Inclusive Q&A with The Uncluded
Published on June 26th, 2013 | by Joe Lawler
A few weeks back I sent some questions off to Kimya Dawson and Aesop Rock, the respective folk singer and rapper who recently started recording and touring together as The Uncluded. They’re performing at Wooly’s on Monday.
For the record, “K” is Kimya Dawson, “A” is Aesop Rock.
Q: What was it that got two of you together for The Uncluded?
K: We did some collaborating on both of our last solo albums and through that process realized we liked working together and we were both dealing with some loss. We just kept making songs.
A: Yeah, it seemed fun and easy and the timing felt good, so we just kinda went for it.
Q: On the surface your individual styles of music seem very different. What was the common ground each of you saw in the other?
K: We both love words and use lots of them. But it’s not just about the meanings of the words. How they sound together and fit together and land rhythmically is important too. I know a lot of people who write but he has a real gift that I appreciate and admire. We both can be silly sometimes but we also get pretty dark. We feel stuff hard. He just makes sense to me.
A: Yeah, I think we’re both pretty OCD with the words. We’ve talked about how it’s almost a sickness, the need to get this stuff out, put words on a specific order, etc.
Q: Do you find your approach to The Uncluded songs is different than when you’re working on your own material?
K: When I write my own songs I don’t write them down. It’s all in my head and it just sort of rolls in and I don’t really edit much. With these songs we did a bit of back and forth. I typed my lyrics up. We worked together.
A: I think these songs are a little less cryptic than what I normally do. There is another lyricist to consider, and it’s all about complimenting what the other has done with whatever you write.
Q: Did you do most of the work together in the studio, or send tracks back and forth due to locations/touring?
K: Most of it was sent back and forth but we did spend some time in Aesop’s home studio re-doing vocals and adding other instruments and stuff. Some of the songs we recorded first on our lap tops and decided to do them again in the studio. Every song was different depending on the song and where we were at.
A: A lot of back and forth and phone calls and trips up and down the northwest coast.
Q: How does the live experience with The Uncluded compare to the writing/recording part of the collaboration?
K: Because so many of the songs were created with us in different places it feels really amazing to be in the songs live together in one place. Our friend James Lynch has joined the group and plays a number of instruments to help flesh out the sound. These songs mean a lot to me and performing them feels awesome.
A: It’s been weird and awesome to have a “band”, and figuring out how to translate what we wrote to the stage.
Q: Is this a collaboration you think will continue beyond “Hokey Fright” and touring?
K: It is hard for me to imagine going back to sitting on a stage by myself. I love doing this. I can’t imagine we will stop making songs together.
A: Yeah, I’m sure we’ll keep it going.
Q: Given your individual hits and careers, are there portions of the show that touch on the solo material, or are you keeping things Uncluded only for this tour?
K: Only Uncluded. This is its own beast.
A: What she said.
When: 6 p.m. Monday
Where: Wooly’s, 504 E. Locust St.
Info: ticketfly.com or woolys.com.