Mochipet on Wearing His Big Purple Dinosaur Suit, and Playing LovEvolution This Saturday
While many DJs can say they've performed alongside dance music icons such as Rusko, Bassnectar, and Mary Anne Hobbs, few can honestly claim that they've worn a purple furry dinosaur suit the entire time. Bay Area native Mochipet , who began his career with his well-known album, Girls Love Breakcore, has demonstrated his passion for music through residences in L.A., his founding of Daly City Records, and his collaboration with a 20-piece orchestra that performed his composition "Dessert Search for Techno Baklava" at Carnegie Hall, among other notable venues. He chatted with All Shook Down about breakcore, his favorite mochi flavor, and playing LovEvolution this Saturday.
Give us a brief history of how you started producing music.
My father bought me a computer and it had this soundcard on with sampler that had 0.5MB of RAM in it. I started loading sounds in there (very short sounds), and synthesis was born. I eventually saved up enough money to buy a real sampler and I borrowed my friend's drum machine and started making songs. Before that I played guitar, bass, and drums, so I incorporated that into my songs.
How did the name of a famous Asian dessert make its way into your moniker?
When I was little my grandmother use to have me make mochi with her to shut me up. She called them "Mochipets" and they kept me busy while she was off cooking and stuff.
What's your favorite mochi flavor?
You first cemented your presence on the electronic music scene by playing breakcore, a genre that isn't very well-known here in the U.S. How did this become a genre you're so heavily associated with?
When I started making music as Mochipet it was more on the IDM side, like Aphex Twin, Squarepusher, and stuff. Then a few labels in Europe contacted me about doing some vinyl releases. At that time there was a new scene called "breakcore" happening there. I guess and my music just sounded kind of like it. So I got lumped in with the breakcore kids in Europe. Technically, I only did one breakcore record. It was called Girls Love Breakcore. But ever since then, people have labeled me breakcore!
Yet listening to your current tunes, it seems like you've evolved to dabble in a bit of everything, from symphonic to bass-laden beats.
It really all is just music to me, and I love it all. I sometimes have to not play certain songs because people get confused, either because they've never heard it before or don't understand the rhythm. But I always try to bring them something they haven't heard yet and something new they can take home and explore more with. There is a lot of good music out there, but for some reason people here in America only want to hear a fraction of it. I think it's my job to give them a little spice in their life. Mix it up.
These days, technology enables us to download whatever track/album we desire at any moment. What are your thoughts on that, since, when you released your first album, you personally e-mailed it to everyone that requested it?
I think like anything else there are good and bad things associated with it. As a new musician, it's great because that means you have no barriers in terms of distributing your music. I think Bandcamp has done an amazing job with this. But it's also a double-edged sword, because basically you are asking everyone to be on honor system; if they really do like the music they will donate, or actually buy the release. You can argue both sides, but I think overall, I like to believe that if people really love your music they will come out and support in some way. In any case it's never easy to try and make a living as an artist, back then or now. It's an uphill battle.