MC: We were checking out your Twitter, and there’s an interesting quote that you share: “The two most powerful warriors are patience and time.”
TD$:Yeah man. Time and patience are the biggest things. It’s the biggest battle. If you have that, you can get through anything. Some people just rush through shit and if you do it the hard way it’s fucked up. You have to take the time and do it the right way––I believe in that very strongly.
MC: Were you patient as a young man?
TD$: When I was very young, no. I had to learn the hard way. My mom used to say, “You can learn the easy way or you can learn the hard way.” When you rush, it’s the hard way for sure. You’ve got to dot the i’s and cross the t’s and take your time.
It’s funny we’re having this conversation, because I’ve been on my team. Everybody wants the music to come out like “It’s time.” And I’m, “No––If you just put something out it can get blocked.” People think you can just put something out online. It’s just not how it is. You have to tap in with the attorneys, tap in with the label.
MC: We understand that you have quite a collection of instruments––especially basses. Are you a Fender guy?
TD$: I love Fender for sure, but I love all kinds of basses: Kramer, Gibson. All types of guitars, drum sets, pianos, Rhodes, all kind of shit.
MC: And the MPC and the Korg were the entrée into creating music for you?
TD$: Yeah, the MPC was my first love, actually. It’s just the first thing that I learned. When I was coming up it was the hottest drum machine, because you could sample and MIDI up the keyboard and just go crazy with it and come up with whole tracks. I learned to produce on there. The first song that was really successful for me, “Toot it and Boot it” with YG and other songs from Beach House and Beach House 2 we did on the MPC as well. Actually, I recently did a song with Kodak Black; it’s like my old style, recorded in my old crib in Hollywood, from my old set up. And he picked that beat out of every beat that I had, and I thought, “Okay, the MPC is still with it.”
MC: What mics and vocal processors are you using?
TD$: I like the Sony C-800. I kinda hate reverb, but sometimes I’ll let it slide in if we can come with a cool little vibe to go with a song. Lately we’ve been using––I forget what it’s called––but it will make my voice sound “chipmunky” but clearer. Or a Vocoder, that you have to play with keys and sing through. Or Autotune––God knows I can sing in tune, but it’s just for the vibe.
MC: In addition to your voice, there are deep vocal arrangements on the new project, plus feature performances.
TD$: I want listeners to come back to Beach House 3 three or four months later and discover more songs––like they didn’t hear that the first time around. That’s one reason I put features on it. I’ll have an artist come in and use his voice like an instrument. You know how on a piano keyboard there are all kinds of sounds? Maybe instead of using string or a guitar for chords, I’ll call someone in and use the harmonies from their voice. I like surprises.
MC: Do you play instruments when you write lyrics?
TD$: When the beat comes on we just usually say what comes to us first. Sometimes it works. Sometimes I might come up with just the lyrics in my head, on when I’m on the road or in the shower or whatever. Or I might have a beat already, or someone plays the beat and the song comes, or I might be on guitar and someone else is on guitar and it just comes. It’s different every time.
MC: Do you write these lyrics down?
TD$: Most times I like to hop on the mic and record because it saves time. To write it down and go into the booth and do it again is a waste of time. I like to go straight in, but sometimes if I’m not at the mic and the ProTools isn’t set up, then I’ll write it down so I can remember it–– because I am a stoner, and I might forget. In my phone I have mad song ideas.