QA: JOE JEFFERS

QA_JOEJEFFERS.png

image credit_ Richard Mosse.jpg

Photography by Richard Mosse.

 

1. Who are you?

I am Joe Jeffers, Joey Desktop, USA GOLD, Wesley, and Baby Joe.

2. What do you do?

I make music and try to foster strength in communities of working artists, usually through booking and managing real life spaces for exchange and collaboration.

3. Where do you often create/produce?

I have a little studio, but my practice lives on my laptop, and I suppose on my old “Desktop.”

4. When?

When I’m not busy making money.

5. Why do you play music?

Before working in music full time, I did curatorial and non-profit work. At some point it became clear to me that music was the only form that felt therapeutic to the maker and audience.

6. When did you start making music?

At 13 I smoked weed with Jaimie Branch in a recording studio and that’s been my life since.

7. Which track defines you the most?

Take It Easy, The Eagles.

8. How would you describe your own music?

Sloppy, sublime, insubordinate, existential, romantic, narrative, polarizing…

9. Any track of the moment?

Emotional by Kamile, Kranium and Louis Rei

10.What influences your work?

I am mostly influenced by trying to be a human in post-human times. 

11.What’s your academic background? Are you an autodidact?

I did a little school, fine arts at UIC, fashion at Parson. Dropped out at 20 to self-educate through a remote artist residency I founded and led for 10 years.

12.Favorite designer?

I want every surface I touch to be made by my friend Chris Schanck.

13.Favorite book?

Paul Auster had a huge effect on me, New York Trilogy or Moon Palace

I think detective stories are one of the only interesting American idioms.

14.Favorite classic movie?

Casablanca.

15.Favorite music label?

I was massively affected by Thrill Jockey as a kid, I don’t pay attention to what they do now, but I lived for everything they put out for like 10+ years.

16.Your dream collaboration?

Laurie Anderson.

17. Are you analog or digital?

Desktop… “duhhh(in Jaimie Branch’s voice).

18.Which soft wares/tools/ instruments do you use/play?

I use Ableton and Logic. The work is largely made from sampling, whether that means real synthesizers, field recordings, or real instruments played by my friends. For performances, I like to use CDJs as they have become the norm for me.

19.Describe your creative process?

I think I am like a designer who works with audio. I make and appreciate a lot of different styles of music, and I try to resist conforming to genres. I have been so deeply involved in DJ culture in NY that I think a lot about how sounds blend or sit together. How compositions or swatches of audio become a linear message is important to me, probably because I am someone who still thinks about the album as primary form. I have a rather large cache of unreleased music, so really the practice at this point is a lot about how to arrange these pieces in meaningful ways. Lately, I’ve been working on live translations of bedroom recordings with my long time collaborator Jaimie Branch, who plays trumpet and synthesizers in the live form of Amateur Psychology.

20.When are you the most prolific (creatively)?

When I feel utterly hopeless.

21. Any favorite record stores? (Real/virtual)

Jazz Record Mart (RIP)

22.What’s your life philosophy? (Optimistic/pessimistic)

Radical Love!

I think sarcasm and cynicism ruined me and my generation.

For me at this point, it’s all about finding humility, empathy, and compassion.

23. Do you have a healthy lifestyle?

Kind of? I need to quit smoking.

24. How do you manage your time effectively? (Job/hobby)

I’m not sure I do. During the summer it’s work and play non-stop.

I’m learning to write things down, especially getting specific about goals that seem nebulous.

25. Any secret skills?

I can cook pretty well, but I eat like a savage.

26. Any future plans?

I want to make a bunch of records, with Jaimie Branch, Ase Manual, Raven, for myself. It sounds like I will continue to work on programming at Strange Edition, a new space coming to life in the Studio of photographer and filmmaker Richard Mosse. Other than that whatever Jeanie wants to do.

27.What’s your life motto?

“Take it eaaaasssssyyyy, take it eeeeaasssyyy, dont let the sound of your own wheels drive you crazy”.

28. Any “mot de la fin”?

Love and respect, always.

 

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