August 13, 2012

Hi. I'm RJD2, producer/dj/label owner/geek. AMA.

hey, so a few folks have suggested i do one of these. i'm a relatively new reddit reader, (hope im making this post correctly??), but i'm game to share info of whatever sort you all find interesting. FYI, my best interests/insights/thoughts may fall beyond the typical "artist" realm, so feel free to take it wherever. im not here for any ego stroking. let 'er rip!

EDIT: WHEW! kudos, reddit! im trying to get to all of your questions...its tough! thanks so much everyone for posting, and for the kind words. i appreciate it. if i skip your question, it may be because it's already answered in here, fyi. wish i could get to them all! gotta handle my handle for a bit, real life beckons- back later.

OK-think im back for a bit, i think(lots of spinning plates over here, but im a reddit fan, so i wanna knock it out of the park if possible). digging back in!

EDIT #3: OK, i made a dent here, sorry to all the folks i havent gotten to. i'll do my best, but im heading to bed for today. real quick, i see a few recurring questions, so i'm just gonna put the simple answers here, to cover it all.... 1)what do i use to record? Protools on a computer, and an MPC. 2) how did i "make it"? a combination of luck and persistence. that's the best i can tell you. do it for the fun of it, so if it doesnt take off, you arent at a loss. 3) whats my "inspiration"? this is almost too broad to answer, but in short, A) life, and B) music is a part of the fabric of my life at this point, so it is just there, for better or worse, at all times. it's how i've come to interface with the world in many ways, so i dont really need to look for it. there are an infinite number of things in music that i will never learn/accomplish/do, so its not like im constantly exhausting its' possibilities. hope that makes sense.

No questions, just wanted to say you are a fuckin' legend. Keep doing what you do.

lol, thanks. im no legend, though....still wake up everyday wondering how i can beat the last song/track/remix i did....daily struggle!

You are my most starred artist on Spotify for the last month!

tite. sooo tite.

[No question]

oh, one other thing....dont be alarmed if i dont respond immediately...i'll get to all the questions, it just not may be with complete immediacy...

So I just wanted to thank you. I finished running my first 50k (31 miles) about an hour ago. At mile 29 I'm dying, and suddenly Ghostwriter comes on and just picks me up and pushes me forward. Your music is inspirational and fucking awesome. You got me through the most important race of my life. Thank you.

wow, that is RAD!!!

You're awesome. Umm questions... Which of your albums is your personal favourite? Is it Deadringer? I bet its Deadringer.

i like 'em all. i think the best album may be SWLS, honestly. my personal favorite is "the colossus". there are things i acheived on that record that i never thought would have been possible 10 years ago, not in a million years.

Nice, maybe I'll download it!

I mean, does torrenting make you angry?

lol, no. but you are touching on a subject that i have had some very stark realizations about in the last year; i could hold court on this for fucking days, theoretically. i'll try to delve into it here if i can, it almost warrants its own post. there have been some things posted on reddit regards to this over the last 2 weeks that have made me want to bathe myself in lighter fluid/eat my keyboard.

Go on...

the short story is that as a culture, we are making a bunch of micro-arguments that largely miss the macro-perspective of the issue. i almost dont want to bastardize the eloquent long form answer in lieu of a shitty short form answer. give me a bit on this...if things die down, ill try to drop a monster....

If you had to name one event/thing that you believe contributed heavily to your succes which would it be?

no such thing as ONE. ONE OF the most important is just persistence. i have always looked at success like this....

imagine a block of houses. each house has one person sitting on the couch, waiting for an opportunity to knock on the door. sooner or later, people get bored/apathetic/give up, and go out for a beverage. making sure you are the last one to do that, that is success to me, in a nutshell.

waiting for an opportunity to knock on the door

I read this as "All of them really want to knock on the door, and they're waiting for a chance".

It was pretty confusing.

sorry. i mean that its a game of patience. someone else will gladly outwait you for your place in line for the "success lottery". make sense now?

Are you ticklish?

oh, yes. especially on the appendix. get me there, and my leg wont stop for days.

Hate to be the dude that asks this, but proof? A twitter post would work! I really dig your shit.

check your motherfuckin twitter, akh! no, i kid. sort of. not really. just check dem twitters for proof.

How did your song end up on Mad Men? Did you get anything cool out of it aside from, you know, money and recognition and stuff?

this story is in the internet ethers somewhere, but to condense, they asked. i said no. they asked again. i said no. repeat 4 more times. then i said yes. what did i get? aside from these blackmail nudes from the entire cast i required? not much.

So the lesson is: bug you until I get what I want. Can you send me those nudes please? Can you send me those nudes please? Can you send me those nudes please? Can you send me those nudes please? Can you send me those nudes please?

lol. lol. lol.

I've noticed some of your music also being used by the BBC Formula 1 feed- were you also reluctant to allow that, or was there something about Mad Men you didn't like?

didnt OK the BBC thing. public radio kinda does what it wants.

What's the most obscure record that you have found while crate digging?

good question. gauging is kinda tough, as its in essence proving a negative. with that said? there's an ohio 45 i found that got used on a song on one of my albums. i can't really say what it is, but my friend dante in chicago is basically one of the foremost authorities on ohio rarities, and he was like "yea, that record is tough". which pretty much equates to what you are asking, if you knew him...

Dante and Damon Carfagna are my cousins. Did you dig the Express Rising album he released?

LOL!!!! thats awesome. damon. wow....blast from the past....

No questions. Just mad props.

props accepted. then recycled, and returned to you. i hath now paid it forward, and shall proceed to eat kitten souls for the rest of the day. guten tag.

Who currently excites you in the music industry? Who is doing new and important things in music? Just wondering what your thoughts are and where you will go on your next release.

im excited mostly by stuff im newly familiar with, which isnt always NEW music. i think the basic building blocks behind dubstep and post-dubstep music can be really interesting, even if the genre itself isnt always the most exciting thing to me. just blaze is doing things i respect, and can relate to. he's basically using samples alongside live instrumentation in a manner that is organic. i always wanna go forward, but sometimes using the tools or techniques of yesteryear can be a critical tool there.

where will i go next? see above....really i just will be doing things that excite ME, so the context of my own catalog is much more important than the context of "current music".

I stumbled on your music through Pandora Radio about 4 years ago and was hooked. When I realized you grew up in Ohio as well (greater Steubenville-area here), I couldn't help but wonder how you got your name out. What was it like in Columbus starting out? Struggles? "Big Break"?

sorry, i hate to do this, but you will get a much more eloquent answer via google. i've answered this question so many times in interviews over the last 10 years that i'd just do a shitty job of it now. internets holds the keys more better. (no big break, lotsa littles).

I found no fewer than 4 different interviews asking you that question. Color me original, right? How about another question: How do you take your coffee, if you drink coffee at all?

i make 4 macchiato's a day. i have a rancilio silvia, and a pavoni lever machine. i dont play, in short.

how long have you been doing this, and what do you think how long you will continue ?

Thank you very much for all the great sound you make, when i listen to ghostwriter even my goosebumps get goosebumps !

i'll continue til i have nothing left to say as an artist. 12th year professionally.

Hi, big fan. Are there any original songs/beats/etc that you really want to sample/do something with but can't? You know, the one that got away...

nope. my ethos about sampling has always been that it is an exercise in resources: making do out of what you find. its VERY rare that i touch a record that is "famous", precisely because the "sport" of it for me has always been about new-new-new, for the most part. i have on occasion set myself to task to sample a known record in a manner in which it will be fresh or unknown(the "flip", as they call it), but not often. i will be doing a video exposing one of these flips in the near future, cause its burning a hole in my soul that noone has caught it...

My best friend introduced me to your work back in high school about 6 or 7 years ago and I dig your style, dude. I have a small handful of questions for you.

Thanks for doing this AMA! "Ghostwriter" will always be a classic and a staple for my ears, and I'll never get over how smoothly you integrated Betty Wright's "Secretary" at 1:32!

yea, sure. the idea of "psych soul" really applies to alot of things. dont think of it as a genre card in a record store. beatles, rare bird, RTF, weather report, temptations, shuggie otis, new birth, d'angelo, all made soulful music that was BOUNDARY PUSHING, and had an element of mind expansion. i dont really know where to stop. mars volta-love em. dungen-super soulful, super wig-out.

weather report is arguably my favorite band of all time. i guess? too much to choose from.

What's your favorite part of touring (if you like to do it all)? I figure it's pretty strenuous, but worth it. Great music man, keep up the good work!

food. new food. meeting cool people and never seeing them again is actually kinda cool.

Hey RJ! Here are my questions:

  1. How does Philly compare to Ohio as an impact on your music?
  2. Why is Moog so damn sexy? Have you tried their guitars yet?
  3. "Let there be horns" was made entirely from samples. How much more work did that take compared to other songs? How have copyright laws changed/influenced your music over the years? (eg Deadringer had some pretty long/complete samples of songs used)
  4. What are two other artists you would like to collaborate with in the future?
  5. I could ask so many more questions, but could I just buy you a drink after your Cleveland show in September?

Thanks for taking the time to do this!

wow, lots to unpack here!

1-neither had too much impact. honestly, i found alot of records in ohio from around 1996-2002, so that was a factor, but i also found alot of synths in philly from like 2004-now, so... 2-the guitar is sick. i played it when i did the Moog in-factory gig. its really alot to handle. 3-i work alot faster now than i did 10 years ago on the MPC, so not as long i'd say. copyright laws havent changed as much as my place in the music industry, that's been more impacting. i think we're moving towards a world where nobody ill be able to afford to sue on copyright claims, for better or for worse. you are alluding to another big factor, so i think you already get that one! :) 4-frank ocean. i LOVE his writing. d'angelo. brad mehldau. lots. 5-sure, although i'll probably be striking my own gear, cause i'll be rolling solo and thats how the fuck i get down when i am tech-ing for rjd2.

wow, lots to unpack here!

1-neither had too much impact. honestly, i found alot of records in ohio from around 1996-2002, so that was a factor, but i also found alot of synths in philly from like 2004-now, so... 2-the guitar is sick. i played it when i did the Moog in-factory gig. its really alot to handle. 3-i work alot faster now than i did 10 years ago on the MPC, so not as long i'd say. copyright laws havent changed as much as my place in the music industry, that's been more impacting. i think we're moving towards a world where nobody ill be able to afford to sue on copyright claims, for better or for worse. you are alluding to another big factor, so i think you already get that one! :) 4-frank ocean. i LOVE his writing. d'angelo. brad mehldau. lots. 5-sure, although i'll probably be striking my own gear, cause i'll be rolling solo and thats how the fuck i get down when i am tech-ing for rjd2.

damn reddit format, that looks like a pigeon just shit on the sidewalk. get your return=new line right, mami

Oh god, you and Frank Ocean? My panties would be soaking...

thats what i aim for

First off: Deadringer and Since We Last Spoke were THE soundtrack to college for me, thanks for that. Also: great live show at that small venue out in Grinnell, IA a couple of years ago - unforgettable. Commissioner Crotchbuttons!

How do you weigh what you know was popular in the past (Ghostwriter, 1976, etc) with your desire to experiment with new, different sounds? (Third Hand, Icebird)

Any plans to do more work with Aceyalone? (All For U and High Lights are amazing)

What are you listening to these days?

Thanks for the AMA and keep up the good work!! (edit: spelling)

oh, that show was at the college? what a clusterfuck. ugh.

balance? i dont. i do what i want to hear myself. if they like it, great, if not cest la vie, but i cant get hung up on repeating myself. i think there are enough "constants" across my entire catalog to not be completely abrasive(backbeat, funk, interesting chord changes, etc).

acey-i've got an EP with him on it. prepping for release.

listening-mahavishnu. monk. miles. sly and robbie. justin hines.

chip chip! cheerio!

