The “experimental electronic enigma” of Sykophunk Productions known as Dostah Shilailee is making a comeback… again. This time he returns with a new album, a catalog for licensing, and a piss-poor attitude to ruin it all. In this conversation between his two personas, perhaps JVB can learn more about himself and determine a place for his oldest alter ego.

Joe DOE: You’re releasing new music after an almost two-year-long hiatus. Why were you inactive for so long?

Dostah Shilailee: I always pop in and out of existence. A while back I released an album that went nowhere. Whether that’s due to Sykophunk Productions’ emphasis on you rather than me or just because I suck, that’s up for debate. Either way, knowing nobody would miss me, I decided to ninja vanish while we figured out what direction to take my music in.

JD: By we, you mean you.

DS: And you.

JD: Right… so what did we learn in the past year?

DS: We learned that people suck and the economy’s worse. Nobody wants to pay for music, so if you can’t download the torrent then it’s obviously not worth having. Real art makes terrible ringtones. People are searching Youtube for Rebecca Black so they can hate on her, instead of looking for something they might actually like. Some clichés are actually true, and it takes money to make money. But it seems nearly impossible to cover your costs when releasing an album independently these days, especially if your music is on the experimental side and defies traditional marketing.

JD: Damn, you just about convinced me to not release another album, ever. Any good news for us, or should I just blow my brains out right now?

DS: No, don’t do that, because I’ll be dead too. But yeah, there is some good news. Composing and licensing. Getting music placed in movies, TV shows, video games, commercials – that shit pays big time. Of course, it depends on the company you’re working with and their budget, but overall that is where the revenue stream is for indies right now, not in album sales. It’s hard times for everyone, financially, so even the major movie studios are looking at independent music, because it’s much cheaper for them.

JD: Yeah, I think all of Sykophunk Productions will be focusing on that area more. And yet, even with your negative view on releasing albums, you’re about to put one out.

DS: Sort of. I have a bunch of songs that we can’t make available for licensing, mostly because they contain uncleared samples. It’s fucking stupid, in my opinion. If I take a clip of something and place it in my music, I’m using it as if it were an instrument or a sound in Fruity Loops or whatever, as part of the arrangement of the song. It‘s now part of my art. But that’s not how the law sees it, and I don’t want to get us in trouble. So I’m calling my album Copyright Laws are for Pussies, it’ll be a free download under Creative Commons. People can steal it, remix it, sell it. I don’t give a damn – as long as they’re listening to it and possibly sharing it with others, that’s all I can really ask for.

JD: Ever since you did that Colbert remix through Indaba, you’ve kind of been anti-copyright.

The Colbert Report interview with Dan Zaccagnino, founder of Indaba [link to the video – Dostah’s remix gets Colbert poppin & lockin @ 3:57]

DS: There is a purpose for copyrights, but some of it is bullshit. I register my music with the Copyright Office so that somebody else can’t try to pass it off as their work. It’s just documented proof that I made that music. But if somebody samples a part of one of my songs and incorporates it into one of theirs, I don’t feel like they owe me something for that. My art inspired someone else’s art – that’s awesome! I would feel honored, not cheated.

JD: That actually makes a lot of sense. When did you become so reasonable?

DS: Somewhere in between the time Homo Sapiens first walked the earth and the time you shut the fuck up.

JD: Word. So, are you sticking around for a while this time, or are you just gonna drop another album and disappear again?

DS: Who the hell knows? You’re in the middle of an album right now, plus we have Abandoned coming out next month. We’re only one person, so we’ll see if Sykophunk Productions can afford the time to promote its bastard elder child. I might be taking over for the prequel to Democalypse, because it’s supposed to be more dance-oriented. If that doesn’t pan out, I’ll just move to somewhere in Europe where they still listen to good music.

JD: You sound like Fred Durst right now.

DS: Don’t start with me, Hugo! Seriously, I should kill you for saying that, if not for the aforementioned dilemma of our lives being one in the same.

JD: We are one. Any closing remarks?

DS: Everyone download my new album on April 22, 2011 from It will be free because it has to be, and because I want it to be. Stay tuned for other awesome shit too, from joe DOE and JVB. Those guys are alright. Join the rEvolution Underground, or be burned over a basket of living cats! Ghost in a dream, out.

[People who were entertained by this display of my insanity also enjoyed D-O-E interviewing joe DOE]


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