Monday, March 1, 2010

EPROM BE PF (Interview)

Q: how did you come up with the name "eprom be pf"

A: I have gone by a few names like “Phantom Freighter”, but had begun using just “PF” or “Pounding Fingers” and also “EPROM be pf”, as I had become taken with the concepts of EPROM (erasable programmable read only memory) and the “burning” process. There is a long form of the name that Bluntcop helped me coin around 2004.

Q: when did you start making beats?

A: Music and records were always around my childhood home and interested me much. My mother played the French-horn. A babysitter introduced my brother and I to taped audio-plays with sfx; So the neighbor was coming by to watch us while Mom was at work, and he was playing these things he had edited at home on cassette. They were great horror and mystery stories he had pieced together with all sorts of recorded media. I was hooked at this point and began making recordings of my own. I Started recording beats and loops(skips) during my young years and experimented with tape recording/dubbing and turntable at that time. I spent countless hours alone looking and playing respectfully with the basic gear my parents had. I first studied percussion in elementary school and played snare in the Jr. High stage band, which didn’t last long due to a broken femur. I started computer music around 1992 on apple computers at high school. It was in 1996-1997 when I was introduced to the sp12, at my then future temporary home, and heard what could be done with it. I had never seen DAWgear like this in person, and was blown away by the samples and the sounds. I soon had found myself cheap pieces of gear like the Roland Ms1, sp12, and Korg Poly61 shopping in junk stores, and then really began to mess around and record mixes on tape and other media. I was fortunate to be introduced to the ASR10&X and Korg triton soon after by Brothers, Buster B and Jua Malik. I’ve been fortunate enough to be friends with countless musicians who have shared their sounds, ideas, and tools with me. I have recorded unreleased music with Kurt Vile(Matador), Dr Rob Laakso(Swirlies, Amazing Baby), James Bruce Bowman(Hot Black Desiato), and Bluntcop.

Q: has your music been distributed by any means other than myspace?

A: I have distributed tapes by hand. These tapes are few, like “Phantom Freighter tape dumps”, ”Underseabell”, and “Gravity Mask” which floated around amongst some of my friends who were performing and touring and working in the industry. I have never really put anything out in great numbers, but have always given tracks and tapes to friends. I have some other music in student films. There are some lost tapes.

Q: do you have any plans to "release" any material via cd, download, or other medium?

A: I’m planning on releasing some music this year.

Q: what is FMYY Japan and what is your connection with it?

A: FM YY came to be after the Great Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake of 1995. It was established as a radio station that would bridge cultural diversity in Kobe in the wake of this quake. This earthquake resulted in significant damages to the lives of minority people in the area.

Communication was difficult during this time because of the language barrier. Many were unable to receive information. Foreigners were in a very vulnerable position. FMYY was formed as a multicultural/multi-language radio station, to help bring this much needed information and then also music to the many people of Kobe.

I was able to play my music in 1999 on FMYY during an English/Japanese progressive music broadcast produced by my Brother Matthew. This was a great time and was wonderful to share music and multiple languages.

Q: where do you pull your samples from, can you talk a bit about your production process?

A: I play around a lot; I tend to read the manuals for the gear, but often go in many directions from track 1.

{Its weird I bought a sp12 from a junk store and then a manual arrives in the mail with no return address. Spooky shit. I was...starring out the window peeping around corners… for a while.

I grab samples from mostly any source: records, tape, video, TV, radio, games, and live recordings of all kinds. I start in different places all the time. Sometimes I start with rhythm sequence segments, sometimes with a sample, or ambient music bed. I feel my way through it. Lately I have been making banks of samples in the Yamaha su700, and going back and forth between making drums or programming drums first and or starting with a sample or something. I add and subtract now more that I sometimes use a usb interface to record audio vs using tape. I have been using a free version of Audacity on a Dell Gx240. Sometimes I mix tracks to cassette, ¼, 4track, or vhs.

Q: you have a pretty unique style. what other artists out there that influence or inspire you?

A: I’ve be inspired by lots of different types of artists, and have always been influenced by music of all genres and types. I really liked oldies, soul, film scores, classical, jazz, psychedelic rock/funk, world music, electronic, and hip hop as a kid. Other artists that inspired me growing up were many. I always liked seeing and hearing something different, and sometimes the stranger the better. Experimental always got me thinking (Tomita, Fripp, Prince Paul…My old roommates and friends, like Jeff Caxide(ISIS) & Prez Powerz).

Q: when did you start painting/tagging?

