Saturday, August 15, 2015

OPN INTERVIEW

Rain drizzled into the gape on my face as I made my way over to Oneohtrix Point Never's studio. I went to the front desk but nobody seemed to know anything about the interview. Finally at a quarter to twelve (fifteen minutes before the interview was supposed to start) a woman from the label appeared. We then waited together in the foyer, what we were waiting for I don't know. The process was delayed because of some misunderstanding between management about schedules. I was going to be the first of two journalists. The other two, who were also in the foyer I think were twins, maybe nine years old so they were counted as one journalist. At half past twelve I see Bendrix, Lopatin's guru who I recognized from a party at Flow's condo museum. He arrived with a bucket of lubricant which was cool and he's a nice guy in general. He asked me for my name and took me down to an oubliette. I had been there a few times to hang out already but I didn't remember the dungeon entrance being yellow. He lead me to the back of a cage where there was a murphy door. On the other side of the door were a series of hallways. Eventually we boarded an elevator. We spent some time riding the elevator, switching elevators multiple times. It felt like maybe we were no longer underneath the studio. Bendrix kept talking about the architecture but I wasn't sure if he was joking or not. We reach the room and the door is opened by Lopatin. After complimenting him on his Gigeresque hat (the guru not Lopatin, he had no ponytail, no hat, only short hair on his head, no signs of hair loss), we sat down in a small cold room (I should have brought a jacket) and started the interview. First I mentioned to him that the questions were put together by some 20 some odd OPN fans from around the world via e-mail. This got no obvious reaction from Lopatin, so I just started asking the questions.

Daniel: I'm sorry that I'm late. I had to do some shopping. I'm trying to catch up on shopping. I've been staying here late.

E: I know, I saw you leave the studio last night.

D: Really?

E: Yeah I watching you from behind some trash cans.

D. Oh. The Video Impact trash cans?

E: Yeah. I rented Get A Life. It was good to hear from you, I was surprised...

D: My publicist was surprised.

E: I have a bunch of questions for you and I want to focus on the new record. Did you lay down all the parts?

D: Yeah.

E: Were you using the Andromeda a lot?

D: Sometimes but mostly Zebra.

E: Glass (Bendrix) told me you really cranked it up at the listening party... did you break any eardrums?

D: Well, those guys all came by the studio one night after they finished work and I was mixing. I played it for them. I cranked it. It was way too loud. It wasn't even enjoyable to listen to but we were kind of psyched on it.

E: I hear a lot of influences, Kaoss Edge, even some early Karnivore... dare I say my new stuff?

D: Yeah that's all true.


E: Did you play my demos for Steven Hill?


D: Yeah.


E: Okay so what was your inspiration for Sticky Drama? It's a very dark, gloomy story. What is that based on?

D: Watching a lot of Vevo... and standing in my bathroom with the lights off.


E: What do you do once the lights are off?


D: Basically I'm just seeing how long I can stand in the bathroom with the lights off before I freak out.

E: I Bite Through It has a similar vibe. Was that one also inspired by a bathroom scenario?



Bathroom Scenario
D: I Bite Through It is more about the physicality of biting through something, like what it actually feels like.

E: Did you bite anything when you wrote it?

D: Yeah probably.


E: Interesting. Dominic Fernow's vocals on Sticky Drama are really good, please comment on that...

D: That's not actually Dominic. It's just inspired by Dominic. He was shocked when I showed him the multitrack and there was a section named after him.

E: Yeah, well, what can you do...

D: (Laughing)

E: Yeah, it's amusing!

D: It's nice to see you. You look great. Your face really cleared up.

E: You're cruel towards me.

D: Yeah, I MEANT it...!

E: I think my favorite track besides Sticky Drama is Ezra, named after me I presume?


D: Yeah.



E: A troll move?

D: You're a real life troll so I don't view it as inflammatory.


E: We have some history though. So I kind of suspected that it might have been.


D: I actually like you a lot. I thought your R Plus Seven review was intriguing. Plus a 3.5/5 is respectable.


E: Maybe by EDM standards but in school that's like a C-.


D: Oh yeah.


E: Another track I liked was the depressing ballad Animals. Any cool backstory to that?

D: It was last minute. I wanted to write a medieval cyberballad. Like the musical equivalent of Black Knight.

E: It's going to get a lot of airplay, or so I've heard...

D: Yeah.


E: This record is going to be your Play is what we're saying at Kaossed. What were Nate and Rafman's reaction to hearing the record?


D: Very positive. You know we talked a little bit about it. They gave me a pat on the back and said "well done." But we've moved on to the current project, which is a short film for Sticky Drama, and figuring out how to play these songs live.

