British music producer/DJ OTT gives Sensible Reason a few moments of his time at the last show on his American tour, Rock N Roll Resort: A Psybient Soiree.
Sensible Reason: How’s your new studio coming along?
OTT: It’s nearly done, it’s about two months away from completion and I’m so excited to get in there and do something.
SR: What’s the first thing you want to do in there?
OTT: Ah, record my drummer friend. When I come out in October I’m going to be coming out with a bass player and a drummer.
SR: Oh, really?
OTT: Yeah, two very good friends of mine who are fantastic musicians and the first thing I’m gonna do is get him in there and make him play for hours and hours and hours and record what he does and then chop it up and make it into music. It’s just ingredients…. It’s just a big meatball, really.
SR: What is it like to go from being behind the scenes, because you did that for so long, to putting yourself in the spotlight? What made you want to make that transition and how was that experience?
OTT: That’s a very interesting question actually. I didn’t do it on purpose. I accidentally made a record that my friend– my friends at Twisted Records, they were just friends of mine; we have no business agreement, we just are friends– and they heard what I was doing and they said, “Oh, I really like that, can we release it?” And I was like, “Yeah, I finished it I don’t want it, you can do what you want with it,” and I gave it to them. They put it out, then people started emailing me going, “Oh, we really like this; do you want to come and play?” So I just found myself here. I never imagined that I would be doing this for a job.
SR: And so now you’re happy with that transition, being in the spotlight?
OTT: Yeah, to be honest. I’m not somebody that pushes in any direction, I take the path of least resistance usually and this is where it has led me. So yeah, I am more than happy, to be honest. I get to go and be a witch at places like this, and I’m talking to you! That’s nice!
SR: What is your intention with your music right now in terms of your fans, and how do you think it’s changed from your original intention when you started making music?
OTT: Well, making it without intention. That’s the whole point. If I sit down with intention, I end up with nothing. It’s not for anything, its not a practical medium, it’s not designed to do anything.
SR: So there’s no message that you’re trying to send?
OTT: None whatsoever…Hooray! Hooray we’re all alive, that’s it. That’s about as deep as it gets. I know, I’m just fascinated by strange sounds and I’ve discovered that if I record them and offer them to people, they take them.
SR: What do you think the strangest sound that you’ve ever recorded is?
OTT: That’s really hard. Ummmm that’s impossible. Impossible!
SR: What’s the weirdest tool or object that you’ve used to produce sounds? We know you have used metal springs in the studio…
OTT: A vibrator. I’m going to use the bass guitar with a vibrator because the motor in a vibrator sends out electromagnetic interference which interferes with pickups in the guitar. So he’s got a butter knife up at the [top end] of the guitar and a vibrator down there [at the bottom of the guitar] and he’s playing tunes and it sounds like a cello. Unless you turn up the speed of the vibrator– the pitch rises on the bass– unless you move that up you get [a harmonic]. So that was probably the strangest instrument I’ve ever recorded.
SR: Did the knife act as a medium to conduct the electromagnetic waves?
OTT: No, it just literally shortened the string, it was like moving your finger up and down the string.
SR: Like a slide?
OTT: Yeah, it was like a bottleneck, exactly. A bass, with a vibrator. A big pink thing with things sticking out of it, it was probably the ugliest thing you’ll ever see in your life. Didn’t turn me on I have to say, but obviously they sell.
SR: Would you bring that on stage with your live bassist?
OTT: Obviously! A life-sized one, a seven foot one, somebody dressed up. See, I always manage to lower the tone. I’m sorry…Listen I think I have to go….
SR: One more question. What is your stance on silly hats?
OTT: Um, I’m in favor of them as long as I don’t have to wear one myself. I’m not a hat person. I’m a hat admirer, as long as I don’t have to wear one.
OTT will be making appearances at a number of festivals in the US this summer, check out his tour schedule here.