Innerstrings is a Lewes-based visual artist who creates liquid-like kaleidoscopic projections that accompany live performances at both gigs and festivals all over the UK. As well as illuminating Liverpool Psych Fest on an annual basis, he also provides visuals for other psychedelic festivals in Portsmouth and in his hometown of Lewes. In addition to this, he’s known for taking live performances by artists such as The Brian Jonestown Massacre, Cavern of Anti-Matter, Soccer96, Sun Ra Arkestra and Mark Morriss of The Bluetones to another level with his mesmerising projections. In the eleventh and final interview of our series with the Liverpool Psych Fest congregation, we spoke to Innerstrings about his work and upcoming appearance at the festival.
What inspired you to begin creating psychedelic visuals?
The loved of music that was associated with those visuals. My initial introduction was from a party that I attended as a child, the local village hall had oil projections all over the ceiling. I spent the whole night looking up! In the late 80s and early 90s I’d hang out out psych clubs in Brighton, there would always be an Optikinetics projector pointing at a wall somewhere there.
Who or what have been the biggest influences on your work?
Hard to say, there are so many amazing visual artists out there at present. I admire Julian Hand‘s work, and the art of Luke Insect. Both have a great understanding of colour and not using too much of it.
Can you tell us a bit about how your psychedelic projections work? What sort of equipment do you use? How much preparation goes into each show or festival?
It’s mostly done with cameras, a video mixer, effects boxes, bowls of liquid, monitors and a laptop. I normally create visuals ‘on the fly’ with the cameras and the band creating the visuals themselves, my job being to reinterpret what I see as it happens. It can be quite exhilarating. I do pre-prepare some shows and create the content itself too. I have also dabbled in music video production.
What’s your favourite festival memory?
So many to choose from. Tess Parks and Anton Newcombe played PZYK a couple of years ago. CAMP was rammed, the crowd were hysterical, and I’d discovered a sweet-spot with the visuals that captured Tess perfectly onstage. That was quite a buzz.
When did you first become involved with Liverpool Psych Fest?
I had projectors there on it’s first year in 2012, Time and Space Machine borrowed them, so technically I have been there in light form since the beginning. My first year of doing visuals there was in 2013. That was a pivotal weekend for me, the first time that I’d done visuals on a big screen using a camera.
How well do you know Liverpool and what’s your favourite thing about the city?
I’ve worked in Liverpool on numerous occasions now, for PZYK and touring bands. My favourite thing about the city, apart from it’s architecture and musical heritage, is it’s people; friendly, enthusiastic and well turned out!
Have you ever dabbled in psychedelics? If so, how would you describe your experience?
Yes, once. Best lightshow that I ever did. Worst DJing that I ever did.
Who would you recommend people see at Liverpool Psych Fest this year?
I’d highly recommend seeing ZOFFF. Amazing musicians and great friends of mine. They improvise each set, the intuition between each band member is incredible. I’ve watched them progress over the last couple of years, and their sets get more powerful, more blissful and more angular. I always struggle to pack my equipment down after doing visuals for them, they leave me stunned each time. Is Bliss are another band that I have done visual work for, they take me back to the ‘summer of love’, which for me is 1991. Top chaps too! I’m also looking forward to seeing The Comet Is Coming. Danalogue and Beatamax are from Soccer 96, they’ve been blowing my mind for a few years now.
Innerstrings will be providing psychedelic visuals for a variety of artists at Liverpool Psych Fest this weekend. You can follow him on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and on YouTube.
The sixth edition of Liverpool Psych Fest will take place at Camp & Furnace on 22nd and 23rd of September. Check out our review of last year’s festival here. For more details about this year’s event head over to www.LiverpoolPsychFest.com. Tickets are on sale now and can be purchased here.