RBMA: »So you have to describe what it sounds like.«
Theo Parrish: »Y’all know what that sounds like. everybody knows that song. So I play some real fucked up shit that I did instead. Just some fucked up shit, some stuff that just fell out of my head recently. It has no rhyme or reason and that’s precisely the point. That’s the other lesson: the more that you try to make it, it eludes.«
Theo Parrish: »At this point, I’d like to open up if anyone has any questions about the production process or anything like that, you can ask me anything. Nobody has anything to say?«
RBMA: »They’re scared of you.«
Theo Parrish: »No, they’re not.«
RBMA: »But to give them a few minutes to think about their questions, how is Detroit these days? You know, there is all this myth about Detroit, the abandoned city.«
Theo Parrish: »It’s cold, it’s snowing a little bit (laughter).«
RBMA: »I meant in regards to the music scene.«
Theo Parrish: »It’s pretty much how it’s been the past twenty, thirty years. And it’s a chunk full of the most talented people you will ever meet when it comes to music and that’s a consistent thing. It’s consistent with a region and that’s Ohio, Chicago. I call it the ‘rust in the water’-syndrome. That area in the States seems like the core of music as we know it today originated out of there and I think it’s remarkable. I mean, I really do thing it’s because of the high iron content in the lakes, the great lakes.
All that rust, all that steel, back and forth, all that stuff. It goes all the way down to St. Louis, we got everybody from Miles Davis to Quincy Jones, all these greats that spent significant time there. The Jacksons and not even getting into all the Motown, the obvious stuff. But just to answer your question, I think Detroit specifically is the home of contemporary music making and production today. And that’s coming from someone from Chicago. I think the original ideas that come out of the people there are just totally and completely amazing.
Most of the time, when I hear music from other places, it usually sounds like something I’ve heard. Maybe I’m biased, that’s a possibility, that’s a likelihood actually, but just listening out there and seeing it, it seems like a lot of stuff is coming, is not necessarily an echo from there, but you hear Jaydee and then you hear the Sa-Ra guys, you see the call and answer. Like: “Wait a minute, that’s gonna come back around.” I just know it, see it go out and come back. You see Juan Atkins and you see the Burial Mix, back and forth all the time. In terms of the community, it’s pretty much everybody knows everybody else. Everybody knows everybody else in some way, shape, form or fashion.
Or one of the many students of arts that go along there ’cause there’s the Funk root, that’s everybody and anybody that played along with the P-Funk guys and everybody that’s coming out of that ilk. From Brainstorm down to Amp Fiddler, down to… do we need a pause? Then you got all the people coming from the Hip Hop side of things, all the different cats coming out of there, Jaydee most likely, and all the guys that are put in a strange/’other’ category. There’s so many different angles to talk about Detroit, it’s almost impossible. ‘Cause really there’s more qualified people when you talk about Detroit. (turns to Rick Wilhite sitting in the audience) Rick, do you want to talk about Detroit (laughs)?«
RBMA: »He’s hiding.«
Theo Parrish: »He’s not hiding, that guy can’t hide.«
RBMA: »What would say about all this talk Detroit being an economically-abandoned place, does it feed creativity?«
Theo Parrish: »I’d say that’s an accurate description. To say it’s economically deprived is a big deal, but I think that has a lot to do with the whole ‘do or die’ attitude of the place. It’s like you get to be what you’re about or you get to faking it. Usually, if you fake it, you never make it, so it’s real simple. You do the best you can and what you got and you try your best to be as honest as possible.«
Theo Parrish: »Realism, yes, realism, it’s no joke. You see, it’s a strange question when you go: “What’s that place like?”, ’cause you almost do a disservice by putting it into words. (to the audience) Come to the Detroit Electronic Music weekend, I’m not going to say ‘festival’, ’cause we never know whether there’s going to be a festival ’till the day before. So, come to the weekend, there’s something going to be on. Come to Detroit first-hand, there’s rumor out there, there’s word out there: “It’s this and it’s that”, put it like this: everybody who is doing stuff, doing a performance there, you’re going to get the best performance you ever see from them.
