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Saturday, March 7, 2015 5:11 p.m.

Q&A: GW alumni Jukebox the Ghost

This post was written by Hatchet staff writer Ariana Mushnick.

Ben Thornewill, Jesse Kristin and Tommy Siegel lived in Amsterdam Hall when it was called New Hall, where a close friendship around music evolved into their band, Jukebox the Ghost.

Jukebox The Ghost

Ben Thornewill in March 2010 at the Black Cat. File Photo by Francis Rivera | Senior Staff Photographer

Just over a decade since their days as GW students, the bandmates have released four studio albums and played hundreds of shows across the country. Vocalist Ben Thornewill talked to The Hatchet about Shania Twain, California and walking by the White House on a snow day. The trio will perform at the 9:30 Club on March 10.

The three of you met while you were students at GW. What were your times like here?

Ben Thornewill: We were all in the same dorm for sophomore through senior year. We played at every frat party, benefit show, casino nights – all of it. We worked out our kinks while we were there, and once we graduated, we started touring and doing it for real.

It was always my goal to make it a career. Tommy was a journalism major, Jesse [studied] biology and I was the one who was studying music. So in my mind, I was like, ‘Yeah, we’re gonna do this.’ I had to talk them out of more lucrative careers.

What were your favorite things to do in D.C.?

BT: I loved living by the monuments. One of my favorite moments was on a snow day and I walked in the middle of the night to the White House and saw it right before they they started clearing the paths. I think just living in D.C. and having the chance to see the city in those more private, quiet moments is awesome.

You’re now on your biggest U.S. tour to date, and you recently performed on ‘Conan.’ How does it all feel?

BT: It’s wonderful. We’ve had a bunch of really fantastic sold-out shows in L.A. and Chicago, New York and San Francisco, and hopefully D.C. as well. Conan was an absolute whirlwind. He’s very kind and very tall.

It’s been a really encouraging tour. It feels like there’s an energy throughout it [and] it feels like big things are happening.

Did you ever go to shows at the 9:30 Club and envision yourself playing there?

BT: I went to many shows at the 9:30 Club, [but] I never even envisioned myself playing there because I was just hoping to play the Black Cat. That was our big goal. I thought, ‘Oh, maybe one day.’

You just released your fourth album, and it’s more pop-y than your previous albums. Did you have a vision for the album?

BT: We always want to try to not make the same record twice. We wanted to make a record that was a little more, I guess, on-the-nose pop songs, an album that you could put on at a party and listen to all the way through. We [recorded] 50 odd songs and whittled it down to the 11. I think from start to finish we probably spent nine or 10 months on it.

Do any songs on the album carry a particular meaning for you?

BT: Each song has its place and moment in history. ‘Hollywood’ is the one that’s the most exciting and most engaging [live]. Jesse, the drummer, gets out from behind the drum kit and sings it jazz style. It’s a big showpiece and I love that song.

You’ve been together for over a decade. How has the band evolved?

BT: Almost indescribably. We’re now approaching 30 [years old], and we were 18 [and] 19 when we started it. So we’ve aged, which is doing whatever it does to us. And from the beginning, we were just like idiots living in a dorm and sleeping on the floor to make a record in North Carolina, and now we’re at like 900 shows.

We’ve been touring for eight to nine years, so it’s a whole different ballgame. It’s a constant evolution. I think fundamentally we’re the same people, but it’s nice not sleeping on floors anymore.

Who is your No. 1 music idol?

BT: That’s a good question. Beethoven? Yeah, that can be my answer. Otherwise, I can only think of like smart-ass answers like Shania Twain. She’s touring again.

I’ve heard you play covers during your shows. Is this a tradition, and how do you decide what to cover?

BT: It’s definitely a tradition. It came from our days at GW when we’d play parties and stuff, and people would only want to hear so many original songs. They would want to hear something that they know. So we’d always do something like a nod to the audience.

