Kid Smpl – or Joey Butler to his friends – is the startlingly talented 21-year-old from Seattle with a impressive line in textured bass music cleaved from the more ambient end of the spectrum. His forthcoming EP Escape Pod, drops next month courtesy of Alex Ruder’s new Hush Hush label, a new imprint which ruminates on the theme of, um, ‘Night bus’. So don’t act surprised if the spectre of Burial lurks within the darkened corners of Kid Smpl’s immersive productions. We decided to get him involved in the 10 x 4 interview series to find out a little more about him, and discover that “night bus is a vibe….”
1. Your most memorable show?
Either Decibel Festival 2010 or the first a/v show I played a few months back. The Decibel showcase because the crowd was a lot of fun to play to and the a/v show because it was the perfect context to perform my music in. It was in a small independent theatre – really quite an intimate setting. It was pretty fitting.
2. Is any aspect of fame important and if yes, why’s that?
The only aspect that I find important is recognition really. It feels good to be recognised for all the work you’ve put in sometimes. Otherwise I’m not really a fan of attention, so fame isn’t very appealing to me.
3. If you were still in high school, which clique would you belong to?
Is there a night bus clique nowadays? Those kids are probably cool if they exist.
4. What does underground and mainstream mean to you?
It used to mean a lot. It’s starting to mean less and less though. I think the line between underground and mainstream music is becoming more and more blurred due to the rise of internet culture. It seems that it’s almost just as easy to access underground music as it is to access mainstream music today and there also seems to be a fair amount of “underground” elements in mainstream music (and vice versa).
5. Should music be free?
Ideally yes, I don’t think it should be a sort of privilege to listen to music, everybody should have the right to access it. At the same time buying music is a way for fans to support the music that they love though so it’s a tricky topic. I think “name your price” releases are really cool.
6. What defines your music-making process?
2 AM with headphones on.
7. What do you think of this song:
The beat is cool. The rapping and lyrics are kinda boring though, especially the double-time part.
8. Name three essential artists.
Burial, J Dilla, Pretty Girls Make Graves.
9. Write a non-promotional paragraph.
Homies are cool. Making beats is fun. Night bus is a vibe.
10. A film or book that greatly influenced your music?
Voices of a Distant Star.
Published July 27, 2012.