team9 is the Australia based bastard pop artist, Neil Mason. He's been making music, mashups and remixes for over ten years, and has worked with Stereogum (Spin Magazine's 2005 Readers Poll Winner: Best Blog) to compile "best of" mashup mixes in 2006 and 2007. Let's hope for 2008 as well... He's quickly joined my own personal top ten list of favorite mashup artists. Check out his website HERE, for more info and lots of downloads.
Without further ado, here's the SAR Q&A with team9...
*Are there any additional names used to describe this project: I’ve made stuff under the name Ruff Muff, Found Sound Orchestra, PleasePlease and Amstrad Rockers.
*Members: The band is mainly me (Neil Mason). When I make originals, I might ask others to get involved – kind of a collective thing.
*Tape manipulations, digital deconstructions or turntable creations: Back in the 80's I used to use an old Amstrad 4 track tape deck thing that I’d use to mix and splice stuff together – more ‘tape manipulations.’ They were pretty terrible but looking back they were very much connected to what I’m doing now with a PC. I use a combination of Acid Pro and Reason. I started using Acid in 1999, probably one of the first versions. It was a bit of a cop out at first because I used mainly loops and soundfonts but I’ve followed Acid every step and it’s now a fully fledged studio – I can’t really see me trying anything else. It’s loaded with vsti’s and fx – everything I need really. Although I’m looking forward to the new Arturia synth – providing my Wife lets me buy it.
*Is there a story behind your name? team9 was originally a collective so the team thing worked at that time – it’s been watered down to just me now but occasionally some of the old crew drop by to add something. The number 9 comes from a John Lennon obsession - he was fascinated by the number 9 and it’s always been a number that has followed me around. I don't like the name now - my wife thinks it makes me sound like a boy band but it’s kind of stuck.
*Location: team9 is based in Perth, Western Australia. It probably couldn’t have existed anywhere else. Perth is the most isolated City on the planet. It’s a beautiful place but music wise it's very rock focused. There isn’t a huge amount of computer based electronic music being made here – Melbourne is the place for that. Initially it was quite easy to get myself heard in Perth. I sent some original stuff to the local station and they featured it for a week. Selling my music to labels though was soul destroying and I very quickly gave up trying to push it. The internet and bootleg scene was a good fit for me. Make a song in an hour, put it on the net and it was getting airplay within 3 hours. Perfect for someone with ADD.
*Original Location: I’m from Leicester in England originally. I moved to Australia when I was 19, travelled round and settled on Perth. I still miss the old place every now and then but life is good down here. Plus I need to be near somewhere with good surf and there isn’t much of that in Leicester.
*What is your creative/artistic background: I can’t class myself as a musician. I can play a little piano and guitar but rely heavily on the quantise button. I love music though. I have since I was a kid, which is quite unusual given that my parents taste in music is s***, for want of a better word. I think that today’s technology allows anyone to tap into their creative side, whether that be using Photoshop for art or Acid for music. However, it also helps to have a good understanding of what works. For me, I like to think that I know what sounds good together, whether that’s mixing a vocal over an instrumental and coming up with chord progressions and riffs. It’s one thing having the tools, it’s another thing being able to use them. So, in short, 10 years ago I was s*** and now, thanks to computers, I’m not quite as s*** as I used to be. Does that answer the question? Probably not.
*History: team9 started out in 1997 as a band. We thought we were Oasis but it was really just an excuse to get drunk and high. We did record an album though that scored some good reviews but we collapsed under the weight of our drug fuelled egos. I have to say drug fuelled because I typically don’t have an ego, I have the opposite of an ego, whatever that might be? So anyway, yes, started out in ‘97 and then it became a very loose collective in about ‘99 and then slowly it dropped down to me. All alone. With no one to talk to.
*Born: November, 1970
*Motivations: I do it because there is nothing to watch on TV, plus it’s become a kind of addiction. I can’t walk past the computer without switching it on. Once it’s on I can’t help but try things out. I suppose I’m motivated by a creative urge that has only got bigger in recent years. It’s good to get ideas out of my head, kind of a therapy. God, this sounds like I’m a nutter. I’ve never really thought about it to be honest. I like to think that I’m getting better at what I do and I think that motivates me and keeps me going.
*Philosophy: I don’t have one.
*How would you like to be remembered: I’d like to hope that my music made a handful of people smile, but ultimately, and this is going to sound incredibly corny, I’d like to remembered as a good Father, Husband and Son.
*Web address: www.team9.net