What's your favourite song right now?

Also, just wanted to say a massive thankyou to you. Many years ago now I picked up a copy of Deadringer on a whim in my local CD shop and it blew my fucking mind. You rock man.

this particular instant? "strobe" by deadmau5, cause i was listening to it yesterday while mowing the lawn. thanks!!!


its actually a fairly primitive song, harmonically. it just works. that gotye hit song is the most obvious shit in the world harmonically, and it just works.

TIL RJD2 listens to Deadmouse.... that's a whole lot of respect that just jumped out of the window.

wait! come back! no, im kidding. you can stay there.

Unfortunately I have no questions but as a fan that's been listening to you for almost A decade keep doing what you do! Thanks for making my eardrums feel good.

youre welcome. glad to be of assistance.

Love your music, heard it on pandora once and I was hooked. So thank you. When you sample, do you ever go out into the world with a recorder and get sounds to use in your music? If so, is there a favorite of yours? I've always been fascinated by this.

i've tried field recording, but im frankly more into recording in a studio. controlled environments are more conducive to what i do, artistically. crickets chirping and shit only get me so far when ultimately, im trying to make orderly sounds.

Where do you draw a lot of your influence?

everywhere. mostly, from a desire to continually learn and have new experiences in my limited time on earth.

Where do you draw a lot of your influence?

comes forth from the scrotum, usually

when you used "who knows?" by marion black, did you have the accapella somehow, or did you just do an amazing job isolating the vocals? smoke & mirrors is one of my favorite songs of all time, and when i heard the original, i instantly picked up all of marion black's stuff.

thanks and keep up the kick ass tunes!

lol, just the record. the title "smoke and mirrors" is actually in reference to a particular technique i used to basically give the impression of having an acapella of it.

Any chance you might share the technique?

ok, i'll bite. in short, i basically took elements of sound that laid in BETWEEN the vocal lines, and layered them throughout the places in the song where there ARENT vocals. your ear then starts to perceive these as embedded in the instrumental, not the vocal. so when the artifacts appear underneath the vocal, you hear them as already being there. a bit of a "look over there" type of technique.

Other than musicians, who are some artists that you are into? Any filmmakers, authors, painters etc.?

jim henson is one of my biggest inspirations. john carpenter. hitchcock. im way into sci-fi, always have been. alien/terminator/star wars/predator are some of my favorite movie franchises. ridley scott.

there's an element of curiousity and "world analysis" that goes into alot of sci-fi that i can relate to, creatively.

Philadelphia Flyers or Pittsburgh Penguins. Go.

my apologies, but IDGAF about hockey. sorry.

This oddly changes my opinions of your music. What DYGAF about?

IDGAF about watching sports. i played varsity/lettered in soccer my freshman year. i ran track. i wrestled two seasons. i do 1/2 hr on the nordic track every other day. i fundamentally dont get sitting in front of the tube watching other people do shit. it just makes me want to do shit in the real world.

Skyline or Gold Star?

? you mean north star? im confused here... are we talking ohio food? dont get me started...

Here's one for ya.. Northstar's Sweet Basil Burrito or Northstar's Veggie burger?

pretty much ALL of northstar is proper eatables.

What's your favorite thing to get for take-out?

chirashi sushi, or the seafood combo type meals at thai or vietnamese spots. im big on food from the ocean.

Hey, thanks for doing this AMA. The first time I heard ghostwriter I had it on repeat for days!

I was just wondering tools you use to produce. What vst's or outboard to you find indispensable? What keeps you motivated when you're behind the computer screen and what do you do when it's flaggin a bit.

Also, when are you coming to Germany??

hey, sorry to do this-i have extensive answers on this in interviews that will satisfy the gear itch. check vice motherboard series for a better answer :


Dude, huge props on amazing talent! You're one of my favorite artists in the past 10 years and far and away the best DJ out there IMHO. What's the plan for your next album: More vocals or back to just spinning beats?

dunno. i'm currently enamored with the scope of emotions that instrumental music can provide. so if you want "just spinning beats", i'd go pick up "in rare form" or an older album. im not interested in time travelling back to x-y-z. i may end up with a largely instrumental album this next time around.

Are you at all related to R2D2?

Though, you definitely got the musical abilities.

no, although i have gotten the thumbs up from lucasfilms for my name, which was cool.

This a bit random, Do you ever do any volunteer work? If so, What's your favorite organization?

i havent put much time into that in a while, unfortunately. i did a thing at CHOP a year or two back, as the wifey was a music therapist there... when things die down career-wise, i have aspirations of helping to get kids involved in music, both playing and recording.

Is it important to you that the girls you date to be into anal?

lol, what else should i expect from your user name? its not a prereq.

Do you ever get tired of playing some songs live? Like I feel every set of yours probably has Ghostwriter and Smoke and Mirrors in it at the very least.

i used to, but then i realized that a show is primarily a vessel for the crowds enjoyment, not mine. then, it actually became enjoyable.

RJ, just wanted to ask you what it's like performing with Adam Deitch and Break Science. I saw y'all at North Coast last year, and your merge into an EPMD "Strictly Business" (I think that's what song it was) sample was the peak of the weekend.

I replied to this comment in the hopes that my question doesn't get lost among the hundreds. Regardless, you deserve a lot of respect, and I wish I had had more than two opportunities to see you perform (the other being Halfway to Forecastle).

adam is savage. its scary how precise dude is. as a shitty drummer, i can verify that he is just super-human.

Yeah, but you switch things up. I remember the third time I saw you you played "Ghostwriter," but this time you did it with the live band rather than on the turntables.

Was it fun learning to "cover" your own songs with a live band? Trent Reznor has said that's one of the difficult-but-fun parts of putting together his live shows. Did playing with a live band change the way you approached composition?

yea, its really tough. i just write music and then move on, so for tours, i literally have to pore over my own songs and figure out the chords. i've literally written chord voicings that i can't figure out myself 3 months later. its weird. fun challenge, though.

this is the exact mentality needed for sex too. it aint about you, it's about the other person. you learn that, then the whole process and result becomes so much better. i would assume it's just as applicable to any kind of performance, ya know?


this is the exact mentality needed for sex too. it aint about you, it's about the other person. you learn that, then the whole process and result becomes so much better. i would assume it's just as applicable to any kind of performance, ya know?


Big fan here.

If you could do a track with any vocalist, who would it be?

right now, frank ocean. he's super rad. i think earl sweatshirt is a good rapper. azealia banks can rap her ass off. i'd mess w/ her on some music shit.

how stupid do you think he is? if he knows FREE EARL then he knows earl has already been home.

lol @ dem lolz

Mandatory question: Tits or Ass?

if you remove the chocolate or the peanut butter from a reese cup, what do you get?

I listen to your Breezeblock mix from 2004 quite often. So enjoyable. What's your favorite type of ice cream?

arlen's peanut butter is pretty nuts. there's this super expensive coconut ice cream at whole foods thats like $7 for a little pint, its pretty awesome.

If you collab with anyone living or dead on an album who would it be and what kind of album would it be?

joe zawinul. it would be him playing keys and me crying in the corner from sheer excitement.

RJD2, you're awesome. I've been listening to the hell out of Deadringer lately.

Have you ever done any collaborations with other producers? Anyone you really want to work with? Anyone you haven't liked working with as much as you thought you would?

im trying to do that. got some tracks out to Nicolay. might mess w/ benny blanco on some music shit(you out there benny?) z-trip, kid koala, i'd do some music shit w/ them.

Your opinion on pirates/piracy ? Do you mind as long as they enjoy your music ? Also, star trek fan ?

there is not enough space on the internet for my opinions. sike. im gonna try to tackle this one when i have time. maybe tonite w/ a nice sazerack.

Sazerac is a great drink. Props for taste.

lol, shouts to jenn bussell for hipping me to that one.

yea, the car talk thing worked out. still got the lady, so i've got proofage.

Hey! First off, I'd like to say I love your stuff. I can't tell you how many times I've stopped everything I'm doing and put on Ghostwriter to just reset.

Anyway, question time. Your music has a pretty wide range, how does the creative process usually start for you? I'd imagine there would have to be some sort of planning involved considering the complexities of each song. Thanks for the AMA!

creative process often starts w/ sheer boredom, and resources. no planning. just doing. do do do. then throw away 90% of what you did. then do more. repeat process. then, you either have a good song or piece of shit. trash POS. release good song. easy as that.

What software/hardware do you use to mix?

preaux tewlz

Did you work on the soundtrack for Haywire? Or did they license your music?

LOL LOL LOL. no. fucking dude jacked my shit. even funnier? im a fan, if he just asked, i'd have collabed. fucking corny.

That's too bad. It's a pretty obvious rip-off. You should sue. I'm sure they would take one look at a lawsuit and write you a check.

For people who don't know: Haywire vs. Since We Last Spoke

i considered it, but i feel like it would be bad karma for obvious reasons...

[No question]

gotta handle some stuff real quick. back in a bit.

Is there any chance you and Print will ever do another Soul Position album?

yup. we just did a song last month.

Here & Now = absolutely genius.

lol, thanks. i almost didnt sing on that cause i know people dont like me singing. checked my account, and i was fresh out of fucks to give.

What are your top three favorite video games ever ever ever?

OOOHHHH! great question.

the 1st metal gear on PS1. the last board was so fucking hard for me. it was kind of a milestone for me in realizing what video games could instill in a person. i literally spent 3 days trying to figure it out. eventually i did.

zelda 1, NES. where it all started for me. best game of all time,i think.

3rd pick is tough. i love the resident evil franchise. but 1st Bioshock was so epic. there's actually a dreamcast franchise called "worms" that i couldnt get enough of. played a ton during the making of "deadringer".

i looove your music. Are there any projects your currently working on that you'd like to share with us?

Also how'd you come up with your name RJD2?


old rap friend gave it to me.

When working on a new (sample-heavy) song, do you tend to have an idea of how/where you want to use samples, or which certain samples you want to use? I guess what I mean is do you typically work samples into a working song or do you have certain samples in mind and work a song around them?

Thanks for all the incredible music, from the bottom of my heart.

nope, its all about finding a thing-resource(read sample on a record), and turning it into something it wasnt.

What is your personal favorite piece you've done?

"games you can win" is up there. i wrote and tracked all the parts. then got kenna to sing it cuz he sings real lots tons better than i do.

you are fantastic, and ghostrwriter is quite possibly my favorite song of all time, no contest in its genre

tip o the hat, no wags

Hello! Thanks for Deadringer mate, such a class album - I swear I've listened to Ghostwriter more than any other hip-hop track, I don't think I'll ever get tired of it! Any plans to do a show in the UK anytime soon?

maybe back over the pond in 2013?

Why don't we see you producing more for others? I've always seen you as a great beatsmith and would love to see you do an album with some great rapper.. MF Doom for example...even though he's quite a producer himself!

simple. they dont ask. end of story.

What was the best live music act you've ever seen?

hmmmm....jose gonzales is pretty amazing live.

when can we expect a new rjd2 album? The horror never leaves me cd changer!

im on the warpath to have one out in 2013

He RJD2 big fan man, I'm an up and coming rapper in the Denver area and I was wondering if you had any tips to get more exposure and what not. I know your not a rapper but you work with a lot of them ( big fan of what you did with blueprint ) , so just thought I would ask man hope you get read this and keep puttin out sick ass music man!!

rap good. i mean, REALLY good. like AWESOME. that should work for you nicely.

What are your top 3 favorite record stores?

