Frivolous talks to MEOKO
- 23 August 2012
Yo Frivolous, thanks for your time. Rumour has it you've been spending the summer in St Petersburg. Any specific reasons why? Is it an inspiring environment?
Hi! Glad to be here! Yes it’s true, it’s been a really turbulent year in terms of never being home, and I guess i just decided I might as well try living with my girlfriend in Russia for a few months. It messes me up a bit with the time-change every weekend, but it’s interesting. Tonight we are going to a traditional Soviet Katine for dinner. It’s just the end of August, but you can feel the winter already starting to bear down on the temperature. I’m glad we will be escaping next month and driving back to central Europe.
You're best known for your DIY approach to Live performance. Was this born from a dissatisfaction with traditional gear and the sounds they could, or rather could not, create? I'm curious to understand the real reasons behind adopting this approach...
Well it’s kind of a deeper philosophy. I believe you should use what you have to be creative, and not necessarily be a gear-whore, but more importantly, it’s to leave a little foot-print of your personal touch in your work. The music should be a window into your personality, and mine is a personality that’s fascinated by taking stuff apart and Frankenstein-ing whatever I have together. I wouldn’t say that my home-made shit sounds any better than professionally engineered products, it’s just totally different than all the other stuff you hear, and it leaves a channel of communicating something personal. I think the listener really gets an insight out of it.
Do you think this DIY approach is something all producers should adopt, to give their sound that unique and original twist? Do you think this is something we will see more of in the future?
Yes, TOTALLY! 99% of what I hear and all the demos I’m given, sounds exactly the same. I really don’t know how somebody can be so excited to sound like a million records that were made before.
You've been awfully quiet on the production front since you released 'Metereology', which I can only assume means you must be hiding something up your sleeve? There's even talk of a new album – when can we hope to see the fruits of your labours?
HA HA! Well, ambiguity can be great sometimes. I have been really busy with trying to keep up with the Cadenza pace of life. It’s left me pretty winded actually, and I’m dying to get some good studio time in. Actually in December we are planning a move back to Canada to the little island where Meteorology began. I’m going to buy a little farm... maybe raise some sheep for the purpose of making awesome Feta Cheese, and setup a PROPER studio. Being back there will mean that when I’m in Europe, I'll play shows but 9 months of the year I’ll be back there making music. I’ve got some things going in the studio that I haul around in my van, but I really need and home and some dedicated time to get into a rhythm of work. So I’m very excited. Next year you can count on a more regular schedule of quality releases from me.
Your Live shows are famously improvised and contain a myriad of different sounds. Your productions by comparison seem a lot more controlled – How does your ethos differ in relation to each art? Do you produce with your Live show in mind – or are they totally separate?
These days I produce with the live show in mind for sure. At the end of the year I will also be developing a new and more intense live show that will have a fantastic live visual component in addition to the musical performance. I have to think about what voicing I can do live on stage, whether it be keys, singing, percussive programming, or playing some DIY contraptions. So I’m definitely thinking 3 steps ahead when I capture the original performance in the studio.
Photo by www.bureau-AEIOU.com
I see you as an artist that will keep mutating and evolving with the times. Do you have any big plans for the future? Picture a world of infinite technological possibility: how ideally would you be performing and making music?
I think the technology is already there. I mean there is a certain balance that makes a good show between human elements and technology. As I mentioned, I am going back to the drawing board with the live show, and I clearly see what I want to do now. It will be fantastic and it’s going to completely redefine what it means to be a ‘DJ’.
Finally, I have to ask. It must be a real bitch getting that knife of yours through customs week in week out. Any amusing anecdotes to share?
HA! Actually for the moment I’ve retired it. Yeah in Russia they x-ray all the baggage too the minute you enter the airport lobby, and I’ve almost missed more than a few flights because I had to explain what I do to some slack-jawed security guy. The last time, I actually had to pull out a phone and show him videos from youtube. Somehow this completely satisfied his suspicion.
Words by Carlos Hawthorn