About a year ago, I very jokingly said what if we did ‘Man! I Feel Like a Woman!’ And we were like, ‘Fuck it. Let’s try it.’ And it kills. It’s one of the best covers we’ve done. That’s how it goes. It’s a joke conversation that often ends up being like, alright, let’s try it, and sometimes it works.

What’s the last concert you went to?

BT: Sara Bareilles, who is an such an extraordinary performer. It’s not only the last concert I’ve been to, but like one of the most impressive performances I’ve ever seen. She’s so personable and has such an extraordinary voice. It really blew me away. I didn’t expect to like [her] as much as I did.

When you’re back in New York, what do you do in your free time?

BT: This is the problem with interviews, because all I want to say is masturbation, which I can’t say, like I’m not allowed to say that.

I read a lot, hang out with friends, probably don’t go to rock clubs because that’s all we do. We’re always writing, we’re always making music, so it’s sort of like a continuation of what we do and who we are on the road, just we don’t have to sleep in Holiday Inn Expresses anymore.

What’s your source of creative inspiration?

BT: Life, music, stuff. Paying attention to the world around you, that’s mostly it. And masturbation.

It looks like you guys had a great time filming the music video for ‘The Great Unknown.’ What was that like?

BT: Truly, it was an awesome time. We started in L.A. in the studio that we recorded the album in, drove up the Pacific Coast Highway, just stopped at beautiful national parks, set up the instruments and just played and filmed it. It ended with a party in San Francisco. All of that was perfect. The best music video experience we’ve had.

Anything you want to say to current GW students?

BT: Masturbation. No. Be weird. Subvert the people. Subvert the man. Screw with everything.

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Monday, Feb. 9, 2015 10:22 p.m.

Monday Mix and Editors’ Picks

Monday Mix

Here are a few tracks The Hatchet staff listened to while editing the Sex Issue. Happy listening.

Editors’ Picks

Music | Jeanine Marie, Culture Editor

This week’s pick: “Repetition” by Purity Ring

The lovely Canadian duo hasn’t made an album since 2012, so I’ve waited anxiously for this latest work. Purity Ring has released three singles, and this BBC teaser doesn’t disappoint. (“Repetition” starts at 8:35 minutes.)

Television | Robin Jones Kerr, Opinions Editor

This week’s pick: “Saturday Night Live” 40th Anniversary Special

Where will you find Jerry Seinfeld, Eddie Murphy, Maya Rudolph and 50 other comedians this Sunday? On NBC for the 40th Anniversary Special of “Saturday Night Live.” The star-studded event is sure to cap off your long weekend with lots of laughs.

Lit | Nora Princiotti, Sports Editor

This week’s pick: “When the Game Was Ours” by Larry Bird and Earvin “Magic” Johnson, with Jackie MacMullan

Study up with this candid read about the notoriously competitive basketball stars before March Madness begins.

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Tuesday, Jan. 13, 2015 5:23 p.m.

Spring concert preview

This post was written by Hatchet staff writer Samuel Pfister. 

As the new semester begins, it’s easy to feel stressed by the prospect of another busy season. Instead of your syllabi, check out the best artists hitting the stage this spring, from a jazz legend to a “Trap Lord” to GW alumni, and give yourself a chance to expand your musical horizons.

Bluegrass

Greensky Bluegrass will take the stage at the 9:30 Club at the end of this month. After releasing their eighth studio album in September, the band announced a huge tour from New York to Texas that includes two stops in the District on Jan. 30 and 31.

A true jam band with strong bluegrass roots, Greensky Bluegrass is known for collaborating with artists like Bill Kreutzman, formerly of the Grateful Dead, country band Railroad Earth and Bela Fleck, who recently played a show at Lisner Auditorium. This show is a chance to delve into an alternative musical genre without breaking the bank.

9:30 Club, 815 V St. NW. 7 p.m. $20

Hip-hop

For those looking for something a little more contemporary, A$AP Ferg is coming to D.C. to perform at The Fillmore on Jan. 18. A$AP Ferg is one of underground hip-hop’s up-and-coming artists after a successful 2013 release of his debut album, “Trap Lord.”

