feed-me

Interview: Feed Me Talks New Album, Solo Label Launch And More

If there were a set of guidelines on how to be successful in the dance music world, Jon Gooch, also known by his mischievous moniker, Feed Me, surely wouldn’t follow them. In fact, he might tear them up just for kicks. Keeping with the beat of his own drum, Jon now is launch his own label, Sotto Voce which will release the newest Feed Me album, ‘Calamari Tuesday’ on October 14th. VIBE feeds on his brain in this interview, in which Gooch opens up about Sotto Voce, the Calamari Tuesday album, parting ways with Mau5trap, squids and more.

VIBE: With the creation of Sotto Voce, will it be your full time label or will you work on mau5trap more in the future?
Feed Me: I'm not against working with mau5trap again but I'm primarily invested in building my own world. I've always enjoyed conversations I've had with Joel, and it was a good platform to get my music out there, but as a label mau5trap felt passive.

Fans love the fantasy of it being a crew, but we weren't riding in a jeep drinking orange mocha frappuccinos (or a Ferrari to Tim Hortons) or anything. I just handed in music and it came out. With the exception of the Spell I have no idea if he liked any of the music I released on there. That's not what running an indie label is about to me.

What do you want Sotto Voce to present to the music world? Will the label be a solution to certain current problems with the industry or will it be more of your personal escape from the presence of working under a larger label?
I want it to represent my attitude towards music and be a proper platform where I can really showcase people what I believe in. The people I tour and exchange ideas with, who you get to kind of journey with through your life, if you're immersed in it all then it becomes your extended family. SoVo will be the second time I've built up a crew and brand from nothing, I know from experience how much it means to people to feel united and also be able to see that you're actively interested in your artists and working together.

With the mentioning on your twitter last spring that you would be done DJ’ing for a while by this autumn… which is now, how do you plan to market and promote the album aside from good PR work (such as what we are doing right now)? Will you focus on a live show?
No shows scheduled. I'd rather come back and tour album number 2 if anything. I know it goes against the grain of the typical album PR machine but I also knew I really needed this gap to work on things. If we bring back the live show I want to make sure we've developed it in some way. We pushed the Teeth show to the limit of what could be done and developed new technology to do it, I want to make sure we keep achieving and doing something special.

The character Feed Me and the character for Spor are somewhat menacing personas. Is this a form of release for you through the characters?
I see Feed Me more as an eccentric and mischievous. There wasn't really a character for Spor which was part of the reason for creating Feed Me, I wanted that projection of myself to pour ideas into. It doesn't scare my niece anyway and she's 3, man up bruv.

If Feed Me met Spor, what would that interaction be like?
Like eating six of the ten most decadent pastries ever conceived.

When did you decide you wanted to do the full length album and what inspired this decision?
I've always wanted to do a full length, it feels good to get the first hurdle over with. I'd always rather work in album format, it's an actual statement to the world, regardless of how changes in media evolve how people can buy them, you're still laying out a portfolio of you and saying 'this is me, now'.

This album seems to go through a lot of phases and sentiments as you listen to it from beginning to end. If it could talk, what kind of story would Calamari Tuesday tell us?
Ever since I 'became' Feed Me it's been one long adventure, and my life accelerated exponentially compared to its pace as Spor. It's trying to reflect that, when I look at the memories I have from it all, collectively it's dynamic and colourful, moving but hopefully never taking itself too seriously.

Is Feed Me a frequenter of Calamari? Or does he simply prefer liquor and cigarettes?
Any reference to Calamari is abstract. It's a sensitive subject. Squids are intelligent. Personally I can't get into cigarettes, I keep trying but it doesn't agree with me. Any advice?

In a digital age, its very less frequent we see a full length album like this when someone can simply pick and choose individual songs as they please. What inspired you to make a full length album like this knowing that that may be the case?
I grew up on albums, I'd listen to an album like I'd sit and watch a film. I'm all for advocating attention span, it's worrying when people can't let go of constantly drip feeding minor stimulation to themselves. I'm sure people might pull out one or two tracks but hopefully the record is more rewarding for those that don't.

