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: firstname.lastname@example.org
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.