The Fillmore, 8656 Colesville Road, Silver Spring, Md. 8 p.m. $37.50

Jazz

A pioneer of the genre, Roy Ayers stops by the District’s Blues Alley jazz club playing a show each night from Feb. 5 to 8. Ayers was one of the first jazz musicians to bring elements of hip-hop and rap into his music.

Blues Alley, 1073 Wisconsin Ave. NW. 8 p.m. $45

Indie-folk

One of the best indie acts visiting D.C. in the spring is singer-songwriter Damien Jurado. Known for his lo-fi folky recordings, Jurado takes the stage at the Rock & Roll Hotel on Feb. 3.

The Seattle native entered the music scene in the late ’90s, and his 2014 album, “Brothers and Sisters of the Eternal Son,” brought him into the modern era with spirited beats like “Metallic Cloud.”

Rock & Roll Hotel, 1353 H St. NE. Doors at 7 p.m. $15

Rock

Dr. Dog comes to town Jan. 22. Hailing from West Grove, Pa., the psychedelic band always puts on a performance filled with distorting sounds and fantastic light shows. Concert-goers get to experience a modern act drawing on influences like The Beatles and The Beach Boys.

9:30 Club, 815 V St. NW. 7 p.m. $30

Indie-pop

The 9:30 Club is hosting an assortment of indie-pop acts that are must-sees for any music lover. On March 10, GW alumni band Jukebox the Ghost hits the club to promote their self-titled album.

Former students Ben Thornewill, Tommy Siegel and Jesse Kristin draw on piano influences and strong lyricism in their music, which scored them a contract with Yep Roc Records last year.

9:30 Club, 815 V St. NW. 7 p.m. $18

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Monday, Sept. 8, 2014 9:07 p.m.

Monday Mix and Editors’ Picks

To make Mondays a little more bearable, The Hatchet presents Monday Mix and Editors’ Picks. We have a soundtrack to beat the back-to-school blues and a curated list of the latest and greatest in music, film and literature. Check back with us every week for new top picks.

Monday Mix

Miss summer already? Let this mini mix remind you of simpler, warmer times.

Editors’ Picks

Film | Emily Holland, Culture Editor

This week’s pick: “The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby”
This film, which has stayed within festival circuits since its debut in 2013, is finally being released in small art theaters across the country Sept. 19. Jessica Chastain and James McAvoy star in this double-sided love story, visually portraying this representation of the classic idiom, “There are two sides to every story.”

Music | Morgan Baskin, Assistant Culture Editor

This week’s pick: Radiohead’s music app, PolyFauna
Radiohead dropped some new tracks via their music app Sept. 1, so download PolyFauna for fresh artwork and a possible taste of what the band’s new album will sound like.

Lit | Tatiana Cirisano, Contributing Culture Editor

This week’s pick: Billy Collins, former U.S. Poet Laureate
If you (tragically) couldn’t make it to former U.S. Poet Laureate Billy Collins’ talk at the National Book Festival, tune into the event’s podcast to hear what you missed. With a combination of dry wit, sudden artistic depth and unexpected twists, Collins’ poems range from funny to sarcastic to touching. Check out “Forgetfulness” and “Budapest”.

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Photo by Jason Thrasher, courtesy of All Eyes Media.

Photo by Jason Thrasher and courtesy of All Eyes Media.

This post was written by Hatchet staff writer Everly Jazi.

A band out of legendary music center Athens, Ga., Futurebirds has played with every group from Band of Horses to Grace Potter and the Nocturnals.

The indie rock band, which promises “laid-back country-rock with an atmospheric, psychedelic twist” will play at the Black Cat on Saturday. Tickets are $15.

Frontman Carter King took a break from the last day of mixing at the Chase Park Transduction studio to talk about the band’s new album, “Baba Yaga.” The interview has been edited for length.

Hatchet: What made you decide to name your second album “Baba Yaga?” How do the witch’s two sides relate to you?

