posted: 05-05-05
interview: durango jones
"BEGBORROWSTEEL" is already a classic in my opinion. What is it to you that makes the Count Bass D sound stands out amongst the rest of the producers in hip hop?
My life's experiences and my life's goals are very different from anyone I've met that is in Hip Hop period. It makes sense that my sound is different because I relish in that.
Do you like producing for other artists?
I don't work well with other people. That's the reason I'm trying to do it so much more often now. I'm trying to challenge myself musically. I don't have any other challenges when I work by myself.
Do you consider unreleased material tracks that was not good enough for the record or stuff that just didn't make its way out there yet?
It depends on the day. I try to make sure I put out everything possible. You never know what people are going to like. There are songs of mine that I never listen to and people ask me about them all the time. I'm not sure if it's wise to judge your own work.
Do you consult anybody when it comes to 'judging' the music you do?
No, I do not consult with anyone to give me any direction musically at all. To please myself musically is a task in and of itself. I don't want to make it even more complicated.
Is their a lot of unreleased material that the fans have not heard yet?
Maybe two albums worth.
Will some of this material ever see the light of day?
Some of it is seeing the light of day in Japan this month.
Who are some artists that you would like to produce for?
There are only a few people that I would never work with.
Four albums ("Pre Life Crisis" / "Art for Sale" / "Dwight Spitz" / "BEGBORROWSTEEL") to your name now, what release means the most to you?
"BEGBORROWSTEEL" because it is paying my bills right now. Outside of that all my music is my favorite when I make it. After that, the older it is, the more I don't like it.
It appears that Japan has the Count Bass D material first, what it the reason for that?
The powers that be like my music as opposed to solely consumers.
Have you ever been to Japan for touring, how was it and what was the reaction like from the fans?
I was in Japan for nearly two weeks in September. It has changed my life and my music forever.
What other countries would you like to do shows and visit in the future?
Any country that's willing to fulfill our contract and is safe enough for me and my family to visit, is a country where I would like to do a show.
Does your family always tour with you?
No, my family does not always tour with me. Whenever it is possible I try, but there are only so many corners you can cut. Promoters don't even want to pay for a DJ these days. They know I can do it for myself so they try to cut corners a lot.
What happens at your live shows?
I'm not sure what you're asking here. But I've been performing alone for a few years now. No help on stage.
You mentioned above that the new album is paying the bills. However, you're also very open about having two 'regular' jobs.
Why would you say is it still a taboo for many artists to admit that they work other jobs too? And what are these two jobs?
I have one "regular" job now. I stopped working two jobs a year ago. I don't know why other artists lie so fucking much. I work a blue collar job so my family can have health insurance. The money I make there only puts gas in my car and pays for our groceries. The rest of my money has to come from music. I don't want to endorse the company in any way. If you look close on the inside of "BEGBORROWSTEEL" I'm wearing my uniform jacket. I can do that because I feel I'm better than most rappers with or without a "regular" job. If sales determine the quality of an artist then Usher is better than D'Angelo.
You have some material out their with J. Rawls of Lone Catalysts. What is the material and what can we expect from this in the future?
There is a twelve inch of "Down Easy" that J. Rawls produced. It has a few new songs on it and a remix of "Down Easy" from "BEGBORROWSTEEL". We are trying to clear our schedules out to work on a full length. We both have mouths to feed and have to fulfill our obligations first.
Do you ever play out any of your music on your new recordings or is it mostly sample based?
I mostly incorporate both. Whenever the consumer can't tell the difference I know I've accomplished a true composition.
What would be your dream collaboration with one producer one mc and one singer?
Dionne Farris / Count Bass D / Van Hunt. I want this to happen so damn bad.
Tell us about the "Some Music" series that you have been releasing?
"Some Music" is a Count Bass D grab bag. I don't have a staff emcee that can rhyme over all my compositions. I only rhyme over the ones that move me to do so. I sing on a few. I improvise on a few. What doesn't get released on full-length projects lends itself to what "Some Music" has evolved into.
You said on your website that your releases are hard to find after time passes, why is that?
I haven't figured out how to manipulate SoundScan. I don't have the ability to please wannabe major distributors, wannabe major record labels, wannabe producers, and wannabes period.
Your website is very personal, if anyone follows your website they pretty much know what's happening in your life. I don't really know of many other artists that do this. Was that your plan or its just how it happen?
It was my plan because I knew how much I would appreciate it if an artist I liked was doing it for me. But I'm not sure it's worth it. I only have a few hundred people that I feel understand exactly what I deal with in my brain and want to know what's going on. The other thousand people that come to the site everyday are looking at the car accident. I'm not sure if I'm going to keep doing it.
What can we expect for the rest of the year from Count Bass D?
More music coming out and more concerts.
How far away are you from you completing another full length album?
I could release one today. I just wait until the situation is right. At that point the next music I have on deck is what's released. It's really that simple. I thank GOD music is not something I have to labor over.
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