We’re joined this week by the beat freak in residence himself, the mysterious Breakmaster Cylinder. Listen along as we talk about how we make our beats, what inspires us for our music, and some behind the scenes on our latest albums.
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- Next Level: Buy on Apple Music or Bandcamp. Stream on Spotify or Apple Music.
- Theme Songs: Buy on Apple Music or Bandcamp. Stream on Spotify or Apple Music.
Notes from the show
- Watermelon Sugar X Seaside
- The Song Michael Jackson ‘Stole’ From Hall & Oates
- Sia - Elastic Heart feat. Shia LaBeouf & Maddie Ziegler (Official Video)
- Halt and Catch Fire Theme
- Pole Position Theme Song (Cover)
- Osmo Coding Jam
- Let’s Rescore Mad Max: Fury Road
- Ballroom Blitz (Wayne’s World)
- Bohemian Rhapsody (Wayne’s World)
- Jay_cee: Castlevania NES Speedrun in 10:45 (WR)
|Chapter Number||Chapter Start Time||Chapter Title|
|2||00:38||The beat freak in residence|
|3||01:40||Our big exclusive library|
|4||03:08||Billie Jean + Hall And Oates|
|5||04:42||BMC's favorite genre|
|6||05:35||Ever say no? No can do.|
|8||10:04||Sunken Barge Zone (Adam's Sudden Death Version)|
|10||15:48||Halt & Catch Fire|
|11||17:27||Where do you get these names?|
|12||19:15||How to art|
|13||20:00||Adam found BMC "In the wild"|
|14||22:55||BMC doesn't self-promote|
|15||23:12||Will you write me Polka?|
|16||24:50||Sponsor: Traceroute Podcast|
|21||34:44||Wayne's World and "The Ballroom Blitz"|
|22||36:07||Wayne's World and "Bohemian Rhapsody"|
|23||36:57||Let's make a todo list|
|26||42:26||Leonard Cohen is the worst (artist name)|
|28||45:02||Moby's "Extreme Ways"|
|29||47:58||BMC & fame|
|31||53:01||The Sia way|
|32||57:02||BMC on YouTube|
|33||59:09||Is this like Foley?|
|34||1:01:13||Give us a behind the scenes|
|35||1:03:08||What excites you about the process?|
|36||1:03:34||Favorite "Next Level" track?|
|38||1:12:18||Concerns putting out an album|
|39||1:14:16||Games from BMC's past|
|40||1:14:56||BMC shares fun facts|
|41||1:15:59||Thank you BMC|
|42||1:19:11||Ok, we're out!|
Play the audio to listen along while you enjoy the transcript. 🎧
So we’re joined by the “Mysterious” Breakmaster Cylinder, which I’ve said probably 1,000 times in our outros by now… BMC. Thanks for hanging out with us.
Hi. Oh, my pleasure. Thanks for hanging out with me.
The beats master in residence. The original, the OG Beatfreak.
Yeah, I like beats.
I don’t know what our podcast would be without you, honestly.
I think this is an interesting moment in my life, because I was a fan before meeting you, and then emailed you… Didn’t think I’d get a response. You responded basically immediately, and was like “I’d be honored.”
I would be honored.
And then now that’s just history now.
Yeah, it’s history.
And working with you is super-cool.
Thank you. I like this show.
So a lot of people do Breakmaster Cylinder theme songs for their podcasts… But not very many people do what we do, which is just be like “Hey, will you just continue to make music for us in perpetuity?”
Yeah, you have a big exclusive library of whatever it was you were thinking of at the moment.
We do, don’t we? [laughs]
You were like “I want it to sound like Watermelon Sugar, but something…”
That was the best one, yeah…
Was it? Okay…
One of many best ones. I mean, they’re our babies, basically; they all have a special place… Because music plays such a role I think in our emotions… Music is certainly an emotional thing.
But there’s a certain love that you have for the music you love… And so Watermelon Sugar, and the seaside version that’s pretty much famous on TikTok… That’s where I know it from, at least; those blends… Watermelon Sugar was a song by itself from Harry Styles. And Seaside was a song separately, that I’m not even sure the artist, but on TikTok they blend together and they’re perfect. And we made a rendition of that that was super-cool.
And then you’re like “Nintendo video game levels.” And then you’re like “Billie Jean plus Hall & Oates…”
Oh my gosh, yeah. Hall & Oates. Yes.
I feel like it’s just like what do we like in the world that we need to somehow do original versions of, or original inspirations of. But I think how it began with the library was just that we had access to the library that you have for, I guess your clients, your customers, basically… But we were using ones that were not quite what we want them to be. Obviously, they’re your stuff, so we like it, but it was like “We like this, but it could be different in this way or this way.” We just had particular needs, and we reached out to you saying “Can we just do something where we build our own music library, and they’re all licensed for us, nobody else can use them?” And I think that – like, we’re deep in this, Jerod. That’s normal for us. And not everybody, not all podcasters have that luxury and/or ability to just have what we have… And I think that’s kind of like our secret sauce in a way, because no one else can sound like we sound.
BMC, has anybody else made such a proposition to you over the years? …like what Adam said to you.
No, not really. Yeah, sometimes I get requests for specific stuff, but then I eventually put it in the library.
You all have very specific tastes… You like glitchy things, and… Yeah. Things. I’ve been writing a lot of polka lately, if you need that.
Yeah. It turns out I’m not that bad at it.
What’s your favorite genre?
Polka. No, I don’t know… [laughter]
Polka. Just right now.
Yeah. The answers to that are only obnoxious. Like, right this second, someone in the world… Just feel that for a second. Somebody’s saying “Well, I listen to all music, except for country. All the old school stuff is good.”
[laughs] Someone’s saying that…
That’s kind of always the answer.
I don’t mind country though. Oh God, I don’t know… Lately, late ‘60s Cambodian rock music, technical death metal… Oh, what’s her name? Ma Rainey, like 1920…
I don’t know.
So you have eclectic taste…
There’s a Korean rapper I like who just put out a new single…
Yeah, music’s good.
Music is good.
Music is good.
So did you ever consider saying no? Like, when Adam came to you and was like “Hey, can we just hire you in perpetuity?” Was that like a consideration for you, or you were like “Why not?” I don’t know how you run your business, or what you like to do, or anything. I don’t know very much about, BMC.
I like making music, so of course. “Hackings yeah”, I said to myself.
Just like that.
And I threw my fist in the air.
What about particular requests? Like when we came with the Hall & Oates/Billie Jean? Do you ever just want to throw us out a window?
Or are you just like all-in on that stuff?
No… No. All-in.
Well, one, he learns something.
Right? Didn’t know that Hall & Oates, “I can’t go for that.” It’s called the “No can do” song, and it was inspired by… Well, sorry, Billie Jean… Let me rewind. Michael Jackson’s Billie Jean was inspired by that bass rhythm at the beginning, was inspired by the Hall & Oates song. And Michael told them at a party one time, like “Hey… You know…” I’m doing my best Michael Jackson impression.
That’s not good. [laughs]
I mean, it’s not good. I’m doing a terrible job.
It’s very good, no. It’s very good.
Don’t be too nice, BMC.
You know, Billie Jean was inspired by “No can do.” And they were like “Whoa, that’s so awesome.” And I thought that was a super-cool fact, because I’m a fan of both of those songs. I happen to really enjoy singing “No can do.” Personally, I’ll walk around my house singing that, and my family gets upset.