King: You already hit the nail on the head with the two sides of the Baba Yaga character. She’s this ugly horrible witch who lives down in the woods and she eats kids who wander too far into the woods. But she’s also very important to the hero’s quest. She always provides something crucial to the process or to the journey. That last record was a pain in our ass a lot of the time. There were some dark moments where we felt like kids out in the woods being eaten by this thing. But you know what? I saw through and got to the other side and realized the goodness in it as well.

Hatchet: Why do you think you had a hard time releasing this album?

King: We were just caught up in finding the perfect way to send it out into the world. It’s not hard to release records these days. You can go to the Bandcamp site for free and put your record up. We were just struggling ourselves with making sure we gave it the perfect opportunity to succeed and get to as many ears as we could.

Hatchet: As you have become more well-known, toured and talked on radio stations, how have band members’ lives changed?

King: Things have changed and they haven’t changed at all at the same time. That was a stupid answer, but when we started the band we were like, ‘Shit, I mean, if we could play the 40 Watt Club [in Athens, Ga.], that’s all I want to do and then quit.’ And we did that, and I was like, ‘What else can we do?’ We can go on tour. We can play these places, and we’ve gotten to play these incredible venues and KEXP [90.3 FM] and just go on tour with these big bands and bands that you’re fans of and you’re like, man, this is great, you know? It’s all been great, but shit what else can we do? Got that under the belt, what’s next?

Hatchet: What was it like touring with the big names?

King:It’s cool because you get to play these huge venues and you’re like, ‘Shit, I never thought I’d be here on this stage in this amphitheater.’ But the whole time it’s like, ‘You have 30 minutes to load on, sound check if you want to.’ So you’re not like starry-eyed and ‘Oh, I just want to live in this moment forever.’ But the best part about it is, especially when you develop relationships with some of these bands, you just get to pick their brains and take a notepad with you so to speak. You can learn a lot from mistakes people have made, and by taking advice from people, you can avoid a lot of pitfalls.

Hatchet: You’re working on your new album. What should we expect?

King: What can I say? We just got done. We’re mixed. We’ve mixed 16 tracks, and we’re going to cut that down to 10 or 11 probably for the record. There’s a lot of stuff that’s kind of all over the place right now, but we have more faster tracks and we have more way slower tracks. It’s less kind of in the middle than the last one. The tempos stand a little more.

Hatchet: What will you bring to the Black Cat?

King: Ourselves. That’s it. Just our smiles and good intentions.

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This post was written by Hatchet staff writer Tatiana Cirisano.

It’s exciting to see that spring is finally here, but we all need a break from snapping Instagrams of cherry blossoms. This week, dodge the hordes of flower-enamored tourists in favor of these venues.

Feast on gourmet grilled cheese and wine at GCDC

Photo from the GCDC Facebook page

Photo from the GCDC Facebook page

Saturday’s National Grilled Cheese Day has come and gone, but with D.C.’s new gourmet grilled cheese joint, every day is a chance for celebration. Since GCDC’s April 11 opening, cheese-lovers have lined up to try unique flavor combinations like the District Cemita, with chorizo, avocado, and a spicy salsa on pain levain. By night, GCDC transforms into a classy wine-and-cheese bar, offering up cocktails, cheese plates, and savory bites.

Grilled Cheese D.C., 1730 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, open 11 p.m. to 3 p.m. and 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Browse iconic snapshots at the National Portrait Gallery’s ‘American Cool’

National Portrait Gallery | Photo used under the Creative Commons License.

National Portrait Gallery | Photo used under the Creative Commons License.

With only a few weeks of classes remaining, now is the time to check out “American Cool” (or to return for one last look). The exhibit includes photographs of popular actors, political activists, writers and singers of the past century, each figure carefully chosen using a “historical rubric” of coolness. Photographs of pop culture icons like Jimi Hendrix, Hunter S. Thompson, and Madonna line the walls of the exhibit, arranged in order by generation to show the evolution of “cool” in American culture.

The National Portrait Gallery, 8th and F streets NW, 11:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily.

