Archive for the ‘Interviews’ Category

We got sent a ton of interview questions from a Swedish blogger asking to interview Dostah Shilailee. He answered & sent them back about a month ago. For whatever reason, the blogger refuses to respond to us and decided not to publish the interview. So we published it ourselves 🙂 Enjoy! P.S. we kept all the typos in for authenticity.

What´s the name of your band? Dostah Shilailee

How was the band formed? My host was born, then at some point in its life span I splintered off from him. I am one of three, yet I am not one.

Can you tell about your band? I can…

Where are all band members from?/Who does what in the band? We are originally from the Hudson Valley, New York, USA. Dostah Shilailee is a one entity act, usually just making rhythm and noise with computer programs, keyboards and sound effects.

What was the ambitions of the band when you started? At first, Dostah Shilailee embodied all of the different Sykophunk styles together. But over time the personalities split into separate artists.

Could you explain your music to someone that haven’t heard you? An orgy of emotions and electronics. My label often refers to me as the “experiMental electronic enigma” – that works for me.

Where was your first gig? Chester, NY – it was like Fisher Price, My First Rave. But I recall one chick going to the hospital for dehydration, so I guess it was legit.

Where was the latest gig? Carl’s Tavern in New Haven, Indiana. One of our favorite venues in the area.

Who writes your songs?/Who writes the music who writes lyrics? The world writes the songs. I’m just the vessel through which they get chewed up and puked out.

Who has the best since of humor in the band? Clearly, an artist with a song called “A Narcoleptic on Elm Street” has no sense of humor.

What’s good/bad with the band?/What genre do you feel you are? Everything is both good and bad about Dostah Shilailee – that’s what the name means. What genre my music is depends on the audience. To drunk people in a bar or club, it’s dance music. To hipsters, it’s indie post-electronica. To people who hate me, it’s called techno.

Why did you pick that particular style?/What are your songs about? I don’t pick style. Style picks me. My songs usually symbolize extremes of human emotion and/or the chaotic order of pure randomness. With a little bit of horror and rEvolution thrown in the mix. Because broccoli.

Do you write your own material or mainly covers? Most of my music is original arrangements of borrowed elements. You know, electronic music.

Have you made any albums?/If yes what are they? I have three albums currently available: Long Lost Experiments, Bad Trip In Stereo and Copyright Laws Are For Pussies.

Do you have any clips on YouTube? There are a few videos featuring Dostah Shilailee music on Youtube. There needs to be more. I think the video of Stephen Colbert poppin and lockin to my track is still out there somewhere.

How old are you?/What got you started in music? I was probably born in the mid to late 90’s, but my host is way older 😉 He’s been into music since he was 12. By the time I emerged, he was just getting into techno/industrial/goth music, and ultimately I am the product of all that.

At what age did you start playing? At birth. I was born out of music. Rhythm fucked melody and created a monster!

How old were you guys when you first stood on stage? Early twenties. Before that we always sat on stage.

What year was the band started? The first demo tape with the name Dostah Shilailee on it was recorded in the ancient year of 1996.

Best/worst gig you’ve played? The best gig I ever did was probably New Years with joe DOE and BL8 last year. Those two got shitfaced and freestyled to my crazy beats for a full half hour, which somehow we pulled off awesomely. The worst gig: every one that Sykophunk Productions doesn’t put me on. Fuckers.

What places will you be playing in in the immediate future? We’re actually taking a break from live shows to work on recording new material. After that, all I know is we don’t want to play the same spots we used to. Fort Lame is played out.

Where have you played from then till now? We’ve gone from New York to California and ended up in Indiana. Don’t ask me how that happened.

Witch band is the best you´ve seen? Probably Die Antwoord. Lots of lights and theatrics, great energy and loads of sexual imagery. Rammstein might be a close second on all accounts.

Is it always the same songs live? What is it? It’s it! What is it?

What has been the best/most promising gig so far? Like I said, that New Years show was tits.

Have you had any bigger tours from start to now? Not really touring in the conventional sense, but we have traveled across the US and settled into different scenes, until we realize that it’s wack, then we pick up and move on to a new area. Probably about time to do that again. We’ll find our home one day.

