In conversation with: Dank Zappa
A very fun recent addition to the Blast Radio airwaves, Dank Zappa has been rocking speakers and, in their own words, “Turning your old favorite songs into your new favorite song.”
Known for eclectic mashups and tunes to make you dance (and scratch your head until you figure out the samples he’s using), Dank Zappa is a pleasure to the ears and the mind.
We recently spoke with them to learn more about the artist behind the mash up. If nothing else, make sure to read the first response… it’s sure to give you a smile.
Follow Dank Zappa (https://blastradio.com/dankzappa or ‘dankzappa’ in the app) to catch his weekly Bi***** and Gravy mashup radio show.
Tell us a little bit about yourself:
Where to start? Let me see, I'm a heartbreaker, dream maker, love taker. Lines form on my face and hands. Lines form from the ups and downs. I'm in the middle without any plans. I'm a boy and I'm a man. I lost my license now I don't drive. I have a limo, ride in the back. I lock the doors in case I'm attacked. I go to hotels, tear out the walls. I have accountants pay for it all. And I'm the D.O., you lookin' at the raw invented On Friday, I spit 35 to 40 minutes. Smell up the bathroom like Craig Paul was in it. Endin' up on your back, Wu swords up in it. Anyone can match me, I crack 'em all a Guinness. I been to the edge, and there I stood and looked down. You know I lost a lot of friends there baby, I got no time to mess around. I take a walk outside, I'm surrounded by some kids at play. I can feel their laughter. Who's that whisperin' in the trees? It's two sailors and they're on leave. Pipes and chains and swingin' hands. Who's your Daddy? Yes I am.
Do you have a fond memory of the radio you’d like to share? Who you were with, what was playing, how it made you feel?
I remember laying in bed listening to the radio late at night and hearing the most incredible sounds coming from the speakers. It was like nothing I ever heard before and at the same time deeply familiar. This was the Wizard. He opened up a whole world of sound and rhythm that I was compelled to explore. It wasn't long after that when my friends and I began to make our weekly pilgrimage to Record Time to mine for gold. That is the feeling I am still chasing today, when you find that sound and it is at once new and eternal. When you get it you know it and there is nothing else like it.
Who are your three ideal dinner guests (dead or alive)?
This one is easy. Genghis Khan, while I don't really subscribe to the "great man" theory of history there is something truly outstanding about the life of Temujin and there are so few original sources available I would be fascinated to know more about him. Chaka Khan because her vocals reach into my soul like the truth and she has played with so many great bands. Finally Abdul Qadeer Khan because he understood the threat of atomic weapons being consolidated in the hands of a small and frighteningly powerful hegemony. By the end of the night we would be starting a new band called Dank Zappa and the Khan Artists.
How would you describe your art?
The primary feeling I try to elicit from my art is epiphanic delight.
If you could see any artist (dead or alive) in concert, who would it be?
Young Mozart. The best evidence we have for extraterrestrials visiting earth to date are the works of DaVinci, Lao Tzu and Mozart. Each of them seems to have reached beyond levels of human understanding into something of a cosmic truth superseding rationality and logic. I often get the feeling that the universe was using Wolfgang as a direct vessel to harmonize the quantum field through his string arrangements. And you know he makes all the pantaloons moist like gym towels.
You’re going to a desert island and can only bring three albums, books, or films, which ones do you choose and why?
I would choose books because I'm not sure how I would play albums or watch movies on a desert island.
- Shen Ku - This survival guide has everything you need to know as an intergalactic traveler. Herbal medicine, star charts, martial arts, and so much more.
- A coloring book - ideally one that has colored pencils attached. The thing about coloring books is you can keep adding detail forever so it is an endless source of artistic expression.
- Atlas Shrugged - so that I would have plenty of paper to start fires with on those cold desert island nights.
How would you describe your broadcasts?
Pirate radio if the pirates were sailing in low riders through a Venetian block party. I play all exclusive content that I have mashed up in my sound garden. From party jams to classic rock, techno to metal, hip hop to doo wop. I put them all together in a sauna until they start making sweaty little babies.
Which product do you use to broadcast (Box, DAW Plugin, Desktop app)? What is your setup?
I use a 4ft glass bong connected to Traktor Skratch pro with a Traktor controller and Blast Box plugged into my booth out.
What steps do you take to prepare for a broadcast?
I eat 1 burrito, smoke 2 joints, drink 3 beers, and turn my speakers all the way up. In that order.
What is your favorite broadcast you made to date and why?
The first Monday night Bitches & Gravy show was amazing. So many new listeners and I had just finished some really hot new tracks. I always try to have a few new jams for each show, but that show I had some particularly spicy bites.
Anything you want listeners to know about?
Right now I am exclusively doing Blast Radio shows so y'all need to stay tuned. But I will come and play at your kids birthday party if the cake is homemade.