Musician Interview: TimPermanent, a whole different kind of singer/songwriter

Break it down for us
Tim Permanent, make us dance
You make great avant-pop

TimPermanent (Yes, it is one word on purpose)

Tim, we hear you are about the release your new EP Marker, what have been the best and worst parts about recording it?

I would say the best and worst parts, both, are that I wrote and recorded the whole thing myself, alone. Being that I had full creative control was very much a plus but I am limited by my own resources. The only exception is that I had the help of Niki Haris who co-wrote “Black & White” with me, which was such a huge gift.

What song means the most to you and why?

The song “Asymmetrical” means the most to me as it came out as a rebuttal almost. I am not sure if it sounds like that but there most certainly was very high emotion at the time I was writing it. I was having a very hard go at things at the time and was struggling. Life was throwing me loads and loads of challenges and I was really doing everything I could to just be ok.

What inspires you to write a song?

I don’t know where the songs come from, really—they just kind of come. Sometimes it feels like I am like a vessel, like the songs happen to me. Then sometimes when I want to write I can’t.

Sometimes there is like an urge, like an itch I need to scratch and I go and press record and an hour later an entire production is done.  The opening song “Extraordinary” happened like that. I guess sometime they come at times of high emotion too but that’s not always the rule either. Hmm….

If you could have had any one artist contribute to your album, who would that be?

I guess it would have to be my very first and only real idol Michael Stipe of REM.

Describe your live show to us. Is there anything you expect to be different with these new songs?

I find it important to really connect on stage with each song’s truth .That being said, my show is very theatrical, not in visual way but I am a performer.  I engage in my songs live. I have already been performing most of these new songs, that’s how I knew to release them. My shows are like the test market for the releases.

Have you ever had anything embarrassing happen to you while performing?

Since I write and produce most of my music electronically I have been known to perform to tracks, like on a CD. And there have been times when the CD has skipped and that can be embarrassing. First, because I’m performing to a friggin’ CD but also I’d be right in the middle of some intense vocal or something and then clip, clip, clip, clip ——- it’s like AH!!!!! WTF!!!  HEY SOUND GUY! would you mind skipping ahead to the next track or maybe I’ll take the opportunity to play an acoustic song. Maybe someday I will have a band.

What have been some of your main musical influences?

REM, New Order, Depeche Mode, Missing Persons, Missy Elliot, Tori Amos, Madonna, Digable Planets, Mary J Blige, MIA, Imogen Heap, Peter Gabriel, Radiohead, Joan Osborne, Michael Jackson, Janet Jackson, throw in a ton of dance music too- techno, house, jungle, triphop, drum n bass- this list could go on and on and on and on-

In the spirit of the Halloween season, what has been your favorite costume you’ve dressed up as?

Honestly, I make an incredibly convincing girl. The only time I ever dressed in drag was on Halloween and I used to do it every year on Halloween and I loved it! I love it because I would dress like a regular girl not like a crazy drag queen and nobody would even know it was me. I would go and see friends and people that I knew wouldn’t even think twice. They would just think I was some strange girl because I wouldn’t talk. There was something fantastic about it!  I haven’t done it in 5 or 6 years but this question has brought out the memory of how much I enjoyed it so maybe I will do it this year.

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