Projektfest ‘10 kicks off tomorrow in Philadelphia, and in light of this musical extravaganza, Todd Loomis, front man of featured band The Twilight Garden, was kind enough to take the time to answer a few questions about his music:
Q: Where did the name of the band, The Twilight Garden, originate? Is there any certain significance to the name?
A: It was really just based on the images the words generated originally. I made a huge list of words that I liked and thought would work well to associate with the music. I used those words to come up with a list of names and The Twilight Garden was one of them. I was concerned a bit because of the similarity to the band name “The Tear Garden” and obviously The Cure single “This Twilight Garden”. I decided in the end to just go with it… I love that song a lot… and I really love both The Cure and The Tear Garden, so I don’t care about any associations. Everything I do artistically is influenced by other artists… I don’t pretend to live in a vacuum. I would only worry if I didn’t feel that my art had it’s own sound/voice… but I know that it does, so The Twilight Garden in the end will be associated with my music and will stand on it’s own just fine.
Q: Could you name a specific experience of yours that has had the most profound impact on your music?
A: All of my life experiences get reflected in the music – whether I like it or not. I don’t know which one was the most profound… All of the things I have loved and lost end up affecting everything I do. There have been a lot of both, so I guess I’m lucky enough to have a very deep well to draw from if I’m looking for inspiration… but the inspiration is really around everywhere – not just in memories, so I suppose it doesn’t matter really. If I lost my memory, I would just reflect the world around. If I lost the world around, I would reflect my memory… If I lost both, I’d be in real trouble… but then I would likely be dead.
Q: Which song do you feel you best capture when you perform live; why this particular song?
A: I don’t know if someone in the audience would agree with me or not, only because my perspective is obviously quite a bit different… it’s difficult for me to look at things objectively. I do like to play “delusions of us” live… I guess I find the huge swirling wall of stuff at the end really easy to connect with emotionally… but every song really has it’s own thing happening. I think “melancholy crush” and “the puppeteers” are really good live as well. Chris does some great stuff with the drums in “the puppeteers” that I really love… I think it adds something extra to the live show.
Q: Musically, The Twilight Garden evokes a very dark atmosphere; has the theme or motif of your music (lyrically or otherwise) evolved over time? How so?
A: It is constantly evolving… I think it will continue to evolve for as long as I am alive. I think when I was younger, I was probably more idealistic, so I’m sure that affected things back then. With the world around constantly changing, I’m sure my music will change with it… and of course when I get older my perspective will change as well. It’s a complex mix of my own perspective and the actual events in the world around. I can’t even pretend to be in control of any of that! In a lot of ways, it all just feels like a grand accident… When I write the next record, I will “discover” it as much as I can… I try to leave plenty of room for accident in what ends up being a blend of accident and intention.
Q: What would you say has been the biggest challenge you have faced thus far, as an artist? How was it overcome?
A: I think maybe the toughest thing for me was to accept myself… When I was really young, I knew what I wanted to be… but I had a really tough time placing any value in what I “was”. Eventually over time, I got really tired of of “trying to be” something, and I just started “being” and reflecting my real thoughts and feelings about the world around. That was a huge relief for me, but it was incredibly difficult to get to that point… I think I had a lot of self hate for a long time… I expected way too much from myself, and I always failed to meet up to my expectations. I still have some of that baggage… but at least now I’m not completely paralyzed by it.
Q: And lastly, do you have any goals or musical aspirations for the band?
A: Those kinds of ideals always seem to get me into trouble… if I focus too much on making money for example, it becomes too much about money. If I focus only on the art, and do nothing to promote or make money, it becomes a money pit where I throw what money I have away. If I focus only on making music other people love, it becomes too much of an act and loses it’s power. If I focus on only what I want, it becomes too narcissistic and gets lost in self reflection… Maybe a good goal would be to somehow balance all of those things as best I can – that way, I might one day make enough money on music to just do it full time… I might make music that affects people that way my musical heroes have affected me, and I might continue to develop and grow as an artist until the day I die… I see things endlessly evolving… that they continue to evolve is all I can hope for. I do feel a lot happening lately… with the tour and preparations for the next album, it feels like a wave has begun to move… I started it, but now it’s beginning to gather it’s own momentum and I’m often surprised to see everything happening almost by itself… I can only go along for the ride… It’s definitely been an interesting one so far.
The Twilight Garden is one of the several superb bands appearing at this year’s Projektfest; the schedule for the show can be found here: http://www.projekt.com/festival/
To anyone attending Projektfest on July 30 & 31, a reminder that if you would like to photograph the show and have your photos featured on the site, send them to me at email@example.com, and also– make sure to enjoy yourselves! This event promises to be an amazing musical experience!
And again, thank you to Todd for taking time out of his busy tour schedule to answer my questions; be sure to check out The Twilight Garden’s most recent album “A World We Pretend”.