Get ready for an in-depth exploration into the creative mind of Ditner as we sit down for an exclusive interview on the release day of his upcoming LP, “Figures,” hitting the airwaves on October 27th.
Having recently discovered the artist’s eclectic world, our questions delve into the inspirations, and unique perspectives that shape Ditner’s musical journey. Don’t miss the chance to gain insights into the making of “Figures” and the artistic vision behind this highly anticipated album.
Tune in as Ditner shares his thoughts and experiences with us today!
How did you start your artistic journey?
I started taking piano lessons at age 6 because I was homeschooled and my mom believed I needed some music instruction (thanks, Mom!) but I don’t remember a time when I wasn’t musical. I grew up thinking that music was all that I had. I learned guitar, bass and drums, joined rock bands with my friends and started writing bad pop songs in my early teens. My growth
really began after I discovered Radiohead; I bought a synth and a drum machine, started to learn more instruments, and my writing was never the same. I’ve had quite a few additional influences and inspirations over the years – some amazing piano teachers and music theory professors, good
friends that turned me on to amazing new artists, and I’ve gained real appreciation for the oldies (Bach, Rachmaninoff, Monk).
Where do you draw your inspirations from, and how would you describe your music?
I get inspired by all kinds of things – classical music (especially French and Russian Romantic and Impressionist composers), international indie films, and all kinds of books and philosophy. I go through periods of input and output – input when I’m just casually writing and conceptualizing, listening, reading and watching. Output when I’m more intensely finishing compositions, recording and mixing. I don’t usually consume much art of any kind during my output.
“Figures” will be more aggressive alternative/ post-rock than ever before, although it’s got some quieter parts, and some electronic bits. I don’t know if I’d be able to describe all my music in general. I usually conceptualize each project in terms of subject matter, instruments/textures, recording techniques, form and harmony, etc. before I get started, and the idea of genre, per se, rarely comes into play. I guess that’s what happens when I’m working alone – I’ve got no other band members to compromise with. I want to create consistently different music each project. I’d get bored if I didn’t. And no one is here to stop me, for better or for worse.
You’re releasing a project “Figures” on October 27th; could you explain the creative process behind it?
“Figures” comes from my idea of focusing on song structure – in particular, making sure each track has a unique form. The artwork deals with the same, and the Jastrow illusion, to me, kind of poses the questions “Is perception reality? Do these efforts actually matter?” Additionally, I wanted a more aggressive project so I could get back on drums, bring the tempos up a bit, and see if I could get closer to the vocalist that I want to be. The lyrics here jumped out and surprised me – it’s the most political I’ve ever been in any way. I played with the “Swallowed Whole” guitar riff for nearly a year ahead of recording it, but otherwise the album was mostly written on
piano this past summer.
If you had to choose your favorite track from this project, which one would it be and why?
“Never Right.” I think it’s the epitome of what I had imagined for this album, in terms of textures and energy. The meter was exciting to play, and I was so pleased when I found that the lyrics would fit right around it. I tried a lot of things for the first time on this song, especially with drums, vocals and mixing. The chorus was so caught in my head that I wanted to play more of it – and that’s the reprise, the b-side for the “Swallowed Whole” single (out October, 13)
What do you hope the audience takes away from your music?
I create this music for myself. I haven’t played any shows yet and there’s certainly no commercial incentive. To me, this is exciting because I get to flail wildly and splash paint all over walls, and when I’m done I’m usually happy because I’ve never seen anything like it. If anyone out there would also find it interesting, I’d be flattered.