But then I’m like “Hey, BMC, these two songs were like – there was an impression here on Michael Jackson to create Billie Jean…” He’s like “Wow, that’s super-cool. Let’s do something about.” And that’s how it works.
Yeah… Didn’t he like apologize to them for ripping it off, and they were like “We have no idea what you’re talking about”?
Yeah, exactly. Exactly. He was like “Sorry for doing that”, and they were like “No, that’s totally cool. Please rip us off.”
My impression is that I think we probably have similar likes, in 8-bit, and game culture, and music in game culture, and even like just other music we bring to you, and ideas… I think you like the challenge of like digging in, technically, to the music we share with you and suggest, and direction we can go… And I think - that’s my impression at least - that you take it as a challenge, that you appreciate the diving into those other tracks and whatnot, and kind of finding your own history, and your own likes and dislikes. We will often give you a version of a prescription, and what we get back isn’t necessarily a result of that prescription. It’s sort of like “We like this about it”, but then you can sort of go away, and you come back with your own artistic take to it yet, and we never really push back on that, because that’s just how art works…
That’s my impression of the relationship, is like we kind of share some ideas, and you bring your own thing, and you have fun along the way… And then we get back whatever is BMC-ified in that process.
It is BMC-ified, isn’t it? Yeah.
That sounds right.
That sounds right.
I had something to say, but I forgot… So that sounds right.
Sometimes we just tell you to make it more BMC…
Oh, gosh… Okay. More marimbas, more beep-boops, more breakbeats, more pretending to be square pusher…
More Starbucks parking lots… More – yeah. I just want a challenge.
And then sometimes I say like “This a little too much.”
Too much BMC.
That’s less often. But every once in a while I’ll be like – because some stuff can get pretty glitchy.
What’s the word when, like, there’s so much going on that it goes away from any sort of rhythm; there’s a kind of art that’s called – brutalism. Like, it almost gets brutal…
No, that’s fine.
You can go after it sometimes, and I’ll be like “Hey, this is a part of the process.” You’ve gotta push to the limits, right?
[laughs] You’re welcome.
I think, if I had to pick one of my favorites - and I don’t think that many people get to hear all of the best of it - is Sunken Barge Zone.
That’s what I was just gonna say.
Okay. The original you made was great, except for like right in the middle of that I was like “There really should be like a guitar, and like a drum, in like just the middle. Just come in right here. Like right there.” I think I even gave you like a timestamp. Like “Right here.”
You did. You gave me an exact timestamp, and you were like “Make it brutal!” You wanted death metal – maybe you didn’t say death, but it was certainly extreme metal moment… Which is great.
And literally, you come back with like - not even kidding with you; like, whatever was in my brain that I could not phonetically sound out for you, I could just like type it to you in Slack… By the way, if you’re in the Changelog community, if you’re in Slack, Breakmaster is in there. Don’t DM and go crazy, but you can say hello.
Ooh. Yeah, DM and go crazy.
Okay, go crazy. Do what you want there, I guess.
That’ right. If there’s a reason to join the community, that’s the reason to join the community. But like whatever was in my brain of what this should sound like at that point, what you gave back was exactly what I thought it should be.
I actually remember that, because I was happy about it…
That’s actually turned into – I was almost ignoring that whole conversation when it was going on… Because you guys were riffing, and I was just… I don’t even know what we were doing at the time. But afterwards - and I didn’t hear the end right away, until I saw it in the playlist. And it’s called Sunken Barge Zone, Adam’s Sudden Death version. And once I saw that, I was like “Oh, I’ve gotta listen to this.” And it became the outro to our Backstage podcast, because it bangs so hard that last like 30-45 seconds, whatever it is. It just goes insane.
This is the only time you’ve asked me to do something that harsh, but not electronic. Like, sometimes you’re just like “Bash this together and make it super-glitchy”, but it’s never just like grab a guitar, put on some corpse paint… You know, really lose your mind…
I was in this synthwave zone for a bit there, too. I was thinking about like Miami Bites, and I think there was another thing that I was like influenced by… And I was like “We really need to have some music around this.” Pole Position. Pole Reposition actually is the name of it.
But I was like “What’s another game that is just like so cool, but probably hasn’t been played for a while by most modern day mainstream? Pole Position.” That’s like the oldest of old.
Yeah, I didn’t even know what that was.
And they have a really good song that is the theme of it.
So Miami Bytes 1984… I can’t remember the inspiration for that. Was that Grand Theft Auto Vice City, or did we just say “Give us the ’80s Miami”? Do you remember what happened with that track, how we came to that?
It was like “Synth wave…”
Synth wave… It very much has like a Grand Theft Auto vibe, the ’80s version.
Well, if you would have just said ‘80s, I would have gone with gigantic snare drum, and it wouldn’t have sounded the same way. But synth wave, you get all, like, saturated, and covered in reverb, and… Just picture neon colors.
In fact, isn’t there a track called like Neon Changelog?
Yeah, I think there is a track called that.
And then you were hooked on Halt and Catch Fire for a while.
I still am.
Yeah, that’s good. I like that. That’s more of the ’80s style.
Yeah. I think everything you did around the Halt and Catch Fire impressionism… I don’t know what to call that. It has all been really good. Like, some of the initial stuff was like “You need to –” There’s always a process to get into the groove, you know… And once we’re in the groove, we stay in the groove.
And like all the Halt and [00:16:13.02] and Halt and Catch a Cold, and Halt and Don’t Pass Go, and Halt and Catch Fire, and Halt Water, which was actually parenthesis with different high hats… Those are all like being used in the intro - well, the intro-intro of the Changelog now. Like the opener. So they’ve sort of replaced some of the stuff there. It’s been fun to do that.
Nice. I like that stuff, because you get to be earnest. You get to be earnest without having to feel embarrassed about it. Like, there’s no irony when you’re being – well, when you’re writing polka, too. You’ve got to be just as cheesy as possible, and just love it as much as possible…
Same thing with ’80s techno, or ‘70s techno, I guess… You’ve gotta be all craftworky about it. That’s some cheesy goodness.
Yeah, it’s not worth doing it ironically, or whatever. It’s like, what’s the point? Do it with complete sincerity if you’re gonna do it.
Where do you get all these crazy names, man? All these song titles. They’re just like – they’re almost sometimes even more fun than listening, is just reading the tracklist.
Yeah, I don’t know. I’ve written many, many, many, many, many songs, and I don’t know. I’ve used every combination of English words. That’s it.
Yeah, you certainly don’t go for brevity… Kind of like the typical people who write song names, like one or two words. Especially your public library. Because a lot of it is like you try and describe what kind of music it is for people who are just like scrolling… So it’s not really necessarily just the song title. It also has some descriptive words attached.
Yeah, exactly. But your ability to make me - sometimes laugh, but definitely smile, just by reading the tracklist is something I’ve always appreciated.
I was wondering if he pushes the Linux file name limit, Jerod.
Are you on Linux, BMC?
You’re on macOS?
Unix-based at least.
What’s your character count of your longest track ever?
I haven’t looked that up, but…
I was gonna say, you do count your characters, don’t you? No, of course.
Yeah… I’ve got it all catalogued in me brain.
One of them is “Your glass eye sees the future. It’s too bad you didn’t have it when you ran with scissors.” That’s pretty long.
That’s a classic.
See? Like, what is that? Where does that even come from?
[laughs] What is that?!
