adam gnade interview
here's the completely uncensored/uncut version of calculator man & hangar's interview with adam gnade of the san diego union tribune.
SO, A LITTLE BIRD TOLD ME: A COMPLETELY ROCKING/COMPLETELY WORTHLESS INTERVIEW
by Adam Gnade
Q: So, what is this Calculator Man and Hangar, Plastiq Phantom, Snodgrass, Project Trapezoid business? Who's who and what's what, etc etc.hangar: Basically, Calculator Man & Hangar is like a Peanut Butter & Jelly
sandwich, where Plastiq Phantom (Calculator Man) is the Jelly (sweet,
gooey, shiney), and The Snodgrass (Hangar) is the Peanut Butter (ugly,
chunky, sticky). We've been buddies forever, and kinda got into music
together, and we were doing our own things for a while. He grew up down
here, but moved to Seattle like 4 years ago I think. Calculator Man is
like Jelly cause he does all the pretty stuff, melodious stuff, pleasant
to the ears, etc.. Hangar is the Peanut Butter cause he does all the
abrasive, ugly, noisy shit. I'm a punk rocker at heart, so that's where
that comes from. As for Project Trapezoid, sorry, but I can't reveal any of that
information. Other related projects we have going on are Coop Dinger,
Seth McSorley, and various other things which have not yet come to
calculator man: Calculator man and Hangar = plastiq phantom (refered to as qp from now on, the snodgrass, and "and". (imputor?) plastiq phantom = me, calculator man, (currently signed to Sweet Mother Recordings. the snodgrass = hangar (imputor?). codename trapezoid = qp, the snodgrass, halicon, and diagram of suburban chaos (dosc). (halicon, and dosc, are on mine and jordan's label, imputor?)
hangar: No one gives a fuck who i am in real life, so code names are definately
Q: Secret code names: completely rocking or completely worthless?
calculator man: worthless if you are rocking, and rocking if you are worthless.
calculator man: there is no set way, me and hangar record our calculator man stuff,
he'll send me samples., and i'll sequence them, then he'll add drums, and
i'll cut them to shit, and then he'll cut mine to shit, and at some point
we'll decide we have a done song. oh yeah, and we send out tracks over
the fires 1058 miles each direction... that way i never have to see the
Q: So, a little bird told me you have a really interesting way of recording this stuff. (Supposedly via 24-track recorders with Steve Albini foreseeing and injecting you with hourly doses of Diet Mt. Dew and liquid crack.) What's the deal?
hangar: Fuck diet, I want the real deal. And not with Albini, we work
exlusively with George Martin. Anyway, after Plastiq Phantom moved up to
Seattle we corresponded over the internet with email, chat, ICQ, etc.. he
would always send me tracks to check out, and vice versa, when we realized
why not just try combining our stuff together? So that's how that
started. Our first song, "Rob1.4 Is Our Droid" began as a simple bunch of
cool samples I sent up to Plastiq Phantom. They were things like my
roommate playing violin, my answering machine feeding back, my phone
ringing through a wah, things like that. He cut them to shit, moved stuff
around, added things, re-sequenced it, then sent it back to me. Then I
did the same and sent it back. We do that 3 or 4 times and by the end we
(hopefully) have a decent song. A few songs were actually done together
in real time while we're visiting each other. "Call It Like Something" is
both of us playing the same guitar at the same time. That's how close we
are, we only need 1 guitar for the both of us.
hangar: well i sat there strumming the chords, and all the while
calculator man was sitting there pressing down the strings high up on the
fretboard for the solo effect. that's how that song sounds so tight, our
strums are literally exactly in synch, cause it's really just 1, the same
strum. it actually only took a couple takes to get right, it was almost
like an improv stream of consciousness thing. we wouldn't be able to play
it the same way again. it was recorded on one of my trips up to seattle,
at like 3AM when i had a plane to catch at like 7AM. the drums are
ghetto, basically us pounding on cardboard boxes, using typewriters,
shaking mariachi shakers, and cans of coins.
Q: how does that work? (the guitar thing)
hangar: First off, I'm a PC guy, currently running Win98 (though I'd be running
Linux or Win2000 if they had drivers for my soundcard). The majority of
the Hangar's parts are all software driven, but my non-CalcuHang solo
stuff I like to throw in a lot of guitar & punk rock influences over the
computer stuff. I have a DMAN 2044 4-in/out soundcard, and I record all
my guitar & crap through a Mackie 1202VLZ mixer straight into the DMAN via
Sonic Foundry SoundForge. For beats and crap I use FruityLoops and this
freeware project called Buzz. It's basically like a full room of studio
equipment in one nice software package. Saves a lot of space. You can
build custom machines and routing paths on the fly. Same with Reaktor,
that's a nice synth program. I don't know shit about MIDI or external
samplers, so everything I do is all software based. Now all I need is a
laptop so I can do stuff live w/o having to move my whole studio on stage.