Thanks, long time fan here.

used kids, roberts records(RIP), every flea market i ever saw

As a producer, how did you first 'get on'? What's your creative process like? Do you generally start with drums or samples or an instrument?

start with em all at the same time. MHz "rocket science" was the first single i produced. 1998?

When did you realize that you made it as an artist?

when i did built an AMA, and they did come. giggity.

I saw you for the first time at Princeton University a few years back and fell in love with your music. How did you like the lawn parties??

ah yes, whats not to like about afternoon drunken college kids?

RJ, where do you find your favorite drum kits? I know they are all over the place, but I find a lot of DJs use the same recycled kits. Any advice for where to find some unique breaks?

put an 808 in a blender. physically. out comes awesome breaks.

After being in the music industry for so long to you find it hard to stay "original"? What inspires you to make the music you do? Lastly what music artist are YOU listening to right now?

yes, actually. the hard part is that once you do something on a record, in a way it restricts you from doing it again. so you have to acquire new tools/techniques/styles to compensate. at least for me. its a bit like a chess game, where you have a myriad of moves at the beginning, but they become limited at the point when you have less pieces on the board? bad example maybe. yes, its hard.

What do you think of this video sorry NSFW folks!

cant. un. watch.

What is your all time favorite song/mix that can no longer be obtained/bought/downloaded/found?

if its gone, it probably sucked. none.

hey man, do you still keep in contact with everyone from the Mhz crew? June is among one of my favorite songs of all time, just absolutely beautiful. could you explain the process from making the transition from late 90's underground rap beats to something like the mad men theme? any tips for sample based production? could you walk me through the process a little

also what kind of equipment do you use nowadays, and what did you use say 10-15 years ago? the game has changed quite a bit

thanks so much pal

i worked on the MHz album, so...yes.

Where did you get the idea for the music video for Work It Out?

that was not mine. my buddy joey garfield came up with it. i just showed up and ran around like a monkey. win.


more just philly folks.

Favorite beer?

right now, nastradamus belgian brown ale, corked.

Love your work bro

here's a bro hug

Do you feel you've made a mark on the world?

I saw you in Holyoke MA a few years ago with the disco biscuits. My friends and I were blown away. Thanks for the good times

in a way, yes. i also like feeling "unseen" in my daily life, so i dont spend alot of time pursuing that line of thought...

When do we get to hear The Who - I'm Free remix?

As a side note, love all of your stuff. Spent a month wandering around China and all I could listen to was The Colossus. Can't wait to see your set at Summerset!

when the label gets back to me on the paperwork!!! its burning a hole in my HD!!!!!
nice, thanks! glad you like it. see you soon.

I just wanted to say I have a ton of respect for you. Oh and I love your fuckin' music.

But since this is an AMA I should ask: What (or who) motivates you to do what you do every day?

family, really.

First off, I love all your stuff <3

But I wanted to ask, how does being an artist affect your ability to getitinnnnnnnn

you'll have to define the where in that sentence

In addition to your solo stuff, when did you decide to start playing with a band during live performances?

at the point i realized that i couldnt take a live show to the level i wanted w/o bringing in musicians, and using it as a resource. its funny, though, that alot of guys who do what i do can do shows w/ just a laptop and the crowd doesnt seem to expect more, "performance wise". maybe im wrong there, just how it seems...

I watched a video explaining you're process of stickering your vinyls for show's so they start in the right spot. You also create your own music pedals and effect's to get the right sound. My question being do you see yourself as a music perfectionist? It sounds like, and as a fan, everything you produce is amazing.

thanks much. not a perfectionist. just certain things i need to have done right, and often, the easiest way to ensure that is to DIY....

I saw you last summer at a festival and I was super-impressed that you spin vinyl. What is your opinion of DJs/artists that point-and-click, like Skrillex and Girl Talk?

i think its more important to ask what THEIR fans think. if they dont care, then no harm no foul. make sense?

you're such a geek, man.

in other news, water is wet.

I remember seeing you in Chicago and this was back in 2004 or 2005 I think and just wanted to let you know that you had one of the best live shows I had seen. I think it was you and Blueprint and you had this moving water background with nothing but sea life. Mesmerizing.

Anyway, any chance of another RJD2 and Aceyalone record?

thanks. maybe. crystal ball foggy. remind me to stop feeding it DMT.

  1. I remember reading that you were working with The Roots (I think it was pre-tipping point), anything ever come from that? Also, didn't you submit a few beats to Common for Be around that time? Kanye wasn't feeling them?
  2. What do you think of Jay Electronica?

yea, i ran that hamster wheel for a while. its kinda exhausting. no, nothing ever came of it. much respect to the producers who can do that, but for me, i just wanna make records, so wading thru the a&r's and politics is a waste of my time at some point. i have a label now, i can go put out my weirdo shit when i want. jay elec is dope, he needs to make a GD LP already!

Chicken Bone Circuit is one of the finest few moments of beautiful noise I have ever heard. Now that ass kissing is out of the way...

Who has you're favourite collaboration been with?

blueprint is a good friend of mine, so im partial there. all are fun in their own way.

Hey Man, I discovered you via Pandora! Which band would you rather jam with: Eagles of Death Metal or the Black Keys?

hmmmm. black keys would probably make more sense, cause i could "sit in" easier. cause of the nature of their songs.

You've worked with so many amazing underground talents (Copy, Vast, El-P, Murs, Aesop, Cunninlynguists, Cage, Diverse, Tame, Camu). You have been a part of a lot of projects that I hold in high-regard.

At one point - which project, if any, did you step back and think "damn, I'm living the dream here"?

As a secondary question, was there/is there an artist that you've worked with that just blew your mind in the studio? Copy seems like a dude that probably just goes Ape in the booth, as does Tame.

when kenna didnt blink twice, or phonte, those were times when i was like "this is awesome, these guys are legends". most rappers just rap really good, they dont look like busta rhymes or anything...

How do you start a label?

I'm dead serious, I've been trying to find a US based online distributor forever now. Also, any other advice you can give would be great.

i had leverage, with my catalog. its kinda hard from scratch...

Much love from Scotland, Your music (as well as videos) have me in awe. As far as a question goes, what's your favourite dinosaur?

pterydactyl? awesome sqwawk.

One of my favorite things you've done is "June" with Copywrite. How did that track come about? Did you have it lying around or did you write it for him? Any cool stories about that song? Thanks for doing this, you're one of my heroes.

yes, it rotted in the rubbish bin of beats for a while. pete(copywrite) just took it, and made it work...

Would you ever consider writing a movie or video game score?

movie? yes. already did a video game score.

What is the main influencing factor when you decided to switch styles for an album? I found that deadringer/since we last spoke/the third hand were all completely different but all still amazing.

thanks. its really just working with the resources i have in front of me. 3rd hand, i had gotten to a comfortable point w/ live engineering. its just finding stuff that excites my ears...

For some reason, I didn't make the connection that it was you that had done the Mad Men theme until I saw you live in 09 or 2010 and nearly fell over I couldn't even believe it. Really awesome work.

I go to a lot of hip hop shows now that I live in New York, and as a rule of thumb I find MOST hip hop shows just plain suck: nobody raps, they just yell, the music is too fucking loud, they have some annoying MC guy ramble on and on and on in between every song, etc. etc.

Seeing you live was the complete opposite of that, and bringing a live drummer into the mix really really REALLY makes a difference. So I just wanted to say good work on that and to make a stand and keep that up, because it rules.

wow, thanks!

Hey dude, awesome music :)

My question is on Spotify, and how artists regard them. I am an incredible addicted Spotify nut, it has converted me from basically a full music pirate to being completely legit, but I keep on hearing and reading that Spotify's model is not really helping artists all that much as you have to get a shit ton of plays to really see significant returns.

What is your feeling on Spotify (and similar services)?

i got a check from spotify last month. $.22 was the amount. that help?

wow that sucks. EDIT: what about amazon? I just bought a digital download of deadringer like 5 minutes ago. Hope you get something from that.

that is MUCH better for artists. thanks. i see roughly 50% of that, so thanks.

YEAH RJD2! Respect for everything you've done!

On your song True Confessions:



fuck caps. its a waste of my pinky's time, akh!

protools. mac. re: true confessions: all samples off vinyl lp's. 6 or 7 HD's? no fave song, too many.

What do you think of the louie CK platform? (self selling/published/everything) Will music start following this plan?

it's not really a "platform". a platform is something multiple people can use. i love radiohead, and they are biz geniuses, but its not a "platform"-its a thing that a certain party can do when the conditions in their career are just right. they are outliers. hundreds of thousands of people are self-releasing their music for free/next to nothing as we speak, and we, collectively as a culture, have no fucking interest. ask yourself why, and you'll find the answer to your question.

Is there anyone you'd like to talk shit about right now? In music, politics, whatever?

sure. mitt romney's voice makes me want to drop scud missiles on every inch the entire planet. paul ryan is a fucking idiot. how did an entitled douche who's economic plan came from a fucking book he read by a russian expat who had a very particular family scenario become an elected official? this is insane. you read "atlas shrugged", and it informed your worldview? guess what. i was fucking 16 once and read ayn rand. then i grew up, talked to human beings, and realized that shit is some fairy tale bullshit. please STFU and GTFOMF with this libertarian extremist anti-government garbage, whoever you are. go fly your ass to norway and talk to people about socialism, and then come talk to me.


im a sinker, unfortunately. green. always.

My dad loves your shit


so i noticed you in whole foods one time and approached you to tell you i love your music. i was wondering if that freaked you out?

haha, lol. naw, no biggie. no harm no foul.

No question. But Hi, I love you. Bye.

hiya bye

What are some of your fondest memories working with Camu Tao that you can share? Thanks.

im writing a memoir. he will be a player in this. that is all. too many stories.....

Jamie xx from The xx said that watching you perform during the Deadringer era inspired him to produce music. Are you a fan?

yup, he's dope. i'd fuqq w/ the kid.

What are your favorite toppings on pizza?


Hey boss. I saw you at Langerado in 2006. That whole festival was off the hook -- I got to see you, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, Kid Koala, the Flaming Lips, and Wilco, all in one weekend. I'll never forget it.

I was interested in your show because I thought the production work you did on "Vaudeville Villain" was smoking hot awesome. Ever get to see DOOM's face? :)

I don't think I could pick a favorite song, but "Iced Lightning," "F.H.H." and "Giant Squid" are real high on the list.


So do you have a Wells Fargo checking account?

hahaha, no i dont anymore. funny story....remember when wachovia got bought out by wells fargo in the midst of the crisis, around '08/'09? well i had made a transfer into my wachovia account on friday(it wasnt a pittance for a guy like me), and was calling on monday morning to confirm it went through, and im getting these weird errors on the wachovia help lines while listening to NPR, and literally right then-they announced that wachovia went under that weekend on the radio. it was scary for a sec....

How come alot of your songs are featured in Snowboard movies? I know the music is dope and fits great do you board yourself?

2nd Question: Will you ever come to Switzerland? :)

no idea why, just a thing that happened... ive done it a few times. fun!

How'd you put together the beat for One Day? I absolutely love that track. It's so damn mellow. I love turning it up in my car, driving with no traffic, and just vibing, nodding along to the beat. It evokes a comparison between you and 9th Wonder. I hope you are able to come through DC soon.

eh, just happened. often the sample or originating sound dictates where a song goes, mood-wise.

I'm a pretty big fan, and I often wonder about the creative process that goes into making your music. Some people write by just jamming until they find something that sounds good, then roll with it until it forms a complete song. Others prefer to write the music on paper and have an organized plan before they start playing.

Which of these better describes the way you write your music? Are you more of a "jam and write as you go musician", or a "have a plan of attack" musician?

i just do. my thing has always been this approach: make 20 songs, then decide which 5 or 7 or 10 are keepers. sometimes i have an idea for a methodology, but often i just try to look at it with "soft eyes", as they say.

