Aug 21, 2009
1. So Pogo? What's the origin of that name? Have you ever had a different one?
The name came about from a comic strip series I used to draw as a child. I had conceptualised a species of ball shaped creatures made of a yellow goo that could suck their arms and legs into their bodies and fly. Each had its own super power, and could be sucked into a canister that fits in the palm of your hand. I called them Pogos for some unthinkable reason. When I started making music and posting it to my friends via our Internet forum, I adopted this name as my pseudonym and it has stuck with me ever since. It's short, catchy and easy to remember.
2. Where do you come from and when did you start making music?
I became fascinated with making music when my music teacher at school introduced me to MIDI sequencing. The technology was hard to come by for a 10-year old, so I'd sit in my bedroom tediously composing music using a keyboard, microphone and twin-deck tape recorder. Shortly after, my friends and I found success as a rock band in which I drummed, winning several talent quests and earning a position in the Pepsi Smoke-Free Rock Quest of 1999. I discovered a Playstation game called 'Music 2000', and immediately, I knew music production would be a hobby of mine for many years to come. Today, I use Audition and FLStudio, and you can find my work on several websites including MySpace, YouTube and Last.fm.
3. What has inspired you to make this sort of music? And how has your music evolved since you first started performing under the name Pogo?
For as long as I can remember, I have always detected small sounds in musical arrangements that appeal to me. I find myself with a natural desire to hear those sounds over and over. During my teenage years, it seemed logical for me to record these sounds and sequence them to form new pieces of music. I discovered artists like Akufen and Farben were employing this technique as well, but I wanted to produce music of a less abstract and more melodious nature, so I bought a copy of 'Oliver!' on DVD to work with and developed my style from there. Since then, my music has become more structured and complex.
4. I have seen many of your videos on youtube, they are very interesting, I haven't seen much of it done before. Could you describe your music-making process?
First and most importantly, I concentrate on producing a track that I can listen to regularly and enjoy. This process is all about composing with my ears. The essence of my work is to capture the elements of a scene or film that captivate me, and use them to make music that can love. Pulling a track together can take me anything from a few days to a few weeks. It depends largely on whether or not I'm in the zone, which oddly seems to occur mostly during the late hours of the night. Once I have developed my track substantially, I download it to my MP3 player and listen to it at my leisure. This phase is about enjoying and evaluating my track from the perspective of a casual listener, and it's often here that the imperfections and annoyances of my track stand out. After switching back and forth between production and listening modes, it's then time to produce a video. This is a process that requires a different way of thinking. When I'm editing, I'm constantly evaluating things like meaning, flow of motion, framing continuity and so on. It's a misconception that my track is the product of my video, while the idea of producing both at the same time would be chaos.
5. It seems to me that you enjoy mixing up various movies, what in your opinion was your favourite video to make?
It's a tough decision to make, but I had a lot of fun making 'Alohomora'. 'Harry Potter' is so energetic and appealing to the heart that making 'Alohomora' was practically a no-brainer. It's one of the few videos I've made that felt right from start to finish, and I'm so happy with how it turned out. For its structure, flow, rhythmic elements and warmth that it inherits from the film, I'd probably place my video for 'Alohomora' above the rest.
6. Your youtube hit "Alice" has hit over 3 million views. How does it feel to have your video been seen by so many people all over the word? Are you shocked that it has received the attention it has?
My first reaction was of absolute amazement. To suddenly turn around and find it acclaimed all over the Internet was a shock indeed. It's truly astounding to think that I've reached that many people emotionally and intellectually with one simple piece of music. What really baffles me is that I never intervened. 'Alice' was strapped to a rocket and took off entirely on her own. I think it really illustrates the power of the web, and I hope it proves to people as it does to me that the world is what we make it.
Alice - Pogo
7. What has been your biggest challenge as a DJ?
There have been several. Diving into live work was daunting for me because I had so much to learn in so little time. On top of that, it was a frustrating ordeal deciding what I wanted to do live. Fortunately, I slipped into mixing and beat matching quite well, and the experience became less of a shock to my nerves and more of a thrill that I knew I'd love all along. While it's an amazing experience to move a crowd with my music, the initial learning curve I had to climb right in front of them was an experience I'll never miss.
8. The music you make is quite exciting without visuals. But when paired up with the video to it the music seems to take a whole new meaning. Do you prefer to have the music played by itself or with its video?
I have mixed feelings about whether or not my tracks are dependent on their videos. Clearly, the Pogo experience with both ingredients is a must according to most people, but sometimes I feel as though your first viewing of the video can distract you from the wholeness and intricacy of the track its self. My videos are essential in that they explain what it is you're listening to, but I enjoy my tracks without them every day and don't consider them mediocre on their own at all.
9. How has your live shows been? Do you have any more live shows planned?
Oh, always. Playing live is a top priority. There's something very appealing to me about blasting my music into the air and watching everybody react to it. It gives me a high to draw my work out of the digital domain and into the atmosphere. In the future, though, I really want to make Pogo Live a memorable, immersive experience. I want to light myself and the entire booth with only my videos, and give the entire venue the same treatment with a spinning rig of projectors. At the same time, I could fill the enitre venue with bubbles or confetti. I really want to draw my work out of the digital domain and pump it into the atmosphere. Sharing my music and emotions with people is what playing live is all about, so rest assured you'll be seeing plenty of shows from me in the future.
10. Finally, how can your fans get a hold of your music? Do you have sample songs or a demo CD?
You can download my tracks for free from Last.fm. Legal restrictions prohibit me from releasing my work commercially, and I can not say when these issues will be resolved.
I want to extend a big thank you to everyone who has shown me their support. It's always flattering to hear of someone enjoying my work. To know that it's affecting people's lives in such a positive way is truly inspiring. Peace to all and stay tuned!
Expialidocious - Pogo