My next purchase is going to be a Layla card. I think Calculator Man's parts are all the opposite, he doesn't use any software, it's all real life analog synths & stuff. It's like every day
he tells me he got this new piece of equipment from the 70s.
Q: Talk about some of the equipment you use.
calculator man: i have an 8" dildo, and a 9" dual shock mounted vibrator, and 16 ass
beads, and some samplers, and some syntheseisers, and some analog
keyboards, and if you really want specifics you have to talk to my ass
calculator man: i hate hipster indie rockers...talk to hangar about indie rock...
Q: The national indie-rock scene: completely rocking or completely worthless?
hangar: I fucking love and adore most of the music, and there's a few gems of
wonderful people in it, but as for the scene in general, I'll let my
forthcoming album's title do the talking: "It Takes A Nation of Indie
Rockers to Hold Me Back."
hangar: Completely rocking, for sure, considering that Calculator Man & Hangar
would not exist without it. And the fact that I make a living off of it.
But it's definately scary too, with all this Carnivore FBI bullshit that's
going down. So many privacy issues that are really scary.. I see this
potentially beautiful thing about to be anally raped by governments and
corporations and it brings a tear to my eye. And as far as the Internet
bringing the Record Industry down, as the prophet Speedo said, "killin
Q: the Internet, completely rocking or completely worthless?
calculator man: kicks ass for the lord.
hangar: Paul McCartney.
Q: if your music were a dead American celebrity, who would it be?
calculator man: John Crapper.
calculator man: yep.
Q: the guy that invented the toilet?
Q: Word association, part I:
1. Math rock
2. Modest Mouse
3. bottled water
4. Rodger Hedgecock
5. Happy Meals
6. freeway 5
1. Math brought my GPA down in college, dude.
2. The drummer got a Pinback bootleg from me, and I DJ'd with him once at Calculator Man's house. He kicked my ass.
3. Fuck bottled water. Tap rules.
4. The Locust.
5. Hamburgler. That guy was a bad ass motherfucker.
6. Del Mar
1. don't get it.
2. two cool guys who love our records, and that singer guy.
5. mariah carey.
6. takes you from san diego to seattle, 1058 miles apart, we are.
hangar: Fucker, that was supposed to be a secret. But right at the part where
he whips out his cock is when the kid on our CD says, "whoa, is that a
Q: so, a little bird told me that if you play yr CD along with Jim
Cameron's blockbuster megamoneymachine "Titanic," it provides a perfect soundtrack
that culminates with Leonard DiCaprio saying, "I really, really like
potassium" into Kate whats-her-names chubby ear. True?
calculator man: we stayed at leonardo decaprio's hotel in hollywood, and the fucking
waitresses wouldn't fucking serve us martini's we are fucking rock stars
staying at a rock star hotel, and they ignore us like roadies... fuck the
standard!!! that hotel is like motel 6 with a cheap ikea
makeover! Hey LEO!! Your worthless piece of shit fufu hotel that can
sucka my cocka leo bitch ass cheesehead fucking slut bagging cockless
slinging dildo head trout slapping asslicking velcro masturbator.
calculator man: no, Leo, owns half of the hotel and stuff... they have a semi nude
chick in a big fish behind the reception area... hangar and I kept on
throughing 20 dollar bills into the tank, and asking her to take it all
off... obviously "and" didn't say anything to her, and then me and hangar
went and ordered some martinis, only to come back to our room and find
"and" getting it on with her... he is such a slut, and gets all our
women. he just is.
Q: Were there, like, glowing glamour shots of Leo all over the place?
hangar: Always completely rocking. My favorite bands from SD are definately
Pearl Jam, Soundgarden, and Nirvana. Who is Rob Crow?
Q: San Diego music scene, completely rocking or completely worthless ? Who
do you like? (Love? Hate? Lust after? Or just plain want gone?) And what's
the deal with the Rob Crow sample (on track 14 of the snodgrass)
calculator man: I don't know much about san diego anymore.
calculator man: like 4 years ago.
Q: How long ago did you move?
hangar: How bout all 3?
Q: Explain yr sound in culinary terms. If you don't know any culinary terms, how 'bout explaining yr music in .... fishing terms? Third choice: dancing terms.
cullinary terms: We are that tossed salad they sell at McDonalds where
you just put a whole bunch of pieces in the cup, shake it up, then eat it.
That and the moment when the salsa from El Indio squirts out your asshole
the next day. That pretty much describes our music.
