We sat down for a brief interview with HOMESHAKE before his show at Kremwerk. We talked about the progression of his albums, 90’s R&B, and how his promoters hassle us about playing his music.
It seems like your music has been steadily progressing from a typical guitar based rock arrangement to a synth heavy style more focused on production. What prompted this change, and do you expect it to continue in your future work?
Well, I guess I got a little tired of writing on guitar. I’ve been playing guitar for so long and it gets kinda old after a while. There’s so many more sonic possibilities with moving over to synthesizers for a lot of writing. Plus I bought a synthesizer, I had never had one and then I got one and it took over pretty quick.
Is this progression going to continue with Homeshake?
Yeah, I don’t know. I never do anything particularly on purpose or try to force anything, I try to make it very smooth and casual.
Now since you released Fresh Air, what are you plans for the future?
Make more stuff. I’d like to start doing production work for other people. Figuring out people to work with. ‘Cause I’ve been writing music by myself and doing all of it for too long and it can get kinda weird being trapped in your own head. I’ve always got another thing, I’ve always half done with another thing.
Are you working on songs now?
I was, I haven’t had an opportunity to get in a good rhythm with it.
Could you describe the general vibes or sounds on your new stuff?
*Laughs* No, that’s a secret!
Well I’m here to unearth all your secrets.
I heard you’re producing hip hop beats.
Yeah, I made a few for a friend of mine in Vancouver but I’m not sure when he’s gonna release it.
And you’ve cited J Dilla as a major influence. How has hip hop production manifested itself in Homeshake?
J Dilla changed the way I think about music. I listen to that kind of music constantly so it just kinda did, I can’t really tell you how. [J Dilla] just really opened my eyes to the possibility of sampling, which I don’t really do. But just like the way he plays a sample as if it’s like a malleable instrument is quite inspiring, just for the sheer fact of how great it is. He’s a real Beethoven or whatever.
I’ve heard you record your albums at a DIY space called the “Drones Club.” Can you tell me about this space and the role of DIY spaces and venues in your musicianship?
The Drones Club is a dump and I love it so much. It’s unfortunately going to die soon. The landlord signed it over to his son and his son is tryna raise the rent like 800 bucks a month. I think there’s a new college campus going in or some shit. But yea it’s a nice space, there’s a lot of parties there and I did a lot of final recordings there for my three records.
What are you listening to these days?
I don’t know, lots of stuff. I’ve been listening to that new Kendrick Lamar a lot. When we were pulling into Seattle we were listening to Future. I’m no good with questions like that, as soon as I’m put on the spot my mind empties. Also, I lost my iPod last night.
Damn, still had an iPod?
Yeah, like an iPod Touch did the trick, had it for like 5-6 years.
I miss my iPod Classic, had more space than my computer I have now.
Yeah, I’d love to get my hands on one of those. I don’t think you can anymore.
Yeah I’ve tried, they’re really expensive.
Yeah, and they’ll probably just break anyway.
I know you’re into 90’s R&B. What are some of your favorite R&B tracks?
A lot of it. It’s funny I would listen to it on MTV when they had all the music videos on there. I’d always be waiting for some shitty alternative rock song to come on while all these classic R&B songs were going down. I never really liked them as a kid when I was there at the time. And then I grew up and I knew all the songs. Also my partner Selina got me really into them cause that’s like her jam. The song “Cupid” by… 112, is it 112? It’s definitely not 311, I think it’s 112. It’s a really hot track. “Shy” is good, R Kelly obviously. Lots of really good jams.
So I imagine you might be tired of Mac Demarco questions.
So I’ll skip that one.
Thank you *laughs*, I appreciate that.
So do you have any experience with college radio?
Yeah, my label sends me charts, and then I think “oh that’s nice they play me on college radio.” So I love college radio!
Yeah, that’s how I got this interview, you have this promoter who sends me your music and bothers me about playing all the time.
Really? Someone does that to you? That’s so annoying! I’m sorry they’re hassling you!
Nah it’s fine, I mean they got me this interview.
That’s good then.
HOMESHAKE released his third album, “Fresh Air,” on February this year.
(Interview by Jeremy Klein, Alternative Music Director)