DJ of the Week Nobody (Low End Theory, Alpha Pup) Talks Touring, Blank Blue, and Sampling!
Nobody is a humble genius, one of "extremely minor fame" from Soulmates, Pacific Drift, And Everything Else, Tree Colored See, and Blank Blue. His solo album, released last year on Alpha Pup, attracted rave reviews for its creative use of samples, beats, and Autotune vocals; his most recent project Bomb Zombies (with Nocando) has earned a fan base as far away as Singapore. Nobody joins us now after a hard day's night at Low End Theory.
Tell me about the first time you DJ'd in public. Were you nervous?
The very first time I DJ'd in public was in 2000, in San Francisco at a place called 111 Minna. The turntables dangled from the ceiling and they would move around constantly, so more than nervous I was terrified! A woman knocked into the decks during my first record and made it skip. Besides that I think I did all right! It was a gig to promote my Soulmates album that was released around then.
You usually DJ with Serrato and I saw on Twitter that people were giving you shit about it awhile back. Wanna weigh in on Serrato vs. vinyl?
Well I played vinyl for years! Toured around with huge box of vinyl! It was terrible! Seriously though, I don't miss carrying tons of stuff and ruining my records. At the same time it also depends on what I'm playing. My Low End Theory sets are based on songs that, mostly, aren't even on vinyl. We also are always trying to get the newest stuff by folks so it's always MP3s that get passed around. When folks ask me to do 60's or 70's psychedelic rock sets, like at Cinespace or something, I always rock vinyl. That's what all of that stuff is on ya' know. But folks who think they are better DJs just because they use vinyl are trippin'. It's not what you're using but how you're you using it.
Truer words were never spoken. What's the weirdest thing you ever sampled?
There is a percussion sample I used on Soulmates that is from the beginning of "True Colors" by Cyndi Lauper. I've always liked those percussion hits, even as a kid, so one day I decided to use them. I am no longer a secret Cyndi fan. I am very vocal about my love for her and her amazing voice. Listen to the end of "All Through the Night" for proof!
Are you going to do another Autotune album?
I would love to but everyone around me wants me to do an instrumental album. We'll see. I imagine if I do I would want to make it sound HUGE. Like 10 tracks of auto-tune and orchestral arrangements and stuff. I'm sure [Daddy] Kev would love that.
Let's say you could get the rights to sample whatever you wanted. What five songs would you sample from?
This is the best question I have ever been asked. Ummm...
1. The Beatles - "Strawberry Fields Forever"
2. Led Zeppelin - "The Crunge"
3. The Beach Boys - "Good Vibrations"
4. Tommy James & The Shondells - "Crimson and Clover"
5. The Jackson 5 - "Who's Loving You"
If you could play at any venue in the U.S., what would it be?
Hmmmmmm... Prolly the Greek Theatre with my band Blank Blue. I love going to shows there and I just love how it's laid out.
If you could go back in time and hear any music to sample what would it be (as in, the music played at court of Henry the VIII, the music played in ancient Persia, etc)?.
I would go and watch Led Zeppelin starting with their first few shows as The New Yardbirds. I would just see them over and over again and use the sample thing as an excuse. Or I would follow around Moondog and record him on the streets. I'd have to flip a coin.
Have you ever feared for your life at a DJ gig or on tour?
All the Prefuse 73 tours were wild. There was a particular night at ATP [All Tomorrow's Parties] in England involving Sonic Boom and some of his pals where I feared for my life in all sorts of different ways.
Anything you want to add?
Here is a link that Nobody did for Self-Titled Mag...
You can download Nobody's live mixes from the Low End Theory Podcast
Get the Music Newsletter
Keep your thumb on the local music scene each week with music news, trends, artist interviews and concert listings. We'll also send you special ticket offers and music deals.