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Getting Weird with White Fence

Tim Presley brings his solo project, White Fence, to the Casbah on Sunday



    I first interviewed Tim Presley back in 2010. His band, Darker My Love, was just about to release their third record. After two albums of feedback-drenched rock ramblers, Alive As You Are switched things up with 11 stripped-down jams that were far more Bobby Weir than Bobby Gillespie. It was an important shift, especially given that Presley, under the moniker White Fence, had released a collection of home recordings a few months before. It seemed that things were going to shift again. And they did.

    Darker My Love went on indefinite hiatus and Presley assumed the role of White Fence full-time. Using DIY home recordings, Presley has released a double LP, three regular LPs, and one with fellow prolific songwriter, Ty Segall. His latest, Cyclops Reap, came out in April, and he’ll be playing plenty of songs from it at the Casbah on Sunday with Jessica Pratt (who is on Presley’s label) and Foxygen’s Jonathan Rado.
    I recently spoke with Presley as he was driving into the United States, narrowly escaping a rigorous inspection at the Canadian/U.S. border.

    Here’s what he had to say about:

    Home recording
    I’m always writing and creating. I do it everyday, pretty much, from the moment I wake up. Going on tour is the only time that I socialize or get out into the world. And it’s a good break because I can make music when I’m on tour.
    Why playing solo isn’t for him
    I’ve done it before. But I’m just not used to it. I feel much more comfortable with a rock n' roll band.
    Playing with Jessica Pratt
    It’s just cool to go on the road with your friends. And it just so happens that I put out her record as well. But record or not, we always talked about doing it. And it’s pretty different. Her music is so quiet and beautiful and ours is loud and weird. The contrast is good.
    White Fence vs. Darker My Love
    It’s really different. That was more like a machine. They had a hand in a lot of stuff. For better or worse, this is almost like the opposite.
    It can be hard. There is a physical toll and all that. But it’s all still fun and exciting. I mean, we’ve been to Europe three times this year and that’s been pretty amazing.
    Hours of home recordings
    I like getting in there and spending the time. There’s something to scouring the tape, you know. I found one from like 10 years ago with noise guitar that I had done one night and forgotten all about it. And I can use that stuff! There’s always some nugget somewhere that I didn’t remember doing.
    The journey so far
    It’s weird to look back at it all. I can see how it seems like I’m always doing new things. I guess there’s a trail. But I don’t really think about it that way. Right now, I’m making the exact music that I want to make with no compromise at all.
    What’s next
    I don’t know. But maybe, I think I might like to try recording with people again on the next one. Or maybe even try doing some recording in the studio. I don’t know. I’m not exactly sure yet. 
    Blogger Scott McDonald covers music in San Diego for a few different publications and is the editor of