“Why’s a Dog” was released on DJ Dog Dick’s The Life Stains LP on HOSS Records almost a year ago. The accompanying video, directed and edited by Joe Skinner and premiering here, is a bizarrely mesmerizing complement to the cacophony of synth and vocal effects, guitar, bass, drums and other sounds crawling through this song. It is catchy and disorienting all at once, and like much of this Baltimore-born, Rockaways-living half-Jewish, noise emcee’s material, it is hard not to feel a little bit confused when it’s done. Max Eisenberg, the man behind DJ Dog Dick, sheds some light on the track and video below.
See also: The Month in Noise: Condom Sex and DJ Dog Dick
This song is pretty schizophrenic to listen to–what the hell is going on here? What instruments are being played?
It’s all just sound, I’d say, a modern palette of sound. Like you’re on a walk around a city, you’re listening to everything around you, there’s all kinds of noises; they’re animal, they’re mechanical, they’re electronic, some of them are in harmony with each other, others are dissonant, but there’s a peace of mind you have in the listening, it places you in a reality. You’re on a walk around a city.
What are you going for in this video? What was shooting it like?
Joe Skinner conceived, directed, and produced the whole thing with a crew of his fellow NYU Film students/alumni. I had never met Joe before his pitch to make the video, but his credentials checked out and I liked his idea to base it on the video for Phil Collin’s “In the Air Tonight.” It was a fun shoot; working with a team of people all taking part in a creative endeavor very effectively is my jam. Joe and co. really put a lot of work into it. The room I’m pacing around in in the video was built and painted for the shoot, the caliber of camera (a “Red”) being used required a small team of its own to operate properly. There was a prop person, a guy with the action-block thing, a snack table dude, and a young lady whose job it was to mix and pour that mud all over my head. Everybody was very professional but also fun and engaging. I should note that this video is the first that I’ve given direction/editing over completely to another artist. It was interesting being there and focusing exclusively on being the subject and scary to watch the first draft Joe sent me, but I’m really happy with this video and pleased to finally make it public (Joe finished it quite awhile ago).
Tell us about what the Red Light District is and how you like living in the Rockaways
The Red Light District is a household I’m very fortunate to have been a part of the last couple of years. By the time I moved in the house had already built a storied reputation as a headquarters/venue for some of the most legitimate fringe music in America. There’ve been shows here in the basement for six years now, it’s a lucky thing we’re able to maintain out here in the Rockaways, a badass place to live. I love it, thank you.
You wore the shirt you are wearing in this video when you played my radio show on WFMU a couple years ago. What type of material is that, and how long have you owned it?
Ha, yea, this shirt is tite. I found it years ago in a thrift store and tore the sleeves off. It’s 80% polyester and 20% cotton. I imagine it as part of an outfit some outlaw cyborg from 2069 would wear from birth to death.
What has DJ Dog Dick been doing lately? What’s new or coming up?
About five months ago I put out a new DJ Dog Dick album KCID GOD ’97 featuring co-production with Emil Bognar-Nasdor (Dawn of Humans) and additional verses by Alexandra Drewchin (Eartheater, Guardian Alien). Most of the material I play live now is from that album. I’ve got a killer song I did with HAK from Ratking dropping soon with a music video. Faded Flock. It’s rap, it’s poetry.
Any last comments?
Well, it’s the three year mark me living here in NYC. I love you NYC, thank you so much.
Advertising disclosure: We may receive compensation for some of the links in our stories. Thank you for supporting the Village Voice and our advertisers.