BOOM INTERVIEW: Ernest Greene, a.k.a. Washed Out

in Interviews/Music

Washed-Out_Blog-2_700BOOM had a quick catch up with chillwave champion Ernest Greene, a.k.a. Washed Out, before his gig at Hangout tonight.  

What’s your favourite instrument to play on?  Do you prefer creating digital sounds or instrumental?

My favorite instrument is probably a synthesizer.  Its so versatile – you can build almost any sound from scratch. As far as recording goes, I go through phases where I like to use only real instruments – and then other times I like to use the computer as an instrument – manipulating samples and digitally altering everything.

Can you explain the significance of the word ‘paracosm’ to your music?

Paracosm was the name of my last album – which I wrote and recorded at my home in rural Georgia, USA.  It’s a name for an imaginary world – and I like to think of my music as my own little world to escape to.

What’s your favourite sound you’ve ever created and what was it made on?

I wrote a trumpet part for the song Paracosm that I really like.  It feels very nostalgic to me. Which word would you most like to hear someone use when describing your music? Escapist.  I hope my music can take the listener somewhere else.

What do you think directly influences your music most – nature/literature/love/youth/nighttime/partying/etc?

Nature was a big influence on this new record.  I wanted to write music that soundtracked the experience of being surrounded by nature on a beautiful day.

In your opinion, what are the best venues for your type of music?

Somewhere in between a dance club and a rock club.  Dance clubs have great sound systems – especially with the low-end sub bass stuff.  But rock clubs have better equipment for bands – so maybe somewhere in between the two.

How would you define yourself as a person, in three words?

Introverted. Creative. Easygoing.

Is there a type of music that you really can’t stand?

Some modern country music in the USA is pretty bad.  But I’m pretty open to most music.

Who do you least like to be compared to?

Bands from where I’m from.  I don’t think where I grew up had much to do with how WO sounds.  I was more influenced by stuff I was discovering on the Internet – not what was around me.

Do you have a band you love that might surprise us?

Abba, haha.  I think there songs are great – especially the production.  I think it’s great pop music.

Which instrument have you always wanted to play? The harp.

I love the sound of harp glissandos. But it seems terribly hard to play.  I also would love to be able to play the pedal steel guitar – but it looks impossible with all of the many levers.

How important are lyrics?

I definitely take my time with writing lyrics – but I don’t think they are the main focus.  Mood is more important with WO songs.

You currently live in Athens – what’s the music scene like there?

It’s a pretty big university town – so there is a natural energy there that comes with over 50,000 college kids.  The music scene is small – mainly indie rock – but there are some strong bands.

Is it difficult to maintain a career as an internationally renowned musician in Athens?

It’s a little difficult – since the closest major airport is 1.5 hours away – but with the Internet these days I feel like you can live practically anywhere and still keep up with the rest of the world.

Which location inspires you the most?

I like being outside at “magic hour” in the early morning when the sun is rising or in the late afternoon when the sun is setting.  The light is so amazing at that time.


You can find more information about Washed Out’s gig  by clicking [here]