Through The Fire _ Interview with Israel Vines
Los Angeles based DJ & Producer, Israel Vines, runs his Borrowed Language label with an enthusiastic passion. He’s been fortunate enough to live in some of the most important cities for electronic music in America; Detroit and Chicago and credits Atkins, May and Saunderson and Underground Resistance for his introduction to Techno.
Israel joins us for our show on Wednesday 1st May 2013 @ 2200GMT. If you don’t manage to catch it, don’t worry as it’ll be up on our Soundcloud after transmission and will be on the archive soon after that..
Listen live on Fnoob: http://www.fnoob.com/radios/fnoob-techno-radio
Rachael caught up with him for a chat that traversed his background, his musical and non-musical influences and the importance of identity. We find out about his cathartic relationship with DJ’ing and that he has finally found the perfect production partner in Ableton. First gigs, Detroit and the learning curve involved in running a record label eventually led to a discussion on modern social media and Bill Hicks.
Rachael: Just to start Israel, would you mind telling us a little bit about yourself… you’re a teacher right? What do you teach?
Yes, I’m a high school English teacher – so I always tell my students to stay away from raves and the like. They’re horrible places.
haha, I’m sure you could get them to write some interesting pieces on what they might deem a rave to be!? So, how did you become interested in music, was it from a young age?
Oh they’re aware of what raves are, no doubt about it. They like to talk to me about Deadmau5 and Skrillex and all of that nonsense. I mean, they’re only 15…what can you do? I did confiscate and throw away a pacifier that a kid had on a necklace last year. That was just too fucking ridiculous for me to handle.
I’ve always been interested in music. I wasn’t always interested in good music, but I was interested. When I was really little, I’d listen to my mom’s or my mom’s boyfriends’ records. There wasn’t a lot of stuff in any of the collections that was unusual or anything except that mom did have a copy of Jean Michel Jarre’s “Oxygen.” I’d listen to it over and over – and I don’t say this to make some early claim of legitimacy in my tastes or anything like that – I was just fascinated by the cover and had no fucking idea what kind of music it was that I was listening to. For the most part though, most of my tastes were fairly pedestrian until I went off to university and got exposed to underground and alternative music there. I lived in a very small town from the time I was ten until I graduated high school, and there just wasn’t a lot of opportunity for me to get turned on to anything that wasn’t on the radio or MTV, so mostly I listened to a lot of Metal and Hip Hop.
I have to say I nearly died laughing at you having to ‘confiscate and throw away a pacifier’! Hopefully you can knock some sense into them, haha. It’s great when you can impassion younger people with a love for decent electronic music. From a rural area myself, so would love to have been introduced to it at a younger age. What kind of Metal and Hip Hop did you listen to? Do you think any of this music has an effect on what you produce now?
Pretty typical Middle America denim and leather Metal for the most part. My favourite Hip Hop act was Public Enemy. I liked a few other hip hop acts, but PE was just so, I dunno…ferocious. I’d love to say that the Bomb Squad had some effect on the music that I produce now, but I’d be lying. Those guys are from another planet. Nobody makes music like that.
There’s definitely some decent alternative metal I would still come back to regularly. What else do you think influences your music, or just really inspires you in general?
I’m hesitant to start a list of all of the electronic music that has influenced me over the years, because clearly it’s the type of music that has left the most indelible mark on me, and I would certainly end up leaving something or someone important off of the list. One thing I’m inspired by is the fact we haven’t run out of fucking ideas yet – especially when you’re talking about 4/4 Techno or club music in general. I mean, how many records can one listen to that have a 4/4 beat, are perfectly quantized, and structured specifically for DJs to mix? I don’t know what the threshold is, but almost 20 years in, I’m still endlessly fascinated with what people come up with – not only within the “form” or whatever – but outside of it as well. It’s incredible; to me it is, anyway – and clearly I’m not alone. Beyond that, the people that I surround myself with – my wife, my friends and family, are the biggest inspiration for everything that I do – directly or indirectly. I also take great inspiration from landscapes both real and imagined – and obviously, from artists other than musicians.