It sounded like glass, and – wait was I actually tapping glasses together? I think so. I mean, a lot of the time it’s just how I made it, or I just need a sentence and I can’t… I don’t know, man. Sometimes it’s just dumb.
How can you explain your art to us? Can you can you just describe how you art?
How I art? Every morning I wake up in the yard…
That’s kind of what we’re asking you, like, how do you be so artistic?
We were expecting like straightforward answers as well.
Right. It’s like “Ah, I don’t know. Let’s do it.”
I disappear into the desert for 40 days, I come back with music… I come back with a USB drive [unintelligible 00:19:37.29] Is that what you wanted?
That was sufficient.
I don’t know, man. I mean, I’ve written so many songs that it’s just sort of about yes period.
I like it. I just like anything that makes me happy, and I do that. And then I do the next thing. You’re welcome.
One thing I did, Jerod, recently is I found Breakmaster Cylinder in the wild.
I do now.
In an unexpected place. Yes.
What’s that mean?
I will tell you. So my son, he is getting into like the early stages of coding. And he has this thing on his iPad called an Osmo. It’s like this attachment on the top that points a mirror at the camera, so that I can show you what’s on the table front in front of it. So imagine the iPad vertical in like a stand, and this attachment on the camera that points down, so that you can essentially project things to the camera that the iPad can read. And it’s the program on the iPad doing all the work with it. And there’s an application called Coding Jam. And my wife just one day randomly goes into the About page of Coding Jam, and there’s credits for all the people. And there’s the music credit, Breakmaster Cylinder.
And my son obviously knows what we do, knows how closely we work, because the albums are out, and he’s listened to our music all these years… And just like, now it’s more and more real, because we’ve got these two albums on Spotify. It’s like really real now. It’s beyond the podcast; it’s unleashed, so to speak. And then this was just like days ago, right there in the About screen, Breakmaster Cylinder. And my kid was like – his face was like the Oh My Gosh face for like Frozen. And he couldn’t wait to tell me. And I took a picture of it, and slacked BMC and said “Hey, found you!” And that was it.
Yeah. I love it when people DM me “Found you!” That game is so much fun. It was so much fun to write for. You had to write little second and a half snippets of music… Oh, single bars; you write single bars of music for 20 different instruments, and they all have to match in the same key. And then you make these little characters play whatever pattern you want, and they all overlap with other characters… And it’s cacophonous, and it’s great.
[00:22:08.01] My kid plays that. He’s only had like a couple weeks now, but he’s playing it constantly. I mean, he’s had his Osmo for years now, but they keep coming out with new applications and new things to the Osmo world, like Coding Aubrey, and stuff like that. I think that’s different than Coding Jam, which is similar, but not the same.
Yeah, exactly. And it’s the coolest thing ever. It’s like physical coding… You put like repeats, and counters in there, and stuff like that to make the game move around… It’s such a cool thing, really.
It’s really cool.
And then just to see your music there was like “Wow, that’s –” He’s real beyond the things we know him to be real for.
Oh, I’m real. I do music for a lot of their games, actually, over a period of time.
I guess my response to knowing that was “Why don’t you self-promote more?” And if you do, where do you self-promote? Because I don’t see you doing that kind of stuff.
No. No, I do not. I should…
Is there a reason why?
I don’t know where to start. I get on Twitter and I say ridiculous things, and then sometimes people are like “Will you write me polka?” And I say “Yes.”
[laughs] Well, we’ve never asked you to write polka… Although I’m tempted now, because I’m a fan of Groundhog Day. Bill Murray and polka, because I’m from Pennsylvania… So you can take those worlds and blend them together.
That is literally the reference.
The Pennsylvania Polka, you know?
But seriously, why don’t you self-promote? Would it not make more business sense to be a bit more self-promotional?
Yeah, it would. I need jobs. If you’re listening, I need jobs. Thank you.
Well, I think the inclusion of your name in the outro of podcasts has probably produced for you a lot of leads, don’t you think?
I mean, that’s how we’ve found you…
That’s how we knew who you were, was because of Reply All “Thanks to Breakmaster Cylinder” at the end. And we’re like “Who’s this Breakmaster Cylinder? We like this music. Let’s go get some.”
Yeah, it’s a silly name, and I hide behind a mask, and that I think has gotten people interested.
Yeah. Also the music’s pretty good…
Well, this should be just a gushing fest, because I feel like at this point, Jerod, we can’t – there’s nothing we can give Breakmaster and not come back with something at least good.
Oh, you should try though.
Like, everything has been like better than good in my opinion…
But I feel like at this point – we obviously haven’t given him the polka request. Maybe we should, and be serious about that one…
I can polkify all your themes, like we did Sega Sonic themes… Man, give me something that you think can’t be done.
Something that can’t be done…
Well, I don’t know. Something really, really – you just said anything we come up with, you think I’ll come back with something good, and I want you to really test the limits of that.
I think we have, though. I think even like the [unintelligible 00:27:27.24] and Billy Jean one, that was an example of one… That’s kind of maybe easy, but I don’t make music, but you merged those two songs together in a way… And I think, in my opinion, that should go down to like music history, because that is like an homage, a love letter, basically, to those two songs and that story. Where else are you gonna get that in the world? [unintelligible 00:27:51.10]
Nowhere but here on Changelog.
That’s right. Also, they have to be soundalikes, because I can’t use any of the actual melodies.
So you match the tempo exactly, you match the key, at least when you write it, and you match all the instruments, and then you get [unintelligible 00:28:07.27]
My next challenge to you is going to be Succession, if you’re familiar with that series on HBO.
Didn’t we do that one? Oh, no, no, someone just asked me to do that. I’ve done it.
I’ll do it. That’s great.
Lame. You already did it. See, as a programmer, you just copy paste it into a new folder.
No… I’d at least flip it backwards, so you wouldn’t notice…
Yeah, that’s true. You could do that. You could do anything to it. We wouldn’t know.
How many instruments do you play? Where do you source your music, like the individual sounds? How much of it is you on a piano and how much of it is just like “I’m buying this sound off of a thing, or I’m downloading a sound and I’m integrating it into other sounds”?
I like a lot of wav files, and you can get those from anywhere. I don’t care if they’re high-quality really. And I can sample things on my phone, and if you need high-quality samples, a video is not bad, actually. And I don’t know, I don’t really pay for virtual instruments that much.
Except that Sega Genesis sound chip one, that’s too good. I love that thing. I will just keep saying how great it is. I don’t know, I have a guitar within arm’s reach, but I can’t play guitar. And here’s a keyboard. I can play that. But I think mostly I use Qwerty.
What is Qwerty?
Q-W-E-R-T-Y. Let me tell you about this thing called computers… They’re good.
Sorry, was that snottier than I meant it to be?
Slightly, but that’s okay. I’ll take it.
Oh, I’m sorry.
Alright, so you played some keyboard/piano, or whatever.
Yeah, keyboard. Keyboard. Because it’ll read the notes you say, but it’s just hard to… It sucks. It’s not good. It’s really hard.
Do you ever go out and - when you say you use your phone to get samples… Are you actually making noises in the world and recording them, or you’re just sampling off of somebody else’s music? Or what do you mean by that?
[00:30:01.11] I do less of that now, but a long time ago I had this app that was always, always recording, which is just a privacy nightmare… But it was deleting everything after 30 seconds also, all the time. So if you ever heard a sound that you liked, you’ve already recorded it, and you have 30 seconds to press Save… Which is cool. And I would just record drunken businessmen, or something, and put it in music, or subways and such… But I don’t know, I don’t do all that that much anymore.