How big crowds do you usually play for? Depends on how good the drink specials are at the venue. Ha ha ha… I laugh because it’s sad.

What are the plans for the rest of the year? Writing, recording – maybe actually working on the Democalypse prequel, finally, again!

Where do you usually play? How do you get psyched up for a gig? What are your goals with your music? We don’t play anywhere right now. I don’t get psyched up for a gig, I get depressed because I know it’s going to suck. My goal is to never play a show again. I’m kidding?

When did you decide to go all in for the music? The second I realized that the music industry was a poker game.

Is it easier to get your inspiration from older bands or from bands more modern? I get more inspiration from different sources, not so much other artists. But in general, music from the 80’s and 90’s probably inspires me most.

What are your sources of inspiration? Video game music, memories, dreams, psychology, philosophy, metaphysics, extremes of human emotion, rEvolution, horror movies and literature, apocalyptic scenarios, tai chi and chai tea.

What’s the first step when making a new song? A random idea that hatches in my brain like an intrusive newborn that must be nurtured or it will die.

How do you feel about the downloading of music instead of buying albums? One of my albums is called “Copyright Laws Are For Pussies” – that about sums it up.

What would be your dreams for the band? We just want to be able to make a comfortable living off of doing what we love to do without compromising our artistic integrity, and get our message out to people who really care in the process. Hey, you said “dream”!

Besides your own music, what genres and bands do you listen to? I like scores and soundtracks, cheesy Halloween albums and polka.

What do you hold most dear? My junk.

What would be your greatest fears for the future? Losing my junk.

When you are on stage, what do you fear most then? Shitting my pants.

Have you been part of any other projects? Dostah Shilailee has been a part of the Democalypse trilogy, Sykophunk Soundtracks, The Stephen Colbert Me-Mix and several online collaborations through Indaba.com.

Have you been in any other bands? My host and/or alter ego(s) have been in many bands/groups, including Triple Vision, Dramatic Effect, Uther, Mother Prick of Misery (oh wait, that was just another one-man act, I think), Domino Effect, Mo City Misfits, etc.

What do you work with outside of the band and the music? Time and money, baby, time and money.

What would you do if there was no music? Invent it.

How important are your fans? On a scale of 1 to 10, they are a W.

What’s the funniest/most memorable thing a fan has done for you? Probably not a fan, but I recall someone on the old Garage Band site told me that I needed to “pray to God for forgiveness for making that song.” Not sure exactly what they meant, but I enjoyed it nonetheless.

How often do you rehearse? Never.

Where do you rehearse? In my head.

Name 2 of your own songs you like at the moment? My own songs are hard to talk about objectively, so I like them based on their titles. My 2 current faves are “I’d Hit Dat” and “Baby’s First Chicken Twat.”

What do you feel is the best live band you’ve seen? I’m having deja lu.

What drives a band that isn’t all that famous and renowned to try to make a living on their music and to keep playing? I can’t speak for anyone else, but personally I am addicted to making music. And I don’t really care to kick the habit.

Do you have any webpages? Indeed. I can be found somewhere on http://sykophunk.com and also on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/DostahShilailee), Reverb Nation (http://www.reverbnation.com/dostahshilailee) and I think I’m still on Soundclick and Myspace too, but who cares?

Any pearls of wisdom for all other bands out there? Don’t half ass it. If you don’t love making music with every ounce of your being, don’t do it at all. This is a competitive, thankless cut-throat business. Going indie and underground is where it’s at, but you will almost always lose money instead of making it. It’s all a big numbers game – nobody but you and your true diehard fans give a shit about your music.

Describe your show, visually and musically. We usually put all Sykophunk artists on the same show, so visually it looks like a bunch of maniacs jumping around in masks and bloody shirts with heads on sticks. We like theatrics and lights. And blood. Musically, it sounds like a clusterfuck of genres glued together with bass-heavy beats.

How do you view the musicindurty of today? “It’s got a death curse!”

What advice would you like to give other bands? Keep your day job.

What are the biggest obstacles for a band? Money, time, people, bullshit politics of a dying industry… just to name a few.

What is worst with playing the clubs? Dealing with venue owners and drunk people.

Tell us about upcomming gigs and why we should be at them? Is this a trick question? Most people don’t come out to local shows to support the artists – they come out to party.

