Feed Me on His New Album and Why “DJ culture doesn’t interest him at all”

 This week, John Gooch, better known for his stage moniker: Feed Me, released his newest album: “Calamari Tuesday”.  Feed Me is best known for the little green monster that Gooch uses as the character to represent his music.  The dubstep, DnB, and electro producer has long been recognized for his creativity and for bringing up the unexpected with his dynamic, multilayered music.  But last May, he announced that he would be leaving public performance and would no longer be DJing shows.  It seems that this is antithetical to an EDM producer with a new album and a love for the art of electronic music. Why is he doing this?  In a recent interview with inthemix, Gooch begins to reveal how he truly feels on the matter.

You mentioned earlier this year that you want to stop DJing and focus on producing. What about DJ culture makes you want to take a step back?

“DJ culture doesn’t interest me at all. The goalposts on what that means have moved now, and what it encapsulates is largely a waster’s paradise in my eyes. There are people out there making an art form of it still, but very few. I got sucked into music and forced to DJ initially. I grew to enjoy it, but it was never my intention. The glitz and plastic celebrity package that surrounds the DJ image now is not how I want to be defined.

I’ve stood side-of-stage a lot of times this year and watched largely talentless people batter a gigantic audience with an endless slew of unrewarding build-ups, poorly-engineered electro and mind-numbing chord progressions, all with next to no dynamics or pause for consideration. If this is DJ culture they can keep it.

Ultimately I built myself through my original writing and artwork, and while it’s easy to endlessly tour until the tank runs out, I wanted to cut off for a while and immerse myself back in only that. So far it’s been fantastic, and all the time I’m away I’m looking more and more forward to the idea of touring again in the future.”

So what makes DJ culture bad?  According to Gooch, at least to some degree it’s that it makes the music bad, and that it’s making EDM shy away from true art.  Feed Me is certainly on the level of artistry with others like Deadmau5 and Daft Punk.  But what makes his music art more than anyone else’s?  Taking a look at one of his new tracks, “Lonely Mountain” we can get a sense for the answer.   “Lonely Mountain” is entirely unique, and ultimately it’s a large degree of sonic variety that makes it great.  You never really know what’s coming next when you’re listening, and the track sounds like nothing you’ve ever heard before.  It’s multilayered with many different sounds within one track, varying from complex chord progressions and melodies to heavy house basslines and elements of dubstep. It’s completely dynamic.

That’s what Feed Me wants from EDM, but what is he afraid of, and what is the ‘glitz and plastic celebrity package’ that he is talking about?  One of the most profound questions that has been asked of the EDM community in recent weeks is undoubtedly one that was raised by one Paris Hilton: “Are You Having a Good Time?”  She asked us several times, with occasional interludes from Lil Wayne commenting on the remarkable manner in which she asked.  Hilton’s new single is the culmination of her new foray into ‘DJing’ and the EDM scene.  Take a look at the video if you missed it. (Brace yourself)

Paris Hilton and “Good Time” are the crystalline form of what Jon Gooch hates about EDM and DJ culture.  She has absolutely no background in DJing, let alone in music production.  Also, the musical product itself has a number of technical flaws.  What makes “Good Time” something short of art is a lack of depth (among other things).  It’s repetitive and the portions it repeats are not even particularly fulfilling or even pleasing to the ear.  But also, as the music video goes to show, the motivations and spirit behind the track are just as shallow as it’s crude simplistic melody and boorish lyrics.  Why, Jon Gooch is asking, would he want to be a part of Paris Hilton’s pool party?

Although it’s a just question, and one that we may all end up asking ourselves someday, there is certainly another side to it.  Gooch says that Feed Me will not be touring “Calamari Tuesday”.  This rings eerily similar to Daft Punk not touring for “Random Access Memories”.  Their music is clearly exemplary.  But if it is so good, why are they not taking the EDM scene by storm and improving the shallow, plastic package that is rapidly taking over the culture?  Some fans have begun to ask themselves if their heroes have abandoned them.

Why will there be no “Calamari Tuesday” or “Random Access Memories” tour?  And why don’t the artists who are truly artists make themselves more accessible to the mainstream?  We may not know until the day that that nefarious little green monster and the two frustratingly mysterious French robots emerge from their caves of creative meditation.  According to the interview, hopefully that time will come within a year or so, at least for Feed Me.  But in the mean time, think carefully and ask yourself… are YOU having a Good Time?