But you probably have a library now of tons of stuff.
Yes. And it is unorganized, and I can’t even tell you how that doesn’t matter… Because you just search for the thing you need. It’s just like “Dog.”
How do you search an unorganized mess? You just listen to them all?
Yeah. I use the spacebar and it auditions the sound for you.
So you do the same way – that’s how I do with your tracks. I just hit spacebar on one, and I start hitting down.
There you go.
And you do the same thing, only with probably tens of thousands of wav files of like a thing crashed into a thing, or like a bird chirping, and then like a…
I do, yeah. I try to put as many words in the file name that I might look for later. Just be like “Birds chirping. Tweet. Animal. Meadow.”
Lo-Fi head nod.
Yeah, Lo-Fi head nod.
So walk me through one process. And I know that the process doesn’t really matter to people, but I’m just interested. I asked you for droid sounds.
Oh God, I’m sorry…
Remember that one?
Yes. I’m sorry about the droid sounds.
I came back for even more. No, I mean, hey, when somebody buys more of what you’re selling, that means you’re doing a good job. I came back for more droid sounds. I was like “Can you do more droid sounds, only a different droid, please?”
Now, when I first came in, I said “Hey, I just want a bunch of different droid sounds.” How do you make those happen? How do you do it?
I pictured Transformers, and I opened a bunch of dubstep wav files, and I just smashed the heck out of them… And that’s because the very first time you asked me for droid sounds, I gave you just the harshest, most brutal robots assaulting each other noises.
Like, make it cuter. I want a cute droid. You know?
Yeah, we went more R2 than –
Oh, but actually, if you’re going R2, then you need something like 8-bit. We just make a round sort of sine wave tone… Although they call it a triangle, but still… You make a round tone, and you just sort of pitch-warp it.
And then you just do a bunch of variations of the same sounds to make different noises.
Yeah. It’s fun.
That’s a fun job. I don’t know how to do that, but I think if somebody came to me – so that’s kind of how I feel okay having ridiculous requests for you… Because I just feel like you’re gonna be like “They want me to make a bunch of robot noises. That’s fun. I’m gonna go make some robot noises.”
Yes. I would love to.
Well, I appreciate the robot noises, man. We use them all the time.
Oh, yeah. My pleasure.
I have this challenge on Changelog News where I’m kind of – it’s scripted, and I’m sometimes quoting other people, I’m sometimes telling you what is going on, but then I also want to have an aside, or like a parenthetical statement… And how do you do a parenthetical statement with just audio? And so sometimes I’ll lower my voice, as if kind of whispering it to you… Like “Oh, but this is actually going on.” And then I’ll go back to regular voice. What works even better is just a quick little robot noise, and then I do my parenthetical, and then another robot noise, and I’m back to normal.
If you ever wondered why I asked you for all those noises, that’s pretty much the reason.
I figured it was for insidious personal purposes…
I did that recently with an Editor’s Note on one of the Changelogs… I want to say – it was the Kevin Ball Friends one, when I like had to come in with an aside, essentially… Like you’re saying, a parenthetical. I wanted to clarify the history of Kevin, and stuff like that… I think that was it, if I recall correctly. But that was fun, just to do that, because… Without the droid sound, or the sound library… I think I chose two, obviously; one in, one out. But without that library, I would have been like “Hey, by the way…” Exactly, just changing your voices, or whatever.
[00:34:09.22] Right. Or sometimes I’ll include a clip from an episode, and if that clip starts with me talking, it’s really weird to introduce myself. Because then it’s like “Well, when did I stop introducing and start talking?” Because a lot of times a clip will start with me asking a question, and then a guest answering it. Or Adam asking it etc.
You’ve gotta go atmospheric and change the world of it entirely.
Right. So just little stabs, little droids… They just work wonders for providing that.
You could pan yourself like 30 to the right.
I actually tried to insert it once. It didn’t work out. Remember in Wayne’s World, where they do the [00:34:44.07]
That’s basically what I wanted to do with audio. I actually used that one time, it just didn’t cut out very well out of the movie, to introduce a…
Why don’t you just do it? Or I’ll do it. Or I’ll ask someone on the street to do it. I don’t actually remember how the sound goes, but yeah.
It’s something like that.
We can do that. I’m here for your sound needs.
We should do that. We should do that with BMC beats, yeah… Versus just recreate the Wayne’s World sound.
Yeah. Wind chimes will do it.
The problem with it in the movie is it has another song that undercuts it as they’re fading out, and it makes it hard to use.
I think it was Ballroom Bash.
It’s the song that comes in?
I’m pretty sure it is. Like, it’s the beginning of it, because it’s on repeat at the end. Isn’t there like three different endings, and that’s when that is repeating over and over?
Yeah, because it’s like alternate endings. Yeah.
Yeah, it’s like “Welcome to the Ballroom Bash.” I can’t remember the – I can’t sing it, but…
It could be. It could be.
“Head into the Ballroom Bash” is the lyric, in like the main…
Or is it not Ballroom Blitz? Ball-room Blitz… I don’t know.
See? Good job, BMC.
Oh, that’s good, BMC. You’ve got it. That’s a pretty good song.
Yeah, head into the Ballroom Bash. Ballroom Blitz.
Yeah, I had it as Ballroom Blitz. Yeah. Wayne’s World actually introduced me to Bohemian Rhapsody as a human. I didn’t know the song prior to Wayne’s World. And Wayne’s World is old. I mean, early ’90s, right? Like, I was kid.
And I mean, I fell in love with Bohemian Rhapsody because of Wayne’s World, and I still love the song to this day.
Thanks, Wayne. Thanks, Garth.
Yeah. Thanks, Garth. Party on.
On that note, we do need a Ballroom Blitz rendition of BMF. Let’s make a list as part of this podcast…
I don’t care if you’ve done Succession before; you’ve gotta do it again. And Ballroom Blitz is the next on the list. And definitely some polka.
Two things was too easy. So I think you need to come up with three things to merge, Adam.
For the ultimate challenge we could have a follow-up, “Here’s what BMC came up with based on this.” We can put it into the show if it’s fast. That’s how fast or slow it is.
We need some ideas. Lots of ideas. We need so many ideas.
You know, you could say borrow the melody from Pennsylvania Polka, and that could be enough as like the nod to polka.
Yeah, right. It doesn’t have to have any of the instruments.
Like, that could be just like the nod to it. It doesn’t have to be actually polka.
Alright, so Ballroom Blitz, a nod to Polka, not too much…
It’s gotta be that you can point to one element of the song for each genre and say “That’s what that is.”
There you go.
And then just a little bit of Grand Theft Auto Vice City, and I think we’re good.
[00:38:08.07] What about these albums? I mean, we finally collected the music together in a coherent way to release on the streaming platforms… Bandcamp is there, Spotify, iTunes, stream or purchase… It’s cool, right?
It is cool. You were not asking me, but it is cool.
I think it’s cool.
He thinks it’s cool.
And what are you thinking about Changelog Beats versus under the Breakmaster Cylinder name? What are your thoughts? We’ve got some questions about that from our audience, like “Hey, why did you do this under your own thing, versus like under Breakmaster Cylinder?” What are your thoughts on that?
Wasn’t that your idea?
Well, were you upset by it? Were you like “Man…”?
No, I’m not upset about it.