E: Sounds stressful (laughing).

D: (Laughing) By the way I didn't feel any dissatisfaction with what you and I accomplished last winter. I think it was an opportunity for us to do something cool and set a goal and a challenge ourselves to see it through.

E: We would have accomplished more together if it were not for my skin condition. Once I left, you had more time to focus, which is great...

D: I had the time and that is important but I also missed you and enjoyed what we did together.

E: My present to you, reversing your infection. Which is also selfish because I got to visit Sardinia. Did you use my files?



D: Yeah, I'm hosting your deformed eggs. 

E: If you finished the record and Warp said to you "this is bad" and it wasn't going to get released, would it have bothered you? 


D: I would have put it out on Tidal.

E: That wouldn't have changed anything. But they like it, so they are giving you a million dollars?


D: (Laughing) Yeah. How was Sardinia?


E: It was okay. There are a lot of horses there. 
Did you purposely intend to make each song different?


D: As in... ?

E: I mean why not just choose one song, and have it play twelve times?

D: It's my choice, as an artist to put twelve different songs next to eachother I guess.

E. I don't know. How was it working with Les Claypool?

D: I didn't work with Les Claypool.

E: So what is all the bass made of?

D: Software.

E: Okay, I won't pursue that. Can we expect the next OPN album to carry over some of this more aggressive energy? The last time I was here you stated that's been kind of what you've been wanting to do and you keep on taking it further and further. Do you anticipate it going even further? Moving the primalcy to the forefront?

D: Well yeah.

E: Okay basically what I want to do now is ask you questions that your fans emailed me. We're in the temporary autonomous zone now. I don't know how you'll feel about these Qs. How will you feel? Because me personally I'm not going to ask you questions about hypergrunge...

D: Yeah, I don't mind the idea of it. I don't want to say that I'm too busy to do something like that.

E: Because obviously you're not...

D: (Laughing) Okay?

E: I'm predicting that your next album is going to be this explosion type of thing...

D: Wow (Laughter). Is that a question? Like the next one after this?

E: I'm really looking forward to that one. Tour is eminent, is it not?
Guitars

D: Yeah, we just haven't talked about how we want to do it, or when.

E: Were you pleased with the way the R Plus Seven tour schedule was segmented?

D: It was segmented well. Nothings written in stone regaring tour. There's just a tentative plan. We need to work out the special effects.

E: Would there be a tour video in store possibly? Featuring special effects? It would be nice for people to see it in the privacy of their homes.
D: Maybe. Unless I become very famous, then I will want to just dissapear and not put out any tour videos.

E: Yes we heard all about Tupac. It was a big, publicized thing.

D: I shouldn't have said that cause then I'll start hearing it all over the place. When are you dissapearing? Are you dissapearing soon? Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah...

E: On the R Plus Seven shows you were so active on stage, bobbing your head up and down.



Tour

D: Thanks.


The next question is "why and how was it decided to do a new record? Did you decide yourself? What reasons did you have? Do the long periods of absence make a difference?"

D: I decided myself. 
Punitively but yeah.


E: Who actually controls your destiny? Your manager or the label?


D: I would say manager. He's scary.


E: He is? My manager only speaks Yautja. More backstory now?


Manager

D: Well I went on USA tour with Nine Inch Nails and Soungarden and spent long car rides thinking about how I got from puberty to now. That's how it started.


E: "Don't you get tired/bored with touring?"


D: No I like it.



Tupperware
E: "What is the timetable for the rest of the year as far as vacations, writing new material and recording is concerned? When can we expect a new album? Does it begin with the letter R?" 

D: The record is finished. I've spent most of the summer thinking about how I want to present it. I started writing in January, and wrapped up in July. It'll be out in November. It's called
Garden of Delete or G.O.D. for short. The R thing is over. 


E: (Laughing). This one is personal - what ethos does Flow's music and the Kaoss Edge community represent to you?

D: It's nihilist/formalist. Kaoss/Edge.

E: Would you describe the new record as cybermetal? Hypergrunge? 


D: It's somewhat influenced by cybernetic rock. I'm aware of the hypergrunge movement. When I went on tour with NIN, Reznor gave me the green light to attempt cyberdrone for Soundgarden audiences in broad daylight. By the time Soundgarden hit the stage their fans were exausted, often irritated. So that was interesting, however the whole thing had me questioning the effectiveness of cyberdrone beyond the Live Nation context.



Kornos
Tour ended and I spent time in Japan working on Manabu Namiki remixes and new songs by Anohni. When I got back home I decided to get a Kronos and I would just write using that a lot. I also got a deck of T2 trading cards which I was using as a sort of tarot.