I'm going to try not to be an insanely ecstatic fan, but I have 280 songs of your on my computer..... all of which I adore. You're my go-to musician when I don't know what I want to hear, and you always deliver. I just got done travelling 3 months alone in EU and I don't know what I would've done without your tunes, Magnificent City/Magnificent City Instrumentals are phenomenal, please keep doing what you're doing, and if you respond to this I might dance around and clap like a kid, fyi. Thankyou <3 I'm seriously one of your biggest fans. Question-wise, who has been your favorite artist to create with? Your biggest influences?

thanks! no favorite. see above.

Dude, I fucking love your music!!! Also, you put on one hell of a show! I saw you at the Palladium Ballroom a few (3-4) years back, and you fucking rocked. It pissed me off how little respect you were givin for said rocking, but whatever.

As for my questions. You use a ton of samples in your music. Do you hear a part of a movie or whatever and think, "oh man, this would go GREAT in this song I'm writing" or how does that process usually work?

naw, i dont get too inspired by visual images, in the auditory part of my brain...

RJD2, first off, you are a GOD, I have one question for you. As a newbie to music production myself, I would like to ask where you started off at equipment wise? Right now I am using Ableton Live on my laptop and I have a really basic midi controller. I am serious about my music, and was wondering what kinds of things I should be saving up for.

dont buy shit. use what you have. spend every minute you can making music. best advice i can possibly offer.

Always liked your music but really became a fan when I saw you live at Halfway to Forecastle in Louisville back in 2011. You were busting ass up there making music. It was an incredible show. I just wanted to say that I really appreciate your music. It's mood setting.

As far as a question goes: if you could collaborate with any artist/band/singer/etc... who would it be?

see above

huge props, I love your music and you actually introduced me to a zillion of other great musicians via pandora radio!

so what other hobbies do you have? ever wanted to be anybody else in this life?

yes, actually. i like carpentry. i like working with wood. its something i'd like to do more if i ever am not spending so much time on music.

will you be releasing any upcoming collaboration work with newly popular electronic artists? or anything like that :) ?

this looks cryptic

First of all, I'd just thought I'd let you know how awesome you are. You are one of those rare breeds transcending strict genres and just making fucking awesome music. It's incredible. I work in a small open plan office and play your music through our system a lot :)

As for a question, in the title you mention you're a geek. I'd love to know what (other than music) you're really interested in and geek out about. Thanks!

i religiously read wired. i pay attention to the news. most of my geekiness manifests itself in fixing things. im addicted to fixing broken things-doorknob, synth, car hatch hinges, etc. it feeds some troll in my brain that i dont fully understand, but the discipline is very similar to making music with samples. its at its core a problem-solving endeavour.

What are your feelings on the pre-mixed sets that Deadmau5 has written about a bit recently vs. playing live? I understand the necessity to make sure that your live shows go off without a hitch, but it's also kind of a bit of a cop out.


thanks! i dont see it as necessary. bad? in the eyes of the beholder. if the crowd is there for the communal dancing experience-which i totally get-then a "performance" can actually impede that. however, if they expect a performance in the true sense of the word, then i think its falling a bit short. ultimately, i cant answer that without knowing what the FANS think. people who come to my shows seem to enjoy a performance element to the thing. i dont know if i should project that upon other artists, but i know that it works for me, and fans appreciate seeing a TRULY live element to a show. there are mistakes. clams. shit happens. i mess up. these can be very "charming" elements to a show, i've found.

What would you want your last meal on earth to be?

a really rare burger. like on the verge of uncooked. expensive cheese, like a $50/lb gouda or something. truffles. artisan bun. a handmade spicy ketchup mayo mix from morimoto himself. that'll work.

My friend is driving around the country making free music videos for bands. She is going solo and will be traveling for the next six months. Would you like a free awesome music video? I can give you more details another way if you are interested!

I know it is a stretch of a stretch, but you never know.


How much sway do you have in choosing the openers for your shows?

not a ton, but if its a tour, i can pick who i bring out.

I love the appearance you did on Fritz Kalkbrenners "Soul Mates"! how did you get to know Fritz? Keep Up the good work!

oh wow, this is embarrassing....i dont remember this. let me google now. back shortly.

What does the title of "label owner" entitle? What kind of actions can you perform at this position? I've always wondered what all the different names meant in the A&R Industry. Also, I'm in love with your concept of music and have really wanted to collaborate with anyone just for the sake of music... If you're down for that, please PM me or something!

i basically get the music from my computer, into itunes, stores, amazon, etc. as a label owner. i've done every role along that food chain at one point. does that help any? also, A&R=artist and repertoire, its a part OF the music industry.

your tracks are amazing, i've seen you a couple times and each show was incredible.

what software do you prefer, and what is your favorite piece of equipment for production?

protools. mpc.

"Making Days Longer" on Since We Last Spoke makes me feel so many fucking feelings.

lol at dem feelings you were feeling. sike. i have dem feelings too....glad you felted them.

In your honest opinion, which color crayon tastes the best?

oh man, its been years since i smoked a crayon.

I don't have a question either. I just want to say that I love your music. Especially funky songs like Ghostwriter. When I listen to it I feel like I'm in a Chrysler commercial. It's awesome! Thanks again and keep 'em coming!

oddly enough, this is like the fucking coolest comment ive read in forever. thank you kind sir/madam.

What role do recreational drugs play in your music? Any songs inspired by a specific substance?

none. i dont do drugs anymore, stopped around 1996 or 7 or so. i havent been drunk in about 8-10 years. i enjoy alcoholic beverages, just not being impaired. life is way too surreal already, i dont need psychoactives to inspire that.

Hi! Semi-big fan here. I own Mag City and Dead Ringer. Grew up on Aphex Twin, Fatboy Slim, Prodigy, Mr. Scruff, DJ Shadow. My little sister turned me on to you after she found your stuff in college. I still remember listening to the TV ads for the NBA Playoffs pumping Ghostwriter and thinking "someone up there has some taste! I could listen to these commercials all day." Please keep it up. I wish you many inspiring sunrises and gobs of cash.

I just wanted your opinion on a couple of rather funky rising artists. Have you heard any Diplo? What about Madeon?

have i heard diplo? why yes i have, in fact, i took him on his first US tour in 2004. back when he was a wee lad that knew nothing of the cover of vibe magazine. madeon, no.

What can we expect outta your colab with Break Science ? I can't wait to see you guys throw down at the Summer Set festival less than in 2 weeks!

loosey goosey. me and adam always have fun, because we can play w/o a safety net. that guy fucking rules. i cant wait. not planning anything.

Has LSD or psychedelic mushrooms ever inspired you to create the wonderful sounds you create?

both were staples of my high school experience. see above.

What happened to Soul Position?

nothing "happened". we are still cool. he's got a solo career, i do too.

What is your favorite beat of all time? Favorite sample?

dont have a FAVE. "ante up" by MOP (DR Period) is up there.

Wow. I'm such a huge fan. The Third Hand and The Colossus are my ultimate favorites, and are on a whole other level compared to what other producers are doing. I wish I had a more specific question than "How do you even...?" It's hard to put in to words.

I guess my question is this: so many of your songs have beats that are easy to nod your head to, but are really complex with sounds that alone probably don't even sound like drums. An example would be "A Spaceship for Now". Do you go in to doing that kind of thing knowing pretty much what sounds you want and how to layer them or do you feel like you sometimes more like stumble on a cool new way of combining sounds and then just roll with it? I just can't perceive even what you would be thinking for that song because all of the sort of cymbal-y white noise-y effects are all over the place. It's awesome man.

Also, what the hell is that sort of high pitched bird-whistle like sound in "The Stranger"? It's a really awesome sound. I don't know of any other producer that pulls off putting so many sounds that are sort of separate from the actual rhythm.

ha, thanks! re: spaceship-no, those are all found. here's a rare moment for me, im gonna rat myself out. wanna know where those drums came from?


"the stranger"-its all samples from records, so i cant definitely say what it is. i think its a birdcall, actually.

I've seen your show at the Bluebird Theater in Denver twice so far. You are one of the funkiest, most psychedelic and skilled DJs I know.

Any chance you'll be swinging back to Colorado sometime soon?

edit: the dates were January 27th, 2012 and April 2nd, 2010. I still have my stub for the 2010 show.

yup, booked there next year.

You're a fucking legend! How do you feel about todays Hip-Hop & Rap scene? Who are some of your favorite producers?

its cool. i like some stuff. same as it was 10 years ago, some stuff blows, some is awesome.


Icebird was fun, but that was also the last....no UK dates booked now :(


mad men, suprise

The Viktor Vaughan records with MF DOOM are among my all-time favorite hip hop records. How did that collaboration work? Were you guys working in a studio together physically, or do the kids do it all over the computers nowadays? How was it working on those albums compared to other collaborations?

hey rj, can i get a beat? sure, here's a beat, doom. kthnxbye

Hey dude, First of all, I gotta say I dig your tunes. How long does it take you to put together a song on average?

1-4 weeks?

Ugh, bit late to this one, so you may not even see this, but I'm a producer/DJ on the verge of breaking through (it seems), my first international gig is Ibiza on Saturday, then Romania the Saturday after and onto Paris. Any top tips for being on the road!? Things I should always carry that I might not have considered!? Things to be aware of....anything! Thanks mate, you are a legend.

good question. good luck. most important: your head. dont be nervous. be yourself. do NOT BE A DICK. you are not important, sorry to break the news. being an ass=1 way ticket to flopped career. sleep is your friend. hangovers are not. its the best job in the world, why treat it like a harlot?

I love your work! There was a time where I was especially hooked on Water Wheel.

Anyways, what's your favorite song that you made?

ha, thanks!!!! cant pick one. sorry.

Do you feel your lyrical abilities were well-received or recognized for The Colossus?

no, and rightly so. i dont fancy myself much of a lyricist. its a really hard nut to crack. not my strong suit, by any means. i put alot of work into it, though. its tough...

Hi, just wanted to say that you did a small show near Cleveland, Ohio about three or four years ago--you probably don't remember it, but I remember it vividly.

Quick question: Your Face or Your Kneecaps is very hard to find outside illegal filesharing networks. Is this due to issues with copyright?

in short, yes. its a mixtape.

Hey dude! I've always wanted to say that what you do with drums (everything else too but drums especially) is just incredible. I'm a big jazz fan and I often wondered what kind of influences you took from that genre, any favourite jazz musicians in particular?

Also, how come I never get tired of listening to Ghostwriter? It seems to be some sort of perfect song. Are there any parts of songs you've made that you wish you could change? and conversely any little details of songs that you're especially proud of?

Also, with the collapsing music industry structure, what kind of changes are you hoping for and what changes do you expect?

Also, what songs can you not stop listening to at the moment?

Finally, thank you, you make great music.

thanks. coltrane, jawinul, maclaughlin, oliver nelson, herbie, list goes on. george duke is a synth god to me.

collapse-stay tuned, too big to tackle now...

Hey RJ, I was at a college show you did a few years back where you OPENED for The Hood Internet which I thought was pretty fucking ridiculous, I could have watched you for several more hours, and you made their act with the one laptop and the one board look...uh...not so impressive. But you were amazingly classy about it. If you're ever in the Bay Area and want to grab a beer, hit me up!

thnx broskis!

I'm a huge fan.

I caught you at a gig in Chicago ten years ago where you played a game with the crowd where people had to name the samples you used and my friend won an old Beatles vinyl from you. When we came close to pick it up, we noticed you were wearing hearing aids. Are those from years of listening to music at high volume in your headphones?

earPLUGS, not aides. i have tinnitus. i have to be very careful around loud sounds, its really bad for me.