How would you describe your sound in one sentence. Dostah Shilailee is a chaotic fusion of sounds and concepts electronically manipulated and molded into small doses over banging beats.

What is your favorite crappy instrument? The accordion.

What was one of the most quarrelsome times for you in the band? Every day is a struggle.

Whats your Pre-show ritual? Dwelling on regret in between puking.

Do you have anything to add? Despite my piss poor attitude, all of my music is free, so there is really no reason to not give it a shot. Go to the Sykophunk Bandcamp page and download Dostah Shilailee or any of our artists. Look us up on Facebook & Twitter too – that way you can hit us up and tell us personally how much we suck. We love hate mail. But if you actually like it, we wouldn’t mind hearing that either.

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“Music enhances the mood of movie scenes by speaking to our emotions, sometimes subconsciously, giving the audience a deeper connection with the characters and events in the film.”

Indaba was cool enough to give me a quick interview the other day about music in movies. They posted it on their blog – check it out here.

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 sykophunk.com. 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]

I don’t normally show love for any major label artists for two reasons: 1. their music usually sucks, and 2. I’d rather support smaller artists that actually need the exposure and don’t have backing from a label. But Lupe Fiasco is a rare exception to both of these principles. Lupe is on Atlantic Records, but he works with them on his own terms, and his fans have his back. He enjoys mainstream success but still speaks from an indie artist’s point of view, even through much of his music. And even while admittedly going for a more commercial sound, he makes deep songs that speak to the listener on multiple levels. The dude is just awesome, a rare breed indeed, and I encourage everyone to go out and buy his new album Lasers. Read this exclusive interview with Music Connection for more insight on Lasers and Lupe’s take on the music business. Recommended for fans, but even more so for indie artists trying to get somehwere with their music without being enslaved to a major label.

Click the pic to preview/purchase the album

KidCrusher is a no-holds barred underground horrorcore artist from Australia. Through dedicated online promotion, and with the help of a sick professional video for his song “Meet the Monstors,” he has gained a lot of attention from Juggalos and fans of dark hybrid music. He was cool enough to give me some time recently and answer a few questions.

joe DOE: You’ve been making music since about 1996. What first made you want to make music, and what draws you to the dark side of art?

KidCrusher: I was always in my own world growing up, throughout school, doing my own creative things, writing and performing when I should have been learning. I would say movies was my first push to want to be some sort of character, other than just another rapper. In early days, the first rappers I looked up to was stuff like Kriss Kross, Run Dmc, Tupac, Spice 1 and The Berzerker. I started recording on double tape decks with friends and I just loved the feeling of a finished product, so I continued to deliver work for my own fun of it. Throughout high school, when I first heard the Amazing Jeckel Brothers, I was possessed by the wicked shit; also fell into alot of metal like Mudvayne, System of a Down, Korn and Slipknot. That’s what really drove me into what I’m doing now.

JD: What’s the horrorcore scene like in Southern Australia?

KC: All over Australia it’s pretty slow, but my shows have been decent enough for me to want to go out every few months and rock it.

JD: Controversial music is always used as a scapegoat by the media and people that are uninformed about certain genres. What do you say to people that think your music might have a negative influence on some of the kids that listen to it?

KC: Well, like I and many say: horrorcore is all fictional entertainment, and to me its nothing different from a kid watching a horror movie. They really shouldn’t be watching it, but shit happens.

JD: For those that don’t know, you’ve been basically banned from the U.S. until 2012. What the hell for?

KC: A few years ago in my city, I got stung buying a bag of marijuana from a house. Got fined $500. I went to travel to America a couple years later for the GOTJ in 2008, but I was denied entry as they want me to wait and be good for 5 years from my fine date before they will approve my visa. Stuck in jail down here basically.

JD: That sucks man. Is there any chance of you signing with Psychopathic Records or Hatchet House, once your legal shit clears up? Is that something you’d be interested in?

KC: I’ve always supported Psychopathic, promoting it to drive my fans to listen to their positive words which changed my life. I would probably have to clean up my act (meaning drive away from so much murder music), but if the option pops up I’ll be keen to run with Psychopathic or the Hatchet House for sure.

