INTERVIEW: Boys Noize
Heading to Australia next year for the Future Music Festival, Boys Noize will be bringing along his rambunctious attitude and a brand new live set. While we wait for Future Music to come around I got the chance to talk to Boys Noize himself, Alex Ridha, about what to expect from his new show, working with Snoop Dogg (pre-Lion), and all things Boys Noize Records.
Looking through some of your recent collaborations and remixes we see a lot of hip hop coming through, for instance with Snoop Dogg on the album (Out of The Black), is this a genre you are making more of a play to move into?
It is nothing more than what I regularly do, there is nothing specific planned so I will just keep on doing remixes. Right now I am more focused on my lives show and touring, but I am always open to working with new interesting people.
You are going to be heading to Australia for Future Music so are you able to talk about your live show and what audiences can expect?
It will be the first time I’ll be performing my own music only. I have come to Australia before, and I have always had a really amazing time. But, this time I am presenting a full live show of my music only. I am also controlling my own visuals, which for the music I play is an exciting thing I have been working on for the last year. I was inspired by the early Kraftwerk concerts where they play music and the music is triggering what you see on the screens. I wanted to do something like that too because there is always too much randomness going on the big screen sometimes, I wanted it to have more static to it which fits my music. And then one of the crazy things is that I will be performing out of a big skull head that me and my friend created, with me in the brains controlling everything.
How important for you is collaborating, how much of it is it you working alone and how much is you working with others?
On my albums I never really do much collaborations. On my first album there were no features and my second album had no features, on this album there is only two features. You know I love to make music with other people and call it a new project, for myself I was never a big fan of artists albums that were driven by other names in order to reach out to other people. I am a fan of albums that are just about the artist themselves and not the other artists they attract, so it’s cool and fine but for me personally I always like to do my own music under my own name more or less. But as I said before I am always opened minded to try things with other people like the Dog Blood thing with Skrillex and the stuff I did with Mr Oizo you know that’s something I always love to do. And there is also this whole other world of me as the producer where I just make beats for other people or just going into the studio and create music for other people, but then it is not so much about me but the other artist.
So than the driving force for working with Snoop Dogg?
You know that was just a little dream I had as a producer where I loved his music and always said to myself, one day if I ever get the chance to make a song for Snoop Dogg I would quit music or something like that. So it was always a dream and a little challenge to reach out to him and make a fucking cool track with him, and show people that you can make something really amazing with this kind of artist. I was really lucky to meet him this year and make music with him and hang out, and the track we did was actually supposed to be his next single before he turned into a lion, so I grabbed it from him and made it my own.
So you are keeping the Dogg alive?
So do you have side-shows planned?
[…….long silence] for now, I can’t say.
I don’t want to say something wrong.
What is your view of the Electric Dance Music Boom (EDM Boom) in the states? How has that impacted on you?
I guess I am a part of the whole EDM thing, but I kind of see it as a more pop thing. For me electronic music has been around for a really long time and I have been making it for a long time. So for me it is nothing new.
Does the fact that it has become its own sort-of genre of pop music, does that change the way you approach your music because you want to do something different to what you have done because is now something that inspires and has been emulated by the up-and-comers?
I am always happy when people are inspired by my music. I like when I hear Boys Noize inspired me and this track of whatever. What I don’t understand when people copy. Every time I create a new track I want to surprise myself with new sounds that I haven’t tried out yet. For me that is my main motivation. I am always happy to be someone’s inspiration because I have always had people I am inspired by. It’s always fun to have a shout out, but just copying and ripping off other produces just makes everything sound the same.
Does the development of new software and hardware have an impact on your music process?
Yes, for sure. I am always looking for new machines, new plugins, new everything. And then grab everything and then put it through a 70s distortion peddle.
Is there anything new you are using now?
Sure I bought that new drum machine from Dave Smith & Roger Linn which is amazing; I used it for three of four tracks on my new album. I am obsessed with drum machines really. I love them.
Who should we be listening to on the Boys Noize label?
Well there is this young guy SCNTST. When he goes out he plays a lot of techno , he is like a 40 year old techno head that hates everything, but his productions are amazing and he is working on his album now. There is this other kid Le1f, and he comes out of this whole queer rap scene from New York. He was a producer we worked with for the Spank Rock. And then there is also Mixhell, their music is more in the direction of LCD Soundsystem and Soulwax and that kind of stuff. Very very cool disco rock.
What have Housemeister been up to?
Well he has been making his album. The whole thing is being done with the OP-1 musical toy and it is just amazing. The whole album is just fucking amazing. It’s pretty weird but the sounds are just incredible, and he is just about to release that one.
Ok, well thanks for talking to me I let you go.
Thanks man, see you all in Australia.
‘Out of the Black’ is out now on iTunes.
Words by Luke Letourneau