A Conversation with Carl Craig

For an artist, doing interviews can become redundant and boring. Grammy award-winner Carl Craig decided to do things a little differently and I was invited, alongside fellow music journalists and bloggers, for a bar talk before his intimate performance at Motorcity Wine bar. Here’s how it went:

I arrived just a little before 8:45pm as requested by his publicist. Carl had gone to eat, so the time he would show up was uncertain. I went inside to see how many people would be there and was surprised to see I was the first to arrive. I figured that either the bar talk wouldn’t happen or if it was happening it might end up being a one on one kind of thing, which I wasn’t prepared for. I decided to go downstairs, drink a pint at Foran’s Grand Trunk pub to give me ideas about the type of questions I’d ask Carl.

When I came back, fifteen minutes later, Car Craig was there with three other journalists. A total of ten people would eventually show up. After the obvious questions like “What does Detroit techno mean to you?”, I asked about the release of a three cds box set that was part of the Masterpiece series from Ministry of Sound. The compilation is divided in three segments: the music he currently plays, the music that inspired him and the third, not yet released, which will be called Mediation. It’ll be a modular jam that will have isolated elements from music that Carl has done in the past, including some solos. Songs will be at least ten minutes and should put the listener in a meditative mode. He told us how he used to listen to new age music extensively and how Detroit radio used to play artists like Vangelis all the time. The current playlist will include tracks from Scuba and Huxley.

We also talked about the digital age and how it influence producer’s work. He was revealed how, for a producer, he’s tempted to compose and released songs right away for websites like ITunes and Beatport, but that he’s now focusing at bettering himself as an engineer. For example, he’s working on a Terrence Parker song and he did thirty different mixes of it to make sure he was getting the best quality possible.

Talking to him was like talking to an old friend. He didn’t hesitate to crack a joke here and there. When asked about how effectively he was protecting his ears, he said he was trying to…but in the heat of the moment, earplugs were like condoms and you tend to sometimes forget to wear them. Fortunately his ears haven’t failing him yet and we should hear a lot more from him in the years to come. Masterpiece is coming out June 24th; make sure to grab your copy!


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