on my walkman. They had this grime, chunk and killer vocals that no band had at the time so I really connected with it.
RR: How would you describe the current state of rock/alternative music?
I would say rock/alternative music is not dead and is alive and kicking. I believe many people just look at the mainstream rock artists that you hear on terrestrial radio saying rock is dead but they miss all the other less known artists that have great music and touring.
RR: Who is your current favourite rock/alternative artist and why?
I really dig Puscifer because they stand out and mix some of my favorite genres electronic-rock, trip-hop and post-industrial to create a vibe. Each song has an experimental aspect to it and I always enjoy the mixed in female vocals.
RR: Do you see the genre evolving in any particular way at the moment? For good or for bad?
It seems like alternative/rock is mixed with many genres these days and is always evolving which is what I love about it. Many artists are mixing it with electronic, pop and hip hop currently so I think that it will evolve in those areas for the better.
RR: How did you come to fuse elements of modern hip-hop and rock/metal?
Well growing up in the 90’s I really connected with rock/metal, hip hop industrial music and really liked the fusion. So in 2001 I started by band Arvins Garden which has that alt/metal, nu-metal sound and then nine years later I started my solo project Bent Self. Bent Self is more of the experimental side which still incorporates hip-hop, rock/metal but with less heavy guitars more electronic, industrial and trip hop based elements. There are endless creative paths being a crossover artist blending genres together and that’s how I ended up with my experimental sound.
RR: Do you think it’s a blend that has seen the right amount of love from critics/public so far?
Yeah I believe so, we are in the days of being able to create outside the box with music and visuals.
RR: Did you have a particular ‘listener’ in mind when writing Waves?
I don’t really write that way unless the album or song needs a specific vibe intended for a movie, video game, etc. I sit down focused on writing experimental music that makes myself happy first and conveys the emotions I’m feeling at that moment. As far as the overall vibes I wanted to encompass for the listener in mind would be dark, lyrical, sexy and dynamic.
Waves is out now and available everywhere! Connect with Bent Self below: