Interview numero dos coming at you and again, it is awesome! Sometimes I write the questions for these interviews and send it and think, “wow, these are ridiculous questions, I don’t know how they are going to answer them” and yet, when I get the interview back, the answers are spot on. Anyways, the guys from Junk Science were nice enough to take some time out and answer some of my ridiculous questions so big ups to them. The best way you can thank them is by buying their most recent album (http://bit.ly/bYI4ok) because it is so tight. Been on repeat a lot lately. You can also search “Junk Science” here on CHH and find some of the songs from that album that I’ve featured. Be sure to check the bottom of the interview for the CHH song of the day!
Without further ado, here is my interview with Baje One (MC) and Snafu (beatsmith) of Junk Science!
• For those people that don’t know, who are you?
Snafu: Hello, I’m Snafu. Some people call me Jimmy Buckets. I make the beats for Junk Science.
Baje: I’m Baje One. Most people call me Mike. I do the raps.
• If this were a soundcheck right now, I’d have you talk into the mic and tell me what you had for breakfast. We’re on the internet though so tell me what you had for dinner.
Snafu: The last evening meal I had was a drunk, save-myself mini meal before bed. It was some really good pizza crust that I saved from dinner (Keste on Bleeker) I alternated between dipping it in Wasabi Mayo and honey.
Baje: My famous rapper friend Serengeti opened up a tab and bought me dinner and drinks at Brooklyn Bowl. It was very romantic. We had fried calamari and smoked fish. It was delightful.
• I’m going to go out on a limb and say you had some beer with your dinner. It seems like everything I read about you guys has something to do with beer. Baje, you once said about the album “Gran’ Dad’s Nerve Tonic” that: “It’s not a record about alcohol or alcoholism per se, as much as the record itself is the drink that me and Snafu needed and couldn’t find anywhere on the shelves.” What exactly was it that you were trying to quench with that record?
Snafu: No beer with the dinner. After dinner and before the weird crust dipping experiments. This might answer a different question coming up, but we made GNT like we made A Miraculous Kind Of Machine and how we approach any project we work on. We make music that we like, that we want to hear. If other people are into it, that sure is nice as well.
Baje: Me and Geti had a few pints of crispy pilsner with the fish. But really wine goes better with food. Like Snaf said, we pretty much just make the music that we hear in our heads.
• Baje, I’ve noticed a lot of your lyrics are pretty cerebral. On the track “Really, Man” you say “Now I’m 28 and the only thing I know is / I don’t really know shit / That’s what Imma roll with.” Socrates said he was the wisest man because “…all I know is that I know nothing.” I was pretty shocked by the coincidence. Is that a sentiment you live by? Are you a really open-minded person in that sense?
Baje: I think there’s a huge temptation to try to understand the world, to try to fit all this craziness into some kind of unifying theory. The problem with that is that if you start out with a theory, and your goal is to prove your theory, then you end up only seeing the things that make sense according to the theory. If you’re looking for evidence that God exists, then you’ll find it. If you’re looking for evidence that God doesn’t exist, you’ll find that too. Based on what I’ve seen, life is fucking complicated, and anybody that tells you otherwise is probably trying to sell you something.
• Snafu, I heard in an interview that you have never really paid over 1 or 2 dollars for a record that you’ve used samples from. I assume those records were cheap because they were bad so how much more effort do you think you put into your beats than a regular producer going the traditional route sifting through the most obscure, expensive records? Doing it your way seems like it takes a tremendous amount of talent to turn just about anything into a good beat.
Snafu: Sometimes I’m lucky and I find amazing breaks in the garbage. I think a lot of the records I use (if I bought them) have a cheap price tag because I don’t mind the static on them. It’s usually welcome. It’s also more challenging making a beat off of something that wasn’t necessarily fresh to begin with. I don’t want to insult some of the artists’ works I’ve used… But it kind of sounds like I just did. I mean I’ve messed with ‘golden’ easy finds just like anybody, but sometimes if the record is too good to begin with I just don’t want to touch it. There’s no challenge. Or it’s perfect the way it is. Or I just have to really try to flip it interestingly somehow. Oh. I also don’t pay a lot for records because I’m usually pretty broke.
• This blog is dedicated to catchy hip hop which is obviously a subjective term. How do you guys define “catchy”? When you write and produce a song, what kind of intentions do you have? For instance, do you create music solely for yourselves or do you sacrifice some artistic expression to please listeners?
Snafu: Shoot. I feel like catchy is a rare word for Junk Science. We never really approach a song like: “This is going to be our hit song.” But I guess the end result sometimes could be labeled as ‘catchy’.
Baje: My only intention is to write things that I care about. If I knew how to make those things catchier, I would definitely do that. Catchy is one of those words that starts to look very weird when you see it over and over again. Catchy catchy catchy catchy catchy. Am I right?
• You guys have been friends since high school. Has that been a disability or advantage in the song-writing process? On a separate note, who was cooler in high school?
Snafu: I think Baje was probably cooler. He was kind of a jock. I think I had like 3 friends.
Baje: Advantage. After all these years, I trust Snafu with my life. In our new video (for Miraculous Machines) he shot arrows at an archery target while I sat (very) nearby and rapped. I also trust him completely when it comes to aesthetic stuff. If he likes something, he’ll tell you. If he hates it, he’ll tell you. His opinions aren’t ego-based like they are for so many artists.
• I remember hearing you guys in an interview talk about how you advocate quitting your job if you don’t like it (as you once did, right?). What’s your advice to the people who want to do things they’ve always wanted to do but are too worried about their security, who don’t like taking the risks?
Snafu: Quit your job. If you can get by working in a healthier environment for less pay, do it. What the fuck is money if you feel like shit all day?
Baje: You have to pursue your dream because you only get a few years on this strange planet. But here’s the catch: Don’t quit your job so you can write a book and then sit around all day talking about how you’re writing a book. Sit down in that chair, EVERY DAY, and write the fucking book, cause at the end of the day, art is work the same way that waiting tables is work.
• Projects coming up? Shout outs?
Snafu: Junk Science meets Scott Thorough. Nintendo-inspired music. Title pending. Cool Calm Pete and I have a project we’re (slowly) working on call Ladies Big & Tall. It’s mainly instrumental stuff.
Baje: I have an EP coming out soon with J. Howells Werthman. It’s called ‘What’s It Gonna Be?’ Shout out to the whole Modern Shark team, we have tons of good music on the way at www.modernshark.com
[Again, thanks to Junk Science for the interview, make sure y’all check them out! Here is today’s track from you-know-who, Junk Science]