I’ve been trying to help Richard (aka I.Am.Hologram) hype his newest release for the past few weeks and it finally arrived not so coincidentally on the date of the last supermoon which was November 14th. If you know anything about the Hologram you know that nothing is really random, Richard has a reason and motivation for everything he does. This includes album names, track names, track orders, you name it and he has a reason for doing things the way he does. He also has the dubious record now of most releases in one year by a local artist. Frequency 432, released in conjunction with DLUX Radio marks the FOURTH release this year for i.am.hologram and there really is no end in sight as he still has plenty of music ready to go in the new year. Sit back and take a read about one of the most interesting and talented people we have in the local music scene. If you don’t believe me, just check out some of the local press Richard has received including this from Mitchell Hillman at the New Times “I don’t use the word “genius” lightly, but I’ve used it in reference to Nihil and his music several times recently, and I mean it” –Click Here To Read
About The Artist:
How did you come together or “become” a band?
Technically that would be a funny question for a one person act. However, there really are 2 people in I Am Hologram, Carson and myself. Sometimes I am him and sometimes he is me and you can tell us apart when we play. Richard prefers the instrumental sets whereas Carson does all the screaming and talking..or maybe it is the reverse? A few years ago Richard experienced an anomalous event which was diagnosed as a seizure by modern medicine. That moment was agreed upon by both parties before Richard was born and it is called a “walk-in”. This was back in 2011 and since then Carson showed me how to play the guitar again, how to sing, how to tune my instruments and most importantly how to communicate with dead musicians both known and unknown.
What are your 3 biggest influences on your instrument (or voice)
For guitar, my influences range from Jimi Hendrix, to Les Claypool, to David Gilmour
For vocals, it would be Tori Amos, Bjork, and Beth Gibbons
Tell me something that no one knows about you as an artist
In just about every song there are references to other songs, bands, or lyrics. For example there is a song on my acoustic album “Idiot Savant” called “Uncomfortably Numb” which is clearly a nod to Pink Floyd. On “Rejecting The Program” there is a song in tribute to The Beatles called “All The Lonely People”. Both of those are clearly obvious but you have to look deeper to find other references, and there are sometimes more than one in a song. I do also borrow actual music from time to time from other songs.
What is your worst or most embarrassing on stage incident?
As I Am Hologram the most embarrassing and most humbling moment was a show I played a few years ago at an art gallery in Scottsdale that is no longer open. Not one person showed up to watch, and the owner even left during the set, leaving me as the ONLY person in there for hours. I had to wait until he came back from whatever he went off to do before I could leave. I will say it was on Christmas night and I was able to make good use of the time because I wrote the song “Murmur” which will be on a 2017 release called “Not All Of Us Are Human” aka “Frequency 972 which will mark the last in a series of albums I started releasing in 2016.
If you could start a band with any musician, who is it?
Hands down, Nikolai Tesla
Songs and More:
Tell me your favorite song of all time.
It would have to be “Adagio for Strings” by Samuel Barber. That is the only song that makes me stop and listen no matter what is going on around me. I don’t even care if it is too loud for anyone else in the car. That song deserves to be known as the greatest piece of music of all time. Not because it is superior to other works of art but sonically it is unmatched even in classical music. Nothing moves me like that piece of music and I am moved by quite a bit.
What song do you wish you had written?
I really cannot decide but it comes down to two very epic songs and for completely different reasons. “Echoes” by Pink Floyd because you can hear them all searching for something and they have no idea where it will lead them as human beings. Far beyond a song it is a distress call to whoever may be out there. The other song would be “The End” by The Doors. Imagine just being in the studio witnessing that song being made. Instant history. The song is other-worldly in that each note is perfect, each drum hit is perfect. There is nothing out there like it and there will never be another “The End” (If you can’t tell I like the letter “E”) ed. note- I have to agree, The End is an absolute masterpiece in 11 minutes and 42 seconds.
Not tell me your favorite song by a local band
“Drug Scene” By Rocking Chair (Gene Moran) It is so honest and catch. I have been on both sides of the perspective as well. I have been the deviant and the derilict and in some ways I will always be. I guess I wish I would have wrote this song as well. I have asked him on more than one occasion if I can cover the song. If you have never heard of him, you need to.
Local Music Questions
Favorite place to play live, and why?
Its a toss up between Lost Leaf and Xhale Hookah Lounge. both are smaller and more intimate and make me feel more at home.
Best way to hear you, live at a venue or on one of your recordings?
I dig my records and I don’t think I translate as well on the radio or online. But I do think you need to experience my show live before you can dig the records. It is really up to the listener though.
Name 3 local bands or artists our readers need to see or hear
Well, I already plugged one so I will say; Snailmate, The Clouded, and Hollowpoint Vigils. I know I have different tastes than most but these bands really do something new and original and I respect that the most.
Give me one word to describe the local music scene
What if anything would you change about the local scene?
I want more east coast attitude. Years back I was a punk kid playing in abandoned warehouses in Brooklyn. Being in an established band back then was certainly easier than being a newbie. New bands would come to a show and ask if they could play. Ten bands would give up 3 minutes of their set times so that the newbies could play 30 minutes if they wanted. Everyone helped each other load in and load out, it was like a big family. We are all misfits in our own way and as artists we should be sticking together but we don’t always have or find the patience to do so. That is what we need to work on, our patience with one another. We all have something to contribute and there are plenty of fans and venues to go around.
What is coming up for you, time to shamelessly promote.
I host open mic nights every 2nd and 4th Wednesday from 9pm to Midnight at Xhale Hookah Lounge at 1614 E Bell Road. Come on out! You can always check my social media to see what is going on, or email me and I will tell you everything at Whoisthehologram@gmail.com
Final thoughts, anything goes..
By the end of 2016 I will have 5 releases total for the year. This includes 3 albums and 2 EP’s. Please be on the lookout and check them out when you have a chance. I will be recording the last album about the same time as the new EP is released. (the aforementioned Frequency 432 released on November 14th)
So there we have it. Did I not tell you that it would be an interesting read? Richard is truly one of a kind in our music scene here in Phoenix. Please do yourselves a favor and check out any or all of the music by I Am Hologram.
Many thanks to Richard for taking the time to answer questions for The Local Lowdown! Find out more about him at the links below.