10 Questions 2 – Detroit Grand PuBahs
10 Questions 2 – Detroit Grand PuBahs
1. Hi Detroit Grand PuBahs and thanks so much for taking the time out to chat with us. Can you tell our readers about your music history, do you have formal training, maybe something many people don’t know about you?
Paris The Black FU: No, no! The pleasure is all mine, I’m speaking for myself. Mr. O takes pleasure in very few things. My music history began at a very early stage in my life. My parents, although not musically inclined, listened to music all the time. I often think at a particular time in my childhood when my mother was playing Stevie Wonder, Aretha Franklin, The Temptations, and Al Green. I had no idea who they were at the time but as I grew older I listened to them and got to know them, their style, and sound. We had a piano in one home we lived in. Although many of the keys were broken I took an interest and started to play different songs I liked by ear… not with my ear.
Mysterious Mr. O: I take pleasure in sending Paris’s son annoying loud toys to play with to drive his Dad mad(der). I don’t have any formal training for music other than training in clubbing 🙂 Although I did play drums when I was 12 for about 3 years before I decided I wanted to pursue DJing. Before dance music, I was into Dancehall Reggae and used to go to loads of illegal basement parties around East and North London. Then Hip Hop, and from there into Hip House with artists like Doug Lazy.
2. What are some of your most lasting memories involved in the techno scene?
Paris The Black FU: The very first DEMF (Detroit Electronic Music Festival) is one of them. It’s funny how when nobody knows you, nobody wants to know you. Then when people know you, people want to know you. LOL!!! Tag team DJing with my brother John “Bilee Bob” Williams as Heckyl & Jeckyl. We had so much fun and interesting road trips. Traveling to Columbus, Ohio, or Toronto, Canada with Brian Gillespie, Bilee Bob, and Gherik. Barbecuing in the dead of winter with DJ Bone and Jason Langa. Mr. O and I have traveled a lot together and there are so many lasting memories, it’s hard to pick one. Once we were on a plane to… I can’t even remember where we were going. But we started at the bar before the flight. On the flight we were drinking and talking, LOUD! One of the flight attendants came and told us that we were being too loud, passengers were complaining, handed us more alcohol, and said, “you can have these if you keep it down.” We were like, this is adding fuel to the fire!!! HILARIOUS! Then we had a killer time in Washington D.C. then L.A. afterward. Non-stop adrenaline and laughter, booze, and banging techno and electro!
Mysterious Mr. O: Yeah, that first trip to LA was a blast and one of the funniest times. We landed up at The Standard hotel for a rooftop after-party the next day, which turned into complete carnage. I recall seeing some guy dressed in a full Superman costume dive into the pool. I remember a trip to Canada, can’t remember which city – Montreal or Toronto. Landed, and getting pulled aside by immigration, and even though we had work permits the immigration officer kept us aside and went into some crazy investigation about who we were, why we were there. We kept saying we have a work permit, what we are here for is on there, but he was power-tripping and dragged it out for about an hour before letting us through. But there are so many fun trips it would take a while to go through them. Playing in Guangzhou, China was also memorable. Unusual as it was still fairly new for people to have a club as we know it, but it was great, lovely people, and a real privilege to have been invited to play there.
3. Where do you see it in 10 years?
Paris The Black FU: To be honest with you, I don’t. I don’t look that far ahead. I’m too old to look that far anymore. The thing is that the scene was in trouble before this COVID thing happened. It became less and less about the music and more and more about persons “image,” demanding ridiculous amounts of money, social media, and exclusivity. What in the world was that about? I think that in the next year people will have to reset and separate the real from the fake. 10 years, I don’t know. I don’t want to know. You know?
Mysterious Mr. O: I have no idea in 10 years, it’s all completely changing and has been already for a while. People getting into it now are often in it for different reasons than we got into it back in the late ’80s and early ’90s. Now it’s a lot more commercial orientated. Nowadays people want to DJ for fame and/or money. Before it was more of a movement, it was more hedonistic. Nowadays everybody is a DJ; anyone can DJ as it’s so easy with the technology unless they are using the technology to do more than just go from one track to the other and almost remixing tracks live, but I wouldn’t call that DJing, it should have a different title. Not saying it’s bad, it’s just a different skill and should be differentiated from DJing on turntables. Before the title “DJ” was “selector”, and there have been other names used before “DJ”, so now with the times moving on, there should be a new title to highlight the progression of the technology and how that is used in the context of making people dance. And this is about now, so who knows where the technology will be in 10 years and what the scene will be like.
4. Where do you most enjoying playing? At home, in Detroit or on tour at crowded festivals or the more intimate clubs?
Paris The Black FU: Well when I was playing it didn’t matter where I played. I hated playing festivals because somehow the intimacy was lost. I preferred the small, intimate, humidity dripping from the ceiling, can I get you another drink, blow up the set party. Just as long as I didn’t have some drunk fool trying to make a request or, talk to me about stuff that didn’t matter as I was trying to DJ! Get out my face wit dat, can’t you see I’m busy! LOL.
Mysterious Mr. O: A club for sure. Can be any size as long as the crowd is there, so a vibe and atmosphere, and the communication between the people and DJ can be created to take everyone including the DJ on a journey. Some of my favorite times to DJ have been at Fabric in London; El Jardin in Gijon, Spain; Fabrik in Madrid; Spain, Rex in Paris, France; Club 69 in Glasgow, Scotland. For live sets, the Elysee Montmarte in Paris, France; and Dour festival in Belgium stand out for me.
