Eight (and a half) Questions with Chad VanPelt

1 TNFTV: Have there been any musical interests or activities occupying your time during 2020? Has inspiration been tough to muster or has it somehow enabled creativity?

CVP: My motivation has severely decreased since the pandemic began. I did get to play a fun ambient drone set in January, with my project This Hollow Machine, opening up for Timber Rattle and Drekka. That was a lot of fun and something I'd like to do more of when shows return again. I've managed to draft up an idea here and there in small fits but no new EPs or albums have come out of the pandemic for me, unfortunately.

2 TNFTV: If you can recall from whenever you last performed live, does your mind wander when you are in front of an audience? Or are you 100% fully focused in the moment and with the music/performance?

CVP: I'm mostly focused in the moment, but not totally concerned with how I'm doing what I'm doing. If everything goes as it should I hit a flow state and the music drives me forward. Actively thinking tends to get in the way more often than not. This does also depend on which band and how practiced I am on the material, but for as long as I've been doing it there's a baseline level of performance that just happens.

3 TNFTV: What accomplishment, achievement, or experience in music are you most proud of and look back with fondness?

CVP: I don't want to minimize anything because I'm proud of my entire journey so far and the fact that it's still going, but the EP that we released with Silent Muse in 2004, "Everything We Want", was my first real milestone. Finally having a CD out in the real world was a big deal and really helped further encourage me to keep going.

4 TNFTV: What advice would you give your younger self?

CVP: Keep going with the flow.

5 TNFTV: How important is technology to you when it comes to writing and creating?

CVP: Extremely important. I do most of my production work in Reason. I almost always begin my ideas digitally and then fill in any analog bits as they're required.

6 TNFTV: Is there anything in your personal listening playlist right now that warrants sharing? Any go-to tunes/tracks/artists to just disconnect from the world and get into your own “zone”?

CVP: I've been all over the map lately but a brief recent overview includes Skáld, Heilung, Sun O))), Underworld, Bestial Mouths, Swarm, MidnightMyth, Electronic Saviors Comps, Caustic. I guess I don't really have a go-to right now.

7 TNFTV: Your teen/youth musical hero was whom? Did you ever meet that person? If so, what was that experience like?

CVP: I was a big Smashing Pumpkins fan the late 90s/early 2000s. I never met the band, but I remember I got one of my friends in High School to drive us down to Charlotte (from VA) to catch them on the Mellon Collie tour and it was the best show I'd been to at the time.

8 TNFTV: Have you ever had to teach music lessons or any other specialized skill to others? If so, how did you find the experience of guiding someone else or mentoring?

CVP: Sort of. I've given some basic instruction on DJing and running sound, but I don't really feel suited to technical instruction since I tend to pick up things more intuitively. I find mentoring on the spirit of doing a thing suits me better.

8.5 TNFTV: Are you a night owl or an early bird?

CVP: By nature I find myself a night owl, by employment I have to be more of an early bird. So, yes.

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