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alternatetextMP3 : Steinki - Nothing to Fear Mix, Excerpt 2

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 lot bigger.

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 agency...over here.
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 cover art.

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 companies ?
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.

Continues in Part 3