Girl Talk's Gregg Gillis is Thinking About Making Music for Fewer People and Getting a "Real Job"

Categories: Interviews

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Paul Sobota
Ed. Girl Talk will headline the first day of LouFest 2012, on August 25 in Forest Park. We spoke with the mastermind behind one of the more insane dance parties going for this week's music feature. But Gregg Gillis has a lot to say and we couldn't fit all the gems into print. Below, you can find his thoughts on careerism and money and how it all fits together live.

Do you still carry a passion for engineering?

It was never really a hard-core passion for me. I think my music, my art is on an entirely different level compared to engineering. But I do think with this project, I've always made a point at every stage to not be too career motivated - even now. And when I make decisions about purchase points or the cuts on albums, I really just think, "What is the most interesting thing to do with the project?" as opposed to "What would make the most money?" or "What would last the longest?"

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That being said, I would love for this project to continue to grow and evolve and change. You know, where it's at now versus where it was ten years ago is very different, and I would hope that ten years from now it would still exist as something entirely else.

I could see going back to engineering where I could slow down eventually, or maybe I could still be making music that a lot fewer people would be interested in or following. At some point, I could see getting back to engineering in a way that could be, "Oh, yeah, I'm still doing music, but now I think I should go back and get a real job for the rest of my life."

Your current stuff is so rooted in pop culture and pop music. Like, will you use orchestras or sambas next?

[Laughs] I think it grows. At this point, there are so many different places to go with sample-based music. People do so many different things with samples, whether it's Daft Punk or Beastie Boys or Animal Collective. They're all people who work with pre-existing sound to make something new.

For the past five years, I've almost exclusively worked on material for the live show, and then that material will turn into an album. But over the past few months, I've been working on a lot of material that's not intended for the live show. It's more removed from the source material and uses more obscure samples. So I have a vision of where things can go, and I think it's in a slightly less popular direction but still sample-based and not a complete departure from the fundamental idea of the project.

So many of my friends currently like playing "Name That Tune" with your music, seeing how fast they can guess things.

Yeah, it's funny, because I never really thought about it like that. Then people started saying it, and it makes perfect sense. But when I'm assembling it, I go through each song so thoroughly that I can't even take a step back and think about what it would be like to hear it for the first time and hear all of these elements. I hear it in a way that every idea is so thought through and so processed, I'm on a different level. But it makes perfect sense!


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