Tuesday, June 8, 2010

good at faking it....

So, here's the deal. I've done quite a bit of writing in the past 1/2 decade, much of it about music, and most
of it currently lost to the fickle whims of the reaxmusic.com website. As I've got at least one foot planted firmly outside the door of Tampa, heading off to make an honest woman of myself, I've decided I'd quite like to have a record of all the words I spewed while laying waste(d?) to this fair town.

In my brief spell as a Tampon, I've had the opportunity, because of REAX Magazine and a handful of souls that have kept that name around the past 4 years, to interview some cool people. I've also done stupid and funny things that might find their way into the narrative at times... but only, of course, as segues to the next meaningful encounter (cough cough gag.)

In plain English: I'm gonna post a bunch of interviews I did with bands. and possibly annotate them.

I'll start off with one of the most amusing interviews I've ever done, speaking with possibly the largest ego I've ever encountered.

In October of 2007, for the monthly installment of my short-lived blog Confessions of a REAX Groupie, I interviewed Jesse Keeler, the better half of MSTRKRFT, a DJ outfit that I'd been enamored of ever since its strategically hyped birth from the ashes of Death From Above 1979.

(Originally published in REAX Magazine, October 2007)

If you havent heard of MSTRKRFT, chances are you have heard of Death From Above 1979, a Toronto band that won the hipster cred contest in 2002 and spearheaded this whole electro-punk remix phenomenon that rules the roost today at your fave local indie dance night. Founder Jesse Keeler broke up the band in a blaze of drama, if not glory, in 2005 and MSTRKRFT, a DJ/producing super-duo is what happened next. I had the pleasure of a little one-on-one with Jesse, just off the plane from Australia and still jet-lagged and confused. He had some interesting things to say, and being such a pop culture icon, I thought for this months Confessions, I'd put the words in his mouth, so to speak.

Playing live music vs. DJ-ing:
I’ve never been interested in playing live, not even when I was doing it. It’s not really that important to me. I think that it should be such a small part of music. I know there are people that would disagree with me, but I’ve never seen, nor could I see, any of my favorite musicians play live anyway. The idea that Jimi Hendrix set his guitar on fire is awesome, you know, Wow, you just did something no one’s ever done before, and that’s pretty fucking cool. But, the reality of the live show is that fucking ungrateful shit heads booed at him when he didn’t smash his guitar afterwards.

On music journalism:
I actually don’t think that anyone should ever review live shows, you know, should even have the option of judging it. In that alone, I don’t think it should exist. No one ever asked Picasso, Hey you did this awesome painting, can you come paint one in front of an audience.

On MSTRKRFTs fans:
We are like a band. Kids come out to see us. They are crowd-surfing, moshing, really going crazy. I like to think that for some of these kids that we’re part of the reason they got into dance music.

I often see kids on blogs talking about new MSTRKRFT and they say stuff like, Well, it’s good, obviously. I don’t mind being known as the remix kings, well, because 99.9 of the time, our remix has been better than the original.

On their favorite city to play:
My favorite city to play now is Stockholm. It’s just off the fucking hook over there. They went crazier for MSTRKRFT than anyone has ever done for a punk band. I felt like we were fucking Minor Threat.

On the future of dance music:
We just toured for two weeks with Justice and Digitalism, and I kept thinking, Wow, all we need is Simian Mobile Disco, Boyz Noize, and maybe three other people, and if the plane went down, there goes the music. We were hanging in Paris, and Alex from Boyz Noize said, Wow, if this building collapses, modern dance music will die.

On what the hell happened with Death From Above 1979:
I wasn’t happy playing in Death From Above. I liked writing music. I didn’t like who I was… writing music. I didn’t like the way it came out. It was too much of a compromise between my head and the record.

When I DJ, I get to play completed music, and make it into more than what it was when I finished it. I’m also part of what’s happening in the room. People are dancing and I’m dancing too. They aren’t just coming to see me replicate something… we are creating something new right there. For me, there’s no compromise in it for me. And as far as someone that cares about what I’m making, I feel way better represented.

Next up, either an un-published interview with Dean Wareham, a completely fictitious conversation with Kim from the Presets, or a recount of driving Crystal Castles to WMC and being late for soundcheck....


  1. I love this and I can't wait to read more.

  2. michael! lol... the justice debacle will definitely get some facetime :)