Local musician Kurt Feldman is involved with two of the hottest and most talented bands right now: Pains of Being Pure at Heart and The Depreciation Guild. Pains garnered a lot of critical acclaim last year for their self-titled debut album that was released on Slumberland. They played dozens of shows in 2009 and their cred has been steadily rising. Feldman plays drums for the Pains, and The Depreciation Guild is his side project that uses Nintendo to enhance its electronica sound. Their second album is due this spring.
Image: The Depreciation Guild. Credit: Joshua Eustis
Here’s what Kurt had to say:
Big Apple Music Scene: You play drums in The Pains of Being Pure At Heart and are lead singer/guitarist in your band The Depreciation Guild. How do you balance working in both bands? Do you find that each band fulfills a specific function in your life?
Kurt Feldman: Being in Depreciation Guild has always been my personal creative passion since i started the band in 2005. The Pains are my friends who started a band with the goal to make energetic pop music, which very quickly expanded into to something way more. Both are equally important and i’m really lucky to be a part of both.
BAMS: While Pains of Being Pure at Heart really took off last year, The Depreciation Guild has had steady growth since you self-released In her Gentle Jaws in 2007. How has this success affected you?
KF: It has allowed me to travel around Europe/UK, Scandinavia, as well as the US (Japan and Australia soon!) and experience great things for both bands. Many of the tours the Pains have done, Depreciation Guild has played support on, so it has been a pretty action-packed year overall.
BAMS: Both bands are going on tour in February in Japan. Does either band have a big fanbase there?
KF: Not really sure yet since we’ve never been over there to play music. Both the Pains and DG have the same record label there (Fastcut) and they have been very supportive of us. I will say that recently I’ve seen more and more twitter posts mentioning our name surrounded by Japanese characters, haha. They usually never translate to make any sense though…
BAMS: I assume you write most of the songs for Depreciation Guild. How does that work and what are you inspired by? What’s the song writing process for Pains of Being Pure At Heart? Is it collaborative or does one member do most of the writing?
KF: For both bands there is a similar creative approach in that there is one person who presents the main concept of the song and turning it into a finished piece is a collaborative effort. In the Pains, that’s Kip and in Depreciation Guild it’s me. For DG, I have the technical know-how to program all the Famicom [NES] stuff so generally it starts there with some guitar and basic sequencing. Then in rehearsal things usually get switched around a bit when Anton adds live percussion and Christoph and I write additional guitar parts.
BAMS: Do you have any other musical projects going on? What’s in the future for Pains of Being Pure at Heart and Depreciation Guild?
KF: No other musical projects right now, two is enough! The future — both bands are touring a lot, DG more so than the Pains in 2010 an that’s mostly because we will be releasing our second record in the Spring… I’m also working on a casual iPhone game with my friend Hayden. I did all the concept and sound design and i’m really psyched for people to play it!