We spoke with Caleb Dailey about never catching a salamander, the precision in simple actions, the magic of boiling down art into pure terms, removing power theft from spiritual belief and what it means to long for a new Earth.
I am drawn to simplistic, maybe even naïve melodies and relentless repetition. There is something magical about boiling down to pure forms then repeating.
There’s something very honest and pure to me about your music as Bear State and your work for Moone Records. It would seem it’s borne of a genuine, simple love of making music and sharing it with others. I guess my question to you is about the concept of simplicity and purity. Do you strive for either of those attributes in your actions or daily life, or would you not use those terms?
I do use these terms. I regularly think about them and the marriage with not only music, but daily life. I am not sure if I am constantly reaching for these attributes because of my tendency to be highly anxious, but I feel that looking for purity, simplicity and even repetition have helped me maintain some sense of stability. My life and my musical bend intersect here. I am drawn to simplistic, maybe even naïve melodies and relentless repetition. There is something magical about boiling down to pure forms, then repeating.
I fantasize about being a regular at an establishment in my neighborhood. Being known and greeted with the “usual.” Waking up at the same time every day, kissing my wife and kids on the head before heading to work. Take the same familiar roads. It may be because I spent formative years having annual life changes and would now like to avoid that as much as possible. When I finally realized that 99% of our lives are mundane, I had a strong pull to place more value on that than only chasing heightened experiences.
Do you consider yourself a religious person? Whether or not that’s something you’d want to bring out into the open, what is your view on believing in the other, in a larger context for why we’re here?
I spent some time trying to distance myself from the term “religious” because of the negative connotation it has come to carry. The word has taken on many interpretations, leaving my associating with the word to mean something different to each person. It is worrisome for me to talk about the cosmic wonders when only being tooled with text and punctuations. Hoping that the readers can comprehend the intended emotion. Especially because I feel that religious belief and our interactions with the entirety of humankind go hand-in-hand. If spirituality does not positively encourage our engagement in society’s well-being, care deeply about social justice and encourage us to holistically care for the marginalized, give value to art and work etc., “religion” becomes nothing more than text and punctuation.
With that being said, I no longer care either way about my connection with the vagueness being “religious” holds. I am sure some would classify me as religious and some would not.
I am moved by the hope of a “new earth.” The belief that humanity, technology, art and societies will eventually be restored to its intended relationship with God. Not much in life feels completely perfect. For example, I cannot completely fathom what a perfect relationship with God and technology looks like, but I try to regularly evaluate this relationship with technology and how it should be integrated into our lives positively. Is it being used to take advantage of someone? Is it being used to perpetuate privilege, or to open our eyes to ways of helping the marginalized? If I believe this is where humanity is headed, I feel that my relationships with everything should be continually evaluated as such.
At the time of writing these questions, it was Mental Health Day the other day. I generally think it’s positive that people are driven to share their own issues on social media rather than locking them away or feeling embarrassed about them. Do you struggle with any neuroses or other issues in your daily life, and regardless, what is your insight on the subject?
I do struggle with anxiety and depression that has led to paralyzing mental states. I am not sure how I feel about them being shared via social platforms, unless in a very thoughtful way. I think everything shared on social media should be well thought out anyway. I generally feel these emotions should be explored with trusted individuals, professionals or even as a bonding agent between experiencers.
Just a simple single shelf takes more precision than I ever imagined. Taking something down to even the simplest form is taxing.
Have you ever built something out of wood, stone or with moving mechanical parts? If so, could you describe it in as much detail as possible? If not, would you ever want to build something with your hands?
With much guidance, I took rough discarded Poplar wood and took it through a vigorous process of sanding it down, cutting and forming multiple pieces into a concise single shelf. Just a simple single shelf takes more precision than I ever imagined. Taking something down to even the simplest form is taxing.
Please briefly meditate on these three things: clocks, salamanders and toast. What comes to mind? Do you have a memory or anecdote of any of those things?
A novelty cat clock comes to mind. The one with a tail and eyes that move side-to-side.
I spent hours of my childhood in yards and parks in efforts of catching them. Always unsuccessfully.
I kind of have a fascination with what it’s like to have kids, since I’m not a parent. Can you tell me about your relationship with your kids and what you’ve learned about child psychology and the emotional world of the very young along the way?
My kids are magical. They are both so beautiful and full of life. It is hard to speak about them without resorting to cliché. They constantly remind me of what I spoke about briefly on the second question. The way they interact with and glean from experiences are so pure and hopeful. Although, because we don’t currently live in the world I hope for, it is imperfect but still a wonderful example of the intended relationship between God and humanity. They are just learning to grow and understand our and Earth’s potential. It is my job to show them the potential that they can use to help people, the environment, and their communities. Not for self-absorbed personal gain, or to maintain power over people.
Community is central to understanding and displaying a more beautiful picture of God. A continuation, not separate or removed from our earthly experience, but being in a perfect relationship.
Back to my question about religion. It would seem that most, even if they don’t have distinct beliefs, believe in some sort of concept of Heaven, or a universal consciousness. Do you support that kinda broad, personalized view of what’s going on, or do you think that a realm beyond the physical world is more singular and understandable?
I don’t think it is singular and/or completely understandable. Community is central to understanding and displaying a more beautiful picture of God. A continuation, not separate or removed from our earthly experience, but being in a perfect relationship with God.
Lastly, please give me your opinion on the root of the violence, hatred and borderline psychopathy we’re exposed to every day, on- or offline. Is it something to be avoided, fought or dealt with compassion? How can we avoid being affected by all this bad energy that is thrown in our faces day-to-day?
I can only imagine the root of hatred and then violence stems from a desire to have power over others and maintain an upper hand. I think avoiding would just perpetuate and enable injustice. I don’t even think the “bad energy” should be something to avoid. We can only fight against with compassion when we allow ourselves to be affected by the intense sadness it arouses.
Curated by: Morgan Enos
Conducted by: Email
Published: April 4, 2018
Total questions: 8
Word count: 1247
Reading time: Five minutes
anxiety, Arizona, arousal, attribute, Bear State, Caleb Dailey, childhood, clock, community, compassion, comprehension, context, continuation, depression, Earth, energy, engagement, environment, establishment, gain, glean, guidance, individual, melody, Moone Records, naive, paralysis, park, perpetuation, personal, Phoenix, Poplar wood, potential, professional, punctuation, removal, repetition, salamander, separation, simplicity, songwriting, technology, toast, yard
About the curator
Morgan Enos is a songwriter and journalist originally from California. His curatorial work for North of the Internet aims to strike a deeper place in his conversation subjects — the dreamy subtext to the linear everyday. Morgan also frequently writes power pop records as Other Houses about joy, outer space, frustration, chess and spiritual light. He resides in New York, where he continues to creatively fire on all cylinders.
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