ON THE RED CARPET TO NOWHERE: MEET BAD BRILLIANCE!
ON THE RED CARPET TO NOWHERE: MEET BAD BRILLIANCE!
Alec Empire interviews new New York based producer Bad Brilliance!
„Bad Brilliance – you are from New York, Brooklyn. Were you born there ?
tell us about the city. How is it these days? Is the energy back? Story over
here in Berlin goes that New York and L.A. are the cities of the next decade
(while London and Berlin will be crossed of the map)….“
„I was born in Brazil, raised in Rio de Janeiro until I was 9. Now I live as a full time artist in New York, i hate offices and jobs.
New York has a lot of energy, it just isn’t where you would expect to find it.? In the summer it’s kind of explosive, but it’s also important to ask a cab driver where he likes to party and not just rely on whatever activities are targeted at young people.
As far as the cities of the next decade i think they already are facebook, twitter, pitchfork, you tube.
People are not living in a physical location anymore, they are living on the internet.? Someone in New York would have gone out to an event on a tuesday night ten years ago, but this year they have the option of sitting at home on the internet and working on their fame.? It’s somewhat dark.“
„Is there a genre definition for your sound? Is that Hip Hop? Do you even
care about genre definitions these days?“
„According to me the genre of my music is Rap – more of the fast and dirty version of hip-hop.? Whenever you hear someone say that they are interested in HIP HOP over Rap because it has more integrity, that is the opposite of what I am going for.? I am interested in that sound accompanied with the least integrity.? Just the pure syrup.
I am also fascinated by Hyphy and other variations of rap/hip hop.? I think that genre’s have a place in the discussion of music because all of these obsessions have to be organized.? People have to be funneled into their obsessions with certain sounds.? It’s intense how there are extreme reactions for or against certain genres.? To me it’s like saying that you hate dinosaurs because they are too trendy.? It’s just a specie or creature with certain properties based on a previous creature.
At the same time, i think that the genre of POP is the most powerful and it’s intense how it changes and also amazing the effect that subgenres have on it.“
„The image many Europeans get from the US is that all genres are very
divided and don’t really cross. Many wouldn’t never believe that a guy like
Andrew WK would appear on a track like „Quackhead“. Please describe your
„The thing that everyone has to understand is that people are more complex than you would imagine.? I’m obsessed with rap, but when I hear Brazilian music from my childhood it makes me want to cry with joy and love.? If you feel like you have Andrew W.K. figured out based on his product then you would never know how excited he is about Baby Birdman, or Gucci Mane.? Genres are only divided in Middle Schools where music is an intense reality for the inexperienced.? That might also be the best time in someone’s life to enjoy music.? The strange thing about Hip Hop or Rap is that it has transcended it’s own genre by being a complete lifestyle, clothing, speech, if you are African American it’s impossible to avoid it.
click here for BB on YouTube
My scene… is me in the shower blasting HOT 97 every day before i get started with my work – I am often photographing fashion shoots and album artwork, that is how Andrew W.K. met me. You can roughly see my work at www.andrewstrasser.com .? It’s very heavy on the lighting.
There are also other artists that I work with, I do album art for Girl Talk, he is also obsessed with rap/hip hop, and when I go on tour with him to do stage visuals the tour bus is always blaring rap and hip hop.? Essentially it’s white people who are jealous of rap.“
„Santos Party House – a new club…how is it? Are you playing there as
well? Andrew posted us the link….what do you think of the New York club
„Santos Party House for me is a club and also a home. ? I can land form a flight and immediately head to Santos.? If it’s a friday night things can get very intense, I have seen P Diddy and Ciara there before, and my sister saw Busta‘ Rhymes and LL Cool J.? Also you can totally run into Bjork or Thurston Moore on a Tuesday.? I designed the website for Santos, so it’s pretty easy for me to walk to the front of an extremely long line and get in.? Also in costume I have great success getting into the most exclusive clubs in New York – there might be someone in a suit begging to pay 10,000 G’s for bottle service and they will let Bad Brilliance float through the door.