A: I started messing with spray paint sometime soon after seeing Style Wars on PBS in 1981/82, but didn’t get around to really trying to do any tags till about 1989-1990. The whole area seemed to be covered with art out here; going down Route 95 and Conrail/Amtrak in the 80-90s was like driving thru a huge art gallery. I was always inspired by this creation on the walls of the northeast. I never really painted anything too complex or detailed on a wall until 1996, when I really started trying to experiment and paint characters and all sorts of text. I began really exploring and going thru the landscape at this time and playing with music and film too.

Q: what are you doing when not producing/creating?

A: When not making media or working, I like to listen to music and watch films. I also play video games. I get out when I can to see what’s going on. I like getting busy with anything positive to kill stress. I paint outdoor murals in good weather, and like to check out all kinds of nature, building, and art(music). I love sports and watching sports too.

Q: is there anything else you'd like to share with the potential readers of this interview?

A: I can share the importance of being open and receptive to new things that good people share; These things continue to enrich my life on the darkest of days.

eprom on myspace

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Nicolas Maida Interview

i met nick maida in 5th grade i believe it was.. he had just moved to my school - franklin elementary. it seemed like the whole classroom would gather around him(teacher included) when he was drawing quietly at his desk - you'd usually find him sketching out power rangers, robots, ninja turtles, or dinosaurs frantically and seemingly sloppily but amazingly! when nick wasn't drawing/ writting comics he was usually talking about rubber chickens, turtles, and the color green. i remember we also had a basketball team at recess called the 4(or 5) cookies that he/i drew(nba jam inspired?) pictures about.. we became friends due to our mutual interest in drawing, dinosaurs, video games, etc. and lost touch over the years but he always has and continues today to inspire me so i decided to interview him for this blog. sassbologna connection: nick did the cover art for the war kriminals "fully automated" cassette.

Q: when did you start drawing/what sort of things did you draw?

I've been drawing ever since I could lift a pencil, started drawing Mickey Mouse, or my cat, or turtles. This is what I was told by the parents anyways.

Q: what/who got you into it?

A: I started drawing before I learned to form the words to this answer, so I honestly couldn't tell you. I just love it, always have.

Q: when did you start "super hero society"? tell me a bit about it.

A: The SHS started about the time I started high school. It started off as an inside joke for my friends. It started off with myself and my friends as super heroes. Nothing new, anybody who likes to draw and is into comics has done something like that at some point. It's just a fun idea, who hasn't felt the desire to fly or lift a car over your head? We've all wanted to play the hero, somebody who stands out above everyone else and does what nobody else can do. So I have to admit, the idea of Super Maida and the SHS is in part dream fulfillment.

The comic started off near the end of eighth grade with the title of Super Maida. Nothing creative, but then again it didn't really need to be. The whole purpose was to take people I know, give them super powers, then put them into hilarious situations. The first issue had all of us in science class being attacked by a monster with a teddy bear head. That was it. The only character that had super powers was the kid based off of myself. The second issue brought in Super Sam, a rival hero with a red cape. No real purpose to fight, I think it was over some milk or something stupid like that. The third issue brought in some new villains who visited our little school after hearing of these kids with super powers. They ended up destroying the building and forced Super Maida, Super Sam, and the newly dubbed Twister out into the open. By the time I reached page thirty, I noticed that I still had more story to tell, so I continued that story into the fourth issue.

As time passed, I was discovering that this was becoming something more than a fun joke. I realized that I had stories to tell, adventures to draw and write. While the title still was "Super Maida", the cast of characters was growing each and every issue, and the focus, while still heavy on Super Maida, started to spread to these other characters. What was meant to be a fun little joke became four years and 100 issues of a fleshed out series.

I left the series behind in high school, and while I did release a holiday issue and some pictures every now and then, the series was, for all intents and purposes, done. Still the ideas clung to me, more than they ever had with any other little project I worked on. I tried a couple of different ideas these last few years with the SHS, one including a Hero Academy and another meant to continue the original series, but it seemed fairly pointless considering most of the old issues are too sloppy to read, or have gone missing.

The ideas that stuck to me through the years and the new ones I get, be it from myself or good friends, have left me to believe that we had too good of an idea to let it go to waste. So, I decided to just redo the entire series, now with everything I have learned and with an appeal to not only my friends, but outsiders as well. My character would still be a large focus in some stories, but its no longer the main focus. He is part of something much bigger. There is still that wish fulfillment in his character, he is based off of myself after all, but now it's because I want to share with the world these people and events through my eyes (...with super powers...) I have met so many amazing people and I am lucky to have them in my life. People that deserve to be noticed, people that deserve to be written about and remembered. While the stories are fiction, many of the personalities are based off of amazing individuals. So it was only fitting that when the relaunch was planned, the book was renamed as well. It's no longer about one character, it's about many. So the Super Hero Society was born.

