Shisa, AKA Perris Dietrich, creates atmospheric, noisy drone-scapes—minimal in nature, experimental in sensibility. His songs cultivate a spaciousness that’s truly unique. His newest release, (memory) came out of AM Discs: http://www.amdiscs.com/
Find Shisa’s music here: http://shisa.bandcamp.com/
Cutty Spot: Tell us about Shisa. How long have you been making music under that moniker?
Perris Dietrich: Well first off, I didn’t name myself Shisa. My friend Michelle actually did. We went to school together back in Japan. I had been having trouble coming up with a name, so I had asked her. Shisa started off as me trying to make beats and atmospheres for a friend of mine to sing over. Sometimes I feel like Shisa is my alter ego or my more abstract methods of thought, but really I am Shisa. And I’ve been doing stuff under this name since late 2010.
Cutty Spot: Oh, interesting. So what were you doing in Japan?
Perris Dietrich: I actually lived in Japan when I was way younger. I was in elementary school at the time. My dad was in the marines, so we moved around a lot. About 9 years later Michelle had got in contact with me and then Shisa was officially born.
Cutty Spot: So, in your moving around, which place stood out the most? Also, you said you started making tracks as beats and atmospheres for a friend to sing over. Did the songs begin to sustain themselves without vocals? How would you describe your process of creating songs these days?
Perris Dietrich: Japan stood out the most. Had the most impact probably. I hated Virginia. I don’t remember Arizona.
As for your other questions…I tried keeping them minimal, but I guess that didn’t work out. Nowadays it’s harder for me to make stuff, because I stress about the way stuff sounds. Even half of (memory) was worked on a few months after Streetlights. From then on I just worked on little details and finished stuff I was procrastinating on. So, usually I try to sit down and just go, but I guess you can’t force music to come out of you. At least that’s what I’m told.
CS: Which artists are your most recent inspirations and why?
PD: I always feel cornered when I’m asked this because I find it hard to do. Im drawn by noisy stuff, psychedelic jams and ambient drone. Listening to Mannequin Blood again, thanks to my homie, Lockbox. Also Coma Cinema and Infinite Body a lot. French toast too. My favorite food.
CS: How do you perceive the effect the internet has on music (and the world at large) today? Where is it taking us?
PD: Well I mean I wouldn’t be getting interviewed right now if it weren’t for the internet, right? I think the internet is a beautiful thing. The url world has helped me book shows, get friends, travel around. It’s taking us to the future, dude.
CS: So you perform often? Describe your live set-up.
PD: I perform here and there. I get asked to dj parties too. So I play deep house and stuff. I plan on playing out more starting this spring. As of now, it’s just my macbook, but I do have a drum kit I plan on bringing once transportation eases up.
CS: So have you performed at any of the SWG events? Also, when can we expect your next release?
PD: Not this weekend. I should’ve been in Florida but whatever. I’m hosting the SWG Northeast showcase here inpittsburgh at the Beach House with my homie Ben Tabas. Oh, good question. Something depressing, yet romantic and refreshing. The problem with my stuff now is the fact that it was all idealized a while back and was just something for people to trip to. This time there will be noise, dreams, romance, feedback, strings, singing. You know? It’s just going to be emotions put out in the open.
Maybe it’ll be happy. I’m a sucker for good pop too, ya feel me?
CS: Yeah I know what you mean. So you plan for it to be perhaps more emotional? Depressing yet romantic and refreshing. Interesting. I’m looking forward to it. When do you think we can expect that?
PD: Definitely more emotional. I haven’t even gotten it all planned out because I want it to get colder up here, so I can really get in the mindset. I’ll be doing some singing as well. Which is always a great way of channeling emotion. Hopefully late this year or early next.
CS: Waiting for the weather to become more compatible with your sound. I dig that. Do you notice your sensibilities changing with the seasons?
PD: I really do. I love summer and all the good vibes. However, I’m more into autumn. It’s easier to think and relax and really get deep into what I want out of my music and myself. Or some shit like that. It just feels better to be cold.
CS: If you had to recommend one book to the reader, what would it be?
PD: The Perks of Being a Wallflower.
CS: Great. Do you have any final comments or shout outs?
PD: I hate these because I always feel there is that one person who I leave out. I mean really..if you talk to me, listen to my music, or if I’ve had a positive impact on you, then yeah this is for you. But fuck haters. Other than that, stay loving and have hope.