FYI, my best interests/insights/thoughts may fall beyond the typical "artist" realm

Such as?

eh, we're touching on them here and there, dont you think?

Do you listen to any genres of music that may surprise people?

dunno. i like 70's ambient music. eno/music for airports type shit. tangerine dream, et al.

my god, one of my favorite dj's ever is doing an ama ok.. um first question: you rock second question. what provokes you to keep you sound for the most part rather mellow-ish.? did/do you play drums? alot of your music is percussion based (imo) edit- bonus question. is there anybody out there you want to do a song with that you haven't yet?

i played drums all over Icebird LP and The Colossus

Did George Lucas try to sue you ass yet?

quite the opposite, he sent me a care package. not joking.

How do you feel about up-and-coming rappers sampling your samples, a la Inception? :P

eh, whatever.

Mr. D2,

I had the honor of seeing you play at a fraternity in Upstate New York last January, at a show that was, to put it nicely, under-promoted. As such, I got to watch you play a set to a nearly empty room.

I was surprised, however, when you put as much effort and energy into that show as any other, playing a fantastic set and rocking the admittedly small house. Major props to you, sir, for doing such a thing.

My question is this: what goes through your mind during a show like that?

And thanks again for doing this!

was this in albany? that was funny. in my mind? i was laughing at how funny it was that i was in a frat house playing to LITERALLY 4-6 people at a time, most of whom were requesting to hear top 40, and a week later i was going to be in front of 1000 screaming fans. it doesnt bother me. its fun. its a reality check. this business can gas you the fuck up if you let it. moments like that remind you that it isnt a big deal, ultimately.

Since We Last Spoke is one of my favorite albums. It is timeless, really.

Aside from music, what else do you like to do?

What is your favorite type of food?

Where in the world have you not gone that you really want to go?

Where do you never want to go?

What is one question you wish someone would ask here, but has not asked yet?

And answer it.

Thanks a bunch. Welcome to Reddit.

i want to go to vietnam. dont want to go to the vet.

What are your thoughts on J Dilla?

legend. pioneer. true genius.

RJD2 - huge fan, you and all of def jux got me so hyped for hip hop that I bought my first turntables (belt drive numarks! Sweet goodness) in 10th grade and rode a wave of musicy goodness all the way through college from NY to Canada.

When did you realize "oh shit, this can be my full time job", and inevitably also have the "the music industry can be cruel" moments/can you describe what happened.

For me, both these things were the most startling discoveries of my short, shitty musoc adventures

high: i realized it was my job when it paid my bills. 2002? 03?

low: getting jerked out of alot of money. ALOT.

[No question]

gotta buy groceries. back later to answer more.

What are your thoughts on the current arguments from certain artists being against the 'click a button' DJs and other live-acts? From my knowledge, most of these 'live acts' are just huge shows without much room for expression. That said i saw Amon's ISAM and it was un-fucking-believable.

see above

Hi RJ, huge fan since "Your face or your kneecaps" which btw still is the best and funkiest mixtape of all time, and probably the most played CD in my car.

edit: Just wanted to add, as a huge Jarre fan, that I absolutely LOVE what you did with Equinoxe #4 for Aceyalone's "Takeoff". My favorite beat of all time.

ha, thanks! insane warrior? it happened. it came out. that was that. thanks, glad you liked it. some people thought it was a bit strange, but im used to that by now.

So I went to one of your concerts in Philly last year when you were playing with Aaron Livingston and Icebird, I love the sound, you two have such an interesting and cool connection. Here is Charmed Life and Going and going. and going. How was working with Aaron and how was the experience different from when you worked more as a solo artist?

Also where do I go to buy a t-shirt or something or yours? The swag at your concert was a bit underwhelming.

ha, low budget swag=me.

it was great working w/ aaron. he's my dude. def wanna do another album with him, i see it as a full blown group. he's really malleable as a singer, which is ideal. often times, vocalists are like "here's how im gonna sing it, and that's that". i think we have a real solid quincy/michael dynamic, personally; we both worked to shape the album. he's a really brilliant writer, i consider him up there with the best working writers today.

duuuuuude!! i was soo bummed that your set didnt happen at wakarusa! i heard you had some long ass plane ride right before that too!? questions (kind of similar)

  1. what is your favorite festival/place to play?
  2. what city gets down the hardest?

what city? YOUR CITTTTYYYYY of course! sike. your city may blow, depending on where you live. the south parties hard, tho. small towns that dont get alot of shows are a good bet. fave fest? dunno. that fest in the nati like 3 weeks ago was a blast.

Well, this just made my morning. One of my favorite music memories is laying in my high school bf's twin sized bunk bed, listening to Deadringer and falling in the puppy love kinda thing where everything's just great.

Do you have any exceptionally great music related memories?

radness. sounds fun. pillow fight. HS boners. livin the dream.

here's a few: i backpacked across europe around 1997 or so. i took a walkman and about 10 tapes. gang starr's "hard to earn" was out. i vividly remember listening to it on a bus in italy's cinque terre on the side of this mountain where the road was so narrow that i literally couldnt see the surface we were driving on. i was looking straight down about 200 feet. intense.

another: i listened to "a love supreme" on an amtrak from nyc to philly last year,and it brought tears to my eyes.


all the time. that was my scene.

Can't think of a good question. Just wanted to say I saw you play about 10 yrs ago at Fabric (London). After the most astonishing set you got on the mic and only said "sorry for the hissing at the beginning". Pure class. No ego.

No good question so I'll try from leftfield, who's your favourite historical figure?

fuck history. im interested in what people are doing now. thanks for the P's!

If I really like your music, who else should I listen to? Also, with the internet and new music acquisition options iTunes and straight pirating, where do you see the music industry going in a year/decade, how do you see it evolving?

i am considering the possibility that artists will be the serfs of the 21st century; creating art because it is a natural function of the human condition, and corporations that are detached enough from the "content creators" and operate in an industry where said content is the fodder for commerce will be, well, multi-billion dollar industries.

we are basically there now, so its not much of a stretch, honestly.

This is amazing to find you here. I have to say that your sampling of Suspiria soundtrack was one of my favorite samples used ever. Since you chose that, I would love to know what other seemingly obscure horror pictures you have seen that you really enjoy. Are there some movies that have inspired your choices, not only because of a great soundtrack, but because of the film?? Thanks also for doing this!

i went through a phase of that film era pretty heavily. i made an album in homage, it was called "the insane warrior".

Hey RJD2, my girlfriend introduced me to you when I first met her. We listen to your music ALL the time in my room. She loves your music so much as do I. I know this is a long shot but our 1 year anniversary is coming up and I want to do something really special for her that would mean a lot. I already bought vinyl of your Deadringer album and when I saw this AMA I almost lost it (thanks for doing it by the way. Is there anything at all I could do to mail you the vinyl and you could autograph it for her? I'll save up to pay for all the shipping and and everything. I hope you read this. Thanks again. You rock!

sure. email info (at) rjselectricalconnections dawt cawm.

This is such a surprise to wake up and see your name on Reddit :D What is it like having a song your produced on a major television show?

I get so excited every time I hear a Beautiful Mine come on.

while i've acclimated, it still is a milestone that i am continually aware of.

Hey RJD2. Saw you in NYC at the Planetarium in the Natural History Museum a couple months ago. Great set. I am wondering what are some of your favorite concert venues that you've played at and where would be your dream location to perform?

fun gig! dream gig? somewhere in vietnam on the water.

Do you like spicy food

oh yea

People have mentioned your mix on Mad Men, I saw you denied them multiple times. Is there a reason why? Would you ever make something you knew would be used as a show's title song, or let someone use a song of yours as such again?

huh? im trying to only skip questions that are duplicates, or easily google-fu-able

Hey man! First of all, thank you for all the amazing music that has changed my life. I'd like to think I am capable of twisting some mad beats of my own, but in reality my brain just doesn't work that way. On to my question(s).

What is it like when you can't get a beat just right? What is the thought process? Do you just toy around until it strikes you as perfect? Is it frustrating? What's the longest you have ever spent "perfecting" something?

it sucks. sometimes i just can it. ive got things that i never figured out how to freak from 10 years ago. in a way, that's kinda the beauty of working with samples, at least in the way i do it: each one is its own puzzle of sorts. sometimes you nail it 1st try, sometimes never, and all variations in between. the key is to do ENOUGH of them that you can actually put out an album that you feel is solid :)

Hey RJ, I saw you years ago at SUNY Purchase you were the first DJ who made an impression on me, I was literally in awe. Now I DJ myself, make sample-based beats, and just started my own label.

Do you have any tips for managing my label?

no, i dont. its a tough racket nowadays. i'd really just say make the best music you can, and keep it up. i've had songs get licensed after being out for 5 years. there is a lack of immediacy in releasing music nowadays, in terms of the "payoff".

Thanks for being a good hip-hop artist from Ohio (I'm from Dayton).

1-sampled. its out there.


3-have fun.

4-alphonze mouson, probably.

4-too many to count. howard bloom's books are all a big deal to me. must reads.

Pandora seems to pump your music out pretty hard. Is there any particular reason for that?

Not that I mind...

ha, not that i know of. not the 1st time ive heard that, either.

On average how many samples go into a song? Have you broken away from straight sampling at all?

If you could collaborate with any artist, dead or alive, who would it be?

depends. anywhere from 5-30 or 40. there were sample based things on my last solo album, but i need to be much more careful now.

How do you feel about the rise in popularity of genres like dubstep and moombathon, and how do you foresee EDM changing in the next five years?

i think it's interesting. im inspired by the fact that guys at the top of the field of EDM can win grammies making music that is essentially beat-based. that's cool. it gives me hope for the sustainability of some of the more esoteric things i do.

Hey RJD2! I haven't listened to much of your stuff, I head Ghostwriter a while ago and loved it, Do you have a greatest hits of sorts I could listen to?

no, but i have a greatest misses, it's called "the entire rjd2 back catalog minus ghostwriter and a beautiful mine". it kicks ass, check it out.

First of all, I LOVE your work!

  1. When do you think you'll stop making music?
  2. If you had the chanse, would you consider making music with DJ Shadow?
  3. How did you come up with the name RJD2?
  4. Why don't you use SoundCloud to upload snippets, beats, short tracks new projects etcetera? For the fans!

All my support, keep up with what you're doing!

  1. when i've got nothing else to say.
  2. i've put that on the table before w/ shadow. balls in his court! :)
  3. found it in a fortune cookies buttcrack.
  4. i have a soundycloudy, i just dont use it all the time.

If you could only eat one food for the rest of your life, what would it be?

juniors cheesecake.

i was under the impression philly didn't have any grass, but you said you were out mowing the lawn yesterday. is that some sort of weird euphemism? do you do that whole "gran turismo" thing and tell kids to get off your lawn? totally should. right, onto bizness.

hi from portland, oregon. there's this whole maker movement thing taking off around here, where people are making really rad shit and selling it. there are places popping up that are membership based. i pay you money, you give me access to a place with all the equipment i need to make my product. it's on me to sell my product, not you...

