The New Yorker on being properly prepared, women with size 13 feet and gummy bears.

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Why music?

Because music is.

If you weren’t making music what would you be doing?

A chef.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?

Always wear clean underwear because you just never know.

What inspires you?

Art. Life. People. Travelling. Movies. Sounds. Music. Streets.

What’s the next big thing?

Parachute pants with an actual parachute sewn in the back. Just in case.

Best club experience?

Going to hip-hop nights at the Tunnel in NYC, 1997. I was a wide-eyed young buck rocking out to Biggie, Nas & Mobb Deep when hip-hop was still alive and well. Also going to my first underground house night at Club Vinyl to hear Louie Vega that same year.

What’s the worst job you’ve ever had?

My first job. A shoe salesman for Fabco shoes in the Bronx. “Oh, sorry ma’am, we don’t have that in a size 13” was becoming regular vocabulary for me. No fun when you had to help them try it on either.

How do you know when a track’s finished?

When the label releases it.

What was your last day job and when did you realise you could give it up?

My last day job was in 2004. I worked at the legendary Vinylmania Records in NYC for five years. Best job I ever had. I was one of the last employees to be hired before they closed. Met a lot of good people working there and that place was where I got educated and got put on to so many styles of music. I just figured I had a lot of good things coming my way and was young enough to go out on a limb and try it out.

Which song do you wish you wrote?

Anything by Prince, Stevie (Nicks too), Thom Yorke…

What’s the easiest way to make it in the music industry?

Whore yourself. Never fails. Seen plenty do it. And I mean literally whore yourself. If that’s not your thing then just be persistent. That usually does the trick.

What’s the worst track you’ve ever released?

I have a couple I could name but at the top of the list would be Mr V & Miss Patty – ‘Da Bump’ on Defected. I cringe every time I hear it :/

Recommend us a film.

[Looks at DVD collection] I love indie films so Piñero would be one. It’s the story of an amazing poet and artist from NYC. Second in line would be Inception. The writing and cinematography in that movie are on another level.

Just be persistent. That usually does the trick.

Recommend us a book.

[Looks at book collection] Miles Davis’s autobiography or Anthony Kiedis’s Scar Tissue. Fastest books I’ve ever read. Couldn’t put them down.

What are you addicted to?

Gummy bears or corn nuts. Put them in front of me and I will rip the bag to shreds.

What do you lust over?

Food. Sometimes it’s better than sex. No awkwardness and no apologies the next day, just amazing as it is.

What is your greatest regret?

The thing I’m about to do tonight.

What one thing would most improve your life?

I love to cook, so probably time spent on cooking and improving my skills in the kitchen. I didn’t realise I loved it so much. It’s a stress reliever and very therapeutic. Gets you all zen and stuff.

What’s the worst gig you’ve ever played?

Probably the one where I got so drunk I blacked out and don’t even remember playing. But I heard I rocked it, so…

How do you relax?

Cooking. Music. Wine. Episodes of Mad Men, New Girl or Martin.

What one piece of software/kit could you not do without? Why?

My Akai MPC 2000. Just can’t ever imagine being without it. It’d be like taking my son away from me (I don’t have a son). I still use it and it still sounds amazing.

Art or money?

Art. Money usually follows.

Must-read blogs/forums?

Gearslutz. It’s like porn for audio geeks.

What’s your single biggest frustration in the music industry?

The ‘sameness’ of everything.

What’s the worst thing about making music?

The whole process of having to use a computer to get your ideas out. Sometimes it’s just a pain in the ass getting ideas out on something so straightforward and rigid. Too many rules when you’re in the digital domain. I’ve learned to cope with it through the years but it doesn’t make it easier.

What’s your motto?

Don’t talk about it, be about it.

Tweet us a tip. What’s the best production advice you can give in 140 characters or less?

Never stop learning. Also: mistakes. Make them. Learn from them. They’re gonna be your greatest teacher in how to improve your production skills. All you have to do is listen carefully.

 

Alix Alvarez’s ‘Twenty Scope’ is released on Luca Bacchetti’s Endless label on March 10th. Find him on Facebook, Twitter and SoundCloud.

26th February, 2014

Comments

  • Love you Alix. You always keep it real!!!

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  • Good read, I hope you good.

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