They say lightning never strikes the same place twice, but Scott Herren brought his amazing Prefuse 73 project through San Francisco for the second time in four months in late October. Hoping to keep things interesting, Herren made a few adjustments to the setup for this go ’round. “The show is better now,” he explains. “It’s pretty much the same steeze, but it’s a little more rockin’, a little more noisy.”
In addition to Herren manning the MPC, the noise came in the form of Ryan Rasheed on the decks and the rock came from Tortoise’s John Herndon supplying live drums. To add to the craziness, a great deal of the set list came from Extinguished, the One Word Extinguisher companion piece consisting of fragments that resulted from the OWE sessions. The show was an ADD-addled hipster’s dream, as Herren and Co. refused to stick to any one beat or melody for longer than a minute or two at the most.
The chances are good that’s simply a product of boredom after months of incessant touring. Figuring he was probably a bit burned out on the standard interview fare, Prefix Magazine‘s Mike Krolak decided to spare him, opting instead for a quick game of Twenty Questions with the unassuming hip-hopper.
Prefix Magazine: Name your favorite tour experience of the last few months.
Prefuse 73: The best show was at the Bowery Ballroom last May. That was a dope show. A lot of familiar faces, a good crowd. It went over really well.
PM: KRS-One or Ice Cube?
Prefuse 73: KRS-One. No diss to Ice Cube; I like Ice Cube. But I’m going with KRS-One.
PM: If you weren’t in the music business, what would you be doing right now?
Prefuse 73: Hmm … maybe painting a picture or writing something.
PM: So you’ve pretty much always been a creative person?
Prefuse 73: [Mimes quotation marks.] Quotes. We’ll put quotes on that.
PM: What’s been your favorite record this year other than your own?
Prefuse 73: Other than my own? [Laughs.] Mine’s like at the bottom. Let me see … I really like that Jaylib record [a Jay Dee/Madlib collaboration], as far as hip-hop goes.
PM: Approximately how many parking tickets have you gotten over your lifetime?
Prefuse 73: Maybe five or six. I don’t drive much.
PM: Nike or Adidas?
Prefuse 73: Adidas.
PM: Are you now, or have you ever been, a member of the Communist Party? Prefuse 73: (Is that confusion or disdain?) No.
PM: Who would you say is your favorite emcee making records right now? Prefuse 73: I’d say MF Doom, in all his incarnations. That guy is [Shakes his head.] … phew.
PM: Barcelona or Atlanta?
Prefuse 73: (No hesitation.) Barcelona.
PM: Wow, no contest?
Prefuse 73: No contest. There’s not much to not like about it (Barcelona). The only thing I don’t like about it is the pace of business. The work mode is kind of a hindrance sometimes because people are very relaxed, you can’t get stuff done like bam bam bam, you know? You have to wait, then things close. That’s the only bad thing, but really that’s not a bad thing.
PM: European football or American football?
Prefuse 73: European for sure.
PM: George Bush or any unnamed Democrat?
Prefuse 73: Come on. I’ll take anybody.
PM: Okay, you’re not going to like this one. John or Alice Coltrane?
Prefuse 73: Damn! That’s not fair, man!
PM: You’re stuck on an island, you can only take one.
Prefuse 73: That is not fair. [Pauses in contemplation.] I guess I’d give it to John, since he probably had a drastic influence on her, but the same amount of love to both.
PM: You’re in Vegas. Tables or slots?
Prefuse 73: Probably slots because I don’t know how to play any games.
PM: Guinness or Heineken?
Prefuse 73: Heineken. I hate dark beer.
PM: What would choose for your last meal?
Prefuse 73: Maybe just like some chicken and some vegetables — but done right, you know? In some variation, maybe Indian? That’s tough.
PM: If you could enjoy that meal with any three people, living or dead, who would you choose as dinner mates?
Prefuse 73: If it was my last meal, it’d probably be better if I knew them. Probably my friend Ryan in there, you know, my deejay? Maybe I’d take Nobody (the recording artist). And probably my partner Pete, the guy I do my label with. Sorry, pretty random answer … “Um, this guy, this guy … ”
PM: Hey, it’s your last meal, gotta make it count. What is your earliest childhood memory, good or bad?
Prefuse 73: When they opened public transit in Atlanta, and having to pee really bad, and then pissing my pants when I got off of it in front of all the kids and their mothers who were on the field trip. All the kids started jumping up and down in the piss. They started hopping around in it.
PM: Jesus, that sounds like some really, really fucked up dream.
Prefuse 73: It’s crazy, but it’s the most poignant thing.
PM: I’m not surprised. George Lucas or Martin Scorsese?
Prefuse 73: Scorsese.
PM: If you could have any superpower, what would it be?
Prefuse 73: The ability to retain all information I come across. Super memory power.