SPIN Interview: Death Grips on Signing to the Majors, Using Simon Cowell’s Printer

Death Grips' MC Ride / Jonny Magowan

‘The Money Store’ due April 24

Noise-rap eye-gougers Death Grips are brash, anarchic, punk-borne, distortion-splattered, puke-makingly noisy… and now they’re labelmates with Shakira! A toxic waste accident of Rubin-ready loud-rap and no wave textures, Death Grips made a big enough splash with 2011’s Ex-Military mixtape to get called up to the big leagues, signing with Epic Records — possibly the most unlikely major-label signing since outsider music pop genius Daniel Johnston inked with Atlantic almost 20 years ago. They’ve got two albums due in 2012, and the first, The Money Store (out April 24) proves that building with the guy who signed Usher wouldn’t soften their edge one bit. The album is 13 balled fists of nicotine-fit drumming, wubbly bass bombs, molasses-thick reverb, and throat-shredding screams. SPIN talked to drummer/co-producer Zach Hill (formerly of noise-punk spazzes Hella) on being the art-rap vanguards storming the system.

What are you up to today?
Death Grips. Pretty much that’s all I’m doing right now.

There was a time when you’d call up Zach Hill and he’d be working on 70 different projects.
Yeah, it’s kind of a big life change. I’m learning how to say no all the time. It’s hard to do. It’s crazy. Even though I love all my musical relationships and had so many good times doing things with so many people, I was working towards narrowing down. Something I could put all of my energy into. So now I have to just say no. I’ve had to temporarily exit out of the Boredoms for a minute. Actually just the other day Devendra Banhart asked me to play drums for some stuff.

It wasn’t that long ago since Hella put out their last record…
I was finishing that record as this band was starting. We haven’t toured since 2007. Things change. Spencer has a family, he’s married. He’s having a baby this year. I grew out of that, in a sense, in a lot of ways. It’s always kind of a strange thing for me, just being this “technical drummer” in a “technical band,” but it’s like that’s not even the kind of music I listen to, to be honest. It never has been. I’ve always been like, ‘Man I need to start making music that is closer to what my interest is, closer to what I listen to.” So now I’m doing that.

Read the rest on Spin.com

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