INTERVIEW: Electric Sea Spider


Way back in 2010, Melbourne’s wonky beat enthusiast Jim Sellars, b.k.a Electric Sea Spider, released his ‘Mohican Beats’ to the world, sparking a strong underground following that saw him share the bill at his first live show alongside beat scene heavyweights Flying Lotus and Gas Lamp Killer.

Two years later (late 2012), his pay as you feel (and subsequently ironically named) debut LP ‘Supercash’ was released to the wide world of the interwebz. The response was unprecedented, with thousands of people downloading and donating towards the album in less than a week!

In celebration of this reaction, Jim and the lads at This Thing are hosting a party at The Mercat Basement, with support from  Brothers Hand Mirror, Andras Fox, Friendships & Wooshie.

Electric Sea Spider – Supercash Launch
Friday Feb 22
Mercat Basement
10pm – Late

Pre-sales will be available from early next week

We had a chat to Jim about the album and coming year:

1. You mention your intention with Supercash was “for people listening to just forget their shit and have fun.” After listening I feel like I understand the meaning. What was your inspiration for creating the record in this way?

After I put out ‘Mohican Beats’ in 2010, I felt like it was a natural step to put out something that was more personal and reflective of myself. There’s a lot of myself in the music, but it’s more tucked away underneath this light-heartedness that felt really natural and honest to create. I wanted people to kind of see it both ways, that they could listen without thinking too much, but also see that there’s that level of personality there.

2. What’s your favourite song on the album and why?

‘Dipper’ is a favourite of mine, because it’s got a lot of personal references and brings back some nice memories. There are sounds in there that have something to do with my folks, my childhood dog and my girlfriend, and to involve them in some way was a nice feeling. A lot of the tracks were recorded like this – in a scrapbook kind of way – and although people wouldn’t pick up on those kind of references, it changed how I approached the music and how it turned out.

3. Did you expect the attention that Mohican Beats received?

Not at all! It was back when I wasn’t playing shows and didn’t know any other artists – I was like nineteen I think – so I just didn’t know what to expect. But people liked it, in different ways it got spread around, and I had a crazy couple of months. That’s when I started playing shows and all that, and met the guys who would come together as //This Thing// too. It was a really amazing step, and I got a lot of support.

4. How did your small recording space become This Thing HQ?

Well, I moved in with Dylan (Wooshie) at the start of last year, and he’s always been the head honcho of the collective. He runs just about everything, so I guess it’s the HQ wherever Dylan is. I really just took up a small room and sneakily finished off my album. People from the collective would be over a lot, just making music together or organizing shows or whatever. With something like 20-ish members, there was always a lot happening. Before that, I was living by myself and had just dropped out of University, so it was perfect timing to move closer to where the collective was getting sorted out.

5. Where did the name Electric Sea Spider originate?

I can’t even remember! Honestly, I think I just chose it in a rush, because I remember making all this music for a little mix-tape, and the last thing I had to do was come up with an artist name. But i’ve regretted it since. I really dislike it, even when it gets shortened to ‘ESS’. I like ‘Spidey’ a lot though, it gets shortened to that sometimes. I was making more Boards of Canada/Aphex Twin-esque music at the time, so maybe I was trying to fit in with that a bit with some quirky name. But right now, I just don’t think it fits the music at all.

6. Are you relieved to finally have Supercash released after two years of recording?

Definitely, it’s an amazing feeling. Two years sounds like a long time, but I only started putting it together as an album in the last year or so. Before that, I was kind of just taking it easy and tinkering around here and there. But i’m so happy with how everything turned out. The oldest track, ‘Havana Banana’, was made roughly two years ago, and the most recent tracks were made like a few weeks before release, so it’s just great that I can finally share it with everyone.

7. What can attendees expect when they come to the Supercash Launch Party in Sydney?

Nakagin and Spoonty will be great acts to see on the night. Nakagin is an old mate and a great producer, and I haven’t spoken to Spoonty yet, but his music is sick. There are so many amazing producers in Sydney. With myself, I just started putting together new sets – I used to do these really erratic party mixes, but now i’m just playing my own stuff, from the last four or five years of material, plus some new stuff from this year. I’m forever sorting my live shows out, but it’s one of the first times i’m doing purely Electric Sea Spider tracks. It’ll be heaps of fun, i’m really excited to come back to Sydney too.

8. Now that Supercash is out, what’s up next for you?

I’ve got heaps of ideas, but it just depends which ones end up happening. I did a workshop for young producers with //This Thing// last year where I spoke about exploring possibilities with sound, and those are really the kind of things i’m looking for. Just really interesting projects, aside from putting out albums and everything. I’m planning to do this ‘Supercash’ tour and take a few months off from studio work, just so I go back into it with a clearer mind. I’ve also been in talks with a rapper that I grew up listening to, like a total cult icon, and they’re open to working together. It’s definitely too early to say, but fingers crossed on that one!

Words by Chevy Long