...part 2, startups have these accelerators/incubator programs. if you get accepted, you get access to mentors, investors, and be around other kids going through the same challenges (launching a product, finding an audience, etc.). it's like a startup support group.

both the DIY maker space and the startup accelerators produce more success stories that connect with really niche audiences than justin biebers that go mainstream bananas.

question: why doesn't this work in the music business, or do labels have something like this?

ha. in short, you are describing what the music industry used to be. literally. one of the collateral damages of gutting an entire industry is that it becomes every man for himself.... no, literally, that was how major labels-the same ones that people think they are "sticking it to" by not buying their products-worked. the joni mitchells, bruce springsteens, and U2's of the past only happened on the dimes of the successful artists of the labels. for a small window, majors overcharged for a cd. there is now this revisionist history that somehow allows people to use that to nullify the fact that led zeppelin NEVER WOULD HAVE MADE IT to their 5th album if wexler/ertegun didnt ride for 'em hard. that wont happen now. and im not saying it's directly due to the "collapse" of the majors, but i am saying that it is a bit of a bullshit copout to blame them for their misgivings while not crediting them for their success stories. they brought us Zep, Rush, Minnie Ripperton, etc against all odds, and deserve credit for it.

You are a real hero of mine ! Because of you I bought my turntables and mixer. AND a MPC 2000xl. I know back in the day you were opposed to using computers to produce. Do you still use analog equipment to make your music ? or has your opinion changed over the years ?

thats mostly digital, fyi. was back then, is now.

Sir, just wanted to tell you your music gets me through my shitty stocking job.

Keep it up pls.


Hey! We met about a month ago during your most recent show in Austin. That's the second time I've seen you, the first being at the Orange Peel in Asheville for Moogfest 2k10. Both times were life changing.

So my question: What's your favorite movie? Has this movie influenced any one particular song? If not, then what have been your largest non-musical, musical influences. (poor wording)

thanks! fave movie-probably emmett otters jugband christmas.

uhhh, do you play minecraft? I swear an RJD2 gamertag tried to play with me... Also: www.soundcloud.com/eamantite/bring-it-back I make music too!


do you believe in the argument that artists music should be free, or technically not be copyright protected and they should therefore only make money from it live? also ever turned down a major artist?

its hard to answer this question without entering into a much larger convo....

i'll kinda pull a henry kissinger and say this:

a conversation about whether music should or shouldnt be free is essentially pointless in an environment where it IS FREE. there is a limited actualization of the outcome of that convo, because we cannot MAKE it unfree. not possible.

there's artists that i didnt think were a good fit, but not cause they were major, minor, diminished or otherwise, just not a good fit.

Do you still communicate with Chris Palko and Pete Nelson and any of the old weathermen guys? Also I loved you in MHz and your DeadRinger work

MHz album just wrapped, stay tuned, im on it

I hope you cleaned up on the sale of publishing for "A beautiful mine". As someone who's had minor success in TV music royalties, that's all I'm gonna say...

no, i didnt. i dont own any of it. i made about enough off of its' sale to buy a 2012 jetta. maybe a 2007 745. maybe. see above.


Hey, I just wanted to say seeing you for the first time in Austin was absolutely mind blowing. Thank you for being an awesome dude and sticking around to take pictures with some of your fans. As for a question, how do you feel the evolution of your DJing has gone? I mean, How much different would your set be if I saw you 10 years ago when Deadringer was released?

well i never thought that "djing" with one laptop on stage would be acceptable, but since it is, i may just plot a new career path. i have this field recording here of two transformers fucking that im calling my new song. let me see here, upload...send...aaaand...

i kid! i kid! :)

Who is that crazy-looking bearded guy on the cover of The Horror?

local street dude from columbus.

I'm a huge fan of yours - have everything you've done and think you're epic. But I know a lot of people have this question in mind, and I finally have the chance to put it to you.

How come Obiwan didn't recognise you in A New Hope despite meeting you in The Phantom Menace before your mind was wiped?

cause he's a mark ass buster ass hater ass trick


no idea, if you figure it out, tell me

you're awesome! selfish question: does your label do internships? college credit, unpaid, whatever!!

are you in philly?

Your set a DEMF a couple of years ago is, by far, the best electronic show I've ever had the pleasure of seeing. Did you enjoy playing DEMF? Do you prefer concerts or festivals? What is your favorite performance of your own?

yes, that was a blast. z-trip! the homie! good times.

Whats your current favorite song by frank ocean?

i like the single off the new album alot. almost everything on "nostalgia ultra" just kills me...

So as a label owner, how do you prefer to "discover" new artists? Do you have a list of pre-req's like "existing social media fanbase" or a specifically formatted press packet?

By the way, I saw you and Acey in Chicago years ago, which was one of my favorite shows of all time. I've been telling people for years how awesome it was that before he took the stage with you, you opened for yourself! I definitely didn't expect it and it was an awesome surprise.


Can't believe you're doing one of these!

You're my favorite musician of all time - I've been following you since Deadringer!! I have one question:

What song of your own affects you the most? For me, Iced Lightning is an incredible track that takes me to a different world each time I hear it. Which song do you listen to that makes you go: "damn... that IS good!"

Thanks again for doing this!

thanks!!!! iced lightning is def one of the songs im most proud of.

What's your favorite instrument in your collection of magical sounds?

PS: saw you at my University in 2011, you were great and I loved the mario hand puppets that you used.

CS80. its magical, when in tune.

What did you dislike most about the Star Wars prequels?

mostly, its the CGI. its still not to where i think it should be. it looks fake.

Two questions from my brother:

records. boxers, unless im going for that walt from breaking bad look,then its briefs.

what is your opinion of the direction deejaying is taking these days? i know vinyl is "making a comeback" but just the fact that technics turntables are now discontinued is a sign of the times. most shows i go to these days feature a deejay not even using something like serato; they are just using a laptop and some cheap shitty controller.

what is your opinion of this?

i have no opinion. your opinion as a fan is actually much more important than mine. if it flies with you, it'll fly. what i think doesnt matter.

How much material do you have stashed away, never to see the light of day? Will those cuts ever emerge?

ALOT. i have one playlist in itunes of unreleased beats, its around 70-100 tracks. unreleased songs? 20-30. dunno. i've tried to be sparing about releases, and only put out music im proud of. i take my catalog seriously(contrary to some folks belief, haha). i want it to mean something when i release an album, and i want to have your attention when i do, so i work towards that, however futile that may be moving forward....

dude! i absolutely love your tracks. i'm a 28 year old single dad, and honestly, your music has helped push me through some very difficult times in my life. i don't really have any questions for you, other than perhaps when will you be in south florida so i can come kick it with you and perhaps buy you dinner. keep on makin wonderful music. much love amigo.

wow, keep on fighting the good fight, man! glad to help.

What single record have given you the most samples?

I'm guessing a James Brown album probably.

i try to avoid the obvious stuff, actually...

Where do you see the music industry going in the next ten years in terms of distribution technology and the way people find, engage with, and support artists? Subquestion, do you like the direction that you predict? Thanks a lot for doing this.

tough call. crystal ball has floating turd in it. it doesnt look promising, wholly speaking...

How does it feel having a Wikipedia article on yourself.

pretty fucking great, its a great email-link trick, although that picture sucks giraffe nuts

Have you squashed your beef with MPThreepio?

when i squashed him, the beef got squashed

You're one of my absolute favorite producers, up there with 9th Wonder and Dilla. Your instrumental albums, In Rare Form especially, are top notch. Thanks for what you do!

thanks! just beats, really....

You're awesome!

Name suggestion for the new Mountain Dew Apple flavor?

mountain dew? where? whos got some? i love cat piss

What's your favorite classic arcade game soundtrack?

Metroid. genius. although the writing in some of the zelda themes is really impressive. REALLY good.

Hey RJ, I'm a big fan, I've seen you a few times and you've always put on a good show. I'm curious if you'll ever do a full length album with Break Science? When I've seen you play live with them as your backing band, it was amazing! Keep up the awesome work and don't let critics get you down. I, for one, thought The Third Hand was amazing.

thank you kind sir! that's an idea, me and BS in the studio....hmmm....

Never listened to you before this ama. Ghostwriter sounded okay. I'm looking into getting a mini-fridge. Have any suggestions?

this. THIS is awesome. i just took delivery of a chest freezer today, so i think im qualified here. bosch and frigidaire do well, generally, in consumer reports. good luck collegiate.

how do you like traktor? whats your choice between these: Itch, traktor, ableton live, scratch live or classic vinyls ?

serato, cause its the only one i actually have

Is it really nothing but a G-thang in your experience? Also, I love listening to your stuff wandering to the pub at night. And "Dead Ringer" really got me into experiencing different types of music, so thanks heaps for that.

its actually much more than a g thing, science has proved this. but they have yet to verify if bitches aint shit but hoes and tricks.

I saw you last week at webster hall, incredible show. Who was the live drummer you had on stage with you? Also, is there a story behind the giant robot who introduced you before you came on? Thanks for making some really innovative music and throwing one helluva live show

lol, that robot was commissioner crotchbuttons. he costs me alot, but is worth it.

I thought that the title said "R2D2" :(

you can never get that .000354 seconds of your life back either!

What's your favorite restaurant in Philly?

Favorite bar?

Favorite Italian sandwich?

italian sandwich: dinics, probably. morimoto if im actively attempting to break the bank. the new spot rotisseur is solid if im about that scrooge mcduck life, ya heard?????

Im an aspiring artist and would like to know how you get people to just listen to your stuff when your going out and trying to making something different. I play guitar but im by myself at the moment so im assuming your situation was similar but i could be wrong.....also how do you feel about artists remixing your work, because i really wanted to do iced lightning, my whole pandora station was based off of that and ive been using it for the last 3 years lol

usually i just sit on their chest, with my feet on their wrists, and make them listen. works pretty well.

Will there be another Insane Warrior album? That album was incredibly cool.

wow, thanks! it fucking bricked, sales-wise, so i assumed nobody liked it, but people bring it up now and then, so maybe ill do another. i like doing albums that are "agenda based", so to speak.

What is your production setup like? FLStudio? Some baller midi keyboards? Studio headphones that would make me cry in envy?

Also, I wanted to let you know that I woke up, rolled over to open reddit on my laptop, and when I saw this, I, and adult heterosexual male, literally squealed in excitement. You the man, man.

yes, make sure you buy a midi keyboard with a "baller" function on it-itll say it right on the box-thats my secret. thanks bro bro.

What do you like to do with your free time?

How has your day been going today?

Play any video games?

Other than that the music is just incredible, looking forward to seeing you live someday soon

i dont have much free time. im amazed i've gotten this far in an AMA, its a testament to my fandom of reddit in general. day is good. i've got a family, so that's my day to day, if im not dealing with biz shit or hopefully making music.

Do you believe in different dimensions? Mainly, do you believe aliens or spirits leaving and entering our dimension as they see fit? Also, what do you think will happen to you when you die?

PS - You rock.

see, when you die, a magical fairy comes and flies you to-OH FUCK, who am i kidding, you just rot in the ground.

i never understood why that would be depressing to someone. that is like the most inspirational shit in the world to me. the fact that life happens once, human conciousness happens ONCE, is the most beautiful thing in the world. it means we need to appreciate every moment we have. life is a fleeting, fragile, insanely delicate balance of shit we barely understand. how lucky is that?

No questions. Just wanted to say that when I saw you live in Atlanta a few years ago, I thought you were a total babe. Also, whoever VJ'd for you was great. You weren't bad either.

why thank you

Did you help collaborate on Allison Williams in this piece? Or did they just use your song? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OEj0z0maxzM

nope, but i endorse said chooon

Long-time OH listener, will definitely catch your show in Cleveland coming up, the last I was able to attend was @ Southgate House (now closed I believe) in Cincinnati/Newport when you were sporting DJ Crotchbuttons. A tasty beer at Great Lakes Brewery is on me if you find time to work it in amidst tearing down your gear (I was a stagehand all throughout college, I know that feel).

What's the best show/festival you've attended as a listener, not an artist?

Ever tried your hand at rock climbing?

i have! my dad was a climber. i've climbed the gunks a few times. fun stuff. HARD.

