Born a shoegazer?
What came before the chicken or the egg?
I grew up in France, 12kms from Paris. When I looked out my window I saw a corn field and the airport in the distance. People always asked if the noise from the airplanes was annoying. Frankly we never noticed them. So I grew up with a constant hum in the distance, wind in a corn field and planes flying away to some mysterious destination in the distance. Does that explain why I lean towards shoegaze, dreamy sounds?
Or is it something that was in me from birth?
Or is it something that came from my early childhood? an event that shaped my music tastes? I remember enjoying Woman by John Lennon, that was kinda shoegazey, also How Deep Is Your Love? does that count as shoegaze?
Nature or nurture?
So I asked the question to various kinds of people: musicians, fans, business people etc...
This is what I found out. -drum roll followed by whammy bar effect-
"I think I've learned a lot about myself and how I write from nature. As soon as you see yourself as part of what's around you and you let go of inhibitions that we've created, you'll find it much easier to create things that you never thought you could before. "
Demi Haynes, guitarist and vocalist at Seashine.
"I definitely think my personality is more drawn to those sounds than others. My emotional make up etc. I believe we are all fairly equally products of nature & nurture, because our nature informs how we respond to our life's circumstances.
Music has always been for me about a deeper emotional connection to it, which I know is not the case for everyone. And that runs the gamut of emotions. But as a more often than not melancholic person, I'm more deeply connected to those sounds that reflect that sort of emotion.. melancholy, nostalgia, longing, unrequited love etc"
Marc Dooley, blogger, fan, video editor
"Unable to draw a straight line between the two. Japanese shoegaze, forinstance, has widened my appreciation for Japanese music scenes overall, but Japanese shoegaze was not readily available to me, nor obviously introduced to me.
Much like asking me about my appreciation for 1970's progressive rock, it wasn't environmental or nationalistic, but spoke more to complex, schizophrenic tendencies"
Greg Wilson, manager, DJ at DKFM Shoegaze Radio
"I live in " Capital Federal " which is the capital of Buenos Aires, wich it´s the most urbanized region of the country. And curiously it´s pretty similar to London in respect of the constant rains.. and the cold... a lot of times there´s haze. Besides that.
I think that the environment and the landscapes did have something to do with my interest in shoegaze \ dream pop. Maybe the clouds with awesome colours when it´s dawn or in the early morning.... that should have something to do. If the answer should be " yes " or " no " I would say yes!"
Nicolas Castello, singer and guitarist at Nax
" It's really pretty here with all of the mountains and blue skies. I'd say I take many country drives to listen to music. I definitely feel it more in nature for sure. But I'm also very close to Pittsburgh as well. Music feels different in the city "
Ben Marks, skateboarder, fan
"Nature! Music resonates with us and this connection create the pleasure we feel. We all resonate in different ways: one of my best friends is a Blues addict and have been listening and playing for years. Another one is a classical music-only aficionado. These music types resonate with their personality and their body in a way that creates a bound, a link to these genres for them.
While I like Blues, classical music, and many other genres, these would not resonate, harmonize as well with me as Shoegaze and most reverb music do. I have discovered many genres over the years but none gave me the emotional and physical connection than these genres create"
David Lignon, music blogger, bass player at Smiling Marianne
Which leads me to this fantastic article in The Guardian about East Asian shoegaze
The gist of it is that shoegaze in Asia is not influenced by the music of other bands but by Taiwanese indie cinema, the landscape of the new megalopolis in China.
As Maojia from RUBUR says:
“In ancient Chinese love stories, lovers wouldn’t say ‘I love you’ to each other. For us, the harsh noise and wispy voices of shoegaze music is the language we use to communicate sentimental things.”
Maybe that's why we love shoegaze: communication, try to say "I love you" in sounds.
Thanks to Nicolas Castello, David Lignon, Greg Wilson, Marc Dooley, Demi Haynes and Ben Marks