QT is an interesting recent appearance on the refreshments scene. Fronted by an American artist who asked for the purposes of this interview to be referred to only as “Quinnton”, the QT project first announced itself as a drink, using a mixture of corporate and new-age language and slick pastel visuals as promotion.
This “QT brand” (CEO: Quinn Thomas, aka Quinnton, aka QT) has also released one single via XL Recordings, produced by SOPHIE and A.G.Cook, both connected to the 8-bit/euro-pop influenced PC Music scene. The accompanying video is somehow at once startlingly futuristic and completely of the moment, calling on Apple Store-esque “clean emptiness” and a near-future anime aesthetic. It’s a love-it-or-hate-it earworm Euro-house track that’s been referred to by pop critic Peter Robinson as “the first hipster novelty single”.
We caught up with Quinnton to ask about art strategies, PC Music, and what QT tastes like.
I am very sad to have never tasted QT. How does QT taste? Will there be some to try at Airwaves?
It tastes exactly like the song. They are really extensions of the same feeling. Looks fizzy, taste bouncy.. feels QT. Drink it, and you’re there… every time. Please find me in Iceland I would love for you to try it…
I’ve read that the drink, and music of QT are all manifestations from one source. What is that source? What are they manifestations of?
Why be limited to one form? I like to believe that we are all in a state of constant motion. Like ice becoming liquid. Some days I feel more like liquid… fluid and formless. Other days I feel like glass, frozen emotionally and vulnerable. Mostly, I try to be more like bubbles light and vertically oriented. We are all changing all the time shifting between states to try to connect to the world around us. Sometimes that means letting go of one form and inhabiting another to be able to be ourselves..
Is Quinnton the driving force in QT, or is it a project with other members, or a more collaborative process?
Being the CEO of a company can feel very lonely. Yesterday I was having a low day, really just disconnected from myself and the work I needed to do. I opened my phone and a qt across the world @drinkqt-ed me that she had a difficult day too and uploaded an image of a lavender bouquet. Instantly I felt connected to her and felt the lavender near me. I am extremely grateful for all of the qts out there who share these moments with me online and offline. Hey QT is exactly about that connection, when you feel the presence of someone even if they are not physically with you. It can be so powerful that moment of connection.
Would you prefer if Quinnton were somehow invisible behind QT, for the purposes of QT?
It’s not about what you can see its about what you feel. It is not interesting to talk about “where I was born” but more what we can do here together right now. How in moments I am you and you are me. I try to think about new ways of connecting with others all the time. I was washing my hands this morning with Dr Bronner’s liquid soap and on the bottle it says “We Are All One.” This message was delivered to me through a cleansing product and I heard it. Sometimes products have a way of communicating on a level that is beyond their form.
Do you think we are all one?
Are there multiple one’s of each of us?
How do we fragment ourselves to inhabit multiple spaces online and offline?
Do I have to be inside of my body forever or can I transfer my thoughts into something else… someone else?
Is my identity the same on Instagram as it is on Facebook?
How do companies that own these outlets benefit from self expression/discovery within their platforms?
Is it ultimately about hosting deep connections?
How can we as humans affect the energetic environment of the planet through our interactions?
Does existing online enable me to reach part of myself I am isolated from IRL?
In fact, is QT a kind of borderless art project, in effect? Does it draw on art strategies as much as traditional music-making and performance?
I can see how my company could appear like an art project but really it operates on a very direct and personal level. Ultimately I believe in the potential of combining music, performance and products to deliver a message. I’m not interested in a select few but worldwide distribution. Music is very powerful.
What kind of experience do you hope people have at QT shows? How do you try to bring it to them?
I am most excited about creating multi-sensory experiences. Concerts and festival environments are perfect conduits for energetic exchanges. Dancing next to someone. Feeling arms brush as you are walking through a crowd. When I wake up on the morning of a show I feel intensely excited about the possibility of connecting. My favorite part is getting to meet and dance with new people. Feel new things… listen…
Have you found any resistance to the style of the QT live performance from more traditionally-minded music listeners?
I try to update myself all the time and create presentations that are exciting and communicate what my company is about.
Is QT connected to the PC Music scene? How do you understand what that scene is, and why it rose to prominence recently?
Yes, they are my friends and everyone has been working so hard for so long. Thrilled to see each person evolving and coming into themselves. Very inspiring.
Have you been to Iceland before? Do you have any expectations about the show, festival, country, people?
I have. It is a very important place to me. I think about the special blue light specific to certain seasons in Iceland. I think about the feeling of being encased in liquid. I think about geothermal energy and what it would feel like to be grounded by that deep deep heat. So much energy there. I can’t wait to feel it.
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Posted October 29, 2015