The new series starts off surprisingly close to the original. We are going to start off the book one year after the world has been made aware of super humans. That way we can hop right into the action and make the first issues focused a little more on episodic adventures (but it's really cool how they all tie together down the road) The origin story is a great one, but with its slow pacing, I just feel it wasn't right as the first story to introduce over the internet. Once the series finds its footing, then we'll explore that a little more, but for now, I feel it's best to just jump right into the thick of things yet still find a good starting point.

The first issue will see Muscatine as its setting. The world now knows super powers exist in the form of five people. We also know that one year ago, something happened in the town of Muscatine that brought about these five that not only exposed them to the world, but helped them save it. Since then they have gone their separate ways. The year that has passed has been a quiet one, while super powers do exist, it doesn't mean there is a super hero fight every other day. At least...not yet. Maida still lives in Muscatine, making his way trying to be a normal teenager, despite the fact the whole world knows he isn't. He doesn't use his super powers anymore and he's much more reserved than what he once was. The other four characters have gone off to do their own thing. Solice, being the broody one, could be anywhere. Lurae, a real live super powered princess, has returned to her hidden kingdom to rule. Casey, otherwise known has Twister, has banked in on his powers and is off somewhere advertising some new product. "Super" Sam, the rival kid of the original series, has gone off for reasons that will remain a mystery for now.

Point is, all these kids are off trying to do their own thing. Maida, the kid who always wanted to leave, a kid you would feel would rocket off the moment he learned he could fly, is the exact opposite of that. He feels he has put his family in danger by exposing his true powers to the world, so he has stayed behind. As he will learn by the end of the issue though, is his presence there puts his family in danger.

An attack on Muscatine happens out of the blue, a giant metal "comet" rockets into town, destroying a landmark here or there, and spewing out little machines that set after Maida's loved ones and the townsfolk in general. Being the first super villain attack in a year, this is obviously big news to the world. Everyone moves their focus onto this tiny town, every news station is broadcasting, and everyone is watching. This grabs the attention of the four other heroes, all of whom have a connection to this town, and return to help out. A bigger threat appears in the second half of the issue, and its up to Maida to try and band together the heroes once more to face it. I won't go into much more detail then that, I've been talking too much as it is, but it will be badass.

Q: what projects are you involved in now if any?

A: The main project is SHS. I'm really trying to bring my focus back to getting the series started now that a solid story for the entire series has been fleshed out and the first issue is finally ready to go. Outside of that, I'm still working on SHS: Hollow. It was originally supposed to be a short Halloween story, but it became a five part story that now fits into the continuity of the series. Completely different style from the rest of the book, but it works for what it is, and will mesh together with the current continuity we've created for the new series. We're also going to be working on some behind-the-scene videos and ad posters, and I'm going to try my hand at web design at some point, I've never known how, and the comic needs to be posted somewhere.

Most projects now all have something to do with the SHS, I'm very determined to get this off the ground this year, so that will remain the main focus. Outside of that, I'm working on a commission, I get those every now and then, and a couple of quick projects for friends.

Q: who or what are some of your past and present influences and inspirations?

A: There are plenty. The main one being the people in my life, they inspire me more than any book or piece of art has. Not saying there isn't plenty of influence from things I've watched, read, or played. While I don't believe in copying somebody's work, I do feel it's important to try and learn something from any piece you get your hands on. I'm not arrogant enough to say I have all the skills I need to make the best book out there. Far from it. I'm no where near ready to be where I want to be as an artist, and I hope I never get there. You can learn and become inspired from anything, so I feel it's important to learn from everything. I've been inspired on some level by everything I have come across so far. The current art style I use has some obvious influences from both western and eastern styles without really falling into either category.

For specific examples? I always follow my favorite franchises in geek and pop culture. Be it Ninja Turtles or Power Rangers...Spider-man or Batman...a Dan Brown novel or Spongebob...I will always have a love for something in any form of mass media and I will always learn from them.

Q: what was the most important thing you learned while going to school for graphics communications?

