Thread’s impromptu interview with DJ / Producer RJD2 | interview & images by Ben Sarle
Ben Sarle: I’ve been a fan of yours for a while, can you tell us about your current or upcoming projects you’re working on?
RJ Krohn: Yea I’ve got a group called Icebird, it’s a collaborative project between me and this singer named Aaron Livingston who was featured on my last record on a song called Crumbs off the Table. And we made an album and decided that the most sensible thing was to consider starting a group, which is what we did. So that’s that, it’s coming out October 11th, and we’re right in the middle of rehearsals for the mini tour that we’re doing to promote the record. It starts October 8th, and we’re really just going up the East Coast playing 5 dates.
Ben: So you’re still touring regularly?
RJD2: I am, mostly spot dates like this kind of this [referring to Nor’Easter festival], just pop out for a gig at a time.
Ben: Any longer tours coming up people should look out for?
RJD2: Frankly, I want to weed that kind of thing out of my lifestyle. Been doing it for a long time, 10 years now; and I like gigging but touring is a whole different beast. So doing this kind of show where I pop out for 24 hours is much more comfortable than going out for a week or two or three or five.
Ben: I hear ya. And this isn’t your first time in VT, you’ve played Higher Ground and UVM Springfest, how did you get involved with Nor’Easter Festival?
RJD2: Offer came in, kind of how all gigs happen. Ya get an offer and find out where it is, what it is, when it is, and see what’s realistic and what’s not.
Ben: I loved Soul Position [RJD2 & Blueprint]…
RJD2: I was just talking to Blueprint ten minutes ago!
Ben: Awesome, I was going to ask if there’s anything new in the works with him?
RJD2: I’m hoping! After our second record in 2006, our timelines got a little wonky because I was off doing my solo record, and his solo record actually just came out a couple months ago on Rhymesayers Entertainment, so our schedules have been a little disjointed. I was doing The Third Hand in 2007 and then Colossus in 2010 so we kind of have different paces of how things happen. Normally what we do is go off and do solo stuff and come back, that type of thing. But hopefully next year we’ll be able to knock out a record.
Ben: Is that going to be on Rhymesayers?
RJD2: Talks have not gotten that far, I don’t want to sound like it’s that far a long – I’m just hoping we can knock a record out and take it from there.
Ben: That would be wild if you had a bunch of Rhymesayers artists sample on your tracks, if that was the case…
RJD2: Ha that’s an idea.
Ben: Your performances are amazing and really almost seamless, can you elaborate a little to what you’re actually doing up there, and maybe how it’s different than what you would do in the studio?
RJD2: During the live thing you have to kind of primitivize what you can do because in the studio you have much more at your disposal, time and resources and such. With this a lot of it taking the original samples and recontextualizing them with either instrumentals from other things or tracks that I’ve done for people or exclusive things that happen for the show. Sometimes it’s original samples sometimes it’s instrumentals from my records, sometimes it’s the record, ya know any of those things can be used. But I’m shooting for breaking it down to as small pieces as possible. The other thing at this point is I’ve got so much material that I wanna touch on, that I have to pull as many little bits and pieces as I can manage. Kind of jam them into a mega mix.
Ben: Well I won’t keep you too long I know soundcheck is in a minute, but is there anything else you want your fans and our readers to know?
RJD2: Just thanks for the support. It’s the fans that let me do this for a living, they deserve thanks more than anybody.