A WORD FROM THE NEST with John Westhaver: THE ART OF THE INSTRUMENTALIST

tumblr_inline_n42ssaGLcQ1qdyv06I’ve always favored instrumental music. It’s the imagery evoked by music in whatever form it may take that makes the mind “go” and you with it. Hopefully it’s a good trip eh? I guess around the late 70’s I got really plugged into free jazz, thanks to an older friend and mentor in this genre. I went on a high, fast learning curve and became an aficionado pretty quickly. Miles Davis(70’s), John Coltrane(free), Pharaoh Sanders, Lee Morgan, Herbie Hancock etc. were impregnating my record collection. Coinciding with an already healthy love for the long rock tracks and musical prowess of Can, Hawkwind, Soft Machine, Fela Kuti & Ginger Baker and others like them , we then discovered Throbbing Gristle. As we were then always fueled on Kressman’s, Alchool and various ‘other” substances, my TG1978closest friend Mark Carmody, formed the exploding meet (surrealist-ethno-underworld fusion”) inspired by all the aforementioned. Coincidentally, July 13th 2015 was the 30th anniversary of our very first live show dubbed “Inaugural Address” performed at Memorial Hall at the University of New Brunswick in Fredericton. Roughly 7 years ago, I formed The Band Whose Name Is A Symbol with Mark McIntyre, both of us fresh off from Four ‘N’ Giv’r. We decided we would play all instrumental psych based music and I suppose the rest is now history. Since our inception, we have released 8 vinyl LPs, a half dozen CDR albums and have a ninth record coming out later this year on the UK label Cardinal Fuzz.

tumblr_m394pq7WKd1qhihglo1_1280I draw an interesting conclusion of my own existence, parallels and privilidge; musically speaking, by the following weird but wonderful occurrence; my mind was completely blown by Can and their album Ege Bamyasi back round 1975, as a youngish teenager, and I never dreamt in a million years that away down the road I would sit behind their legendary Damo Suzuki with my own group; 3 times in fact.  Go figure, sometimes the stars are aligned.

Here’s a list of some current practitioners that I really dig; the art of the instrumentalist: Electric Moon, Zoltan, Bushman’s Revenge, The Thing, Expo ’70, Oresund Space Collective, Caudal, Space Debris, Knall.  I could be here all day, as there are many others too numerous to mention. – JOHN

INFERNO by ELECTRIC MOON

(John Westhaver is the owner/operator of one of the world’s finest record shops; Birdman Sound.  This is the place you go to find the stuff you can’t find anywhere else.  This shop feels more curated by music guides who want to widen your musical horizons, than sell you shit that will just collect dust on your shelf or clog up your smartphone.  Pretty much exclusively vinyl, Birdman Sound has been helping us stay connected with the bands the mall stores just don’t give a fuck about, and he’s been at it for over 20 years now.  Check out Birdman Sound here.  John also plays with a fantastic free-flowing psych-rock band known as The Band Whose Name is a Symbol (TBWNIS) who have recording and released 8 vinyl only LPs in 6 years.  This is a seriously good friggin’ band and you should check out their stuff here.)