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Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Q&A With Brian Cass



Brian Cass is many things to many people. To some, he is a gifted guitar instructor. To others, he is a synthesis guru with a penchant for improvised tweakage. And to some others' other, he's a volatile nerdly fellow who is overly obsessed with his substandard silky terrier. But to me, he is a kindred spirit. He made huge contributions to my upcoming release Home and participated in much of the mixing and mastering process. Here are his thoughts...

TGC: What kind of software did you use on this record?

BC: What kind? The awesome kind -
Ableton Live 7.0.7
Native Instruments Reaktor, FM8 and Guitar Rig
Puremagnetik Micropaks
Soundhack 0.896
Skype 2.7
Peak Pro 5.2
Mac OS X Leopard

TGC: What is your favorite section of the record, and why?

BC: If we're considering "section" to be a period in time - I'd say, right now, it'd be the ladybugs, but for long-term listening pleasure I predict Credits will be my favorite.

If we're considering "section" to be a part of the musical ensemble - I'd say da drums.

If we're considering "section" to be portion of the audio spectrum - I'd say everything between 50hz and 150hz is what gets the party started.

TGC: How would you describe your collaboration with Rob and myself?

BC: I think that sometimes I'm translating between the two of them.
Sometimes I'm showing up just in time to rescue them from a redundant 32 bar intro.
Sometimes I'm providing substitute dog presence in lieu of Lu.
Other times I'm leading them into a dark cave of one of my terribly zany (aka - pure genius) binaural experiments.
But it's always about a shared vision of awesomeness.

TGC: What are your current projects/employment?

BC: Musically - I am The Overclock Orchestra, the Outer Space Electronic Guitar DJ.
Working with Rob as RPC Audio, building recording studios and making gold records.
Working with Puremagnetik, making sound content for our subscribers as well as for Ableton, Native Instruments.

TGC: Give us a brief history of your musical education.

BC: I had a music program on my Commodore 64, it allowed you to automate filter cutoffs and LFOs just as easily as writing a basic melody, this was before I ever picked up a guitar. At age 12 I started guitar lessons with my one and only quality guitar teacher (Jimmy Tavares). Later in High School I helped build a midi recording studio for the school, then to Berklee in Boston, where I majored in Music Synthesis. All along, the technical and the musical have gone together like peanut butter and jars.

TGC: Was there ever a point in the making of Home that you wanted to hit Gavin in the face? If so, what were the circumstances?

BC: Yes of course, I hit him in the face on numerous occasions, verbally and spiritually that is.

TGC: If a dude could hit a whiffle ball frontside and backside, what kind of pitch would you use to smoke him out?

BC: No two-armed man can do both. But if there were a four armed being capable, then a knuckle curve with a second and third whiffle balls tossed inches behind it.

TGC: What kind of projects are your favorite to do? How can people contact you if they'd like to work with you?

BC: I like making good music. I specialize in electronic elements and guitar trickery.
As a team with Rob Pembertone, we can accomplish any and all recording related requests.
I can be contacted through brian at RPCAudio dot com.

TGC: Who are your favorite current musicians? What are your top 5 albums of all time?

BC: Current Favorites -
Everything Daptone Records
Transchamps (and all ingredients thereof)
The Bad Plus
Radiohead
Justice
Ebu Gogo
Gavin Castlepants (but don't tell him i said that or he'll have less respect for me)

Top "5" All Time -
Django Reinhardt - HMV Sessions
DJ Shadow - Endtroducing...
Daft Punk - Discovery
Aphex Twin - Richard D. James Album
Hugh Masekela - Lasting Impressions of Ooga Booga
Mr. Bungle - Mr. Bungle
Little Miss Sunshine Soundtrack
Life Aquatic Soundtrack

TGC: Give us one sentence that sums up your approach to making music.

BC: "Channelling 1000 Volts of heartfelt sonic love into a consumable, yet renewable, digital mystery machine for peace."