Jon Rawlinson







What is music to you? What does it give you?

The desire to make music has been a constant throughout my life. I have been making music since I was 9. My first band was with a friend down the road (who, strangely, turned out to be internationally renowned session drummer). We had one track. I played keyboard. In high school I learned guitar and, at 15, recorded a punk album with a friend. It was spectacularly bad, but that was rather the point as it was mostly a vehicle for two kids to come up with the most obscene lyrics we could... I guess you could say our influences were the Anti Nowhere League and the Pork Dukes. At university I managed to spend all my money on a 4 track, drum machine, synth (Korg Mini 700!) and a bass as set about making tracks. In fact I spent my whole second year at university making music instead of turning up. By this stage I was heavily influenced by Bauhaus and Dead Can Dance... After university I got a McJob and found that left a lot less time for music... now armed with a Yamaha QY sequencer and a DX11 (the Korg having been stolen) I was more influenced by Carter USM and Nine Inch Nails, and Foetus too. I was also losing my hair and developing an anxiety disorder. Full tracks started to give way to sketches, ideas and the dreaded 8 bar loops. I moved onto a PC for recording in the late 90s and early 2000s but the curse of the 8 bar loop was with me. I started drawing cartoons and posting them online. That became a greater passion abd for a few years I was a webcartoonist. Then I became a father and made no music at all for almost a decade. In 2011 I was given an ipad, I intended to use it for drawing cartoons but soon discovered synths and DAWs that in 1992 would have cost me thousands of dollars were now available for a dollar or two each. I also discovered that I could make music on my commute to work. Everything changed then - now I had means and opportunity! Since then I have released 4 albums on general release, another 5 albums on bandcamp, and probably 300 tracks on soundcloud. Music is now central to everything I so again, as it was when I was 19. When I am not making music I am thinking about music, or making videos about making music, or discussing making music. It is kind of a big deal for me.

What is your music dream?

To develop an audience, to be heard by people.

If you could change the world - what would you start with?

Something to do with removing all influence, power and protected status from all religions.

Which is the most memorable song from your childhood?

Are "Friends" Electric by Gary Numan. That song completely changed my world. Replicas was my first album.

Who are your favorite musical artists or bands?

Too many to answer. Depeche Mode, The The, Foetus, Portion Control, AirHead, Morcheeba, Portishead, Sneaker Pimps, IamX, Trent Reznor, Hybrid, Crystal Method, FSOL, Aphex Twin, David Bowie, The Who, The Rolling Stones, James Brown, NWA, Public Enemy, Disposable Heroes, Barry Adamson, The Divine Comedy... er... it goes on...

What inspires you to make music?

Almost everything. Other music (it is years since I could listen to a whole album, or even a whole track, without nipping off to try something). People talking about music. Reading about music.

What is the message you want to send with your music?

The name PantsOfDeath is a hangover from my cartooning days. My music, thematically, is a kind of grim absurdist project. Frequently an outpouring of my rage at the world expressed as something darkly silly.

How do you feel when you perform in front of an audience?

I generally don't perform.

How do you see the musicians’ reality nowadays? What could be improved?

Musicians have to love music and the process of making music now, because making music has to be its own reward, there will never again be money in it. With the total democratization of the music production process anyone can publish music to the world, accordingly it is much harder for audiences to find the music they love and for musicians to find an audience that will love them, that is what needs to be improved, some way of getting music in front of the people who will love it.

What do you think of Drooble?

So far everything has been very positive.

What frustrates you most as a musician?

The capriciousness of the musical muse. I am currently in a creative patch, I have 4 or 5 tracks on the go and have been finishing one a week for a while, but earlier this year I went for three months when I could do nothing, and that causes me a great deal of unhappiness!

Do you support your local scene as a fan? How?

Not as much as I should, but I do support the music makers of thr ios/mobile music community with encouragement, listens, reposts and retweets.

What qualities should a musician nowadays have in order to get their music heard by a larger audience?

If I knew that...! Probably qualities that have nothing to do with music - aggressive social media self promotion I expect.

Share some awesome artists that we’ve never heard of.

Jinx Padlock, Frozen Lonesome, Jesper Jones, DeathBoy, Grant Basma Horsnell