Nov 18 2014
A DOZEN QUESTIONS FOR ELIOT LIPP:
Fresh off a brand new album, working with fellow hot up-and-comers Cherub and label-mates Michal Menert & Supervision, plus recently finishing up a massive PLM tour across the country, Eliot Lipp is having quite the season. With all that momentum, it’s clear that Lipp isn’t slowing down, with a giant NYE performance, plus news of a new collaboration release, and a slew of new material on the horizon, the New York producer has tons to talk about. That’s why we caught up with Eliot Lipp the other day for a quick Q&A. Our conversation led to many topics pertaining to music, art, and how to keep warm in the winter. You can read our full Q&A below:
CURATED MUSIC: First of all, congratulations on the new release Watch the Shadows! It’s been a very anticipated drop. Reading your descriptions for each track, it’s clear much thought went into the album, Can you explain a bit about what Watch the Shadows means to you as a conceptual body of artwork?
ELIOT LIPP: Thanks man. I’m trying to do [the write-ups] for each song and then I’m going to put them all together into one post. I think one of the big main themes is… there are a couple things I feel like I keep coming back to with all of these different posts. I guess one of them is showing the old school sort of throwback sound that all these songs have, and there’s moments in each song where it will sound like mid seventies funk or eighties style shit, and while I’ve been trying to explain the significance of that, I’ve realized that, that part of my music is essentially just me trying to connect my style and my sound with the just sort of history of electronic music and just to give it a sort of perspective you know, based on a lot of the music that has come before mine.
CM: You say, “One of the most fascinating things about music is how it evolves through different regions, cultures and eras. It’s the universal language of the human spirit” and your music encompasses every style of music from every time period.
LIPP: Yeah, that kind of thing is real important to me. That’s one of the reasons I’ve always been drawn to instrumental music as opposed to music with more of a narrative or music that just tells a story even. To me, instrumental music is more about the raw emotions that are derived from melody and rhythm.
CM: You have an extensive collection of synthesizers. Are those responsible for the sounds we all love in your music?
LIPP: Yes a lot of them are. I play a lot of VSTs as well, and plugins. I started collecting analog synthesizers probably about 11 or 12 years ago. I started buying and selling them, and I’d buy broken ones, fix them up, and trade them. So, the collection I have right now, or at any given time, is usually pretty temporary because I like switching them out. There’s a handful that I probably want to keep forever but I really like buying and selling synths just as much as [collecting them]. I’m not a hoarder, I’m not trying to have this museum of synths, I like to have a collection but at the same time I like moving them in and out because when I get a new keyboard, when I get new sounds, I get inspiration from playing on them and just tweaking new sounds in different ways, so I like to try to keep recycling through.
CM: Looking back on the PLM Tour, what’s a really funny memory you can share with us?
LIPP: (Laughs) Um…. Well… Our tour manager would do this thing when we would all be hanging out on the bus where he’d yell “BUNK CALL” and everybody would have to run to their bunk, and the last person to the bunk…. I mean, we never really punished them, but we would just talk about what [we would do]. It was just to try to get to your bunk first so everyone would be running from the front of the tour bus all the way back to the bunk and there was always some sort of injury… (Laughs). But, because there were 8 of us and there were 7 bunks, someone would always get left out. (Laughs). Then we would just fuck with them the rest of the day. It was especially funny after a show would be over and we’d be having a little after party on the tour bus and there’d be girls and stuff on there, then out of nowhere, Ben [our Tour Manager] yells “BUNK CALL” and we all run to the back and there’d be some random people just sitting in the front like ‘what just happened!?!?’ ‘Where’d all those guys go’? There were a lot of funny moments on the tour, I wish I could share more of them but there was just a lot of debaucherous behavior. (Laughs).
CM: You end this year performing at Basslights with Bassnectar and Pretty Lights plus Chromeo, Beats Antique, and Exmag. Are you excited to bring in the New Year with that crew and nearly 10,000 others in Hampton Virginia??
LIPP: Yeah I’m definitely excited for that show, it’s going to be a good one. I love all the other acts that I’m playing with and I’m honored to be on the bill especially with Lorin and Derek, and I’m a big fan of Chromeo too, so I’m definitely looking forward to that. Having this new album out too, being able to keep promoting the record is exciting. I love playing all these brand new songs out. I’ve been looking forward to every show I have coming up lately.