Kill Paris & Candyland @ U Street Music Hall

Throw on some neon and pretend you’re at Coachella with back-to-back sets by DJs Kill Paris and Candyland, who will perform Thursday at D.C.’s U Street Music Hall. Candyland’s head-banging drops and heavy bass will combine with Kill Paris’ futuristic, funky beats for a match made in EDM heaven, bringing the best of both artists together for utter musical mayhem. Expect trippy visuals and erratic lightshows.

U Street Music Hall, 1115 U Street NW, Thursday, April 17 at 10 p.m., tickets: $20

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It took about three songs during Ellie Goulding’s sold-out show at Echo Stage on Sunday before the crowd fell into a trance, dazzled by her signature upbeat, electronic dance songs and impressive light effects.

Elli Goulding in concert last night. Erica Christin | Photo Editor

Elli Goulding in concert last night. Erica Christin | Photo Editor

By the time she began her third song, “Goodness Gracious,” the audience was singing along to every word and every arm was bouncing in the air. Goulding conducted her congregation like a hypnotic preacher, and every body roll and punchy drum solo she performed led to crazed roars from Goulding’s evangelists.

“Who here is shy?” Goulding asked the audience. “Tonight, you’re allowed to go crazy,” she instructed, and people obeyed.

Her performance was nothing short of spiritual. She opened with a powerful rendition of her single “Figure 8,” resembling a genie on stage as she bellydanced in billowy pants, a bustier top and a sparkly bindi that brought attention to her long, golden mane.

Halfway through the set, the pace changed from electric to haunting when Goulding traded her band for an acoustic guitar. During a somber rendition of “Guns and Horses,” the fans took over singing the chorus while Goulding accompanied on guitar.

Goulding applauded the D.C. audience for their enthusiasm during the show.

“I’m pretty shy, so when the audience is shy, I’m even more shy,” she said.

The British singer-songwriter made her audience laugh when she announced that her “trousers” were falling apart and she needed to buy more expensive clothes.

The song that was greeted with the most applause was her rendition of Elton John’s “Your Song,” which reached No. 2. in British charts back in 2010 and she also performed at the Buckingham Palace wedding of Prince William and Catherine Middleton.

Goulding also incorporated a remixed version of MIA’s “Bad Girls” as the background of a thrilling drum solo, which then transitioned to “Salt Skin,” a melody from Goulding’s first album.

The climax of the evening was Goulding’s last five songs. From “Anything Could Happen” to “I Need Your Love” and “Lights,” the energy in the room was at an all-time high and her un-choreographed outbursts of dance reflected the energy of each song.

Fans chanted Ellie’s name for an encore performance that ended with a fiery rendition of “Burn.”

Goulding proved that she is not a singer, but a rock star.

The audience was surprised at the beginning of the evening when a petite, blonde woman got onto the stage, who turned out not to be Goulding. Conway, the unannounced opener, was greeted by maniacal cheering that quickly turning to silence after the crowd realized that this is not who they were at Echostage to see.

Conway looked and sounded like Gwen Stefani, with her platinum blonde hair, toned arms and deep voice. Her songs were full of angst and musical grunts. The audience was relieved when her half-hour set was over.

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This post was written by Hatchet reporter Margaret Kahn.

Kate Nash may be on a mission to outdo James Franco, the unchallenged king of multitasking.

The singer chuckled at the comparison, but can’t deny that she’s been busy. These days, Nash’s agenda includes acting, managing her own record label and overseeing an organization with the aim of empowering young girls, Rock ‘N’ Roll for Girls After School Music Club.

Kate Nash performing in 2010. Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Kate Nash performing in 2010. Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

“I have a lot of energy,” Nash told The Hatchet. “I thrive off doing a lot of different things.”

Nash is performing a sold-out show at the 9:30 Club Nov. 11 at 7 p.m., and she’ll show shot off a musical repertoire that has evolved from soft, quippy tracks to heavy, punk-inspired singles.

