Kid Koala... Scratching the surface
Interview: Kid Koala (Deltron 3030)
Published on August 28th, 2013 | Jonny Abrams
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The long-awaited second Deltron 3030 album Event II is almost upon us – and, here at Rocksucker, we must attest to being more than a trifle excited.
For the benefit of the uninitiated, we shall say this: Deltron 3030 is a hip-hop supergroup comprising of Dan the Automator, Del the Funky Homosapien and Kid Koala, and their self-titled first LP of 2000 was set in a dystopian future that they somehow managed to make sound like bucketloads of fun despite all the bleak extrapolations of modern society.
Some called it a ‘hip-hopera’, and it’s undeniably framed by its context. However, if the very mention of the phrase conjures images of R. Kelly hiding inside a closet, then fear not: Deltron 3030 is a phenomenal work, one of the most colourful and imaginative records we’ve ever laid ears on, the sound of three excellent artists at the tippermost top of their respective games.
Going by the material released thus far from Event II, our heroes have another classic in the offing.
Having already spoken to Dan the Automator about it, we now turn our attentions to turntablism virtuoso Kid Koala (alias Skiznod The Boy Wonder), who’s also been up to all sorts of other things that piqued our curiosity…
Who or what initiated the recording of Event II, and why has it taken so long to arrive? Has it simply been a case of you all having so much else going on?
We were starting to kick some ideas around shortly after we finished touring the first album. I think we only played about twelve cities for that tour, all in North America. Then we all got busy with other projects/tours. It was a crazy time.
That’s a hell of a roster of guest appearances you’ve got on the album. Was it generally a case of you guys approaching them, or vice versa?
Often we would meet people on our travels or on other projects and find out that they were fans of the first album. Then we would ask if they wanted to do something for the new record, even if it was something simple like a narration or a chorus or something.
How would you sum up your role within the Deltron 3030 framework? Do you usually have to wait until Del and Dan are finished putting down their parts before you come in to play around with it?
I play turntables in Deltron 3030. Dan would bring the beats and sessions to Montreal and I would find turntable parts to harmonize with what was going on and record them. Then we would send the tracks to Del and he would write to them.
When the lyrics were done, Dan would fly back to Montreal and I would add a couple more final layers of turntables and outros etc.
When can we expect The Slew II? What can you tell us about it at this stage?
I’m in the studio recording The Slew stuff right now. We have sessions of Chris Ross and Myles Heskett playing bass and drums. We are in the process of cutting all that stuff to vinyl so it can be cut up and reassembled Slew-style.
Do you manage to find something usable in every record you buy, or do you occasionally pick a dud?
These days I’m mainly cutting custom records to scratch with on my record lathe. There are a million ways to bend a sound once it’s on a vinyl!
Tell us about this 1940s video game music you’re making…
I’m not really allowed to talk specifics about that game until it’s finished. But I’m having a fun time working on it.
How was your session with Michael Cera and Alden Penner? Can we expect a release to emerge from it?
That is also for a project/tour that will probably surface in two years.
I enjoyed the flea market video. How often does your daughter Maple get involved in the creative process?
She’ll often visit me in the studio and change all the settings on the guitar pedals and tape echo machines.
Children are notorious noisemakers. Has fatherhood added a new twist on your ‘weird noise’ radar/perception?
Yeah kids do all their own foley!
How was the Tig Notaro gig? (Yes, I’ve been reading your Twitter.)
She’s unstoppable. It was an hour set and we were gut laughing pretty much the whole time.
Have you had any direct contact with David Lynch since he put you on his playlist?
I haven’t met him yet. I’ve been a fan of his work for decades! I’m not sure how he got a hold of the 12bitblues album but I’m honored that he liked it enough to list it.
Are there any new/up-and-coming artists who have caught your attention?
I’m digging the new Cloak Ox record. Also, I’ve recently worked a little with Trixie Whitley. She is a phenomenal talent.
Kid Koala, thank you.
Event II will be released on October 1st via Bulk Recording.
Deltron 3030 will play the following live dates over the next few months…
09/08 – Los Angeles, CA @ Rock the Bells #
09/15 – San Francisco, CA @ Rock the Bells #
10/08 – Boston, MA @ Paradise
10/09 – Brooklyn, NY @ Brooklyn Bowl #
10/10 – Washington, DC @ Howard Theater
10/11 – Charlottesville, VA @ Jefferson Theater
10/13 – Philadelphia, PA @ Theatre of the Living Arts #
10/14 – New York, NY @ Highline Ballroom #
10/16 – Toronto, ON @ Phoenix Concert Hall
10/18 – Indianapolis, IN @ The Vogue
10/19 – Chicago, IL @ House of Blues #
10/20 – Minneapolis, MN @ First Avenue
10/23 – Atlanta, GA @ Masquerade
10/25 – Asheville, NC @ Mountain Oasis Electronic Music Summit #
11/10 – Austin, TX @ Fun Fun Fun Fest #
11/15 – Denver, CO @ Boom Fest #
# with 3030 Orchestra