Interview: Jaye Jayle
I never thought I would make an entirely electronic album. This is the only body of music I have ever released without guitar. It’s exciting.
Prisyn, the stirring new album from Jaye Jayle sees the band taking in a more electronic direction with this new material showing another side to this already multifaceted band. Gavin Brown caught up with Jaye Jayle’s Evan Patterson to hear all about Prisyn, how it was created and the electronic influence on the record as well as the prospect of returning to the live arena, working on music with his partner Emma Ruth Rundle and his other band Young Widows.
E&D: You have just released your new album Prisyn. How did the creation of the album go?
Evan: The process of making the album was much less gruelling than any other that I have created. Mostly due to the fact that this wasn’t made as a group or even with another individual in the same room. The compositions were spur of the moment and instinctual. Even down to my approach of singing and lyrics.
E&D: You collaborated with Ben Chisholm on the album. How did you get together on this project and what did he bring to the sound of Prisyn?
Evan: I had never made music using entirely computer generated synthetic instruments. Generally, I would be in the back of our tour van with earbuds in working on a piece. I would complete a piece to my liking and email it over to Ben. Then he would add additional instrumentation and fully produce the pieces. Ben is very much an equal part on the album. Once I decided to add my voice to the album, Ben mixed the entire finished pieces. He made each and every piece become more of a cohesive and saturated song.
E&D: Emma Ruth Rundle features on the album too, what did she bring to the album and it’s sound?
Evan: Emma contributed her beautiful voice on the songs ‘I Need You’ and ‘From Louisville’. These songs directly refer to our relationship.
E&D: The album is the most electronic record you have made in your career. Have you always wanted to make an electronic record?
Evan: I have always wanted to incorporate more electronic instruments. I never thought I would make an entirely electronic album. This is the only body of music I have ever released without guitar. It’s exciting.
E&D: Have you always been a fan of electronic music and wanted to make music in that style?
Evan: I have always been a fan of early electronic music. I can say that I knew how to make electronic music. I didn’t have the tools or the knowledge. Or rather I didn’t open myself up to learning how to use the tools. I’ve mostly been a very analog musician. Somewhat attempting to recreate sounds in electronic music within the rock band boundaries.
E&D: How did you get into electronic music in the first place?
Evan: The work from Suicide, Throbbing Gristle, Silver Apples, John Carpenter, Portishead, Kraftwerk, Tangerine Dream, Steve Roach, and a many more.
E&D: Who were the biggest influences on the sound of Prisyn?
Evan: Iggy Pop’s The Idiot, Portishead, James Blake’s first album, Jim Morrison, Tangerine Dream, and Ennio Morricone.
E&D: Who did the striking artwork for the album?
Evan: The cover photo was taken by A.F. Cortés. I did the art and design.
E&D: What has the reaction to Prisyn been like so far?
Evan: Vampires love it and mortals loath it. Only joking. I appreciate those who are supportive.
E&D: Have you got any plans for playing this record live at all, whenever that is possible?
Evan: We are currently rehearsing. We’ll be ready.
E&D: Would you consider doing a livestream of the Prisyn material played live at all?
Evan: This has been discussed. I am not a huge fan of the livestream thing. Looking to make something a little more spectacular.
E&D: Do you miss being on the road at the moment?
Evan: In the past 5 days I am missing performing since the album is now out. Up until then I was not missing traveling or performing or being at shows. I played near 600 shows in three years. The break was much needed and I felt I lost myself out there somewhere along the way.
E&D: What have been some of your most memorable live performances to date?
Evan: I mostly enjoy the smaller, more intimate occasions. Our first performance in Europe was in 2016 in the Netherlands at Roadburn in a tiny bar venue called the Cul de Sac. I remember barely fitting on the stage and the walls sweating in the room. I enjoy the impossible situations and the awkward stages. I enjoy the nights when things go wrong. After so many shows performing starts to feel simulated. I like life to remain interesting and a bit shocking.
E&D: How do you think that Prisyn fits in with the rest of the material of Jaye Jayle?
Evan: I honestly haven’t thought much about how it fits. This was the next album that I created. I do feel that this album has opened a door to be more experimental in the future.
E&D: Have you been working on any more new music during this lockdown period at all?
Evan: I have been writing very little music while on lockdown. Somewhat shifted my creative focus to making drawings. I have always said that I would be a painter when I retire. The lockdown has somewhat resembled a retirement way of living. That being said, the full band version of Jaye Jayle does have another album close to completion.
E&D: Will you be releasing any more Young Widows material in the future?
Evan: No plan for anything related to Young Widows.
E&D: How did the last Young Widows tour go and what were some of the highlights of the tour?
Evan: It was exciting for Young Widows to return to Europe after 10 years. I recall our show in Paris being a good one.
E&D: Obviously, she featured on Prisyn too but how was the experience of playing and working with Emma in her band as well?
Evan: Playing guitar in Emma’s band on tour and recording on the last album was exciting and a ton of work. Her album came out gorgeous. I would be a different person without those experiences. I’m grateful for all that we achieved. Unsure if we will continue to make full albums together in the future. Anything is possible.
E&D: What have been some of the highlights of your musical journey and career so far?
Evan: Being an artist, creating albums, and touring is not some kind of dream job. I don’t look at my past experiences as highlights or lowlights. I attempt to gain knowledge from every achievement and every failure, but not gloat on them. I’m appreciative of my record label and all of the artists that have taken me on tour. I’m appreciative of those who are fans of my art. This is not a career, this is my way of life.