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Spork Kills: The Louis Dorley Interview Part Deux

by Travis on May 13, 2009

Back with part two of three today. We continue talking about Lou’s continued maturation within his music. While the Misery Loves Comedy album was that “WFT?” album for some, I find that the deep topics and complexed production make it one of my favorite albums of the decade. Some of Lou’s longtime fans and fans of Sin-A-Matic weren’t able to follow along. After hearing the changes on Misery Loves Comedy, the new sounds that are found on his group EP, Spork Kill’s Beaches Love Us should surprise no one. We also discussed the now somewhat infamous Zipper Theater incident. People were quick to judge and it’s a prime example of sheep following the sheep in some instances. Lou gets deeper into the story. We also start in on the origin of Spork Kills….which we pick up more in depth tomorrow on part three….

Part One:

W: Wow, that does kind of suck, it’s almost somber looking back at it. Let’s see….(brustling of papers is heard)….where was I?

LD: (Laughing) Yeah, you might want to take bits and pieces of this so they make sense and it comes out more like an interview instead of a Louis monologue.

W: (Laughing) Yeah, I had kind of an outline for this interview, but that’s been blowin’ to bits already…..

LD: (Laughing hysterically by this time) Oh shit, you are welcome.

W: Fuck it, we’ll wing it. Talking about how things turned out, how do you view where you are at now as far as your career?

LD: I’m kind of floating around. Now I’m like this loner, with no real alliance or allegiance to anybody. This cooky fan base that is comprised of the few kids who were able to tolerate and hanging from the very beginning. Some of the Sin-A-Matic kids, who are more or less hanging on to see if I revert back to my old self or see me do those songs at shows. Then you have the Misery Loves Comedy kids who were obviously much less freaked out by the Spork Kills project. I’m getting new fans that are like, “How come this guy isn’t more popular?” That’s kind of been the uncomfortable reality of my whole career. Having learned as much as I have about live performance and so many different styles of music and incorporating into my hip hop as well as being able to sing and play the piano while rap. People come to the show and they don’t believe nobody knows who I am (laughs). It’s really awkward to say the least.

I think that is the reason J.J. (J.J. Brown, Lou’s partner on 06′s Misery Loves Comedy release) and I aren’t out there anymore touring, it just became too much for him. J.J. and I will always have something to do with each others career. But there are a lot of questions on whether or not we’ll ever make anything together again and right now I can’t really answer them. I think it became to heart breaking that we would play shows in front of thirty on bad nights to a 130 on great nights. You had kids come up at the end of the show and say, “I can’t believe you aren’t more famous, you should be on TV, winning Grammys and stuff. I just can’t believe it! I’m so sorry my town sucks and no one is here.” And I’d be in L.A., I mean really, what sucks about L.A.? It’s the greatest city on the west coast. Nothing sucks about it, what sucks is the weird pocket that I worked myself into. That’s what sucks. That’s not anyone’s fault. It’s my fault.

W: I’m not sure if you even really want to talk about this or not. I’m sure you are probably sick of it, and I wasn’t going to bring it up either, but you kind of alluded to it earlier. The whole Zipper Theater episode…

LD: Ah great, no, we can talk about it. I feel like in hip hop music, you don’t get a lot of opportunity to stick your neck out for a cause, unless you want to be a political rapper type of guy like an Immortal Technique. I’m just not into that, I’m just not that kind of guy. Talking about situations such as that though, it helps get certain social aspects out in the open. So what do you want to know about the Zipper Theater thing?

W: We both know that hip hop is a male testosterone, homophobic driven kind of genre…I mean (as I start stumbling over my words and how I want to word the question)…

LD: Are you going to ask me if I’m gay?

W: No! No, no, no, no!!!!

LD: (Laughing)

W: It just seems like it was a big risk and could have been seen as potentially damaging to your career by doing what you did there…

LD: It was a risk. It was calculated risk and one that I planned to take. I knew what was coming as well. When you have a public career, even if it isn’t as big as you’d like it to be, the stuff gets out there. I knew someone would be there with a camera. If they didn’t put the pictures up and make copies of them, then I was going to put them up. Adam Bernard, who has a pretty popular blog himself, put pictures and wrote a good post about it. That’s all it took. Then I shared my own pictures and my own version of the events.

W: Yeah, it spread like wild fire on the nets that’s for sure…

LD: Yeah, I mean you can read about it elsewhere, but I’ll try to give you the stuff that you can’t read about.

W: Alright….

< span style="font-weight: bold; color: rgb(255, 0, 0);">LD: First of all, I was playing a show with Lady Rizzo, who has been on Moby’s album, Yo Yo Ma’s album, she’s a cabaret and burlesque act. She’s a singer and comedian with a background in musical theater. So instead of having her come to my world…. I mean, what, am I going to have her rapping which would have been…..