Fishing terms: when 2 peoples' lines get tangled but they still catch a
big ass 400 pound fish.
dancing terms: david byrne
hangar: Fuck zines. They're a way for the authors/contributers to quench
their needs/desires to feel important. They all review the same records
with the same pretentious pessimism. I think I'm gonna start a zine that
only reviews other zines. There will be 2 ratings, "this fucking sucks"
and "this is the best fucking zine ever."
Q: The modern 'zine world: completely rocking or completely worthless?
calculator man: everybody has a record label, everybody has a zine... 99 % of
everything sucks... but the closest thing to a zine that i think is cool
is the T-inator... http://firefly.sparse.org/~mrt/ just go read your
favorite or least favorite online zine through it, and it makes it much
hangar: Yeah we're down with the Disco Pimps. We're all about the bitches and
sluts. Calculator Man even has an official Disco Pimp Fro. The fact
that chicks go out on the town just to get fucked is fucking cool. If
only I was suave enough to get some of that action...
Q: so, a little bird told me that you guys play Buffalo Joe's in the Gaslamp every other college night. What are yr feelings on pink hot pants, doing spirited covers of "the Thong Song" and downing jello shooters?
calculator man: We love bitches and sluts, exp in pink pants, and sometimes hangar
likes to wear pink pants.
hangar: Paul McCartney
Q: If you could use yr music to kill anyone (living or dead), who would it be?
calculator man: spock, and the entire startrek fleet.
hangar: Completely Rocking to the nth power + 1. They're pretty much the only
band around these days that can completely drop my jaw.
Q: Pinback: completely rocking or completely worthless?
calculator man: dunno, somebody gave them 40 grand this year, they might be OK.
calculator man: i think listen.com for tour support.
Q: Who, a record company?
calculator man: man fucking hangar, the penis song isn't supposed to even be out
yet... pssh what a wanker... we grab all our samples from running around
with a porta dat, and we also freely accept samples from anyone willing to
give them to us, hence hey janice.
Q: Y'all got some interesting samples. I heard a little Public Enemy; there was a couple kids talking about sex, a church organ (which made me rill sick to my stomach for some reason) and a toilet flushing, etc. How do you go about gathering it? Field recordings?
hangar: You can't make sample based music w/o using some public enemy.. to not
would be blasphemy. as for the toilet flushing, that was me taking a piss
at doheney state beach. we take our dats everywhere we go, like camping,
to disneyland, in the la riots, things like that. we even got our picture
with fred dirst in the la riots, but he wouldn't let us interview him.
hangar: Please define "modern," "mainstream," and "electronic" ... but my hunch
is that it's all rubbish. These days everything's mainstream. The only
way to be underground is sit in front of your computer being a nerd, not
having sex, and making noise with your electronics. That's the only way
to be completely rocking these days.
Q: Modern, mainstream, electronic music: completely rocking or completely worthless?
calculator man: worthless... you gotta get un mainstream to find the treasures, but
even then it is starting to get real hard to find good stuff.
calculator man: planet Mu stuff like jega.
squarepusher, Luke vibert, and Aphex (is he mainstream?), and mike
paradinas' stuff like kid spatula kick ass also.
Q: Like what?
Q: Word association part II:
1. Aphex Twin
2. the Locust
3. Rocket from the C.
4. Mark Mothersbaugh
5. che cafe
8. Mary J. Blige
9. Guru Guru
10. Lou Reed
11. punk rock
12. the Beautiful Mutants
1. See URB, July August Issue, page 112 i think.
4. over him.
5. never been there.
6. no fucking clue.
7. complete waste of space.
8. see above answer.
9. boutros butros
10. blue in the face
13. i'm so emo, i killed myself, and wrote a song about it.
2. Roger Hedgecock
3. www.rftc.com and my leg.
4. Red Pots
5. As much as I love it, they wouldn't book Plastiq Phantom for a show, so...
6. Zu Casa es Mi Casa
7. Chicks at raves always tell me my glowstick's not big enough.
8. Love the 12" diameter earrings.
9. Boutros Boutros
11. Wesley Willis
12. fuck the beautiful mutants.
13. I prefer Om.
hangar: Lou's records or http://www.imputor.com/ or Napster or the Ice Cream
Man. And hopefully when my printer is working i'll make some more bootleg
copies and take them to Off the Record and stuff. but that place's prices
are way too inflated. They'd probably say it is an import and sell it for
Q: finally, where can people pick up yr music? Besides the Virgin Megastore?
calculator man: Pretty much any decent record store in seattle, http://www.imputor.com,
Lou's in San Diego, and when the plastiq phantom full length comes out -
hopefully spring. it should be distributed nationwide, in Japan, New
Zealand, Parts of Europe, and other places i forgot about.