Part 6 of Texas Compilation Q&A brings Chris Palmer a.k.a Chili to the spotlight. You can hear his contribution to the electronic sampler below. Again, the entire project download is free (and very good!). Individual tracks are $.50. Be sure to also catch our Q&A sets with fellow artists, The Empireal Formula, Mnolo, Kinder, DJ Nack, and Ernest Gonzales. Chris answers questions about the electronic scene in Austin, thanks Michael Jackson, and discusses hopeful artists collaborations. Enjoy the music and the Q&A.
GLM: Would you say that Austin audiences are developing (or have developed) an appetite for live electronic music beyond dance music?
CP: No. But I don’t think this is unique to Austin. I’d go as far to say that American audiences in general haven’t developed much beyond the sensationalism that is mainstream media. My friend describes this as a “rock and roll” mentality. This isn’t unique to music either. It spans many mediums. Film, Art, News, Talk Radio. Generally speaking I feel the average consumer of media is downloading or reading whatever their friend recommended and often are not taking the time or making the effort to research and formulate their own opinion. Of course there are exceptions. But the numbers are not in our favor. Of course this is merely my glass is half empty opinion. On the up side and concerning Austin, there are a couple of players in town that are making great efforts to bring original electronic music to the forefront. Exploded Drawing, a local regular event at Baby Blue Studios is a good example of this. And of course there is Amoda which for SXSW this year has put together a great show at the Mohawk. I suspect there will be a good turn out for that and the line up is full of great original and innovative artists.
GLM: I’ve read on your SoundCloud that you said monome and Abelton Live made a real difference in your productions. Are there recordings available for people to hear that mark the difference? Do you release alternate versions, like jazz musicians used to?
Chili: If your aim is to be a maker of things it is important to know your tools. Until I started using Ableton and a Monome I don’t think I really committed to mastering my craft. I haven’t released anything official up until now. The track PB 2 MY J on this comp is my first official effort to put something out into the world. I hope to be accomplished enough some day to know my own music well enough to release it in multiple forms. A good long term goal no doubt.
GLM: What’s most important to you, immediate hook or sustained groove?
Chili: You can’t really have one without the other can you? I think a great track has both a strong hook and a solid groove. One could debate which is more important all day. The groove is the foundation and the hook is the icing on the cake I guess. If there is no icing it’s still cake but just not as sweet.
GLM: Talk to me about an artist that you would love to thank for their inspiration on your music who is no longer living.
Chili: Rolling through the list of famous dead guys in my head, the first one that pops out is Michael Jackson. I mean if I said he didn’t influence me I’d be lying. I mean the dude was super cool. He had moves and beats and super dope videos. It wasn’t until I was much older that I learned about Quincy Jones and the difference between music production and performance. I don’t know if MJ inspired my music directly all I know is I wanted like 1/100th the amount of soul that was flowing through him.
GLM: Name two artists you’d like to work with; one of the artists needs to perform/produce a totally different genre of music.
Chili: Any of the cats from the Anti Pop Consortium. I really want to work more with MC’s. Another band I’d love to collaborate with is The Octopus Project. I really love what they do. I’ve been wanting to incorporate some live Monome drumming noisery with a live band.
GLM: What’s your personal aspiration?
Chili: To live a life of music. I love music, it never gets boring or tiring to me. I worry about trying to make money at it because it will take the fun out of it. I’d be happy with sustaining my musical endeavors by means of teaching computer music. I’m moving in that direction, slowly but surely. It’s hard to pull away from the corporate teet.
GLM: Outside of music, what moves Chris?
Chili: Food. I’m secretly a fat man trapped in a skinny bag of bones. I get moved by silly stuff like kids movies and shapes in wood grain.