W: (Laughing hysterically)

LD: Yeah, see? I don’t even have to finish that thought. The other act was an indie rock act that is fronted by a super tall, super feminine gay guy. I wasn’t going to ask them to come to me. I figured I’d come to their world. Lady Rizzo was going to perform on a song with me, but I didn’t really have anything that would be good for a female vocalist in my back catalog. I could have had her sing harmonies on “Great Divide” or something. I originally thought, “I don’t have any female singing parts”, then I remembered, “Yes I do, on ‘Coochie Coup’.”

W: (Laughs again)….. yeeeeaaaah…..

LD: Yeah, right. I thought, “She’s not going to want to do that. She’ll think that’s disgusting.” Being on Moby’s album and Yo-Yo Ma’s album, she was out of my league in a sense. I wasn’t going to ask her to be on this disgusting porno song. I can see it, I insult when I send her the track and she hears it and has to learn the words. She is kind of a rascal; her show has a lot of below the belt humor in it. I was like, “You know what, musical theory people are way more adventurous than I give them credit for, I’m going to ask her to do ‘Coochie Coup’, but I’ll tack something onto it to make it fun for her so she won’t think it’s just a senseless, misogynistic jamboree.” I told her I’d do it in drag. Originally I was going to wear like a Little Bo Peep dress or something silly like that.

She said, “What do you mean ‘in drag’?”

I said, “I don’t know, I’ll wear fuckin’ sun dress or something.”

She was like, “Oh are you going to shave your legs and everything?”

I said, “No, I want it to be funny, I want to still look like a guy. Like a guy that has no business wearing this stuff. I’m not trying to convince anyone that I make a good cross dresser, that’s not the idea, I want it to be funny. Maybe I’ll even wear a beard or a mustache or something so it just looks totally ridiculous.”

She said, “Why don’t you wear lingerie.”

I replied, “Okay! I’ll wear lingerie.”

She told me she would pick it out for me, she had tons of the stuff. I would go over to her house and she’d pick it out for me. When I dressed up in it, I thought I looked mad “Rocky Horror Picture Show,” right out of the show. I thought it was funny, I was down with it, and I grew up on that stuff. We rehearsed it a little bit and it was going good.

Night of the show came, and I was wearing a pink shirt. Actually I changed into it just before the song. I told the crowd that I wanted to wear it for the next song to show my sensitive side, to get in touch with the ladies.

Lady Rizzo said, “With a pink shirt? I think that’s kind of a soft attempt, you can do better.”
I replied, “What do you want me to do?”

At that point, she rips off my clothes and I have woman’s underwear on and we go on to perform “Coochie Coup” together.

W: So people obviously didn’t get the whole story behind it then?

LD: Exactly, all people saw on line were the pictures, dancing around in woman’s underwear. Not even that really, I was sitting behind the piano. No one is talking about that, someone playing piano and rapping. It was, “Oh my god, Lou’s a faggot, he’s wearing woman’s underwear.”

Here’s what so stupid and annoying about this. Of course everyone wanted to ask questions about it. I’d be on a tour somewhere, like in fuckin’ Idaho or something, where a dude working at local radio would be pre recording an interview for his college show and he’d be like, “Uhhhh, ummm, okay, I’m going to ask you something, BUT you don’t have to answer if you don’t want to. I’m not trying to insult you…yada yada yada,” and he’d give me this big thing, and then he’d say, “Okay, the Zipper Theater show…” and I’d be like (in an annoyed voice), “DUDE, WHAT? What about it?” And the poor kid is like all nervous and whatever….

W: Kinda like me? (Laughing)

LD: He’d be like, “Well….why did you do that? Everyone keeps saying and all, you know, like..uh uhhhh,” and I’d be like, “What? Are you trying to ask me if I’m gay??? Is that what you are trying to ask me?” I thought the kid was going to cry. He’s like, “No!………….Are you?”

W: (Laughing hysterically by the way Lou tells the story)

LD: And I’m like, “Perfect, you are the first person to fall into the trap.” I tried it on you Trav, but you didn’t fall for it. I’d tell him, “That is exactly what I wanted you to ask me, so I can tell you that I refuse to answer your question.” Because I like it that guys are walking around wondering. People that listen to rap music should have to wonder about those types of things. They should think about these things. I don’t even think it’s the artist that should have to pay this toll of the history of homophobia or whatever, when the fans are okay with it.

W: To me, it seems like the ones that get so upset about it are the ones you should worry about….It just seemed really odd to me that everyone got so bent out of shape about that whole incident. I had to chuckle to myself.

LD: Some people were upset. Others were celebrating. They were singing to the high heavens cause they never liked me and it gave them an excuse to really bash me on line with some good pictures. If you google my name and go search in the message boards. There would be a post like, “Best five indie rappers of All-Time”, and I’ll be number four or something. Some kid would come along then and be like, “Louis Logic?!? FAGGOT!!!”, then they’d post those pictures.