‘Cause they know it’s one of the few times out of the year that we get some kind of attention, besides the music we get out to you via other channels. We know that people don’t come to Detroit, we want that to change. We need people to come and realize, that it’s a beautiful hot bed of talent and it’s there. We need it and that’s a big part of it. Once you come through there there, you’ll see guys you never heard of play the best sets you ever heard, play the best songs you’ve ever heard. You get the performance of people’s lives out of them during that week ’cause they know it’s time to put up a show during that time.«
RBMA: »And you get to see Theo Parrish, too.«
Theo Parrish: »Oh no, you don’t get to see me. I’m going to stay out at the side like everybody else and watch. I tend to pull back from it these days. Originally, when the first one went off, I did. But these days I’m much more interested in independent parties because there’s plenty of people to play on the stages or the festival, there’s not a lot of parties that make the kind of meat and potatoes of like, say, after the performance is done: “Ok, let’s go over there, catch a step somewhere.” I’m much more interested in participating in that aspect and those sort of things develop, but that’s the place to come. Everybody, please, come.«
RBMA: »It’s in may, right?«
Theo Parrish: »Yes, memorial day weekend. Everybody knows when memorial day is here in the States. For those of you not from here… Memorial day, what is the celebration of memorial day? What is it about? Is that just a miscellaneous holiday in the States? Does anybody know where that came from, memorial day? It’s like dead veterans day?«
(inaudible comment from audience)
Theo Parrish: »That’s what it’s about? My whole life I’ve never known what the hell that’s about. But, yeah, (laughs) memorial day weekend, come to Detroit. There you go, come through.«
RBMA: »Any questions?«
Participant: »I wanted to ask about signature sounds because when you hear a Theo Parrish record, you can tell pretty quickly that it’s a Theo Parrish record, in my opinion. Whether that’s Rotating Assembly or the older stuff that you did with a SP-1200 and I guess the question is: did you ever had a kind of list in your head going: “Ok, this is how I want to make this record. This is what I’m going to leave in, this is what I’m going to leave out.”? And how did you translate that sound to the live band as well.«
Theo Parrish: »A lot of that comes down to the mix, a large part of it. It’s far more intuitive than any plan or concept I could write down and come up with. It’s basically the idea recording a bunch of sounds, isolating those sounds and being able to work the sounds in between them. I really deal with the relationships between sounds, sonic conversations.
So, if you got a drum and that drum has a lot of mid in it, and you got a snare, and then you got a hi-hat on top of it, what’s going to be the best balance with those three elements and what are they going to carry over to the song, depending on the song? I don’t know if you’re familiar with Sound Signature number#4, where the timing flip-flops. I had no idea that I was going to have it flip-flop like that, it just ended up being a glitch that happened in the mix.
This track that I’m talking about, Sound Signature number#4, everything is played on the off-time, so you got the foot and everything else comes off (demonstrates off beat). Now, there’s a break in the middle where it goes (demonstrates straight beat) and you lose sense of where your timing is at that point. Happy accident, you know? And those sort of things, that kind of intuitive idea, I leave it alone, I don’t try to mess with. I try to keep my mixes as fluid as possible.