A: Honestly not much of anything. A basic understanding of Adobe Illustrator, and the difference between a font and a typeface. I could have taken more from it, so it's nobody's fault but my own. The classes I took just wasn't what I was looking for, so I'm planning on getting somewhere that will teach me the things I still need to get the hang of later this year.

Q: what do you have planned in the future for your artwork personally/professoinally?

A: I want to build a franchise from the ground up. I want to work on comics, cartoons, everything. I love the fields and I want to play with all of them. I want some day to be able to make a living off of my ideas. I don't want this to be a hobby and I don't want this to be a little extra money, I want this to be my life and I will not stop until that is the case.

Q: who is your favorite super hero any why?

A: ha. Seriously at this point, it's hard to pick one and only one. As a kid I loved Superman and Spider-man. Then again I also loved Ninja Turtles and Sonic, but I don't know if you can count those. Now I have a better understanding of so many different types and I love reading about so many. Batman and Green Lantern are some of my current favorites, Spider-man still is up there, he's always had the coolest costume for traditional heroes and he's got more personality than the others. Nowadays that isn't the case, but he did it first and he did it best. So probably Spider-man, I just feel weird listing only one. Oooh, or Green Ranger if he counts! I thought he was a badass.

Q: what comics/animation are you peeping these days?

A: If it's not one thing its another. Currently I'm watching Naruto just to see where the story goes. I honestly do not know why I'm watching it, I'm not taken by the designs or the characters. Nor am I usually the type to watch anime, but I enjoy it regardless. Besides that, Spectacular Spider-man. I haven't read comics in a while, but when I do, I read Green Lantern. They're doing a color-coded story line similar to stuff in SHS. Ours is still different, and the idea of color-coded powers is nothing new, Power Rangers have done it for years, but it's still interesting seeing a book outside of my own, and an official, professional one at that, with a green lead. I love green, but the green characters always get punked. They're either chunky comic-relief or annoying little kids in team books.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Taylor Hendrix AKA Bold Little Airwave Interview

I first heard B.L.A. when Trendy Bastard played with him a few years ago. Always into checking out new local groups, I was immediately intrigued when I heard there was going to be this younger kid doing lo-fi electronic stuff on keyboards and stuff at the show - it was right up my alley! We met and soon released his "Lo-Fi Hi-Hopes" album on cassette via Sassbologna Records. This guy is one of few artists I've worked with who lives very near me and I've actually had the pleasure of meeting in person. Recently I asked the man behind the music a few questions:

Q: when did you first get into music?

A: Well, I suppose I have always been surrounded by music. My father is a drummer so growing up there was always something to play on. I started on the drums, although I haven't played acoustic drums for a while so I'm kinda rusty. Most of what I listened to as a kid was classical music, and alternative rock. I loved listening to my dad's records too. He had a lot of really great ones (Herbie Hancock, Stanley Clarke) and it was great to be exposed to that at an early age. I took piano while in grade school and guitar lessons in high school. I really didn't like taking
lessons, but it did help with a lot of the fundamental stuff.

Q: when did you start making your own music?

A: As a kid I always tried to record things on my dads equipment, but I really started making my own songs around 9thgrade. I started with a Casio keyboard. It was a cheap one, but it had Midi support. My dad gave me his old windows 98 computer and that's all I had for a while. Even then, I still tried to be creative with it. The first song I made used sound samples taken from a Simon game.

Q: what/who are some of your biggest influences?

A: Starting out, I really didn't know about a lot of the great (unheard of in the U.S.) electronic musicians. My first influence then would be my family. Later I began to look up people, and learned about the pioneers of electronic music. People like Bob Moog, Bruce Haack, Jean Jacques Perrey, and Jean Michel Jarre. I was amazed at what could be accomplished with synthesizers. I loved the sounds of those early instruments, the analog sound. That was the direction I wanted to go but, if you ever look up the prices on modular synths, it wasn't a very cheap direction. At the time I worked in fast food, so it was a rather ridiculous dream.

Q: when did you start creating your own instruments and circuit bending and such, did you teach yourself how to do so?

A: I have always been into electronics. I remember taking apart my toys as a kid to see how they worked. One of my favorite pastimes as a child was desoldering components from circuit boards. When I realized I wasn't able to afford the keyboards I wanted, I thought I might be able to make something myself. While searching online for schematics I found circuit bending. I liked the idea of it, of using discarded toys to make sounds with. I'm not really into bending anything that's rare though. Some toys are better left alone. So I began to work with what I had. I built some really basic oscillators and filters. And started searching Goodwill and the other thrift stores for toy keyboards and things. I have quite a collection now. Most of what I know I learned on my own and with my dad. I did take some college classes on electronics though. It was fun and I learned a lot of the actual science behind what I was working on.

