Q&A: Baths Is Super-Excited about CMJ, Marnie Stern, Anderson Cooper


Thus far, Baths is most famous for his publicity shots, a stunningly fragile array of goofy portraits in which the electronic solo musician stands in old man’s underwear, looking lost, sometimes accompanied by a gay Pomeranian named Guiseppe. (We ushered Baths’ press-photo pooch into the Indie Pet Hall of Fame on Friday.) But you will be seeing the name Baths–who does, in fact, take baths on tour, we ate the corny bait and asked–listed a lot this week. The 21-year-old (as of April!) Anticon artist is playing six shows over the course of this year’s CMJ, from the I Guess I’m Floating Showcase tomorrow 6pm at Piano’s to the PopGun showcase on Saturday night at Glasslands.

But this afternoon is actually the show he’s most excited about–he plays the Terrorbird Showcase today at the Cake Shop, 5pm right before Marnie Stern. And he is super-excited! Seriously, we talked to him last week, and it’s fucking adorable how excited he is to be introduced to the vagina monologuer “in a legit way.” Also, Anderson Cooper!

What do you imagine CMJ will be like?

I have no idea. I never know what anything is gonna be like. The one thing I’m extremely stoked about is that I’m playing at the Cake Shop as direct support for Marnie Stern. There’re five or six bands, then me and then Marnie Stern. So the way I get to introduce myself [to her] for the first time is in a legit way. Because I love her, and I love her music, and I’ve been obsessed with her new album lately. It’s complete and total coincidence that we’re on the same bill, but I’m freaking out about that. I can’t wait to say ‘Hi’ to her and then hopefully get to say ‘Hi’ to Zach Hill if he’s playing with her.

We’re big fans of her around these parts.

I feel this kinship with her. This is sort of ridiculous, but a lot of people say she’s the “shred-queen.” It’s the way the press has built her up. But she’s a songwriter, just in a genre that typically doesn’t have songwriting. She makes amazing music–they’re great songs–and it’s hard for people to describe. They pin her down in the wrong way and say really stupid things about her music.

That’s sort of happened to me, in a different way. People keep tying me down as a beatmaker, and exclusively a hip-hop guy, wherease hip-hop is not even a part of my background. This first album was meant to have very big-sounding beats, so it has a big hip-hop tinge to it. We’re both miscategorized. I don’t even know how I would talk about that with her, but her music is amazing and it frustrates me to read the way some people talk about her stuff.

Do you have anything special planned for your CMJ shows?

I’m trying to incorporate this little Casio that I use on some new songs into the set. It sort of adds a lot of fun to the performance and it looks really cool.

The one goal I have that will never really happen is meeting Anderson Cooper while I’m in New York. If you know of anybody who knows anybody who knows anybody who knows Anderson Cooper, just let me know.

Why Anderson Cooper?

He’s the sexiest person on the face of the planet. I’m totally totally in love with him–totally, totally infatuated with him. And he has good taste in music. He had a celebrity playlist a long time ago on iTunes and apparently he really likes bands like +/-. He’s a hip guy. A dope guy. And I want to hunt him down.

I didn’t expect you to say that.

That’s the thing. If I just keep putting the word out there, it might just come true. It might hit the right person somewhere. And maybe he can learn from this interview–this is so retarded–that if he came to the show and said “Hi,” I wouldn’t be a creepo.

Other than being a really nice dude with a very good record and a crush on Anderson Cooper, why else should I tell people to come see you?

Because I hopefully put on very fun shows. A lot of people have been dancing on this tour. And I have a great time performing, and the more people that’re there the more fun it is for me–and them. It’s just a big cycle of joy that happens.

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