Sunday, August 15, 2004


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Just for the record, what does the 'G' stands for?

I'm not one for fancy aliases...if I was I'd never be happy with what I called myself. The 'G' stands for my last name - Gray. Exciting eh?

What are you up to these days?

At the moment I'm unemployed & looking for work. I'm producing an EP for my band Harijan, which will hopefully help get my more traditional recording /producing skills noticed. I've got the Manchester punk scene excited about bootlegs with the Capdown vs Black Eyed Peas track I did recently... Quite a big act from round here - Sonic Boom Six - are interested in me doing some remixes of their stuff. They were produced by Ace from Skunk Anansie (who also produced King Prawn) so I'm hoping this might lead to some good contacts.

Also working on some original stuff. Kind of drum n bass rock with acoustic guitars. Might put it to the GYBO crew when it's finished. Oh...& some of my bootlegs will be on vinyl soon, available from International well as a French bootleg, which is part of a compilation going on sale in France.

What music are you currently listening to?

The Hives, King Prawn, Five Knuckle, Capdown, Apocalyptica, Nine Inch Nails, GHP's "Girl Wants To Say Goodbye To Rock n' Roll".

What, if push comes to shove, is your all-time favourite album?

Ooff. Hard one...Possibly Metallica's Black Album.

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

First album I bought was Michael Jackson Bad on cassette. First CD - Metallica's Ride The Lightening. First vinyl - a hip hop compilation called The Rhythm Is Final, scratching the vocal bits from Resident Alien's "Ooh The Dew Doo Man" over stuff is a lot of fun.

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

Trent Reznor. He's a genius...Wouldn't mind being Jimi Hendrix either (if he was alive).

You've done mixes for MTV Mash. What is the biggest pain as well as the greatest joy working with MTV? Tell us some stories please!

The biggest joys -
Getting paid & seeing your stuff on the screen (also quite a good basis for a chat up line). And I supposed it's quite nice to be known a bit. I was recently in Germany & a group of guys came up to me to tell me how much they liked Nelly vs Greenday & Girls Aloud vs Kings Of Leon, which was really nice.

The biggest pains -
1. Getting something commissioned...They want tracks that utilise both vocals nicely & are almost exactly 2:30 min...oh & they've also got to be popular tracks, make the MTV crew 'excited' & be high quality (difficult when vocals are being 'extracted' ). It's also got to look like an 'obvious' bootleg so that an audience unfamilar with mash-ups can get what's going on. One track I sent in didn't get commissioned because it was apparently mixed 'too well' & they thought it sounded like a new song as opposed to a bootleg.
2. Being nagged to do umpteen different edits of the same track in a short amount of time.
3. Looking at the track list we're given.
4. Extracting and removing vocals.
5. Thinking of a really good bootleg & then realising that you're looking at last week's list & they've taken those tracks off now.

Can you recall your happiest moment ever?

When I was 18, me & some mates got very drunk, stole a boat & sailed across a reservoir. I didn't have any responsibilities or worries & I was drunk on an illegally-acquired boat. It was the best night of my life.

The Last of TiMG:

Last CD you bought (or downloaded) = Madonna's The Immaculate Collection
Last movie you watched that's boring = Matrix Revolutions
Last book or mag you read that's awesome = Reading Michael Moore's Stupid White Men at the Mo. It's quite awesome.
Last concert you watched that was life-changing = Hmm...concerts were better when I was younger because I had more energy. Seeing Therapy? at the Manchester Academy when I was about 17 is one that stood out in my mind. The atmosphere was incredible...the band invited the entire audience on stage at the end of the night & the security got trampled on, literally.
Last bootleg you heard that rocked your world = A toss up between GHP's "Girl Wants To Say Goodbye To Rock n' Roll" & Apeboy's Enya vs Prodigy mash-up.

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

Probably "Ray Of Gob". Fantastic bootleg. Powerful, accessible, well-produced & he's even managed to persuade the artistes to let it be released offically.

In your own opinion, what is the best boot you've ever done?

Probably "The Ballad Of J-Lo" for me. I think it's the most surpising A + B match I've put together. I still find it entertaining to listen to.

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

GYBO = Talented bitch centre
Daft Punk = Awesome = Funky original stuff
DJ Zebra = Ooh la la
Rod Stewart = Perv
Jesus Christ = ...walked into a bar
Grant = Always DJ-ing
Deep Purple = Respect
EMI = Eccentric Millionaires Institute
Britney Spears = Air stewardess costume

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

The 1980's. Duran Duran. The Cure. Queen. Big hair, pointy guitars, Transformers, Coca cola yo-yos...ahh...good memories!

What do you remember about the following years:

1990 = Falling off my BMX
1993 = Playing with Fasttracker
1997 = Having grunge hair
2000 = Getting very drunk
2004 = High speed car-smash-rib-breaking-blood-ouch

What's your favourite Saturday night record?

Electric Six's "Dance Commander"

And your Sunday morning one?

Queen - "Hammer To Fall"

What are your thoughts about your recent car accident? How much did it change you as a person?

The accident has been the most challenging experience of my life. Having a stroke was the hardest part, & is very hard to describe to people. It's very isolating at first as you find out a lot of people can't show compassion easily. On the positive side, I'm less bothered by trivial things that would have previously seemed like big problems. I try to be more compassionate towards other people who need it & I don't take things for granted as much.

Do you believe that you were kept alive for a specific reason? Why?

I don't know really. Maybe. I kind of feel like helping people but I'm not sure who. There were a chain of slightly unusual events during the crash which all contributed to my survival. If the collision had been just slightly different, I wouldn't be typing this. A nurse who was also driving behind me saw how bad I was & got the air ambulance to come out. The police later told me they had expected to be pulling a corpse out of the wreck...I'm not religous, but it makes you think.

What are your plans for the future?

My ultimate plan is to own a recording studio & produce music for a living, maybe start up my own label one day. I'm looking at getting work or work experience in some decent recording studios before considering starting my own business.

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?

It's funny. There's the whole GYBO scene which is moving at a phenomenal rate, & then there's the rest of the world which is miles behind. The illegal nature of the bootleg makes it a very underground thing. I'd like to see things branch out into the general public a bit more. Hopefully the future will see more record companies coming round to the bootleg thing & considering official releases. And as technology advances hopefully there'll be the ability to do more stuff live. It's not unfeasible that something that extracts & removes layers (i.e vocals & instuments) from stereo audio in real time could be developed & used in a DJ setup.

Some TiMG boots:

1. Hella Killa (No Doubt vs Prodigy)

2. The Ballad Of J-Lo (Tenacious D vs Jennifer Lopez)

3. Voodoo Problems (Jimi Hendrix vs Jay-Z)

You can also visit TiMG's site here.