In what way did John Nolan bringing your image of Feed Me to life inspire you as a musician?
Art and music in my head is all squished together, anything that reinforces the world I live in as Feed Me in new ways always has a knock on effect musically. I can't wait to introduce it more in film.

In what ways have you seen Feed Me grow as a character since his conception? Has he matured or has he simply become more wild and fierce in his years?
I'd say the whole project has a been a process of refinement, distillation and self-analysis. So yeah I'd say he's a bit more of a gentleman and a little more reflective. But also destructive, sarcastic and apathetic. Pretty sure he's highly sceptical of 'EDM' also.

What’s next for Feed Me adventures?
I'm working on album number 2, and working closely with new talent for Sotto Voce also. Things are in motion for a short film project which I'm excited about, featuring me and Feed Me, I want to tell a bit about the story of how we met. At some point I want to start looking into doing another live tour, but we'll see how that goes.

While it might be unclear when we will see Feed Me tearing up music halls and venues across the US again, this much we know, whatever happens is under Jon Gooch’s own graces; free from outlying pressure and expectations of the dance music community. In an industry that is in many ways becoming centered in producing, ‘what sells now’, Feed Me refuses to fall in line. Be sure to pick up Calamari Tuesday on October 14th.

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Don Cheadle as Mo in 'Black Monday,' Episode 4 ("295")
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'Black Monday' Recap: Mo Feels The Weight Of Playing God

Another week, another dive into Black Monday. In this week's episode, “295,” Mo tries to salvage his plan to get the Georgina company’s shares after Blair and Tiffany Georgina’s surprise breakup in the previous episode threw a wrench in that plan. By the end of this week’s episode, Mo gets what he wants but it doesn’t go as planned. Don Cheadle told VIBE that Black Monday was “insane...in a good way,” and this episode shows just that, starting with Mo’s God complex.

Stop Trying To Be God

You need a certain cocktail of self-aggrandization and delusions of grandeur to walk around with a God complex. Mo has that cocktail coursing through his veins. The entire episode revolves around Mo’s attempt to control the actions of humans by placing them in certain situations he is sure will yield his desired results. Only someone blinded by their obsession with being right wouldn’t see having to fix a “foolproof” plan makes him a fool.

The writing expertly showed that when you play God your creation is your reflection, especially in the tense scene at Mo’s dining room table with Blair and Dawn. He turned Blair into a cocaine-addicted party animal to show him how empty life is without having someone you love. Then, in one scene, Dawn exposed how all Mo did was build Blair in his image without realizing that part of his plan was to inadvertently show Blair just how miserable Mo really lives.

Even ostensibly innocuous details carry a huge emotional weight thanks to Black Monday’s writing and Cheadle’s consistently engaging performance. The writers literally had Mo on the outside looking in at forces out of his control at the end of the episode when he’s looking into the bar. It’s at this climactic moment of the show that Mo realizes his own mortality by getting what he wants but missing out on what he knows he needs.

It’s also at this moment that the show’s most boring lead character grew into someone worth watching.

Blair Is Here

For the first three episodes, Blair was as interesting as paint on the wall; always in front of your face but in the back of your mind. Before a single character utters a word in this episode, Blair is chain-smoking cigarettes, snorting coke and dressed like a Saturday Night Fever extra. He died “for a song and a half” and was electroshocked back to life, all in the first minute of the new episode. Blair has finally joined the Black Monday party and the show is better for it.

Mo molding Blair into his image allowed Blair to tap into a new level of confidence.  Blair’s exchange with Dawn about the implicit racism and sexism in 1980s films like Teen Wolf was rewind-worthy hilarious and ends with Blair remarking, “My favorite line from the movie is, ‘I’m not a f*g, I’m a werewolf. Oh, Michael J,” easily one of the funniest 1980s critiques on a show full of them.

The episode also entangled Blair in the show’s first love triangle, ensuring that Blair’s character growth is probably not done. With Blair now being compelling, following Dawn and Keith’s character-defining performances in the previous episode, Black Monday has set up its four most accomplished actors to be able to carry entire story arcs without relying on each other. But, the Black Monday world got bigger than those four in this week’s episode.

