Monday, November 17, 2008

holy ghost! interview.

life is always throwing curveballs. i hadn't realized that alex from holy ghost! was going to be playing a party that i was going to until i was already at the party. i asked him if he wanted to sit down and just chat. he agreed as long as i didn't ask him what his favorite record was or favorite color or what holy ghost! is up to. um, ok let's just have some drunk fodder instead.

so how you been? are you in town for anything else besides this show?

just to dj this. and tomorrow i get to play at rhonda. i'm about to go to europe to tour for a few months starting oct 31- jan 31. in two months we'll travel through moscow, st petersberg, paris, london, berlin, frankfurt, munich, sweden, spain and ireland.

and you're bringing your super heavy duty winter coat there?

the promoter asked if we wanted to play in berlin or play somewhere warm. i picked berlin so i'm prepared for the cold.

you're a glutton for punishment, huh? then i'm sure you're going to hit up all the berlin nightlife like panorama bar and picknick, or is that not really your scene?

ya not really our scene but maybe if we go we'll get to meet rich swedish person. i guess it could be a man or a woman as long as they're rich so they can take me somewhere warm. i mean it wouldn't be a sexual thing, we just wanna hang out and have them take us somewhere warm. and he or she better have nice art because that's when you know they are for real.

cause you can't buy good taste.

that's the truth. that's all theorhetical.

drink of choice?

beer. whiskey makes me kinda 'not cool' and vodka seems too much like water and makes me feel fat and lethargic. it makes me wanna go to bed.

ya but in russia you're going to have crazy flavored vodkas like pear and pomegranite and pepper. how can you pass up a delicacy like that? the ultimate struggle is trying to live in the day and the night while on tour. party, dj at night, and see the sights during the day.

you mean go out and see the sights? i don't even attempt to climb that mountain when i'm on tour. i stick to the nighttime even when i'm at home. ya i mean you can go see something for 30 minutes. you can ride to the top of a building, monument or mountain all bleary-eyed. that's the thing coming from new york is that nowhere can compare. you keep going places hoping for it to trump new york, but nothing trumps new york.

not even night clubs?

oh the clubs destroy new york. and the people who dance do. people want to have fun.

what do you plan on playing while you're over there?

well i've never really done that many euro dates to be honest i just bring the records that i like to play at the time. 75% vinyl and 25% cds for rare songs and stuff we've done and remixes we just did (edits) or cds of vinyl that are too precious to bring with me. we're playing a mix of old and new disco. stuff between 115 and 125 bpm and with production values that we try to adhere to in our stuff. it's warm and emotional, soulful stuff.

so what do you think when you hear progressive and minimal techno music that's so prevalent in europe? does it just sound souless to you? is it too repetitive?

i guess i don't really pay that much attention to that stuff. i definitely admire some of the sounds, but it doesn't really do that much for me.

what i love about old house and disco is that it's very blended. old house can sound like new stuff. you can have old diva vocals on a new track.

ya i'll go all the way up to 'finally' by cece pennington (early/mid 90's) no problem.

actually bart b more just remixed that song. i don't know if you'd like it, but it's pretty european. i found that going to europe really broadens your perspective on music and what you can play/blend together.

ya, that's what all the djs that come back from europe tell me.

what do you think about los angeles compared to nyc? i'd love to hear that.

i really love the hotel i'm at.

yes but have you been here for longer than two weeks at a time?

i've never done it for longer. i don't necessarily say that i like the attitude of people. i'm a little bit of a people hater. i feel like they're a little too healthy for me maybe, but i love the weather. i like a little more grit and sloppiness. the sushi and mexican food is awesome though. the people that i've met here know a lot about good music and i've got a lot of good music from people sending me stuff.

that's the best place to find music. ichat swapping. there's other trading forums, but i think you get better stuff with one-on-one trading.

ya i get a lot of stuff from people who's taste i trust. anything they send me i listen to. i can say that i want new jack house from 91-95 and they send me three zip folders.