Nash’s debut album, 2007’s “Made of Bricks,” was composed of simple tunes that employed Nash’s lilting voice over piano and an occasional drum machine. “Girl Talk,” released in March, is thrashing and loud, full of clanging drums and guitars.

“What I’ve gone through, some of my difficult stuff [brought me to punk,]” she said. Nash suffered from a nervous breakdown while touring in 2008.

What’s stayed consistent throughout Nash’s musical career is her thick Cockney accent, always laced with swears, whether she’s telling a bad boyfriend to “stop being a dickhead” or telling him he’s “full of shit.”

But when record label executives dropped her from Fiction Records after disappointing sales on her second album, “My Best Friend is You,” Nash dropped the bitterness and plunged into independent artistry, creating her own record label, Have 10p Records, and produced “Girl Talk” herself.

She also produced the first album of American teen indie band SUPERCUTE! this year.

“It was cool to be on the other side of things. It’s a lot more pressure.” she explained. “Working with someone else, I learned a lot. Now, I think about everything in a completely different way. You think about every single sound, every single note.”

In the midst of touring for her latest album, Nash is also celebrating the third film she has acted in, “Powder Room,” which is slated for a Dec. 6 release in the United Kingdom.

Nash is also maintaining work with the Rock ‘N’ Roll for Girls After School Music Club, which she founded in 2010, to help aspiring young musicians in the United Kingdom.

“A lot of my fans are young girls and they open up to me. I take that very seriously. I felt very frustrated [by sexism in the industry], and I was becoming very bitter,” Nash explained. “I decided to stop moaning and started acting. [I wanted] to be there for girls and try to encourage them.”

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Avett Brother's latest album Magpie and the Dandelion. Photo used under the Creative Commons License.

Avett Brother’s latest album Magpie and the Dandelion. Photo used under the Creative Commons License.

This post was written by Hatchet reporter Carson Rolleri.

The latest album by the musical quartet the Avett Brothers provides plenty of sweet vocals and glowing melodies that have come to define the group. From start to finish, the album is full of “youthful wonder,” as the band describes.

The single, “Another is Waiting,” epitomizes an Avett Brothers’ song: It’s sweet, upbeat, filled with warm strings and a strong vocals, while the lyrics focus on moving past an inherent shallowness in being an entertainer. The playful melodies move into a much deeper meaning found in the band’s most famous songs “I and Love and You” and “Head Full of Doubt/Road Full of Promise.”

“Morning Song” takes on a more solemn tone, with vibrant but haunting guitar and piano harmonies complementing the song’s message of loss. “Open Ended Life”, the album opener, works to counterbalance these slower songs with an upbeat, Americana instrumental background that supports the album’s overarching call to live out of one’s comfort zone.

By “Clearness is Gone”, the album achieves a well-balanced dynamic that includes both fun youthful melodies but also touches on issues of everyday intimacy.  As NPR’s Stephen Thompson puts it, the album, “feels like a calmly loving missive from friends who offer wise counsel, but know well enough to interrogate their own motives along the way.”

“Magpie and the Dandelion” provides some of the Avett Brothers’ classic raw roots that were polished in the Grammy-nominated album, “The Carpenter”. But Dandelion is able to keep the same self-explorative messages and honest songwriting woven into each track. Overall, it’s a more than a satisfying follow-up.

This post was updated on Oct. 15, 2013 to reflect the following correction:
The Hatchet incorrectly reported that the Avett Brothers’ last album, “The Carpenter,” won a Grammy. It was just nominated for one.

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Interview conducted by Hatchet reporter Zinhle Essamuah.

Known for his annual mashup of the year’s pop hits, DJ Earworm came to GW to open for this year’s Fall Fest before electronic pop duo TimeFlies.

The Hatchet talked to DJ Earworm over the phone on Aug. 30 about his performance at Fall Fest and new music he’s working on. The interview has been edited for length.

HATCHET: Thank you for speaking with me. We are very excited to jam out with you this Saturday. Let’s jump right into it….Recently your music has been rapidly gaining prominence – what do you attribute that to?