The Wall Street Mythology

There’s not enough time in a 30-minute episode to flesh out every character’s backstory and fully formed personality. The most surprisingly funny part of episode “295” was the story arc of Jammer Group traders Keith and Yassir (Yassir Lester) trying to stop Wayne (Horatio Sanz) from completing a “The LaGuardia Spread”. The arc showed that Black Monday has an ingenious way of speeding up character development: mythologize Wall Street.

On Black Monday, “The LaGuardia Spread” is when a trader takes a huge position on a stock, goes to LaGuardia Airport and waits to see if they made a huge profit or debilitating loss. If you guess right, you come home. If you guess wrong, “you don’t come home ever. You get on a plane and you f**king disappear,” according to a frantic Keith. Wayne was nothing more than a bumbling joke punchline of a trader before this episode. In only a few minutes of screentime we find out Wayne slept with his wife’s sister, has some weird dislike for The Howard Stern Show’s weekly guest Jackie Martling, and is so money hungry that he’d be giddy at the news of a mad cows disease epidemic and it’s positive effect on his “LaGuardia Spread” trade.

A similar result happened before on Black Monday. In the series premiere, the Lehman twins (Ken Marino) laid out the Georgina Play, the foundation of Mo’s plans to get all the shares from the Georgina company from Blair after he marries Tiffany. That Wall Street myth led to their grandfather setting himself on fire. That myth also showed that at any moment any person you see on screen become valuable because of what they about know how this fictionalized world works. As long as Black Monday continues to use the inherent absurdity of Wall Street as a machine for character development, this show could begin entering the conversation for one of the best ensemble casts on television.

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Cardi B Says Jussie Smollett May Have "F**ked Up Black History Month"

Many people are split on the alleged attack on Jussie Smollett. The Empire actor claims he was attacked by two MAGA supporters in late-January, who doused him in an unidentified liquid while shouting racial and homophobic slurs at him.

Cardi B, who is often vocal about issues in society on her social media platforms, spoke out against the reports that Smollett potentially orchestrated the attack.

"I'm really disappointed in him," she said in an Instagram Live video. "I feel like he f**ked up Black History Month, bro. Like, damn. I'm not gonna say, yet. Until he say it out his mouth that it was fake and the sh*t was staged, I don't want to completely blame him, because somebody I was talking to they said police in Chicago are racists..."

She continues by stating that there's a possibility that the police may be trying to frame the actor, who maintains his innocence amidst damning reports. However, she said that it's "f**ked up" if he is indeed lying to the public.

"Then you gave Donald Trump immunity to f**kin' laugh at n***as and sh*t. Make mothaf**kas look bad," she concluded.

Watch her comments.

Cardi B gave her opinion on the Jussie Smollett case on Instagram live. (1/2) pic.twitter.com/6AYU7cT5nL

— Pop Crave (@PopCrave) February 18, 2019

Cardi B gave her opinion on the Jussie Smollett case on Instagram live. (2/2) pic.twitter.com/c9CdhEB3sN

— Pop Crave (@PopCrave) February 18, 2019

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Reports Emerge Claiming Jussie Smollett "Rehearsed" Alleged Attack

TMZ reports that Empire actor Jussie Smollett, who claimed in late-January that he was attacked by MAGA supporters, reportedly rehearsed the alleged assault with the two men involved. According to prosecutors, his alleged racial and homophobic attack will be headed to a grand jury next week.

Per the site, "Abel and Ola Osundairo told cops they got in a car with Jussie and scouted a location, settling on the one right outside the actor's apartment. The brothers said Jussie chose the spot because he believed a camera would have captured the action."

The sources close the the situation said that Jussie reportedly wanted to make the attack a "physical thing," but did not want to be seriously injured. While Jussie left the scene with just a scratch, the brothers- who are Nigerian, and not white- did not know they left a mark on him, as that's not what they had rehearsed.

"On the night Jussie says he was attacked, the brothers claim they showed up at the scene but were extremely nervous because, just as they played out the scene, a car drove by and they were worried they'd be ID'd," the site continues.

Smollett released a statement through representatives vehemently denying the allegations that he orchestrated the attack, maintaining his original story.

 

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