Speak!

Sjimon Gompers

Via

Speak! released an amazing EP called Beautiful
Sounds for Interesting People with
Fantastic Taste
via the Applebird blog
for no fee and with little to no fanfare.

Considering the annoying
amount of
incessant buzz and contrived dramatics that get slogged about in the
music
industry, it is almost a shock to hear something top shelf come out of
an ethos
of music presented through merit sans press kit. With that in mind, I
called up
Speak! himself to question his methods of
anti-promotion.

Let’s
talk about the Beautiful Sounds for
Interesting People with Fantastic Taste
EP. You state on the site:

“No build up.
No Viral Videos.
No Cosigns.
No blog hype.
No cover art.”

Why so quiet about the EP?

Well you know, I’ve been saying it for months and months, people
thinking (I’d)
turned into Ted Kaczynski and I've just been saying be on the look out!
It’s my
fuck you kinda at what music has
become. In order for people to give you attention you have to tip
bloggers and
appease the online community and everyone with a Xanga or LiveJournal.
There
are people putting out cinematic features to promote their release! I
just want
to put it out there, I’ve been recording music in my closet since I was
13
years old and I’m going to keep on doing it!

What bothers you about “build up?”

It’s not so much about build up that bothers me, it’s a business and
you
have to promote yourself. But I feel that the build up and the buzz and
having
a specific track to promote becomes all about the hype. After a while we
don’t even
realize that (music) has become so disposable and a lot of it doesn’t
matter.

What bothers you about “viral
videos?”

They’re cool, I’m not anti-viral videos at all in terms of
advertising but
it becomes a driving factor. It’s almost like you have to have videos of
you
taking a shit, or walking your dog and people want that. And that’s one
of the
things that bothers me is that viral videos don’t live up to the
expectation of
good music.

What bothers you about “cosigns?”

Nothing really, we all have artists that we like but in this era of
hip hop
and blog shit you need someone to step forward and say go add him to
Facebook, Twitter, Myspace, etc
. I think that you
shouldn’t need anyone else’s signature other than yours. Putting your
name out
there, your art out there, everyone starts off with a blank slate. You
should
do it on your own merit.

What about “blog hype?”

It's music, everything’s gonna come with hype. Look at the Beatles
hype in
the 60s, look how it was here in America! It was like, The Beatles are
coming!
The Beatles are coming! (The hype is) coming too fast, a lot of it are
kids who
recorded it on their own microphone and then everyone scooping it up
afterwards. The internet hype is good in the short term but then we have
kids.
Where’s Charles Hamilton now? He’s got a great beat but it’s too much
too soon.
It’s like that sense of entitlement, I got a blog post; I deserve it!
I’m just interested in making the music. I want to put out another EP soon.
I sent out a tweet about another release later this month and my
manager gave me an earful, threatened to quit if I did, but for me it's
all about getting the music out there.

And hating on “cover art?” Really?

I love cover art. Phillip Mao, he’s done some really good color
illustrations
for the album that we didn’t end up using. But I love good cover art! I
love
digging up the old 60s and 70s records and just checking out the covers,
good
album art is hard to come by. I didn’t want a lot of time to go by, I
was
stressed out, I was like I don’t have time to get this out. I was kind
of fed
up it was spontaneous and overnight, I was like here it is.

“Caitlin Said” picks up almost where
you left with a similar note to “Jen Ballera I love you (since I was
19).” You
do a similar effect with tone in how “Pillow Mints” swoops in smooth
after
“Larry, He Changed.” What is your take on the relationships if any
between your
tracks?

I tried to make them a bit cohesive. I think what I was trying to go
for
wasn’t going to be a full length, like a novel. I wanted to make them
short and
concise and a look at the different people coming in and out of my life.

I like the shifts in various
production styles on the album. If you could get produced by any hip-hop
or
whatever pop producer, who would it be?

Oh man,
beat-wise? There’s a lot of people I like,
there’s a lot out there. AFTA-1 is one of my favorites and now I got a
record
coming out (produced) by AFTA-1! I’d like to work Jonah, a producer for
Portland band the Blow. It’s some electronic dance-y kind of thing but
extremely successful. I’d love to work with him. And maybe Phil Spector,
get a
shovel and dig him out of prison! Could you imagine the Wall of Sound
treatment
on a hip-hop record? Ha ha, also Edan, I’d definitely want to work with
him. His
music sounds like it’s coming off of a dirty tape deck. That’s the sound
I’m
looking for!

I
love your choice of sampling big show-stopping classic numbers. What do
you
look for in the perfect sample?

I don’t
know, it just kinda clicked. Like on “Persian
Disco Cocaine Junk Yard” for example, I just thought of me high out of
my mind
and seeing into the future and I thought of the Jetsons and that’s how
that
sample happened. And like the lead in for “Jen Ballera,” I love the Marx
Brothers so that’s why I went with “Everyone Says I Love You.” I just
kind of
want to show people that this isn’t just sampling for sampling’s sake, I
reflect my personality and things I enjoy like the Jetsons and Marx
Brothers.

What selections are in heavy rotation
for you right now?

AFTA-1’s new album Form, we’ve
been bumping that at the house, Little Dragon’s Machine Dreams,
basically a lot of drug music! Get high and paint
all night music. I always love Revolver,
then there’s the new Brian Jonestown Massacre album Sgt. Pepper is
Dead
, we got the new Jeezy mixtape and a lot of
people don’t expect me to like Jeezy but he’s one of my favorite
rappers.

What
influences do you hold tight to your steez?

I’m still
trying to find who I am; my brothers are
super gang bangers and if we were standing next to each other you would
never
know we were related. For my steez I would say DJ Quick but I like Iggy
Pop,
Freddy Mercury, Liam (Gallagher), people like Robert Plant. Being Rick
Ross and
Gucci Mane with all this ice and shit, I mean that’s cool but it makes
‘em look
silly and they’re all like, I’m a rock
star, I’m a rock star
but man those guys have no idea. You knew the
guys of
Led Zeppelin were getting laid but it was about their steez and that
totally
goes!

Download
the EP
here.

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