What do you do? What is your musical specialty?
I manipulate music. Remixing single songs, creating multiple artist mashups and constructing longer sets for DJing at events.
Do you work alone or in a group? If in a group, who are the others you work with?
I am part of a larger collective of DJs known as Fur The Record, but typically I work alone, although I'm not opposed to working with others on a project if the right opportunity presents itself.
Is there a web address where one can listen, see, or read some of your work?
Yes, I have both an account on Soundcloud as AudioDile which contains most of my single track remixes of mashups, and a website at www.audiodile.com which contains older tracks and longer sets of different styles of dance music and chill music.
Please list discography in which you have participated.
I have contributed to two projects: a compilation of old school funk and dance remixes called "The Sound of Funky Breaks" (my track was a remix/mashup called 'No Stoppin' Us') and an as-yet-unreleased documentary about the mail spam industry called "Slapp Shot" (a remix of ELO's "Don't Bring Me Down").
How did you begin making music? Who introduced you?
I was exposed to music at a very early age by my parents, had my own collection of 45's (records) at 5 and was making mix tapes of the records I bought at 9.
I also was in band and orchestra at school (percussion). My parents got me a drum set in high school, but I mostly played them, as well as the piano, for fun.
I dabbled with amateurish remixes shortly thereafter but didn't have the equipment and technology to really do anything noteworthy until about 2002.
What was your musical education?
Other than some piano lessons that didn't go very far and playing in the band at school, I am primarily self-taught.
When did you realise that making music could be a way of life for you?
That depends. If you mean something one can subsist on financially, it isn't. If you mean deeply ingrained in my life, most definitely. Music has been my life for 30 years running. Often I wish I had more technical skill, but I try to make the most of what I know.
What is your creative process?
For making remixes and mashups, I just get random ideas listening to songs sometimes. Other times I go into a project without any set idea of what I'm going to do and just play around with things until I get something I like.
For making longer sets, I create a large pool of potential songs, then classify all of the by key so I can easily mix them together in the set. I'm surprised that more people don't mix in key since you can do so much more, especially with combining tracks to create psuedo-mashups in your set.
Have you ever awoken with a melody created from your dreams?
Almost. I've heard songs in my dreams and tried to capture them in waking, but I could never remember any of them well enough to create something.
How do you know when a song is finished or needs no more changes?
That's tough. I am kind of a perfectionist, so I'll go back several times after initially thinking a song is done and make changes. Occasionally I'll get to a point where I'm pretty sure I'm not going to make further changes to something, but that is subject to change in the future if advancements in technology mean I think I can revisit something and produce a better result. Usually I prefer to tackle new projects, though.
How did you discover your creative territory? How would you describe it?
There are hundreds of people who are creating quality remixes now, many of them go on to become semi-famous. I don't consider myself anything close to professional, I just make music that I like and I share it in the hopes that other people enjoy it too. Making money would be great, but music is so important to me that sharing the way music makes me feel with others is something you can't always put a price on.
Oh, and other than Deadmau5, I don't think there are too many other people that are crazy enough to try to DJ in a costume. His head is probably a lot easier to work with though!
What part of your job is your least favourite?
In terms of making music, none of it is really bad, just somewhat time consuming, especially going through huge amounts of music when preparing a set.
In terms of performing, sometimes the egos involved with DJing can make the process challenging to enjoy. I wish there was more mutual respect and support given but since it's so easy these days to put songs together because of advances in technology, there seems to be a perception that anyone can be a DJ with minimal knowledge and effort. Certainly it's probably easier today than in any time in the past, but like any other skill, DJing still takes a great ear for music, what goes together and a lot of practice to do things live on the fly. The latter is an area I'm still trying to master.
How often do you practice?
Not often enough.
How do you feel right before going out on stage?
Much less warm.
Which musicians or groups have been inspiring to your career?
Tons, but in terms of remixing, people like the Latin Rascals, Shep Pettibone, Louie Vega... names most people wouldn't know unless they were deep into the remix culture of the mid to late 80's. Those guys pioneered the edit-heavy style that I like, and it's something that has really become commonplace in modern day house music, a lot of crazy vocal edits and random sounds thrown in for effect. Artists like Skrillex owe a debt to the guys who used to have to do their edits by splicing physical tape instead of using a mouse and a laptop.
What should be done to stop piracy?
That's a very tricky question. It's fashionable to point the finger at a paranoid music industry, and granted, they have certainly not really handled the changing face of musical consumption very well, but anytime you make the consumer feel like the enemy, you're never going to come out with anything approaching victory.
The problem is that young people know that they can get a lot of what they want without paying, and I think parents probably don't think it's all that crucial to sit down with their kids and say "you know, just because you CAN get something for free doesn't mean it's always what you should do." I think people see downloading music as this grey area because it's easy to blame someone else either for doing it first or making the music available.
Personally, if there is an album I think I might like, I try to listen to it first to make sure. Then if I do like it, I'll buy it, typically used unless it's brand new and I'm crazy about it. Remixes in particular are very hard to come by today in the marketplace, but incredibly easy to get online. Part of that is because so many are made by non-professionals or semi-professionals who are doing it for fun or to get noticed and not under contract. And they're often as good or better than the ones that actually get released commercially.
Even when remixes are commissioned by an artist, they don't automatically get released on a CD. A larger and larger percentage of music is sold digitally, obviously, and for some people that's fantastic. Others who are more old school like me still value holding a tangible product in our hands. It will be a sad day when the music industry decides that CDs are dead and everything goes digital.
Bottom line, a solution is going to involve a lot of critical, intelligent thinking. What is best in the short term for the industry may not be what is best long term. If you give people a reason to do something legitimately, a lot of them will if you make it as simple as possible for them. But if you make the consumer jump through hoops, or disrespect them or rip them off, they know they will always get the last laugh.
What type of music do you detest?
I try not to detest things, but I'm not a big fan of a lot of country music, thrash metal or generic gangsta rap. Other than that I have pretty diverse tastes.
What advice would you give to someone starting out in the business?
Get started as early as you can, and immerse yourself in music and technology. Both are critical - musically, the more you are exposed to, the more you can appreciate and incorporate later, and technically, the benefits are pretty obvious.
Listen to other people's work, read forums and tutorials and put your music out there for people to find. If it's good enough, someone usually will.