Answers for questions Vol. 120

(shout out to April for the sloth pic!)

What up everyone? Back again with more answers for your questions.
Aside from one truly ridiculous question, this batch is fairly serious in tone.
Not in a depressing way but…well…it’s slightly nerdier. The good news is that I learned last week that a lot of you love that nerdy shit. So, bon appetit!
Personally, I’m looking forward to the silly questions returning but, hey, that’s just me.
Speaking of questions, if you have any you’d like me to answer, send them my way. Leave them in the comment section below or email them to me at:
It’s that easy!

I seem to recall you saying that you are not “famous” enough to get approached by fans on the street that much, but whenever this does happen, how long will you stand and shoot the shit? Of course this person could have something interresting to say, but we’re assuming that it’s just typical “why did you choose the name Blockhead?”-stuff.

Outside of shows I’m performing at , this almost never happens. And when it does, it’s usually just like “Oh, blockhead! What up man!” , a pound is given and that’s that.
That said, I’m very personable with fans and will chat for a decent amount of time. I mean, if I gotta be somewhere or I’m with someone else, it’s different but if I’m just chilling, I don’t see anything wrong with talking to someone for a little bit.
I used to tour with a Dj SIgnify and he’s always tell me “You need to cut the cord sooner…” cause we’d be at the merch table before/after shows and I’d get into these never ending conversations with people. He couldn’t fathom doing that (cause many of the conversations were mind numbing) but it never bothered me much. I don’t mind talking to people in general. It’s only an issue when the person is a little crazy/has no common sense of when a conversation has run it’s course. Also, really drunk people who repeat things over and over and keep giving daps are the worst. Everyone else? Not an issue.

i gotta question, whats up with people pushing people infront of the subway in new york? you ever look over shoulder waiting for your train or you ever see anything like that being a native? you got any good subway stories and finally is rakims mic really as dangerous as the third rail?

Yeah, that was a fucked up month. I mean, people fall onto the tracks with some regularity but the recent rash of people getting pushed is fucking terrifying. I never was the type to be too concerned with that happening to me but I’d be lying if I said I hadn’t been a little more cautious lately. I always have headphones on so I’m super susceptible to some lunatic pushing me. Nowadays, I stand more towards the middle of the platform. Speaking of people getting pushed into trains, I recently saw an old clip from that HBO show “Taxi Cab Confessions” where a cop tells the driver about what happens to the human body when it gets caught between a subway car and the platform. It’s pretty much the most awful shit ever

Block, how often do you listen to your own music when you’re not producing?

Rarely if ever. Unless I’m making something new (in which case I listen to it all the time as a means to fine tune it), I have no interest in listening to my own music. I made it. With all the process that goes into that, you can imagine I’d be pretty fucking tired of hearing it after a while. I will occasionally go back to my really old shit (early aesop stuff or my first album) just to see how it holds up but that’s about as far as it goes.

Did you know Marvin Gaye’s father was a pastor and cross dresser? If his ghost came to you one night, and said that you had to stand on the corner of E. 5th and Second Ave in drag fucking the rotting corpse of a duck in front of your girlfriend (she doesn’t know what you are planning to do) for 15 minutes, would you do it? In return, THE real Marvin Gaye would send you an original song from the other side, including vocals, for you to record… If yes, would you feel good about yourself?

I’m a Marvin Gaye fan but I don’t think I’d do anything remotely close to that under any circumstance. As much as I’d like to have an original Marvin Gaye song to play with, fucking a rotting duck (Are you 10 years old?) in front of my girl just seems a bit far fetched. Call me crazy! Also, not to nitpick but fucking the duck for 15 minutes? That’s a long time…ducks are small…and this one is rotting. It wouldn’t last more than a few minutes. Basically what I’m saying is that I would tear that duck up, bro.

There is a topic in music, that while hard to name is very familiar, summed up with: “Play your early shit”/”I only like his first album.” It touches on artist progression, what is fandom, the temporal nature of music (what you listened to in high school) among many other things. Even putting aside the hipster aspect, it seems like artists don’t like these people. Is that fair?

Is a fan of, say, Def Jux-era El-P less of a (“legit?”) fan than someone who got into him around C4C from the perspective of the artist?

