CULTURE/MUSIC: LIL INTERNET INTERVIEW (SUPERSUPER! VOL 2 #001)
When NYC-based DJ/producer/director LIL INTERNET isn’t working on his PURE NRG rave music, hanging with Gucci Mane or running Karma Loop TV, he’s producing remixes and directing videos for the likes of Kanye and Diplo. How does he find the time to do it all? We find out!
SS: Listening to your music makes me feel like I’m in ‘90s Ibiza wearing ten plastic whistles and a face full of neon paint. So… is rave back?
LI: For me, rave never left. I’ve been a raver since I was 13. I went to London with my parents and stumbled across Cyberdog, and it changed my life. I bought mixtapes and fell in love with a girl with purple cyber dreads and decided that THIS IS WHO I WANT TO BE. I’ve had very transcendent experiences at raves – maybe once a year I get THE FEELING, when your hair stands on end and REALITY MELTS, just for a second.
SS: So it’s that feeling that you’re channelling in your music?
LI: My music is the soundtrack to the party in my brain. I make tracks that operate on pure feeling, channelling hardstyle, UK house, trance – anything I want. I don’t make music for cool guys who are really serious about “THESE NEW SOUNDS” – I’m thinking of 1000 kids bouncing up and down in UFO pants blowing whistles doing the ‘Running Man’ with cartoon backpacks. That’s really who it’s for – it’s for them and it’s for ME, and that’s it.
SS: Tell us about your ‘Britney Spears Illuminati Glitch’ track. The name’s pretty intriguing…
LI: Britney Spears is a mental slave!!! There was a glitch in her control! It’s a conspiracy – she is a victim of Monarch Mind Control. The sample in the song is not like a ‘glitch’ like in recording – her brain glitched during an interview. It’s so scary.
SS: So how did you get into directing music videos? You’ve worked with acts like Robyn and A-Trak in the past, that’s pretty big.
LI: At first, I didn’t really know what I was doing. I’d make crazy videos for my old club night ‘<3throb’, so people thought I could do whole videos – which would often take ten times as long as I thought they would. I’m glad nobody hates me for that.
SS: You’ve also produced a remix for Kanye, and interviewed names like Kid Sister and Dan Deacon. How did you manage to get involved with such major artists?
LI: In all of my creative ventures, I never get that popular with fans but I always get known amongst A&R types and other artists – often really big artists – they lurk me a lot because I’m good with trends, memetics and generally generating lulz…. but I think I always go a little over the head (or ahead) of mainstream audiences. I also do interviews and video work for KarmaloopTV, but most of the aforementioned stuff I got on my own, somehow, someway.
LI: I helped start it, and helped it grow into the success it is now. It’s hectic – we put out a lot of video content, and streetwear culture – fashion, music, mostly hip-hop and electronic stuff. We’re close to launching a cable network, which is going to be insane. It’s a position with a lot of responsibility – I’m starting to be a major part of something that actually influences people. I’ve met some great people through KarmaloopTV. I got to interview Kelis!!! And The-Dream!!!! I loved those interviews, we got along great – Gucci Mane, not so much #SMDH.
SS: We ❤ the video you directed for the Diplo, Dillon Francis + Maluca track ‘Que Que’! What was it like to work on?
LI: Diplo and I had been in touch over various music and video things – I had this secret Tumblr that he was really into. I went to stay with him in LA, and he asked if I wanted to do a video that Dillon Francis and Maluca had coming up. We shot at KarmaloopTV in NYC – it was intense, but definitely the most fun I’ve had ‘at work’. Maluca is a perfect performer. Everyone agreed to the cross-eyed thing in the video, which was so stupid wehad to do it – the idea came to me out of the ether, a little ghost whispered it in my ear…
SS: Who would you want to do guest vox on one your tracks, if you could have anyone?
LI: The real movie guy voice, to read some Hakim Bey or Terrance McKenna over a track. Or Sade, to sing about life and light and energy, and to also just talk about building new worlds HERE on EARTH.
SS: Same deal – who would you like to make a video for, if you could make it happen?
LI: I’d LOVE to make a video for Soulja Boy’s new ‘Ocean Gang’ track – maybe on some Somali pirate aesthetic 3D beach, with the Ocean Gang in their secret Internet pirate utopia… I love this “return to ocean” consciousness that’s bubbling up everywhere – cultural hive-mind at work! I’d also like to do something for Oneohtrix Point Never, in a bioluminescent bay in Puerto Rico.
I’ve also had this idea of a tribe of primitive people secretly living in the city, who decide to lash out at society. So, these trash-and-paint adorned tribesmen start trashing McDonalds and corner stores, running and puking and throwing fire at people. They’re shooting fireworks and jumping on cars, and when they scream it’s really loud – it can break windows and make people go deaf… but this would be for something like a hardstyle track – or maybe a LIL INTERNET track!
SS: As an artist, you’re obviously basing a lot of your identity around the Internet. Where do you think your music would be without it?
LI: A lot more annoying to make! The best thing is how freeing the Internet is – any sound I can imagine I can find in five minutes. It makes the creation process very fluid. OH BUT WHERE WOULD IT BE WITHOUT THE INTERNET??? We’d trade CD-RS, and there would be a whole underground CD-R network, and there’d be secret music trading clubs that met in physical spaces, and then there’d be certain SUPER RARE ones that people really want.
SS: Crazy. Sounds almost post-apocalyptic… #visionofthefuture?!
LI: I like the idea of underground trading rings in rare media – maybe I’ll start one. I hate elitism in music, and the dudes who are really into ‘restraint’ in electronic music. If you don’t dance, stop wasting an entire club’s space for you to stand around! They should invent a new kind of club for those people – very dark, with a lot of chairs and a really good sound system. I call people like that ELITISM JUNKIES. Everyone is a junkie for something.
SS: So what are you a junkie for?
LI: Swimming, laughing, absurdity, sunsets and the Internet – hopefully all at once. LOVE, LIFE AND LIGHT JUNKIE.
SS: Do you have any exciting projects coming up?
LI: I’m doing a video with Juicy J, fingers crossed, and I should be doing a promo video for the upcoming Crookers album, which is going to be really wild and a real product of my imagination. Remix-wise, I’m wrapping up something for the rapper Famlay of ‘Hit My Beeper’ fame. It’s cool – he’s like a REAL rapper and I’m like a REAL raver, and I’m doing a REAL remix for him lulz. Should be doing one for Pictureplane too, and stuff for Albert Redwine’s ‘Seapunk’ label, Coral Records. I’d love to curate an album for a label – or for free if someone would believe in me!
SS: I heard rumours that you’ve been having talks with Google, too…?
LI: I can’t talk about it… but you know, I aaam LIL INTERNET!
SS: So what’s next for LIL INTERNET? Can we expect an album at any point?
LI: I don’t think there’ll be an album, ‘cos then I couldn’t release stuff every couple of weeks like I want to, and that’s boring. Collect it like Pokémon! An EP maybe – I’ll probably release a double A-side single, with my sister @LILGOVERNMENT on realll soaring trance vocals, just like flying on a dream. Lil Internet is not a project – this is really me. This is my avatar, and everything I’m making is Lil Internet – I just run really fast, make stuff and don’t look back.
Interview: Charlotte McManus
Posted on 14/03/2012, in Culture, Music and tagged @lilinternet, charlotte mcmanus, diplo, karmaloop, karmaloop tv, lil internet, supersuper, supersuper magazine. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.