Tuesday 6 November 2007

Subtle - Pitchfork Interview

Over at Pitchfork, there currently resides a very interesting interview with Subtle frontman Doseone aka Adam Drucker. Well worth checking out.

Doseone on writing his break up song:

"I am writing a breakup song about all this stuff. It is hard to be in a relationship and then be alone, and be left to that. She grew a dichotomy where an "us" was. And I returned to only the far side of that dichotomy. So it was terrible. And I felt pretty fucking abused."

On the next Subtle LP and commercial success:

"The Mercury Craze is actually the blueprint for this entire record. We entered that out there in the single world. It didn't do any of what singles would do. People enjoyed it, it's good music out there, but no limos to the door or any of that. And then like months later, Tom Brown (at Lex Records) has this Scroobius Pip song that goes fucking gold on digital downloads, you know? So, I'm sitting there going, "Okay, it's just a window you throw shit at. Whether we get through or not doesn't fucking matter." It also made me not as stressed about the notion of making bright music, and making something different in the song world. I was like, just because you make a pop song, it doesn't even matter. It's just music you make."

Thankfully, the music Doseone and his band mates conjure up is sublime:

"The Mercury Craze". Unquestionably my favourite single (and video) of the last few years... If this is the blueprint, then their burgeoning album could be immense.


slurkid57 said...

I can't believe I'm so shallow that hearing a band has been featured on pitchfork immediately nudges them to the right on my inner "What's hot and what's not" graph. ("Hot" is on the left.)

That Mercury Craze tune is ok, I guess - but it's no Thou Shalt Always Kill!

John Cav said...

Slurkid: Sorry sir, but you seem to a hypocrite:

"Thou shalt not stop liking a band just because they've become popular."

The wise words of Scroobius himself. It is sense that he speaks :)

slurkid57 said...

I have no problem with band's becoming popular. It's that whole soap-box vibe of Pitchfork I don't like.

That, and the fact that in every interview I've read in it, the subjects come off as being complete tools. I don't know if this is due to leading questions, creative editing, or just that they like to interview tools. That whole "hey, we also released a cool song, but the kids were to busy listening to some other band to notice" thing doesn't make Drucker sound all that cool.

As always, the Onion has an article which just about sums up my feelings on the matter.

slurkid57 said...


I am aware that reading the A.V. Club is just as bad Pitchfork, so I guess in that sense I am a hypocrite. A dirty fan-boy hypocrite.

John Cav said...

Slurkid: Ah, you're not a hypocrite. My jibe was but in jest... I actually agree with your analysis of the typical Pitchfork interview. I just thought this one was a bit different.

I do agree with Doseone's "just a window you throw shit at" analogy... Even if it was phrased somewhat indignantly :)

slurkid57 said...

Yeah, having re-read it I see where he's coming from, and I do think it's important that people release stuff they think is good, not just what they think other people think is good. (hmm, that's a lot of thinks)

That quote is total sour grapes, though. Dismissing Thou Shalt's success as just one of those things is pretty dumb.

Without going into hyperbole, that song is pretty much a perfect single: it's the kind of thing you hear, think "hey, that's how I feel" and then go buy it because it speaks to you, and you alone. It taps a nerve, it's pretty much Living on a Prayer for people who don't listen to the top 40. (and I don't mean that as an insult.)

I'm not so sure of it's longevity, but you can bet that some exec somewhere heard that song and their eyes turned to dollar signs. Subtle's stuff on the other hand just isn't going to sell as big, regardless of it's artistic merit.

John Cav said...

Slurkid: That's true. "Thou Shalt Always Kill" is as close to perfect as a single can get... That certain novelty factor that every classic single needs, allied with a healthy serving of ingenuity and wit.

I just like "The Mercury Craze" so much. And their live version of it just kicks epic arse; Doseone's rhymes taking on a whole extra dimension.

Ah fuck it... I like 'em both the same!