I spoiled you people when we first started the blog because we’re now definitely dragging our asses on the Workspace and Environment series. I’ve decided to start brand new and not harass artists that have been ‘working’ on their interviews for the past year + or so. And with that banter out of the way, I present James Bauman of Medusa/Racebannon…
I was born in Indianapolis, Indiana and moved to Bloomington to receive a Bachelor’s Degree from Indiana University. During my time in Bloomington I fell in love with the town, convinced the rest of my band to relocate, and we’re still here. We’ve had our ups and downs in Bloomington, and lately I have felt the urge to move on. We have all discussed the possibility of relocating again many times. But, for now I’m happy enough to stay. I started playing the violin when I was 9 or 10 years old. I sort of wanted to play the drums but my mom wouldn’t let me. Then I switched to the guitar around 14 or so. I didn’t really get started making records until about ’97 or ’98 when Racebannon started happening. But, hearing ‘KISS Alive!’ on vinyl when I was 8 is what really did it for me. That was the moment I realized I wanted to make loud, noisy, feedbackin’ guitar riffs. And, I still do. Damn you KISS. Now, I play guitar in Racebannon and Medusa. Both bands are active and release records with worldwide-distributed labels. Racebannon has been putting out records for over a decade. Medusa just released a debut album and is just starting to really go somewhere. You can find both bands in your favorite record store, hopefully, or on the damn interwebs. Just look ‘em up. Do it. I dare you.
What are your current favorite pieces of hardware?
That’s hard to say. But, I do really like my AKG Perception microphones. They sound so good and I find them useful in just about every setting.
What are some softwares or plugins you prefer?
For multi-tracking/mixing I really like to use Cool Edit Pro 2. It’s a really user-friendly program and I’ve never had any real problems with it.
How does your physical space and surroundings influence your workflow?
Well, I really think a clean space makes it easier for me to focus on what I’m doing. Also, being surrounded by instruments helps me to feel inspired. I have several guitars around me, which makes it hard for me to forget about being creative or wanting to play. Really, an ideal location to me is anywhere that I have everything I need right at my fingertips. However, a one-level underground solar-powered soundproof lair with 30-foot-high ceilings close to the beach would be nice.
What was the first piece of hardware you remember obtaining?
I do remember my oldest brother giving me a huge Peavey mixing board with a Peavey P.A. head and Dr. Fong stage monitors when I was in high school. That helped get me started with my first few bands and I have no idea what happened to any of it. I really wish I still had that mixer. I remember it being pretty awesome.
What does your live setup look like?
I’m pretty pleased with my setup these days. I’m using an Emperor 6×12 cab that sounds pretty damn heavy. I usually only play Gibson SGs live. For Racebannon I play an SG with a Dirty Fingers pickup and for Medusa I play an SG with a Duncan Distortion pickup. I don’t really get into effects pedals much and try to keep a pretty stripped-down sound. Occasionally for Racebannon I will use some sort of random pedal for a few songs or a Digitech rack-mount delay. I’ve always been a fan of the Digitech Delay units and am currently on my fifth one. I guess I get a little too rough with them.
Are you involved in any projects outside of your own music?
Well, most of the time I am working on my own projects. However, I have recorded some local hip-hop over the past few years and soon will be recording a new Kentucky Nightmare (Bloomington band on Standard Recording Co.) album, which should be a good time. Right now, though, I’m trying to finish up the new Medusa recording. Everything has been tracked and there is still some mixing left to do. I’m definitely excited to finish it and release it to the world.