He Said She Said with Christo Jones
Tell us about the kind of music you make.
I built a stage rig with samplers, guitars, percussion and pedals so I can perform, live-loop and record experimental pop tunes. You’ll hear dashes of rock, folk, electronica and soundscape and maybe references to Alt-J, Dirty Projectors, Talking Heads and The Flaming Lips. I put loads of instruments and effects at my fingertips and feet so I can just take the music anywhere it wants to go.
What are four household objects we’ll hear on your EP?
I used a blender as a cowbell (in ‘Gravity’), car keys as a shaker (‘Hold Us Still’), smashed a wine glass and sampled it as a snare drum (‘The Feeling’), and played an old music stand like a tom drum (‘Complicate’). I love sampling sounds rather than using traditional drums because I can tie them to the feel and theme of each song.
Is the age of album releases finished?
Some say that streaming is killing the album because people now have short attention spans and access to thousands of curated playlists. I hope that’s not the case, but it adds pressure to release singles and hold off from an album until you have a wide audience. That inspired me to make my debut a kind of ‘concept EP’, which has a musical and lyrical beginning, middle and end across eight songs. It’s my hope that if you can spare 21 minutes then the EP will reward you with a full experience.
How did you come to do a TED Talk?
I emailed some live footage to a guy who booked musicians at a small market to try to play there, and he replied and said he was also working on TED Talks and wanted to book me for that. It was surreal; there were 2,000 people there, a Radio National live broadcast and YouTube live stream with whopping big cameras rolling about the place.
What’s different about the way you live-loop?
The great thing about live-looping is that it’s not tied to any genre so I can explore experimental pop sounds while other live-loopers might make blues, reggae, folk, et cetera. The challenge is coming up with riffs and melodies that work on repeat and still take the listener somewhere. But I take solace that so many classic songs are basically one-riff loops, like The Cure’s ‘A Forest’, Joy Division’s ‘Digital’, Talking Heads’ ‘Once In A Lifetime’ and The Beatles’ ‘Tomorrow Never Knows’.