A funny thing happened at Tall Tree this year. I was asked by no less than three separate people if I knew Jim from Rebel Cause Films. (The mighty EVeryman was particularly effusive in his praise of the good Mr. Vanderhorst.) Apparently, because I like bass music and live in Victoria, I MUST know and work with Jim. Well, I didn't know who he was, but I was familiar with some of his work – as is pretty much anyone on the west coast who digs bass music and/or attends festivals and parties fuelled by such music. His ability to capture the diverse beauty of musical audiences is, frankly, unparalleled. I don't watch a lot of video content when it comes to live music, but I'll always take a few minutes to check out something from Rebel Cause Films. It is the only outfit making video right now that I will always peep. Turns out he's one hell of an interesting cat as well. I figured someone so entrenched in this bass community - a community I felt more a part of than ever in 2017 - a guy who has so much experience and so many stories, would be the perfect homie to kick off 2018. So, in an effort to blast off another year of 5 Questions with Rags in style, I dug up 15 Guest Questions that got asked over the last year and let this incredibly interesting human being tear through them like some kind of fascinating buzzsaw.
1. Colin from Pigeon Hole – What's the most versatile vegetable and why?
Potatoes because to take the amount of time needed to describe everything you can do with potatoes would feel like like the shrimp montage from Forrest Gump. There are just so many things you can with potatoes...scalloped potatoes, mashed potatoes, french fries, baked potatoes... Potatoes are so goddamned versatile that when there were no potatoes, Ireland collapsed and turned into a joke for hundreds of years.
2. Jennay Badger...What's your go-to album for a good cry/emotional cleaning out?
I would say my go-to is probably Underdogs by Matthew Good Band.
3. Mike Love...What will you do now, to make the world a little better?
I really want to help spread the message that fear doesn't help anyone. I want to figure out ways to help people move beyond listening to fear. I want to make narrative feature films and I want them to share the basic theme of overcoming fear. Fear of feeling useless, of a lack of value. Fear is what we needed to save us from jungle cats when we were primitive stone-age animals. Now fear only drives us to bad decisions.
4. Stickybuds...What's one law or public policy you disagree with and how would you change it?
I think prostitution should be legalized. I've never gone to a prostitute – I don't see myself as a guy that needs that or wants it but I feel like it's something that's going to happen. It's part of human nature. A lot of people do a lot of bad things to themselves and to prostitutes because the whole thing is not protected by the law. I feel a lot of problems in society would not be as big problems if people were just allowed to do that and be protected while they were doing it. Pimps wouldn't be a thing. Like the Drug War creates drug lords, illegal prostitution creates pimps. Those are our problems – drugs lords and pimps. So just create a system that works and we can eliminate them.
5. FxFarmer/Dan from Funkanomics...What means LOVE to you?
When you can do something completely selfless for somebody or something. That's love.
6. Justin/Makemdef from Chuurch...What piece of fine art inspires you the most?
My favourite thing that I consider to be fine art are the Living Bridges in Northeast India. There are these trees that were grown and cultivated over hundreds of years to be bridges. There's all this life all over these things, they're huge. One of my biggest problems in society is the separation between function and art. There's literally no excuse for every home, every building, to not be a work of art. When I walked around London, in every neighbourhood there was some dope graffiti created by a true visionary artist. I feel like it's not good enough that people accept living in prefab homes and shit. There's no fucking reason for everything not to look super cool and dope. Just laziness and desire to profit. We're soon running to a point where the whole profit thing is going to fall apart and I hope that people understand that there's going to be almost no reason for people to work. Within 20-30 years everything'll be automated. One of the things I think needs to happen is that there needs to be a new industry made where people just make the outside of everything look good because that's going to be one of the only things that's gonna have any fucking value for people to be doing with their hands in the future. I literally think that art might be one of the only ways that we can save the economic structure.
7. DJ Nu-Mark...Would you prefer some E-40 or a 40 of O.E.?
E-40 for sure. I honestly hoped he had of asked about UB40. I still would have chose UB40.
8. Moontricks...In an ideal world, if you had all the money and resources you needed, what would you do with your life?
Instead of making video and film projects that are mostly designed to show what some other artist is doing, I would make my own films. And they would probably be very, very, very uncommercial. I would make movies with 8-minute long shots. Maybe not much would even happen. I like the idea of films being meditations. I would like to make poems with film, rather than stories.
9. Handsome Tiger...This question was for a musician, but I'm going to change it a bit. It was originally “If there's one place you could go play music, where would you go,” but for you I'm going to make it, “If you could shoot any three acts on a bill, in any venue, who is it and where are you shooting?”
The venue is Red Rocks. I hear it's the most amazing amphitheatre. It looks so cool. Right now it seems like, at this point, Red Rocks just seems to be accepted as the best venue. I haven't seen it. I've been to a lot of places but it seems like Red Rocks is where it's at, so, I'd bring two turntables and microphone for Beck. I think I'd also like to see Modest Mouse in that space, another bucket lister. And then I think I'd wanna have one electronic artist in there – probably be Koan Sound. Those guys, man. I really, really like what they're doing. They have a very epic take on drum 'n' bass. It's so simply produced – they only have two or three sounds going on at once. All original production, crazy drum 'n' bass sounds with soaring accompaniment, or they'll go super pretty, and then they'll just play a funk tune.
10. Immerze...If you could collaborate with three artists, any media, who would you choose to collaborate with?
I would love to have Ben Bertt do sound effects. He's the voice of R2D2 and Wall-E. I read this book where Michael Ondaajte, the guy who wrote The English Patient, went to his house and interviewed him every day. It's so fucking interesting. My biggest failing as an artist has been understanding working with sound. The harshest criticism anyone ever gave me was ill-Gates. He said, “You made a documentary about a sound company with bad sound. More people that you are aware of will remember you as this.” Uh-huh. He was not impressed with me. I really want to collaborate with someone who's a great sound person and Bertt's such a great sound person. It would also be amazing to work with my favourite director of cinematography, Emmanuel Lubezki. He made Children of Men, then he made Gravity, then followed that up with Revenant and then Birdman. And he also works with Terrence Malick, my favourite filmmaker, who is my inspiration. So obviously I'd like to work with the cinematographer who works with my inspiration. And...I was watching a movie the other day starring Ice Cube's son and I thought, “That's the guy I want to be my lead actor!” He's got the same energy as Cube but he's not going to be old as fuck when I get to that point.
12. WBBL...If you sneezed Skittles, would you be opposed to eating them?
If they came out of my nose would I put them back in my body? No. It would be like eating your boogers.
13. Z-Trip...What's your biggest fear?
My biggest fear would be Z-Trip stopping doing his job to tell me that I was doing my job badly. Were you there at his Rifflandia set?
14. Applecat...If you had to pick a lyric for your tombstone, what song lyric would you pick?
I'm gonna quote Cake: “As soon you're born, you start dying, so you might as well have a good time.”
15. Gibbz...If you could only wear black clothing but you also had a white cat, would you keep and love the cat or get rid of the cat for the sake of your clothes?
That's really weird. Do I have to answer this?
Nope. So, the actual question 15. Flamingosis...If you could only eat one breakfast sandwich for the rest of your life, what would be on your breakfast sandwich?
One egg, over easy. Two strips of bacon – just bacon, no hickory-smoke. Deep-fried avocado. Little bit of dill mayonnaise. On a brioche.
Now please enjoy this fantastic video that Rebel Cause put together for Rags Music favourites Pigeon Hole after their triumphant slaying of the Village Stage at Shambhala this past summer.