PSYCHIC EQUALIZER: Interview with Hugo Selles

Copenhagen-based project Psychic Equalizer is a brainchild of pianist and composer Hugo Selles, who in January released an album “The Lonely Traveller,” a record that represents a unique mixture of Progressive Rock, Jazz Fusion and Contemporary Jazz, making for a highly experimental release.

Hugo spoke for Rocking Charts, and here is what he had to say about this adventure.

Alright, first thing is first. Before we dive into all the music stuff, how’s life?

I must say that pretty good, I can’t complain at all.

Speaking of new music, you have an album. What can people expect from “The Lonely Traveller”?

The Lonely Traveller is the latest album under my project Psychic Equalizer. I founded it some years ago with the aim of creating my own personal style by experimenting and mixing together different musical genres. I think this album is the best I have released so far and it definitely shows what the project is about: there is space for progressive rock, improvisation, jazz fusion, avant-garde, ambient and classical.

What was it like working on the album?

It’s been a wonderful journey. On one hand there were really stressful moments due to a flood in the studio – a faulty pipe in the heating system broke (!!); but on the other hand there were great moments during the recording session, playing all together or discussing the different arrangements.

The Lonely Traveller

Are there any touring plans in support to “The Lonely Traveller”?

We have just given a, pretty successful I would say, release concert in Copenhagen. I am now working on giving a summer tour with the same musicians I performed with at that concert.

While we are on the subject of touring, what countries would you love to tour?

I am very keen on performing in Denmark again, where I live, and in Spain, where I am from. But I would definitely love to perform in Germany and maybe Poland, France or Portugal as well. I have also been telling the others that it would be absolutely fantastic to tour Japan, where they are really fond of this sort of music.

Who and what inspires you the most?

My homeland is one of the biggest sources of inspiration. I’m from northern Spain – not the stereotypical dry landscape that would come to your mind when thinking about that country. It is full of forests and mountains, it is peaceful and definitely not warm. I find other forms of art inspiring too, painting especially. I have also discovered Rodriguez last year, and I find not only his music but his life incredibly interesting.

What other genres of music do you listen to? Have any of the other genres you listen to had any impact on your playing?

I am open to listen to any kind of music. I listen and play lots of classical, especially music by still alive composers and music from the second Romanticism and the first half of the twentieth century.
I love progressive rock bands like Pink Floyd, Camel or Supertramp. Jazz is truly remarkable as well, I usually listen to Chick Corea, Anouar Brahem, Arild Andersen or Nina Simone, among others. But I don’t want to close my mind to anything. Every single type of music can have an impact on my way of understanding and creating it. Recently I am very interested in knowing more about Indian music and flamenco, and I am sure it will affect my future compositions.

I really appreciate you giving us your time today. Is there anything else you would like to tell us and the fans before we wrap things up?

I am very glad to spend my time on this interview, thanks to you!

“The Lonely Traveller” is out now and is available from here.

Cover photo by India Hooi