Created over a period of time in which he relinquished playing in bands in Sydney as the live scene started dying a slow and painful death, Sydney based producer and songwriter Paul Carpenter, aka RESD set to work in a home studio programming beats and textures on an iPad.
He has just released his debut EP, a collection of songs that evokes the icy, baroque sounds of Radiohead circa Kid A, it even serves up a hint of the electronic dub palette and croon of James Blake. Tomatrax caught up with RESD to ask a few questions.
What inspired you to become a musician?
My Dad introduced me to music when I was very young. He was a drummer playing regular gigs while we were growing up. Both of my parents decided that the house should have a range of instruments should us kids ever decide to take up music. All three of has ended up learning Drums, piano and guitar. I started on piano but quickly gravitated to guitar once my dad got me listening to The Beatles and Pink Floyd.
When did you write your first song?
I wrote my first song when I was in year 8 in high school so I would have been about 12 or 13. I remember it had a harmonised guitar riff… It was pretty bad.
You’ve just released your debut EP, what’s it like to have it out?
I’m really happy that I’ve had the opportunity to release it. When I started recording these songs I had no intention of putting them out. It was more a kind of therapy for me at the time. A close friend of mine encouraged me to take it further so I sent the files down to Melbourne to get mixed. That’s where everything changed for me. The tracks I recorded in my little apartment instantly sounded like a record that I wanted to share with everyone.. I’m really proud of it.
What made you name ‘No oxygen’ as the EP’s title track?
The songs on the EP are a snap shot of a short period of my life when I felt very isolated and alone, so as a result the lyrics and music describe what i was feeling at the time. I initially had another title in mind, but felt that it might sound too dark so I went with a track title. It’s probably my favourite track on the EP and it sums up the feeling of all five tracks.
Where did the name RESD come from?
While I was recording the tracks for the EP I would file them in 3 files: Original, RESD and Final. Original was the Acoustic demos, RESD (Which was short for reshaped/re-structured) is where I would add beats, synths and overdubs. Final for when they were ready to be mixed. I would send the RESD file to my friends for their input and they just assumed that was the “band name”, so I just went with it.
What made you choose an alias rather than your name?
Having the surname Carpenter, I had to go with an alias. Besides, I liked the idea of the music being a ‘thing’. I felt that it was a project that needed a title rather than being a ‘singer / songwriter’ record.
You’ve previously performed in bands, how does performing solo compare with being in a band?
It’s a lot more challenging. I have no one to bounce ideas off so I have to come up with everything. Honestly, I think really good music takes at least two people to write. It could be the beat or a chord change that changes the original direction of the song. Though I miss working with other musicians, it’s been great just being me and playing every part.
Do you ever listen to your own music?
Not until I’ve given it a bit of distance, but yeah it’s nice to go back and listen to how I was feeling at a particular time.
What other music do you listen to?
I’m a guitar player before a singer, so if it has guitar I’m into it. I’m also a big fan of David Bowie and Radiohead, especially the way they’ve used synths and beats. I haven’t really been listening to anything lately because i’m working on my own songs, but when i’m not i’d probably listen to Jeff Buckley or try to nail a Metallica riff.
Now that the EP is out what do you plan on doing next?
I’m currently working on another EP which I’m hoping to release later this year. This one will have more of a focus on guitar. It will still be driven by beats but it will sound a lot warmer.
Check out RESD’s Facebook page to find out more!