Whisper78: Interview with Toni Oswald

Here you can read the excerpts  that are related to Josh, to read the full interview, please go to: whisper78.wordpress.com

Toni Oswald on The Diary of Ic Explura album, A Love Letter to the Transformer. (Interview from: December, 2009)

[…] Prelude starts off with some really cool synth and drum playing, then rises into what is kind of a pretty rockin’ guitar part. It almost feels with the rock guitar part like you are having fun with the listeners, like “this is going to be a rock album,” and then you pretty much abruptly cut that off. To me, it’s like that macho element has been disrupted and then some grainy synth line introduces Space is Dawning. It seems like a sort of ushering in a new emotion, while giving a nod to older style rock. Is any of that intentional, do you see what I mean?

What an interesting idea! I didn’t plan it that way, but I like that idea. I think I was really just thinking about David Bowie and the Spiders from Mars at that moment (laughs). Josh [Klinghoffer] played the guitar part and I think it was just a fun thing to do and I wanted some kind of guitar in the beginning, as I love guitars!

Are the synth parts through out the first two songs divided between you and Josh, or just you?

They are divided between us. It was very loose and improvisational in many ways. I would have a feeling in my head relating to the story and Josh and I would play around and find something that resonated to that.

[…] What was it mixed down to?

Hmm, Josh did that. I think just a master CD and then eventually my friend Martyn Lenoble dumped it into his computer and mastered it properly.


Inside/Outside is a really beautiful track, very atmospheric, and a little reminiscent of ice cream truck music towards the end. Was that intentional?

(Laughs) That’s funny. I didn’t have an ice cream truck feeling in my mind (laughs). It is actually a Wizard of Oz music box that I had at the time. I loooove music boxes and I wanted to use one as they feel very child like and nostalgic for me and so then Josh just mic’d it in the bathroom as I wanted an echo-y type feel for it. Also, in the story Ic Explura finds a glass music box cube in the forest and when she opens it the transformers’ creature friends jump out and start playing the song that comes next: The Harmonium Song.


Is that you on tremolo guitar? Or Josh? Or both?

I believe it is both of us on this track and, of course, Josh is always doing the drums. I love the drums on this! I just adore his drumming so much!


Black Fish Pearls — What a marvelous piece of work! This is honestly one of my favorite songs in the world. It’s got great back-and-forth vocals, meeting up to display beautiful symmetry, beautiful music. Is that ice shaking in a glass at 46 seconds into the song?

Thanks again. I don’t know actually! (Laughs) Josh did all of the percussion here and he did it at home after we recorded everything else and then brought it to me. I love all of that stuff, too, so much. It is a sea song of sorts.

Is that a dog barking during the instrumental towards the end? I didn’t think John [Frusiante] had dogs. Were they sampled? Field recorded? Also, was that a spray paint can used as a shaker?

Well, those would be neighborhood dogs. John is a cat man (laughs). I don’t know anything about a spray paint can. As I said before. Josh did the percussion at his house.


You’ve mentioned in the recent past that you are getting ready to make another Diary of Ic Explura album with Max Davies. Has work on that begun yet?

I have started writing and recording. So far it has been me as well Max and also some drumming by Pete Newsome, and Josh is going to do some stuff as well. There may be some more people as well. I have a wealth of amazing musicians here in Nevada City. Slowly, but surely. I should have it done by next spring at the latest. I am also making a film to go with the piece and when it is all finished I would like to put out parts 1 and 2 of the music on a vinyl set.


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