DJ EARWORM: It’s a few things. I think, overall, the mashup, the form of the mashup, has more recognition than it used to and I think I made this a style of mashup that wasn’t as common back when it started. And, you know, a lot of early buzz – Facebook and Twitter came along and just kind of blew it up.

HATCHET: What is your personal favorite performance that you delivered this year?

DJ EARWORM: I just played at Soldier Field in Chicago, which is very exciting. Yeah, it was a great concert – a nice show.

HATCHET: Where do you get your musical inspiration from?

DJ EARWORM: Oh, everywhere! I try and listen to every kind of music that comes out so that I kind of know where the pulse is…what people are liking, how things are changing. I listen to tons of different music. I probably don’t listen to enough music on repeat because I just want to…I always wonder what else is there what else is there.

HATCHET: You’ve been compared to Girl Talk before. While Girl Talk’s mashups are a blend of modern and older music you focus almost entirely on modern music…why is this?

DJ EARWORM: A lot of it is the United States of Pop think, which I kind of started and it just took off. So, I kept on doing that and I then got a lot of people asking me to make certain mashups for different reasons and it just sort of took off. I’m definitely not abandoning my old stuff and I do still have mashups that combine old and new, but they’re not nearly as popular. So, what people know me for is United States of Pop even though I’ve got all sorts of stuff. I love current music, I love to keep stuff super fresh.

HATCHET: You said you don’t want to abandon your old stuff, what’s some stuff that you wish would ‘blow up’?

DJ EARWORM: I did some stuff for the Olympics last year that a lot of people were like, ‘what what is that? That’s not what I expected from you!’

HATCHET: Some artists create music for social change, some artists create mashups to get people moving. What’s your goal when creating a piece?

DJ EARWORM: You know, it really varies. Definitely there’s the aspect of social change. At the same time, I don’t mind a song providing escapism as well. Overall, there’s an element of social change just in that I’m using music in this new way that’s sort of challenging the system by appropriating all these elements freely.

HATCHET: Loved your summer mashup! I noticed that Miley Cyrus and Mariah Carey, whose singles (“We Can’t Stop” and “Beautiful,” respectively), have been quite popular this summer were missing from the mix…how do you go about selecting songs?

DJ EARWORM: I considered Miley Cyrus. She was on my short list…It was way to slow and way in the wrong key. Because I was free to use my own judgement as to what songs to include and exclude, I didn’t force songs into a key or tempo. With United States of Pop, it’s like, well, these songs I’ll have to get in there so I’ll have to do some crazy stretching, where if I can choose my songs it can breathe a little bit more because they’re in more of a natural setting. If I had put her in there it would’ve been a great strain. But you will hear her by the end of the year, probably in the United States of Pop! I can’t imagine it won’t make it.

HATCHET: What can we expect of your next mashup?

DJ EARWORM: I’m working on one or two before the end of the year. I’m not sure what….I’m working of United States of Pop already. I should be releasing some stuff before [that].

HATCHET: You wrote a manual about how to create mashups, can we expect any more written pieces from you?

DJ EARWORM: That book was so hard to write. I was at a different point in my life and career when I wrote that and I had the time. It was very big sacrifice which I was able to make at the time. Right now I would have to put too many things aside to make something like that happen. And with sales numbers the way they are I’m not sure I could justify it. People bought the book but it did not make a best seller.

HATCHET: Do you perform on college campuses a lot?

DJ EARWORM: Yeah, I do maybe a bunch of shows every year. Not every weekend but I really enjoy it a lot. I’ve got like four gigs…

HATCHET: What do you expect the GW crowd to be like at Fall Fest this year?

DJ EARWORM: Oh, I heard they’re a lot of fun. *laughs* That’s the rumor. And I expect that there should be a lot of energy there. It should be a big party.

HATCHET: Have you been to GW before? Or D.C. before?

DJ EARWORM: I’ve been to D.C. before but never the University, I’m looking forward to it.

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