We are very excited to be interviewing Brady Kendall from Alaskan Tapes for the first of our new series of interviews where we’ll be reconnecting with old friends and discovering new music. Alaskan Tapes, based in Toronto, Canada is an Ambient music project set out to explore different approaches and create songs with texture and depth. With over 300,000 monthly listeners on Spotify, 2 albums and many singles/EPs it’s safe to say that his music is not only resonating with many people but it’s capturing his heart enough to continue and make more. Enjoy this interview below where we discuss Alaskan Tapes’ beginning, inspirations, future and more..
Hi Brady, we hope you’re well. Tell us a little bit about Alaskan Tapes, when did it begin? Why ‘Alaskan Tapes’?
‘The Alaskan Tapes’ was originally supposed to be an EP under my old alias O S L O, it was based on a short story that I conjured up in my mind. It was an interesting one, I meant to have tape recordings of people sprinkled throughout the EP following the storyline, but eventually I realized it wasn’t the project I wanted to work on, so I moved on. I’m not sure when it changed from an EP title to an alias, but I ended up throwing out the entire EP, except for one track which turned out to be “Then Suddenly, Everything Changed”. The track came out February 26th, 2015. So I guess that’s when it began officially.
Where and when did music begin for you personally?
I started playing drums when I was 12 or 13, at home near Toronto, before that I had never really played an instrument that I was interested in.. but it wasn’t until I was around 16 that I started “Composing” my own music with a MicroKorg I got. I started making electronic music, specifically Drum and Bass, for a long time. The music ended up getting slower and slower, and eventually I landed on ambient music, or offspring’s of it. I think the music I’m making now is the music I’ve wanted to make for a long time, so I’m hoping the style won’t change again.
We’re really enjoying Little/Untitled #2, Leita/North and Drifter/Untitled #3. Should we expect more singles soon? Or even an album?
Yeah, there will be more singles, In March there will be a couple tracks for Piano Day with my friend Owen Vaga, although they’re not necessarily ‘Solo Piano’ tracks, they rely on Piano pretty heavily. These 3 singles were meant to be apart of a series and end here, but I’ve had a lot of fun making them, I think I’ll continue doing them throughout the year.
I am working on an album, initially was hoping to have it out in May, but things seem to have gotten flipped around a little. I’d still expect it to be out sometime in summer though.
Where do you start with the compositional process?
I usually start with a noise, either white noise, some atmospheric noise, maybe a drone of some sort.. Something that I’ve recorded that can be stretched out. Once I hear what I’m starting with, it’s usually pretty easy to piece together a piano pattern, or guitar pattern. Lately I’v2e been composing music that isn’t very technical, it’s been very repetitive and bland almost.. I’ve been really enjoying it, and it’s been very rewarding since I don’t have to spend hours upon hours on one track. But I’m sure I’ll start writing more technical or musical pieces soon.
What do you think about your process that is unique to you?
I don’t think a lot of my process is unique to me.. one thing though, is that I detune a lot of samples to hear what’s going on above what we can usually hear. If something is recorded regularly there’s usually some sort of noise, or sound going on in the very high frequencies, and once you tune it down a lot and boost it, you can get very interesting sounds out of it. I don’t hear very many people talk about this technique at all, but I’m sure it’s not really unique to me.
Your Spotify playlist ‘Songs To Get Lost In’ is beautiful – what do you find about other people’s work that has meaning for you?
For that playlist I really just look for anything that’s inspiring to me, all of the tracks I put on there I’ve been obsessed with at one point or another, and they’ve shaped the way I look at and compose my own music. I’m actually very proud of that playlist, I’ve gotten messages about how much people like it, and how it’s their go to playlist, and I think that’s just really cool.
Any other artists you’re listening to right now?
Lots, right now I’m super into anything Adam Wiltzie (A Winged Victory For The Sullen, Aix Em Klemm, The Dead Texan, Ect.), Or whatever Luke Howard is doing, and there’s a couple of artists that are coming out with their debut recordings, a friend that goes by Bedroom, which I helped with the artwork, and a track on it, and a friend that goes by Voga, he’ll be coming out with his Debut EP soon, and him and I are also putting out the A/B in March. Both of those guys projects are really going to blow you away!
Are you working on anything else at the moment?
Other than the music I’m really trying to start up this animation thing I’m doing, if you’ve seen some of the videos for the singles you’ll know what I mean. I’ve only just started doing it, but it’s really fun and eventually I’d like to make an animated music video, or short film. But I think that’ll be way into the future.
Other than that, it’s just music that I work on, things are planned well into the future so I’m sure you’ll be hearing more from me for a while.