Cinematic Progressive Industrial Artist Precious Child has shifted gears from his dark rock roots to release his exquisite instrumental LP, ESCAPE. Featuring music from the Neil Gaiman biopic Dream Dangerously, ESCAPE is a delicate balance of instrumental layers, electronic clarity, and rock sensibility. Check out the album below while you learn the story behind Precious Child!
How would you describe yourself? How is that reflected in your music?
Colorful and open minded. I’m not sure if you’re one of those synesthesia people but I see colors when I hear music and my music takes on a lot of different moods and goes to many different places, hence many colors. As for open minded, I write in many different styles.
How did you start in music? How old were you? What instrument? Did you have formal training?
I have a musical lineage- my whole fathers side of the family are professionals in the classical music world. My grandfather was a composer and conductor of the New York Metropolitan Opera House and also taught at Curtis Institute. Uncle is an Opera director with productions at Kennedy Center and more. Cousin is a founding member of Solistenensemble Kaleidoskop in Berlin.
As you might expect, I started young. Parents got me a guitar which I could barely fret and an old Magnus bellows organ before I entered kindergarten. In 2nd grade I had a composition placed in an animated horror film which was in a few film festivals. In that grade I also started to play… trombone and took piano lessons. So… I was formally trained in a way, but I always cheated my way through music theory. I recognized chords and keys and rhythm and notes by ear, so to me, there was no point in formal classification of what I innately understood.
Where does the name Precious Child come from? What does your name relate to your music?
It comes from one of my songs which will be released on an upcoming concept album. The song tells the story. The name is everything to my music and the story it tells at the level of the individual song and across the entirety of my work. It’s not that obscure- just listen and clear your mind.
How did you come to be involved with Dream Dangerously?
I met one of the producers in NYC through a mutual friend and we hit it off. He knew I was a fan of Neil Gaiman’s work and likes my music so it was a good fit.
You generally release industrial music with vocals, how did you approach writing an instrumental album differently?
Music without words is abstract. I mean, the experience of life itself is abstract but we won’t go down that rabbit hole. It’s like this. Tell me a story without words. How will you do it? That mental state you have to enter is the key difference. Also, the music stands alone- it’s not a backdrop for the voice.
What were your greatest musical influences in writing Escape?
Clint Mansell, Cevin Key, Trent Reznor.
Tell us about your songwriting process on Escape? How were you inspired to start a song and how did that develop from writing to composition, recording, and completion?
I drew all of my inspiration from watching the film. I focused on what the story of the individual scene in the film was and wrote and recorded live while watching the film. Then, I would go back and add other parts and work on the production.
Which of Neil Gaiman’s films most informed the tone on the album?
Hmm. I actually didn’t draw from Neil’s films for the album. The vibe of the films is different than Dream Dangerously and I needed to write for Dream Dangerously, not the films. Perhaps though, the Sandman graphic novels and American Gods books guided the vibe a little bit.
We hear that there are a couple of videos in the works, what can you tell us about them? When can we expect them? Which songs?
Thanks for asking. I love video as an artistic medium and right now I have a focus on it, second only to my music. For ESCAPE I have two videos coming out. One for “Magic is Real” and one for “To Need”. “Magic is Real” will be released in August and “To Need” in September. They are both collaborative works. “Magic is Real” is a collaboration with an artist out of Alabama named Yonderpuss. I directed it and Yonderpuss shot all the footage and then I edited it. “To Need” is a group collaborative video about attachment and release. It contains the musical element, the visual element, and a written element with stories from the contributors.
If Precious Child were to be a character in one of Gaiman’s films, which one would you be?
Ok. Here’s a slightly sideways answer. Neil was a screenwriter for Beowulf and I’d be Grendel’s mother. Magical, sexy, deadly.