JD: Either way, you’re definitely gonna tour the U.S. in 2012, right? I’m sure you have fans here that are asking you to come to their city.

KC: Yes, I will be planning on flying over in August to chill out, then do some shows towards the end of the world as we know it 🙂

JD: Are you working on some new material for release in 2011? When can we expect a new album or another sick video?

KC: I’m always working on something new, I can’t stop… I don’t know why, haha. I dropped a hint at the end of my latest album THE GRINCH on the final track of what’s coming. I will be working with an old friend on the record 🙂

JD: Obviously, horror movies are a big influence on your sound and style. What are your top 5 favorite horror movies?

KC: Braindead, Cloverfield, Tremors 2, Paranormal Activity & The Frighteners. I could go on forever though, as I’m a bit of a freak for movies, haha.

JD: Any last words, plugs, shout outs or fuck yous?

KC: Yeah. Fuck You. Haha nah, much love for the interview. Keep up!

For more info, media & to buy KidCrusher music, check out his official site.

CD Baby is currently conducting this interview of its members, to put together a songwriting guide. I don’t know yet if they’ll use any of my quotes, but here is the Q&A for anyone that might be interested in my songwriting process.

Q: What does your songwriting process look like? What are a few of the more common ways in which you compose a song?

A: Usually the first line of lyrics, melody or beat will pop into my head randomly, possibly inspired by something I just saw or experienced. I frantically search for something to write on, jot down some notes. I always have a pen on me for such occasions. Once I get my notes home, I can flesh out the rest of the song in my solitude (usually).

Q: Think of your favorite songs. What do they do to or for you? What is it about the song (technically, emotionally, thematically) that moves you?

A: My favorite songs are almost always sincere, passionate and often personal. Genre and style do not matter – if the lyrics are meaningful to the writer and the music comes from the soul, the result is usually going to be powerful.

Q: What are your common frustrations with songwriting? What are the ways in which you get stuck?

A: For me, the process of songwriting is completely enjoyable – liberating and satisfying. The only frustration I ever feel is having to interrupt my songwriting to go to my day job.

Q: How do you overcome the frustration? How do you get un-stuck?

A: If I get stuck on either lyrics or music, I give myself about three minutes before I just move on to another song or take a break altogether. I can typically come back a few hours later and pick up right where I left off. I don’t believe in writer’s block for true songwriters – getting stuck just means your brain is tired. Take a little break.

Q: Do you envision an audience or outside listener when you write? If so, how would you describe that audience? What effect does this have on the writing process?

A: It depends on what kind of song I’m working on, whether it’s intended to be a spectacle or subdued. Normally, I’m probably too involved in the process to envision an audience, at least until the song is near completion.

Q: Do you collaborate or enlist outside opinions during the writing process? What effect does that have on the writing process?

A: If the song I’m writing is a collaboration, then I’ll share it with the other writers/performers, and together we‘ll decide what‘s best for that particular song. If it‘s a song I‘ll be performing myself, I keep it personal.

Q: Songwriters are known for loving most of their “babies” equally. This is why artistic coaches have the mantra “Kill Your Babies!” How can you tell when one of your own song is really good? How can you tell when one is bad or misbehaving?

A: Like actual babies, the only way to know if your songs will turn out good or bad is to care for them, nourish them, raise them in your image, and then let them out into the world. I made 102 babies in one year, so I don’t feel bad about disowning the ones that disgrace or embarrass me, knowing that the others carry on my name proudly. Parents have to make a lot of tough decisions.

Q: What do you get out of being a songwriter? Do you imagine you’ll write songs forever?

A: As a songwriter, I make sense of the world around me, then get to present my view to others through the universal language of music. Songwriting is all at once a job, therapy and part of my religion. If I get bitten by a vampire (fingers crossed…), I’ll write songs forever.

Q: What roles do “inspiration” and “perspiration” play in your writing process?

A: Inspiration, wherever it may come from, is the seed planted in the garden of the mind, from which the song shall grow. Perspiration, to me, comes after the song is written – performance, marketing, etc. In fact, I think the only thing about the music business that doesn’t make me sweat is songwriting.

Q: Imagine the greatest song you haven’t written yet. Describe it.

