The Chain Letter Interviews: FYF Fest Pt. I

Blake Gillespie

Toro Y Moi

All photos by Matt Draper

Our Chain Letter Interview series made its debut in the western time zone, the final frontier of its links. For our FYF Fest edition, we collaborated with Seagate Creative, producers of computer storage central to the creative process. We switched up the format slightly, adding one constant question about “creative space”.

FYF is run by big dreamers and we responded with our own lofty aspirations for interviews. Death Grips declined – wah wah. My Bloody Valentine also declined, but we learned a pro-tip for bands who want to do limited press, but maintain excellent relationships with press: hire a British manager. We’ve never been told “no” so politely that we felt bad for even asking. But, of those who graciously accepted, we were thrilled to strengthen the Chain in uncharted territory.

Our previous edition was documented at Pitchfork Festival, as Jarvis Taveniere of Woods left a question of fear, a question of trippiness, and a question of love unanswered.

Chaz of Toro Y Moi

Before we talked with Chaz Bundick of Toro Y Moi, the impression was given that he’s a laid back dude. It’s in the music of Toro Y Moi and it’s in that curly afro that seems to grasp for the clouds. But chatting with him among the trees furthered our impression of Chaz’s chillness. He handled the questions like a pro and took devious pleasure in sending three more to an unsuspecting Antwon.

Describe the most psychedelic experience you’ve had that doesn’t involve cartoon people and talking to walls. We’re talking some real mind-opening shit here. Nothing goofy.

Well, I was on drugs. I saw this little man in all white walk up to me. He had a white bucket and was really short. He walked up to me and he told me to keep the earth clean. He was holding a little red book. Then, he walked away. Yeah, I was on shrooms.

Do you take that to heart still?

Yeah, dude. You should totally take care of the earth. I hate seeing dirty music festivals. We were at this music festival in Japan. It was so clean. Everyone takes care of their stuff. They don’t trash things. We should follow them.

Are you afraid of heights?

No. Sometimes if I stand up too fast I get dizzy. That’s about it.

Describe a perfect night with someone you love.

It’s doesn’t matter where you go or what you eat, as long as the conversation is good and you either end up making out or having sex at the end. That’s a good night. The sex isn’t necessary. Don’t want to put that out there.

If your creative space was a place that you go to, what would you put in your creative space?

That’s so odd. I’d just want mood lighting.

Let’s send three questions on to the next band

Who’s the next person?

Antwon.

Oh good. I wanna fuck with him.
Ask him, what are his thoughts on Area 51?
What are his thoughts on the new Bay Bridge?
Do you think you’d ever bike to Treasure Island.

Antwon

Thanks to Toro Y Moi’s questions we learned more about one of our favorite rappers, Antwon, than we expected three questions could cover. There’s some shit Antwon totally fuckswith and there’s some shit Antwon will never fuckswith again.

What are your thoughts on Area 51?

Oh, Roswell, New Mexico? I think that shit’s kinda tight. There’s a bunch of shops there that have alien stuff. I was really down with aliens when I was a kid. I always bought those alien stickers like where the ying yang was the forehead. Not as much now, but I still think alien stuff is cool.

What are your thoughts on the new Bay Bridge?

I haven’t been on the new Bay Bridge yet, but it only goes halfway like only to Treasure Island. I don’t ever go to Treasure Island. But, maybe I’ll take it when I got to Treasure Island Fest.

Funny you say that. My last question… do you think you’d ever bike to Treasure Island?

I don’t know how to ride a bike.

You never rode a bike?

Last time I rode a bike I was in the grass. I was stoked and it was cool. Then, I was riding it in the street and there was a hill that went like [motions a frighteningly steep gradient] and I was like oh, shit I’m going really fast. I didn’t know how to stop. It was one of those ones you just have to back peddle to stop. It was one of those old ones. Yeah, I was like I never want to ride a bike again.

Oh totally. You find yourself inexperienced on one of those famous Bay Area hills without your sea legs yet.

That shit is scary.

By the way, Chaz over there is the one who sent you those questions.

Oh shit. [Laughs]

[Chaz sees us motioning over and gives a peace sign as he walks away.]

If your creative space was a place that you go to, what would you put in your creative space?

I’d have weed, tv, and a bed. A power strip that reaches. I don’t want to have to bend over or be limited. I want to go where ever with the charger on the phone. That’d be ill. Or like a charger that is wireless. A wireless charger. I want that.

What three questions are you sending to the next band?

How do you stay cool in the heat?
What is your favorite beverage?
What is your favorite flavor of the new Redbull

Syd Butler of Les Savy Fav

When Syd Butler’s not playing bass to the antics of Tim Harrington in Les Savy Fav, he’s running Frenchkiss Records. In our talk with Syd, we discovered a silver lining to humidity and gladly broke one of our Chain Letter rules, basically caving to the cuteness of his daughter Lyla Butler’s “Six Questions By A Six Year Old” series on FKR.TV. Butler was also a recent guest on our radio show Nothing Urgent on Heritage Radio Network.

How do you stay cool in the heat?

I drink lots of water. I put wet bandanas around my neck. The funny thing is I like humidity. Most people don’t. I grew up in Washington D.C. and it’s very humid there. It feels like a warm comfort blanket. I have this weird theory that I’m glad that when it’s humid everyone is also sweaty. Everybody kinda stinks the same. So you don’t know if someone is actually smelly or not.When it’s humid my skin is better, my muscles aren’t as tight.

Humidity creates community and unity?

Yeah, exactly. I like that.

What is your favorite beverage?

My favorite beverage is sparkling water. I do like Coke Zero.

What is your favorite flavor of the new Redbull?

I have recently. I was at Lollapalooza and Redbull was sponsoring the artist area and they had all the flavors. I think I like traditional Redbull the best. I thought the blueberry whatever was a little too sweet. It tasted like baby aspirin or something. My taste buds weren’t connected to them.

If your creative space was a place that you go to, what would you put in your creative space?

I would put a fridge in it for my beverages. [Laughs] I would put a couch and as many instruments in there as possible, lots of pen and paper, my computer obviously. I would try to surround it with a lot of photo books. I love seeing moments captured. That’s sort of inspiring to me and exciting.

Alright, and now three questions to the next band.

These are actually going to be questions from my daughter. She has a tv show on Frenchkiss TV called “Six Questions by a Six Year Old”. To keep her show concept alive, I’ll ask six questions in hopes my daughter may interview them someday and they’ll be ready for her questions.

What is your favorite color?
Where did you come up with the name of your band?
Do you have a favorite species?
Do you have a favorite planet?
What’s your favorite food on the road?
Who were you idols for the instrument that you play?

Read on for Pt.II of our Chain Letter Interviews with Waxahatchee, Crystal Antlers, and Poolside.

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