Al Lover - Interview

Al Lover released his new album Creative Controlled Yesterday. We got the chance to interview him about the album, upcoming projects, etc... Click READ MORE to check it out!

Your new album is called Creative Control. Tell me a little about the recording process of the album? What tools are your favorite when you are in the studio?

The new album/beat reel was made fairly spontaneously, I usually have an idea of the records that I want to sample before I go into the lab. This time I just randomly dug into the crates and threw whatever on the platter and chopped it up as fast as possible. It was really an experiment to see what would come out of such an approach. I also did a good amount of live sequencing on the album. The tools I use are pretty much just the MPC 2000XL, a fuzz and delay pedal, and Pro Tools. Sometimes I use an old Tascam 4-Track for the tape hiss. I like to keep it simple, and don't really like when things are over produced. For This project I opted not to use the effects pedals or the 4-Track, clean it up a bit. Also, I quantized the drums which I haven't been doing a lot lately. Normally I like my beats to have a more human feel, a little off and sludgy, lots of subtle changes that one might not normally notice. This album was a little more "controlled by the machine" in terms of the MPC handling the timing and sequencing, I guess it's kind of a metaphor for the theme of the project.

You recently released a video for the song “Baby Please” which is the first single off your new album. The video is very interesting. What inspired the video?

Titties. Naw, I really thought it would be cool to set the track to an old 70's flick. I thought it had the - a big voluptuous girl should be shaken' around to it - kinda vibe. I'm a big fan of that era of cinema, so much raunchy, low brow shit was being made. The actual footage came from an old Russ Meyers film, I was basically looking around online for that kind of thing and just stumbled upon it. I'm a big russ Meyers fan, but I had never seen this film before. I think it was one of his later ones. I really Like the Idea of sampling audio, and visual together and mixing up the mediums. Sample it all.

I hear the record is about anti-piracy laws. I was wondering what your thoughts were on piracy?

Well, I like to tie my beat reels together with loose themes. I think it makes it a little more interesting, for me at least. The Idea really came from a project I released in June of this year, where I made a remix album using only samples from the Woodsist catalog. Woodsist is a small label out of Brooklyn NY, that I'm a really big fan of. They make really cool contemporary psychedelic rock music. Anyhow, I made this project, pressed up some CDs to give away for free, and put it up online for free, I even gave some copies to the guys from the bands I had sampled. They all seemed pretty stoked about it. I also gave a copy to Jeremy Earl, who co-owns the label, and is a member of the band Woods. So I email the dude, seeing if he's got a chance to peep it out, and he tells me to take the shit offline. I do initially, out of respect for the cat, and then I get to thinkin' about it, and I'm like "to hell with that", and put it back up online. Then he contacts me again, and so does his PR guy asking me to remove it again. I didn't, and they never said anything about it after that, so I guess it's cool. This project was basically a rhythmic retort to that shit. I don't know, If you can pay people for sampling their stuff, awesome. If you can't afford to, whatever, people have been recycling and reusing other peoples ideas, art, and music, and everything since the dawn of time. I believe it's only since the invention of the print press that people have started catchin' feelings about it. I see it as a very human process. It lets the art form evolve. We're all just playing our own variations of the same 7 notes, ya know?

Your Alexander Spit X Best Coast remix was really good. They both kind of capture the California vibe in their own way. What made you decide to put together that particular track?

I actually was fuckin' around with the Best Coast sample, and was trying to think of acapellas to put to it. I tried messin' with a couple old rap standards but wasn't feeling 'em. Then I was like "Oh yeah, Alex has the new album coming out". So I hollered at him and he sent me the vocal track. The shit pretty much matched perfectly with the beat, I think it's got a good stoney summer vibe. It kind of just organically came together. I was glad I could help hype the homey's new project a little as well.

You do remixes as well as original music. What remix tracks are you working on right now and how do you choose what tracks you are going to remix?

I just sample whatever moves me, the shit just speaks to me, ya know? As far as new stuff my man Gus Cutty of the Fist Fam and I are working on a couple of tracks right now we're gonna release at the end of this month as a double single for free download. It's basically 2 beats I made sampling Thee Oh Sees, and Ty Segall, two super dope SF garage rock groups, with Gus Rapping over them. I'm pretty pumped on these, I just got the rough mixes back from Gus and he's killin' shit. I talked to Jon Dwyer of Thee Oh sees, and he gave us permission to use the sample. Now we just gotta holler at Ty Segall, to make it legit. If I can, I want to be respectful of using other people's stuff. If not, whatever, I'm a do it anyway. Also, I've got this thing I just started the other day, it's gonna involve reworking some audio and visual stuff, but I don't want to let the cat out of the bag just yet on that one. Hopefully it'll be done this Fall. So far it's really coming together great. This isn't a remix project, but I gotta shout it out anyway. My rap group The Fist Fam has got a new record coming out this winter that I produced exclusively. I'm super proud of this shit, it's gonna be awesome. Me and my man Philo are finishing the final touches on the mixdowns this week. Not to sound arrogant, but this shit don't sound like anything else that I've heard recently. Though I'm sure fools will try to categorize it somehow. Other than that, I got 3 or 4 other albums I'm producing for various people, that I'm exited about, but are still in the beginning stages. I'll also try to keep pumping out the beat reels and various tracks when I get a chance. Gotta keep it movin'.

What do you think sets you apart from other artists?

I don't know, when it comes down to it we're all just artists trying to create, and harness that energy of the universe. I think I just bring a little of myself, and the experiences that I've had into my work. I'm really just trying to express the infinite love that exists within all of us, just with a little of my own added flavor.

I guess that about wraps it up man thanks for taking the time to answer the questions do you have any closing comments you’d like to make?

Aye, Thank you, man. I really appreciate it. As far as closing comments……..go make something.

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