Q: most electronic musicians these days main tool is the computer.. how much do you use a computer in your creative process.. can you talk a bit about how you construct a song typically..the process?

A: I didn't like the idea of using computers to make music. I wanted all the knobs and switches to play with. I kind of thought that using a computer was cheating. Now I have learned a lot about the amount of work some people put into it, so I don't think computers are bad. There are many people out there though, who abuse computers. Just rearranging pre-made loops does not make you a composer. For the first two or three years, I only used the computer to record to, or recorded to reel-to-reel. Any effect I used was done by my machines, or ran through guitar pedals. Now, it's a bit mixed. I use some programs, mainly for drum programing. I also use tracker programs for some work, mainly music I have made for computer games.
As for my process, it isn't very complicated. I will often just play around with things, turning knobs and stuff until I have a sound I really like. Then I try to make a drum track that sounds good with it. I usually don't start recording until I have a good idea of where the song's going. Then it's usually drums first, then bass, then strings or “pad” sounds, and leads. Sometimes I add guitar, and rarely vocals. Recently I have been doing a lot with samples. In that case, I find a beat or loop I like and base the rest of the song off of that. It works quite well and has created some really unique songs. After all of the tracks are recorded, I add little touches and master everything. A big advantage of owning my own recording equipment is that I don't have to rely on anyone else to master my work for me. I couldn't stand having to wait to visit a studio to record a final version. I can do everything from the comfort of my home.

Q: have you always worked solo? have you played with other musicians or do you have any desire to?

A: I have played with several bands, it was fun, but nothing actually happened. I find it to be much easier working alone. Some days I don't feel like recording, other days I'm up until four in the morning working. When your in a band, everyone has to agree on a practice time. We are currently working on a recording studio that is attached to our house. It won't be open to the public for a while yet, but when it is I think I will be doing a lot more work with other musicians. Keyboard set-ups aren't the easiest thing to move around, but guitars are. And we already have a beautiful set of in-house drums.

Q: how many albums have you "put out" / about how many songs have you composed?

A:I'm really embarrassed by my early work, but if you count all of that, it's four albums. The latest of which, coincidentally, is on your record label. As for unreleased work, I have two full albums done, but never released. There are a bunch of other albums that I am adding to a little at a time. I also have a large amount of work I have done on commission. Your question made me curious, as I have never added them up myself, but all in all, I have composed 167 songs. And I even left out the really bad ones, and all of my really long experimental noise tracks. That also doesn't count the songs that are half done, sitting in the to-do folders.

Q: what are some of your interests / activities besides making music?

A: I'm a big fan of video and computer games. I like to read, mostly science fiction books. I enjoy writing short stories and poetry. My biggest hobby though, is collecting antiques. My house is filled with antiques and interesting things I have collected over time. I have a large record collection, which helps with finding samples. And many many old books.

Q: do you have any projects in the works?

A: The next album I would like to release is called “Wide Doors Open” and is a collection of all the sample based songs I have been making (several tracks of this are currently on my MySpace page). It's finished, but I'm still thinking of how best to release it. The project I am currently working on a darker, harder album titled “Harlotry Index” which is an anagram of my name. “Harlot” has a different meaning today, but in the past could mean any rouge or thief so the title means “List of rouges”. I think it will be very cool.

Q: do you enjoy performing live? and do you have any plans to do so in the future more?

A: Honestly, I don't really like playing live. It frightens me. But, people like hearing bands live and I would be happy to play wherever anyone wants to hear me. I think the problem is that there aren't very many other electronic groups in this area. The last show I played at was mostly rock/punk bands, I felt like “What am I doing here?” Everyone was very supportive though, it wasn't a problem.

Q: what is the goal or message of BOLD LITTLE AIRWAVE if any?

A: Originally there was no message. Seeing as how the music had no lyrics. But I suppose if I am going to have a message, it would be this. “Hard work and creativity will always prevail over wealth and vanity.” I want to make electronic music, and have spent every dollar I have earned into making that dream real. Everything I play is used equipment. Many things I use, I have had to repair myself. I encourage everyone to support local musicians, and to seek out individuals who would rather put heart into their music, than cash into their wallets.

