I would also like to start a recording songs any advice?


Ableton Live is a great program to start with, and it’s pretty inexpensive for the Intro version. There’s plenty to do with software-based music, and if you pick up a USB microphone you’ll be off to a good start. If you have a Mac, Garageband is a free program you can use. Audacity is free for both windows and mac, but it’s rather limited compared to most modern DAWs (which is why I recommend ableton). There are tons of resources online if you run into any trouble, and it’s a pretty straightforward program to use once you learn the basics!

What does the label do for the bands?


Human Nature will manage releases, send out promo mailings, sell & ship merch, handle copyright and publishing paperwork, etc. We do basically what a normal label would do, but on a smaller scale. We’re not looking to sign anybody currently, as we’re focusing on our core group of friends who all make music individually and together. We’re more of an organized artist collective than a traditional label, as it’s easier to manage with everyone being in college. We’re hoping to have Catliqid’s EP Digitalia out in the coming months, as well as the first volume of our compilation series, Human Nature: Incarnate Vol. <#1

Human Nature&#8217;s co-founder Theji Jayaratne came up with some questions to pick Emily Schuna / The Vacuum Party&#8217;s brain about her musical origins and how she works on music today. Attending Northeastern University for Music Industry &amp; Recording, she&#8217;s working on a new EP, as well as some tracks with her side project Modes.
&lt;# What first got you into making music?

My dad always had a drum kit and guitars laying around our house, as he used to drum in this metal band in the early 80s. I used to mess around a bit and could kinda play the 12 bar blues, but I hadn&#8217;t really thought of learning anything else. When I was 10, there was this high school girl down the street who was my babysitter, and she burned a copy of The White Stripes&#8217; White Blood Cells for me. Their next record Elephant came out pretty soon after, and they played “Seven Nation Army” on the Grammys. I remember watching Jack White and thinking “Wow&#8230;I want to do that.” I started taking group guitar lessons at this place called Backstreet Music, and after a year or or so, I stopped going and just continued to teach myself. I&#8217;d sit in my room all day trying to play along to whatever music I was into, eventually learning to figure things out by ear.

The Cure are probably the number one reason why I really stuck with playing guitar, though. I remember first hearing them when I was just 12 years old. I went to the theater to see that Reese Witherspoon movie Just Like Heaven, and that was when it happened. The opening drum fill and bassline of “Just Like Heaven” kicked in as the credits began to roll&#8230;it was enchanting. I got a copy of Greatest Hits, and after hearing “A Forest,” my 12 year old mind was blown. I absorbed their albums in chronological order, and with the help of the internet, found my way to bands like Siouxsie and the Banshees, Joy Division, Bauhaus, Echo and the Bunnymen, etc. Really falling in love with a band for the first time got me super inspired to play guitar and learn a bunch of songs. A year or two later, I started uploading videos to YouTube as IFoughtTheLaw369 doing covers of old Cure and Siouxsie songs. Eventually that led to me writing and recording my own music in my basement as The Vacuum Party. The rest is history!

&lt;# What made you pick the name The Vacuum Party for your solo project?

Take a look at the front cover of The Cure&#8217;s Three Imaginary Boys and you&#8217;ll see a vacuum cleaner hanging out with a fridge and a lamp. Someone on the Offset Guitars forum mentioned “The Vacuum Party” in a band name suggestions thread, and it made me think of that. I&#8217;m kind of ambivalent about the name now, but it seems too late to change it at this point. I don&#8217;t even know what I would change it to, anyway.

&lt;# How did you learn to record music?

I heard about Audacity being a free program for recording music, so I downloaded it and got an 1/8” adapter so I could plug the output of my guitar effects processor (along with my MicroKORG synth) into the microphone jack of my parent&#8217;s PC. The microphone that comes with Rock Band can be plugged into the computer USB, so I borrowed my sister&#8217;s mic and used it to record drums. Once I had messed around with Audacity and my latency-plagued projects enough, Christmas 2008 came around and I asked for this Tascam Fast-Track recording starter kit. It came with one microphone and Ableton Live Lite 7 (limited to 8 tracks and 4 effects for the entire project), so it was a challenging learning experience that taught me how to deal with recording limitations. I ended up unintentionally learning a lot about bussing and internally routing audio. Essentially I had to &#8216;print&#8217; tracks with effects to empty ones to free up plugins and room to record more layers. It meant having to make creative decisions early (which sometimes backfired) but it was all for fun anyway. Recording became something I did in my free time, and I learned quite a bit over the years. Fast forward to summer of 2012, I got an internship at The Terrarium recording studio in Minneapolis where I learned a ton about microphone selection and placement, judicious use of effects, session flow, etc&#8230;the proper way to record music!

&lt;# When writing new music, which do you prefer: collaborating with other people, or working alone?

That&#8217;s a really tough question. Being a one-person project for so long, I struggled over the years to come up with a cohesive collection of finished songs. My music was always pulling me in some different direction. Not much got finished because I was too afraid of recording vocal takes. I abandoned a lot of projects over the years for the sake of moving on and hoping I&#8217;d have the guts to do vocals for the next one. Of course, having creative control is a plus side when working solo, but that isn&#8217;t always ideal.

I had never found people I could write songs with until meeting [Theji] freshman year at Northeastern. Later I started jamming with Anjimile and Drew, which led us to want to write together seriously. The best part of writing with other people is the freshness of it all. They can complement what I&#8217;m playing in a way I could have never done myself, and vice versa. It gets rid of that staleness that happens when you&#8217;ve been making music by yourself for too long. Every jam is a surprise, and old habits get challenged.
&lt;# If you could only choose one instrument to play for the rest your life, which would it be?
I really love guitar, and it&#8217;s been my primary instrument for ages; however, recently I&#8217;ve had a reignited passion for playing bass. There&#8217;s so much you can do to change the feel of a song with it by playing melodically and creating unexpected tension. My favorite songs always have awesome bass lines.
The Vacuum Party&#8217;s yet-to-be-named EP will be out later this fall. Check out her newest (acoustic, rather out of character!) demo on her Soundcloud:


Human Nature’s co-founder Theji Jayaratne came up with some questions to pick Emily Schuna / The Vacuum Party’s brain about her musical origins and how she works on music today. Attending Northeastern University for Music Industry & Recording, she’s working on a new EP, as well as some tracks with her side project Modes.


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