I: I struggle to categorize the style, but I try to write pop songs that often just turn into sort of indie rock tunes, and vice versa.
CH.89: Where do you draw your inspiration from?
I: I can’t say that there’s any particular source that I draw from. Each idea that ends up becoming a song, sort of manifests itself. A melody, lyric, or rhythm will pop up in my head or in a dream, and then I just have to record it before the idea slips away. Other times it’ll just be a mood that you I’ll try to capture through some kind of rhythm.
CH.89: What made you want to start a music project and how did you come up with the name?
I: I got into music, and playing music, in my early twenties. I was working in the family business fixing cars, then went to college where I studied creative writing cause I suppose I wanted as opposite an outcome than what I was on the path for…. Then a friend showed me his guitar and played the riff to Today by smashing pumpkins and I just fell in love with the instrument and it all spiraled out from there.
I: I took the name Ilithios as a way to be able to put out songs that were different from what I was doing with bands, and not feel any pressure or anxiety. Ilithios means idiot in Greek, so it sort of felt that if I owned that sort of carelessness and carefreeness, then I can create without worrying too much about what exactly I was doing.
CH.89: Can you talk a little bit about what your creative thought process is like when starting a new album?
I: With Florist, I wanted the music to have a range of emotions, hitting manic points, sad points, cocky, silly… all with total sincerity. A sort of emulation of the wide range of daily peaks and valleys that occur through any flygirl/flyguys day. I suppose if you’re like me, you don’t stay too put emotionally, so I was hoping to capture that ride while tying it all together through lyrics.
CH.89: What would you want people/ the listener to take from your music?
I: Just to embrace the highs and lows in it like we should embrace the highs and lows in our daily lives. Taking something devastating and finding a way to make it sound and feel joyous.
CH.89: Can you talk a little bit about your lifestyle as an artist and what that is like?
I: I don’t know that I consider anything in my lifestyle to be entirely that of an artist, but I do try to be an active participant in the art world. Supporting artists and musicians and doing whatever I can to be active in that community. My wife and I run a small DIY gallery called Cavebird Artspace out of our apartment. We host openings, film nights, or music events. Just doing our small part to make sure that there are outlets for artists in NYC.
CH.89: When starting out an artistic task, do you think it is better to have a particular direction/set plan guiding your way? Or, is it better to act on impulse and go from there?
I: Personally, I think both are equally as important. You have to listen and act on impulse and be a prisoner to that whim, but if it doesn’t happen, you have to create a plan, or anything so that you’re not just waiting and not creating. I didn’t mean that as a rhyme, but you’re welcome.
CH.89: What is one major lesson you’ve learned as an artist?
I: Always be humble. Don’t take it too seriously, but treat the creating with the deadliest of seriousness
I: Not at all! Though I am sort of spacey so I may have misunderstood the question.
CH.89: What do you consider to be the hardest thing about being an artist?
I: How many people said the questionnaires? (Ha!) The hardest part for me is always fearing that I’ve already created the best work I’ll ever make. And worse still, that no one noticed.
CH.89: What is one thing you love about being an artist?
I: I’ll say that what I love about artists in general, is the ability to create something out of nothing. Just the idea that someone can write a series of words on a piece of paper that has the ability to affect another person’s life in a profound way.
CH.89: Is there anyone in particular, any artists that inspire you in any way?
I: There are far too many that come to mind, from far too vast a range of disciplines to pinpoint.
I: But I suppose I’ll default to Linda Montano, who’s performance artwork just sort of caught me off guard and sort of unconsciously influenced me in ways I cannot intelligently explain.
CH.89: What do you think of technology in terms of being a useful tool for artists today?
I: I love that technology has the ability to give access, to creation tools that might not be readily available, to someone who has the desire to create. People making films on their phone, or music thru programming, or being able to collaborate remotely, is very exciting.
I: Sure, and probably the other way around too.
CH.89: Do you enjoy traveling? If so, do you have a favorite city?
I: Absolutely. I think it’s got to be Athens, Greece. There are many different parts of it, each its own little microcosm of experiences, but it’s a beautiful city filled with art, music, food, and just the right amount of filth.
CH.89: Do you have a favorite author or book?
I: The City in Which I love you – Li-Young lee
CH.89: Any future goals or plans for your music?
I: My goal is to have my enemies become my fans.
CH.89: What does being an artist mean to you?
I: Spending unemployment checks on music video props and not second guessing it
CH.89: Any last words on the aesthetic of your music?
I: I would like nothing more than for it to bring you to tears and then you move on.