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Career Girls and Sexxx Haus

Career Girls and Sexxx Haus

Interviewed by
Chris Cudby
Friday 30th May, 2014 1:18PM

Just over a month ago local label/collective Kerosene Comic Book casually dropped a winner of an album with Fuck The Paparazzi, from a tag-team collaboration of electronic producers Career Girls and Sexxx Haus (hailing from Auckland and Dunedin respectively). A mind-bogglingly detailed and addictive collection of hyperactive beats, nano-second edits, panoramic samples, surprise breakdowns, riotous micro-gags and so much more, FTP feels perfectly balanced, super energetic and kind of unique in New Zealand's present musical landscape – closer in spirit to the snottily observant punk 'tude of bands like Perfect Hair Forever than your average club's resident DJ. It's almost unimaginable (and slightly scary) to think someone could release a more FUN album in 2014, you can listen yourself via the KCB Bandcamp. We had to know more, so we caught up with Career Girls (Lawrence Goodwin, also from Caroles and CHEATS) and Sexxx Haus (Lisandru Grigorut, also from TFF and Snoregazzm) where they dished the dirt on Fuck The Paparazzi.

Note: Weirdly, both artists’ real names abbreviate to ‘LG’ so for this interview Sexxx Haus is ‘SH’ and Career Girls is ‘CG’.

UTR: How much co-ordination was involved in putting together Fuck The Paparazzi? Did that have any effect on the pretty huge level of detail in the tracks?

SH: The similarity of our elements was mostly coincidental. I think it just comes down to our personalities and the way we interact as buddies that sets that certain tone and detail. Together, we are also a rap crew known as Clit Bonerz. We both worked on those beats. I think a lot of the detail found on FTP owes itself to our individual ideas that worked together well while making Clit Bonerz. On top of this, Lawree (Career Girls) has always inspired me mega-time, so I think that inspiration found its way into the Sexxx Haus tracks.

CG: I like detail. Whenever I try and make something minimal I tend to get bored. Also a listener can listen to a track over and over and find something new that they hadn't heard the previous listen. The only co-ordination was us emailing our tracks back and forth being like "dude my track SUX compared to yours". I think we got even.

How did FTP come about, what was the planning/idea involved and how long did it take to come together?

SH: FTP came about because we are friends and make music so friends + music = cool idea good time.

CG: It took us about four months to complete the whole thing. There was no planning as such or idea, aside from having three tracks each.

The range of sample sources seems super broad on FTP, it gives the album a kind of panoramic feel. What stuff was inspiring you during recording?

SH: I like to diversify my samples heaps. It gives the music a sort of consistent chaos. I was super inspired by Lawree's music, and also Leno Lovecraft, I'm also quite into the whole chiptune thing, Anamanaguchi's Endless Fantasy sort of expressed an idea which I had been struggling to properly put down in sound - a whole new world where I imagined a life of every day as an adventure through utopian landscapes. The idea of seapunk, which spilled into post-post-? territory really fascinated me as well. Basically, when I make Sexxx Haus, I try to transform my utopian daydreams into sound form, but with a psychedelic sort of edge.

CG: Samples are just a way to complement the music; humans tend to relate to a human voice, so when they hear Will Smith saying, "The drop is here, prepare yourselves" they know what's coming. Lisandru introduced to me to a lot of electronic music which has inspired me a lot, stuff like Sqwee. I like the attitude. I can't put my finger on anything that inspired me entirely; I basically wanted to create something that sounded massive.

There are a whole lot of gags throughout FTP but the vibe never comes across as ‘jokey’ - in a way it actually gives the album a badass, bratty, and sometimes ominous kind of vibe. One of my favourite bits is the ‘I’m Going To Eat You’ sample in Jzamo Taru which lasts for only like a split second. What are your thoughts around the use of humour in FTP?

SH: "I'm going to eat you" comes from an Adventure Time episode. I find humour to be an easy way for me to express myself. Instead of looking around to see who's laughing, I try use humour to convey ideas that are hard to describe otherwise. I especially like using sort of abstract satire, to emphasise the ridiculousness of things like life, the concept of pop culture, and the idea of music itself. If you think about it, it's hilarious that I sat down for hours cutting some audio up and arranging it in a way that I liked. When I make music, I don't really have intentions or a plan. I just start playing around and things come together. While I make the song, I can notice certain ideas coming up, then I try tidy them up and also try to add to them. It's like going on an archaeological dig hoping to find something, and it could be anything really. The fossil was never built, but was there for years. When you find it, you dig around it carefully so as to not damage it, but when you have it out of the ground and you know what it is, you can polish it, and put it up for display. My tracks are fossils to me. They're there before I make them.

CG: Ever since making stuff for Clit Boners I've been into the jokey thing, I had no idea that beat jokes could be so funny. I like spooking people. Everyone needs to listen to 'Dude, Where's My Brostep' by Foxdye.

What’s the story with the artwork?

CG: I’m huge on Jimmy Edgar's / Pilar Zeta's artwork on the Ultramajic stuff. My buddy Oliver Latimer animated it, same dude that made the video for my track "Happy Day Mango" and he does live visuals for Kerosene Comic Book. We originally intended the statue to be the Greek god Zeus, the most epic motherfucker. To our surprise it turned out to be Poseidon! Which is all good and way more seapunk anyway.

Is the first track both of you together?

SH: The first track is both of us together. We took turns at it until it was done.

CG: Yeah, I think it’s the last track we had worked on together before Lis moved to Dunedin.

Could you talk about Kerosene Comic Book a little bit – is it like an artist collective? How are things organised?

CG: Yes, Kerosene Comic Book is liiiiiiike a collective of individual artists making bass-orientated music. Basically it’s a way to promote each other’s works under one name, and it’s also great for a bit of healthy competition. At the moment KCB consists of: Eno, ~Muirs~, Race Banyon, Skymning, Thirsty, Totems, Yvnalesca, and Career Girls. Also, we feature a lot of our friends on our mix tapes and have a bunch of visual artists contributing, which is just as important. Sexxx Haus has not released stuff under KCB in the past but maybe will in the future?

Do you guys have anything coming up shortly – live or recording wise?

CG: FTP is being released on vinyl under Pyramid Power! Release date TBA. Hopefully we can organise a release party kinda thing for that.

I know both of you from seeing you play in pretty noisy guitar bands (TFF and Caroles) – do you see any relationship with that side of things and your solo electronic work?

SH: Definitely. It's all the same except I do it by myself. I've always liked music that gives you an adrenaline rush. I see my new work not as a different project, but as an evolution of the old stuff I did. To extend the archaeological metaphor, I'm still on the same dig. I've ended up finding pterodactyls at one place, and sabre-toothed tigers at another. It's all equally exciting and important to me, but sometimes I just end up coming out with different results depending on where I look.

CG: Yeah of course, Career Girls is just in another part of the 'hard-core' spectrum. Like, the breakdown at the end of 'Jiggy Widit' could definitely be something Caroles would write - I even sampled Sunn O))) in that section. The drumming in Career Girls is just how I want to drum in real life!


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