Those of you lucky to be fans of Jonny Wilson, aka Eclectic Method, know that he has spent the last decade and a half revolutionizing the world of audio sampling and remixing. Wilson has worked with the likes of U2, Fatboy Slim and Childish Gambino while traveling throughout the world to London, New York, and New Orleans. FDRMX and Lucky 13 got to ask this remixing wizard a few questions regarding what makes a song work, where to find inspiration, and how awesome the TV show Community is.
FDRMX: How do you go about choosing a source for remixing and sampling? Is it something you have to search for or something that finds you?
Eclectic Method: I am constantly searching watching internet videos, movies, life in general. It definitely pops out at me and sometimes I go hunting for samples by subject but basically for it to be a good sample it has to look and sound good to be a video sample. So a chainsaw cutting is cool but the sound of a chainsaw without the corresponding picture wouldn’t work.
FDRMX: You featured in the documentary Copyright Criminals. What did you think of the film?
EM: I fucking love that documentary, super proud to be a part of it too. It was a labor of love for the guys who made it (Kembrew and Benjamin) when they first interview me for it I was living in London and by the time they finished I was living in New York and ended up performing with the copyright criminals band (Clyde Stubblefield, Chuck D, Questlove and Black Thought) on the Jimmy Fallon show, which was amazing.
FDRMX: Is there an upcoming song or artist that you really want to remix but haven’t had the chance to yet?
EM: So many , more like “don’t have the time yet”. I work 7 days a week on Eclectic Method and I am only a short way through my list of stuff to do. Right now I am working on a remix for Lazerdisk and The Knocks which are too recent acts I flippin love.
FDRMX: What sparked the idea for the song/video “MultiPad”? And was it done with one Ipad?
EM: Yeah it was all done with 1 iPad. I love all the apps on iPad for making music on the go, there are some great iPad music videos out there but I hadn’t seen one that combined a bunch of apps in one to show the iPad as a band of it’s own concept.
FDRMX: Childish Gambino features in the video. What made your decision to include him?
EM: When Donald Glover started doing Childish Gambino he had a pile of sick music but no video so I tweeted at him to come film some videos with me and the next time he was in New York he did a day of filming on greenscreen with me which became the Childish Gambino video mixtape and also a billion samples in my live show.
FDRMX: Are you a fan of his music as well? Or perchance his TV shows Community (Troy) and 30 Rock (writer)?
EM: I am fan of his music, his writing, fucking love Community. I did a show with him supporting Wu-tang at SXSW a few years ago and he came with Danny Pudi (Abed) and they were like best buds in real life.
FDRMX: I loved the hilarious idea for “Beatscraper”. What inspired that idea?
EM: I had been studying animating layers of photograph in After Effects and my wife who filmed the Chuck D video with me was taking loads of pictures of New York at the time. One of her pictures was the midtown skyline taken from the East River Ferry and it just looked like a stage with a band on it.
FDRMX: Nice cameo from Michael Bloomberg. Have you been to New York since Bill De Blasio took office (start of 2014)?
EM: Nah , actually we left just before Bill De Blasio took office and went to live in New Orleans for a bit. How is it? I hear you can carry weed in Brooklyn now?
FDRMX: What do you think are the biggest qualities that differentiate NYC and London in terms of the audio sampling industry?
EM: That’s a complex and super deep question. NYC was a culture I grew up admiring and loving, London embraced that culture and adapted it in the way that every city adapts something. The one thing I would say is in the 90s, 2000s what is now called EDM culture was king in London. I was in a band with John Hassall (The Libertines) and Johnny Borrell (Razorlight) but after seeing what the Prodigy and Fatboy Slim were doing I through my guitar away and started working with samplers and never looked back.
FDRMX: “Homecourt” was a very creative ad for the Brooklyn Nets. What was it like creating something for the inaugural season of a professional sports team?
EM: The Brooklyn Nets coming to Brooklyn was major. You could feel it on the streets. I wanted to make something that was the streets. I ain’t an authentic Brooklyn-ite but I am half Croatian so I grew up playing and watching basketball.
FDRMX: Do you play or watch basketball perchance? If not, what sports or hobbies do you enjoy?
EM: Yeah I watch basketball , I don’t play much in Barcelona the game of choice here is Table Tennis. I also got majorly into Football (American Football) in New Orleans, that was when I started to understand most of the rules and appreciate the game and the risks of concussion these players take for my entertainment.
FDRMX: What are your top three favorite remixes you have ever done?
EM: They change week to week. I am also constantly learning so I like to think my next 3 remixes are the best. But if i had to choose 3 to tell people to watch they would be Apocamix, Wolf of Wall Street and the Tarantino Mixtape. I have literally made over 1,000 videos since 1997 but only a small portion are on the internet. Every now and again someone will upload something from a CD ROM i did in 2002 and it will be awesome to see again because I’ve lost my copy.
FDRMX: What is the best piece of musical advice you have ever received?
EM: I’ve been super fortunate to work with a whole bunch of folk way way more talented then myself. Some advice is really detailed but one of the most useful and easy to digest bits of advice was from when I worked with Brian Eno, his concept was to just jam for hours and record everything and the listen back through and compose using the best bits. That’s still how I compose now, infact the only time I ever saw Brian even border on losing his temper was with a sound engineer who hadn’t been running the DAT Tape when people were jamming, when Brian found out he just said “Tape is cheap, ideas are expensive”
We have nothing but gratitude to Jonny Wilson for giving us some insight into that crazy, brilliant mind of his. As always, you should keep up to date with this prolific artist’s work via his Facebook and Website. Give the rest of his work a look and get your groove on for the weekend.