Catch up on some Girl Talk

17 May

This story orginally ran in the Scene section of the Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal  in February 2009.



OXFORD – These days, it’s hard to impress music fans who have heard it all before.

That is, until Girl Talk arrived on the scene.

Girl Talk

Girl Talk

Gregg Gillis, better known in the music world as Girl Talk, has the music world buzzing with his albums created almost entirely from samples. To say his records are simply mash-ups made from other artists’ music is to sell it short, though; Gillis meticulously pieces other songs together to craft cohesive dance music, which usually sounds nothing like the samples used to craft his songs. 

Girl Talk’s latest record, “Feed the Animals,” uses more than 300 samples in about 50 minutes.

“Feed the Animals” combines music from all genres: Fergie, Megadeth, Lil Wayne, Fleetwood Mac, Roy Orbison, Dem Franchize Boyz, are just a few of the artists whose beats are mashed up.

Gillis admits he’s still kind of surprised by his success. His last two albums were on a host of year-end Best Album of the Year lists, and now he’s in high demand for shows all over the world.

“Music was always something I viewed as a hobby. It’s been my passion all my life, but I never intended it to be a career,” Gillis said in an interview with the Daily Journal. “It’s definitely insane to me, especially compared to what it was four years ago in the size of the shows and how many shows I can play. The interest level is through the roof.”

After all, Gillis was working as a biomedical engineer before his 2006 album, “Night Ripper,” caught the attention of the music world.

Now, Gillis spends his weekdays working on crafting new music, and his weekends are booked with shows.

“The process I use for making music is pretty meticulous. I work for eight hours on this small bite that maybe will be used nowhere or maybe a 30-second moment on an album somewhere,” he said. “It’s somewhat related to engineering (because in both) you focus on small problems and you’re figuring out the basic building block that goes on to impact a much bigger picture.”


‘Very sweaty party’

So if Gillis spends an entire work day on crafting just a 30-second clip, how are his live shows possible?

“It’s all live sample triggering. I am behind the computer for 90 percent of the show,” he said.

That doesn’t mean he can’t have fun, though.

“I’ve never wanted to have a show where it looks like I stand there checking my e-mail the whole time,” he said. “It’s all loop-based, so I can walk away from the computer.”

It’s in the audience that he’s happiest, anyway.

His audiences “are no longer spectating – they are the show,” he said. “There are so many levels you can take (a Girl Talk show) – you can be part of the celebration, you can be part of the party, or you can watch that as a performance. (The audience) turns into my visuals.”

Gillis promises a good time at a Girl Talk show.

“It’s always a very sweaty party,” he said. “I see people drenched and having a good time, and I want it to feel, ideally, like a house party rather than a venue or a show. I want it to feel like a no-rules sort of experience.”

One Response to “Catch up on some Girl Talk”

  1. Schwillyman June 10, 2009 at 5:25 pm #

    We saw Girl talk at mountain jam 2009 and it was SICK!!! We got on stage and it was a non-stop party the whole time he played. A must see Mr. Gillis is the shit.

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