So this is your first solo release. But you've worked with other Lawrence acts, right?
Right. I've done some beats for Dri
and Hospital Ships
, and I've played guitar with Fourth of July.
How did you decide to make a record like this?
I actually wasn't really thinking about making a record when I recorded a lot of these songs. I've been doing stuff like this since high school, just making beats using guitars and computer programs. But then at some point somebody told me that you can put something like 13 minutes of music on a 7" record. So I started to think maybe I could stitch together some of these little things I'd worked on and release something.
What is the process like of putting together all these sounds? Where do you start?
Most of the songs started off with just going to record stores and looking through the records. I don't have that much money, so I'm usually just buying cheap ones that look interesting for whatever reason, or maybe that have a producer I know or like. Then I'll just listen and try to find certain parts of songs that I like, and I'll make a loop out of those parts, or edit them. And then I'll add my own original stuff on top of that, with a classical guitar, or a toy piano, or a synthesizer, other instruments I have around. That's how most of the songs come about.
On lots of the songs, it's hard to tell what parts are samples and what's original.
Some have multiple samples. All the tracks have an original keyboard line or a guitar line that I did. With the movie stuff, I had been getting into this series of movies that I think MGM reissued, these movies with Foxy Brown
and Truck Turner
and Black Caesar
, so some of those references found their way in. Lots of the samples are from mid-to-early 70s records that I was listening to at the time. And then I was also reading a lot about Nixon when I was making this, stuff like The Final Days
by Woodward and Bernstein. Nixon's on the cover of the EP, if you look. I didn't put any of that together when I was doing the record, I wasn't consciously thinking about it. But later on I realized that a lot of the inspiration came from this same historical time period.
Who are some current artists working in this genre that you're into?
I've been real into Madlib. Also the RZA, particularly his production style, with all the soul samples. Even the stuff Kanye was doing a few years ago -- I really like hip hop that samples soul music. Dilla too. But the way the EP is structured is more comparable to acts like Prefuse 73 or Four Tet, who I also like.
What else are you up to musically/artistically?
We might try to get a show together in celebration of the album. I've got a sampler and I can do some samples live and then bring in some friends to play bass and drums. But we haven't gotten anything together yet. That'd just be a one-off type of deal. I'm not that into performing. I like just having the recording be the representation of what I do.