Life According To… is a feature where FACT’s favourite artists fill us in on their childhood dreams, biggest regrets and more.
This time we grilled Dan Lopatin on the week that he releases his latest Oneohtrix Point Never epic, Replica. Tales of feng shui, basketball and heckling Frenchmen follow.
The first album I ever bought was… “Aerosmith – Permanent Vacation on cassette. ‘Dude Looks Like A Lady’, etc. I thought I was getting ‘Janie’s Got A Gun’ as well but that was on a different record.”
The last album I bought was… “C. Spencer Yeh – ‘In The Blink Of An Eye’ 7″ (De Stijl 2011).”
Since Rifts and Returnal came out, my day to day activity has been… “Mostly the same, still somewhat erratic in the sense that I tend to move apartments on a yearly basis. I eat more vegetables now than I did then although probably still not enough. I sleep more, in the upwards of 7-9 hours a night.”
Software’s studio isn’t ours, per se… “So we can’t really go how wild with decorations, but there are rumors that they are building a Studio B that would be more like the “electronica zone”, so maybe that’s where I can direct my feng shui. We did install a mini basketball hoop last winter that was a smash hit around the office. I don’t like studios that feel like you walked onto the set of ‘Like A Prayer’. I like a cold room filled with gear, dimly lit and maybe some plant life.”
I still get the majority of my work done at home… “Because the studio is booked a lot these days. I’ve done most OPN recordings at home so I’m accustomed to working like that. My goal now is to make sure that whatever I do at home can be migrated into a more professional setting if necessary. I need to figure out what DAW I’m going to use at home and get a channel strip and some other basic things and it’ll be fine. In January we’ll be in the studio with Autre Ne Veut.”
When I was a kid, I most wanted to be… “A shooting guard for the Boston Celtics.”
The worst gig I’ve ever played was… “Berlin – Raum 18. On my first tour, with Carlos Giffoni. After the show these French guys were in my face about it, like ‘Wire magazine likes you, but your music is not very good mistere OPN”. I had had a few drinks and for whatever reason ended up giving him my lucky charm 1991 Chris Bagley basketball card and asked him to write the name of his band on it [see picture left]. He did and I said to him “I’ll google it” which he interpreted as American sarcasm and tried to fight me. Steve Underwood had to restrain him! It was fucked.”
My first music making experience was… “Being in a jamband with Joel (Ford) and Al (Carlson) called The Grainers. Our hit song was a weed jam called ‘Nugget’.”
I’m not really still into the heavier side of noise… “Other than Russell Haswell, unless it’s in a live context and then I’m open to it. But in terms of brutality, I love Haswell.
“Yellow Tears live is great. Anything related to Twig Harper / Carly / Nautical Almanac. C. Spencer Yeh is one of my favorite out musicians ever, although not easily categorizable as heavy noise. Would not pass up a Cut Hands show but again, is that really noise? Definitely heavy.”
The best piece of advice I’ve ever been given was… “Don’t fuck up” – Carlos Giffoni.
I don’t have a perfect path envisioned for Software… “And I don’t really have a hardline profit or branding motive with Software so it’s hard to set goals, I just hope to keep doing this for as long as possible. It’s an electronic music label, the catalogue will be varied and always from the heart. The rest I will leave in your hands, FACT magazine.”
The Replica artwork comes from… “An illustration of a vampire looking at himself in the mirror by Virgil Finlay, 1936.”
Currently screening at Oneohtrix Point Never’s dream cinema is… “Rush: Beyond the Lighted Stage, Hate, and Rebels of the Neon God“.
As told to Tam Gunn