An interview with the artist behind the new underground compilation
By: Kristin Helf
William Strang-Moya is a sophomore at Towson University, a film major, but in the Baltimore area’s underground music scene, he’s best known as a post-punk musician on vocals and guitar. Formerly of the two-piece The Generation Execute and more recently a solo artist with a new band in the works (“We sound like a mix between Bauhaus and Green Day”), you wouldn’t expect the 19-year-old, aspiring filmmaker by day/musician by night, to find time for any other projects. Truly Amazing Records is an up-and-coming DIY music label and Strang-Moya’s latest undertaking. The name originates from a line in the cult horror film Evil Dead, and some songs on the not-yet-released cassette sound like they could have been featured on the 1981 movie’s soundtrack.
I met with Strang-Moya in his bottom-level Baltimore city apartment. One of his roommates is a few feet away from us, absentmindedly playing Minecraft; the other is at work. We sit at the kitchen table, which is covered in the Halloween decorations that haven’t yet been put to use. Fake cobwebs dangle off of the overhead lighting fixtures, and kitschy skeleton posters hang on the walls. If William’s preferred genre of music, spooky lo-fi ambience, were to take the form of an apartment, this would definitely be it. Strang-Moya speaks naturally in full sentences with no speech disfluency, as if he’s being interviewed even in casual conversation. Nothing has been omitted in this transcription, as there are no “um”s or “you know?”s to edit out.
So what exactly is Truly Amazing Records?
Truly Amazing Records is an independent DIY music label that features music of a plaid aesthetic that will be released on cassettes.
How would you describe the “plaid aesthetic”?
The plaid aesthetic is a variety of alternative, indie, punk, and a general cornucopia of lo-fi independent tunes. Including various hip-hop acts.
What bands are going to be featured on this label?
Well, on the debut compilation, the main features are the lo-fi independent hip-hop artist George Glass, DC shoegaze getup Happy Cats, singer-songwriter ukulele player Danielle Gibson, and ambient indie-pop kids Dennis Smith and Shane Geisler, whose band I don’t recall the name of, and Kicking the Jukebox, an alternative act, and the Generation Execute.
What inspired you to create this label?
Mostly so I have a place to adequately produce and distribute my own music while also doing it for others, keeping the scene alive and such.
When will this all be available?
The debut compilation is hopefully going to be launched by Nov. 1. It may or may not be available on cassette; however it will be available for free download. It’s mostly to demonstrate the various acts that I will be working with and, yeah, just about that.
What is your sound like? In your more recent solo work, at least.
As a solo artist, I make post-punk music that’s very bass-driven and has a lot of reverb, it’s pretty spooky.
I asked Strang-Moya if there was anything he wanted to add after all my questions had been answered. He hesitated, then finally decided on, “Be young, be dope, be proud.”