I am Ian.
What do you do?
Full-time student at University of Maryland.
How do we meet?
Through a girlfriend. Who is now friend and we became food buddies.
You are also a musician, correct?
Monicker - Nice Face.
[Pause] I hate being interviewed. It’s just weird talking about myself.
Prefer written interview where I get to think. I am just very introverted.
I am learning more about introversion and extroversion lately too. There are much fewer introverts than extroverts. I think the lowest, like a conservative estimate is that 80% of the people are extroverted. Obviously it’s a sliding scale.
One of the characteristics of extroverts is that they tend to get energy when they are around people, whereas introverts tend to get drained when they get around people. Unfortunately, society perceives it as a bad thing.
You express yourself through your music then.
How do you start writing music?
Don’t really know what the motivation is.
When was your first live show?
Coney Island High, CBGB back in 1999.
What made you come to New York? Did you move here with a group of musician?
Got scholarship to go to Fordham and moved to the Bronx. Failed out. Went home to Baltimore for 2 months then came back and lived in the Bronx for 2 years. that was when I lived with the people I was in a band with.
Did you keep in touch with them?
Was Nice Face born after?
Nice Face wasn’t born till 2007.
I was in a band called Some Action for 5-6 years and we played a bunch and toured. That was my main band. And then afterwards whenever I tried to form a band it was hard to get people together to practice. Everything is so expensive and everyone is busy with work. That’s when I decided to start doing it at home. Out of frustration of wanting to make music but couldn’t find anyone to make it together.
How do you define your music?
Ever care about your music influence to your audience?
It’s nice if they like it, don’t necessarily care. It’s always a better show and better energy to have the audience dance in the crowd during a show.
Do you take people’s feedback on your music or performance?
If it’s someone I knew and trusted I might consider it. But I will still be annoyed. If it’s just some random person, I probably wouldn’t consider it.
Who would do that?
Wouldn’t feedback be helpful for your creative process?
For stuff I made at home, I have tried to have people I know have a listen. But usually any label I sent to, they like it. I always ask, “Are you sure?”, and I get, “Yea.” “OK.”
But I think when I was younger I would write music for other people and to try to sound a certain way. I wasn’t aware of it. I just thought I was writing what I wanted to write
Nowadays, I am more open.
What if a label doesn’t like 5 out of 10 songs in your album?
That rarely happens. On the last record, the label liked the songs but suggested I make the album shorter. I like short records too like under 30min. shorter records tend to leave people wanting more.
Anyway, I thought about it but kept my record at 35min.
Do you play all your songs during live performance?
Yea. I like performing.
Do you think your interest in Math is related to your passion in music?
I have heard and read a lot of articles on Math and music being related, but I do think they come from different parts of the brain though. Physiologically. Don’t know the direct relation, but maybe synapses or some crazy thing. My dreams have changed since I started immersing myself in Math though. I guess using a different part of the brain opens up a different mentality. Something is definitely changing.
[Alright, let’s switch the subject and do some activity. Draw a circle, square, triangle and star. Then write a color for each shape and the color shouldn’t repeat.]
Do you consider yourself fashion conscious?
I guess. I think everyone is fashion conscious whether they say they are, or not. even a person who wears a cable guy larry t-shirt is fashion conscious.
What is your fashion?
I have four shirts and I try not to wear the one that I wore yesterday. That’s pretty much it.
Do you have a preference, or what people usually call it - style?
It’s hard to find shirts that fit me. I am very skinny and long so something skinny and long.
In the late 90s and early 00s, it was impossible to find things that fit me. Everyone was wearing baggy jeans. There was no such thing as skinny jeans. Just tight pants. It is easier now with all the skinny fit shit. I still don’t like it when it first came out with the low-cut style. I like the Ramones type of jeans from the late 70s. Super high-waist. I don’t think anyone makes them anymore.
What about shirt?
In the Summer, I’ll just wear white Jockey t-shirts everyday.
Do you want to continue writing music?
Definitely. I will always write music.
Special thanks to Anne Lee for her support and cozy apartment with great company of Lenny and Georgi.
© 2012 Yu Lien Foo