MxCx Interview#23 "Duran Duran Duran"
Duran Duran Duran
Arising from the dark heart of Philadelphia, Ed Flis has been making electronic music since 1995 and experimenting with sound since much earlier. In 1999 he formed Duran Duran Duran with Michael Chaiken and Tony Gabor. While cutting his teeth in hip hop bands, hardcore bands, and punk bands, Duran Duran Duran remained mainly a side project – eventually becoming the centerpiece of Ed’s musical output. What started off as mainly a sample-based noise project evolved into something much more honed and refined for the dancefloor as he discovered the free party scene and raves, while still maintaining a punk rock edge that isn’t afraid to experiment.
Now producing everything from ghetto tech to breakcore and beyond, Ed’s sets can be as varied as his tastes, but always hard, dark and fun. He’s toured Europe and the United States extensively since 2002, as well as Japan, He’s released records on Planet Mu, Cock Rock Disco, Tigerbeat6, Peace Off.
Are you from Philadelphia?
Yes, I grew up in Northeast Philadelphia in an area called Frankford.
Do you live in Berlin now? How is life in Germany?
Yes, I moved here in 2008 directly from Philadelphia. Much better than life in Northeast Philadelphia.
What kind of city is Philadelphia?
Very post-industrial with lots of heroin addiction. If you've seen the movie Eraserhead, that film was made about Philadelphia and actually is a fairly accurate portrayal.
Did you have a music scene in your town?
Yes, but not very much for underground electronic music. The clubs and bars there close very early, so if you want to throw an event that goes past 2am, you generally have to find an illegal venue or do it in somebody's basement.
When did you start making music? What equipment did you use for the first time?
I played around with wav editors as a kid on my dad's computer at work. I didn't start properly making music until about 1996, when I got really into playing guitar and then making beats on the computer. The first program I used was called SoundEdit, but it was quite limited and you could only have one track of audio, sort of like SoundForge or BIAS Peak. After that I used a program called SoundMaker by Alberto Ricci which was really great because you could do multitrack wav editing. A lot of the tracks on my first album were made with that program.
When is the activity of "DURAN DURAN DURAN" started? Why did you become this name?
I guess we chose that name around 2001 or 2002. It was originally three guys. It was just kind of the funniest thing we could think of. I kind of regret it now.
Abelcain / Bombardier / Enduser / Pale(Twenty Knives) / Doormouse / Baseck / Drop The Lime / Xanopticon / END. / Jason Forrest & Dev/Null, etc, great Breakcore artist was in the US. Did you have a friend consciousness? Have you sympathized with them?
Yes they are all friends of mine actually and I've toured with most of them across Europe and the US. Even though America is a big country, the scene for our music was so small that we all knew and supported each other. Particularly Dev/Null and Xanopticon I was quite close with because we were all the same age and came up in Pennsylvania. Jason Forrest obviously I had quite a special relationship with as he was the first person to release my music, I owe him quite a lot and I think most of us probably would not have played shows outside of the US if it wasn't for him.
How do you get ideas and inspiration for making songs?
The inspiration for my music comes from my mental illness.
Please tell me the process of making songs. What equipment do you use now?
I make music with Ableton Live and also the Push controller. I have Dynaudio monitors in my studio and Alesis monitors at home. I mainly use the arrangement mode in Ableton Live and edit and chop up audio.
You are very good at using Gabber Kick. you're making a very unique and danceable Gabber song. It has a different groove than other 4 × 4 Gabbers. It is the same as your current Techno / Electro style. Are you not interested in straight (4 × 4) style?
I am very interested in 4/4 style but sometimes it feels a bit boring and easy. I like to challenge myself and 4/4 is the easiest possible beat to make, so even if I make a song with a 4/4 beat I always think to myself "is this the best possible beat for this song?" and try to experiment with different rhythms.
How long did it take to produce your new album "DURAN"? What is the concept of this album?
Well some of the tracks are quite old! But the entire process between sending the first demos to Power Vacuum and the record actually being released took about 2 years.
What is the most favorite song in "Duran"?
probably Marathon Man - this song took me a while to make
Why does Duran Duran Duran use sexual artwork?
because sex is god's joke on human beings
What was the most impressive live event you experienced?
The Roots and Tribe Called Quest in Philadelphia in 1996
A long time ago,You upload free MP3s on your own WEB site. That free MP3 was later released on record/CD. Now the music is close to free.(With streaming and free release) You have provided music free of charge from long ago. What do you think about physical releases and streaming in the future?
I generally believe music should be free but I also believe in supporting labels and collectives who spend a lot of time and money curating really good music and giving it exposure.
What is the next plan for Duran Duran Duran?
1 more EP of more jungle stuff to be released on Jigsore records, and 1 more EP of more electro-influenced stuff to be released on Tripalium records. After that - who knows! I'm available. Call me.