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David Lord Talks Francis Moss And Finding Inspiration In Nature

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Lindsay Lord
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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.

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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.

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Jedd Beaudoin is the host of Strange Currency. Follow him on Twitter @JeddBeaudoin.

 
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