Paul Fredericks is a graduate of The University of Bridgeport’s B.M. Music Education program. Paul has been teaching students with private lessons since 2006. He has performed in several different bands over the years and is also a blogger for Thehim.net an online magazine for men. Paul currently teaches at Kokopelli School of Music & The Arts in Seymour, CT.
Sean: Thanks for the chance to interview you today Paul. What was your first instrument, and at what age did you decide to play and why?
Paul: My first instrument was actually marching snare. I was brought up listening to rock music and always loved the drummers. So I thought I would try out drums and in middle school around the age of 10 I started on marching snare.
Sean: very cool……so it was drums from the start?
Sean: What are some of the bands you have played in over the years? Which band was your favorite?
Paul: I’ve played in a ton of bands such as NP2, The Kelo’s , The Treefolk, and even played with jazz legend James Moody at Yale. But my favorite band has been Proof of Purchase.
Sean: What was proof of purchase like for you?
Paul: We were a progressive rock band. Doing fun songs, with fun lyrics, odd time signatures and epic guitar licks.
Sean: Some of classical music’s greats like John Strauss II and Gustav Mahler seem to have a certain influence in your compositions. Can you tell us more about how you compose your pieces and what it takes to make the final product?
Paul: I compose in two different styles. Sometimes I will just get an idea and write it down on sheet music, then later go into Finale (a computer program to digitally input music notation) and work on it from there until it it something I like. Then I will input that into my DAW (digital audio workstation) Reason 5.0 and record the rest of the parts.
The other way is almost like improvisation. I will get an idea while playing and record it, then work without any notion and later notate it all out.
After it is all recorded then the effects, mixing, and editing comes about. Which is actually the longest aspect. A good song that I can be happy with can sometimes take over a month of continuous work!
Sean: So its a combonation of instruments, CPU effects, and editing?
Paul: It’s a combination of, live instruments, digital instruments, digital notation, program effects, and editing. To be more specific.
Sean: What meaning is there behind your song “My Soul Screams What I cannot speak”?
Paul: Sometimes I will just get into a “music zone” where I focus on music for almost an entire day with time passing by. And when I was writing this song I remember I was thinking more along the lines of seeing this song in a movie. And what type of scene it would be in. When I play and record music I love to visualize it more than hear it. And was picturing something from a war movie where the man comes home and see’s his wife who he hasn’t for a long time. And I just thought that someones who has been through that, can’t even express with words how they feel.
Sean: Very moving. Seems very appropriate for the times we are living in.
Paul: Thanks, and yea it does indeed.
Sean: As a teacher, what is the expierence like for you when a student is learning a certain chords, scales or particular section?
Paul: I get excited when teaching students the more theoretical side of music. It has been a passion of mine since high school and so many people “hate” theory and don’t see it’s use. But when a student is learning it and more so is interested in it, it lets me expand their knowledge of music further than they thought they could. I think that music theory is my main area of study, with composition next, and piano after that.
Sean: Can you explain more in detail why theory is so important?
Paul: Theory is the cement ground floor that music builds upon. Music theory helps with every aspect of music, on every instrument, singing, and composing. It gives you different ideas, to work with. It is there as a backbone and guidline, but the rules can be broken, and by knowing the rules you can better break them. Knowing theory this well is what has made me the musician, teacher and composer I am today.
Sean: If there is one thing you could change about the general public’s perception about the music industry as a whole what would you change?
Paul: The one thing I would change about the music industry is that I would get rid of the labels. As in, when a CD comes out, people look at who produced the CD, who made this possible. “OH!, Sony put this out so it should be good, OH! that band was signed to Columbia they must be great!” It kind of lets the little guy, seem not as important. Indie producers and companies, or people who self publish should be recognized equally, and not pushed aside for the bigger companies.
Sean: Do you think with the internet boom of sties like, youtube, soundcloud, and reverbnation record companies one day will be a thing of the past?
Paul: I think those websites are good, and great for getting the word out and being able to show anyone in the world your music. I think we will see more websites like this. For the records company aspect I think we will still see them, but maybe they will start incorporating more of what those websites do. Spreading the word over the internet, and having more digital sales.
Sean: Do you have any upcoming appearances or events where folks can come see you play. Or anything else you’d like to add?
Paul: I haven’t been performing as much but would love to give a shout-out to the ex guitarist of Proof of Purchase’s new band “Mid Atlantic Title” who should soon be playing Toad’s Place.
I’d also like to add that you can get in contact with me for compositions, lessons, or any other reasons through my website at paulfredericksmusic.com
And thanks for this great interview!
Sean: Thanks Paul Fredericks for being here with us on LBT’s Artist Interviews. We really appreciate you taking the time to speak with us.