INTERVIEW: Project213 - blends punk, rock, and pop art on new single 'Bleed With Who?'

INTERVIEW: Project213 - blends punk, rock, and pop art on new single 'Bleed With Who?'

Project213, aka Jared Hallock, makes innovative music, tip-toeing somewhere betwixt and between abstract sonic expressionism, punk, and rock, the result of natural limitations and inspiration. At once psychedelic and muscular, Project213’s latest music video, “Bleed With Who?,” witnesses Project213’s unique approach to songwriting, merging lysergic-like visuals created by Ryan Donahue with visceral harmonics and droning, buzzing vocals.

“Bleed With Who?” is about the demise of ego, giving rise to the realization you are indeed an exquisite butterfly.

Last year, Project213 released “Naughty Jenny” and “Shit’s So Cool,” two tracks/music videos vaguely reminiscent of Nine Inch Nails crossed with Rob Zombie, with large dollops of The Talking Heads tossed in for flavour. Right now, Project213 is composing the music for the web-series Running On Love.

XS Noize spoke with Project213 to discover the inspiration for “Bleed With Who?” and the source of the project’s unique, imaginative sound.

What’s your favourite song to belt out in the car or the shower? 

I usually save my beatboxing for those situations. I do, however, catch myself bustin’ out “Paul Revere” by the Beastie Boys from time to time. The whole Licensed to Ill album is on constant rotation in my head, along with Paul’s Boutique.

Who is your favourite music artist? 

I think the Beastie Boys are obvious contenders, but there are so many from that time period alone, like RUN DMC and Public Enemy, that fall into my “favourite” category. Honestly, though, my listening is eclectic, and I find inspiration in so many different genres. Diana Krall is my favourite jazz vocalist and pianist. Guy Clark is my favourite songwriter. Arvo Paert, Phillip Glass, John Luther Adams, and Steve Reich are strong contenders in the world of classical music and all of its subgenres. There is nothing better than Chet Baker or Miles Davis on a rainy spring day. Thelonius Monk is my favourite crazy jazz artist/composer. Paula Abdul and Janet Jackson are my favourite artists to go through puberty with. Beck is dope, and Bjork is a piece of art.  I think you get the idea.

What’s the story behind the name Project213? 

213 is a room number at the Lionel Hampton School of Music, where I studied percussion and composition. It was such a unique time in my life, and there were so much inspiration and creativity in that room full of friends. We would collaborate on all sorts of cool, odd, crazy music projects. It was a world where every sound and every idea was fair game, and we all worked toward creating unique music. The name Project213 is a throwback to the fun I had been involved in all those projects in room 213.

In the world of numerology, aspects of the number 213 relate to new endeavours, creativity, and freedom. Additionally, the combination of the individual numbers symbolizes the creation of our own reality through the power of positive thoughts, beliefs, and expectations.

Which artists are you listening to right now? 

Currently, I am listening to KTHX.

How did you get started in music?  What’s the backstory there?

It basically started by listening to all of my parent's albums. I remember consciously choosing drums as my first instrument because I thought I wasn’t going to have to learn how to read music. Because of the volume, though, drums were difficult to practice. Come to find out many years later, practising for me, is a very intimate part of my process. As I think back on those early years, I remember feeling super exposed as I tried to learn new things. Early on, I also tried a little piano, guitar, and harmonica, but drummers like Steve Gadd and John Bonham kept my musical interest firmly cemented in rhythm.

What musicians influenced you the most? 

The original cast for the London-born, theatrical percussion group Stomp had a massive influence on me. The first time I saw them, I felt like, “this is what I want to do with my life.” I have always admired Prince’s work ethic, and no other drummer sits in the pocket like Steve Gadd. Charles Mingus was a daring composer, and honestly, I grew up in households that worshipped both The Beatles and The Rolling Stones. My favourite Stones song is “Salt of the Earth”, and my favourite Beatles song is “Rocky Raccoon.” Rick Rubin and almost everything he touches is also a huge musical influence.

What was the inspiration for your new single/music video, “Bleed With Who?” 

The music video is a collaboration with artist Ryan Donahue. While we were working on the design for the album cover, Ryan started creating butterfly animations with movements triggered by the sound of the music. So rather than a traditional narrative, this video's story became butterflies in pulsing flight patterns, escaping from a decomposing body. These metaphors for change and growth use the music's rhythmic life force to escape the confines of one reality and fly off in a new direction. The video, which captures a moment in time, speaks to the lyrics of the song. A person is analyzing the death of one reality, only to discover that they have become a pretty butterfly in a new reality.

What is your songwriting process? 

My songwriting comes out of my practice sessions. For me, practising is what it is all about. I do a lot of esoteric preparation and energy work for my practice sessions, and I try to get to the point that I trust whatever music comes out naturally. This foundation of trust allows me to explore all the ideas that rise to the surface, and I go with whichever idea is the easiest to finish. Depending on the song's needs, I then start to explore the limitations to help me narrow the focus a bit. I find that natural limitations presenting themselves are my most important songwriting tool. Once inspiration is combined with limitation, I feel the song writes itself. Then, only after a full exploration of the idea, I decide if I like it or not.

Is your sound evolving in one particular direction? 

I sure hope my sound is evolving, but I would be more interested in going in several directions than just one!

What’s next for Project213? 

P213 is excited to be writing music for the web-series “Running on Love,” which is currently in production. There are several new songs in the pipeline written specifically for this series, and once they are released, the overall arch of the music will make more sense in conjunction with the web-series. I hope to keep this momentum going!

Why make music? 

Why make anything? I find music to be another avenue for people to explore themselves. Whether a person creates music or listens can provide a gentle nudge or a forceful push into exploring our thoughts. But maybe a stronger reason for me is because I know that sound is eternal.

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