between Girl Talk and ESG (this will also appear in print). i love how in the photos Gregg looks like some punk kid and the lady from ESG looks like a concerned mother.
1) First of all, what is Illegal Art's mission? And, I hope this isn't ignorant of me but, are you affiliated with the other Illegal Art (illegal-art.org)that put out Danger Mouse's Grey Album?
Our primary mission over the last eight years has been to support the unique music that artists are making through transformative sampling. On another tangent we're also starting a video activism series with a release in August by Steev Hise about femicide in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico.
We worked with the other Illegal Art on a CD compilation for their touring exhibit and allowed them to borrow our name. They didn't put out Danger Mouse's Grey Album, but just put it up as a download on their site after it received legal threats. We embrace all the confusion that occurs from the name sharing. 2) What makes an artist right for Illegal Art?
We're always looking for artists who have a unique vision. We're not trying to create a label sound, but rather a more general philosophy. A large part of that philosophy is that sample-based music is generating some of the most unique forms of music in the 21st century. 3) Do you work as a conventional record label? Doing A&R, signing bands, promoting them?
We're conciously moving more and more in that direction. There's no reason the material we're supporting has to remain underground.4) Why take a stand against the rigidity of copyright law? Releasing albums like Night Ripper seems to court legal response; why risk the lawsuit by releasing them? How would you like to see those laws change?
Because copyright restricts artistic expression. The works we release deserve to be disseminated. We honestly believe that this is a legitimate artform that shouldn't be censored by corporate control over artistic practices. 5) Why Girl Talk? What attracted you to Gillis' work and made you want to release his albums? What are your hopes for Night Ripper?
Gregg is an amazing artist. Each of his albums has been distinct. The underlying aspect that keeps us releasing his material is that he has amazing artistic instincts and isn't just throwing material together. A lot of sample-based music is a mess since it can be so easily thrown together. Girl Talk and other artists on our label put a lot of sweat into their work and it shows.
Our hopes are that Night Ripper will reach a larger audience and propel Gregg into international stardom.6) Are you concerned that there will be litigation over Night Ripper? Is all of the publicity the album is getting a mixed blessing--like, are you concerned that with all the good press that the attention could lead to a lawsuit?
We're mildly concerned, but we think it's a waste of time for anyone to go after us. You can't stop this type of artistic creativity. It isn't competing with the markets of the original material, so why go after it? It would only further prove how backwards the mainstream music industry continues to be. Instead they should hire Girl Talk to distill all of their half-baked music into its more potent form. 7) How is Gillis different, or how has he distinguished himself from all the other mash-up/sampling DJs? What is exciting to you (as someone who runs his label) about Night Ripper? What makes it different from, say, the Avalanches record or the Grey Album?
Night Ripper is pure genius from beginning to end. There is no filler.
when VH1 is sending us a request for CDs and MTV.com is scheduling an interview with Gregg you know something is wrong. i'm waiting for TLC to call.
"I'm now a hyped band, get ready to hate me in approximately 1 year." -Gregg Gillis
No Justic, No Peace... Whatever
: "In the country's putative activist capital, all the protests and rallies may do more to sow apathy than draw people to the cause." from the SF Weekly (via Steev Hise's blog). speaking of Steev and activism, i'm really excited for the release of his DVD
. maybe video activism informs & entertains enough to gain supporters as opposed to the street protests this article discusses.
Night Ripper received a "Best New Music" review
and rating (8.4) from Pitchfork this morning. so, is the Pitchfork Effect
real or just overblown media hype? we'll soon find out!
"You don't sue Radiohead. Even if we're only talking Phil Selway and Jonny Greenwood, you do not sue Radiohead! And you sure as hell don't sue Harry Potter." full story
live TVOTR tracks on The Smudge of Ashen Fluff
. thank you for the internet.
"Back in the day, the average mix album was a collection of party tunes -- good-time music to get people on their feet. Unfortunately, somewhere in the '90s, the mix album was hijacked by the techno scene unless you were lucky enough to befriend some local deejays. Instead of going from Kool & The Gang to Kool Moe Dee, any mix tape found in the average record store was more likely to transition from DJ Tiesto to DJ Jean -- not that you'd notice anyway, since they'd both have sirens and synths wailing over a throbbing bass drum. The rave craze castrated the best part about mix tapes -- marveling as the deejay took you seamlessly from Dolly Parton to Grandmaster Flash." -from a review
i am giving a kid guitar lessons. he's taken for a year already. i haven't played a guitar in years. it should be fun. i'm excited! with my own music i've abandoned the direction i was going (sort of droned out melodic pulsating stuff) and am shifting into completely re-editing some of that material into a more song-ish direction and collaborating with SR to keep things grounded.