Now, since that song, there have been a lot of different changes in the studio. I’ve come across this wonderful piece made by Roland called the VS-880. I love that machine, I’m addicted. They made other incarnations of it, the 1880 and the 2480. I’ve upgraded to 2480, that’s when the band became really easy to work with ’cause I could isolate everybody. And once I got the main recording, I got that intuitive feel in the mix and that’s what I think you are talking about: the drop-out’s, the isolation and the change of the sonic relationships.«
Participant: »I’m wondering how you go about [mixing down], especially the early stuff like ‘Moonlight’ or something like that, where it’s kind of like a Dub thing where you got the channels running out of the sampler going directly into the mixing desk and you bring them in and out and it’s a one-drop kind of thing? Do you see what I’m getting at? I don’t know if it’s too difficult to explain.«
Theo Parrish: »No, I understand what you’re talking about. Yeah, it’s very much like that, where you have everything isolated running into a main board and then the main board is running it down to something that you record on a master. Simply, I mix it until I get it right. If it takes twelve times until I like the way it goes, it takes twelve times. If it’s the first take, which usually it is, the first mix is usually the one, I will put that one out. But yeah, it’s usually each channel isolated and track starts, if I like the beginning and I just follow the song as it goes. Does that answer your question?«
Participant: »It does.«
Participant: »Mr. Parrish, you mentioned at the beginning that you knew several DJ’s in the early days of House that you considered to be very good DJ’s and yet they didn’t make a name for themselves. How would you describe the difference between the ones that did make it and the ones that did not and what advice what you give to us?«
Theo Parrish: »Some of it is luck, plain luck. The rest of it is hard work, diligence and dedication. You can never go wrong having hard work, diligence and dedication in your ethic. Lazyness is probably one of the most common human traits worldwide, second only to fear. And if you can challenge those two things with what you do, then I can’t see how you couldn’t be successful no matter what as long as you stay on what you’re doing and remain true to your decisions.
That’s another big part. You see these guys and you’ve known them to be out there, if you talk about the selection process. Some guys are only interested in DJing and the point that they are making is: “Why would I want to put a record out if all I’m interested in doing is playing records?” Not making them, playing them. Because right now it’s such a move for career advancement, if you’re DJing, then: “Hey, I’m gonna make a track.” You can be pretty much sure that people are going to pay more attention to you. I would suggest: keep it solid, keep it pure.
Which one is tugging you the most? If you’re a DJ/producer, which one are you really interested in? Not which one you’re good at. Fuck what you’re good at! I mean, really, fuck what you’re good at! Because what you’re good at will come to you again. You don’t have to worry about what you’re good at, you’re always going to go back to what you’re good at. What are you being tugged at to do? That’s what you need to hone ’cause you can get good at anything. All of it is time, dedication and diligence once again.
So, if you say: “I want to be a producer”, that’s great. Are you good at it? Yes, ok. Hone it, great. What makes you live? What would you die for? Ask yourself that question. Would you die for a handful of records? And if you can’t answer that question honestly with a ‘yes’, then you need to think about the company you’re keeping when you’re around individuals that have answered that question for themselves already.
That’s the sort of thing. I know a lot of guys in Chicago right now that have been playing longer than most of the name DJ’s we know and would tear them a new asshole in a battle. But the point is, they stayed true to what it was they wanted to do. They knew that all they wanted to do was to play at those parties and they continued to do that. They might have dabbled in production but it was never anything that tugged them in another direction. So, they kept on living, they have families, they got regular jobs, but they keep doing it. So, it is really a personal choice. Being organized helps a lot.
Making sure that you’re not only a good selector but you’re a proficient purveyor of sound. It’s one thing to say: “I play all these great songs.” Who cares? Do you do those songs justice? Are you quick to give a person who asked you about the song the album cover, so they can read it, see what it looks like? Are you one of these guys that covers up the record so nobody can see it? That’s difference. Do you want people to hear it and share that or are you all about keeping it for yourself?
And that’s the double-edged bag again ’cause in the most times that’s a transition. You go from one to the other. You start off as a guy that marks off all his records with a marker so nobody can read it because you got your ego involved, but then over the years you start realizing it really doesn’t help anyone but yourself. And who gives a damn if that night you didn’t play that record well? At least this way (holds up a record sleeve) they know who to look for, they have an idea, they might have seen it before.
At least they’ll remember the name or something. You ain’t got to stop your set to have some guy who’s been trainspotting you all night and give them the proper nod, you ain’t got to do that. But, if you’ve got a minute, give them the album jacket and keep on stepping if they want to know the song. I mean, I’ve had guys taking pictures of the damn records that I played. “Come on man, give me a minute.” But the argument would be: why don’t you want him to know? It’s a little invasive, he can just ask me after I play.
