MP3 : Steinki - Nothing to Fear Mix,
MF : "Only Connect..."
SS: Right. The lessons were that as well, direct
connection as well. There have been so many people working
that area now, that it's much harder to be innovative and
different. There's a couple of things I listen to now that
are very intriguing, but, they're things that I would not
even be capable of doing. The playing field has gotten a
MF : Tell me about your production company, Sonic Boom..
SS: That's my umbrella business. It's changed
over the years from being radio commercials, to now I do a
fair bit of soundtrack work for commercials and movies,
which is pretty gratifying. I'm doing a soundtrack for an
animation film where the animation is going to be done to
my track, and then I'll get the animation and the track
back together to further refine it. This isn't like funny
little animals running around, and it's extremely adult in
its themes, it's fascinating...
MF : I have this image of you sifting through the
archives of out-takes and aural clips that you secrete away
for use on your own tracks...is this how it works ?
SS: Ahahahaha..I'd say that's pretty close to
it, man. I realised early on, that most of the good stuff
that would happen with voice over people would happen when
they weren't reading the script. Before I had my own
studio, I would always tell the engineer, make sure the
tape is rolling before they get to the mike, because all
the little stuff was better than the big stuff. The
mistakes, the throat clearings, the off-the-cuff
remarks...and I've used tons of that stuff, like in the
Nothing to Fear mix. Wonderful voices.
MF : Have you heard the Casey Kasem losing it about the
puppy announcement, or the Tom Baker out-takes ? He was in
Doctor Who over here when we were kids, then became the
silky Shakespearean actor, voicing ads for nappies and
washing powder. There's a great clip where he does his best
to make life as difficult as possible for the
SS: Oh is that like the Orson Welles ? Wow I
wouldn't mind a copy of that, I'd love to hear.The Casey
Kasem one is obviously wonderful.
MF : Which comes first, the clips or the music ?
SS: Usually I'll find something I like
thematically, and then I'll find something that fits it
musically. There's a bunch of spoken word things for the
next album that I've been collecting, and I'm trying to
work out tracks that match it in mood and feel.
MF : The Nothing To Fear mix was fucking brilliant...
SS: What a nice thing to say. I'm really glad
that people like that, that's probably still one my
favourite things I've done. i can still listen to it
without wincing which is saying quite abit, because most of
the things I've done, I'll listen to it and go, Oh God, I
really missed it on that one or I'll see all the stitching
before i see the garment. In Nothing to Fear, that's
probably down to the fact that it took me almost two years
to do - not the most efficient way to do a mixtape !
MF : Back to Plunderphonics...Brian Robertson, president
of CRIA ordered the cds be crushed. He said, "What this
demonstrates is the vulnerability of the recording industry
to new technology... All we see is just another example of
theft." And this was in 1989...
SS: Well, the record industry is not exactly
known for being quick off the jump, y'know. And I have to
say that it's basically a bunch of dinosaurs trying to save
themselves - there's no way. They can certainly put up a
hell of a fight, and they are, and it will make it really
unpleasant for along time, but I think they understand too
that they are doomed. I would not have thought Social
Security, so basic a fact of life in the US, would be
rolled back, but the republicans are going at it hammer and
tongs, and it looks like they might win. And by the same
token, who would think that the recording industry would
disappear ? But it can happen, and it very well might. I
can believe that it will go away. The whole structure is
going to undergo some radical changes.
MF : In the past ten years, the industry has coagulated
into, what, five global companies ?
SS: Oh, it will wind up being one company, that
has absorbed the other two or three, that basically pays
the government to protect it in it's regions. The
representatives of the people in congress are essentially
paid employees of large coporations. That what they do. But
at the same time, man, if I sit down at my computer and can
download the latest 50 cent song into my ipod without
paying any money, these guys are dead in the water. And
they'll never stop that. And what am I - I'm like some 50
year old schmuck, who doesn't even have the time to do it.
Some 12 year old kid who knows how to do it - why would
they even go into a record store - they don't care about
MF : Does the record industry deserve to die ?
SS: That's a little hard to say - I mean there
are nice people who work for record companies, smart people
who don't deserve to have their jobs vanish, but then
there's a lot of people in the developed world who don't
deserve to have their jobs vanish they way they have.
There's a lot of people in the US who are out of work
because a bunch of slaves in China make their shit for a
dollar a day. And the companies here are smiling all the
way to the bank. They're like "ain't that great ? Too bad
about those guys out of work, huh." These are the kinds of
changes that are unfortunate, but inevitable, because the
world is changing. At a hugely rapid rate.
MF : That's the dystopian view..is there a utopian take,
where artists sell direct to public, without the record
SS: Well, certainly a lot of them are, I mean if
you go to cdbaby.com, there's zillions of people putting
out their own CD's. And I think what might happen - might
-it's not like I'm basing this on any thought, I just run
off at the mouth when I'm interviewed -could be that the
way the artists make money is through live performance.
It's not going to be off CD's. Or it'll be through airplay
- it'll come down to performing rights type stuff. It's not
going to be off CD sales. And if it is like that, these are
not things that record companies have profited off. What
they have historically profited from is total cut-throat
contracts with talent, and over-priced recorded music. You
know, there was bust last week in the city at a store where
there's a lot of bootlegs sold, and they arrested the
employees ?! What is that about guys, is this supposed to
get you good press ?!
MF : Have you ever been on the end of litigation ?
SS: No, thank god. I've never been involved in
legal distribution enough so that any lawyer has needed to
get involved. At various times, lawyers have tried to clear
all of the parts of the lessons, and nothing to fear, and
they're nightmares. I suppose the closest I've ever got to
putting a mix together when everything has already been
cleared was doing the mix for the Sugarhill catalogue.