Deconstructed Company: Shoegaze without those pesky drums
Deconstructed is Victoria Isabel Jones’ musical project. It is presented as “Shoegaze but without any of those pesky drums”. And indeed her music is the bare bones of the genre, stripping the band down to a voice and a guitar in a pure lo-fi approach.
Her work to date is:
Slip, EP, September 2017
Year of the girl, EP, March 2017
Now I see the sun, EP, November 2016
Disquietude, EP, June 2016
Sensitivity is fun, EP, November 2015
Under concrete, mini album, September 2015
Victoria was very kind in collaborating with us in the following interview. Discover or revisit her work and learn more on this superb artist.
What is your music about?
Angst. Just constant, unbridled teenage angst. I started this project when I was 14, so I guess that made it kind of inevitable. I was also a huge fan of Death Cab For Cutie at that point in my life, which I think made it doubly inevitable. Like, my greatest aspriation in life at that point was to be Ben Gibbard with boobs. It's not a time I look back on very fondly.
As I've gotten older, I haven't really gotten any less angsty, but I like to think I've gotten better about putting it in a way that isn't so... direct. I think that's what attracted me to shoegaze - vaguely sad lyrics are the norm, and that's the kind of stuff I end up writing most of the time. I try to convey certain emotions through the overall atmosphere of the song than I do through the writing itself.
Tell us about the artists you have worked with.
I'm in a band right now with my boyfriend Austin - it's this kind of lo-fi indie rock thing called The Speciesists. Somebody on the Internet once said that Pavement would've toured with us had we been around in the 90s, which was pretty great. I also used to be in this other band, Such Great Fireflies, with a few of my other friends. We never released anything and broke up after a couple of months, but the drama that went on during its short existence made for some great songwriting material afterwards.
I don't listen to a lot of current music, but when I do, it's usually Sexy Merlin. My friend David also has a project called Innuendos that I'd definitely recommend to anyone who's a fan of more recent emo music - the self-titled EP he released for it earlier this year is actually really good.
What are your goals as an artist artistically/commerically?
Ultimately, my only goal artistically is to make something that sounds original. It doesn't have to be particularly innovative or groundbreaking, but I want it to sound like myself.
Commercially... I go back and forth on this a lot. If I had the opportunity to make this or any of my other musical endeavors into a career, I'd definitely consider taking it, but as of right now it's yet to present itself. For now, I just try to focus on recording and releasing new music, and hopefully the rest will come later.
Who would you want as a dream producer, and why?
I'm a big fan of the way Swervedriver's Mezcal Head sounds, so I guess Alan Moulder? I'm pretty ignorant when it comes to producers, honestly. The thought of handing over the reins to someone else like that terrifies me.
What are you trying to avoid as a band?
Being overly derivative, for starters. A lot of contemporary indie rock is incredibly derivative and I'd like to stay away from that. And, you know, I'd like to refrain from getting involved in politics unless it's something I really care about, like the legality of snake handling or Oprah 2020. Important stuff.
Explain your songwriting process.
There's not much of one. Most of the songs I write start out as simple rhythm guitar parts that I'll build on a little bit, and then add lead guitar and vocals to as I see fit. It's very rare for me to spend more than a couple of hours recording and writing a song.
In 2017 there is no new or old music to a 17 year old with internet access. Discuss.
There are usually pretty big differences between music being released now and music that was released ten, twenty, thirty years ago, and I don't think accessibility changes that. Old music is still old, and new music is still terrible.
Why do you make the music you make?
A lot of it comes down to ability; I'm not a very technical guitarist and I barely know how to play any other instruments, so it limits what I can do. Of course, I do like what I've made using what limited skills and equipment I have, but if I were a better musician I'd probably be doing something else, like pioneering the bluegrass/trap crossover of my dreams.
Describe your palette of sound.
Lots of distortion. I like using drop tunings a lot - there's this one I use that was inspired by Hum that's basically open G, but I only use it for playing power chords. Delay and reverb are both fun to play around with, especially for lead guitar parts. I also like using vocal harmonies to help fill things out. I like to pretend that that's something I picked up from listening to Lush and Slowdive, but in reality I learned how to harmonize from singing in different church choirs back during my freshman year. Altos are basically useless for anything but harmonizing.
You describe your music as "shoegaze without those pesky drums", why no drums?
Initially it was because I didn't know anyone that played them and I couldn't keep time well enough to play with a drum machine. Now, it's a stylistic choice, and also because I can't keep time well enough to play with a drum machine. There's so many nugaze bands out there these days that the only way I can distinguish myself is to not have a rhythm section. Hopefully, it's a distinction that works.
Which of your albums are you the most proud of? Why?
The only one I can go back and listen to all the way through without cringing is Year of the Girl. It's the most cohesive EP I've ever released, and it was named after an obscure Swervedriver B-side - both good things in my eyes. In general it was really heavily influenced by Swervedriver, though I don't know if that influence translated to the music at all. It also features bangers like "Everything You Do", which was directed at some guy I "dated" on the Internet for less than 48 hours who was really obsessed with his ex-girlfriend at the time, and "Amicalola", which is about a state park.
I also have a big soft spot for Disquietudes, even though there's a lot I'd like to go back and change about it. It was my first actual stab at making shoegaze, and it turned out surprisingly well for a first attempt. Still really wish I'd left those horrible synths off of the last track, but oh well.