Are all people who prefer the “old stuff” universally more annoying? Could it just be that the fans who would bring up “Music by Cavelight”= the best to your face, are annoying people generally; whereas a “legitimate”/”intelligent” fan might hold that opinion, but that wouldn’t be one of the first things out of their mouth?

Oh man…this is EVERY artists pet peeve. And, unfortunately, it’s what 95% of fans do.
I can’t even count the amount of times I’ve been told/asked by fans “When you gonna make another “Music by Cavelight”?”. It’s such an annoying and short sighted question on so many levels I really don’t know how to answer it.
As musicians, we go through changes. Some evolve naturally while others force their change (on some Black Eyed Peas shit). For those of us who do it naturally, being told over and over again how your best work was your first album is kind of a slap in the face. This is because, to us, that’s are most basic shit. I listen to “Music by cavelight” now and I’m like “I get it…but I also don’t think it’s fucking with anything I’m doing now”. Where as a typical fan just won’t have the same connection with the newer work. You made a good point about what people listen to when they were young. Those are the impressionable years. Therefor, the music you loved then will always hold a place in your heart. It’s just unfortunate that fans rarely grow WITH the artists. I mean, it’s nobodies fault…it’s just kinda how it is.

As for how I view the fans, I definitely have more respect for the learned fan who’s actually listened to all the albums and made a choice from there. You can tell who they are too..cause the ones who are just all about one album are usually people who have only really bumped that one album and skimmed the rest (if that). In fact, I’ll be at the merch booth at my shows sometimes and fan won’t even be aware I have 5 albums. They thought I stopped after the second one. That always boggles my mind, not cause they don’t know about the newer albums, but cause they came to a show to see a dude who they thinks topped making music 8 years ago.
It should be also noted that , while it’s frustrating as an artist, you can’t really blame the fans for liking what they like. As much as I want everyone to like my newest album the best, it just doesn’t work like that. Sometimes you gotta just take solace in the fact that you have any fans at all.

Yo Block! What’s your attitude towards scratching and turntablism? Do you own a pair of turntables and a mixer (+ some serato or traktor shit) and are able of doing some crazy shit like Q-bert does, (u know, scratchin, beat jugglin, flares and blurps etc.) or at least a part of it? I heard some scratches on your tracks and was wondering if it’s yours? Apart from that, do you follow what’s happening in turntablism world right now: either with your Ninja Tune buddies (Kid Koala or Kentaro) or other guys like C2C? What do you think of their music in terms of production or pure technical skills?

I do not scratch. Never have, never will. It’s just never been something that really interested me. I don’t really follow it and all the scratches on my albums have been other people (Dj Signify and Omega one). It’s not that I dislike it (obviously, i think it’s cool enough to use scratches on my albums) , I just never got that deep into it.
Scratching is something I think 95% of is somewhat boring and pointless but the 5% that do take it to that next level are amazing to me. Kid Koala , specifically, was the first DJ I saw live that I was like “Damn..beyond all the technical skill, that dude is a musician”.

I’m pretty sure you wanted a longer more specific answer to this but I really don’t have much else to add. Turntablism is cool and all, I just don’t care THAT much about it.

17 thoughts on “Answers for questions Vol. 120

  1. Are people who use your stomach as an elbow rest the most annoying people in the world…in fact I am typing this hoping the person next to me will see this on my screen. I put my arms forward on my bag to avoid getting into other people’s spaces which they then read as a sign to kick back, stick their elbows out, into my ribs, and read their book, phone or whatever. How do you deal with this? I am not sure how close these people realize I am to snapping when this happens…oops just shoved my bag in this person’s elbow…

  2. say that you were exiled from the united states, and had to go live in another country for the rest of your life. you can make up what ever reason you want. where would you move to and why?

  3. say you created a cult following. what kind of cult would it be and what would your followers do. you dont have any choice they will just follow you around all day and bother you if you dont give them direction.

  4. i gotta question, you ever think about selling out or going commercial? im sure you dont actually have a number but is there an amount were youd seriously consider selling your soul? like if drake and nikki minaja wanted to remix insomnia olympics or music sceen with there vocals for a shit ton of cash would you do it. by the way the songs called “bang me onna stack” its gotta repetive screwed chourus and its about being so rich that you fuck on piles of money in stead of a bed.