But again, to answer your question, diligence, hard work, dedication, all with the promise of no money. Deal with that. Take five records and mix those records for a whole CD long. Just those five records, so that you know those records in’s and out’s. ‘Cause you know them under any circumstances, pitched up, pitched down, you will know it and knowledge of your tunes is more important if you’re talking about the combination of a doing a really good jock. It’s not about being able to play what’s hot now in a decent fashion or being able to mix two records seamless.
Who gives a fuck? You can train a monkey to mix two records, but can you tell a story? Can you tell a story and give enough monkey talent there to make it palatable to people? That’s the other part of it is making it listenable so people aren’t just running out. Because you still have to make converts of people who may show up. They’re used to hearing somebody go just ‘tck, tck, tck’ (same beat) all night. Robot. And they come in and they’re having a birthday party and they come to your party and you got a couple of stumbling transitions, they’re ready to leave.
But if they hang around longer, they might just get something from it. So you don’t want to make it too rough for them. Other times you may just go: “Fuck you, I’m getting down. Who cares? Not mixing nothing tonight.” So, double-edged again, but diligence, hard work and practice, practice, practice makes everything. Mix stuff that you’re not supposed to mix, learn how to mix. It’s not just about the beat, it’s about where sounds start and end in the apex of their frequency and where they’re going. All that type of shit you learn in mixing over and over again.
Now, making the transition into production, I think that’s a personal choice. I think that you’ve really got to be called to do it and do it well because eventually one of the two is going to be yanking and walking that line is even more difficult ’cause the pressure has changed. Go to Amsterdam for a weekend and have a ‘never-been’ being American. We’re not used to that kind of freedom, so we’re not even talking about all the different things that can assault you.
You’re sitting there getting you got all these things coming at you from different directions and you never have been exposed and you still have this talent you are working on as a work in progress. You really have to hunker down and really have to know what you’re doing in terms of the visceral part of it knowing these records. Know your records. Know ’em. And I say records, not songs, know them. It’s all based around that. I hope that answers your question. Thank you.«
Participant: »I want to go back to your DJ style. I know that you like to tweak the EQ’s and as a dancer usually 90% of the DJ’s messing with EQ’s, I just want to tell them to leave the record alone. How do you make [EQ] tweaking sound good?«
Theo Parrish: »Again, it’s a razorblade sort of thing. You’re walking it, you play a song and you also know that tweaking a little bit of the EQ, you can change the energy of the song. The danger of it is to EQ every song all the time for ever and ever. Sorry, but you’re just not going to be that interesting all the time. And another thing too is to tune into the song.
Do you know that song well enough to have it send chills up and down your spine while you’re playing it and have it so that the audience doesn’t even know that you’re EQing it or that they don’t notice that much? It’s really a balance ’cause sometimes you play out and you be EQing too much and then you stop EQing and the crowd doesn’t care anymore.
At that point you start being a selector, now you’re being an entertainer. Now people want to see you hop around and that’s not what it’s about. It’s not about putting on a show, it’s about communion, it’s about sharing. Some people argue that it is about a show, that’s fine, that’s their philosophical take on that. Mine is not that, mine is: let me share this with you.
Now, if in the process of what I’m doing is good to look at, makes you excited, great. But I could give a fuck. I’m more interested in people turning around as opposed to facing the DJ booth, head towards the speaker or find somebody to dance with. ‘Cause there’s a whole thing that goes on now where you’re going to see somebody DJ and you think that you’re going to a concert. You’re not going to a concert, you’re going to hear some records. So, go look at the speaker.
