Max McCargar emailed me a few days ago. What he had to say was so interesting, I'm just going to publish in its entirety...
I got a record player for my birthday in August. It's been eye opening to hear how listening to music used to be. Like having a time machine. I've found a lot of really cool obscure music and gained some insight into album structure.
One album I found is called Field Recordings From Alternate Realities. As far as I can tell it was made by a photographer and a sound engineer, as a kind of fictional ethnography.
I also found an album by someone who calls himself Afrikan Sciences. It's electronic music but with dense polyrhythmic percussion as the focus.
How are things with you?
I've been keeping up with your site. Your instruments seem to have a universality to them. They don't just appeal to pretentious jazz nerds like myself. Something about the aesthetics, I don't know.
I personally know a lot of intermediate and beginner players that tend to sneer at the more "out there" designs. Stuff like Teuffel guitars and Chapman sticks. They still fetishize Les Pauls and Strats.
But when I show them your stuff their reaction is different. They don't immediately dismiss it, they want to understand it. Most of them do anyway.
I released this album today: Failed State
Normally, I record guitar first and do everything else around that. No metronome. Improvisational and loose. Trying to explore Mingus' idea of the beat being a circle rather than a line.
This time I did the opposite. I recorded drums first for many of the songs and did it all to a click.
I also discovered this plug-in called MIDI Guitar 2 that lets me record my guitar signal as midi data. I used that to do the synth lead in Rei Le Roi and the horns/mellotron in Hiroshima Shadows. There are a few other places where I used it but those are the major ones.
The line between writing and producing is starting to blur for me. As I become more familiar with Logic I find the music is being informed by the software. Writing chord progressions that are symmetrical so I can play them in reverse and forwards at the same time. Stuff like that.
Sorry this is so long, it's amazing how much space it takes to write out something that would take 3 minutes to say in person. (Max McCargar)
VIDEO: Music video for the first song on the album, MKUltra.