Cory Myraas of “WINDMILLS” Interview

Cory Myraas
Experimental loop artist, one man band.

Luckily, I got an interview to ask a few questions after his set last week at the Kelowna Community Theatre Sunday, October 5th.

What are some of your influences?

Cory Myraas: Good question, I mean they go allover the place, definitely I’d say my top four would be: Aidan Knight, Explosions in the Sky, Minus the Bear and Andrew Bird.

Can you describe your past experience with music?

CM: I played in a full band for awhile in the Okanagan and that kind of fizzled out, then I didn’t really do much musically for a bit. Then just spending the days playing with the pedal that I had, it just kind of snowballed from there and I started playing shows. I kept getting asked to fill in and play shows, it’s been really crazy, it hasn’t been what I’d anticipated but it’s been really great.

Why did you choose to name your band “WINDMILLS”?

CM: We were having this conversation, a couple of friends of mine and we were trying to debate where outside of Amsterdam you find traditional windmills. The phrase “windmills in Wisconsin” came up, for some reason that stuck with me. So when I was going through the “name the band” process, “windmills” was there and I think, now I can plug that into the sound with how I use looping with vocals, it fits a bit better with it being plural instead of being singular.

When can we expect a release of your upcoming E.P?

CM: Well I started recording for it in the middle of July and the mixer died the week we were going to record vocals. The week after that, there were all these post moments, where I was getting sick and had allergies and couldn’t sing. So it’s been on a little bit of a hiatus for now. I think if anything sometime in January, but who knows.

What sort of equipment do you use?

CM: I’ve got a Fender Telecaster, that I got used from a good friend awhile ago. I’ve got a Mesa engineering 550 amp and then the pedal I use for looping is a line-6 DL4. It’s a delay pedal by nature, but it’s got this loop sample on it that I’ve found the right balance with for getting that double time reverse stuff going on. That’s hooked up to a BOSS multi effects with reverb and other effects, then I use a distortion pedal to switch up the tone.

What’s your writing process consist of?

CM: Oh man, sometimes it can be super nice and other times it can be just a nightmare. I find it’ll come down to a single riff. Depending on the song, with “Great Divide” that initial picking riff, I had that and put it in the looper and then I’ll just sit there, listen to it and go from there. But I’ve been really lucky with hitting a good riff, and then everything just kind of falls into place. 

Do you prefer writing in a studio or at home?

CM: It’s nice, everything I’ve recorded I do it out of my good friends basement that he’s rigged out into his own private studio. So it’s not like there’s this pressure of “oh I’m in the studio I have to nail this take right now” so it’s a much more relaxing environment. I’ve been really lucky that my studio has been my home element, so it’s been really nice that way.

What do you listen to, or read while you’re writing music?

CM: It really depends, with this record I’ve been listening to a lot of St.Vincent and Brain Eno’s earlier ambient noise and textures. It’s nice to have an extra layer to the music.

What sort of things influence you outside of music?

CM: I think, when I started out as Windmills it was always in the back of my mind — trying to tie in the element of a powerful film soundtrack. When there is a long instrumental piece, that you can relate to outside of the lyrics, that’s what I try to do for my own music, trying to get that feeling.

Where are you playing next?

CM: I got a great opportunity this month in Vernon, I’m opening for Andrew Allen at the performing arts centre, on October 19th. I’m also talking with Joyful Door to plan some stuff for November. I really want to finish the EP too so I might just finish that.

Keep an eye out for WINDMILLS and click here for more information  

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