Droner extraordinaire Josh Mason is a pretty excellent dude. He put out my favorite drone record from last year, The Symbiont, recently released a fantastic collab with David Andree, and is involved in a massive upcoming project involving multiple artists (Cody Yantis, Nathan McLaughlin, Joe Houpert, and others) and will be released in multiple formats on Desire Path, FET Press, and Digitalis. The project is kind of collectively being called A Line In The Sand. Tons more info here. Anyway, Mr. Mason was very kind and took some time to answer a few questions for me.
What is the best way to die?
Is there really a best way? I suppose, for me anyway, there are preferred ways. As it stands, I think it would have to be quickly. It’s not so much the death that seems troublesome, but the dying.
How do you think you’ll die?
There probably isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t think about this. My anxiety leads me to believe it will be slow, agonizing and most likely alone—but it’ll probably be something dumb like electrocuting myself trying to get a bagel out of a toaster.
What makes you happy?
The love, support and generosity of my wife makes me incredibly happy. The death of false pizza. A record that is top notch from start to finish. Steve Brooks’ ‘Z’ string. Sunshine. Metafiction. Hot showers. Playing music. Growing my hair long. Being in good health. Being given another shot every day.
How can you die happy?
When I left home, the parting wisdom my mother gave me was that “At the end of the day all you need to ask yourself is ‘have I loved well?’”—hopefully I can remember that all the way till the end.
How close have you come to death?
When I was maybe 6 or 7, I blew myself across the room when I jammed a bobby pin into an electric socket (see?). I was in a pretty serious car accident when I was in college during a storm where the car hydroplaned across I-10 in Florida, into and past oncoming traffic going the other way and into a tree. Got food poisoning in the Dominican Republic once. I probably wasn’t going to die, but I’ve never been so violently ill in my life. I thought for sure in that moment I wouldn’t make it.
What does kindness mean to you?
A gentleness in spirit and the ability to suspend one’s own agenda in order to extend compassion to those in need or want or who might otherwise never know it.
Where do you find love?
In my home. In quiet times. In the eyes of the generations of my family who have come before me. In the memory of youth. On the phone with my sister. In a community and network of friends who would drop everything for me if I needed them. At Timecode Beach.
When were you most afraid?
That is hard to gauge because I’m afraid, in general, pretty much around the clock.
Most recently though, it was on a flight to NYC. It was far and away the most turbulent flight I’ve ever had. Listening to Twigs & Yarn’s ‘Static Rowing’ on repeat for close to an hour was the only thing that helped calm me down. But before that it might have been the moments leading up to my engagement, the first show I played or possibly awaiting some medical diagnosis. Whatever it was, it would definitely have been something that I had time to brood over. Things like the car accident were too much of a blur for the fear to creep in.
How do you listen to music?
Mostly alone, but there are a lot of factors that play into that, such as genre and current state of mind.
I do listen to music much more objectively these days than when I was young. The older I have gotten, the more interested I have become in the technical aspects of what’s happening sonically. I have a hard time going to shows at clubs or venues these days because I am too easily distracted by everything going on around me. It kills me if I can’t see what the artist is doing or if someone is too busy taking video, talking or tweeting in front of me about their experience.
At home, I have a seat by the window where vinyl listening occurs. Cassettes in the car on the commute. Digitally at work to drown out the 9-5.