Yeah, like “I’m the artist here…”
Am I on there somewhere? [laughs] No, I’m not upset about –
Yeah, you’re on there.
I don’t know, like –
No, you are. You’re the artist.
Wait, I am?
Although it wanted your full name… So I put first name Breakmaster and last name Cylinder.
Does that mean it’ll show up on my Spotify? Okay, well, I’ll just look at that later.
I’m not sure. This is a whole new world for me. I’ve never been a music artist before.
Don’t you dare close your eyes…
Nor am I now, but I represent one on streaming platforms, you know?
You’re a label now.
Yes, I am. Changelog Media is the label. Yeah, I thought the name made sense. I mean, it’s obviously a collab, and we don’t hide that you are the actual artist anywhere. So it’s not like we’re trying to like act as if. But all of these songs are Changelog exclusives, they’re inspired by our style… You made them for us… It makes a lot of sense. Like, this is the music from the Changelog podcast, and so…
It makes sense as Changelog Beats.
I think it makes sense. Now, the real controversy is I didn’t spell it b-e-e-t-s, and I know that’s one of your moves, BMC, is the reference to the plant. The beet.
Which I always thought was cool and funny, but then once I was actually gonna put it out there, I was like “Are people gonna find this if I spell it wrong?” [laughs]
No, maybe not.
Yeah. So I went with the standard spelling of beat, but for a long time, even when I’d script out my thank you to you, I would write it b-e-e-t, because that’s how I was thinking about it when I would say…
Yes, you do that a lot. I like it, too. It amuses me. But it’s already hard enough to know how I spelled Breakmaster…
It’s supposed to be a car part, but it is not spelled that way. I have one on a chain somewhere.
You’ve got a breakmaster on a chain?
Yeah. A cylinder… I don’t know what it does, but it goes on a car.
How’d you come up with the name?
It’s the name of a car part…
So… Are you into cars?
Well, then why?
It’s Funkmaster Flex adjacent. Grandmaster Flash.
Yes, it is.
You’ve got your Breakmaster Cylinder.
I think it’s an old joke. I’ve probably heard that before. That’s not that clever.
I need a good name. Can we brainstorm a good name for me? I’m done being BMC.
That’s a tough one.
And that’s not terrible.
How about Zelda Trap Jazz?
An album name, or an artist name?
This has been described by one of our listeners, how they describe your music on our podcasts.
Zelda Trap Jazz. Oh, yeah, I take that. That’s good.
You like that? Zelda Trap Jazz.
That sounds accurate. Yeah.
And then a more recent one… I can’t remember if I actually told you this or not… I think I did, and you chuckled…
I bet it’s good.
This was a recent guest on JS Party… And he said “I didn’t know that your theme song was going to be robot dance makeout music.”
Do you like that one?
I love that one. Robot dance makeout music…
I thought that was quite a compliment.
That is definitely a compliment… The makeout part especially, I think, speaks to its resonance…
Yes. There’s something intimate about that.
Yeah. I guess Bjork did that…
Well, I don’t know. Just trust me.
That’s survived for a while…
[laughs] “Just trust me.” I’m not gonna fact-check that at all.
[00:42:14.23] There was that music video, it was like 15 years ago and who cares… Like, I could talk about it, but… Artist name though, Robot Makeout Music?
No, not really good.
Not really good. You know what’s the worst artist name?
No. Please tell us.
I don’t know. It sucks. His parents should be ashamed.
[laughs] That’s a call-out. This is a good call-out. I love this.
Tell us more. Explain.
I have nothing against Leonard Cohen, or his parents.
Just the name, not the music?
Yeah, I was just aiming for – okay, you know…
No, I get it.
I just needed a thing to say… And then I said it.
That’s funny. And now we’re going to start a beef.
Yeah, Leonard…! Is he alive?
No, he passed away.
Aww.. So you can’t get a beef with someone who’s dead.
- That was when the Hallelujah song became a little bit more popular, because I think SNL did a rendition of it in their cold open, as like a thing for his death, I think. Something like that.
Are you gonna sing, too? Sing. You’ve gotta sing.
Hell no… I know Wainwright… Not Rufus Wainwright. Loudon Wainwright. Oh, one of those two… They sang a version of that. I don’t even know if I know Leonard Cohen’s version.
This is important. Let’s discuss ad nauseam.
What about names like Bob Seger?
Yeah, who thought of that?
I think his mom did. Or his dad.
I’m sorry, Bob Seger’s parents, man… I just keep stepping in it.
What about a name like Adam Stacoviak?
Very good. Very good. No, I like it.
That’s a good name, right?
Yeah. Six syllables is nice, for one thing. It’s got the hard consonants in the second half… It lures you in with the Adam part, because I just sound sort of…
Oh, yeah… “This is simple… No, it’s hard.”
Everyone knows an Adam.
“This is simple… Oh no, it’s hard.” [laughter] So I actually think this idea of dissing on other people’s music names could really get you into the limelight. This is the way they do it in the rap game, it’s how they do it a lot in like the NBA, and stuff… You’ve gotta have beefs.
And you can’t pick on Leonard Cohen, because he’s passed away… But if you could come up with somebody else, like Moby… Maybe Moby. Do you want to start a beef with Moby?
Oh, don’t get me started on Moby. No, we’re not talking about Moby. I’ve got things to say about Moby.
Please. No, no, no. Start on Moby. I have opinions.
No. What about Vampire Weekend? They do not sound like a band called Vampire Weekend.
That sucks. Come at me.
Okay, I love it. You hear that, Vampire Weekend?
Oh, I was asked to do a Sea Shanty parody of Moby’s Extreme Ways.
Yeah… It was great. It was fun.
Did you do it?
Yeah. It was for a show that was tracing his claim that he’s a direct descendant of Herman Melville.
He wrote Moby The Dick.
Oh, that makes sense.
There’s some history to Extreme Ways. Are you familiar with this history? I love music history.
Tell me something to like about that song. Just anything.
Okay… It was an unexpected hit. And it wasn’t a hit until it was part of the Bourne movie franchise. It was basically obscure and unknown until they picked it up, and then for two of the films… Because there were four Bourne films. For two of the films it was the exact studio version he produced. And on the third one, they’ were like “We can’t do the same one again.” But it is the theme song, basically, for Bourne Identity, and for the Bourne film series. And so he went and re-recorded all of it; vocals… Back to the drawing board for everything. Instruments… Everything. And did the same thing again for the final film, which I believe was just called Jason Bourne. And so I think, from what I understand about Extreme Ways, this is like his big hit, really; one of his big hits.
Extreme ways, was a single for my album 18, and it got licensed for the first Bourne movie. The first two Bourne movies used the exact same version. And then the third Bourne movie, I re-recorded the whole thing. All different vocals, different instruments, different everything… And so now for the fourth Bourne movie, I’m re-recording it one more time.
It was basically obscure and unknown until the Bourne Identity, the movie.
And you liked that about it.
No, I was asking Adam, because he said that’s something that he likes about it.
Yeah, no, I gotcha. Oh, and you liked that about it?
I’m curious to hear what Breakmaster Cylinder thinks though, because that’s kind of cool… I like that about music, that there’s something that’s sort of like made it from nothing to something, or whatever it might be to go from zero to one; or point five to one.
I think Scorsese doesn’t return my calls.
[laughs] You’re not bitter, are you?
No… Who even is that? That he was obscure, and then old Matt Damon popularized him… That’s cool.
