Interview – Visions of Trees

Visions of Trees are a pair of London musicians who create a mixture of ethereal electronica, techno-ambience, club beats and pop songcraft. M3 spoke to the band about the dangers of oversaturation, copyright & their new free single…

M3 – First of all, could you tell us a bit about yourself, and what it is that you do?
VOT – Hello, my name is Joni and I play blackened trance in a band called Visions of Trees.

What inspired you to form Visions of Trees? What are your own musical backgrounds?
I’ve always been in bands ever since I was like 12. I used to play in punk and metal bands and did a bunch of noise stuff too. Visions of Trees started when I met Sara. We’re really close friends and this is an integral part of this band. I need to be super tight with the people I play music with or it won’t work. It’s like a trust thing I guess.

What would be your preferred medium to listen to music (eg. Vinyl, CD, tape, MP3 etc.), and why?
I like vinyl and cassette tapes a lot but I’m no purist when it comes to the format. Music is more about emotion for me than the quality of the audio. I definitely prefer a physical medium though, I think it’s easier to really appreciate the beauty of it plus you get all the artwork too.

Many people have claimed that there is no longer any money in record sales, and that touring is the most efficient way to earn an income as a band. How much truth do you think there is in this sentiment?
Yeah that’s probably pretty much true. The record sales figures speak for themselves really. But that’s cool, I’ve never really cared about money anyway and touring is something we love doing although we never really make that much from tours either.

Much has been made of the supposed death of the record store in recent years. Do you believe the digital age has killed the record store, and if so, do you think that this is a necessary part of progression, or a tragic loss?
It’s obviously a shame and I’d much rather see most of the high street fashion retailers and electronic stores go out of business but I can’t see that trend changing any time soon.

Do you feel the idea of an album, as a piece of art that people will listen to from start to finish, has been undermined or forgotten about in the digital age?
I think this is probably the case in most major releases where all emphasis is on the singles and first few tracks on the album and the rest is just fillers and bullshit. It’s almost as if records now are made with this in mind and that only adds fuel to the fire and deepens the gap between really great albums and meaningless mediocrity. I think people’s attention span has been reduced pretty dramatically mainly due to over saturation of virtually everything. It’s quite sickening really.

Why did you decide to make your recent single ‘Turn 2 U’ available as a free download?
We all like free stuff so we figured it’d be a cool thing to do.

Do you think the internet has rendered traditional concepts of copyright obsolete, or do you think they are still relevant?
Yeah dunno. I think Kanye West is being sued for like 500K for some sample he didn’t clear 6 years ago. I think on that level they are still very much relevant but there is so much sample based music out there that most people just tend to get away with it, and rightly so.

Finally, what does the future hold for Visions of Trees?
We’re releasing our debut album in June and then touring that for most of the remaining year. We also wanna put something else out this year, maybe an EP or like a tape of people crying and/or choral music.

For more information about Visions of Trees, you can visit their official website or find them on Facebook, Twitter and Soundcloud.

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About M3 Event

The music industry is rapidly changing. The internet has enabled widespread piracy, as well as a variety of new business and distribution models. We want to offer an engaged audience in and around the Euregion an opportunity to develop a coherent and detailed picture of the future of music distribution. On the 31st of May 2012 a music conference in Maastricht, consisting of oppositional debates, creative workshops and lectures, will provoke opportunities for intellectual stimulation, debate, as well as networking. We hope to utilise the skills and ideas of some of most forward thinking minds and operators in the industry in order to highlight some promising new ideas and areas which can be improved upon.

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