If you haven’t heard about this New Yorker it’s about time you did. What a fantastic interview! Greg Paulus (half of No Regular Play) was a little worried about his elaborate answers but we loved them! This is a man with a method in his madness and it’s been an absolute pleasure working with such an insightful, talented, passionate, intelligent and multi skilled human. Our friend Christian Hunt is the man responsible for us finding Greg Paulus a few months back when this KILLER TRACK appeared in his mixtape, and from that point on we’ve been fans! We hope you enjoy this interview as much as we have; and dig the two super fresh, unreleased tracks that Greg has given us as a bonus!!! We are so fucking lucky…!
What five words best describes you?
Hmmm, I have trouble doing these kinds of things… I try and be as genuine as possible and have pure intentions in everything I do. Humor is extremely important to me, and I’m probably a little too obsessed with having fun.
What are your earliest musical memories as a child? (Any musical family links?)
My earliest memories are listening to Johnny Cash and Hank Williams tapes on my lil tape player when I must have been 4, and also my parents playing Sade records around the same time. My father is a classical composer, and he works from home so there has always been music playing constantly thru my upbringing.
What’s the wildest moment you’ve experienced in your musical career so far?
I’m very fortunate to have had many wild moments. Playing with James Browns drummer Jabo Starks was amazing. The jam sessions in NYC with trumpeter Roy Hargrove will always be very important to me. Every time I walk into a club and they are playing one of my songs I get chills. Playing with Nick as No Regular Play all over the world has been amazing, especially in Sao Paulo. and with Matthew Dear doing a tour opening for Interpol, that was really a thrill to play for such huge audiences. Sorry I can’t pick exactly one moment but those are what I can think of currently as the best.
What are you currently working on?
Currently just finishing up a No Regular Play EP for Guy Gerber’s Supplement Facts label. Trying to finish another EP for wolf + lamb or possibly an album, not sure yet. And my main focus right now is finishing the concerto for small ensemble and orchestra that I’m doing with my father. That will be premiered with the Minnesota Orchestra at the end of September. We also have a record coming out on Cut&Mistake. It’s a new label run by our dear friend Connor Whiriskey. This label is going to be very interesting and we’re honored to mark the first release with one of our fave No Regular Play tracks “Rain (all day)“ which we’ve been playing in the live set for years now, but been waiting to release for Connor’s label.
How would you describe your sound?
I would say my sound is heavily influenced by Slum Village, J dilla, D’angelo, Herbie Hancock and Miles Davis. I have listened to so many great artists but when I produce, at least currently, I really try and channel these influences. I would say the subtlety in my vocal parts of my songs come from the Slum Village style of laid black, slurred, kind of natually delayed repeated sound, (if that makes any sense). When I make the bass lines and drums, aside from thinking of Dilla’s productions for Slum, I really like to imagine how D’angelo’s band would play. The way his bass player Pino Palladino would drop in and out on the voodoo record is just brillliant. The chord changes Herbie uses on basically everything is what I try to emulate, mainly the songs ‘thrust’ and ‘people music’.
Out of your body of work what is your favorite track and why?
It’s usually the most current track that I’ve made because I always feel my most recent work is my best, but I have to say when I revisit the track “What’s mine is yours” on my first Double Standard release I feel as though I really got it right. The way the drums sound is totally unique, at least for my style and the interplay with the bass is something I strive for. I also feel the vocals and the lyrics are great in the sense that I can listen to them over and over without thinking they are to corny or boring. I just think its my most solid composition. I think I had the most time to work on it, but hopefully I’ll have enough time to finish this new track called “No Wonder” which I think will be even better, fingers crossed.
What can you tell us about your studio setup?
The studio lately has had a juno106, a super jupiter, jomox xbase 999 drum machine, mackie mixing desk, micro korg, memory man delay pedal, sm57 microphone and a bunch of random percussion, i.e. castanets, hand drums. We use Ableton to record everything in, sometimes Logic. And its all recorded in as audio, we really don’t record midi, although we might start experimenting with that soon. I just like the old school feel of having to play everything perfectly on the keyboard. Also when I say “we” I mean Nick and me. We do NRP stuff during the day, and then usually late at night I do the music under my own name.
Any dream (remixing) collaborations you’d like to take on?
I would really love to work with Dj Sprinkles (Terre Thaemelitz). Also to work with Jamie Principle would be a dream. We just did a No Regular Play remix of Robert Owens, which was for sure a ‘dream’ remix.
How do you see today’s music scene in New York?
Well it’s a little difficult for me to comment totally on everything in New York right now, because I’ve been gone for most of the last 6-8 months and when I’m back I’m very much focused on my immediate community of musical friends. I have thrown a few parties with my friends Emil, Brandon (smirk), Connor, Aik, Bilal and Nick lately that have truly been the best times of my life. Our guests have been so respectful and that really makes me think that the New York scene has got it down more than ever. Also in NY you have so many great record labels, like DFA for example is really influential and important to the New York scene. It’s very important for me to be based out of New York and to make it my musical home. Oh and Tim Sweeney is in New York, so that right there makes it awesome.
What’s been on repeat lately (what should we look out for)?
I love that Todd Terje Snooze 4 Love, which I was turned on to by you guys actually! There are these really great tracks that Voices of Black just made, they are really really on fire right now, as well as Tanner Ross, all this stuff u can hear on the wolf + lamb / Soul Clap Beats in Space podcast, as well as some new GP and NRP stuff. Also these remixes of Lucky Paul, one I did and one from Gadi (w+l) and Eli from Soul Clap. It’s a collaboration between somethinksounds and w+l.
What new projects are in store for the remainder of this year?
One thing that has been ongoing but not yet debuted is my work with Francis Harris aka Adultnapper. We have worked on a bunch of music together that will be released later this year or early next year I imagine on his new label Scissor and Thread. Actually thats some more stuff thats been on repeat for me, his upcoming releases and the remixes associated with them are absolutely stunning! Also I just finished recording for my good friend Jason Poranski’s new album. He and I met playing in the band Beirut and his new music is really really amazing.
What sound or noise do you love?
I love the sound of a tone slowly rising from low to high, you can hear it in probably 50% of anything I release haha…. I’m sure everyone’s sick of it by now but I never will be!
What is your worst addiction?
Hmmm….. I have way to many to list! Haha, lately maybe Tequila or Campari… But Campari’s not so bad for you. Maybe my worst/best addiction is my addiction to music, in the fact that it comes first in my life and always will. It can cause self-destruction, sleep deprivation, ruin friendships and relationships, cause depression or disillusionment but in the end it will always fill me with more joy than anything else. People and places will come and go but as long as you have music you are never alone.
What’s at the top of your shit list?
People making shit music. Unintelligent music critics. Random punters talking shit on website forum/threads – hey guys go create something! Oh and maybe boring facebook posts. Actually these I love, like when someone buys a Red Bull and posts – “getting amped for tonight” hahah that shits hilarious.