Just got off the phone with Girl Talk, America's reigning laptop-based sample artist, who will make thousands of locals sweat tomorrow night at the Fillmore with fellow laptopper Dan Deacon. Here's some notes on tomorrow's show, the upcoming new album, new remixes and quitting the day job. Congrats, Greg.-By David Downs
Tell me about 2007:
“2006 ended and the record did really well in the summer and I expected it to plateau but it just has kept building and building and building. I kept up with the weekend tour schedule a little bit then in June I decided I could live on this for a year. (He quit his job as a full-time biomedical engineer.)
“I've always done music as a fun sort of thing. I was having a hard time with the tour schedule and work week nine-to-five. So, yeah, I decided to do music full-blast, which is great for me. The thing is: Whenever I played the weekend shows, people expected some new material from me, so it was a lot of pressure working a day job and coming up with new material. Now, it's very cool work to forty hours to get material ready for each weekend. It's a bit more healthy.
What did your parents think about you quitting?
They weren't too psyched on it, but they know what kind of money I was making at the shows. They've seen me obsess over music for years and that's the thing I was always doing. I keep telling them I never want to make a career out of it, but they're worried I'm going to try and and ride this out too far and get locked in a crazy, drug-fueled world of rock and roll. But actually, quitting my day job has balanced it out a bit. I get to see my friends and girlfriend a lot more and actually chill out. Once I quit my day job everything's been a breeze.
How are you spending all your newfound free time?
I'm trying to stop doing remixes to finish up a new album, but I finished up a remix for Of Montreal with Frank Musarra – and we're calling the project “Trey Told-Em.” A lot of times, bands don't want me to necessarily use samples in their mixes, which is weird for me as Girl Talk to remix without samples. I started the project to do remixes and other beats with no sound attached to it.
You say 2008 will see the follow-up to Night Ripper, do you want to put that out on Illegal Art?
Definitely. I've had a really positive relationship with them over the past few years. Not too many labels are open to releasing music like this. As my popularity grows – I've had a lot of A&R guys ask me to remix work, but as far as releasing the kind of music I make, there's a lot copyright law involved that almost any label wouldn't put it out.