Friday, August 13, 2004

Spiny Norman

Just for the record, why the name 'Spiny Norman'?

I’ve been a huge Monty Python fan for most of my life, especially of the animation. And the animation I remember the most is of the gigantic hedgehog that stalks Doug & Dinsdale Piranha - Spiny Norman. I put in on one of my demo CDs & I’ve been using the name ever since.

What are you up to these days?

A little bit of everything. Along with making boots, I’ve also been working on my full-length mix CDs as LeMont Blanc. I’ve also finished a collaboration mix CD with my brother-in-law, who records under the name Briscoe, & I’ve done a little production work for his new mixes as well. My next boot, "Hiero Behaviour" - which is Hieroglyphics "Roll On" vs Bjork’s "Human Behaviour", should be available soon on the Strangely Familiar website.

What music are you currently listening to?

I’ve just about worn out the new Avalanches mix When I Met You. Also, Luke Vibert’s new Kerrier District CD has gotten a lot of playback. Kanye West, Scissor Sisters, Phoenix, Jay-Z, old Pete Rock & CL Smooth, TV On The Radio, & that’s just today.

What, if push comes to shove, is the one album that's your all-time favourite?

Massive Attack's Blue Lines. It absolutely opened my eyes & brought to light a whole new way that music could sound.

Do you still remember what's the first record you ever bought? Where did you buy it?

The first record I ever bought with my own money was Ghost In The Machine by The Police, at a record store called Strawberries in Warwick, RI back in the early 80’s.

Which artiste, other than yourself, have you ever wanted to be?

When I was young, I always wanted to be Prince. He made catchy songs, & everybody loved him. I’m not sure I’d want to be anyone else right now, but when I get old, I hope that I end up like Louie Austen.

What's it like being a day in the life of Spiny Norman?

Right now, it’s great. I quit my day job so I can go back to college full-time, so I have a lot of free time on my hands.

What is the most bizarre & embarrassing thing that has ever happened to you?

The most bizarre & embarrassing thing that ever happen to me happened in Rhodes, Greece in 1999. I was in this little bar across the street from my hotel with some of my friends, getting sloshed, when they asked me if I wanted to play an impromptu set. I agreed to play if they let me out of my bar tab. However, I had been drinking most of the afternoon, & was not at all in condition to play. But I ended up going on anyway. Needless to say, I was horrible. After about 45 minutes, the owner of the bar made me stop, threw my friends & I out of the bar, AND made us pay our tabs. Not the start of a good night.

The last of Spiny Norman:

Last CD you bought (or downloaded) = Suck My Deck by Ivan Smagghe
Last movie you watched that left you speechless = The Passion Of The Christ
Last book or mag you read that was so bad, it's good! =
Confessions of A Dangerous Mind by Chuck Barris. It’s bad ass!
Last concert you watched that gave you wood = Literal wood? No Doubt in ’95. I got to meet Gwen Stefani before the show, & she is hotter in person than on TV.
Last bootleg you heard that was total bollocks = I don’t think that any boot is bollocks. Some are great, some are good, & others are a good effort gone bad for a reason.

In your opinion, what is the ONE bootleg that is considered the greatest of all time?

"Magnificent Romeo". The As Heard On Radio Soulwax... series is what made me want to do boots, & this was the first I had heard.

What is the best bootleg you've ever done?

"Without Eskimos & Egypt" (Rammstein's "Eskimos & Egypt" vs. Eminem's "Without Me"). I recorded it almost a year ago, but almost everyone had used the Eminem acapella. So I kept it tucked away for a while, & waited for everyone to forget about it. I released it to b00mb0x in June, & now it’s being played in Australia by Marty Batfreak & DJ Hickory Dickory Doc on 2MBS-FM.

Will Mash-Ups be the New Pop? Discuss...

I don’t think so. I believe that true pop music is geared for the under-16 individual, whereas mashes & boots appeal more towards the club-going person. Plus we need the pop acapellas to do our jobs.

Let's play word association. We mention a name & you give us your thoughts...

b00mb0x = I’ll forever be in debt to them. Naz & Assorted (the two who started the site) have been so supportive of me, & are a big part of why I’m here.
Oorsmeer = A wonderful site. Only wish it had an English translation.
BBC One World = A little too left-wing for me, but a good place to catch a European view of world events.
BitTorrent = The biggest advance in P2P since Napster. I use it all the time.
The Rolling Stones = The very definition of staying power. If only we all could last that long.
Oral Roberts = Huh huh. You said "Oral".
Cameron Diaz = A great actress, funny as all get-up.
Michael Moore = Don’t get me started...
Bon Jovi = I was not a Bon Jovi fan in the 80’s, but I thought that sampling it on the live version of Orbital’s "Halcyon" was awesome.
Beyonce = Made Jay-Z the most hated man in America.

Which decade do you consider the 'golden era' of music & why?

The 1980’s. New Wave. Hip Hop. Power Ballads. It doesn’t get any better.

What do you remember about the following years:

1985 = I first saw Monty Python in ’85.
1990 = In Living Color, Fear Of A Black Planet.
1996 = First time I was ever on the radio (WERW Syracuse, NY).
2002 = I spent the first 4 months of 2002 off the coast of Pakistan on an aircraft carrier. First heard 2 Many DJ’s album later in ‘02.
2004 = The breakout of Spiny Norman, hopefully.

What's your favourite Saturday night record?

"Full Moon" by Armand Van Helden. I love hip-hop, especially Common, & this song can heat up the dance floor quickly. Best of both worlds.

And your Sunday morning one?

"Provider (Zero 7 Remix)" by N.E.R.D. The combination of the downtempo melody & Pharrell Williams's vocals make this one of the best songs to wind down to.

What's the good thing about living in America?

Regardless of what everyone thinks, & what the media portrays, America is still the land of opportunity.

And the worst?

My fiancée thinks the worst thing about America is New Jersey. But I think the worst thing is seeing all these club nights (Club GYBO, iBoot, West Of Bastard, IBPW), & I can't go to any of them without spending a fortune on a plane flight across the Atlantic.

What do you think the future for bootlegs / mash-ups / remixes would be like, given that being a home musician is so easy these days?

I’ve always thought that as long as quality work is being created, it shouldn’t matter if it’s done in a large studio or on a home computer. I don’t think that the means of making a track matters. Only the end product should matter.

You can download Spiny Norman's boots at the b00mb0x site here.