Drummer Chris Corsano on What Makes a Jam Not Work, Free Jazz, Noise, and Bjork
That's what makes her her. She works on a large scale. There was a 10 piece brass band, two electronic artists, a harpsichordist, and then her. There's a lot in that record. Its similar to hip-hop production but instead of going through records you bring in live musicians to do stuff that you move around and place here or there. The tour was me going back and hearing [the music], trying to play back those parts, adding parts. Totally different than my usual style, and much more of a background role, learning to not have your ego make you overplay.
When you set out to release a record of new material (versus live material that was not necessarily performed with the intent to release), how much of the songwriting exists outside of the jam, if any? Are you a one-take kind of guy?
There's some editing. With the solo stuff especially, but with the groups as well. if we all agree that that five minutes is something we like but then it deeps in energy well then we'll do a fade or something. It doesn't usually get much more crafty than that. Pretty caveman style. Go in, and press record, and see what you get.
How did you link up with Bill Orcutt?
The first time we played together was at the Tufts Festival in New Castle U.K., as part of a trio with Allen Bishop, an unannounced trio. I hadn't seen bill play solo at that point. But I saw Harry Pussy twice. Adris was like one of my all time favorite drummers. So much changed for me the first time I saw her play. As a drummer, it's almost impossible to overstate how much it fucked with my head. There are things that happen that kind of change everything and the rest of your musical career is chasing after bringing that feeling to other people, this revelatory ecstatic whatever.
Did you get into free jazz and that led to noise or vice versa? Which came first?
Up until hearing free jazz, I was into hardcore. SST stuff. Minutemen, Black Flag, Bad Brains. High energy stuff. Beefheart when I was about 14, 15. Beefheart and the Minutemen have amazing rhythm sections, and the way the instruments talk to each other.
Before that, Hendrix. That's more me, the loud and crazier side of rock. And then hearing the Boredoms at, I dunno 16 or 17, right around that time. That would have been the only noise I knew about. And Ornette Coleman. Someone was like, If you like the Boredoms, check out Masonna. If you like Ornette, check out Archie Shepp. Noise and free jazz came at just about the same time for me. I've always been trying to carve out where the two intersect and make them intersect in ways that they haven't been or they have and people haven't noticed.
Friday, November 29. Chris Corsano solo Gramps, 176 NW 24th St, Miami, Florida
Sunday, December 1. Chris Corsano as part of Kenny Millions Sextet, Radio-Active Records, Fort Lauderdale, FL. 845 North Federal Highway, 3pm.
Sunday, December 1. Chris Corsano solo at Sweat in Miami, FL. 5501 NE 2nd Ave., 9pm.
Tuesday, December 3. Chris Corsano solo, Churchill's in Miami, FL. With Rat Bastard, Steve Bristol, Kenny Millions, Rubber O Cement, Fritz Welch, Andy Ortmann, The AstroKats, Samsara, Mr. E.