Turn the lights off and dig on that. That’s when that becomes the communion part. Now once you start adding, bring the high’s and the low’s into it and changing the sound dynamic, you can totally play songs that were meant for other settings into something else just by mere juxtaposition. Juxtaposition is the meat and potatoes of EQing. There’s no sense to EQ everything that comes on if everything is linear. Let’s say I’m playing a standard House set and everything is ‘boom-tss, boom-tss, boom-tss’ all night, if I EQ all the songs all the time and they’re all similar songs, what is the fucking difference? No one is going to care, no one is really going to get excited about that.
But if I pick my points and there’s a foot and I know the foot’s been going on for a while now and I’m feeling that, now some people want to count all the time: “Oh, the beat’s going to drop. One, two, three, four, boom. One, two, three, four, boom.” No. That’s fine, if that’s where you’re at, but if essentially you want to get some kind of an emotive thing going, you’re going need to know that song, this is going to touch you, right there at the spot and that simply just won’t do if people come up with all types of stuff while you’re spinning.
You got to be in that moment, you got to cut everybody out, you got to turn people away, you need to put that drink down, put that cigarette out and get to work. And really get to communion and make sure that those energies run through you. And that was the importance of what I as saying about that Stevie Wonder song ‘As’. When Lil’ Louis played it, I always associated it with mellow Sunday’s at home with my mum. When now it’s this banger. I’m like: “Wow! How did he do that?” It’s through juxtaposition, it’s what he played before, after and how he worked that song. What are the songs before and after what you’re doing is another part of EQing, it’s not so much the technical part of dropping the low’s, bringing the high’s, which EQ to use.
Personally, there was a mixer made by Numark. Hey Rick (talks to Rick Wilhite), is that the PPD with the 7-band? Alright, PPD 7-band Numark mixer, you have seven bands of EQ’s across. It wasn’t like a crossover where you have mid, high’s and low’s and you could just drop those, you had sub’s, mid-low’s, low’s, low-mid’s, mid-mid’s, hi-mid’s, mid-hi’s, hi-high’s and then high’s, all these different levels you can mess with. The idea of just the bass and just the mid’s and just the high’s, that’s more or less to me a new concept. When you work with a 7-band you have all these frequencies you can mess with and you can totally could tweak somebody out and it’s a lot more complex than the regular type of thing. So, when I would go out and I would hear these guys drop the EQ’s real simple, I’d be like: “What is he doing? That’s boring, I’m asleep.”
Over time you start realizing if I incorporate these two methods, then it changes everything. So keeping in mind that the selecting process, the spinning process is a work in progress, you’re going to grow, you’re going to change. It’s never going to stay the same, as long as you grow, as long as you’re into it. It’s never going to stay the same. The competitive part of it, you go through that the first seven years in my opinion. You’re worrying about everybody else’s transitions, their selection and the EQ work.
You want to be better than all of them, but after a while you start to realize it has absolutely nothing to do with you and your competitive streak in your ego. Nothing. That’s more to do with these individuals. Now that happens when you get to autopilot. Autopilot is when you start picking out records without even knowing what the fuck they are. Where you got a record, it’s wonderful and then somebody says: “Play the next song.” You’re grabbing that song and you end up playing it right at the right time that the record’s over and you have just enough time to bring it in and everything is just moving in a great line.
That’s called being ‘in line’. Being in line is beautiful. If you can get to that point, you’re in a really good shape, but those are very rare places. That type of selection makes EQing very, very easy because then all you’re doing is in a moment, in a flow, nothing is being held up. You’re mind isn’t stopping the process and that’s very, very difficult. Especially, if you got Serato or some shit.«
(inaudible question from participant)
Theo Parrish: »Well, the point was initially I was hearing these edits when I was younger… Oh, you know (flicks through his records), I got some of these edits with me.«
RBMA: »So we can listen to them.«
Theo Parrish: »Yeah, we’re going to hear a couple of these edits. I’m going to play a couple of these (holds a CD). I heard these edits when I was younger and they just weren’t around anymore. The closest I heard were a few on R&S, but nothing really amazing. I mean, R&S records, the repress, the old school one. I think what Danny Krivit did a lot is melodies, mainline stuff. Those were seminal, really serious pieces that Ron Hardy, Frankie Knuckles all these old Chicago jocks would play a lot.
