Touchfaster + MR. OWL Interview

MR. OWL was recently interviewed by Pierce Marratto of Pittsburgh-based entertainment crew “Touchfaster”.  Here’s what went down.  Read the full unabridged interview on their website: http://touchfaster.com/blog/pierce/get-know-solstice-artist-mr-owl

There is a lot to be said about an artist as prolific as Mr. Owl. Amongst other things, including a healthy list of notable collaborations, he is the founder of the independent label PARLIAMENT OF STRIX RECORDS, half of the duo Dominant Force, and an experimental mastermind. According to his bio he, “gets kicks from tinkering found electronics into tricked-out toy instruments” and, “fusing classic hip-hop with bit-beat electronica.” I first saw him do his thing at one of the Obvious parties at Belvedere’s where he did a tandem set with local DJ James Gyre. While I do not claim to be an expert in electronic music I was incredibly intrigued by what he did that night. In an effort to expand Touchfaster’s musical horizons we decided that it was time to start incorporating DJs into our events (a move that is admittedly long over due). Once that decision was made it seemed as though Mr. Owl was the obvious place to start. So, I asked him to come on board for Solstice and he agreed and added that he’d be doing a set of, “deep bassy cerebral dance music”. I love the sound of that but still wanted to get to know him a better. So, I sent over the “Get to know” questions. Here is what he had to say…

Touchfaster: What got you started?

Mr. Owl: My parents gave me a stack of bootleg cassettes and an Akai tape deck when i was a toddler.  I’ve never looked back.

Name your style in one word.


From where do you draw inspiration?

Dusty records. Heavy machinery. Analog circuits.

If you were being sent to a deserted island for 10 years and could only take 5 albums with you, what would they be?

deftones – Adrenaline, DJ Shadow – Endtroducing, Company Flow – Funcrusher Plus, Cannibal Ox – The Cold Vein, Isis – Oceanic

If you could have a conversation with one person, living or dead, who would it be?

Nikola Tesla

If you could have a superpower what would it be?

Electricity.  I want to be able to control electrons with my mind.

What is your favorite curse word? Why?

FUCK. Highly versatile.

What is your favorite/least favorite word? Why?

I say “word” a lot. I wince at the term “swag”.

What turns you on/off creatively?

Turn ons: Staying up all night, Sludgey coffee. Turn offs: Country music, Talking shit and not being able to back it up.

What profession other than your own would you like to attempt?

White-collar criminal.

What do you enjoy/despise about being an artist?

My sense of self-worth is irrevocably tied to my creative output.  It’s a tortured existence, but I wouldn’t trade it for the world.

Where would you like your art to take you?

I dream of the day when I can quit the day job and make a full time living from the music.

Advice for aspiring artists?

Keep doing what makes you happy.  Eventually others will catch on.

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