Interview with Alex Schmoyer, November 2015

Interview with Alex Schmoyer

alex shmoyer“It is euphoric up there. You feel bliss. Your writing is better spoken out loud.” Alex Schmoyer is a Red Room regular, performing every month since his arrival, a foundation in creating our vibe. In January 2014, being a new, fresh face to Taipei, Schmoyer was eager to find the must go to spots. After a co-worker told him of Red Room, he has assimilated into the community, making Red Room his creative space and poetry platform. This new atmosphere of RR provides for a clear headspace of the power and attention that spoken word deserves, as well as Schmoyer a chance to share.

He has been around poetry his whole life. His father also a poet has been pushing and inspiring his creative energy since he was young. It was not until Schmoyer moved to Taiwan though, that he began writing more prolifically and seriously. It became a part of his everyday. Poetry is fun. Frustrating and difficult, but fun. He finds that it is more manageable than prose, you can wrap your head around it. Poetry isn’t just his creative outlet, but his talent.

A poem can talk about anything: film, news, media, an action, idea, or feeling. Schmoyer likes to explore the accessible, making it more particular, bending it into the absurd or nonsensical. His work oscillates around and through music, film, the sensory, and the cerebral. These inspire him to explore either by trying to capture the feeling of a song by listening to it on repeat for hours or by examining the current news on possible life forms in another galaxy. He will listen to an album or a song on repeat just to capture that feeling you are left with at the end of a beat, lyric or camera shot.

Film is where it all started. Stanley Kubrick got him into film, and actor John Cassavetes, known as the “father of American independent cinema”, as well as Werner Herzog, the eccentric director of Grizzly Man and Aguirre, the Wrath of God, kept him in it. All three men kept him hooked in film and keep him constantly coming back each as a source of creative energy. Schmoyer doesn’t read much poetry. It feels too close to meter and rhyme. Each being characteristics in formal poetry that can put too many constraints on your creative headspace. Schmoyer prefers lyric-less electronic music, Modest Mouse on repeat, or the occasional limitation of a formal haiku as sources of inspiration.

“The hardest part of creating is courage to act. Find what inspires you and just do it.”

Leah List