The New York club scene is very exciting if you are visiting.? Otherwise it’s all about specific weeklies etc. There is an entire economy around weekly events in the gay world, I call it the Gay Economy, and I have sent you a design for that term that I created“
„You mentioned to me via Twitter that one of your first shows was with
Digital Hardcore underdogs Ec8or years back. How was that? What did you
think of this sound back then?“
„I was obsessed with DHR in high school, I wanted to be on <20, and I made little songs here and there.? My favorite was Bomb 20.? I remember there were other people floating around that had a similar style, this one guy TRS-80 had? a website and the shit he did was amazing,? prank phone calls.? Anyone who tried to contact him got a very cruel treatment from him. He was not interested in scenes.? Also there was another guy Combat Drug.
There were many people that were circling around the DHR style and vibe, and it was one of the more intense times in my life, and it was all on the internet.? I remember installing a red light bulb in my room so i could live in a DHR music video that I had seen on AMP on mtv at 3 AM and my mother came crying and screaming to take it down.
When I was in Cleveland going to Art School, I found out that I could open for Ec8or at a strange place called Speak In Tongues, sort of a bombed out hole in the wall.? This was amazing news for me, it was like opening for the Smashing Pumpkins in my mind.? The other band that played was Black Dice, they saw my show.? It was just a fat little boy sitting behind a computer playing music that sounded like this http://www.imeem.com/badbrilliance/music/zWlJ-rjj/andriu-ill-never-forget-cherry-cherry-island/
It was a combination fo DHR and being completely bored in the American suburbs.? I was living in Poughkeepsie, NY at the time. It is a totally fucked place, very trailer park oriented.? The mall is a way of life, with coffee and grease stains on everything.“
click to watch pioneer duo Ec8or
„How do you record your music? Is that a bedroom thing or what is going on?“
„I record most of my music on my laptop on my stomach laying in bed.? My goal is to have the most portable set up. I want to have an entire studio in a bag.? All I need is my laptop, soundcard and microphone and I can make radio hits if needed.? The only thing stopping me is my mind. „
„What’s the idea behind Bad Brilliance? On your website there are many
pictures showing you in your outfit harrassing people at the New York
Fashion week haha…Do you perform in these clothes? Do you walk around in
the street of Brooklyn like that? Do you ever get in trouble?“
“ Bad Brilliance began as a reaction to my work in the field of New York society photography.? I was an underpaid worker labeling names on the photos of New York society people for a website, so that magazines could pick them up.? It was a wonderful time but at the same time I learned a lot about the business, it was a big McDonalds to me.? So I created a conceptual society person.? He has his name on his face so you know who he is.? That is the Bad Brilliance of it.
As soon as I began photographing myself I was flown out to Amsterdam, that’s when I knew I had created the ultimate socialite.? An evolution.? I was invited to fashion week once, but was not allowed to wear my costume. I was invited as Bad Brilliance and received a call to attend in normal clothing.? It was a Diesel runway show, I brought Andrew W.K. along to that and it was quite wonderful.? I get dragged about, one time I witnessed a porno shoot in my costume.? I took my little red wind up toy car and let it drive under the bed where people were boning.? Also I attend different society events. I am greeted with love and hate, some people are so excited and I am asked to take a photograph with someone every 30 seconds, otherwise someone comes up to me and whispers something very dark and hurtful into my costume.
I never get in trouble, but often I am escorted out of an event by the PR people and their goons.“
„What are your next plans?“
„My next plans are to get the music rolling along.? I need to start recording seriously on microphone.? I have an EP planned out with Andrew W.K.’s Skyscraper Music Maker, and with his partnership with Cargo Records.? It will be 6 songs and the goal is get every moment of it to sound as heavy as possible.? I’m very excited to be working with Andrew, he is one of the most amazing people you will meet.
Aside from that I am working on doing a residency in Miami as Bad Brilliance.? Miami is a great place for my costume.? All the rappers live there or have summer homes there, and also the women are beautiful and I relate to any city that reminds me of Rio in it’s superficiality and beach culture.“
red carpet to nowhere is his upcoming ep on andrew wk’s record label