· You’re a bit of enigma - what can you share about your career as an artist?
How did a guy with a taste for writing, provocation and nightlife break into the multi billion dollar poetry-industrial complex?
I wouldn’t call it a career…. For years I was a poet, a lyricist, a vocalist, and a performer, working purely for the love of putting together words that pissed people off. But surprisingly I found that was not a path to fame or fortune. So eventually I joined the ranks of Rodriguez, Leonard Cohen and Cat Stevens, and interrupted my career with a long period of reclusion.
Then recently I learned how to package my words the way people actually want to consume them – in great recordings and videos. So now I’ve reemerged as a recording artist, producer, and video artist…. And now I’ve been remixed by top LA DJs Miss Beltran and Christian B, and I’m being interviewed by EDM Magazine! How cool is that?
· Your new single, "16 Lines From Bryan Ferry," has a pop-leaning new-wave sound. How would you describe the song and its musical style?
Charli XCX meets Dirty Harry on a techno synth pop tropical house tip.
· Your bio lends us to think you’re quite the world traveler- where is a favorite place for musical inspirations?
I actually find travel is a distraction from creativity. I spent twenty years on the road. I flew more miles, closed more bars, and fraternized with more fans than Led Zeppelin and Motley Crue rolled up into one person…. But I never actually got around to playing any music – and it took me literally years to record a few tunes and get signed to Looped Music.
Sure I’ve written a few lines in a bar in Siem Riap or a beach in Senegal, but I’m an old school post-modernist. I get all my inspiration from movies, books, TV and other songs – my new single “16 Lines from Bryan Ferry” is actually made up of quotes from 16 songs from the James Bond of art rock, Bryan Ferry.
· Do you perform live and if so, where can fans see you?
No fucking way. Playing live is a deadly snakepit of drama. Everyone you are dating, they all show up for the gig – and they all expect to come backstage and that you’ll be leaving with them. I’ve learned my lesson. Now I skip the gig and go straight to the after party.
· Your previous work is also very eclectic - what artists do you draw from and why?
I’m total slut – I can’t be faithful to any type of music. I’ve fucked with punk, funk, spoken word, indie, adult alternative, french café, aussie pub, riviera ultra-lounge…. I was actually working on a rap/country fusion song before “Old Town Road” came out.
I’m a lyrics guy with a taste for wit and provocation, so my influences go back a hundred years to Cole Porter, Noel Coward, Lorenz Hart, and Tin Pan Alley. I see that esthetic being reprised by Gainsbourg and songwriters following him in France. In the Anglo world, we had Blondie, Prince, some country classics, and a lot of Max Martin is witty and provocative, as well as rappers like Nicki Minaj, Lil Wayne….
But my biggest musical inspiration is Jim Wolfensohn, the former head of the World Bank, who gave his first musical concert at Carnegie Hall aged fifty. Plus he ran highly effective global debt relief and anti-corruption campaigns in his day gig.
· Do you feel that a video component for songs is important?
Of course. YouTube is the leading DJ of the 21stcentury. And the lyrics video is the most powerful and successful dissemination vehicle ever created for poetry.
For “16 Lines from Bryan Ferry,” my video is going full geek – the first music video with footnotes, combined with the amazing Russian model/actress Anastasiya Scheglova in lingerie.
· What’s the best advice you can give to rising producers and creatives?
One creative way to get your name known in the electronic music world is to write some homoerotic fan fiction about Deadmau5 and send him the link via Twitter. He’ll respond even better if his beloved fellow Canadian Justin Bieber is in on the action.
· Is there going to be a follow up single for 16 Lines?
Yes. Hard to believe there could be a song good enough to follow up 16 Lines, but there is.
· How does the rest of 2019 look for you?
Hopefully I’m going to do a collab with BeyonceI
, host a comedy roast of Anselm Kiefer at Art Basel Miami Beach, and MC the hair metal karaoke on Roman Abramovich’s yacht in St Barths on New Year’s Eve. I’m just waiting on the invitations.
· Any parting comments?
Yes – two points.
Firstly, never forget that the ultimate value and meaning in life lies in the affirmation of freedom. People will try to hold you down with their standards and expectations, but it’s your life’s mission to be defiant and self defining – to resist the pressure put on you by the world, to follow your own path, and to respond with a big “fuck you” to anyone who stands in your way.
Secondly, I recommend adding toasted shallots as a crunchy and delicious topping to any salad.