Interview: TVAM

TVAM: a guitar and electro hatchling from the age of junk culture saturation. A child of the flickering screen.

Ahead of the release of his second single, ‘Porsche Majeure’, released October 16th, colourhorizon caught up with TVAM to ask pose a few questions:

1. What does the name TVAM refer to?
– It’s straight from the breakfast TV show of the 80’s/90’s. It just fits.

2. Which came first – the desire to make music or the interest in cut up junk culture vids?
– I’ve been in bands and around music for quite a while. I suppose I came to making videos later. The two came together when I knew I wanted to play shows.

3. How long does it take to bring a video together?
– It’s hard to say, really. Some are much quicker than others. A lot of time is spent sourcing the stuff in the first place; the analogue manipulation stuff comes quite naturally.

4. Not that I’ve managed to read it, but J.G. Ballard’s The Atrocity Exhibition seems like an influence…?
– Yeah, J.G. Ballard is in a lot of stuff I do. He really understood how popular culture works and how people’s roles in society are often determined by it. ‘Porsche Majeure’ has some Crash in it, certainly, same as John Foxx, The Normal and Gary Numan have in the past.

tvam3

5. How much of a nuisance is working with a Cathode Ray TV and VHS on stage?
– Well, it’s bulky… I don’t think Sanyo anticipated this kind of usage. All old equipment can be temperamental and you have to accept that. It’s worth it though.

6. For an artist immersed in the enormity of media, how hard is it to stand out?
– I’ve been fortunate to get attention pretty quickly but it can often feel quite daunting. I think it’s best to just stick to what you do and see who takes to it.

7. Who has influenced you musically?
– Bands like Thee Oh Sees, Man or Astro-man and Boards of Canada.

8. How did you find it to get started playing live?
– My first gig was in a tiny studio in Wigan. I liked how everyone responded differently to it. People just didn’t know what to expect. I think the hardest thing has been describing my set up to promoters over email. Some get it instantly and some think you’re taking the piss.

9. I remember you were due to be supporting at a gig or all dayer I was attending. You pulled out due to ‘technical difficulties’. Did this refer to the TV / video setup? If so, do you think this puts you at risk of a being a ‘gimmick’ act?
– Yeah, it did. It was really disappointing and I’ve learned to have a backup plan. I made the decision to use this equipment early on and I stand by it. I don’t want to cheat audiences out of seeing it as its intended. No one is in control of how other people view them – people will make their own minds up.

10. What are the plans going forward? Are there plans to make multi-media releases i.e. an album / short film piece?
– ‘Porsche Majeure’ comes out on Oct 16. After this, I’ll see what seems most appropriate. I’d love to do an album as there’s plenty of material to pick from but it’s a case of putting it together in the right way.

11. Finally, what are you viewing tastes?
– Cartoons. That and Panorama.

Click to watch ‘Porsche Majeure’

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