As part of our Ibiza summer residency for We Love Sundays @ Space, we pulled in our August guests Stevie Kotey & Italian partner in crime Bottin for some interrogation!
Big thanks to the We Love blog for their questions. -
1) Is there one book that you have read that has been life-changing for you?
WB: The Junior Woodchucks Guidebook. That and Paul Watzlawick’s Pragmatics of Human Communication
SK: I couldn’t choose just one, different books for different times, different moods all determine whether your reading something life changing, But I suppose John Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men and Pimp by Iceberg Slim have all had a lasting effect. Oh before I forget, though it’s not a book Viz comic equally has had a great influence on my life.
2) Did your parents encourage you to work in music?
WB: No, there are no musicians in my family (apart for one of my uncle that plays flute) My parents did not specifically encourage me but they didn’t try dissuade me either and they bought me my first synthesizer when I was 12 (a Korg M1, the clerk at the shop told’em Pink Floyd used to so it must’ve been a good one)
SK: No not really, unless you’re a classically trained musician or top producer, working in music was always deemed a bit of laugh and not a real job, especially when you’re self employed. I’m sure they hoped for more.
3) How do you apply your past experiences to what you do today?
WB: I often learn my mistake and I’ve done quite a few mistakes. Like trying do music that I don’t actually feel or producing for people I don’t share a similar taste with. Now I know the only way is to develop your own trademark sound and that’s what I’ve been doing in the recent years and I do not intend to stop.
SK: Every minute of everyday past experiences help me to judge new situations, how to judge people you meet, when to be nice and when to be an asshole. Different strokes for different folks. There’s nothing like experience especially in music.
4) How did you begin to work professionally in music?
WB: My first record deal was for a track on Irma Records Italy, in a compilation called Sister Bossa. It had a sort of Brazilian rhythm, acoustic guitar and vocoder. Quite a strange arrangement now that I recall it. Shortly after that I started making music and sounds for commercials and websites.
SK: Lucked out completely, I had a good careers teacher; I studied a bit and just applied myself. You can work in music without the help of anyone, but it usually doesn’t pay well. If you want something hard enough you make it happen, but essentially I invested everything I could both mentally and financially into releasing music
5) Where is your current studio and what is it like?
WB: It’s in Venice, I have all the gear in my apartment. I’m lucky since my neighbors work till late at night and they never complain about the screaming synthesizers. I have 8-9 synths, most of them cheap Italian machines from the late 70s and early 80s (Farfisa, Siel) among the non-Italians I have a Roland SH09 and a “Moog” MG-1 Concertmate. Although I believe the most important piece of equipment in any studio are the speakers.
SK: Well I don’t really have one, I couldn’t afford to have a bespoke studio anymore, I have a little set up at home Mac G4 (old skool) some outboard synths and sound modules. If you know what you’re doing you don’t need much.
6) How much have you had to consider marketing issues since embarking on
your career and how has that affected your creativity?
WB: No marketing issues at all. I’ve been doing this type of music since a while, then when Lindstrom and all the so-called “nu disco” came out I was sort of lucky since label started wanted to sign my stuff, the same stuff nobody seems to want before. I’m very active promoting my stuff on the internet though: twitter, facebook, soundcloud… I only use those for promotion, I very rarely write about personal stuff.
SK: Well yes you need to promote your own shit these days but, I’ve never been one for self promotion, nothing makes me cringe more than receiving weekly emails from DJ’s about what they are doing and where they playing etc, surely your music and your dj sets should do the talking for you? I’m only on Facebook 5 months ago so I’m trying to do more, as for affecting my creativity I say less profile updating and more music making.
7) How would you describe your work?
WB: Artisan-like and restless.
SK: A&R, production, remixer, a thinker, bringing people together and hopefully something that will be remembered when I’m no longer here.
8 ) Who were your teachers?
WB: My teachers were the records of Steely Dan, Earth Wind & Fire, Claudio Simonetti, Celso Valli. I took piano lessons when I was a kid, but that was the only proper music education I got – though later (at 18) I took some jazz and orchestration lessons and I also learned a lot by playing piano and hammond organ in a big bang.
SK: Well my teachers are my record collection, everything I want to know about music or life can usually be found in a record I own or want.
9)Your home is burgled but fortunately the culprits are caught and your
possessions returned to you. What would you deem a suitable punishment for
WB: They will have to buy me an extremely sultry dinner at a very expansive restaurant of my choice.
SK: I say we get medieval with that shit, flogging in the town square. naked embarrassment of the highest order, then a t-shirt that’s say’s I’m a fucking scumbag thief that has to be worn for a couple of years.
10)You have to make one species of animal extinct. Excluding insects, which
species would that be?
WB: Pigeons and people who feed them.
SK: I can’t wish that on any animal no matter how naughty they have been; only the big man upstairs decides who stays or who goes.
11) If you could spend one week in any period of history, which period would
WB: I would love to see Venice when it was at its prime, before the plague, Napoleon and all…
SK: Easy April 26th 1977 at Studio 54 Bianca’s birthday party
Stevie Kotey & Bottin play at We Love @ Space on August 22nd 2010.