You realize that this whole edit culture was something that’s underground in Chicago going from tape to tape to tape, all the time. Everybody was trading edits with everybody else. They’d never come out on vinyl. Now me, I would come across a song and I knew that: “Damn, I miss those edits. Fuck it, I’ll make one.” And I basically made them for me and my friends to play. I just put them out, small numbers, no big deal. And I figured that I got this one coming up and there’s another one, too and I got this remix I did of Jill Scott. I said: “Well, let me put it on it. Maybe they’ll pick it up, I don’t know.”
I was flirting with majors, thinking I would get some kind of response from them ’cause I did that remix with out any separated parts or anything, it was all done off of stuff on the album. I was like: “Well, they’ll pay attention to that and if not, they’ll be just an edit for the other side. We’ll just roll from there and just do a thousand copies and call it a day.”«
Participant: »Does she know about it?«
Theo Parrish: »Yeah, she knows about it ’cause I sent it to her. Well, I hope she knows about it, I really don’t know if she knows about it. But I sent it to her manager.«
RBMA: »She didn’t call?«
Theo Parrish: »She did call, but that was having to do with me going to a concert. I went to a Jill Scott concert in Detroit and I through a package on stage after the show. It went over the little barrier where they keep people away, landed on the stage. The manager grabbed it and threw it back at me. And then she started talking to the manager: “What as that all about?”, and I threw it back up there again. The manager came over and grabbed it, started to throw it back, she stopped him and grabbed it, grabbed the music. And the music, it was real simple.
It was the Sound Signature sampler and a couple of things I was working on that time on a CD, the remix wasn’t on there or anything like that. And so, she gets the package, I guess, she says ‘bye’, I just walk away and I go home. About a month later, I go to my answering machine and it’s some message from Jill Scott saying: “I got your music. I appreciate it, bla, bla. Thank you, never mind my manager Bill, he’s just trying to look out, bla, bla, bla. He’s very concerned about my safety. I’ll call you when I get to LA, that’s the next place I’m going, bla, bla, bla.” So I was like ‘oh’. I got this ‘Slowly, Surely’ and I heard that Hidden Beach was looking for remixes on it. And so I said: “Well, I do a remix.” Did the remix, sent it to her, got a call back but they weren’t interested.
But I thought it was funny later on that Jazzy Jeff had a remix and his got to listen to. That’s alright, Philly holds it down for Philly, that’s cool. But they said they weren’t interested, so I said: “Well, I’m a start a little shit, I put it out and if it does something, maybe that’ll make them to give it a second listen and give me a call or something.” So I put it on the other side of the edit. I never thought they would do anything, I never thought the edit thing would go anywhere. It was basically for me and my friends and just putting out a couple of tunes that we knew needed an edit, they weren’t around anymore and they were classics. It was the equivalent to any other Salsoul joint that you would hear or something like that.
And I said: “Shit, I just edit up some stuff.” Did it, people liked it and I charged an exorbitant amount because I knew the potential of them was A1: I didn’t want to rape the original people too much. A2: Also I knew that I had generate enough if they did come calling me to give them something. A3: I didn’t want everyone to have it. I didn’t want everyone to really go for. I wanted it to be something that if you really wanted it, you pay what you had to pay to get it. Because nine times out of ten you’d say: “Yeah, man, I remember that, let me get that.” Or: “Damn, that’s sweet, I want that.” And then your friends go like: “Man, that’s expensive.” “Yeah, but I don’t think these are be coming out anymore.” Little did I know there were monster waiting in the wing to boot[leg] my shit.