Q: not long ago, you did your first song ever(that i know of anyway) with vocals -

A: do you plan to do more vocals on future recordings?
Yes, I believe I will. One of the tracks on “Wide Doors Open” has my voice on it. On the track “Scimitar” (which is also on MySpace) I do some kind of slow chanting. It fit really well, although I don't know if that necessarily counts as singing. I plan to do more singing on “Harlotry Index”

Q: are there any other progressions happening with the music? new instruments/gadgets/gear etc. in the future?

A: Most of our resources are going into finishing the studio right now. We still have the guitar room left to do, and some minor drywall work. After taking a break, I am doing more circuit bending again. I also found a Speak and Read recently, which will probably be lending its voice to my music pretty soon. About four or so months ago, we were given a large gift of some 1950's amplifier rack equipment and electronics testing supplies. It's taken lots of hard work, but I hope to have some of that up and running soon.

Q: anything you'd like to say to anyone who might be reading this?

A: Thank you for reading all of this. It is a great compliment to know that others enjoy what I do. It is that which keeps me going. For all that I have done, there will always be those who have the latest software, the vintage stratocasters, and the whitest smiles. Knowing that somewhere, on this planet, someone heard their songs, and mine, and said “I choose the latter” is the greatest victory I could ever hope to achieve.

LINKS: myspace, B.L.A. on youtube

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Mark Aubert Interview

i stumbled upon mark aubert a couple/few years ago out of the blue as usual..the name on his myspace page at the time was "OH BEAR" - i instantly fell in love with the visuals and the mysterious, experimental, lo-fi and raw hip hop sound.. i have released 2 of his tapes and he remains one of my favorite artists today - you will hear more about this guy in the future! you can download both of his sassbologna tapes here and i strongly encourage you to check out his paintings / more music etc. via myspace/fbook
Q: how long have you been making beats?

A: making beats since 2005, doing music in some form since I was a kid.

Q: you have quite an unusual sound, how do you usually make your beats/what equip do you use? talk me through the process.

A: I think my approach is pretty traditional..searching for loops and breaks, sampling, using hardware..recording everything to cassette..sometimes the execution can get pretty experimental. I do most the work on the sp 303 or the 202, got an old school DX Oberhiem..technics 1200..shitty mixer. I pretty much run everything into a double cassette stereo..i'll throw in the radio sometimes. I try to do all my shit as live, one session as possible but sometimes I get real into editing on the stereo..pausing the tape and coming back get that cool tape overlap..i'll get real into the interlude shit with that.

Q: what/who are some of your inspirations musical and otherwise?

A: Its really all over the place.. everyday shit is the main thing..the world gets me real inspired, feed off of everything, positive and negative. i love music..always trying to find something fresh! jazz, funk, soul..always loved 90s hip hop, ill get into all kinds of shit though.

Q: please talk a bit about the live sets you perform, what types of places do you play? do you recreate material from your tapes?

A: It varies..i've been doing a lot of sets at galleries, friends art shows, parties..trying to get into more venue type of settings. I have recreated stuff from the tapes but usually i'll just rock whatever i've got on my sampler. Problem is I make beats and then I delete them..i can only hold so much on one sampler. I have borrowed a few 303 and loaded them all up for longer sets.

Q: you play some drums, can you tell me about any projects you are/have been involved with as far as that goes?

A: I've been playing drums and piano a lot longer than the beats..done a lot of different types of bands, some really serious, some never amount to anything, def spent a lot of time just improvising with musicians. Me and my friends had quite a few punk bands in high school. Right now the only active band im in is with my friend jony.. , were starting to get gigs but its really just all my roommates getting rowdy most the time.

Q: what got you into art/design and painting?

A: I've been drawing all my life, my parents are hippies and always encouraged the arts. After high school i was taking music and art classes at community college, not sure which direction to take..i got really turned off by digital music production when trying to learn about protools..i took my first real painting class with an amazing painter Chester Arnold..he was the first real painter i'd met and thats what really got me started with painting.

Q: do you have any upcoming releases in the works?

A: I've got a lot of tapes i've been sitting on for awhile, me and my buddy have been working towards a split 7", hes a real legit dude, ran my tapes into a bunch of gear and got them soundin real good so im excited about that. Always working towards something with my homie cody..he taught me everything about beats and needs to be heard! I'll be putting some downloads up on his site in the near future .. also trying to put some tapes out myself..I've got a whole tape of stuff that is more experimental and pretty questionable..that will be called "Question Mark"

Q: what are your plans for the future with music/art etc.?

A: Well I've got a semester left at SFAI..after that im really just trying to push everything, get some gallery shows, release more music, keep doing everything but step it up a bit.

