Washed Out recently played to a packed audience in Seoul on his recent Asia tour. We got to ask the man behind the fantasy-driven music on Paracosm a few questions ahead of the show. Here’s what he had to say. 

Washed Out Band Photo. Ernest Greene pictured.

How did you make the leap from trainee librarian to professional musician?  

I had been doing music for a long time as a hobby, but I never imagined that I’d have the opportunity to do it full time.  It all happened really quickly.  I put some music up online and it spread around really fast – and I started to get more and more opportunities to travel and do shows and make a living.
 
Where is your favorite place to write music?
 
Any place that’s quiet — and even better if it has a view.  My current studio has a large window that looks out over a nice wooded scene.
How much does literature influence the music you make? 
 
I’ve always had a romantic sensibility, and I studied a lot of romantic poetry while in school.  I think my music has the same feeling about it.  A wide-eyed optimism and an openness to really feel with a lot of sincerity.
 
In a recent interview with Pitchfork, you describe your lyric writing process as a “stream-of-consciousness.” Do you apply the same technique to creating your melodies?
 
The melodies are the most magical piece of the puzzle. They can’t be forced – they just pop out of mid-air into my head.  I just try to be open to receiving the inspiration.
 
What kind of influences informed your last album, Paracosm?
 
Nature was a big influence. I wanted to write a warm sounding record that gave the listener this sensation of being outside. I used a lot more acoustic instruments to give the record the warm and the lightness that I was looking for.
 
Paracosm seems to have a much warmer sound than Within and Without, do you feel you evolved more technically or artistically between albums?
 
Definitely technically; I just had a lot more experience. But sometimes that can be a bad thing.  I still try to be open about keeping naive about certain things.  
 
Have you ever been to Korea before? What are you most looking forward to on your trip here?
 
This is our first trip, and its very exciting.  Personally, I’m probably most excited about the food!  I love Korean food.

Washed Out performing live in Seoul, filmed by Loose Union

By Loren Cotter and Christopher Lee