Yeah. Well, I guess the question would be this… Like, I know you were probably half-joking at least with the Scorsese comment… But you are famous to us, and I know we’re a small crowd, but globally present. If you got a call from Hollywood, basically… In quotes Hollywood, or whoever that might be.
…and you became Moby-level famous, and you were interviewed for the extras of the Bourne franchise, so to speak, would you want that? Would you even want that kind of fame?
If I can still hide… Can I do exactly what I’m doing now, but just – what do you mean? Like if I scored a big movie?
Yeah, like if you scored a big movie, and Breakmaster Cylinder was a household name at that point… Basically a household name.
I’d like to be a household name, sure. But I don’t want to be in your households. I’m gonna stay down here.
[laughs] Just your music. You want your music in our households.
Just in the audio form, right.
Yes, I really do want my music to be there for you to make out to…
You want more people to listen to your music. Your desire is not fame or anything like that, it’s more people to listen to your music. Is that fair?
Yeah. I like it. Maybe you will like it too, you know?
I think that what you’re wearing today sort of dovetails right into this, because I think Sia attempts this, or has attempted this. Now, I know she’s not invisible, she has been seen… But as an artist, she tends to hide herself as part of her persona.
She’s off in the corner, and she’s got like no limelight on her, but she’s present in the scene as an example, and she’s got somebody else there doing something that’s there, the real attraction, visually, that hasn’t helped her hide at all. Like, she’ll still see it, and people still know who she is as a person.
They do who she is. Does that mean we’re both introverts, you think? Or she just likes being artistic? I mean, solely. Solely artistic.
I don’t know much about her to answer that.
No, I mean, if you were an extrovert, you’d put yourself out there. I don’t know.
I like her wig. That’s a good wig.
I think my interpretation of Sia is at this point it may have begun as being anonymous, but I think it’s evolved into a persona and an art, really.
Because the girl, which I’m not even familiar with all the real details, but there’s a dancer… I don’t even know how to describe her art or what she does. I just know she dances all this stuff. And it’s the same girl that’s been with her for a decade, you know?
And so she’s got her ensemble, and it’s her crew, and they’re the same, and they keep doing revisions to the art, essentially. That Shia LaBeouf line was a super-awesome. Did you ever see the music video for that one?
No? Gosh… Elastic Heart is the song.
And the video is just super-cool. It’s just them dancing, basically… And it’s a story through dance. There’s no words, and you’ve got the Elastic Heart song going on, and it’s… You’ve got to see it. I think if you saw it you’d be like “That’s pretty cool.”
I think you could pull that off, a version of that, but like with robots and stuff.
Can you dance?
Can I dance? Um, no…
If you’re gonna pull it off the way that Sia and…
Well, she wasn’t dancing. Sia wasn’t dancing. It was her dancer and Shia LaBeouf.
Well, so can I work with a dancer?
I like the crossing disciplines and you end up with interesting stuff… But I can’t dance. No.
If I was your manager, this is what I would do for you. If you’ve seen the film Interstellar, there’s two robots, artificial intelligent robots in there, one called Case and one called Tars. And these things are like – I can’t even describe them to you, but they’re not like you would imagine robots of the future. I’d give you those kinds of robots, and that would be like your dancers.
I mean, that’s your style. Glitchy robotics.
Yeah. Those robots always strike me as so weird design-wise… They look so hamfisted, or whatever the robotic equivalent of ham is.
I’m over here trying to think what the robotic equivalent of ham is.
I was just like “What are they gonna say?” Yeah…
Leonard Cohen, huh? What a terrible name, Leonard Cohen. God, Leonard…
I want to start a punk band called Negative Attention. Doesn’t it seem just like the exact – nevermind.
You know, like “Why are you guys standing on the table? Get down here. What’s wrong with you…?”
Can you talk about some of the things you’ve done and are doing on YouTube, like your rescore of Mad Max Fury Road, and…?
Oh, I want to do that…
I thought that was just like phenomenal. I love that.
I so badly want to do that. I asked for too much. I’m gonna Kickstart again maybe, and start small… It just takes a long, long, long, long, long time to do.
Can you tell the story for Jerod and the audience? Give them a – what your idea was. It was on Kickstarter, but you had this – we DM-ed a bit about some of this, and I think it was like before your Kickstarter. And then I saw your Kickstarter, and then I was like “This is super-cool”, and I’m asking the question now.
It is the first fight scene… No car chase scene from Mad Max Fury Road. It’s – what, 16 minutes long, or something? It’s just some real epic what’s it to start the movie off… And I erased all the audio, and I’m trying to rescore it, which includes music, it includes… I mean, I don’t have them speak at all, but whenever Max is talking, it’s my pug. It’s like [00:58:01.12]
Yeah, very gnarly.
Yeah. I redid the guitar solo for that guy who’s like strapped to the big rig… He’s got like a skull mask and he’s shooting fire of it… I made that sound more like you’re walking into a guitar center, and someone who doesn’t know how to play is just kind of noodling… You know, one of the warboys is listening to Gary Numan as you pass by, as the camera passes by… “Here in my car… I feel safest of all…”
That’s out there on YouTube?
I did like two or three minutes of it, and I love every second of that; it’s so much fun. But…
It just takes too long to do…
It takes a long time, and it would be a dream job to get paid to keep doing that… But I’ll keep doing it. Immortan Joe always has his blinker on…
I’ve gotta watch this.
Is this like Foley type stuff, or is this all instrumental creation? Like, do you do any Foley?
Not really… I mean, it’s just time-consuming, when I could type freesound.org and just find anything I was looking for, really.
Like, I didn’t go out to a car and record the turn signal.
Right. Back in the day - I’ve shared this before, but early in my career development when I was like just basically dreaming of where I can go, I wanted to get into audio engineering for films, essentially. And I always loved the idea of Foley, because it’s just so cool how they can make – like, imagine John Wick, Jerod… You’ve seen that movie. I don’t want to break your heart or anything, but those sounds aren’t actually on the scene. Somebody at Foley is behind the scenes, remaking all those sort slices, and hits, and thuds and whatnot… That’s all –
They’re punching meat…
…somebody’s full-time job to create that stuff. And I think it’s cool how you can do that. I’ve never had the patience for it, but it’s cool that you can do it. And how much creativity is involved in taking crunching ice, and turning into like a bone snap. That to me is pretty cool.
[01:00:16.25] Totally. I want to know all their secrets, but I don’t want to do it myself.
Right. You want the Easy button.
Yeah, I just want to know. It sounds like fun. It seems like something I’d have to really dedicate time to, and I don’t care that much. But it’s super-cool.
I mean, I don’t want to do it. I’d rather write polka.
Well, let’s get you writing some polka for us. Slash Grand Theft Auto, slash… What was the third thing? I forgot already.
Ballroom Blitz. Ballroom Blitz.
Yeah, that would be kind of cool.
It practically writes itself, BMC. It practically writes itself, doesn’t it?
Well, the tempos aren’t anywhere near the same, the genres are basically polar opposites…
You asked for a challenge.
Yeah. Breakbeats and piano for Succession… [unintelligible 01:01:00.24] rock band? No, it’s post punk. It’s got to be post punk. Early 80s. Hi, how are you today?
[laughs] Can you give us a glimpse behind the scenes? I know Jerod kind of asked one of these questions, but I’m curious how you work for us, I’m curious how you work for others… When you get new gigs, how do you structure what you do? How do you make sure you say yes when you need to say yes, and no when you need to say no, and make sure you can balance your life? Or is that just like a struggle as an artist?