A: Evanescence, Tech N9ne and The Prodigy having a three-way.

One of my favorite people to collaborate with, Randy Stockton is also the man behind the curtain for several music acts as well as the upcoming video series, Haunted. Even with so much on his plate, he took the time to answer some questions from me, Joseph VanBuren, fellow overworked, multiple-alias indie artist.

GrimWitcH on Myspace

JVB: First thing’s first: you have a new GrimWitcH album coming out. Let’s talk about that.

RS: The new album is entitled Legacy, and it will have music on it spanning the 11 years GW has been making music. It’ll have around 21 tracks. Some of the tracks are from the past and some are new. I wanted to make this album like a “Best Of” but with new tracks on it as well. It has the title for a reason. This may be the last album for this project. More about that later.

JVB: You’re also working on the Unknown Subject project, right?

RS: Yes, I’m working on some new tracks with the Un-Sub project. I haven’t been producing much as of late for that project, and I feel it’s time to add some new stuff to keep it alive and kicking. I just don’t want to see Unknown Subject die because it’s now the oldest music project that is still around that I’ve worked on. From 1998 till present day and still holding strong. So new tracks and albums will be going online at Beta Records this summer 2010.

JVB: Will these be Dark Offerings releases? What exactly happened with Dark Offerings anyway?

Unknown Subject on Beta Records

RS: Well, first of all, Dark Offerings is still alive and producing new artists and music. The big problems we ran into had to do with the video series Haunted that we have been shooting for the past year. You know when you get so many people together on one project that it can turn into a nightmare very fast. Well, that’s what happened. I had to make a choice to tell some of the folks involved to just walk away because it was not working well with them in the mix. It all came down to scrubbing the project or making changes, and I want the project to work so I made the choice to get rid of the problems.

After the changes, some of the people involved with Dark Offerings made a choice to quit us all together, so we lost about three of our bands in the deal. It’s all for the better. It will take more time to get the Haunted project done, but it will get done the way it was to be done in the first place. And yes, the new albums coming out for Un-Sub and GrimWitcH will be Dark Offerings releases.

JVB: I can definitely relate to that: sometimes too many ideas and egos actually hinder a project instead of help it. Kind of what happens with Triple Vision every time we try to get together again. But going back to Haunted, some people might not even know that when you’re not making music, you are a professional ghost hunter. What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever experienced doing that?

RS: While shooting the Haunted series this past fall 2009, we caught on film what is called a “Shadow Person” in a church in west North Carolina in full view of the camera. We filmed this in a room that had no exits other than the one the static IR camera was sitting in, so we know it was not a member of the crew walking about in the room. Whatever it was never came out, but when we went into the room ourselves nothing was there. Thanks to the camera filming at the time we caught the whole thing, which lasted only about 10 seconds.

JVB: That’s cool, I love that kind of shit. Your music often invokes a dark mood. How much of that do you think is inspired by your ghost hunting?

RS: I don’t know if my music is inspired by the ghost hunting I do, but the subject matter of all things paranormal is a big part of my music.

JVB: So what other plans do you have for this year?

RS: 2010 will be filled with, for the most part, video shoots for the Haunted series, as well as making cool new videos for the new GrimWitcH album and the Unknown Subject project. I’ll be producing music for other projects as well (got to make money), plus lots of collab work with other music projects.

JVB: Including me, hopefully. When are you going to come to New York and rock a show with me, maybe hunt some ghosts up here? There are tons of supposedly haunted spots in my area.

RS: That would be wicked! Do you have room at your place for me? I don’t take up much room. I would love to join in a few shows with you, and it would be great to look into some of those haunted places in your area. We’ll have to make that happen. I can see the newspaper headlines now: “Two Artists Gone Missing” and they find our video cameras with footage of us being taken apart by some paranormal entity or something and we are never seen again. Sounds cool, let’s do it! Hahaha!

JVB: Hell yeah, Blair Witch status. We’ll definitely have to set something up, maybe in the summer or something. Well man, thanks for taking time out of your busy schedule to talk with me. Anything else you want to say?

RS: I would like to thank all our fans for staying with us all these years and let them know we are not done yet. Lots to come before I end this. Thank you all for your support, and we love you all! You all ROCK!