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Artist Spotlight - Walter Campbell | book on VHS

"As someone who has shifted from lyrically-driven songs to instrumentals,
my humanity, politics, and humor carries over into my album or song titles."

What is your name?
Walter Campbell

Where are you located?
Richmond, CA

What is your artist's name?
Walter Campbell (solo) book on VHS (two-person project) I've also released solo material under the moniker Dickie Snakedick

How long have you been writing music?
Since I was 14, maybe earlier (I'm 41 now). Not formally trained, mostly a lyricist until my 20s. I would often write my lyrics to other people's music. Now I mostly write music! And when I say "write," a decent amount of it starts improvisational. I've followed a far less structured process over the past decade.

What inspired you to start playing and making music?
It's primarily a deep need from within, legitimizing my main reason to exist. I feel most alive when I create and perform. I want to make something that resonates with others like other people's music inspires and drives me. It's like passing the baton or continuing a dialogue.

What are your favorite artists or other artists that inspire you to write music?
Lately, I've been keen on exploring more noise–a newer genre for me! I enjoy a sense of humor and resistance in music, and I find that in Grim and Masonna. The droney works of Thaniel Lee, M.S. Waldron, Arvo Zylo, and Élaine Radigue inspire me. John Carpenter is a constant influence. I recently picked up and am blown away by Mick Harris and Martyn Bates' Murder Ballads.

How would you describe your style of music?
It depends on the release, but in general: pandemic pop, dungeon synthpop, goblin rock, and electro-industrial. It's choose your own adventure novel you never wanted to read, but keep reading anyway!

How is your personality reflected in your work?
As someone who has shifted from lyrically-driven songs to instrumentals, my humanity, politics, and humor carries over into my album or song titles. I often let a song title help set the mood or message, sometimes in conversation with the larger release's theme (examples: the Love Has Won in My Eyes EP refers to Amy Carlson and the "Love Has Won" cult; the song "8:46" connects to how Black Lives Matter, and how silence is contagious).

Describe your creative process when you write new music.
Recently it often starts with the idea that I develop on a phone-based synth app, my laptop, or in my head. I rely much less on other people's music or lyrical roadmaps when writing these days, instead favoring "happy accidents" from putting stems or tracks together, often from earlier and sometimes forgotten recordings. I will usually have a song title in mind that directs my approach and mood with the track. That said, what's in my head often sounds different by the time it's in my DAW.

What is the name of your latest releases?
book on VHS: Thoughts & Prayers (out late April 2023 on both the book on VHS and Humanhood Recordings Bandcamp pages) Walter Campbell: Corporeal Crawlers (out 7/7/23 on both the Walter Campbell and Muteant Sounds Bandcamp pages)

What was the inspiration for that release?
Today's anxieties and uncertainties inspire thoughts & Prayers. Conflicting with a strong conviction that something that needs to change is societal feelings of apathy, fatigue, and complacency as many of us reach our breaking points. The album speaks to how sympathetic well-wishes can be performative, if not hollow, sentiments more about finding closure for ourselves, deflecting from the systemic changes needed for real social impact. Corporeal Crawlers was inspired by Choose Your Own Adventure books and horror short stories, including the countless horror and sci-fi podcasts I've listened to over the pandemic. (Current favorite: Nocturnal Transmissions).

Can you tell us any "behind the scenes" stories about writing or producing this release?
Karl and I both got COVID while wrapping up recording Thoughts & Prayers. I want to think the moment I contracted the virus is captured somewhere on the record!

What are you currently working on?
Aside from some collaborations and a construction-themed Electronic Cottage compilation I'm curating, I'd like to do a Xuxa tribute EP. Long before Nurse With Wound or AC/DC, Xuxa was my first favorite artist. I still listen to her songs! I'd watch her show when visiting family in Brazil, and like Pee Wee's Playhouse, the costumes, songs, and props–no other children's shows were like that.

How can folks get in contact with you?

Walter Campbell
Bandcamp: https://waltercampbell.bandcamp.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/snakedick666/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/dickiesnakedick/

Book on VHS
Bandcamp: https://bookonvhs.bandcamp.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/bookonvhs

Anything of else?
I love to discover and support other artists. Please get in touch if you’re interested in collaborating on a song or release and think we might click. Thank you, Chuck and GetMusic, for the opportunity!



Bay Area-based Walter Campbell (NVS, book on VHS, Dickie Snakedick) began more deliberately expressing his love for both experimental and electronic music with various projects in 2014 after years of fronting energetic punk/alternative bands. Walter now primarily enjoys composing dark ambient soundscapes, electro-industrial pop, dungeon synthpop, imaginary horror soundtracks, and minimalist death industrial, often with a not-so-surreptitious wink to his audience.

Walter Campbell
Walterpurgisnacht III

ambient / electronic / experimental / walternative

"pulsates and mutates"

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Walter Campbell
Who Goes There? [Doppelg​ä​nger Edition]

drone / experimental / noise / soundtracks / walternative

"walternative soundtrack to the sci-fi novella"

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Walter Campbell
Diarrhea of a Madman

electronic / experimental / noise / walternative

"inspired by Oozy Stillbourne, Skinny Poopy, and Van Defecaten"

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Walter Campbell
Designated Driver

electronic / experimental / pop / walternative

"Drive safely, and ride with pleasure."

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Walter Campbell
Waltober Rust

electronic / experimental / pop / walternative

"Definitive introduction to Walter's solo electronic work."

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Walter Campbell
Drawn & Quartered (Single)

experimental

"dungeon synthpop"

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Walter Campbell
Silence Is Contagious

experimental

"Synth drones with a touch of sardonic sedition"

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Walter Campbell
Thunder Perfect Thighs

experimental

"A love affair with field recordings and deconstruction"

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Walter Campbell
Who Goes There?

experimental

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