What do you mean by hybrid theories? In press for Badlands, a lot of people were asking me if I’d read this book called Retromania which is talking about how our generation of musicians is just kind of useless and all based on references and not really creating anything new. I was reading this other book called The Utopia of Sound, which kind of counters that theory. It’s talking about how eventually, because it’s referencing so much, music will just encompass everything. It will embody all music. The more hybrids that we create, the more consolidated it becomes. The hip-hop music sample brought classic rock, jazz and classical music into this weird new thing, and then people who grew up listening to hip-hop, like me, [use sampling] to make music that’s not hip-hop. Like this new album I made, even though it doesn’t have any samples, the way I did it is very much like a hip-hop record. I make a loop, I play the drum machines, drum pads, and then a bass line, loop it, then have keyboards–stacking stuff, like a grid. Every record I’ve made is kind of like that. I think eventually I’ll create something new.
When you say you’re working on creating a new language, are you saying that appropriating sounds from the past can actually be a way of looking toward the future? Yeah, I think in all fairness, Retromania, that book, has a lot of strong points, because there are bands that are like, Oh I want to look like a ’70s post-punk band, and they only dress like that. Those kinds of bands, they’re not bringing anything new. There’s no hybridity to it; it’s just copying something, formula by formula. I think that book is describing those bands. But there’s a lot of interesting musicians in this generation, like Hype Williams and Dean Blunt. Andy Stott—what a great musician. This weird electronic producer called Todd Terje. People are kind of taking out the parts they don’t like in a genre and then combining it or replacing that with genres that they like. I don’t think anything is original, it’s always building off of something that existed in the past. And chairs, too, I think. Is having a chair retro? Chairs have existed for so long, and what have we done with it? We’re just making it better and better, like more comfortable or more stylistic. That’s it.