I essentially just say yes.
Yeah, if I can do it.
And I have a text file.
And there’s nothing you’d say no to?
What have I said no to…?
This is gonna be transcribed on the internet forevermore…
Oh, man… Yeah, I said no to one or two, I think. They were getting really weird. Like racist, or exploitive, or… And I was just like “No, thank you.”
Oh, okay. Yeah, that’s an area – I wouldn’t go out there as an artist. I’m thinking more like challenge no… Not “Are you going to offend a large population of people on Earth?” That’s definitely a no for me.
Wait, how can I do that with music though? I do want to kind of be – you know, Stravinsky infamously, the people at his premiere of Rite of Spring were so freaked out they just like rioted, and destroyed the place…
It was too intense. Now, what can I do musically to freak out a sizable amount of people? I would love to know. Like really, if that’s the job, I don’t even know where to begin. That would be –
That’s a challenge.
I don’t even wanna hypothesize. I’ll get mixed in your dirt. I don’t want to be involved in your dirt…
Guilty by association, or what do you mean?
That’s right. I don’t want to give you any ideas.
Right. Like “I got this from Adam Stacoviak.”
It’ll be for art.
It’ll be for art. It’s okay.
It’ll be a social experiment.
What’s your favorites? Not so much what’s your favorite music, because we’ve already kind of asked you that, but like what really gets you going? What excites you about the process of creating?
I feel pretty focused sitting in front of a computer.
That does a lot for me. I’m not very focused… I am a different person. And I don’t know, man, I just want to create something all the time. I’m itchy to do this all the time.
What are your favorite tracks on Next Level by Changelog Beats? There’s a bunch of tracks on there. If you had to pick a couple that are your faves…
Dracula’s Purse I like.
I actually had never heard Castlevania music until you two really told me you enjoy Castlevania…
Yeah. That’s the opener.
It’s a good sell. It’s like complicated.
It’s a great opener.
I guess that must be why.
That’s such a good track, honestly. I mean, you couldn’t have nailed the head better. I mean, obviously, it’s the second track, because Cartridge Intro was a requirement, right? You had to pull the game out, or whatever it is… You’re blowing it, you put it back in, and then you’ve got the little interstitial, and then you’ve got the walking sound… I mean, just like the way it comes in is phenomenal.
Yeah, like Kung Fu.
Yeah. Well, Castlevania is what I grew up on. I think my all-time favorite game ever in the history of all games, of all the worlds and universes and multiverses…
Oh, my God…
Is the OG original Castlevania for NES. There is no better game… You can watch – there’s speed runs on YouTube, and there are human beings that beat this game in unbelievable speeds, and they’re so unbelievably skilled at the unique technical nuances of like frames, and all these different things to beat that game, I think in under six minutes; I think it’s like six minutes and some change, end-to-end.
There’s some kind of warp to the end… Because how do you get through every –
No, there’s no warp. It’s beating every single boss…
That’s ridiculous. How are you doing that in six minutes?
Yeah, every single boss… It’s like immediate kill hits on – the bat originally, if you hit it in one way, you can do a whip strike that takes all of its power in one whip hit. It’s a special way, you have to time it perfectly with the frames. I don’t know how they do it, but they’re amazing at it. And they can beat that game in six minutes.
It’s super-cool. There was a guy online who was beating Super-Mario 64 with a blindfold on.
Oh, yeah. Well, that’s just showing off right there.
That’s just showing off…
I hate that guy.
“I hate that guy…” [laughs]
I’ll probably throw a link in the show notes, but if I don’t for some reason - but I promise to do so - just search for “Speed run Castlevania”, and you’ll be thoroughly impressed. There’s several of them over the last half decade of people doing it, and then one of them that has become just like the ultimate champ; like, nobody’s ever been able to beat this person. He’s like smoking a cigarette between breaks… It’s just hilarious behind the scenes of like this person – they’re like livestreaming, he’s been playing it for 24 hours straight, trying to get to the best, and he’s just like playing it over and over. And finally he gets the ultimate high speed.
Like practicing a piece of music even.
Yeah. There’s other people out there that are super-fans of Castlevania that will say “No, no, no, Adam… The real good Castlevania is not the OG. Sure, that was good, but really the best one is Symphony of the Nut”, which was on PS3… Which I will just say “Yeah, that’s probably the second-best game ever.” And the music from that game is phenomenal as well. So just saying, if you want to go check it out, BMC, and make some music… It’d be good for you.
PlayStation 3, so that’s got to be completely different.
That’d be like orchestrated.
Listen, when you go in – if you haven’t yet, when you go check this out, you’re gonna be like “Okay, I’m going to start making right this moment. Immediately.”
There you go.
Great. I need inspiration. I need an excuse, really.
Everything from like operatic sounds, to metal sounds, to… I mean, it’s a genre-busting soundtrack.
Oh, yeah, yeah… Okay, cool. Totally.
[01:07:55.01] We talked about Next Level… You’re currently working on our next two albums. We’re taking Next Level and going beyond. We’re calling them - working titles; may end up being the final titles… Dance Party and After Party. Some of the songs that we’ve been talking about are on these – Adam’s Sudden Death Barge Zone, or whatever that’s called… Miami Bytes is on there, 1984… Pole Reposition’s on there… These are all songs that we love, but didn’t make it onto the first two albums. Because the first one was obviously theme songs, so you can’t just throw random stuff on there. Yeah, we’ve got some remixes and stuff, but they’ve got to kind of be our openers, our closers, and some remixes.
Next Level had a very strict genre. In fact, we kind of – our first version was 8-bit only. But it was just leaving out too many good tracks that we had that were still video game inspired, but happened to be like Super Nintendo and beyond… So we changed it and we said, “Well, we’ll go 16-bit.” And so that’s kind of the second half of Next Level. It starts very 8-bit, it gets 16-bit near the end.
Talk about what you’re putting together… I’ve seen some working tracklists, but you’re holding back – or you’re still working on it; you’re not holding back, you’re just working on it. Talk about it.
I’m holding back. The Dance Party one is just – I deliberately did not put any of the [unintelligible 01:09:10.28] to the floor techno-y oontz-oontz-oontz songs on the other two… Because they can all fit together, and you have yourself a nice little continuous mix, maybe. Like, I’m Paul Oakenfold, and it’s 1993…
Paul Oakenfold. That’s a deep cut. Is he still doing stuff?
Probably. Just being Paul…
I haven’t heard that name in a long time.
Blank and Jones perhaps?
No, I don’t know that one. That sounds really f–
You don’t know them?
So Blank and Jones - they have a lot of ambient, a lot of relax stuff. They have actually like an entire series of albums called Relax. There’s one called Silent Piano that’s really good. And it’s like go to sleep music. It’s very chill. They also do kind of like the typical trance from the ‘90s stuff… I don’t listen to that stuff of theirs, but… When I think of Paul Oakenfold, for some reason I also think of Blank and Jones. But their chill stuff is really high-quality, in my opinion.
So there you go, so you’ve got Dance Party, it’s gonna be high bpm, right?
Well, I don’t know, for me high BPM is like approaching 300, but…
Okay, so maybe you’re edgier than I am.
Well, okay, but when you’re at 300, you’re also at 150. So it isn’t necessarily edgy.
Oh, but that’s true. If I go up to like 170 or 180, then we’re in the three hundreds. I don’t know, man… Oontz-oontz-oontz… It’s that speed.
