Antilectual Recordings > Media

Can't Do It!

Kyle Trowbridge
7" lathe-cut picture-disc EP

Limited edition of 18

Tracks include:
Can't Do It, She's My Baby, & Sunshine

Available for purchase here


What first got you into music?

I think it was DEVO. I was in 2nd grade and I found them incredibly weird. They were more than just the music they produced, they were a spectacle, a curiosity. But, to be honest it was skateboarding a few years later that really got me into music. Skating and punk rock were this perfect marriage and it opened up the door to all that was out there and possible. Bands like DEVO were in abundance, I had found my musical utopia. Punk provided a place for all these musical misfits that lacked classification.

Who inspired you to make music?

While I always loved music, I didn’t get into making it till my college years. I just remember always talking about obscure bands with friends. I believe it got to the point where we all realized it was time to stop talking about it and just do it. So like the start of any other punk band, you just pick up an instrument and start trying to play it. The key is not waiting till your proficient with your instrument to make songs. Whether what we made was good or not was irrelevant. We just knew we had to be a part of it somehow. If I had to trace a single, direct inspiration, I would say Beat Happening was ground zero. There was this amazingly simple music being created by Calvin Johnson and friends that just blew my mind. It was like shit, if they can do it why aren’t we? To this day, I can honestly say, Calvin Johnson and his K record label still remain a huge influence on me.

How would you describe the music that you typically record?

I would describe it as incredibly ignorant. My knowledge is limited. I can’t read music, so i certainly play within my limitations. With that said, I guess it’s econo-punk and roll.

What is your creative process like?

I used to sing, play guitar and kick the drums with my feet simultaneously. So the idea was basically to keep it simple, try not to screw it up and record it in one take. Whatever happened happened. As of late though, I have started to record to the computer instead of cassette tape. While it definitely doesn’t have the raw sound of recording the room through a single microphone, it does have it’s benefits. I now can record baselines, drum tracks, guitar fills, and vocals independently. With these increased variables there is much more head room for creativity. It allows me to approach the songs in a much more divergent way. And as such, has developed a tendency in me to start recording before the song has even been written or the arrangement is figured out. Instead I’ll lay down a driving drum beat or bass line and then begin to build the song around that; figuring it out as I go. A process not all that unrelated to my painting methods. Most songs are figured out on the guitar using just the E and A strings to create simple note progressions.

Of course with this new technology, the real challenge is to keep the inherent coldness of the computer out of the recording. To keep the music sounding rough around the edges, I will rarely record more than two takes for any track I am laying down. These restrictions are necessary to capture the imperfections or missed notes that I often relish. Strangely, for me, the beauty in the music can be found in the mistakes. This is where my practice as a fine artist differs greatly. With art I have a tendency to hold myself to a ridiculous set of standards when I paint. For some reason, with the music I’m not as hard on myself. It’s as if I’ve accepted perfection is not an option. While when painting, I actually fool myself into believing it is possible. So while my approach to making music and art are quite similar, I believe my goals are in stark opposition to one another. In art I am looking for beauty, while in music I am after the ugly. The two platforms service the duality of my personality and strangely keep me balanced.

Who would you most like to collaborate with given the opportunity? Visual or musical artist.

I would love to be locked in a room with John Lee Hooker, Balthus, Cy Twombly, The Fall and a bottle of Sailor Jerry’s Rum. I have no idea what kind of mutated offspring would come from this union but it sure would be fun!

Who is your favorite visual artist? Why?

That’s near impossible to answer. But, I would be remiss if I did not mention Kandinsky. He once stated “music is the ultimate teacher”. I appreciate as a fine artist he shed light on the spirituality that is inherent in music and as such pushed this spiritual resonance through his visuals.

What is one message you would give to your listeners?

Try and maintain a healthy appreciation for the unexpected. It really makes the creative process much more bearable.

What’s next for you?

Well, Antilectual is currently working on putting out a new release by Reeve Schumacher, a really talented artist living in Arles, France. I am super psyched about him agreeing to be part of this! For me personally, I am continuing to develop a new body of work, titled Idols. I am also sporadically recording music and continuing to destroy young minds at the University! Life is good.