Popular music is defined by being ephemeral, it is whatever is, ‘New.’ Someday we will all understand this acutely when we slide across the radio dial and discover the band that scored that first summer romance is suddenly being played on classic rock stations. It will happen someday, if it hasn’t happened already. But with this latest generation of pop music, we are granted a special privilege. The remix culture that sprung to life with hip-hop and the rise of the superstar producer allows the modern music fans to hear generations old songs again for the first time in a totally new way. With this in mind, Re:Generation was born. The film documents the production of a collection of remix tracks that mash together modern dance producers, DJ Premier, Mark Ronson, The Crystal Method, Pretty Lights and Skrillex with classical, jazz, blues, country and psychedelic rock classics, respectively. The film also features Erkyah Badu, Nas, Mos Def, LeAnn Rimes, members of The Doors and a slew of other music luminaries. You can hear the results here.
Last weekend, I sat down with Pretty Lights – who insists he is not a DJ – and The Crystal Method – who transcend being DJs – to discuss the importance of first impressions, working with singers who don’t write songs, but have a tendency to say what won’t be in songs, what it’s like to be a totally new kind of rock star and much, much more. Hit the jump for the pair of full, 10+ minute videos.
If you’d like to see the film, Re:Generation opens nationwide on over 180 screens for a one day special engagement tonight and it has an encore screening on Thursday, February 23. You can visit the film’s website for exact locations and tickets: http://www.regenerationmusicproject.com/
The Crystal Method
- Have you seen the film yet?
- You guys come off better than most of the other producers. Do you have much experience on camera?
- Discussion of how the producers got into the mood of the piece and the prep work they did before getting into the studio.
- Discussion of working with Martha Reeves and her strong feelings about the lyrics.
- Are many singers very argumentative when you’re working on a track together?
- More discussion of Martha Reeves and how the film’s editing makes it look more tumultuous than it really was.
- Discussion of the director’s talent for finding subtle moments.
- Was the band’s name ever controversial on set with Martha Reeves?
- Discussion of the new EP “Sling the Decks” and work with an unnamed rock supergroup involving the letter “Q.”