So they’re booting my unauthorized edits of these pieces. That was a big problem and it really pissed me off. This whole idea of doing these was to put give some kind of fun into this again ’cause at the time everything that was coming out was boring, everything was the same. I think at that point this whole (hums a walking bassline) was taken over. I don’t know where the hell it came from, but it took over, everything sounded the same. I was like: “Alright, that’s enough. I had enough of this. We need some raw shit out here, we got to do something. I got to have fun. I’m missing the fun. Where are the little pieces where you go to the store and you know you’re the only one around who has this?” You know, the ego kind of took over. “I want that, just for me.”
And that’s the other part of it, you can’t get away from too much of your ego and at the same time you’ve got to keep it in check. It’s a balance, everything in moderation. So that coming out, it was just basically, if people dig it, dig it. It wasn’t meant for everybody and I wanted to make something rare. ‘Cause once I knew I do 1.500 copies of each one, it was cut, discontinued, you can’t get them no more. That was it. These fools come and boot me. Now, there selling 2.000 copies on top of the little 1.500 I was doing. Now it’s raped, everybody’s got them, they got fake covers and jackets made up on them.
My point was, I wasn’t even going to put a stencil on it. It would be just these white labels that came out and they just be what they just be. People grab them and that’s that. But it wasn’t when people started booting that’s when I got to differentiate. So that’s when I started to use these stencils. I would get the records done, hand draw ‘Ugly Edits #6,#7’. I got a couple of them hanging out here. And I would write on them. I would write on a piece of cardboard and then cut it out and then spraypaint and put a stencil on each record, so you the original ‘Ugly Edit’ if you got paint and stencil. It’s only on one side, it has never any printing and I just spraypainted each one. Handmade in Detroit. People started to boot them and I could complain, but I couldn’t do anything about it. So you got a couple these little unreleased joints, stuff that I thought was interesting.
Maybe not an original production, just stuff that I thought needed a little bit of light. You play it and it’s not just your standard version of it or an extended Disco mix. It does a little something, it changes the arrangement, but it still be identifiable as ‘Slick’ by Willie Hutch. And it’s a little b-side cut on one side of an album called ‘The Mack’. But that’s the whole point behind it, I did ten. I got more edits than ten, but there’s one I will play later on that’s going to send everybody on a christmas vibe.
That was supposed to be ‘Ugly Edit #10’, but I changed it because I wanted one for myself. That would be just for me, that nobody could boot, nobody be charging another ten dollars. It’d be sweet if they booted it and they cut my price or something, but they go for the same. It was just a ‘mack’ move, somebody just tried to get me.
Every time you turn around somebody’s chopping up an edit, puts the song out, man, don’t buy those, buy them only if they mean something to you. Don’t waste your time or your energy on them if it’s just a retake of what happened and how it worked. You see that a lot in this overwhelmed technical field of dance music. Everybody’s quick to bite the next guy that does something original and turn it around and say they did it first. That’s the scariest thing about all this technology, it’s becoming more increasingly difficult to become and remain original.
Anyone can come and bite your shit and have it plugged up and hooked up and selling it as their own. That’s the problem and on top of it you got downloads. The copy of a copy of a copy. Yo, pay for the downloads. Pay for the records, more importantly. Get the records, invest in this. If you’re doing this, invest in this, it’s an investment. If you’re not willing to make the investment, don’t fuck with it. There’s plenty of other ways to make money in music, we have no shortage of that.
But if it’s something that means something to you, and you’re interested in able to do this independently, and keep the creativity that comes along with that, watch that shit. Fine, if that’s the way the world is going, I know that, but you got to have a balance to make sense of that shit. Anymore questions from you (points at Gerd Janson, the interviewer)? ‘Cause I got one more edit.«
RBMA: »Let’s hear it.«
Theo Parrish: »Alright, this is the last one. Any other questions about production or anything like that from anyone out there? If there are no more questions, I play the last one and pack up my shit and I’ll take it easy. That’s it? Ok, thank you very much for listening to me rave for a minute.«
RBMA: »Thank you very much for being here.«
Theo Parrish: »Thank you very much.«