  5. I have a question. This guy (32) has started staying over at my (34) house every night for the past week and a half. I don’t invite him and if he doesn’t call I don’t stress it or call him but infallibly he ends up calling and being like, hey can I come over him. I kind of like him so I say yes. He comes over and we cuddle and sleep (gayness). No messing around. I get naked because I sleep naked and I wouldn’t mind boning him. He sleeps with his arms around me. He keeps dropping lines like we should live together or maybe we should try dating. But I’ve told him that that would only work out for me if we were having sex. He is in his first year of residency as an OBGyn and is exhausted all the time not to mention he looks at pussy all day long. We have been friends for a couple of months but not intensely. He’s just all of a sudden become my bedmate?! Wtf is going on in this guys head??? At what point do I get the ween?? Is he just using me for some physical affection and my amazing bed? He was kind of dating one of the other residents (who is a virgin) but he seems to have just dropped her. I’ve encourage him to continue to pursue her since she’s a virgin and he doesn’t feel like fucking so it seems like a good match. Not to mention they are both republican. On the other hand if he would start givin me the dick I’d be open to a relationship with him. We are rather, how u say, sympatico. Maybe he just likes playing with my boobs. I just want some insight into his mind plz. Maybe I’m being too much of a man about this. I’m not looking to fuck right away but some making out would lead me to think that something might happen at some point?!?!

  6. I have a question about comedy. What is your opinion on comedians making jokes about tragic events such as school shootings and natural disasters? This topic might hit closer to home because various comedians have 911 jokes in their acts. Do you think these topics shouldn’t be joked about or do you feel that it’s necessary for comedians to stretch boundaries sometimes?

  7. The return of CannedMilk (it’s been a long time since I’ve contributed to the comments section)….

    So I had to comment on the fans of new/ fans of old….I don’t think I would ever ask a musician “when are you going to make another album like “so and so”?….that’s fucking rude….musicians are artists…they grow, the music grows, and as you stated their fans might not necessarily follow the same path….I’m one of the fans that buys every single thing an artist has released…because if I like one album I will most likely like all of them….most recently this happened with “The Opus”…had no clue who they were until I heard “Take Me to the Basement” which was on some Aesop mix tape you got with purchasing “Skelethon” online…I got “First Contact”….now I’m getting everything they have put out, “Breathing Lessons”, “OOO”, and “Praying Mantis – Plus” are all in route as I type….just how I roll….Block, I don’t remember the first album I got from you…I think maybe “Downtown Science”…which was followed by “Music”…and the rest have been purchased upon release…I can’t tell you a favorite…I like all of them…certain songs more than others but it’s all good (short story: you played in Atlanta in early 2011 and the only thing I didn’t have at the merch table was “Peanuts in your Mouth” which was quickly purchased…and that purchase led to the purchase of “FM Fatale” from the song off that album…because it’s great to be introduced to other artists by an artist you like)….but this whole thing makes me think of an article I read with Maynard James Keenan a few years ago…he brought up fans doing this…how after “A Perfect Circle” album was released all he was asked was “when is the next TOOL album coming?”…his response was “I just gave birth to an album and you’re asking me about another album…another band”…..”fucking appreciate what was just released before you ask for something else”….”this is a creative process that doesn’t happen over night”….those words aren’t verbatim…but that’s the long/ short of it….fans really should be happy they have music that in some way shape or form touches their hearts and/ or souls…or just makes them want to shake their booty….because after all, isn’t that what we are all looking for in life?….a good soundtrack to shake our booty to…

    thanks for letting me rant for a few minutes…please excuse any typos…

  8. You get to join any 5 current TV reality shows, each for an entire season. While on each show, you must do all of the following with a fellow “cast member”:

    1.) Kiss
    2.) Sex (Condom)
    3.) Sex (No Condom)
    4.) 8 Hour Car Trip
    5.) Fist Fight

    You have to choose different people for 2 & 3. Which shows and cast members do you choose?

      • You’re right, I get carried away sometimes. How’s this?

        You get to join any 3 current TV reality shows, each for an entire season. While on each show, you must do all of the following with a fellow “cast member”:

        1.) Sex (Condom)
        2.) Sex with someone else (No Condom)
        3.) 8 Hour Car Trip

        Which shows and cast members do you choose?

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