Interview composed by Stu Hood - October 2002
Where are you right now, and what have I just interrupted you from doing?
What are these bLevinbLectal Advisories, Lesser Missives, and Sagan Sound-Offs that you speak of and what do you hope to accomplish from them.
I am sitting at work, CNET, just finished shooting the shit with my boss (who happens to have been in The Mummies) and having my second cup of coffee. Thankfully, I have done not a lick of work yet.
Was touring Japan with Kid 606 fun?
Well... we're talking SPAM here. Mostly they will be show/release announcements with, hopefully, some other information which might be interesting. This summer I moved in with bLevin bLectum and, since we were also starting a band together, Sagan (and shared a lot of the same folks on out mailing lists), we decided to just pool our resources. Maybe someone will purchase our releases or see our shows. Ain't that the dream of many an electronic musician?
Are you planning any tours across the country, maybe even here into Canada?
Ya. I hadn't toured with Miguel since he had become a superstar, so that was interesting. I got to spend a couple weeks in Japan on the Björk tour, it was fun to go back as I had been a bit acclimatized to it. The last time I only saw Tokyo, but now I have seen a bit more of the countryside and other cities. I enjoy the hot corn chowder from vending machines.
What kind of material is in store for the near future? Will it be ground breaking in the uber scene?
I am thinking mid-Spring. The Matador record should be out by late Spring (hopefully), so I would like to be doing some touring then I think, but I will have to see. Again, I did that Björk tour for 6 months and, while it wasn't exactly a demanding schedule, I got really bored of traveling and music. It's been really nice to just sit around here in the Bay Area for the last 9 or so months.
How tough is the scene?
HA! Hmmmm. I dunno. A lot of what will be on the Matador record was put together in hotel rooms on tour. I think the album will not be as difficult as 'Gearhound' though. I just don't FEEL that anymore. I used to be driven by hate and anger, spit and vinegar, bloodlust and alcohol, but a lot of that has dried up. I don't have the energy to hate anymore. I guess I'm growing up and trying to find a way to channel slightly more positive emotions? Well, that's not exactly true. How can I put this? I've not done a single piece of music in the last, oh lets say 10 years that wasn't totally sarcastic and posture driven. I am ready to give some of that up. I've been so obsessed with deconstructing music that I have forgotten much of what is most powerful and interesting about music. Its just too easy to criticize culture, and receive praise, while not actually giving back anything of value. Also, the whole Cult of Electronica is getting old to me. I mean, I got into electronic music because, at the time, it was more punk than punk; literally, getting into fistfights with drunken cowboys in bars. It's just not that exciting now that it has become lifestyle music (even EXTREME lifestyle music - i.e.: snowboarding video games) and I began to judge myself against other lifestyle music makers. That's definitely NOT where I want to be.
Right now I am having fun composing music with bLevin in Sagan (with Ryan Junell). It's a bit more kinder and gentler than Lesser, tho still prone to violent mood swings ;)
There will, however, be a metal song on the record.
Is 'scene' a word?
As tough as you want it. I mean, if you choose to believe that there is a list somewhere and someone is distributing cool points from a limited pool - that's a dog-eat-dog world and a lot of folks operate there. It's terribly easy to think all that shit is real. Especially since I had this illusion of being able to live off music (actually I was living off the little I saved on the Björk tour, but that money was not going to last forever or ever be replenished). I guess its true that only a certain amount of folks can afford to LIVE SOLELY off their music, but, for me, living off my music poses too many ethical questions (why am I doing this? will people like it? etc). I didn't get anything done because I just kept thinking about that shit and I am a pathetically small blip on the radar. I just think about pointless things like that too much. It's just better for me to hold down a job and just make music as a hobby.
How coordinated is your reality with the general census of thought?
Yes: 8a. A sphere of activity: observers of the political scene.
Is your music an outlet for inner pain?
Unfortunately, not very. I have no time for cheap, 80's retro, electronic novelty acts. While I seek some sort of notoriety, the more I receive the further I retreat into aninimity. The world of rock nee electronic music feels fairly remote right now. I simply would rather play video games.
Why don't you do more hip hop remixes like everyone else?
Hmmmm, not pain, but anger I think. I used to be so ANGRY at folks' stupidity re: music. Their opinions and refusal to learn enough about the history of music; damning themselves to repeating it (or perpetuating it, in the case of fans liking a shitty rip-off band instead of appreciating the original). I have finally come to terms with the fact that there is nothing I can really do about people's opinions and, bottom line, I don't care enough about most people to worry about their opinions... And, really, if it makes them happy, so be it. We're not talking about someone's views on abortion or nuclear weapons or whatever... It's fucking electronic music, for god's sake.
Ummm... doesn't Kid-606 do enough for everyone?