5. Do you prefer to play live/DJ or is it all about music production?
Paris The Black FU: That’s a great question. It really depends on my mood. I started DJing, then picked up a mic and decided, “I like this,” then I started learning to produce my music and thought, “I’ve got a LOT to learn.” I can honestly say that I don’t miss it but I remember all the good times (JJ) and have some stories to tell anyone who’ll listen.
Mysterious Mr. O: I prefer to DJ. It is why I got into this music in the first place.
6. Tell us some of the proudest moments of your career to date?
Paris The Black FU: One, in particular, is ‘Sandwiches’. I know, I know. But it was the epicenter and catalyst that set me off to Europe. The second is being able to travel around the globe. Not very many people from my neighborhood have traveled the world and not have it be linked to the military. I used to get on a plane and the first thing someone would ask was if I was in the military. It didn’t offend me because, I was able to tell them, no, and explain to them why I was going to wherever I was going, it usually leads to a drink or two.
Mysterious Mr. O: I have a lot of moments I am proud of but I couldn’t tell you the proudest as I’m not finished yet. Maybe the proudest is that I have been able to make a career out of what I love, and I’m still here doing it after 30 years.
7. What music genres do you listen to when you’re at home?
Paris The Black FU: Everything I consider good to me and my son’s ears. Creedence Clearwater Revival, Chick Corea, Bob Marley, Bob James, Aux 88, The Exaltics, Dopplereffekt, The B-52’s, Prince, Stevie Wonder, WAR, David Bowie, Drexciya, Three Dog Night, Billy Joel, Billy Preston, Gladys Knight, and The Pips, Bernard Wright, Don Blackmon, Earth Wind and Fire, The Isley Brothers! I can go on and on!!! Led Zepplin!
Mysterious Mr. O: That is a huge list and goes all over the place… Miles Davis, Herbie Hancock, David Bowie, Prince, Nas, Rakim, Beastie Boys, Mobb Deep, J Dilla, The Beatles, Pink Floyd, Jimi Hendrix, The Jam, Sleaford Mods, The Specials, Beresford Hammond, King Tubby, The Commodores, Etta James, Future Sound of London, Aphex Twin, Kraftwerk, and of course countless House, Techno and Drum ‘n’ Bass artists – just be too many to start on that list.
8. Normally we would ask what parties and festivals we should not miss this year. But unfortunately, with World Affairs being what they are right now we wanted to ask you how you, your families, and friends are doing in these difficult times and how are you managing with all of the canceled gigs for the last few months?
Paris The Black FU: That’s another great question, and thank you for asking! We are doing as well as could be expected in these critical times. My wife still has a job and our son hasn’t started school yet so that’s relief on two counts. I did, however, lose an Aunt and a Cousin to this pandemic and, although we weren’t that close, the loss of Mike “Huck” Huckaby was a real blow as well. I’m not so affected by the loss of gigs, because I didn’t have any, LOL! I stopped that side of this music scene years ago. But I can say that I am concerned for others who did and still do rely, on gigs as their income. I hope that my colleagues in electronic music will fare well and not say farewell to the careers they’ve built over the past decade or three.
Mysterious Mr. O: My family is doing OK, although it has been a challenge for my kids with schooling at home. My friends are OK but of course, many of them have problems due to the events stopping. Most have worked out ways to stay afloat to get through this time, for now, and hopefully, this won’t last into 2021. I am lucky to be a partner in a music company called EPM Music where I work in music publishing, so that has kept me very busy, along with getting into the studio to work on new music.
9. Do you have any dos or don’ts regarding tips for aspiring producers?
Paris The Black FU: Where should I begin? Don’t think that humility is weakness; mind your own business; don’t get into who’s better than who, since no one is better than anybody, everybody has an opinion and a fan or two at some point in their career. Don’t forget, today’s hero, tomorrow’s zero. Here today, gone tomorrow. Don’t follow a trend, start a trend. Shall I go on? If you hear rumors about how you’ve changed because of things that have come your way due to your success, ask yourself: how well do the people saying these things know you? Just keep moving, speak for yourself. Ask questions!
Mysterious Mr. O: Do what you believe in, don’t do something just to make money or copy others because it might be the trend. Figure out your way to produce, what works best for you. There is no right DAW, or whether you should just record direct with hardware, use what you need to get what is in your head out, in the best way for you.
10. Lastly, thanks for doing our 10 Questions 2 interview, what are your plans for the rest of 2020?
Paris The Black FU: Where should I begin? Don’t think humility is a weakness, mind my own business. Keep learning about my gear and production. Release some EPs with my partner and friend (please don’t repeat the friend part, he may read it and get excited), Mr. O. Continue working on the next Detroit Grand PuBahs and Techmarine Bottom Feeders albums and try to collaborate with some old Detroit cronies. Ask questions!
Mysterious Mr. O: Pretty much the same as other years, just without parties. I hope to be able to travel again to be able to see my family and friends in London, as I haven’t seen them since last year thanks to COVID
Here are 3 of our favorite remixes of Detroit Grand Pubahs by Jesper Dahlback, Steve Bug & Martin Landsky
Links to connect with Detroit Grand Pubahs :
For more 10 Questions 2 Interviews: https://technoscene.eu/10questions2/
- Previous Charlie May – Madhouse – Recommended Techno
- Next 10 Questions 2 – Charlie May – Techno Interview
You may also like...
Sorry - Comments are closed