What have been your best and worst experiences while performing?

ha, i played a festival a few weeks ago. the power strip that my table was plugged into got kicked out TWICE in the first 5 minutes. twice. i was the odd man out on the bill, all hard house/electro dudes, and me.

best? lots of bests. too many.

Supposedly you came to my house once to purchase a keyboard from my roommate in fairmount. I have no idea whether or not he was bullshitting me but the keyboard was gone so I couldn't really argue the point. So I have no question. I just felt like saying that because it was sort of a weird moment.

Hey I sold that keyboard!

Oh, cool.

To RJD2!

No you didn't.

tell me what it was, and ill tell you if that happened. do i buy shit of CL? yes. i do.

how did working on the videogame "Getting Up" come about?

mark ecko called. i answered. he asked. i said yes. i made the tunes. he gave notes. i revised. game came out. in a nutshell, you have it.

hey, i hope you can respond to this. i saw you at webster hall like a week or two ago and i felt like you perform your live sets like any artist that plays an instrument-instrumet; like you challenged your self with fucking putting vinyls all over the place and whatever, idk how dj'ing works. but the crowd fucking sucked. i felt like you sensed how lame they were and how many of them didn't know who you were. but whatever. wussup! i hope you saw this! i'm a huge fucking dork of a fan!

ha, yea, i know what you are saying. its all good, sometimes its just late, and cats get fatigued...2:15 rolls around and folks are like "im tired". all good.

So... What are you doing now? I'm from Columbus, I used to see you around town a bit. It's been a while.

well, right now, im AMA-ing. you?

Where do you see yourself on the spectrum of music. Genre is one thing but (being a bit of a nerd) knowing comparative levels of fame, intensity, and prowess is interesting to me. Who do you consider your contemporaries? Influences? Influencees? Friends?

good question. honestly, i see my contemporaries as the bagger at whole foods, cause that's about all im qualified to do-outside of music. i dont mean that to demean baggers, just saying...i also think that the idea of "fame" is a very toxic and dangerous thing...its a bit like a sugar high that has to be maintained, once started. so i mentally try to stay off of that plateau, so to speak, so i dont have the "crash" at some point in the future. its real. i've seen it happen with other people. its not pretty.

Were you in on the "Work it out" video? I forget that guys name but that is one of the best music videos I have ever seen. Also your work is beautiful in its entirety

i was not only in on it, i was in it.

I love your Breezeblock Mix. Is there any sort of back story for it? I've had some incredible work out sessions listening to it. Very high energy (can you think of anything similar you like?).

nope, just a mix. sorry!

This isn't really a question, but when I saw you at Bisco Inferno 2009 you just had to tell everyone you were ranked the "7th best DJ in the world." I just wanted to tell you that you are full of yourself, and you weren't even the 7th best act that day.

Edit: It was actually Z-Trip that said that.

that is awesome! wanna know why? cause you are mistaking me for someone else.

1) ive never been 7th best at anything, much less dj-ing.
2) i doubt i am on the radar of ANY "best of" dj list, mostly because im NOT. google it yourself.

you, sir, saw another dj who said that, and you mistook him for me. whippersnapper. off my lawn please.

This isn't really a question, but when I saw you at Bisco Inferno 2009 you just had to tell everyone you were ranked the "7th best DJ in the world." I just wanted to tell you that you are full of yourself, and you weren't even the 7th best act that day.

Edit: It was actually Z-Trip that said that.

i googled-2009: bisco inferno. z-trip. me. others. you just shitted on z-trip, not me. kudos.

If you had the opportunity to punch one person from history in the face as hard as you can, who would you punch and why?

Also I saw you last year at D.C.'s 930 club and it was insane. Keep it up man.

nice! thanks. with icebird? fun show. hmmm....i dont often feel punchy, so i dunno....

This is probably the first AMA I've ever seen where I've wanted to comment. Thank you so much for your music. You are one of, if not my absolute favorite, artists of all time.

Do you have any plans to come to Chicago (or maybe even Indiana University) in the near-ish future? I've only been to a couple live shows before, and they weren't of people I'm a particularly huge fan of. I'd love to see you perform live at some point.


i did a free show in chicago. two weeks ago.

Any tips for a beginning producer/dj?

i started out shitty, then got better. in hindsight, i should have just skipped shitty. try that.

What gave you the idea for the welder suit with the mixer attached to your waist? When you spun it, I lost my... stuff.

ha! i found the welder's mask at a flea market. i didnt know what to do with it. when the wireless midi controller came together, a light went off in my head-"hey, i could actually do this..."

Is that diss track by Canibus called 'Stupid Producers' about you. He says and I quote "DJ R2D2" which I'm guessing is a stab at you. Care to comment about said beef?

whoa, that is epic! i got dissed by canibus?!?! how fucking cool is that? this is the first cross-discipline diss im aware of(rap vs producer). very cool. thanks for this.

What do you think about communities that make the samples you use in your songs public so to speak. For example, whosampled.com. Your page on whosampled is protected (http://www.whosampled.com/artist/RJD2/), is this something you did personally? Why? I'm very interested in your opinions on this. I make sample based music myself, and personally I have no problem with people "exposing" the samples I use.

EDIT: Another question... Is there anywhere I can get your remix of Cannibal Ox' "The F Word" on vinyl? I can't find it anywhere.

yea, i asked them to do that. its a liability, at my tier, frankly. if you dont understand how this is, i'd suggest doing more research on hip-hop, and the legal history over the last 15-20 years.

Although I love the aesthetic, aren't coveralls and a welding mask hella hot when performing under stage lights?? What outfit/set would you want if you had an unlimited budget for a show?

yes, hot as fuck. i often cant see out the mask, cause the humidity fogs it up, so im ALMOST flying blind. i'd like to do the same setup, but expensive mic/proper suit/etc, so its tolerable for longer.

I can't wait to see you this weekend! (Stereoterra!)

What are your hobbies outside of the music industry?

What is "the" perfect sandwich for you?

If you could get sunburned on one part of your body without getting burned anywhere else which part of you would you sacrifice?

Thanks for your AMA!

perfect sandwich: roast beef, sharp cheddar, prosciutto, sauteed spinach, spicy mayo.

No way what's up RJD2?!? I'm an audio engineer in Philly (mosty) and a LONG time fan. We met one time in Vermont a few years ago. 1. Do you do your own final mixes or do you have a mix engineer do that? If so, what do you look for in a mix engineer. 2. What software (or combination of) do you use for your production? I read somewhere that you designed your own software to use.

i mix most of my stuff. rarely do i farm it out.

What was it like growning up? Were you popular, nerdy, shy?

What set you on the path of making music? More specifically what turned you from say wanting to be in a band with guitars and drums to a DJ cutting up samples?

Just wanted you to know Im a huge fan and seeing you here is why I keep coming back to reddit. Hope you hang around, the community needs more epic people such as yourself. Shitty_Watercolour can only do so much.

none of the above. i was an outcast. still am. i played sports, but also played music. did dumb shit i shouldnt have. never really fit in. still dont.

Are you an avid partier? Or the kind of artist who crashes after a show? Tell me about one of the craziest after parties you went to.

Also, marry me.

lol. not a partier. sleep. i fuqqs with it.

Thanks for this lengthy AMA, really. As an aspiring musician, a lot of your comments have been really insightful and you've taken your time to answer a megafuckton of questions (I swooned to learn your affection for A Love Supreme, I remember the time the location and what I was feeling the first time I listened to it! If you ever read this, look into some Sun Ra, he was what inspired me to look into some good ol' Coltrane). Keep on keeping on

May I ask then if you have a favorite sound?

Do you have a pet? If you could hypothetically domesticate any animal, what would you like as a partner in crime?

2 dogs. thanks!

Hey, thanks for doing this, I love your stuff. Which show, if any, sticks out in your mind as your favorite show (that you've performed or that you've been to? Or maybe a gig that gave you a "holy shit I can't believe I just played there!" kind of moment.

there's too many....AMNH gig this year was up there.

So, this is more an RJD2-related story than a question, but I've been wanting to tell this tale for a while.

In 2007, I was in NYC to look at some schools with my dad. Being a stand-up fella, he suggested I look up some shows to go see in the city to make our evenings more fun than the repetitive, mind-numbing college tours. The first night we were there, I spotted a listing for RJD2 playing at an address that I didn't quite understand--it didn't fit into the geography of Manhattan that I had lain out as a child--and there was no information on the internet about the venue, but we decided to try it out anyway.

Pops and I arrive at the supposed venue and discover: there's no building here. Where's the building? What-a-what? And then: the boat. There's a queue of 30-something hipsters and law-school coke-fiends lining up at a circuit-tour ferry and a big fella with a beard is taking tickets (of which we had none, of course). My pops--again, because he's a stand-up kinda guy--bribes the big-un to let us onto the boat without tickets** and we board and are, promptly, bored.

There are a bunch of people getting trashed pretty early in the evening, and there's no entertainment to speak of. My dad and I end up sitting at a table in the corner of the upper-deck, looking down onto the dance-floor from above, wondering when this thing is going to get started. My dad is clearly hating every second of these loud, obnoxious city-types, and there's no sign that there's going to be a show at all. And there's nothing to eat. Or drink (if you're a 17 year old and a recovering alcoholic, respectively). So we sit.

And sit.

And sit.

And then the dock starts moving. Is there some sort of intoxicant being pumped in through the ventilation? What's the deal? Why is that dock mov--oh shit. Shit shit shit shit shit.

"Dad. Hey Dad. We're--we're uh. Have you ever been on a circle-tour at night?"

So the boat's a rocking and a rolling and a circle tour takes a long time and it's a lot harder to leave a venue when its in the middle of one of the more repellant bodies of water on the East Coast (but hey, look, it's the Statue of Liberty, all lit up).

And off ten or twenty feet from our table there's a camera-man filming two girls making out and rubbing each other's ass-holes (I'll not describe the rest of this scene in case anybody thinks I'm porn-fantasy trolling).

"So, uh, Dad. I'm going to head down to the dance-floor to see if I can see what's going on, if maybe there's going to be a show or something on this boat (and maybe get close enough to one of these blotto babes that maybe she touches me--hey, I'm not proud of that thought, don't judge)."

Ten minutes down on the floor and some guy walks up to the (admittedly hippy-punk looking) seventeen-year-old geek and asks: "You still carrying."

"Er. No. Sorry. All out?"

And at that moment - RJD2. Great set. Cool projections and shit. Danced some (where those blotto babes at, am I riiiiite?). And then went up back to the upper deck to have a nice 4 a.m. circle tour with old papa bear. Pretty cool time. Thanks man.

Also saw Negativland the next night (or the night before? Hard to remember). Good trip.

**My question: did you ever get those $40 cash we bribed that dude with? He said he was your manager or something. Probably bullshit.

nope. bullshit!

I love your music, does it love me?

of course!

I hope you're still answering questions/looking at comments!

I was beyond upset when I drove 25 hours to Wakarusa earlier this summer and your set got tornado warning-ed out! I absolutely love your music, and you were one of my 'must-see's that got cancelled.

Any chance you'll be coming to Philadelphia anytime soon?

yup, oct 6

Is your album "the Colossus" about the economic collapse?

nope, sorry. the title isnt really about anything.

Two questions.

1. Need a Cellist? :D

2. What kind of networking did you have to do to get where you are now? From ground zero that is.

email me! info (at) rjselectricalconnections dawt cawm

Are you right or left handed?


I've seen you live a handful of times. Once, in Knoxville, my best friend & I got WAY too drunk at a show. She and I tried to talk to you afterwards but instead just yelled at each other while you stood next to us. You were obviously uncomfortable yet so nice. I felt so stupid-and now I get to apologize.

Also, I think you're great.

lol, i dont remember that, so see? time heals all wounds.

