Say hello to the debut column of Every Day Is Like This (EDILT, if ya nasty). Our singular goal is to get a succinct -- yet insightful -- glimpse into the life of the column’s subject, no matter how exciting or (sometimes) uneventful his/her days are. Sometimes the mundane can be revealing, after all. Think of this as a snapshot of the artist in his/her everyday life, in philosophy, his/her outlook for how things stand at this minute in time.
At first glance the origins of Miracle Parade seems like a simple process. You know, start a studio experiment in your downtime from your main band and casually pass the songs around to friends as means of staying busy. For most, an activity like this is simply an exercise in self-satisfaction and a means to keep your chops up before stumbling back to your main gig. But for others, the experiment can take on a life of its own. Take the case of singer/songwriter/multi-instrumentalist Christopher Pappas. His solo work (meant to be a break from being the Everyday Visuals' frontman) started as simple demos but soon turned into full-fledged songs that eventually ended up in the lap of Pierre De Reeder, who just happens to be the bass player for Rilo Kiley. De Reeder liked the songs so much, he signed Christopher to his Little Record Company imprint -- a signing that inspired Pappas to move to Los Angeles where he recorded his label debut with De Reeder as engineer.
This debut album Hark!…And Other Lost Transmissions is available now.
Ideally, how would you like the public to perceive you? Does this differ from who you are in your personal life? How so?
I would love to be perceived as sort of the "mad/misunderstood-genius" that couldn't possibly do anything else with his life except music. I want people to get an image of me holed-up in a little room not coming out for days, and then when I finally emerge, I've written and recorded a full record. Truth be told, that is what I am like in my life to a certain extent. I've written records, written musicals, even conducted a 27-piece orchestra playing my original work, so I think I've got the "mad" part down in people's eyes. Haven't quite mastered the "genius" thing yet, unfortunately. Also, much to the chagrin of everyone around me, I think I've also realized that music is the ship I'm going to go down with.
Describe yourself in the third person.
You know, basically, he's a good guy -- and he tries so hard. Maybe too hard sometimes. And I think he gets frustrated by that and can just be a really bitter twat, but don't let him get to you. He's honest, perhaps to a fault, and though he may be gregarious and off-putting at first, he is incredibly loyal and will be someone you can always count on.
How much does the place where you live influence the person you are now?
I currently live in Los Angeles, and it has certainly had a tremendous effect on my music -- and me. Especially being so new (I've moved here a little over a year ago). The change of scenery versus Boston, where I lived before, was much needed.
Do you lean on your current surroundings or those of your past as inspirations in your songs?
I don't find that places, necessarily in and of themselves, inspire me. I don't go to a quiet little park to write, you know? Where I get the most inspiration is situations. I love watching myself and other people interact. I think of the mechanics of life, of love, of hate, of whatever; electric charges firing in our brains, chemicals combining, time moving, space bending - when I look at someone falling in love, I don't see the beauty in the act itself, I see beauty in the hidden mechanics, the eons of evolution, the culmination of the choices in your life, leading to this moment. The idea that love exists at all - the idea that 'existence' exists, is a beautiful thing to think about. So for me, the landscape or environment is the backdrop, the scenery for these moments to unfold. That's what really inspires me.
In reference to your earlier question, moving to L.A. did revitalize me - but only in the sense that: I'm meeting new people, being in new situations, going to new places to interact in different ways. It's the change that shakes things up, to me.
Name an age, a date, or an era in time that deeply affected your life and your outlook.
When I was 15 I was diagnosed with a degenerative spinal/arthritic condition that eventually crippled me. Though I don't want it to, it has affected my life more than anything else, and I hate it for that. As much as I've tried [to overcome its influence], it's impacted me more than the first time I heard Nirvana, or when I bought my first guitar, or the first time I kissed a girl. It has shaped me more than the first song I wrote, or the hundreds I've written after. Perhaps this is what all of this is? I'm trying to outrun the weight of meaning that this disease has -- perhaps if I write one more song, or get to a certain level of success, I can create something in my life that has affected me more.
What place do you find the most inspirational?
The last step up right before I walk out on stage.
When you look in the mirror in the morning, what is the first thing you say to yourself?
First thing? Nothing exciting. The mirror isn't really where I do my
thinking. Probably something like: How does this outfit look?
If you saw yourself hitchhiking would you stop and give that person a ride? And one further -- if you were to wake up one more and starting hitchhiking what would be your likely destination?
No. I've only picked up one hitchhiker in my life -- and I was sort of in a position of not being able to say no. I was stopped at a light, and this woman basically pleaded with me to take her across town. If I were to hitchhike, I wouldn't have any destination in mind. I would go wherever the person took me.
You get to ask yourself a question that never gets asked of you in interviews. Go!
If I had one question, I guess I would ask: Do you have a life goal/dream in your mind? And if so, say God (or the Spaghetti monster, higher power, whatever) comes down and tells you: "You will never accomplish it." Do you keep trying anyway? Do you roll the boulder, Sisyphus?
Your playlist is lookin' mighty bare, hoss.
Click the '+' and add some tracks.
Click the '+' and add some tracks.
John Cage 4'33"