The Norwegian Binärpilot (Alexander Støver) has been composing
unconventional elektronic music with MadTracker for ages, and considers the
program as his second operation system. Recently, he released his debut
EP Defrag on the underground record label 8bitpeoples. For this special
occassion, MadTracker.org was able to seduce Binärpilot into giving
away an exclusive interview.
This time, a unique team of fresh and young journalists was hand-picked
by this inhabitant of a suburb of Oslo to give access to his deeper motives
concerning music, drugs, and emotions. Furthermore, Binärpilot has
been so nice to offer a remix-kit and a complete module of tracks that
appear on the Defrag-EP. The interview starts with two questions from
the MadTracker.org staff, followed by the original interview that the
young team of journalists had with Binärpilot.
"Sometimes I get so excited I just wanna rip the
filt off my speakers and have my way with them. They're just standing there,
tauntingly, wanting me inside them."
Inge: how did you get into contact with 8bitpeoples?
Alexander: I've been a fan of 8bitpeoples for years, and when I heard
Paza's fantastic "Ninjani Diskus" I decided to send them a demo. I got
a very positive response from Nullsleep and started working on what would
be my first release.After a year of work I finally reached a point where
I was satisfied and here I am.
Inge: who are these "Erik and the LaConner Kids" anyway?
Alexander: I was originally contacted half a year ago by Joe Chomiak from
LaConner, which to my knowledge is a small town in the state of Washington,
who was a fan of my music and told me he had been playing it to a lot of
kids and that they enjoyed it too. A couple of weeks ago a young girl named
Rachael sent me a message on Myspace and had a lot of questions she wanted
to ask me. It soon transpired that she was one of the people Joe had been
brainwashing in LaConner and we started talking. She was also kind enough
to get her friends to ask some questions. Now Erik, hehe, Erik has been
asking me (mostly) stupid questions ever since we first met.
Apart from sharing my horrible sense of humour he's an all around cool kid.
I still remember the time when he uploaded a Village People-video to my FTP
because it was "the best video ever".
As for why they did the interview? Well, they simply asked questions they
wanted to know the answers to, not caring wether they were relevant or not.
I think that's reason enough.
Below follows the interview with Binärpilot featuring Erik and the
LaConner kids. This interview took place at the 6th of September 2005.
Alexander: Ten points from the norwegian jury.
Rachael: How do you think of such intricate rhythms and beats?
Alexander: I usually don't have a clear opinion of what a track is going
to be like before I start. I don't sketch out notes and rythms. Mostly
I just work with an idea or a feeling. I know it must sound pretentious,
but all my tracks are attempts of conveying how I feel.
"I'm not a pro user. I can't strike up a conversation with my
peers about how much latency is driving me nuts, or how my ASIO drivers
won't route properly (I don't even know if that makes sense)."
Rachael: No, I completely understand, it's so beautiful how you capture those feelings.
Alexander: Unfortunately, one might say, I get so happy and enthusiastic
when I play around with my melodies and beats that all my tracks, although
they might have darker passages, always finish on a happy note.
Rachael: Is that a good thing in your opinion?
Alexander: If my music is a mirror of my mind and my feelings, I find
comfort in the fact that I always come out of it smiling. But yeah,
I sometimes wish I could go deeper into things that really hurt with my music,
but I guess that too reflects me as a person somewhat, which is not so good.
Rachael: How did you get into making electronic music?
Alexander: It started as a fascination of something called modules. I was amazed by the quality of music contained in
files no larger than your average "readme.txt" and was eager to learn more about how they were made.
After a bit of looking around I found a program called Fasttracker 2 and it became my second home for the
following four years. At worst I didn't sleep, I didn't eat, I didn't do any of the things kids are supposed
to do. I made a habit of ditching school just to spend time with my tracker. I was in love, and I still am.
There's something so appealing by creating things that are beautiful out of basically nothing. The first
few years that was my motivation entirely. To take noise and make it sing. Draw a few curves, loop them,
play around with the numbers untill your 10 watt speakers are bubbling with life.
Erik: Do you have a lot of expensive equipment?
Alexander: Not at all. The first four years I used about 5€ on gear. FT2 is free, I had a shitty SB-emu soundcard
that came with the computer and a broken headset for a microphone. I didn't need more, and even though
I have invested in MadTracker, a decent soundcard and mic, I still haven't spent more than about 300€
on my setup. I'm not a pro user. I can't strike up a conversation with my peers about how much latency is
driving me nuts, or how my ASIO drivers won't route properly (I don't even know if that makes sense). I'm
completely oblivious to most of the industry related to composing electronic music, and happy about it.
Tanya: Why use machines, such as computers, to create what could simply be made with other instruments?
Alexander: It's a combination of a lot of things. Most importantly I think the notion that computers weren't originally
intended to be used for making music is inspiring to me. Secondly I never was particularly gifted in a
practical sense. I couldn't fix a leak in the roof if my life depended on it. Learning an instrument never
was an option. With hard work I could probably learn it, but I'd never be really good at it. I've always
felt like my strongest asset is between my ears. Computers help me translate all that magical mystical mush
inside my head into music better than my hands ever could on their own.
Erik: What's the name of the gayest song ever?
Alexander: That would be "Walk The Night" by Skatt Bros. It's awesome. When the middle break sets off it becomes so
hysterically cheesy that nobody in their right mind could resist grooving to this track. Just thinking about
it makes me all warm and fuzzy inside.
Erik: Has a song ever given you an erection?
Alexander: Wow, that truly is one of the best questions I have ever recieved, but I digress. Actually several songs
do and on a regular basis. Sometimes I get so excited I just wanna rip the filt off my speakers and have my
way with them. They're just standing there, tauntingly, wanting me inside them. Honestly though, no, but
there is one that came pretty close once: "She Woolf Daydreaming" by Kid Loco. There's a sample of a girl
moaning pretty much throughout the entire track if I remember correctly. Made me well horny.
Erik: Do you smoke?
Alexander: Is this is a trick question? Yes, I smoke. Cigarettes, more precisely. Uh, so this is where I say "Don't
start smoking, Erik"? I agree though, it's a waste of money and does you more harm than good. Marihuana,
on the other hand, you can smoke once in a while. Be careful not to make a habit of it though, it will make
you stupid. You'll start listening to reggae but spell it "reggea".
"To me it all boils down to sharing emotions with people"
Jeremy: How much time do you spend on each song?
Alexander: Impossible to say. Sometimes I only spend a couple days, sometimes months. It all depends how easy it is for me
to get into the track. There's usually a great deal of messing around before I get a clear opinion on what the
expression is, or what I want it to be, unless I have such a strong idea of what I want that the song
practically writes itself. When that happens it's only a matter of days before it's finished. I guess on
average I spend about a month, give or take a week.
Tanya: What do you want people to feel when they hear your music?
Alexander: It's a boring cliché, but I want them to feel happy. I want them to feel how I did when I made it.
To me it all boils down to sharing emotions with people. And even though I think we all need to have both good
and bad times, I believe that life is too short to bother with all the insignificants of living. So if you're
going to remember anything from this little interview, remember that it doesn't matter, just have fun!