EoIpso: I understand you started Suilven Records primarily to publish your own recordings. What's the main objective for your label, and where do you want to go from there?
DPQ: The main objective at the moment is to build the profile of the label, try and let as many people hear about it. So, now that there have been ten releases on Suilven, a compilation called "The First Ten" is being put together featuring one track from each album so far. It will be free for anyone that requests one, and there will be copies left in record shops all across the globe for people to pick up. Ultimately I want to be able to do this full-time, which I think will be possible eventually. I'd like to get a few more bands and artists on the label, and although I get sent a lot of material, very little of it is what I would consider to be right for Suilven. Not that I could pin it down exactly what would be right for Suilven!
It's not a stepping-stone on my part to getting signed by a major label or anything like that. More generally, I want to keep Suilven growing, in terms of roster, popularity and diversity. But part of the fun is not knowing just how things will turn out. Having overly-clear plans isn't the method I adopt, since, particularly with regard to the music itself, a lot of the most rewarding stuff comes from outside of the conscious intellectual side of things. Often it's only once the releases have been put out there for a while that one can begin to achieve a reasonably considered and accurate judgement of the journey one is taking.
EoIpso: What do you actually look for in artists you would sign to your label?
DPQ: It's far easier to say what I don't look for. I'm not particularly interested in releasing material by other "primarily Ambient" artists, since that is really well-covered with DAC Crowell and Kurt Doles. However, the Ambient philosophy is almost always apparent to some degree in the music I like most, so there would probably be drones involved. I'm not interested in a straightforward guitar, bass, drums band line-up, as I cannot see it going anywhere new or improving on what's been done before. It has rather limited scope soundwise. A really human-sounding rustic ambient Jazz band would interest me. Or maybe a vocalist who's really comical.
EoIpso: Apart from your own recordings, works by DAC Crowell and Kurt Doles have been the first releases on Suilven. Where and how did you get in touch with Crowell and Doles?
DPQ: I got in touch with DAC after reading some of his reviews on Amazon. It turned out he had loads of material, and when it arrived I thought it was fantastic. I remember putting on the first CD, which began with "Yankee Ridge", and thinking that it just had to be released. Kurt has collaborated with DAC for years and years, and I'm heading over to Illinois in a few weeks to record an album with both of them, and also to eat loads of seaweed and play Electroplankton. It should be a very interesting project since although we have very similar philosophies, we each have very distinct and complimentary strengths. Kurt is involved in modern classical music, DAC's a technical electro-acoustic genius and I have my rather more shambolic and rustic violin and trumpet "talent" to throw into the equation.
EoIpso: So you've never actually met Kurt before?
DPQ: No, but I hear he likes his whiskey so it's more or less guaranteed we'll hit it off. I haven't met DAC either, this will be my first trip outside Europe. It's going to be very much a case of show up, plug in and see what happens. We're not planning it out in advance, except in terms of the whiskey, cigars and seaweed.
EoIpso: Seaweed? What is it about seaweed?
DPQ: It's fuel for the
recording. And the record itself will be a concept album about marine
DAC Crowell, one of the artists on Suilven