Wednesday, October 29, 2008

GET SCHOOLED :: Claude VonStroke

Claude VonStroke is a busy cat. The Detroit transplant who cites San Francisco as home now is working on three separate projects while also balancing being a dad and a self-professed hater. But at the end of the day, it’s nice to see someone with a refreshing sense of honesty. Check out our Get Schooled edition with him below. Mr. VonStroke plays Mezzanine on Saturday, November 1.


Q: Tell me a little about what’s on your plate at the moment.

A: For Mothership, we have a new album for Catz n Dogz for promoting. As for Dirtybird, we just got a new girl and her record is coming out in a couple weeks. I’m also working on an album, and Justin Martin has one too.

What is the process like for remixes? Do you approach that any differently?

Some people just try to do a different version of a song. I tend to make a new track each time. I go about it in the same way, though.

How did you make it out to the City? It seems San Francisco is sorta a long call from Detroit.

You know…I was dating this girl who wanted to move out here, and then she didn't end up going out here. [laughs] I didn't want to go back to L.A., and I didn’t want to go back to Detroit, so I stayed. I don’t know how I got out here sometimes.

With so much new music out there, how do you keep track of everything? Do you have friends or publications you have faith in?

Now it’s getting to be hard. We get over 100 promos a week and 30 download offers. It takes several hours of work. I try to listen to everything, but sometimes it takes me a little while. There’s going to be chances I will miss something. There are labels I usually trust, but with magazines, I don't really listen to at all [due to advance nature of reviewing releases].

On your MySpace page, you list yourself under “ghettotech.” I’m trying to wrap my head around that, especially since what I’m finding includes a lot of pornographic imagery.

It’s also a sound from Detroit that's usually called “booty;” it's just a style of music that is faster that my genre, but the beat of it is really funky in the pocket – big bass, the spirit of it…it's really dirty, yes, but it’s not only the lyrics, but the vibe on how the beats are done.

What can people who haven’t seen you live expect?

It kinda depends on how it’s going to go, what time I end up on. If I play before Switch, it will be one way; if I play after, I'll play another way. He plays gigantic, so I’m going to work with that.

What was the last song you got stuck in your head?

This track on Kindisch Records, “Thrill” by Philip Bader and Sascha Braemer.

So no, like, Hall & Oates or anything?

Oh, you mean regular music?

[laughs] Or whatever gets stuck!

Maybe Dora the Explorer – I hear it all the time with my two year-old around.

If you had the chance, would you pick a different name? Maybe VonTouch, or VonCaress?

It was just a total joke at first, but it caught on. My first track somehow got into lots of people’s hands and then I went with it. It's interesting how many Europeans don't get it, but people in America do it. Europeans really think it's a real name.

Is there anything you refuse to play?

Almost everything. I'm not even kidding. I'm really kind of a hater.

Really? [laughs]

There's just a lot of bad stuff that's out there. Less that half of one percent of it is good – and then maybe half of that. Certain bass patches – as soon as I hear it, the big room electro, [that] will just get shut off, I'll just put in the trash. Some people like it, but I definitely know what I like. I will go into any genre if the song is amazing, but I don't play any music that is bad.

Interview by Jenz

Pictures courtesy of Dirtybird

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