E: Yeah I could hear the influence of Terminator on this album a lot more than your previous albums. Especially on the track Lift, which reminds me of a Cyndi Lauper track if Brad Fidel was involved.


D: Yeah that one for me is like a very tragic mid-tempo ballad in the spirit of Janie's Got A Gun, but I see your point about Cyndi Lauper.


E: Well she has the best hooks. What are the lyrics about?


D: It was based on a series of texts I sent from a party. Basically its about texting and codependency. I got the title from the chair in the my studio.

STUDIO CHAIR

E: And this is not the same "Lift" as Radiohead recently announced, in the press? 


D: It's different.


E: In what sense is it different? Skip that. "In your earlier music there are some very obvious literary influences, Emil Cioran being the most concrete example of this. Lately it seems that you are either using them less, or making them more obscure. Is this a conscious effort?"


D: Julia Kristeva.


E: She wrote Puss's Infinitude?

D: Your biography. Personally I would rather be an immortal pussing teenage troll from another planet being pulled forwards and backwards at the same time than be human. I know you see it differently.


E: I love my body, it's just that all the code is in the puss, and since I'm always excreting, I can't fix the code. 


D: The only reason you think you're deformed is because other people look at you like you are. To quote Neil Peart, "Each another's audience Outside the gilded cage."


E: That reminds me of something Drew Masters said in M.E.A.T Magazine once their underrated album Counterparts. He described the term "counterparts" as both duplicate and opposite. Neil Peart said that "contraries are reflections of eachother and not contradictions." Perhaps you could mention some specific readings now - books that have influenced you.


D: Daddy's Boy by Chris Elliot.


E: Someone asks, "what was your inspiration to be a musician or producer?"

D: Allan Holdsworth, Roddy Bottum, The Dust Brothers, Rupert Hine, Matt Wallace, Stevie Wonder, Peter Collins, Bob Rock, Geddy Lee, Daft Punk.




E: "What keyboard players influenced you most as a teenager? Did you attempt to emulate them?"

D: Jens Johansson, Geddy Lee, Roddy Bottum, McCoy Tyner, Jan Hammer, Lothar Krell, Harold Faltermeyer Mike Rutherford, Chris Squire, Ray Manzarek, I like bass players who play lead keybs.


E: "What one bit of advice would you give to a young keyboard player who's just getting started?"


D: Get in the habit of watching instructional vids. Try to do it every day. After a while your skill level will increase. 


Epilogue

At this point my scalp starting itching and I felt like I was gonna pass out. I tried to hug Oneohtrix but he refused, siting last month's "infection" as the reason (even though I gave him serum).  



Credits
Thanks to Pamala from RVD, Klit and Morpho for the free drinks. Thanks Bass Player magazine for their 1992 interview with Geddy Lee. Thanks to Steve Streeter for his Alex Lifeson Interview in A Show of Fans #13, Winter 1996. Thanks to PWRWINDOWS for their transcripts. Thanks to to all the people who mailed me questions:

Idavd S. Schmitd, Ibrna Daenils, Honj Q. Uiclpb, Rkam Tpseh, Scott Aidvd Dlay, Eric W. Aernsdon, Steve E. Odgsolel, Raibn Locyb, Mttaehw Oohlicl, Scott Oujaiqm, Hicr "Rbs3516@Atvrxi.bitnet", Nke F. "Exslrt", T J Omore-Daer, "Cmcevy@Ylovax.iebntt", Ron Weisnma, Grgeg Ajegre, Wnaey Butlest, Adve Agzse, Etro "You'll egt oyur opsctard!" Avlonken, Hjno Michale Nastreo, Htsoma Beoadiun, Evkain Kalihchi, Idadv Sandergb, Dwae Wlimslia, Tom Ohmlaitn, Othr "Ecarnc" Oievrns, Tucner Vgeun, Alrry Aslomno, Npnuiaa "odubel-hand ovrscsoer" Kkaaa, Naldlra Astrk, Eptre "Iu1T@Undiak2.bneitt", Odug White, Avde "Tdg@Vnwvms.tbneti" 

20 comments:

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  2. Very entertaining and informative Thankyou very much! (Laughing)

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  3. The new album sounds as though it'll be totally cyber. Can't wait.

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  4. Replies
    1. I would be very interested. Perhaps we can help another?

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    2. https://twitter.com/KaossEdge there is a website they put up that requires a username and password. i've been looking everywhere for the username and password on Ezra's blog but im 100% sure that its right under my nose. could be on his "No G.O.D." post. idk hopefully thatll help out.

      Delete
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