Updated: Nov 17, 2021
Back in September, fellow KAMP Eboard member Annika and I watched local Tucson musician Cathedral perform at Solar Culture. He put on a fantastic set, his music blending well-produced EDM sounds with hard-hitting electric guitar. Cathedral is, simply put, a fantastic guitarist. He performed incredible guitar solos throughout his set, even ending his last song by shredding with his guitar held behind his back in a truly impressive finale. It is rare to encounter such intricate guitar paired with electronic production, especially at small DIY shows, which made for a very memorable performance. After his set, Annika and I were fortunately able to talk with Cathedral, known off-stage as Brian, about his artistic inspirations and his journey in learning music and production.
Annika: What's up! This is KAMP Student Radio, we're interviewing Cathedral today. My name is Annika
Ruby: And I'm Ruby!
Annika: And say Hi, Cathedral!
Brian: What's up, my name's Brian, thank you so much for having me.
Ruby: So, you’re an amazing guitarist. We were wondering when you started playing and was there anything in particular that inspired you to do that? And building off of that, what are your biggest artistic inspirations in general?
Brian: So I started playing guitar when I was 10 or 11 years old; I played a little bit of piano before that, in my grandma’s basement somewhere. My mom played tons of Jimi Hendrix and that’s definitely been a huge inspiration. She’s been so into the shred guitarists like Stevie Ray Vaughan and Hendrix, and that really made me want to do something cooler, but now I really regret not sticking with piano a ton. Recently, Daniel Caesar -- oh my god, the Freudian album -- I literally just got a phat bottle of white wine, posted with my speakers, and listened to the whole album.
Annika: Seems like the right energy.
Brian: Yeah there’s something about it that recently, I have been super into. So I would say that’s another inspiration.
Annika: I really like the gothic and ethereal allusions in your band name and album art, like for your song The ID. I don’t know how purposeful that aesthetic is, but do you want to talk a little bit about your aesthetic? Also just hearing you perform, it was super cool how diverse the type of music was that you were playing.
Ruby: Yeah, and the way you blend guitar and electronic stuff.
Brian: As far as the art goes, I think a common theme is duality, for a lot of artists. Trying to get into that and psychological problems going on as well; there’s a lot that I want to dive into. All that stuff has been a good gateway to form the path of that gothic style slash if I want to keep it lighter. Having a bunch of different styles and just keeping it as open as it can be -- I don’t think that anything should be boxed up. I think that’s something a lot of people now-a-days are becoming more attuned to the fact that we don’t need to box people, we don’t need to put labels on so many different parts of people’s lives.
Ruby: Where did you get the idea for the artist name, Cathedral?
Brian: When I’d be thinking up music ideas, they’d always have this sort-of church-y sound to it, there’s a lot of reverb and it’s very large-sounding. I was raised in a pretty irish-catholic household most of my life, so I’ve used a piece of that.
Annika: how did you get into production? What is your process like when you’re making music?
Brian: I started getting into producing when I was 17. I didn’t have any band members anymore. I played in bands all throughout high school and then went a little more solo, and started doing a lot more on my computer. I like electronic music in the way that it can be very diverse and go a bunch of different ways. You see so much coming back with 80s vaporwave coming back.
Annika: I feel like there's so much creative freedom with computerized music.
Brian: To a degree, but it’s limiting at the same time. Part of me would like to just do piano and guitar and have an actual band. You don’t need all the glam over it, and you can do some really cool stuff. Isn’t doesn't need to be coated with so much production technique.
Ruby: One last broad question, is there anything else you want your listeners to know about you or anything else you want to talk about in your interview?
Brain: Not that comes to mind at the moment. You guys did a really great job!
Ruby & Annika: Thank you!
You can find Cathedral's music on Spotify, Apple Music, Soundcloud, and YouTube. He is also on Instagram as @cathedral_music. Check out his stuff!