CM: Off the top of your head, can you give us your favorite LippTip and/or share with us a brand new one?
LIPP: Let’s see… hang on… um… Well I had a recent one, a couple weeks ago I said; “If you smoke cigarettes in your house, please let me know before we go over there so I can never go over there.” (Laughs) I don’t know if I can pull a LippTip off the top of my head. Well, it’s getting cold out right. I should think of one for the weather. (Laughs). Shit man, maybe I could come back to that.
CM: Your collaboration with Michal Menert is hot. Are there any other collaborations on the horizon?
LIPP: Michal and I are doing a whole record together. While we were on tour we started a bunch of new tracks. We’ve each been working on them a little bit on our own; I think that the key is to get back together in person. I don’t really do the email collaborations; I like to be in the studio working side by side. There’s that and I’m not sure what else, there’s a couple other collaborations. I’ve been working on one with this emcee from Tacoma, Washington that goes by Glen. He’s really tight. I’m actually supposed to work on a track with him today. I mean, there’s a couple things in the works but I think one of the next releases coming up for me is definitely going to be the record with Menert.
CM: Your Snapchats are works of art and inspirational, how do you keep them so fresh?
LIPP: (laughs) I just love to draw; I’ve always been really into drawing. I like the challenge. It’s kind of really hard to draw on Snapchat. It’s hard to make it a work of art because you are limited with your color scheme, and you just have the one brush size for your paintbrush. I love social media, I love being able to connect with my fans and show my sense of humor, or just show sides of myself that I don’t always find a way of putting in my music. That’s one of my favorite things about Snapchat, just trying to make it cartoony and stupid. It’s immediate and it just goes away right away, it’s nothing permanent, so the light heartedness of it I think makes it a pretty cool way for people to connect with each other.
CM: What other forms of art inspire you?
LIPP: I love graffiti. I love even just tags, besides the big colorful murals I love just people’s names spelled on the wall because you notice, whenever I travel, I see the different styles change in different cities, and that’s always been interesting to me. I’ve always been into painting. I love abstract painters. A lot of times when I’m on tour, if I have nothing to do for the day, I’ll go and check out a city’s local art museum. I’ve always been into art; I actually went to art school for a while. But yeah, I think one of my favorite styles is definitely graffiti art.
CM: Do you have any goals for the coming New Year?
LIPP: I don’t know if it’s a goal but one thing I’m really shooting for is to try and be more immediate with my music. With this new record, some of those tracks I was sitting on for like two years. Granted, I kept reworking them and changing quite a bit throughout that time, but I think we’re at an age now with Soundcloud and everything where we can just finish a song and post it up immediately for the fans to hear and you get feedback on and people to just experience it, instead of just waiting. It’s nice to gather up a whole collection for an album and make a big deal of everything but I think that I want to try and push myself to try and put out more singles and just start dropping tracks without all the hype and without waiting too long. That’s one goal I set for myself in 2015, I want to release a lot of music and really put myself out there. I still like doing albums, but I think I’m going to take a break from that, especially since I’ve just release a brand new one, I have the time where I can for a while and try just experimenting.
CM: Health question: Does your raw juice intake outweigh your pizza consumption?
LIPP: (laughs) that’s a really good question. I try to get a lot of juice in me and less pizza but it’s probably about 50/50 right now. (Laughs). Dude, that’s how I am, I go back and fourth, I’m either eating super healthy and drinking green juice everyday, eating salads, or I’m just full on cheeseburgers and pizza, especially on tour, it’s so hard to eat healthy on tour sometimes I’ll just give up and just eat like shit. (Laughs). But man… I try to balance it out.
CM: Any last thoughts on the LippTip??
LIPP: Why can’t I think of a LippTip right now…. Umm… Hmmm… Fuck it’s hard to just pull one right out of my head like that. Umm… I don’t know, I guess I’d say; stock up on flannels, go to Goodwill and get yourself a few flannels for the winter. You can never have enough flannels, they will never go out of style, and they keep you warm. Sometimes even at Goodwill, I’ve found some of those Pendletons, I’ve found some brand name flannels here and there lately. You know, I definitely would suggest Goodwill or Salvation Army, some kind of thrift store because you know, if you go to the mall or you go to a regular spot it’s going to be like 100 bucks for a nice flannel, you want to just go spend 8 bucks and get a couple of them. (Laughs). That’s my LippTip.
Listen to Watch The Shadows by Eliot Lipp below: