Girl Talk Interview

Girl Talk Interview
Conducted by JMcQ

How do you come up with all of the samples for the tracks on Night Ripper? Do you plan out a swarm of song ideas or how do you get the creative process going?

Im constantly sampling songs, making beats, and re-working existing melodies. I work with any source material that I really like. I catalog all of this material and then organize different combinations of it for live shows. The tracks on Night Ripper are basically a product of my favorite material from the past two years of live performances.

What factors were there in your life to allow you to have such a diverse array of tastes?

I think most people like a wide variety of music.

Why wasnt Night Ripper a $200 album, considering the amount of samples that were used? How do you get around copyright law, if you did, and what advice would you give to individuals that want to create music in the same vein as Girl Talk?

You can sample music freely under the Fair Use doctrine, although no court has ruled that Night Ripper falls under these set of guidelines yet. I dont pose any threat to the artists Im sampling, so I think there is no point in record companies or lawyers trying to take this music away from the public. As for advice to anyone trying to make music like me, Id say its probably cooler to learn guitar.

Have you been approached by any companies wanting to use your music? Who is the most famous or important person that you know that has listened to or likes your music?

One major label A&R person has talked to me about liking the album and potentially working with them in the future, but Id like to keep that name on the DL just in case they turn out wanting to sue me. Beck has asked me to do a remix, and we are trying to work out some potential shows with him as well.

Is Night Ripper your first album? Will the next album you do be more of the same combination-creation of new music from old music, or do you have any other ideas for it?

Night Ripper is my third album. Theyve all been sample-based but completely different in style. The first one was experimental and noisy, and the second one was more technical and IDM-ish. Im going to continue working with samples, but you can take it in so many different directions that Im not really sure where Im going next. For now, I like blasting party jams.

Are there any original compositions present on Night Ripper, and will there be on future albums?

I dont want to sound like a jagoff, but I consider all of the material original compositions. If you are asking whether theres any non-sampled-material on Night Ripper, then the answer is yes. Theres two separate points on the album with original synth work, and there are plenty of beats made from various drum machine sounds. I dont know if thats considered a sample or not. For future material, Ill continue to blend non-sampled and sampled material.

Is there any purpose behind your music as Girl Talk? Do you operate with any political beliefs running through your track, or does your medium contain a philosophy about life?

Theres no politics involved with my music. Im just trying to make interesting music that my friends and I can enjoy. I hold certain beliefs about sampling laws, but theres no direct message in the music. Its too complicated to freak on the dance floor when youre worrying about sampling legalities.

Do you go out on tour? If so, how do you manage things, do you scratch and layer over tracks or is this just a studio act?

Ive been playing live since about 2000. I dont use turntables at all. Ive never considered myself a DJ. I do everything on the fly with my laptop, and I also like to thrash about and occasionally do a Nirvana cover.

Do you have any other projects that you are working on right now?

Im working a number of remixes for bands. Im also playing a bunch of live shows, so Im developing new material thats kind of in the style of Night Ripper. One of my best buddies, Frank (aka Hearts of Darknesses), and I are trying to collaborate on a new record as well. That will be really heavy.

Do you have any acts besides those that in some form or another made it onto the disc that you are listening a lot to nowadays?

Ive been jamming the Jesus and Mary Chain, Grizzly Bear, Mittens on Strings, Christina Aguilera, Cassie, Young Joc, Drop The Lime, Sonic Youth, and mixtapes in my car.

What was the impetus for naming the album Night Ripper? Even more so, what was the purpose behind naming your act Girl Talk? While readers may be able to understand the ripper part of the name, the Girl Talk aspect feels much more nebulous.

Night Ripper is a defensive basketball drill based around the box and 1 zone defense. Girl Talk was the name of one of the first demo tapes of the band Tad.

In a related question, how did you come up with the titles for each of the tracks on the disc?

Theyre mostly biblical references or stolen dialog from Failure To Launch.

What is your relationship with Illegal Art?

I first contacted Illegal Art around 2001 with some mp3s of my work. They were interested in it, so we kept in contact. Eventually, I had enough material that they wanted to put out an album. Since then, theyve release all three albums. Thats my basic relationship. Ive never personally met anyone from the label, just emails and phone calls over the course of five years.

How can individuals, if they are interested, listen to your music? Can Night Ripper be found in most major chain stores, or if not how can people get copies of the disc?

I would suggest going to illegalart.net to pick it up. Thats directly from the people who paid to put it out. It can also be found in a number of independent record stores across the globe.

[JMcQ]

Author: James McQuiston

Ph.D. in Political Science, Kent State University. I have been the editor at NeuFutur / neufutur.com since I was 15. Looking for new staff members all the time; email me if you are interested. Thanks!

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