Back from the first leg of my tour. Thanks to everyone who came out. I had a great time and my apologies to the places I played with no merch. I sold out early which is a good and bad thing I suppose. I’ll pack accordingly next time, I promise.
Anyway, welcome to another edition of “answers for questions” You ask it, I answer it. If you’d like to join the fun, send me questions. Either leave them in the comment section below or email them to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. As always, be creative. We’re 205 volumes deep. Strive for originality.
Here’s this weeks batch, biatch.
I remember in the past that you saying that don’t get anything mastered (but as i’m typing this i sort of half remember you saying something to the contrary more recently?) – if you do, what was your reasoning behind choosing that particular person, and how involved in the process are you?
I’m pretty sure most music that gets released and isn’t some mixtape shit gets mastered. All my albums have been mastered. In the past, Ninja Tune had a guy they used and my ony job would be to hear the masters and approve them.
With my new album, I had to find a guy on my own but I know enough people at this point where that wasn’t hard. You basically go off the word of others. My involvement was pretty much going to the studio and listening to masters. Other than that, i just let the guy do his job but lead him in the direction you prefer, sound wise.
How do you usually deal with an average A-hole on the streets of New York who says something that makes you want to punch, but you don’t? I know you don’t. It’s you.
First off, I’m the most polite person ever. No lie. I’m highly aware of that kinda stuff when out in public and make an effort to never be an asshole to anyone. I’m a follower of the rules of engagement. So, you know, blow me.
This is like asking a person from boston “How do you deal with all that clam chowder and baked beans you must eat?”. There are dickheads all over NYC but it’s not like people are just walking around starting fights or being rude to one another for no reason. The “new yorkers are rude” claim is one of the most bullshit theories ever. We’re actually pretty helpful and nice. What we do is mind our own business and keep to ourselves. That’s what happens when you live on a tiny island with 8 million people on it. But, compared to a place like, say, paris? We’re an entire island of Mother Teresa’s.
So, when I over hear someone say some dumb shit, I let it go. Maybe I quietly laugh at that person to myself and tell a friend about it later. Being that I’m a civilized human being, I try not to go around punching every person I come across who says dumb shit. In fact, I avoid that at all costs. And, shockingly, it’s extremely easy to not fight people constantly.
Since you don’t drive, or drive much, do you ride a bicycle? If so, how is that in the crazy busy streets of New York?
Nope. I walk and take the subway. Sometimes cabs. But that’s it. I don’t ride bikes. I don’t skateboard. I don’t ride horses. I don’t stand on the roofs of cars and ride them like a surfbort like Teen Wolf. I’m all feet, all the time. In general, If I’m the one controlling them, I don’t do wheels.
I’ve read a little in the past, but forget. What is your approach to a lady you’re really interseted in? This is most likely the past for you anyhow.
This is definitely in the past for me. But, if i can recall, my approach was to flirt and plant seeds. Be charming, read signs. Basically be an intuitive person. It was a slow burn technic but it also had an extremely high success rate. I was never a “meet a girl, bag a girl, fuck a girl” kinda guy. I’m just not that aggressive. I’d imagine, if I were single now, the internet would play a huge part in getting girls. How could it not? Back in the myspace days, it certainly helped so i can only imagine how much it would play into that kinda stuff now.
If New York broke out with the start of the Zombie Apocalypse, where would you go? How would you react?
I lack some serious gumption so I’m pretty sure i’d hide until I got to hungry and then get killed within moments of leaving my hiding place. The only thing that might keep me alive is that I’m a fairly lucky person. So, perhaps, I’d get by on that for a while. But, yeah, I would not be one of those dudes who is around to restart civilization after brad pitt saves the world.
How did you go about learning production – ie, amplifying / lowering specific frequencies, and all of the more technical aspects of sound production? I really don’t know much more than applying high/low frequency filters appropriately and moving sounds around to different areas so as to not mud together. I want to make my shit sparkle, and do all my own mixing & mastering, but i’ve got this mental block caused by me knowing that there is a lot I don’t know. I just want to make my stuff sound as good & full, or at least close enough to the stuff that’s made in studios, and not sound like it was made in a bedroom, even though it is.
I learned through years of trial and error. I’d imagine it would have been much quicker for me if I was able to read instruction manuals and understand what they were talking about, but I’m not. That’s a language I don’t speak. So, I would just tinker around till things started to make more sense. Because of this style of “learning” it took me about 10 years of beat making before I felt I was happy with the sound I was creating. So, albums like “Float” , “Music by cavelight” , “Labor days” and even “Downtown science” were made before i really felt like i fully knew what I was doing.
I think people get hung up on technical aspects way too much in general and overlook the bigger picture of the music they’re creating. Of course you want it to sound good but the song itself being good is so much more important. I’m a firm believer in lo-fi shit. I’m still making music in my bedroom. If you wanna get it to sound good, find the right sounds. Don’t settle for stock keyboard/drum sounds. Seek out great drum sounds. Create your own. But, most of all, get someone else to mix it who knows what they’re doing. A good mix can change a lot of issues you might have had with the music when it was just you and your monitors in the bedroom.
Volume 200, eh? If I do the math, that’s a whole lotta questions. But a lot of them have to be repetitive or similar in theme. How many “archetypes” of questions could you categorize, that you’ve been asked over and over again?
Hmm…so many questions. Lemme just rattle off the first ten that pop into my head
1)”bad interview” questions. Those are things like “What are your influences?” and “What inspires you?”. These questions suck always and I really wish people would stop asking them. It’s arbitrary bullshit like “what’s your favorite color?” or “Bacon or sausage?”. Who gives a shit? I refuse to believe anyone reads answers to these types of questions and is like “Holy shit! that was interesting!”. I think, from now on, when I’m asked those questions in interviews, I’mma just list one person. “On, my greatest influence and inspiration? hmm…I gotta say, without questions, it was Richard Moll. Yes. The actor who played Bull on “Night Court”. He’s everything to me.”
2)”Do you like_____??” which is where some one asks my opinion on a specific artist or movie. I hate these cause they’re always just someone trying to justify their own taste by using me a barometer. Little do they know, I’m a terrible barometer and I most likely have very different musical taste than they think I have.
3)Tons of beat making questions.
4)”would you rather?” type questions. These can be fun but most of the time it’s me picking between the two grossest things on earth that, in all reality, I’d rather die than do in the first place.
5) People will throw a random topic at me. I like these questions cause they give me room to get a nice rant off. Like “What do you think of new moms?” or something like that. Very basic but very easy to sink my teeth into.
6) “Where did your name come from?” is a FAQ
7)Basketball questions. i’m fine with them but I realize, when I answer them, half of the readership skips over them. I’d actually imagine the same thing for any technical music questions as well. Can’t please everyone, I guess!
8)TV show questions. These are kinda like the opinion questions but more pointed. The problem with them is that they’re typically dated by the time I get around to answering them.
9)”state of hip hop” questions. It baffles me that people still pine over this topic but apparently, they do.
10)”Why do you always wear a hat?” Clearly, cause I was born with it attached to me head. Duh.