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What I Learned at Bandcamp: Absofacto

Jonathan Visger, also known as Absofacto, has been “plinking around” with music for 12 years and got serious about it after high school, “as serious as anyone can be about anything shortly after graduating high school, anyway,” he writes in an email.

Absofacto makes experimental pop music out of Ann Arbor, Mich. and every song released (with the exception of album Kiko) is pay-what-you-want. “If you can pay something for it, it really does help me offset the expense of doing this, but if you can’t, just get it anyway, enjoy it, share it with other people, and drop me a nice note sometime to brighten my day,” reads his website.

He lists his influences as Radiohead, Beck, anything Damon Albarn is involved with, Spoon, and anything that fits in his idea of straight-up genius pop songwriting. “I’ve also managed to work out my own little
ways of being musically influenced by non-musical sources like the
books of people like Haruki Murakami and Edward Gorey, the films of
David Lynch, anything really.”

Learn more about Absofacto and listen to some tunes below…

How did you come up with your band name?

I read something where somebody was acting like a know-it-all and they said “absofacto” at the end of some rant, getting “ipso facto” wrong, and also mistakenly thinking it just meant “this is an absolute fact.” I liked the double incorrectness of it… I think it works well as a humble, non-gimmicky sort of name.

Upcoming projects, where do you want to go from here?

Well, I’m planning to pick up my singles series again really soon, and as soon as possible I’m hoping to start work on an album and get a live show going. There are a ton of directions I could go from here… Right now, there’s more music that I want to make than I have time to spend making it though!

What inspires your music?

I’m always trying to achieve magic and beauty in my music. It comes in different forms, and it’s impossible to describe or predict how it will appear next, but that’s the fun of it. It’s the thrill of the internal mental hunt for that elusive thing, that idea that just has the right je ne sais quoi. It’s very addictive, once you start trusting that you can always find it again. The actual inspiration can come from anywhere, so you’re free to look for it everywhere.

What musicians or bands do you look up to?

Mostly the same stuff I listed above, but in particular I really look up to Damon Albarn. Just as an outside observer, I think he has had the ideal arc… You can never pigeonhole his work, and he’s made a ton of different kinds of music without ever seeming like a tourist or a dabbler. Flying Lotus is another one I look up to, for the sheer inventiveness of what he does. Some of it is so weird that it could be an uphill battle just to decide if you even like it, but the confidence and sense of purpose with which he assembles and presents it carries you past that hurdle and you unexpectedly move straight into enjoyment.

Why do you make music?

Every reason! I love every aspect of music creation. Composing, writing lyrics, arranging, recording, mixing… I actually love how difficult it is to survive doing it too. It’s such a challenge, it constantly drives you forward. I’m not a very social person by nature either, so making music helps me have a voice to communicate with the world. At the end of the day though, it all comes down to being addicted to the feeling of being excited about a new idea.

Song: No Power

Song: Synthsocietal

To listen to more from Absofacto, purchase t-shirts and/or posters and download the albums, visit his Bandcamp.


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