May 2003
interview by Todd Skaggs

Who were your early musical influences?
NWA. I loved NWA. Their fantastical world was so richly drawn, and so funny. I listened to a lot of Public Enemy too.

What made you decide to start making music of your own?
PCs got fast enough to do multitracking. I'd been recording other people and myself on a four-track since the late eighties. While teaching myself PC recording I started making Frontalot tracks.

How did you and DJ CPU hook up? Do you find him trying to hog the songwriting duties, or does the collaboration work well?
I bought him. I own him. He gets no credits.

Are there any music people you'd like to collaborate with?
I'd love to do a track with MC Paul Barman. He's making it huge and I would enjoy the opportunity to soak up some of his fame. Like a sponge.

Have you been back to the Bombay Sizzler since childhood? Do they have a "Frontalot Special" on the menu?
Bombay Sizzler? Is that something from the bio page on my website? That changes every time you hit reload -- beware of which javascripts you get your facts from.

Which Star Wars film was your favorite (not counting Episode I or Episode II)?
Well Jeeze, if you're going to count out the two best ones.

Do you have obsessive fans and if so are they a pain in the ass or is it not that big of a deal?
No. Well, yes, I think most of my fans are obsessive types. But they have not demonstrated any obsession with my songs. At least nothing I would term unhealthy, no perfumed anonymous letters, no stabbing incidents.

What do you think about the current state of music - is it better or worse now (or the same)?
Than some previous state of music? No, no, everything's fine and we should all remain calm and keep our hands and faces inside the vehicle at all times. Folks who point to boy bands etc as the downfall of recorded music don't have any perspective. There have always been bands that appeal primarily to kids, and they have always been the most popular. The Beatles launched that way. When totally undiluted pop is on top, it might even be better for music at large. All the Britneys have the effect of pushing more mature sounds all the way off of the record companies' radar. In my imagination that takes the pressure off -- the Flaming Lips get to put out that Yoshimi record without anyone telling them they have to put a pop single on. And anyway, all that stuff that people are into these days will cycle out. That's very reliable. The bubblegum jams will give way to pretentious epics, then back again. Rock will rise, rock will fall. Same with hiphop, it has become a full-fledged pop genre just like rock. It will go in and out of fashion for a long time. Wow, I sure go on a while for someone who doesn't really know anything. The two things I actually have to say on the subject of Music and Now are: 1) internet music is the greatest thing ever, a genuine chance for merit-based charts, let's see if they come to exist, and 2) I really really really hope that the protest song comes back into vogue starting immediately because the only people in the entire media who have a chance at slipping an actual message into our ears are pop stars.

Rumor has it that Master P and Snoop Dogg are both working on Nerdcore albums. Do you feel that you've influenced this movement in any way?
Yeah, tell those guys to get prescription glasses then we'll talk.

What's next for you, musically speaking?
Bitter, humorless songs about how the president is a jerk. Also, duets. Many duets.

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