This is part one of a two part interview with Stan Reed, an experimental musician/artist based in the Seattle area since 1995. PLETHORA is his solo project.
NWMB Where did you come from? When?
Reed Ok, so I’m sitting here trying to think of what to write concerning something that is quite absurd in the first place…in the eyes of the god fearing. I make noise. I sculpt with sound. I screw with the limits of audio perception through the use of absurd collages. I scream a lot…funny, my whole life, people have always told me that I was to loud, my voice, my boots, my laugh, my antics…to loud…never thought that people would pay to hear me be loud and cheer for it?!?!?
I have been involved with “music” in one form or another since I was 13. Started off in a metal band called Paranoid, (after the Black Sabbath classic of course), was the singer and keyboard player…if you could call it that. Went through a Goth like stage, joined a band called Morbid Tales of Love and played bass. Moved onto punk as I got older, one of my more famous bands was my air guitar punk rock outfit Puke On Me, started it at the wilderness survival school I was in for 2 and a half years…played 2 shows… and with the help of other punk bands like Crass, Flux of Pink Indians, Rudimentary Peni, who all broke the barriers of punk into the nosier, and a few freaky friends, fell head long into the wonderful world of experimental music/noise. I quit the band scene in the late 80’s to pursue school, women and drugs. It wasn’t until I had pulled myself out of the schools, women and drugs, that I began recording again…but this time with a different purpose.
I started recording as PLETHORA in 1998 in an effort to purge demons and make peace with my mental instabilities acquired while pursuing school, women and drugs. My sole objective now was to create a place just for me, a mental mind frame that transcended knowledge, relationship bliss or drug induced euphoria. A limitless expressive voice all my own. My earliest recordings were based on field recordings, samples, random clips of anything processed beyond recognition, collaged together with a secure sense of dada infested dream worlds. I used recordings of electric shavers, shower curtains, geysers and springs in Yellow Stone National Park. To me music was just a sound…while sound was really music. I still cant walk down the street without forming a symphony in my ears concocted from all of the random noises and sounds around me.
PLETHORA is a really hodge-podge collection of many many different styles of experimental music, noise, drone, collage, just to name a few, all smashed together in a strange harmony that you either love, or hate. Most people I run into who have never experienced “experimental music” describe it as “soundtracky”. As of late, PLETHORA has been working mainly in two camps, the noise and the drone. Noise when I just need that ultimate release. Drone when the mood is more mellow and dreams are afloat.
I recently got to experience the ultimate live drone experience when Steven Stapleton invited me to perform as a member of Nurse With Wound for the first live NWW shows in over 20 years down in San Francisco. The collage side of things has been more directed into another project that I am involved with called The Broken Penis Orchestra. Conductor Dick Flick and I have spent many an hour combing through CD’s and vinyl and cassettes and movies and lectures and radio shows and home movies and commercials and sermons and, well everything, to create some pretty audio ADD afflicted sound spasm’s. Every once and awhile there is some crossover between the 2 projects, but mainly they serve to express the specific emotions and mental waves that have been assigned to them by the higher powers that are and be. PLETHORA will continue on as my main avenue of self expression, whatever that may entail at any given time. Just remember to bring a pillow and a set of earplugs to any PLETHORA show, you never know when you will need one or the other.
See photos from Stan’s project Blue Sabbath Black Cheer.
Coming soon: part two of this interview series.