AMOEBLOG: I've heard many descriptions of your music, but how do you describe the music you make?
MOCHIPET: I like to think of my music as "experimental music," but more in a sense that I am always experimenting with new sounds and ideas. Not necessarily sounds that are new to the human ear, but sounds that are always new to mine. I used to try and always make sounds that no one has ever heard before but then I realized it doesn't matter if anyone else has heard it. It only matters if I had. Other people like to call my music. IDM, Glitch, Breakcore, etc etc.. But I just make music.
AMOEBLOG: According to the liner notes, your new album, Microphonepet , was recorded over a five year span but you don't give years for each track. In which years were most of the tracks recorded?
MOCHIPET: Yes, the songs were all spaced out and recorded over the past five years. I have always enjoyed making hip hop beats and collaborating with MC's. However, I never had enough for a full album, because it was not the only thing I did. But recently I had a chance to finish up these songs and compile them into a LP. The newest ones were "Girls and Boys and Toys" with Jahcoozi, "Banna Split" with Bicasso of Living Legends and E Da Boss, "Mr. Malase" (featuring Casual of Hieroglyphics, Dopestyle, and Humanbeings), and "Take You Down" (featuring Sindri andTaiwankid). The oldest one is probably "The Graduate" (featuring Dubphonics). The older ones were generally more sample based while the newer ones were more glitch and synth based.
AMOEBLOG: Being a hip-hop collection, Microphonepet is a departure for you in sound but you make the transition smoothly. It sounds to me that your approach to working with hip-hop emcees (chopping up and processing their vocals) works in the same way as the other music you've produced. True?
MOCHIPET: I've never really thought about it but yeah, I guess I have a similar approach to working with different kinds of music. I guess that's my style, since I don't really fit into any music genre per se. I really tried to not mess with the vocals too much, as I wanted it to kind of stand on its own. I didn't want to make this into something like Randbient Works 2002 or Combat, where everything is shredded and processed to pieces, but I did want it to have my sound, so that's probably where that comes from.
AMOEBLOG: You seem to be always busy, recording or touring (like right now), or running your label. Tell me, when the hell do you sleep and what do you do to unwind and relax?
MOCHIPET: Really I just like doing nothing to unwind. When it's nice outside (like right now), I like to go to the park and just people watch and enjoy the sun. When the weather is not nice I like to stay home and watch movies. I guess I'm kinda boring when I'm not making music. I've been finding it more and more helpful to meditate. I know it sounds cheesy but it really helps keep my stress levels low and my productivity high.
AMOEBLOG: How did you start doing music, and was starting your label, Daly City Records, a natural outgrowth of recording your own music?
MOCHIPET: I started out making music with a guitar and distortion pedals at the age of 15. I used to want to be like Slash from Guns 'N Roses or something. They just looked so crazy when I was a kid. And then my interest quickly moved to jazz, funk, and avant stuff like Captain Beefheart and John Zorn. I was a big Mr. Bungle fan. It wasn't untill 1999 when I started getting into electronic music, when I could actually afford a computer. I really liked the stuff Aphex Twin and Squarepusher were doing and this slowly lead me into dance music as well. Starting my own label was out of necessity I think. The music I make as Mochipet is really hard to market actually. It's not very consistent and can sometimes be unorthdox. This makes it really hard for other labels to release my music because no matter how good your music is, no one is gonna release it just to lose money. It's easier for me to release my own music because I understand it and I know how to find people who might like it. For techno label A or jazz label B that is not so easy and it is more work than they would really want to deal with. So from this I started helping other people release their music as well. We (Daly City Records) are a different breed I think. Eccentric techno kids. (laughs)
AMOEBLOG: Are you the A&R for Daly City Records? (Whoever is has good taste, as I think all the artists on the label are really good. I especially like Bloodysnowman.)
MOCHIPET: I'm pretty much everything for Daly City Records right now. I have a bunch of friends who help me when they can, and I love them for it. But they all have day jobs, so a lot of the time it just falls on me. We have an open creative policy-- I really like to stress the individual as an artist. I don't necessarily like everything that gets released on Daly City Records but that's not the point. This is not just a label for me. I started this for everyone. It's an idea. It's a concept.
AMOEBLOG: The name of your label -- Daly City Records -- displays a certain pride in where you come from. Tell me, what makes Daly City a special place?
MOCHIPET: Daly City is special place cause I live there. No seriously, most people hate Daly City. It can be foggy and cold. Not glamorous at all like San Francisco. But what kind of name would San Francisco Records be? That just doesn't sound right.
AMOEBLOG: How supportive are artists in the Bay Area of one another, do you think?
MOCHIPET: Everyone that I have worked with has been very supportive. There are, of course, the snobby ones who think that they are better then others, but mostly I think musicians in the Bay Area are all about experimentation and trying new things with new people. It's such a small place that you can't really be too isolated unless you're trying to be.
AMOEBLOG: Do you think if you lived in, say, LA or New York that you would have developed in the same way as an artist?
MOCHIPET: I actually did live in LA for a while and I was just in New York on tour and I don't think I would be a different artist. I think a lot of my style or ideas were developed at a very young age. The city where you live certainly does influence you, but I think I was more influenced by Taiwan and my parents than the Bay Area. Things that happen to you when you're younger make the most lasting impact.
AMOEBLOG: What is your favorite bit of recording equipment or technology?
MOCHIPET: Ahhh. The computer. It just makes doing a lot possible in small compact size. Given, it doesn't necessarily make it easier to do what you are trying to do, but it gives you the ability at least. I am still not very happy with the software that is out there. I have spent lots of time writing my own and building things in object oriented programs but still am not satisfied.
AMOEBLOG: In concert I know you use your laptop, but what else do you work off of?
MOCHIPET: It depends on the concert, really. Sometimes I'll bring out my bass and guitar which I will loop through my laptop, added with a drummer and other musicians. But on tour it's just a DJ controller, laptop, soundcard, and m-audio trigger finger. I can't really bring too much around with me so this does the trick most of the time.
AMOEBLOG: I think that several West Coast producers right now like yourself and your colleagues edIT and Daddy Kev are all taking music into exciting new areas, since you seem to have found this space where all these different divergent genres from noise and glitch to rock and dance and hip-hop have all merged. Do you feel like that this is a distinctive new musical movement that you are all a part of?
MOCHIPET: I think we are the kids that grew up on ADD, maybe. We listened to everything and loved it all and we just want to make something new, so we put it all together in a blender and mush it all up. edIT and Daddy Kev are more Hip-Hop based and I am more all over the place, but yeah I think we are all essentiallly pushing for the same thing and that's something new from the past.
AMOEBLOG: Anything to add or shout-outs?
MOCHIPET: I am working on my first record ever right now. Yes, that's right, my first record ever. It will be titled WANG and I hope to release it next year! I hope you will like it. Thanks for the interview!
For more information on Mochipet and his wonderful label visit the Daly City Records website.