Veronica on June 1st, 2012
Each month, we feature an interview with a contributor whose work stood out to us in some way. This month, we’re featuring Kurt Wilkinson, who goes by the pseudonym Lazar Wolfe the Butcher, and whose four-song collection “For the Money” can be found in our current issue.
A hip hop producer of sorts, Lazar Wolfe the Butcher is “a family man with a special lady friend” and two small boys. Between domestic duties and what he calls “an exciting day job in the world of shipping” he tries to find time for making music and skateboarding. He also notes that he tries his best “not to look for life’s answers.”
TGS: Where do you live?
I currently live in Port Moody, BC which is part of the greater Vancouver area. Although I’m sure I will be moving soon as my special lady friend always gets the itch to move every year or two.
What did you first hear that made you want to write music?
The first thing that I heard that got me interested in making music was a mix tape that a friend of a friend made, given to me back when I was in high school (late 80′s). It was a mix of current hip hop artists of the time, like Ice-T, Just Ice, K9 Posse, BDP and even 2 Live Crew. But the thing that made it different than any other mix tape that I had heard up to that point was that it contained a lot of “pause tape” edits.
“It turned out that making pause tapes was a gateway drug for me.”
For anyone unfamiliar with this this primitive audio editing, I can quickly explain. You basically take a dual cassette recorder and record a section of music from tape A to blank tape B. Listen back on tape B and press pause and record on the spot at precisely the last sound heard (right before the “one” in the case of bar in 4/4 time). Then you rewind tape A to just before the beginning of the same section of music and hit play. Just before the first down beat of your section of music plays on tape A you release the pause button on tape B. When you rewind tape B to the first section and press play, it should sound like both recorded sections play together seamlessly, without missing a beat. And from there, the possibilities are endless (I hope this makes sense).
“I’ve always been into making stuff one way or another. It’s something that I can’t help but do.”
So on this particular tape it would be a song that was familiar to me but certain parts would be extended, shortened, or taken out all together. Some places would have odd bits of unrelated stuff edited in. This totally blew me away. Especially that someone I knew, knew someone that was making cool tapes like this (I still think fondly of it). Which brought me the realization that I could probably do it too. Which I started doing. It turned out that making pause tapes was a gateway drug for me.
What kept and keeps your interest in writing music going?
I’ve always been into making stuff one way or another. It’s something that I can’t help but do. And with this kind of music being collage-based and me being an avid used record buyer, I can’t help but hear all the little bits and pieces on the records that could potentially fit together in a different way.
What do you start with when you write a piece? An idea or a sound or…?
Usually it’s a sound fragment from a record. When I get a bunch of sounds together I think about them when I’m at work, driving in the car, or where ever. Then I go back and finish them up. This is usually the way I work stuff out, but every once in a while I just throw a bunch of shit together and it sticks.
What are your influences today?
Again, I would have to say old records. The less popular they were the better. I also feel really lucky to have good friends that really influence me as a person. Having kids also helps too (they look at things with fresh eyes).
“Having kids also helps too (they look at things with fresh eyes).”
I also listen to music non stop which has to influence me in some way. Here are a few albums that I’ve listened to in the past couple of days: Goodnight Nobody by Julie Doiron, Paul’s Boutique by The Beastie Boys, Third by Portishead, Aesthetica by Liturgy, Deerhoof vs Evil by Deerhoof, Strange Negotiations by David Bazan, Good Things by Aloe Bacc, The Architect by Rob Swift…
Have you collaborated with anyone?
Yes. I was a part of a project called Path Of Least Resistance with my friend Mike who is far more advanced than me on turntables. I’ve also collaborated with a few local MCs from the Vancouver area.
How can people get more of your music?
I hope to be putting together a cassette tape soon. If anyone’s interested they can email me and I’ll send them one for free. Also I have a poorly maintained and put together blog that I sometimes put stuff on.
You’re a father of two and you have a day job. How do you make
time for music?
“Sometimes I go without sleep.”
Any parting words of wisdom?
Ignore the boundaries and look for horizons (this works best when applied to skateboarding and religion). Oh, and KYEO.