Ishmael Butler “I wait for a concept to rear its head”
at what point did you realise you were making two records? I got a friend in LA, who’s an engineer, mixer and producer, that I wanted to work with, so I started going down to LA whenever I wasn’t on tour, working on the album that became Quazarz Vs The Jealous Machines. So that album was recorded over the course of seven months, and when it was finished I got a release date for it and everything was cool. But I was feeling really good, like there were a lot more songs I wanted to do, so my other bro, who moved to LA, was coming back to Seattle for a 12-day stint. I thought we’d knock out three or four tracks, but it started going swimmingly – at the end of the 12 days, we had 11 songs completed, mixed and everything.
where did the character of Quazarz come from? I always like to have some context for the music, but I wait for a concept to rear its head from doing the music. That’s how it happened with Quazarz – three-quarters of the way through, I started developing that vehicle for the music and the artwork and the videos.
When I’m recording I don’t really listen to much other music, because you record all your waking hours, then you sleep or think about what you wanna do the next day – but I always like Miles, Flying Lotus and Thundercat and all those cats.
what were you listening to for inspiration while you were making these albums?