Monday, August 18, 2008

mstrkrft interview.

the world seems like a big big place, but in actuality it's rather small. the music world/community is especially small and you never know who you're going to run into. i just happened to run into al-p from mstrkrft in another whiskey-induced haze (noticing a trend here?) in some small backroom in paris. but i guess that's the best time to take advantage of his willingness to answer just about anything i had to ask him... listen in as he indulges us about masturbatory music, why he hides the names of his tracks and what happens when you drop two djs on the shores of norway.

al-p: uh what station is this? 98.7 fm?

miss toats: discodust, duh.

discodust like dusty records? i know all about that. i know all about dusty disco records.

i'm sure you do. so last time you were here in paris you went to fashion week boat party, got in a car accident, etc. any other crazy things happen to you while on this tour?

we went fishing off the coast of norway. we caught fish and cooked them on the beach for dinner. not so crazy, but it was pleasurable, for the pleasure of life. everyone says 'oh your life is so crazy'. ya it may be crazy, but it's because we have to play parties and get wasted and go to the airport every day. it sucks. it's not paradise at all. it's not a dream come true. it's work. i look forward to eating fish off the coast of norway like a viking.

are you tired of hearing your own songs yet?

if we were to get sick of our songs, it wouldn't be when we are touring them cause we only play like 180 parties a year. when we produce a song, i personally listen to it about 300 times in a span of a week. i'm in the mind set of mix engineer and a producer which is completely different than a dj or a performer. you have to completely separate yourself emotionally from everything and you're just listening to how it sounds. when you make a song it's a weird thing. you can hear it an infinite amount of times, but be in a totally different mindset. you are in a music-making producer's state of mind and think 'aw i should've done that. or, the mix is a little off in this part.' you can emotionally detach yourself from the song while you are self-critiquing and dissecting different parts of the song to improve it instead of listening to it as a whole for pure enjoyment. it's all about how the song is going to sound when reproduced on the world's stereo systems. it's weird for us because whenever we play a party people always say they play our songs, but i never hear them.

well you do in the gym below your house... (reference to question #5 in our previous interview.

you little sneaky...

haha i know. so what are you guys working out right now? i know you recently released a single ('bounce' and 'vuvuvu'), but what are the bigger projects right now? more touring? production?

we're desperately trying to finish our album. we've been touring so much and just want to get to go home, finish this goddamn album and get it out to the kids that are dying to hear it.

these days i've heard many artists with a different approach to putting out music. some only believe in putting out ep's every few months while others still stand behind the album model. but sometimes it's challenging for artists known for their hard dancefloor tracks to decide what the feel of their album should be. is it going to tell a story (digitalism) or is it going to be all bangers (boys noize)?

we always approach a project with the mindset "why give somebody filler? why give someone crap that they don't want to listen to?"

it doesn't have to be crap. who is to say that anything non-distorted or at 115 bpm has to be crap?

our natural habitat is in the club. we will always give 100% club playable songs not weirdo artistic shit. if i wanted to do that i'd get an acoustic guitar and make the most perverted weirdest shit. we operate within the nightclub world. and to say i want to make an album that takes somebody on a journey, is fuckin selfish and masturbatory. i want to make an album that every track i could play in a club or lounge or nightlife environment. that's the ultimate mandate. we don't fuck around with making an 'album' per se. we want to make the album sound like it's a collection of 12" records.

i agree, it shows versatility. i keep reading interviews where you say that you're so influenced by disco, but its hard to hear the disco influences in your past tracks...

i'm the disco guy, jesse's not. its really really hard to flirt with disco in this day and age. it's about a little shit on his computer with a bunch of plugins making things sound distorted or adding siren sounds with a kick drum. it's all a-tonal. there's a couple songs on our record that are almost proto-house cause we can't get away with disco. disco can never be re-created, i've been trying for five years. dfa has come very close, but it just hasn't broke. think about what the most successful act on dfa is - hot chip. their whole record is practically techno. there are a few tracks on our album that are influenced by proto-house, between disco and house.

well, i really appreciated and was genuinely shocked that you played some house tracks tonight. it wasn't all bangers. i didn't expect that from you at all. you brought back some house, it wasn't all 'waaamp waaaamp waaaamp' distortion.

maybe it was a little campy. well, we aim to surprise. ok, next question...

ok, which city has the hottest girls?

i dunno.

mmmkay, what's the best/worst thing that a groupie has ever said to you?

[silence] groupies don't really talk to me. i'm a weirdo. i'm a weird antisocial maladjusted weirdo. maybe two girls have come up to me this year and said 'great set' and then run away. i can't deal with social situations.

well, it doesn't have to be 'talking', per se. i refuse to believe that some girl hasn't come up to you and said 'i want you to 'fill-in-the-blank'... fill in my blank. ya, why are djs so socially awkward anyway?

it's because we're all weirdos. we spend our time in isolation. we go out and play our music, but the people don't love us for who we are, they love us for what we do. i can be an amazing carpenter but then no one would give a shit.

when was the last time somebody told you 'no'?

tonite. i was on my way to the club and i saw three kids and they came and told me that the bouncer wouldn't let them in. so i told them to come with me. just so everyone knows, this is going to be publicized right? i want to go on record to say that the doorman at the $*&#^@ club is an asshole motherfucker p.o.s. useless faggot, scum of the earth, piece of junk. i bring these three kids that just want to see us play so bad. i tell him that they are my guests and he tells me that 'no it is not possible'. he tells me that i can't bring in guests and i'm the fucking headlining dj. it filled me with such rage that i got a burning sensation in my stomach. i don't know if it's an ulcer or if i have to go to the hospital. aside from me beign fucking furious about it, you just have to be professional. i'm going to remember his face and if i ever see him again...

ok, before you say anything else incriminating, when are you playing ibiza?

we already did. it was a pyramid decorated like it was a wedding reception. no foam, just full of brits and it was really bright with lots of columns.

last time you told me you thought that vndlsm were the next big thing. who is it now?

surkin, i don't know. i don't keep up with anything. fuck, don't ask me that question.

ok, well then why do you use the 'djam' (hides all the track information on the display) code on serato?

cause we edit all of our tracks so we don't want people to see that it's our own edits.

but if you guys are the only ones to have our edit and the public can't have it, then it doesn't matter, right?

well, also we're playing tracks off of our new record and don't want people to know what it is. they go online, rip it off a youtube video and play it out. i've heard it done before. (album released october 22nd.)

ok, ask me a question!

are you a vegetarian?

pfffft no, im mexican!

so, do you like cactus? is it pretty good? what do you think the best taqueria is in los angeles?

no, it's not about los angeles. tijuana is the real deal. tacos de gordo on revolucion.

last time we were in tj the promoter got us pork neck tacos. cuello tacos. do you like those?

if it's mexican food in tj, i'll probably love it. ok alex, ill let you go. i see you've got a few girls wanting to tell you 'good set' and a little more whiskey to finish. until we meet again in another random corner of the world...


Anonymous said...

Is this gonna be on your radio show?

ph145 said...

Tj has the best tacos but those are so little, good interview.

Anonymous said...

comes off as kind of a jerk to me. or is something just lost in translation?

cas said...

cuz tj and emxico city are the new new yorks' xD