Q: who's your favorite artist right now(audio or visual)?
Edouard Vuillard paintings.. been listening to Tyrone Ashley - Funky Music Machine a lot...EPROM Be PF.

Q: anything you'd like to add?
A: thanks cory for doing this!

LINKS: myspace, facebook

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Ronald Luellen AKA IZ REAL Interview

I first heard Ronald Luellen AKA Iz Real's unique rhyme styles a couple of years ago - I heard about him via myspace - he was starting to put his poems over some of my favorite producers music (ie. s.maharba, dj dredi) and i was really into it! check out his stuff immediately if you care about hip hop at all.. he has a lot to say and does so in a unique way, genuine stuff i think.

Q: where are you from?

A: I was born in Louisville, Kentucky if you can believe it. Then we a was still a baby shittin’ in diapers my family moved to a town outside of St. Louis, Missouri called Desoto. That’s were I grew up, and that’s the place call home even though I have been in Atlanta, Georgia for about 9 years now. I love “THE A” but the local music sucks. SMH. i think the fact that i'm a black guy and no one can tell where i'm from intrigues my audience. no one thinks i'm from st. louis or atlanta because i talk right most of the time. lol.

Q: when did you start writting poems?

A: About 3 years ago yo.

Q: when did you first start setting them to beats - did someone approach you with beats or did you seek out music to accompany your words?

A: About 3years ago as well yo. I was hanging out with O-slick, and Shadow 2 (of the shadow huntaz) and I just wanted to be down so I started writing after they played some of there songs. We all worked together at a grocery store called Kroger, and I thought it was amazing that these guys with so much skill worked with me. I just wanted to tag along so one day slick told me to write some rhymes. I stole a note pad from work and wrote the rhymes and read them for him and they came out real fast. I said man how am I gonna say this. He said just like that and laughed.

Later that week I heard “black ice” on def poetry jam and I said yo!!!!, that’s what I sound like so I decided that I should be a spoken word peot. Lol

Later that month we recorded our first song together fittingly called “that what it is” lol. Then I stole a beat from “THE ROOTS” album and recorded my first solo joint called “battlen’ with satan”. I made a myspace page and a myrawkus page and put it up on there. I met Dj Dredi and I asked him “do you want to re-mix it” he said something to the tune “Hell yeah send that shit over”. I sent it a few weeks later but S. Maharba remixed it. I put it on my myspace page and then the next thing you know I had like 160 beats in my inbox. Lol. HA!!!!!

Q: in what type of environment do you write most of your material?

A: well,…… anywhere. I write at work, when I’m taking a shit, I make up rhymes and memorize them when I’m making love slash/F*&^ing my woman so I won’t climax to quick. I wrote on the bus, I write e-mail to myself with rhymes on my phone while I drive, and in my room. Everything inspires me to write. And when I say everything I mean everything dun dun from you, to dog doo doo. I think that’s what separates me from the average person/poet/mc. Iz will talk or spit about everything yo.

Q: what do you do when you aren't writting/recording/being store manager at kroeger?

A: I sleep; watch porno, TV., kung-fu flicks, and I love to play basketball. Lately I have been a loner. You stay out of trouble when your by ourself yo.

Q: name some (of your) works that you are particularly proud of.

A: Honestly every song I have done I’m proud of because it’s one more joint that I ever thought I could do but this “NAWWW-LEDGE IZ FREE-DUMB” joint is def my crown jewel. And not that Dredi is helping I think it will take us, as in sassbolgna, strange-gibberish, places. Folks will look at us differently like wow!!!! These guys got classics. And hopeful more of the back catalog will be copped as well. (5 ACES might be the best song I did still. Smh)

Q: most of your collaborations are over the internet, have you met many of the cats with whom you make music with in person?

A: Yeah, shittttt. I met the orgin, amable, d. strange, turtle hands, 4-lom, ethereal (he stays in atlanta so I guess he doesn’t count yo), record monster, clepalete, deepcrates, and a few others. BOOM!!!!!

Q: what are you listening to lately and where do you most often listen to music?

A: I listen to esacpe from lofi city by dredi like 4 times a week lol, some doc quandary, wu-tang 36 chambers, the clispe (yes the clispe), the new only built for Cuban links, common, RES, and right now I’m like he biggest Tanya Morgan fan in the world.

Q: what albums or artists that you think everyone should know about.

A: Brok Landahs yo. That my homie #1. He is locked up right now but when he gets out it on!!! FEB 2nd yo!!! -iz

Q: do you perform live often? are there any tour plans for IZ REAL?

