Meet Modulogeek, aka Joon Guillen
A few months back, I had the fantastic fortune of being on Facebook when a friend of mine said that there was a gig happening that night in Saguijo for Numberline records. I have been and I am a fan of Outerhope, as I had the privilege of hanging and having gigs with them in Singapore three years prior. The cosmos collided and I ended up with a free CD with most of the Numberline artists on it. (There are still CDs, if I’m not mistaken, with different covers from different visual artists from around the Philippines. For more info and to download some of their superb tracks, go here: http://numberlinerecords.com/)
On this CD, I was taken aback by the track “An Android’s Lament” wherein all these different movie tracks were sampled, such as the melody from “Close Encounters of the Third Kind.” I had to know more about this dude, Modulogeek. Then I realized that through the power of Facbeook, we had a lot of common friends. I added him with the ultimate fan girl message of “OHPLEASEOHPLEASEOHPLEASE ADD ME!!” Or something just as embarrassing.
Throughout the course of our very shallow and on my part, hopefully respectful, online connection, I would see posts of Modulogeek’s work, the new things he tinkered with and I would listen to them, giving him my unnecessary, fan girl opinion. This eventually led to a friendship online, and as all modern friendships go, it led to this correspondence through e-mail about what he listens to and there wheres and hows and whys of music for him.
After reading our exchange, I see that I’m friends with the right dude. He is geeky as he is musical. I dig that. And I honestly, wholeheartedly believe you should too.
So, how did you get in to music?
When I was a kid I was surrounded with elder cousins who listened to many different things, from Top 40 (Madonna) to New Wave (Depeche Mode) to oldies (The Beatles). I just tuned in to all those things.
Then it came to memorizing drum parts to songs, one thing lead to another, and suddenly I was learning guitar…
Do you play any instruments?
Yup! Just the usual: guitar, bass, drums, (some) keys. And the laptop.
What instruments do you wish you could play?
The cello. Also tried learning the trumpet—big fail.
Who or what are your influences? What inspires you?
I grew up on Beatles, Phil Collins, U2, folks songs, pop ballads, etc, but the list goes on from there. I think every artist in every genre I’ve listened to has been an influence. I just can’t help but get ideas from them when I’m making something.
You concert bucket list (top five):
(In no particular order) Ben Folds Five, Sufjan Stevens, Jon Brion, The Standards Trio, Amon Tobin.
What would be your dream collaboration?
Electronic orchestra/band complete with a video/visual effects performance by some talented artist friends!
What else do you do apart from music?
Years and years in IT. I am also an avid gamer.
How do you come up with your music?
Sometimes I start with a vague idea on what I want to do, and sometimes (like for remixes) I just have the pieces and no idea at all. Then I just work on it until something good happens. I like to treat every new piece as an experiment. The aim is to come out having learned something new.
What were your first albums that you bought with your own money?
I think it was a New Kids on the Block album.
Favorite international artists? Favorite local artists? Why?
There are just too many! Though I can tell you the current staples in my playlist: Ben Folds Five and Death Cab for Cutie. For local acts it’s Outerhope, Itchyworms and Ciudad. I guess I just like catchy melodic tunes.
If you were to give advice out to those who want to do what you do, what are the top five tips you would give?
Things I should also not forget to follow:
1. Keep listening to stuff (and not just music)
2. Study hard! (learn as much as you can about the technical aspects of making music)
3. Do not fall into the trap of getting more gear than you currently need.
4. Experiment always.
5. Finish your vegetables.
If you weren’t doing this, what would you be doing?
Playing more computer games. Or maybe I’d be into photography or filmmaking instead…
Where do you see your music’s direction going?
I kinda just wanna go where it takes me. In general though, I hope to achieve better-sounding productions.
“Modulo” is something I got from my post-grad cryptography class.
Geek is self-explanatory.
Three words to describe your music:
Your Soundtrack, Maybe?
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