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Thursday, April 29, 2010

Behind the Beat w/ Loose Shus

Posted By on Thu, Apr 29, 2010 at 12:20 PM


The mastermind behind San Francisco's best kept secret, Loose Shus, has been referred to many times as elusive, and wrongfully so. Producer Dave L. isn't so much worried about hiding his identity as he is ensuring that the music he creates is first and foremost in his project. For years he has holed himself up in his studio (bedroom), churning out track after hard-hitting, disco-burning track, a few of which have only recently been properly released via NY's Plant Music. Judging by his prolific output, it seems Dave L. only emerges every so often to play one of his intricately orchestrated live shows.

We touched base with Loose Shus before he heads out to the Blue Macaw this Friday, April 30 to perform at Dress for Success with Planet Booty, Brad Barton Reality Thief, and more. Dave told us a bit about his creative process, why he's dying for some Juicy Bananas, and why he still considers himself an aspiring producer.

Quickly describe your music to someone that knows nothing about disco or dance music.

Some of my tracks sound like theme songs from bad '70s cop movies.

So you're about to start a new track. Where do you begin?

Usually, I start with percussion, then write the bass, and then harmony. Melody is usually the last thing to be written. Or at least it should be. A lot of times you want to just jump right into the hook and exciting parts of the track, but without a good foundation you'll just be looping some crappy riff for like 18 hours. If the percussion, bass, and harmony are killing, the hook just magically presents itself. It's amazing.

Where do you find most of the samples in your songs?

I only sample drum sounds, and tones that I can't generate with my equipment. I never sample melodic elements. I have a whole dogma on sampling: I think it's fine if you pull something way out of context and that's the thing you're doing. Like, I love a lot of hip-hop which straight loops samples, that's the deal and it's sick. But for me to loop some old disco hook and call it mine, well, there's no point to that, no challenge. It's not bringing anything new to the world, so [there's] no point as I see it.

What would you say are the main themes in Loose Shus' music?

Sex, the '70s, and VHS.

What's your most important piece of equipment in your studio?

The damn computer.

If you could collaborate with any artist, dead or living, who would it be?

Juicy Bananas. They did a track for Repo Man called "Bad Man." I've been trying forever to find more of their stuff. If anyone out there knows how to get "Lite's Theme," please let me know! I think maybe they formed just for the movie. I have no idea, but they're amazing. I want to make a track with them.

DJing versus performing live: name one thing you love and one thing you hate about both.

I can't DJ my way out of a paper bag. One thing I love about playing live is using ridiculous amounts of delay. You can never do that in a recording and get away with it, but when you play live, everybody loves the delay. One thing I hate about playing live is most venues--a lot of them in my experience--really don't have their shit together. A lot of people complain about "bad" shows, but most people can't discern the difference between sluggish set times, bad sound, expensive drinks, and expensive tickets versus just plain bad music. Trust me, if you get in free, bring your own beer, and don't have to stand around like a fucking sheep for an hour, the music could suck and you'll still have a better time.

Who are some of your favorite producers/bands out right now?

Breakbot, so sick. He's an Edbanger [Records] guy [that's] just finally coming into his own. Also, this young kid from the Netherlands called Shook. He's only like 20 years old or something, soooo sick. He's big into this Rhodes sound. Who else... There's this other dude Narctrax, he's from Tokyo and really amazing. I don't think he's even released anything yet. Think like prog with sick metal harmonized guitar like Hawkwind, but danceable.

What's coming up for Loose Shus? Any plans to tour? New releases?

I'm working on some dates for the summer. I plan on having a new album by then as well.

What piece of advice would you give to aspiring producers?

I am an aspiring producer myself. I heard this quote from some writer on TV the other day. I forget the guy, but he says, "writing is an act of discovery, not an act of memory." That really resonated with me on the music. Anyone producing probably has a lot of music knowledge, so you're trying to lay down some shit that you think is going to hit based on what you know. But, just let it surprise you. It gets harder and harder the more you know, but I believe you should be really surprised by your own shit. Also, don't listen to anybody. Be weird, be obscure, be unlistenable! Seriously, I'm not joking. Music is its own reward. Nothing will come of it better than the satisfaction you have at 4 a.m. of making the most insane track and mixing it down and then listening to it over and over until 6 a.m. That is the best. Records, shows, etc.: these things are purely residue of that initial and pure act. Kkcchhhshshsh I'M OUT!!!!

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Patric Fallon


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