Jul 30, 2014

Walter Gross

Walter Gross

You are a man of many hats artistically. You produce, make music videos and create abstract collage art that looks like something off of the set of se7en sometimes. What was the first time you remember sitting in your room/bus/porch/car & thinking to yourself that THIS was what you wanted to do?

I remember standing in my front yard when I was about 8 or 9. I saw some movies that really stuck with me that made me want to get into video work and art. Some early favs: Lord of the Flies, Bloodsport, Young Guns, Legend, Robocop etc. and it just grew from there

You had lived in the Los Angeles area for several years, but recently moved back East. What prompted the move and how much to you really hate L.A. as a whole?

It was just time to switch things up. I ran the course. LA’s nice, granted my ginger ass can’t really enjoy a beach, I definitely had some great times there. I’ll miss some homies, Cinefamily and all the free/cheap comedy shows.

Music and movies are very similar art forms, but also appeal to different senses. What are the different parts of the creation process of both that draw you to them over and over again?

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I like the synesthesia of things and also because most ideas, be it a song or a film, are interchangeable so it helps me learn new approaches.

You directed a short film two years ago about being an indie artist that was pretty damn dope and showcased some friends of yours who used a lathe to cut their own limited edition vinyl. Being that the internet is a vast space of many people pushing their own form of art, what do you find to be the hardest thing about getting your music heard by more people each release?

Sharing music with the world is definitely a double edged dildo. I’ve had not a great experience with it and it seems to get harder and harder. Everything’s poorly marginalized and too much shits going on and no one knows what’s what anymore, what’s cool, what fits. But all that frenetic energy also makes it really fun and fucked up and exciting. It always just goes back to hitting the road and eek’n out a fan base one at a time. Attempt something new helps too, I’m always wary of associating myself with any one thing too much be it hip hop, wank off pop or dance etc. What do I know though?

The one thing it seems you know though, is how to stretch yourself and your art. You’ve done heavy doomed out instrumentals, O’ Dirty Bastard remix tributes, found sound mellow tapes, and produced bugged out hip-hop for the likes of k-the-I??? and Sole. What’s the process for creating like for you?

Well I’ve always used the MPC 1000, so it’s just a matter of what I can do with that and whatever else I have at the time. So it’s usually different every time but I still have my base as far as choppin up drums and samples on the MP. I enjoy setting it up for uncertainty and a lot of my music relies on “happy accidents” but as of late very specific compositions. It all depends on the situation.

Releasing cassettes is really popular right now and as someone who was an early adopter of the older medium, what drew you to wanting to put out music on tape?

It was just something to do. Convenient. I started putting out runs of 5, 10, 20, making ’em special and what not. Overdubbin’ thrift store tapes. It helps keep me out of trouble and from being too bored. Like genres though I hold fast to nothing, I’m no purist, I’ll stay pure to an idea but that’s about it. I’ll put out my next record on a shoebox if that’s what it takes. Vinyl is always ideal. Nothing beats putting out a record. And tapes have that similar novelty to them. Recycling technologies for kicks.

So what’s the last half of this year looking like for you with music, videos and big time uncle work being put in? I know there is a new I Had An Accident Records split tape coming… anything else in the works?

Definitely more videos, enjoy the fam. I’d also like to get out to EU sooner or later, maybe SD, try to make some more music in the meantime. It’s tough to quit.

Your music is very cinematic in its pacing and mood. Have you ever attempted to get it placed in any films at all? And will you or are you working on your own movie at some point?

No real luck with tv/movies. A lot of my stuff is too self-contained to be used by someone or it just hasn’t crossed the right path. And yes I’m always working on script ideas. Been focusing more on it the past year. I’m letting things happen organically though, all this stuff is leading up to bigger projects, least in my mind and I want to possess all the tools to execute it proper.

You’ve collaborated with K-the-I???, Sole, the artist formerly known as Pedestrian (right?) not to mention Bizzart and Skrappez. Is there someone out there that’s a dream collaboration that hasn’t happened yet?

I don’t really collaborate like I used to now that I’m focusing on writing my own songs and doing vocals. But a dream collab would be probably with a director, Aronofsky or someone like that. I would like to be an intern for Opie & Anthony (well now Opie and Jim Norton) or maybe get Eric Wareheim to make me a video one day.

I’ve interviewed a handful of producers and ask everyone this; what’s your perspective on sample sources? Are you strictly vinyl and digging or do you feel that where ever you can pull the material from and flip is great (i.e. YouTube, movies, etc).

I’ve actually geared away from sampling vinyl. I don’t have money or the storage to dig records like I used to so I’ve mostly been sampling myself and trying various things. Personally I don’t care where you get your sounds from as long as it sounds cool. I used to only sample from records when I first started out but those self-imposed limitations were more of a challenge and exercise rather than a code. I find a lot of elitism with musicians, it’s pretty fucking lame. No one cares bro.

You just dropped the split tape on I Had An Accident Records, Trigger being your side, and this is one of many in a long amazing list of tapes you’ve done with that label. What about IHAA draws you back to keep working with them to drop projects?

Justin from IHAA helped me out when I was down. We kind of helped each other out. I was in the shit, he was in the shit, and we combined our shitty forces and put out LA Pink Filth and then I connected him to some other artists. So we have a personal history, he’s a good friend and he’s been going steady. And Trigger came out during another shitty time so once again he helped me out. No issues, no waiting around, no bullshit.

What is next up on the list for you in terms of projects and video/film work? Can we expect you to create any other videos for Trigger? Or will you be crafting visuals for any other artists music this year like you recently did for Sole?

I’ll be making another video for Trigger soon. The one with my niece for Cosmic Joke. And then after that there’s some tentative releases that might pull through. But I don’t know. I’m just pissing in the wind at this point.

At what point did you feel like it was time to start featuring your own vocals more on releases? I really dig your approach when it comes to your own voice on songs, it isn’t rapping, it isn’t singing… it’s more like a subconscious narrative in some cases. Was it always something you were pushing toward, or was this a newer aspect of creating?

I’ve actually experimented with vocals from the beginning. So it was a process to creatively get where I wanted. And the big push was that I got really bored of playing beat sets. I used to improvise all my sets with the mpc smashing pads but I wanted to move on to something else, get more into it, more intensity, more sweat, and bigger release.

Any last words for the folks reading this?

I’ll be selling prints for the first time for a very reasonable price so please buy that shit!

waltergross.com
@waltergross

One Comment

  1. Tenshun

    Kilowattz!

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