Airbird answers the Questions of Doom
Joel Ford is the Ford, of Ford and Lopatin, and keeping within their own tradition, he also helms his own musical project called 'Airbird'. Kinda find fascinating in a beguiling way. Ford's work in Airbird is very similar to F&L, carrying on with the slow burn of r'n'b and sample music, that has yet to be sampled. Airbird sounds like music you've heard before; but never heard before. It sounds like a slow burn, as if the director of Akira, relocated the classic anime to a 'r'n'b' club in downtown NYC, personal and yet wide reaching and cinematic. We had no choice but to get Airbird in for this week's Questions of Doom.
I find listening to Airbird fascinating, as if you are trying to compress the entire internet into a rar file and unleash it as a song, does the internet influence your writing?
Thanks. What do you find fascinating about Airbird? I think the proliferation of information and the internet influences most people.
Airbird are seemingly influenced by a lot of FM radio rock .... a concept some people (ie critics) are freaked out by - do you feel inspiration can come from any musical source, whether it is’ critically’ accepted or not?
Fm radio rock? Not really an Airbird influence. I do love FM radio though. Mostly for rap and R&B listening.
Are Airbird the ultimate John Hughes soundtrack band?
If you mean that in a “is Airbird an 80s soundtrack project” kinda of way, then no i don’t think about it like that. I’d love to score movies someday though. Also, Home Alone is awesome.
What musical expression do you find within Airbird that you are unable to discover with F&L?
Doing music by myself is a little awkward. I’ve always been more comfortable as a collaborator, but I’m trying to branch out. Still though, Dan and Al are involved on a production level with the upcoming Software releases so its not drastically different than the F&L process. I’m starting to do minimal Airbird tracks where i play bass and sing (with nothing else). I used to do this type of thing for fun by myself, so doing it in front of a bunch of people is very different!
Tigercity were pretty good. What happened to the the band?
We toured hard for 4 years and made a couple of records. Those dudes are my best friends. Bill is releasing music under his Megafortress project for Software this fall. There are some unreleased Tigercity tracks in the vault somewhere. Hopefully we can do another record sometime soon.
What lessons learnt from Tigercity did you apply to Airbird and F&L?
I wasn’t a songwriter before Tigercity, so learning how to write and be in a band was pretty crucial. I learned how hard it is to keep a band together, and how hard it is to constantly tour and be broke. Doing electronic music seems like a vacation from band life sometimes. I love the studio life.
Does cinema have an impact on how you write music? And if so, do you have any particular films/soundtracks that hold influence on your musical projects?
My good friends and I spend the majority of our hang time fantasizing about ridiculous scenarios where we are heroes or villains doing the unthinkable. I’m attempting to write a Sci-Fi screenplay this winter based on a vivid dream I had last year. Most of my musical endeavors are inspired by a feeling or a piece of equipment, but occasionally movies are directly inspirational. I made a track with my friend Cas based on the big heist scene from the movie Heat. When we were finished we put the track on with the movie on mute and had a laugh.
What is the greatest misconception of Joel Ford What is the greatest secret of Joel Ford?
Were you surprised the level of appreciation your subsequent musical projects have had?
I think its surprising when someone tells you a story of how something you wrote affected them deeply. Tigercity was playing a show in San Diego a while back, and three guys from a desert town in California drove three hours to see us. That was heavy. Also a woman from the Miidwest told us she moved to New York because she loved a Tigercity song about NYC so much. That
is weird for me.
What records should we be checking out?
I can’t wait for everyone to hear the new stuff coming out on Software this fall. We’ve got new releases from Harmonizer, Airbird, Megafortress, Slava, Carlos Giffoni, and Oneohtrix Point Never.