A: Rarely, but it’s about to change. Well, open mics yes I do but that’s without music at poetry spots. But with music should change shortly. Be on the look out yo.

Q: what does the future hold for IZ REAL, what other collabs,eps, albums, downloads, etc. do you have in the works for us?

A: Well honestly, I have made up my mind to give away my second album away for free called “wiz-dumb” and then do one more album call “understanding underplanning”. Three albums then IZ-REAL will be laid to rest. Maybe not forever but for at least a year or so. You might catch me on a free e.p., strange-gibberish free download, or an overseas l.p. once and a while, but IZ-REAL is getting to large. R.J. needs to come back to the surface for a while.

Q: Are you looking for any other people to collaborate with, emcee's, producer's, record label's? kid robot?

A: As far as producers… HELL NO!!!!! If your not my homie, or I haven’t talked to you…. STOP SENDING ME BEATS!!!!! If your not a homie and you think I’m going to take time to write rhymes for free then you can kiss my ass. I work with my friends to promote them and they promote me by just us teaming up. Everyone will see how much I care about my online and offline friends when my project drops. But at the same time I’m mad busy and having a fulltime job where I work 48hours overnight that leaves me with no real personal life. I rather wacth T.V. or chill with a pretty chick than make songs for no reason yo.

As far as emcee’s it always, brok landahs, whichcraft, self-says, v-chip, weezone, TALL T, Turtle hands, DTTS, Shadow 2, and supernova slick., and a few others.

Record label yes and no. If they want to press albums up and make sneaker money then yes, and far as more free give aways….. I’m cool with working with my brothers over at STRANGEGIBBERISH.NET.

Q: any last words from you?

A: No…… well that would be the last word then right???? Well I guess I’ll juat have to say. Knowledge truly is freedom and can me the key between life and death. But some knowledge can mess up you mind and then you won’t know what the hell the think. Lol. So sometime ‘NAWWW-LEDGE IZ FREE-DUMB”. Fliter out the bull and get free in you own way. (I typed too much, no one will read the whole thing. lol)(I’ma jerk, but not like no wackass dance yo.)


Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Rendy Pop Interview

I met Rendy several years ago via email. He wanted to release a discography tape of my band at the time on his label. I thought it was pretty cool that this dude from Jakarta, Indonesia heard our crappy metal band from Iowa and wanted to put it out! He soon released a tape for us and it really helped fuel my interest in cassettes and kind of helped push sassbologna in the direction it went. We have kept in touch over the years and I decided to ask him a few questions for this blog.

Q: when did you first start getting into hardcore and extreme music / what where the first bands you were into?

A: well, i start when i hear minor threat, crass, black flag, and anything about 80's hardcore/punk bands. it was happened at 12 years ago. i've got them from my brother. actually i sign to metal music before into hardcore punk. i am not sure about my first band. but i was remember when i play music at 15 years old. and i played oldskool grindcore. didn't got some demo or anything hehe666x

Q: when did you get involved in putting on shows? what bands have you booked or helped in indonesia?

A: i've got my show when i 16 years old. i saw cryptical death show. well i helped PURK (Punk rock Band) from germany, and now i helping Krupskaya tour in jakarta.

Q: how did you find out about so many underground international bands? via the internet? zines? or what?

A: all of them is true. i can find them out via internet and zines. but now internet is a good media for the communication for making a DIY networking

Q: what is metal quest?

A: that's a metal shop in bangkok, thailand. i visit them last year. and it's great!
many metal stuffs and local stuffs have available there.

Q: can you translate your label name "terkubur hidup" and tell me a little bit about it and the bands you've worked with?

A: terkubur hidup in english like something died but still alive. at this point, many mainstream people always thinking that extreme music scene is died. but as we know together that this scene always still alive and still active till drop. i choosen this name for my label cause i just running a small label and many people said "this label is RIP" but you and this scene have know about my label activites right :)

Q: what is your name and who is "rendy pop"?

A: it's just a joke, i've got the name from iggy pop and the stooges. and i think is cool. i used the name, and always bullshit if rendy pop = rendy popular hehe666x

Q:what do you do for "a living"?

A: now i studying in master degree of law at university of Indonesia. also doing anything for survive. like silkscreen the band shirts, also sell many cd's, vinyls and tapes, making any project releases, hunting a client who needs legal consultant.

Q: what are your religious beliefs if any?

A: yes i beliefs in God for sure. iam a moeslim