Sure. I don’t know what that speed is. That’s like the dance speed.
I don’t either.
It’s actually a genre, oontz.
It’s the oontz genre.
So is Jent, and it’s when you [unintelligible 01:11:20.15] a guitar and go Jent, Jent, Jent-Jent-Jent, Jent-Jent-Jent, Jent…
I like that.
He’s vocalizing the struggle I think I’ve personally had, Jerod, all these years, of like how to describe…
What you’re looking for. What you’re thinking.
Yeah, exactly. It’s just challenging.
Jent, Jent, Jent-jent-jent…
And then After Party is chill-ish. It’s gonna be LoFi stuff, which we have plenty of. But you said you’re going to expand some of those tracks to make them longer? That’s what you were saying. Or are you talking about the tracklist?
No, I try to hit 40 minutes or so. 44… Somewhere in there is the sweet spot for an album, because I’m already itchy after a song gets past two and a half minutes… So you don’t wanna go too long, but you also want to have an album. Some of those were just like snippets made for interstitial stuff for the shows, so they’re like 38 seconds long, and if I will just double them…
[01:12:17.13] Yeah, I thought I would actually – that was my concern, I think, with initially putting out an album; it was not in your skills and abilities. I was just thinking, “Do people want to listen to this track for beyond what we think is usable, really, for our kind of primary purpose?”
And now on the other side of it, I think of the 4,000 or so listens we have on Spotify, Jerod, I know I’m at least a half maybe; maybe a quarter…
Because it’s in my – like, I get in the truck, I’m playing it on the way to work, I’m playing it on the way home… It’s my soundtrack. I’m just like in these beats; our themes, and everything. I’m just playing our top tracks. I’m not going to an album and playing the album. I’m going to our top tracks and just like “Letting it roll.” At least now, because now it’s kind of kickstarted a little bit.
And it’s just like the coolest thing ever. I thought I would not enjoy it as much as I actually am, and it’s kind of strange, honestly. I didn’t think that people would be past 30 or 40 seconds liking the track anymore.
That’s good to hear. I think you actually said something that inspired me for the Next Level one. You were like “When I’m working on a level that’s really hard, I will listen to that music in the background. That’s like a 40-second repeating snippet. I always do it for ages and lose track of time, and I won’t be thinking about it and it won’t annoy me.” And then we’re like “For difficult life projects, or work projects, you just have a soundtrack where you’re constantly leveling up.”
Yeah, it’s good stuff, BMC. We certainly appreciate it. My kids are super into it.
Although they said that their Echoes can’t play it yet, because we’re not popular enough… And so when they say “Play Changelog Beats” or something, it plays some other artist that sounds similar. So we have to take that artist down and destroy them, so that my kids can just tell their devices “Play Changelog Beats.”
It’s just like “This is Leonard Cohen from Jerod’s Spotify.”
Yea, exactly. [laughs] Back from the grave to haunt you.
Man, knock it off…
Do you have any games from your past, BMC, that we should try to bring into the fold? Like a Castlevania, or whatever.
Oh… I was always Super Mario 3, and just like settled on that as the best game ever. I know it’s not, but I like it.
What about Pitfall? Does pitfall have a sound?
That’s going way back. That’s Atari, right?
Yeah, I don’t even know.
Did we ever do – I feel like we did Excitebike, didn’t we?
Yeah, yeah, we did.
I can’t remember what that track ended up being called.
Probably the words Excitebike with one letter replaced with some different letter…
We definitely did some Excitebike.
Alright, BMC, anything left unsaid? Is there anything that you’ve been dying to get off your chest, or you just want to say to Changelog listeners before we let you go?
Okay. Well, if it’s irrelevant, we’ll take it.
Did you know elephants can jump? Did you know dim sum menus are mostly really good names for my pug? Did you know the Muffin Man? I don’t know, man…
You’re on a roll.
Did you know the Muffin Man? I think that’s a good one to wrap it up on.
Oh, God… Yeah, okay.
You can’t jump and not bend your knees. Did you know that?
You can’t jump and not bend your knees…
It’s very challenging to do. Your son actually proved it could be done, but I digress…
Yeah. We were challenged to do that at our most recent conference.
By our friends at Tailscale. I mean, you walk by the Tailscale booth and they just start challenging you stuff. I don’t know.
That’s a weird thing to shout at someone.
But jump without bending your knees was one of the challenges that we had to step up to.
You know, or have some massive toe muscles…
How does one workout their toes…?
Well, let me say thank you to you, Breakmaster, for just saying yes… When I bent the knee and I asked you to join the fold.
I am honored.
[01:16:09.23] You know, I’ve said this 1,000 times, at least on the podcast… I really don’t think that – it would be challenging to do what we do, and sound as good and unique… Like, Jerod and I’s voice - we’re whatever; and the people we talk to…
They’re whatever as well.
…super-cool. Yeah, but I think just like the cherry, the secret sauce on the inside of the cake, and the cherry on top is what you do for us. I really believe that. And it would be a sad day if ever that changes, and it would be really, really hard now to ever think about working not with you. Like, I really thoroughly enjoyed the relationship over these years, working closely with us in Slack…
When we first were working together, we actually had like 50,000 response email threads. It got really challenging to maintain it… And I’m like “Just come in Slack”, and you came in Slack. And ever since then, it’s just been easier and easier to work with you. And obviously, there’s nothing we can throw at you… And you also bring so much to us as well, not like just only us requesting; you bring a lot of interesting things too, because you’ve got your own influences and whatnot…But it’s just such a blessing to work with you; it’s so fun to work with you, and I couldn’t imagine our podcasts without your beats.
Oh, man… That’s really nice. I loved being on the show.
For sure. And we’ll keep doing it as long as we keep doing it.
Yeah, you sound like you know something I don’t, and you’re like “I can’t imagine the day…”
[laughs] This has been a long, drawn-out way to say that we’re gonna have to let you go.
No, no, no, I don’t even mean to be morbid, but just like, I’m old enough that I’ve seen people pass away… And I don’t really mean to be like that, but…
We’re humans; we’re gonna have an end to our humanity. And it could be me, and it could not be you taking the hike, and it could be me…
…or something. I don’t know, just anything. But I couldn’t imagine – it would be a sad day whenever the day comes, to not have a chance to work with you.
[laughs] Yeah, thanks. I had something to say that I totally forgot. You are being real.
Just being real. Yeah, I’ve just thoroughly enjoyed everything. The whole thing. Like, 10 out of 10, will buy again. That’s my review.
Thank you. Or unless you were talking about existence in general… But either way, yeah.
I want to reserve judgment until I hear Ballroom Blitz, Polka, Grand Theft Auto Vice City. And then I’ll let you know whether or not we’re going to continue this relationship.
Grand Theft Auto Vice City - you mean like the synth wave? Because otherwise, they have a lot of channels, don’t they?
[laughs] I’ll get you a sample.
Okay, thank you.
That’s always easier. That’s always easier.
Not the music from Grand Theft Auto. The vibe, BMC. Capture the vibe. You wanted a challenge, didn’t you?
Oh, okay. Yeah, yeah, yeah.
The vibe. Yeah, that’s true.
Yeah, I could do that.
We can do it. You can do it. You can do it. Alright… That’s the show. Thanks for hanging with us, everybody. Thanks, BMC.
Oh, no, thank you. Thanks, everyone.
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