Thanks for doing this. What are your three favorite albums from the period of 1988-1996, based solely on production?

ooohhh, i'd say nation of millions, de la soul is dead, and a wolf in sheeps clothing probably. hard to choose, though. i'd be skipping alot of seminal albums.

Come back to Columbus! If only to visit the old coffee shop... We occasionally hear stories.


Would you come play in Bangkok? If you already have plans, what dates? If not, but interested, I'd love to help!

Btw... My Aussie ex-gf introduced me to your music in 2005 in Beijing, so random, but I was hooked instantly.

yes, invite me!

Hey! Big fan and thanks for doing an ama!!

I was mostly just wondering what Ohio means to you, as a woman born and raised in Cbus, it really holds a special place in my heart. I was wondering if being from here had any major influence on your music, or if anything from cbus has inspired anything of yours in particular. Also, when's your next appearance in Cbus going to be?!

mostly the place that i "came of age"...so all the feelings surrounding that kind of thing. obvious, but true. i love it there. one of the few places where i feel like i "belong" and am not just a visitor...

Ice bird is my favourite collab ATM. I've listened to that record more than watch the throne. Please don't stop producing.

WIN! thanks.

Hey. thanks for doing this. I know this will probably get lost in the clutter but i wanted to ask how long you were working on music before you got to a sound that you were happy with?


for the first 2-3 years i produced, i'd say 70% of my output was kinda weak. i did happen to do "june" within the first year of having a sampler.

I don't have any questions but I can't pass this opportunity to communicate with you. total respect for you and your work. Don't stop making amazing music! Keep it up! :D


What's your history with drugs?

i was fairly into it in high school. at the time, weed, acid, and mushrooms were the thingies dujour(sp?). i had a realization around a year or so after leaving high school that it just wasnt working for me. it was a hard thing to confront at that age, because the only friends i had were friends i did drugs with.

i ended up severing ties with essentially all of them-inadvertently, just by default of the fact that i didnt want to do that anymore-and just stopped. in hindsight, it was one of the best decisions of my life. im a much happier person, and that period of 18-26 is REALLY tough to navigate. being wasted impedes your ability to make important decisions, and there are ALOT of them that need to be made throughout that window of development. but it was tough.

RJ! Gotta give you props man. My question is:

Are you aware of the impact you have in the bboy world? It's where I was first exposed to your music. How do you feel about your music being spun by other DJs as part of jams, competitions, etc?

Also, F.H.H!

not fully aware, but mildly. im stoked on it!

You're awesome. Who does the voices for your songs?

lots of folks.

top 5 italo singles?

as in italian disco? good question. im not the completist in this genre, so hard to say....

My wife and I went to see you at Logan square auditorium for our first date many years ago. You were awesome. Thanks for launching a wonderful relationship.

awww, thats great!


love learning. be curious. dont spend too much time medicating yourself.

Dude, your responses are fucking boss (Also your music!). In regards to touring, what is it that brings you to places? Is the decision made by someone else? Biggest venue/most people? What draws you to certain places?

yea, offers come in to my booking agent, and they pass along to me. i say yay or nay. not much lobbying on my part for this or that...

How did you and Soul Position start?

i asked blueprint if he wanted to make some songs. he said sure. that was that.

i remember your show at crowbar in ybor city back in jan. 2010. it was awesome. you were wearing a helmet for part of your show. i shook your hand afterwards and said "well done." you're a very talented and friendly person. what do you think you would be doing if you weren't a badass producer/dj?

maybe a math teacher. maybe a hobo. hard to say, really.

I've always wondered what brought you to Philly?

proximity to nyc, friends, and cheap real estate, in a nutshell.

Firstly, thanks for doing this AMA. I am a huge fan, and look very forward to seeing you at Summer Set. My friend and I have always wondered, especially during certain parts of ghostwriter, is there ever that moment where you're like "damn this song is gonna be HUGE" or is it more of a slow progress to finally getting it the way you want it?

every now and then, a section of a song will come together, and it hits so hard w/ no mixing, just dry, that you can tell it will be an effective transition(into the horn part of "perfect occasion", when the drums come in on "giant squid", etc).

If you ever come to brazil can we hang out and become besties?

sure. i MAY be coming there early 2013!

What's your favorite piece of gear that you own? Is there anything that you've always wanted, but still haven't gotten?

not really. at a point i realized that i've got the basic building blocks to do whatever i could possibly want to, in terms of elec/acoustic guitars, multiple synths, etc., at which point i realized i just need to focus on new ways to use these things.

First of all, thanks for your work. I've been truly delighted listenning to it all these years.

Here's my question: Is there some mainstream artists you guiltily like? Which ones?

May a squadron of vaginas find their way to your crotch by days end.

great, now im imagining a pearl harbor-like invasion of an aircraft carrier by a massive platoon of flying cooters. cooter platoon. new band name.

What is the best thing about being a DJ?

Do you get a lot of the sex?

Do you own a cat?

by the looks of this post, im gonna go out on a limb and say that you are not from amurrrica

What is the work/profit ratio like in the modern entertainment industry? Is it hard to make a living?

yes. the ratio is right around "all/none". sike.

What is the most complicated signal path you've used in a track?

hmmmm. good question. ive routed stuff through 5 or 6 pieces of outboard before on experiment/rabbit hole digs, but its not fun. usually a connection or cable is shitty somewhere, and its just a headache. not fun. i now try to be very very MINDFUL of my intent, really, with anything. im trying now to get one synth sound right the first time, instead of layering 4 or 5 and trying to balance them to achieve a workable goal. same w/ outboard. i try to go to the h3000 if i want a particular thing, not just cause im "bored".

I saw you in concert with Blue Print as Soul Position in austin tx, in emos i believe. At the concert you had blue print ask people in the front to stop smoking weed.0 Do you remember this? Does it effect your performance? Do you dislike the smell? Annoying because its a distraction? I ask because i was one of the people and i was young and foolish, but i was wondering how and why it offended you? Sorry if i made your performance more difficult.

good question. yea, its just some disrespectful shit to me, honestly-smoking anything in a room when you are close enough that you are forcing someone else to inhale it.

dont take this as an insult, but i dont understand why that WOULD be acceptable. cause we're at a show? cause im young, so i MUST wanna smoke weed? cigarettes are even worse to me. people in europe still smoke in clubs. honestly, its 1/2 the reason i just skip euro tours sometimes. my health is more important to me than a few shows.

i we were out to dinner, and a waiter brought a pitcher of water, would you drop 10 ecstasy pills in it? without asking the rest of the people at the table? they would look at you like the biggest dickface on earth if you did. why is forcing someone else to inhale the shit you feel like smoking at that moment acceptable? would it be such an inconvenience to leave the room, or go to the back? i just dont get it, honestly.

fyi, i wouldnt say shit of my own accord, but...you asked, thus...i answered :)

My buddy adam says he tattood you and your mom, if I don't have my artists confused, what did you get?

did he work at the spot on hudson in columbus, by the DQ? nope, he's right. its a tat of tweety bird nailing newt gingrich doggystyle while he's shooting an AR15 on my back, its pretty toats.

If you were a soup, what kind of soup would you be?

porridge, cause that shit is classy as fuck

I just wanted you to know that I love you!



probably nobody won't read it: RJD2 is God.

i reddit. da dum, crash.

My girlfriend doesn't believe that I saw you at the Memorial Union in Madison a couple years ago because you're too high profile to be playing a venue like that. Could you kindly tell her you're awesome and totally did play the Union?

hey chick. listen up. dude tells you no lies.

I helped organize a charity show about a year ago in Ann Arbor where you performed right before Lupe Fiasco. Just wanted to say that I thought it was super cool that you came out to the side of the stage and rocked out to Lupe with the rest of us.

i remember that.

I copied your music because I usually only listen to rock/metal. Are you mad, or proud, or both?

copied? like, you duplicated it within your itunes, so you have double the mp3s? thats actually a good idea, never thought of that. so if someone steals mp3's out of one playlist, you have them in another.

Hey I don't know if this will reach you, but a few years ago I saw you in Bern at a small venue. I asked you to play 'Making Days Longer', but you didn't have your acoustic. Two days later, I said goodbye to my friends and boyfriend at the Zurich Airport, was heading back to an unsure situation in the States, and was kind of a mess. You were on the elevator with me. You asked if I was ok. I looked up and said something to the effect of, "Holy shit, it's you." You recognized me from Bern, chatted with me for the 45 second elevator ride, and went on your way to Paris while I went back to the States. I don't know if you remember that early morning, but I will never forget it. Thanks for making beautiful music and asking strangers if they're ok on elevators.

awwww, you are making me sound like a stand up guy. i think im charmed by myself right now. JK, glad to be of assistance.

What was it like remixing music for The Nightmare Revisited? Did you work alongside Danny Elfman, or was it all something you did in your free time?

no, they just asked me, and i said yes. it was an interesting project for me though, as i had to "learn" the whole piece. i did it using the onboard sequencer of the elka synthex, which has a step sequencer that is easy to use, and allows me to transpose passages easily.

i was astounded at how complex just that one piece was.it gave me a whole new insight into the level of composition he works at. its the most complex piece of music i've ever picked apart to cover. its CONSTANTLY changing, so it gave me alot of opportunities to give it some twists and turns.

Hey RJD2! What time will you be playing tonight in Cincinnati or the Scion event??? So glad to FINALLY get to see you! To say I was a huge an would be an understatement. I've wrapped my brain around your instrumental beats for years and every time I listen is like the first time. Your videos are also entertaining and original. Your stuff is perfect for my cleaning playlist and working out to your videos is funnnn.

hey, sorry-i didnt check my messages in here. day late...

When are you coming back to PHILLYYY !!!! first show of yours i went to was awesome at the UNION TRANSFER, Icebirds really sweet btw

oct 5!

~5 years ago you played an awesome show at my college down in FL. I waited in the merch line where you were offering signings and in my infinite wisdom I asked you to sign my sweatshirt... I think the signature lasted about a week.

Thanks for being awesome at everything (I don't think I've seen an AMA as thoroughly answered as this one!)!

sure thing. cheers.

Ronnie James Dio the second? I'm a big fan of your father's.

haha, thats me. and him. cool.

Hi RJD2! First of all I love your music. Then the question: What studio monitors do you use (or recommend)? I produce music that is somewhat similar to your music, and can't decide what monitors to get. Would be awesome if you answered! I understand if you don't tho (3500+ comments :p)

barefoots are awesome if you have the coin.

I can safely say that your track Ghostwriter is one of the greatest pieces of music ever made. Any advice for a producer just starting out?


I don't really have a question I just wanted to say thank you for everything you've done, Deadringer was the soundtrack to my life in my freshman year in college and your music is one of those few things I can listen to that carries so many great emotions and memories along with it that when I listen to it, all of those great times come back to me again and make me happy no matter what I'm doing or what kind of mood I'm in. So thank you for that.

Also, I turned my mother (in her 60s) on to your music and she has become a big fan of yours as well. It would be awesome if you could give her a shoutout, her name is Joni... anyways I know that's a bit silly, but in any case thanks again for the great music you've made and the positive impact you've had on people like me.

hi joni!!!!

All I would like to ask is: How in the fuck do you make such chilling/haunting/thrilling music? I love your music man. You have produced theme-track after theme-track to my life. <3


Hey i worked with a manager named Corey at a Cinemark in Gahanna Ohio who saud you guys were really good friends. Just wondering about the legitimacy of this/if you think Corey is awesome

cory shot the cover of my first album. yup, he's my dude.

This interview was transcribed from an "ask me anything" question and answer session with RJD2 conducted on Reddit on 2012-08-13. The Reddit AMA can be found here.