Local Wire

Bill Horist @ Trunk Space

"I'm not of the 'avant-garde über alles' mindset," guitarist Bill Horist says on the phone from Seattle, where he's lived and launched tours since 1995. "I like all kinds of music. People say they like all kinds of music, and sometimes they do, sometimes they don't. I like a lot of experimental or avant-garde music, but I'm not one of the mind that I do it because it's superior to conventional music . . . but I do like pop music." Which explains why he's spent so much time leaping out of any box you could put him in. Horist has done time with psychedelic road warriors Kinski (including a stop in Arizona opening for prog-metal stars Tool), Ben Chasney's American Primitive guitar act Six Organs of Admittance, riff giants Master Musicians of Bukkake (featuring Alan Bishop and the late Charlie Gocher of Sun City Girls), and collaborated with members of Pearl Jam, Earth, The Boredoms, and Sunn0))). His solo work has been just as varied: 2010's Covalent Lodge featured pastoral folk compositions like "The Breath-Width Isthmus," gilded by soft drums, violins, and spectral vocals, while his latest, The Signal Index, finds him exploring solo prepared-guitar sounds. It's all one continuum for Horist, and to leave out elements not "high-minded" enough feels forced, constricting, uninviting, and against the "free" nature of avant-garde music. "There's certainly a large part of me that doesn't want to fall into the convention; it's not in my nature to fall into the convention. It's my nature to make my music, but it's going to be a person thing, a combination of the music I like. There's a lot of very conventional things I like. I try not to eschew that portion of my output. There are some artists out there like, 'Really? You like all these pop bands from the '80s?' Well, yeah, I do. And I'm not joking about it."

KEEP PHOENIX NEW TIMES FREE... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Jason P. Woodbury is a music and pop-culture writer based in Phoenix. He is a regular contributor to the music blog Aquarium Drunkard and co-host of the Transmissions podcast.