Interview – The Hood Internet’s Steve Reidell
– by Ria Nevada (@ria_nevada)
It is absolutely fitting that Chicago-based producers The Hood Internet will perform at the Rickshaw Theatre this Friday, Aug. 16.
These reigning champs of unlikely but brilliant mash-ups will get the weekend party started smack in the nexus of Chinatown and Gastown, where pristine and hip boutiques peter off into greasy-spoon institutions and run-down pubs, where history and modernity collide and create something edgy, eccentric and pretty damn cool.
Regularly conceiving addictive and groove-worthy playlists that combine hip-hop heavyweights with indie-rock jams, Aaron Brink (ABX) and Steve Reidell (STV SLV) maintain a strong online presence and legion of fans who flock to their relatively underground but high-energy shows. It was about time that we got to the bottom of where these masterminds gain their eclectic inspiration, and learn a bit more about their purported taco fixation.
Ria Nevada: Hi Steve! We’re excited to have you out in Vancouver this weekend. Anything you’re looking forward to over on the West coast?
Steve Reidell: Well I had never been to Vancouver up until four years ago – and I came to play a Hood Internet show, so I’m just really excited to come back. It’s an awesome city.
RN: Can you think back to the first records that your parents introduced you to versus the first album that you ever picked up for yourself? What sort of fusions would that make?
SR: You know we listened to a lot of kids’ music around the house growing up. Stuff like, you know, Disney Mousercise. But the first kind of contemporary or interesting pop music I listened to was The Beatles – well really the full spectrum of what The Beatles did. So I would say that. I actually can’t remember which one – although, I did listen to Revolver most I think out of any of them.
First record I bought with my own money was MC Hammer’s Let’s Get it Started. It was part of one of those pay a penny and get six CDs music services – so that’s what I got. It was a pretty good deal – it’s not like you could just illegally grab music off the internet. So in terms of a fusion between those things, I’m not sure.
RN: Bet it would be interesting! You guys obviously have your finger on the pulse when it comes to hip hop and indie bands – any artists or albums that have completely grabbed you lately? Any musicians that are particularly doing something experimental or adventurous that you’re excited about?
SR: A friend of mine just introduced me to this new guy who calls himself Spark Master Tape. That’s sort of interesting rap music I’ve heard recently. There are a lot of guys in Chicago that are doing really awesome stuff right now. In particular, I’ve been feeling what the Save Money Crew are putting out, and that’s like Alex Wiley, Chance the Rapper, Vic Mesa, Caleb James – those guys are doing some really cool shit.
RN: Speaking of blurring genre lines, I was killing myself over the Alan Thicke vs. Robin Thicke “Blurring Pains” video you guys just did. What do you think is the best TV theme song of all time?
SR: The best TV theme song of all time is probably Magnum P.I. It’s just got really everything you could want in a theme song. It’s very much a product of the decade it came from.
RN: I’m getting tons of insight into your childhood now. This is awesome.
SR: Yeah, right?
RN: Chicago must have been a big influence in forming your craft – and you guys have had a healthy history of touring around all over. Are there any other cities that you think you could set up shop in for inspiration?
SR: There’s a lot of cities I really like, all up the coasts. And there’s a lot of things I love about Chicago. And the main thing is that it’s really centralized. It’s close to the East Coast, it’s closer to the West Coast than the East Coast is. I really love this city – many of my friends are here. But if I had to relocate, you know, I’ve always wanted to live on the West coast. Somewhere on the Northern side of things like San Francisco, or Portland, or Vancouver would be a wonderful choice.
RN: Congratulations on the release of the third edition of the Mishka Trillwave series (released on Aug. 13 – stream or download via Mishka soundcloud page)? How did that collaboration come about?
SR: A writer friend of ours in Chicago did an interview with Hood Internet for the website. And from there they asked if we wanted to put up some mixtapes with them. So this is the third one – I think it’s the best one of the Trillwave series so far.
RN: Nice. My favourite track of the first playlist was the Drake and Beach House mashup, personally.
SR: It’s so relaxing.
RN: Now, a very important question, I understand that you guys also do taco album covers. You gotta pick, either you can never eat tacos again for the rest of your life, or you can never listen to your favorite album again.
SR: Listen, you know, as much as I love tacos, I would easily forsake that if I wasn’t able to listen to a favourite record over again.
RN: On that note, this is probably the perfect time to wrap things up! It was really great catching up with you and we’ll see you in Vancouver!