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Lo-Fi Revisited: Kurt Vile

Matador’s latest signing, Philadelphia born singer, Kurt Vile (formerly of War On Drugs) takes on classic FM rock fed through fuzz pedals and distortion.

Are you aware of the buzz building around you?
I’m aware and excited. I’m glad it didn’t happen so fast. I did it my own way. I put some stuff on cd-r back in 2003 and tried to work out what to put on labels. I’m grateful I waited y’know.  I’m psyched it’s finally happening but it’s not out of nowhere.

You’ve been making music a while – is it all you ever wanted to do?
I always knew this is what I wanted to do. I never went to college, except for one semester.

Does releasing stuff on Matador now mean you can do things differently than when you were putting stuff out on Gulcher?
I’m not going away from lo-fi. That was the only way to do it – record the stuff yourself.  But I have got into recording in a studio.

Do you feel any association with this rise in lo-fi DIY values?
People always latch onto some kind of buzz. You could always call a lot of stuff lo-fi now, like Shrimper Records. I’m happy to be accepted in a scene. To make it for the most part, you have to be part of a scene in some part. I know my music is my own thing.  But I’m more into classic songwriting, Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen. I think it’s cool that lo-fi stuff is way more accessible. People are into that shit now. That’s cool—and convenient.