Interview: Star Slinger
Posted in Interviews
"I subscribe to the notion that less is more. Massive ass drum beats are all you really need to dance."
The night after we scored an interview with Teen Daze at the club/lounge Bardot in Miami's Art District, the UK's Star Slinger decided to show face for a rocking set. The crowd showed up by the hundreds to pack themselves into Bardot's cozy space and was in for a wild night.
Inevitably, Star Slinger's set turned into a giant dance party. Darren encouraged everyone to get close and surround his DJ booth, which at first the crowd seemed a little apprehensive about... but it didn't stop them from doing it no more than two songs in.
Jonathan and Darren spoke about David Beckham, Gold Panda, and French artists.
Why are remixes such a large portion of your repertoire?
I guess, when you sample something, like I did with Volume 1, I sampled a lot of soul records, you get a knack for chopping other people's work up. I'll listen to mainly the melody to see if I can work with that first. If there isn't much, I experiment to see if I can add some. And sometimes I'll make things have less melody to add more space, like with the Alex Winston song.
What kind of music did you listen to as a kid and in what ways do you find it creeps into your music?
I listened to what my dad listened to. There was a lot of The Beach Boys (Brian Wilson is a genius, by the way), The Beatles, Jimi Hendrix, all that dad shit. I sort of raided mum's collection and my dad's. My mum had more funk than my dad. She was into the funk and the soul and disco.
My favorite track of yours is the remix you did of Gold Panda's "Marriage". Do you mind walking us through how that track came to be?
First off, thank you, man, thank you. I was a fan of Gold Panda since I saw him play with Caribou, he supported Caribou in Manchester. Before that I didn't know anything about him. Then I heard his track "Quitters Raga", and I was like, "Fuck, this is huge! Why aren't there more people into this?" haha. Everyone was just sort of nodding there heads and I'm sitting there like, "wow, this is amazing."
So his manager reached me and said I really like what you're doing online. I really like the album and what you've done and achieved by yourself. I was like oh cool. He actually tried to bribe me to meet him by sending me some Panda merch, and I was like, "dude, I'll meet you without the merch." So I met him, and he was also managing Cloud Nothings as well. I saw how he was with them, and he was great. I told him I didn't want a manager for a while, and three months later I told him I can't see anyone else managing me. I had loads of other offers, but I never said anything to anyone, and then I met him and it just felt natural. I found out later that the guy who's working with him signed My Bloody Valentine and Oasis... like huge fucking bands. I eventually met him and asked him if he realized who exactly he had signed and if he ever thought they would get so big. He told me, "no, we just signed who we liked." ... wait, what was the question again? Sorry, I kinda went off on a tangent...
What came about with Gold Panda was just a product of being under everyone's imprint. It's still pretty crazy to me really. One of the first things we spoke about was doing a Panda remix because he had heard a lot of others. It's probably one of my favorites now too.
Haha, no worries man. It's a great story. So we were talking earlier about current artists that you look up to. What French artists inspire you the most?
Yeah, at the moment it's probably Teki Latex. He's actually more of a label owner, but he's a DJ as well. He's a bit of a tastemaker in France. They started doing this thing called lean house, where they slow it down to 110 bpm. It's like chopped and screwed but with house music. I like a lot of French music at the moment, and he seems to be putting out most of it on his label Sound Pellegrino.
How do you know you've finished a song?
Typically when I just don't feel like adding anymore or it's just good as it is. It helps to have some sort of conviction with a song, you can't just be like going on forever and adding more no matter how complex you want it to be. I mean, Imogen Heap does that, she just keeps layering. But that's totally not my style. I subscribe to the notion that less is more. Massive ass drum beats are all you really need to dance.
If you could say one thing to David Beckham what would it be?
David Beckham? I'd probably tell him I've seen his house. I saw it in Hollywood the other week. It's a pretty big ass house. I'd probably tell him I wish I had his money. He's fucking loaded man. He's probably made more in one signing than people have in their entire careers. It's some stupid number. But think about the tax man, the tax man is going to kill him.
So last night, I had the pleasure of interviewing Teen Daze and he gave us a Canadian's view of American politics. You want to give us an Englishman's take?
I think what's happening with Wall Street is great, and rightly so. I was talking with Mux Mool the other night about this. He was saying that it's stupid because it's not an actual revolution or anything, people are just protesting and not actually doing anything. It's a tricky situation because that's all you can do in a way. If you start torching shit, it's not necessarily going to be perceived as a revolution anymore.
What's in the future for Star Slinger?
I'm trying to finish an album that I'm really happy with. I'm trying to get people involved. I asked my manager if we could get The Flaming Lips on the album, they're my favorite band. They're doing some spoken word. Roses Gabor, who's on the new SBTRKT album, is doing something with me too. I really want to make a pop record in a way. Not something million miles away from my hip hop shit, but things with big ass choruses and something that has musical integrity. I just want to make an album with a few bangers on it, and choruses do it for me.