as his personal assistant, what's the craziest thing that moby asked you to do?

i think that's a bit off record, haha. i can't comment on mr. m. but the time that i spent working for him was really good. i gave my notice two days ago. i don't have enough time to continue helping him out.

i'm sure he's disappointed.

ya we hugged it out.

i wanna know future plans for holy ghost! because i've been a fan for a long time and have loved watching you two coming into your own sound and making your own name.

we just had a remix came out for in flagranti on kitsuné.

whattt!?! that's like a triple threat for me. holy ghost! + in flagranti + kitsuné = magic.

we did it as a cover live with a full band and it sounds fucking awesome, i'm not gonna lie to you. i'm really psyched. that's already out. the moby remix is already out, another one for 'they came from the stars, i saw them' and now we have a b side for mgmt (b side for the next single in uk) and drop the lime/curses! 'the deep end' on institubes (next single off of his album). we've got the lp halfway done and will be mixing that with james (murphy) in november. next year we'll perform live and the album hopefully will be released by june of next year. then we'll be a normal live band with a normal record.

so new york really sticks together. like in flagranti, drop the lime, mgmt and all.

i've known luca since he was 10 years old. we all went to art elementary day school on the upper west side together when it was full of weird therapists, artists and writers. it's only natural that we find some way to work together.

what do you think of dfa being anti-blog? i think they're smart because people want what they cant have and it creates hype as opposed to instant gratification.

that label fights instant gratification with its entire might. the running theme is to wait. wait to mix it, wait to submit it, and wait till you can stand behind it and be fully satisfied with what you've created.

is it positive or has it been negative at all?

positive psychologically. we put out our first single a year ago but haven't done anything since then and it hasn't seemed to have hurt us. we have stuff that we can put out, but it takes a long time when you don't create your music on a lap top.

we were talking about that today how juan maclean has taken so long between records and live albums. for some reason it hasn't seemed to have hurt his career. it seems to be a successful formula for dfa.

we're all friends and share music with each other every day in an internal forum. we critique each other and help technically correct each other. we say 'hey these frequencies are missing. the tambourines are too loud'. whatever. we're a tight knit group of people caring about each other putting out material that's quality. no one's working on a laptop. i told my little brother don't rush into things or start a myspace until you're 20. there's no rush. you're not gonna make any money anyway.

that's the thing, you can. between laptops and the internet you can create a hypemachine in a matter of minutes. then things just compound from there.

sure you can make a song and next day you put it up and people check it out for instant exposure. on the other hand in terms of longevity, you want to listen to your stuff a year later and think 'damn i was good' instead of trying to take down your old shitty mix. that's definitely more our style. we're like a bunch of ugly disco dudes. there's nothing to see. there's quality, well-thought out music, but there's no beautiful people behind this music.

it's the kind of music that music appreciators like.

hopefully like music collectors who think 'oh that drum sound reminds me of that dillo record and that gino soccio record'. it's totally like music nerds appreciating music.

that's what i'm saying. my friends nerd out to music all the time and throw out obscure references to original samples. i didn't say nerd was ugly or stupid, but they really study music. they love it, they're very well-versed in music.

yes, dfa is that passion is mixed with a love for michael jackson. there's something academic about it but at the end of the day there's something very body oriented about it, recognizing something soulful and physical.

that's the heart of los angeles that i love. not the 'oh i read it on this blog and heard it in this club'. it's the people that think 'i love this song because it reminds me of this old song and this genre'. so thank you for making that music.

it's nice that some people like it. it's nice to keep doing it and quit our day jobs.

what's you're favorite record place to ransack when you're out here? are you allowed to say?

it's a small place called discogs.

fair enough. i suppose that's like asking a pirate where he's hidden his treasure.

panthers - goblin city (holy ghost! disco dub)

1 comment:

Tintin said...

could someone please let me know when your going to play dublin.. most certainely a night i do not want to miss..