Interview - Muenster
Hey Muenster, welcome to FLEX! How are you?
Hey Flex Fam! Man, I am so good. I'm super pumped to sit down with y'all. I'm stoked that you all were digging the vibe, and everything is lookin hella lovely for the release.
Congratulations on your forthcoming album ‘MuensterVision Presents: Ian’ - what inspired this particular project?
So, after my last record, Weirdope, I took some time to let life happen so to speak. The record did well, I landed a distribution deal the rough Sony/The Orchard and saw way more communion surrounding my music than ever before, but at the same time a lot changed for me behind the scenes. New love, journeys, destinations, and babies... well, one baby... sort of all melded into the last few years of living. During this window, I never stopped writing, and accumulating beats from my favorite producers and creatives out in the ether of things... Thus, I started down the path of "Ian" long before I realized. Add a global pandemic, worldwide shutdown, and abandonment of social norms to the mix, and you end up with a "No Rules Releases" sort of mindset. That is EXACTLY what Muenstervision Presents: Ian is. I took some of my favorite musicians and RAP legends with me and we put together this record. I let the marinade of the lives we lead, direct this soundscape.
Did any event in particular inspire you to write this album?
I do not know that there was at all any one singular event, although I will say that deciding that the next project I created would be one without bounds or barriers was paramount in this album's culmination of minds and energies that take the listener on the journey that is. I like to think of "Ian" as an experiential album. One that takes the receiver through a myriad of archetypes and style forms and progresses them symbiotically. What is meant by that is that each of us experience art solely as an individual. Each moment we share together as creator and receiver is a perspective driven moment, and that is (perhaps) the most singularly personal agreement we can make with each other. From that pinnacle of meaning or my “why” I sought out to bring some of the greatest to ever touch the microphone alongside the best to ever grace a jazz band or beat battle and bring the world this record.
I was just as inspired by the art that my colleagues created for me and with me that each milestone was like a revolution, and as each layer was forming, I began to see (or hear, rather) the canvas of sound that was being built.
Lastly regarding singular events, before we wrap this question up, must be my introduction to NFT’s on the WAX blockchain. This mind-blowing experience accredited to my guy Lex Lewis, and Garbage Pail Kids of all things for sure shaped the direction of how I would structure releasing the record and subsequent merchandise and tokenized digital assets, and what I determined to be most important as an Indie musician, and that is the art of COMMUNION (I will go into this more later).
And do you have to be in a certain mood to write?
I think so... but then again, I only write when I seek out to do so, so it is hard to say. If I had a time clock on me as an example and was told to write something about an unknown topic, I'd likely be able to do it, but be stressed out about it. So, it is not that I can't just sit down and produce, aside from a case of momentary writers' block or plain distraction, but I find that when I am inspired to write is when I yield my best work. I also DEFINITELY write each verse tailored out to each beat that I am taking in. It’s a whole vibe for me, not just a rhythm or melody etc. But what is the whole picture? What do I see, what is evoked? From that determination, the rest is just energy, words, and timing.
How was the recording and writing process?
Lengthy and inspiring, this is my best work without trouble. I pushed the paradigms heavy with solo songs like “We Live” or “Masquerade” crossing jazz fusion with boom bap or intentional harmonies with chopper centric syncopations and too many notable collaborators to mention, but I will say that “Griot” featuring the "Waterproof MC” Ras Kass is one of my favorites, and most profound pieces on the record.
Because I took my time with the curation of each song, it allowed the track to be a story in its own right, that also finds a home in the pocket on each cut as the whole record itself. Sitting down and being able to listen to the LP as a fan, and lover of music instead of piecemealing each moment together has really allowed me to experience the art as each of you might, without expectation or preconception. That is new to me. Again, it is my best work to date.
Any plans to release any sort of videos for the album?
Absolutely! Thank you for asking, because I have created a running playlist of the tracks from the record here: https://tiny.one/mvpianmovies. I'll be adding more as I create them, and I hope your readers enjoy the visuals as much as I have enjoyed making them.
For viewers that don’t know Muenster, how would you describe your sound?
Oof.... Savin the tough ones for the end, eh?! Eclectic and meticulous, each syncopation is placed intentionally, every harmony, bar pause, sub-verse and metaphor is meant to be there. I for sure approach each verse or song I write like a jazz solo, no two verses will ever snap off the same way for me, on purpose. When you are listening to a Muenster record, I would not ever expect it to be a “cruise control” experience, don’t get me wrong it's fine acoustic accompaniment to your party or blunt ride, but like also, I'm spitting man!
What’s the music scene like where you live?
Super diverse and alive, I grew up in Austin, TX and started performing early on, so live music and performance has always sort of just sat in as second nature for me. I have been an avid performer for two decades on multiple national tours and festivals, so I eat and breathe music, and I am thankful to have had every opportunity to use my platform. I have lived in the Dallas area for a good while and the music scene here is beyond measure, from Jazz to Hip Hop to everything in-between, there is never a dull moment in the North Texas offering at any given time. Some of the industries greatest engineers, producers, and all-around talent come from the great state of Texas. I am stoked to be at home, no matter where I am.
And what are some of those activities that you engage yourself in when you aren’t writing or recording in the studio?
So, I mentioned NFT’s and digital asset utility above. I have learned, leaned in to and applied my knowledge of blockchain assets, and token backed asset management into my approach to selling my music. Over the last 18 months (give or take) I have moved more units as tokenized digital assets on the WAX blockchain than I sold in the last ten years of doing shows and selling music using traditional methodologies. I use this experience and knowledge to help incubate other musicians and artists into web3/Minting assets of their work, and run an incubation hub for artists and creatives over on telegram here: https://t.me/MuenstervisionPresents . I will leave y’all my white paper to link if you would like? If any of your audience would like to learn any more about me, or what it is that I do out there, aside from making this record, please feel free to reach out to me... @Muenstervision everywhere! Much love, Ian.
Check Muenster out via:
PRE ORDER MUENSTERVISION’S FORTHCOMING ALBUM ‘MuensterVision Presents: Ian’, HERE.