I just like the idea of if I don’t answer the question; it plants a seed of doubt. I think rap fans deserve to have think about the idea that some of their favorite artists might chuck cock. It’s a good thing for them to have to accept. It’s a fairly close minded set of people. The only more homophobic audience than the hip hop audience is the reggae audience. Country? Shit, no way man, it’s a blues influence and everyone in blues is a lesbian, (female voice from the background is heard) yeah, all the great singers. My girlfriend is over here chiming in.

So yeah, I don’t answer that question. You figure it out, am I? Go wonder…I might be… I’m not saying I’m not…
W: (Laughing) Nice…Let’s talk about the new project, Spork Kills, and how that all came about. I know Beatman and Rockin’ had an album that you were on that came out in, what, 2006?

LD: Let’s see…uhhhh…. math, I’m no good at it. Yeah, let’s just pretend that we are certain it’s 2006 so I don’t have to hurt my head. They did an album called, “Who’s Supa Now?”, that came out on a Copenhagen based label that was distributed through Universal. They came from a huge collective called, Nobody Beats the Beats, from Denmark, Scandinavia and that whole region of countries in Europe. That bad is pretty big, as big as and mid level indie rock band here. They’re pretty big over there. They were comprised of five different production entities. Beatman and Rockin’ were a part of that. They used to be known as Nick Nack before they changed their names after a DJ from the states with that name became pretty popular.

W: How exactly did you guys link together?

LD: Long story short is, I was hired to appear on the Nobody Beats the Beats Vol. 3 album. The studio engineer didn’t show up because he was sick. Sonny B, the founder of the label these guys are on, called up one of the band members to come in and fill in as engineer. It turned out to be Laust Jeppesen, who is one half of Beatman & Rockin’. We had such a good time hanging out in the studio and recording this song, that I suggested that we listen to some of his stuff and I maybe I could do another guest appearance sometime on one of his beats. He played me some of his stuff, and he plays this song with a Black Thought verse, and I was like, “Wait a second, I have heard this before, where I have I heard this?” It turns out that three years prior I was in Denmark and I visited someone’s basement studio and they were showing me some of their work and they had a Black Thought verse they were messing with. They were asking my opinion concerning the verse and the beat. I liked it, it was a really dope verse. Three years later, here I am, and it’s the same guy. I recognized at that moment. I guess I didn’t recognize him at the time, cause he was pretty much sitting the whole time in the studio. It was just so weird.

I told him I’d call him the next time I came back to Copenhagen. We could go back to his studio and create something just for fun, just jam or something and see if anything would become of it. So we got together maybe six months after that. I gave him a call and he was like, “I can’t believe you are callin’ man, I thought you were just being polite,” and I said, “No, no, no, I meant it, I really wanted to do something.” So I came to the studio and he introduced me to the other half of Beatman and Rockin’, Rolfe. We started toying around. Rolfe was playing a little bass line and Laust was plucking’ little guitar melodies. I’m really liking it and humming along and in two hours we end up slapping a song together from nothing. I’d never done anything like that before. There were no samples in it. It just happened so fast. From writing to recording, two hours. I was like, “Holy shit! We should make an album!” The song was actually pretty good. It sounded like something would have been on the first Roots album, it was really jazzy and live sounding. The only thing not really cool about it was stylistically it was boring. It was like everyone’s first impulse when they decide to do live hip hop.

W: Yeah, I’ve noticed that when it comes to hip hop and a live band, it always has that jazzy feel to it. I’ve always wondered what would it sound like with different elements tied to it instead.

LD: Exactly. We were like, “Let’s keep going”, and make it more weirder and different. We tried something that was really bluesy and rocked out. I was still like, “Okay, I still think this is standard fare. Let’s push further.” Then we made one that was really slap sticky; it almost sounded like it could have been a J-Zone beat from his early days. I was like, “Wow, this is really cool! Now we are getting somewhere.” It was in a cooky time signature for rap at that time. Now a lot of people do 6/8 time. I was waaay into it. Then we made another one that was also in 6/8; it was kinda like spy music, but really cheesy, melodramatic spy music. It used Jazz principles and sounded like a 60′s spy thing. I was thinking, “This is awesome!” It got really big bandy. We discovered what really worked for us. It was silly, melodramatic, dorky and kinda…white, for the lack of a better term.

A year went by, because J.J. and I were in the middle of wrapping up Misery Loves Comedy and we had to tour for that and my mom got really sick. I didn’t want to fly overseas, because I wasn’t sure what was going to happen. It was probably late 2007, like October, and Laust and Rolfe called me and Rolfe’s mother ended up dying of lung cancer and my mother was so sick with lung cancer. I felt so bad having to hear that. My mom was in treatment for it and some it was successful, so I just felt bad for him. Then two months later, my mom died from lung cancer. At that time, I just wanted to go to Copenhagen. We needed to hug it out and cry and I we need to make this record cause I think it could be something amazing.


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