Smile Politely

Audio Interview: Girl Talk

The sold out crowd at Canopy Club Wednesday night included many people who did not know what to expect when Gregg Gillis took the stage. This was evident when a chant of, “Girl Talk – Girl Talk!” changed to, “Gregg – Gregg – Gregg!” The second chant was about half as strong as the first and I heard many people ask, “Who is Gregg?”

Well, that’s where Smile Politely comes in. The Girl Talk tour was nice enough to invite me onto Gregg Gillis’ bus parked outside the Canopy for a recorded audio interview. I asked Gregg about everything from sample compensation in Feed the Animals, to how the words “mash up” are used to describe his music. He was calm, patient, and polite – Jekyll to his on-stage Hyde.

Note: there were a few other members of the tour on the bus, so you will hear from them periodically.

The tour has been video blogging their journey, with the most recent entry showing clips from Girl Talk’s Halloween show in Denver. Watch it before you listen to the interview:

A few days later, Gregg was able to announce to his crowd that Barack Obama won the presidential election:

Now for the serious content. Many people casually throw the words “mash up” around when describing Girl Talk. Gregg has been critical of this in the past, but clarifies his issue here:

Feed the Animals (named for the beast-like crowds drawn to Girl Talk concerts), includes several hundred samples from every form of pop music. This obviously creates a large legal issue for Gregg and his label, Illegal Art. They recently tried to devise a way to make royalty payment possible:

In a recent interview, Gregg mentioned he was, “excited about physical media dying.” I asked him what he thinks of the resurgence of vinyl sales:

Feed the Animals was released online via an In Rainbows payment plan. You can still get it here. Gregg thinks he might do the same for the next Girl Talk album:

Finally, I told Gregg about Dan Deacon’s stage-breaking experience at the Canopy Club in September, and asked him about such issues he has had in the past:

Gregg’s table leg ended up snapping about an hour into his set. I hope I didn’t jinx the show!

photo from In the Aeroplane, Over UC .

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