Oyster #90: Caribou
Bits that didn't make it into the magazine.
Caribou, aka Daniel Snaith, is a bespectacled Canadian who makes beautiful (and award-winning) electronic music, who also happens to have his PhD in mathematics. When Oyster interviewed him for our latest issue, we mostly spoke about maths and the meaning of life all that music stuff fell by the wayside. So, as a special treat, here are the (musical) bits of the interview that didn't make it into the magazine, as well as some exclusive photos from our shoot in Mexico.
Ariane: Do you enjoy remixing other people's work?
Caribou: I wish I had more time to do remixes. Generally I turn things down for lack of time, apart from people who are friends. So I've done remixes for Four Tet, for Hot Chip and for Silver Columns. I do enjoy it, but it takes up a fair bit of time. I just don't have as much time to do it as I'd like.
Do you find it interesting to hear what other people do with your music?
Yeah, it's amazing. With this album it's the first time that has happened. I mean, there were a couple of remixes for Andorra, but with this album there have been a lot. There was a remix competition, and I got in touch with the guy who won now he's remixing the whole album. I've just heard the remixed version of the whole album, and it's amazing. It's a really great feeling; a really collaborative thing.
Have you ever not liked something that someone has done with your music?
No. I think that's why I didn't want people to remix my stuff earlier; as in years ago. When I was first releasing music I was more protective of it, and less confident about letting other people do their own thing with it. I've found it to be much more of a rewarding process than I imagined. It's really exciting. To hear other people's take on the music is always exciting.
Do you listen to much classical music?
Actually, over the past year I tried really hard. I've listened to the same kind of minimal stuff that's really popular with everybody the Steve Reich and the Phillip Glass and a lot of early electronic classical music as well. But I read this book called The Rest Is Noise, written by Alex Ross, and it's like a history of twentieth century classical music. I really enjoyed reading it, and I really enjoyed reading about the composers and their ideas and everything. And then I tried to listen to the music. I mean, some of it I liked, but some of it I had a real difficulty connecting that strongly with. I wish I had enjoyed it more, basically.
You didn't grow up listening to it?
I grew up playing classical music on a piano so maybe that's why it's associated with being kind of a chore. I always wanted to be playing Beatles songs, rather than playing Chopin, or whatever it was.
How does your family feel about you leaving the world of maths, and going into music full time?
They really enjoy it, actually. They're past the point of having to worry about their kids. I'm the youngest child, and all of us are 'grown up', or whatever, now. They were never really like, "Oh no, he shouldn't be a musician." I also think they like the novelty of going to a grimy club and watching me play. They've definitely been to a few graduation ceremonies, so at least it's something different.
You've been very wonderful. Thank you very much.
Nice talking to you.
Photography: Napoleon Habeica
Caribou and Four Tet are touring Australia in February.
Saturday 12th February, Splore Festival, Auckland ? tickets on sale from www.splore.net
Wednesday 16th February, The Hi-Fi, Melbourne ? tickets on sale from Feel Presents, 1300 THE HIFI (1300 843 4434) and Polyester Records.
Friday 18th February, Playground Weekender Festival, Sydney ? tickets on sale from Playground Weekender.
Saturday 19th February, Perth International Arts Festival, Becks Music Box, Perth ? tickets on sale from Perth Festival.