Music maestro Schuurman spins his “Psychic Pollution” like a therapy session.
According to music ace and solo frontman Jzero Schuurman of Psychic Pollution, his ambient experimental music is inspired by electro-groups like CAN, Neu!, Tangerine Dream and Brian Eno, to list a few. But the Psychic Pollution formula has been in the laboratory for quite some time.
Growing up in Victoria, BC. Schuurman was inspired to learn music from his church band.
“I was a church kid and when I saw the other musicians, I always wanted to be the drummer playing with the church choir,” he says. So that’s what Schuurman decided to do – learn drums.
Schuurman says he worked all summer one year in his early teens until he was able to afford his first drum set, and then became a self-taught drummer. But he didn’t stop there.
“I would just sit in my garage, listen to music and play along, and eventually I developed some skills,” he laughs.
Thus began his love for making music.
Multiple bands were formed, members came and went, the garage venue would change from time to time, however Schuurman says that being the drummer worked to his advantage – he gradually taught himself every instrument he has ever played.
“Friends would leave all their equipment at my house, guitars, bass, keyboards, all that kind of stuff,” Schuurman says. “I had a lot of time on my hands as a teenager, so I would just try to learn stuff on guitar, and keyboards. I did take some piano lessons for a few years, which I think helped with keyboard, but guitar and everything else is all self taught.”
On Wednesday, June 24. Schuurman played a set for Calgarian fans, at the Commonwealth Bar and Stage. During the highly anticipated Sled Island Music Festival, which ran from June 24-28.
Sled Island participants got a chance to experience the melodic concoction of Psychic Pollution. Through ambient instrumentals and deep yet provocative beats, the venue as Schuurman puts it was, “good vibes.”
Having played Sled Island before with other bands, Schuurman says that playing with Psychic Pollution was an enjoyable experience. For Schuurman, the osmosis from playing in bands into the world of electronica is somewhat of a release.
“I’ve always been in other peoples’ bands, so what I wanted to do was branch out and do my own thing, to have my own expression,” he explains. “And that’s how it came about. I just wanted to have my own outlet where I wasn’t just the drummer or the bass player.”
Still a feature on many different music projects in Victoria, Schuurman says the name Psychic Pollution stemmed from the need for self-expression. It’s a way for him to reflect on personal thoughts and feelings; to reflect on “personal pollution.”
“If you’re constantly around other people, you are constantly absorbing how other people think, you know what I mean. It doesn’t necessarily change you, but you’re getting influenced by other peoples ideas of how things should work in the world,” he says.
At the conception of the project, Schuurman says his music had a heavy political focus.
“I used a lot more samples, especially samples from the Gulf War, where I’d sample George Bush’s voice. I would use samples and then play some instrumentals along with it and it was sort of my political expression avenue, so I could tap into that part of my thoughts,” he says.
Now, Schuurman is focused more on instrumental driven tracks. He says that his style these days is more psychedelic, more krautrock, however each track has thought provoking tones and ambience.
“The last record I wrote was based on the occult. I was super stoked that Netflix has all the X-File episodes, kind of did a little binge and was super inspired by my last record,” he says.
Schuurman, who launched Psychic Pollution in 1998, says it’s an evolving project, and what inspires him and a theme for a record can change at any time. His last record SEANCE was released last Halloween.
Photo Courtesy of Jzero Schuurman.
So, what’s next for Psychic Pollution? According to Schuurman, he might add his own twist on the electronic dance music (EDM) scene.
“I don’t want to do your average EDM kind of thing, I want it to be based on more German electronic. I’ve already starting playing some of those tracks,” he says. “I want to have an album that will appeal to a border audience at this point, because I want to have more interaction with the audience, something a little bit more upbeat.”
Hopefully the album will be ready when he tours in October, he adds. However, Schuurman is in not rush; he wants to get the album perfect for his fans, but also for himself.
“I just want to spend more time then I normally do, and put out a real good record that I’m proud of,” Schuurman says.
Check out Psychic Pollution and the latest tracks from Schuurman on Bandcamp: www.psychicpollution.bandcamp.com
Thumbnail photo Courtesy of Don Chessa.
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