Roger Sellers aka Bayonne is a lot of things. He’s a minimalist composer with a knack for making hypnotic, enveloping songs from a few repeated musical phrases. He’s a gifted musician who is mostly self-taught, having abandoned formal study because it was draining the life from his work. He’s a self-described disciple of Phil Collins. Each song on Bayonne’s upcoming album ‘Drastic Measures’ is orchestral in texture, unfolding in countless layers and kaleidoscopic tones. With great intensity of detail, the Austin-based artist deepens that sonic complexity by weaving in elegantlycwarped samples of the field recordings he’s gathered for over a decade. But in itscpowerful melodies and pristine arrangements, Drastic Measures ultimately bears a pure pop lucidity even in its most grandiose moments.
1: The natural world is predictable.
2: Music is my best friend and worst enemy.
3: I’m listening to Asian zen flute music on my headphones in a coffeeshop right now.
1. What is the biggest inspiration for your music?
Other music tends to inspire me to create more than anything else does. Human emotion and situations in life help to guide the direction but the music itself is usually where it starts.
2. How and when did you get into making music?
Music has been a big part of my entire life. I started banging on paint cans and doing “concerts” for my family when I was about 3 years old. Even before that, my Dad bought “Eric Clapton unplugged” and I was hooked. I also thought Phil Collins was the greatest thing to ever happen.
3. What are 5 of your favourite albums of all time?
Animal Collective – Strawberry Jam
The Flaming Lips – Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots
The Beach Boys – Pet Sounds
Air – Talkie Walkie
Beck – Mutations
4. What do you associate with Berlin?
Electronic music, partying, good-looking people, cold weather.
5. What’s your favourite place in your town?
The basketball court outside my house.
6. If there was no music in the world, what would you do instead?
I probably would have tried to do something with food. I’m not the greatest cook, but I find it so therapeutic and rewarding.
7. What was the last record/music you bought?
An album called ‘O.Y. in Hi-Fi’ by Optiganally Yours.
8. Who would you most like to collaborate with?
9. What was your best gig (as performer or spectator)?
It’s hard for me to pick a favorite. I remember opening up for Battles in Denver in December a few years ago and It was up there with the coolest sets I’d ever seen. One of my favorite gigs I ever played was in Seattle on the last day of tour with them in 2017 at The Showbox.
10. How important is technology to your creative process?
Technology is extremely important for my creative progression. It helps me to do what I want in a live setting. Most of my music isn’t necessarily “electronic”, so technology allows me to have a medium that works for me on stage.
11. Do you have siblings and how do they feel about your career/art?
I have a sister that is 5 years older than me. She is also an artist and is the person who pushed art more than anyone else. I think she likes what I do. She’s always been very supportive.
Bayonne’s upcoming album ‘Drastic Measures’ will be out on 22nd February 2019 via City Slang and is available to pre order now on vinyl, CD and download. Find its title track alongside a new video above!
Photo © Jackie Lee Young