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AtoZ


Read the AtoZ Interview below and share it on social media.


Please tell our readers who you are and what you do?


Hi there, I'm Dave . . known here and there as AtoZ . . a name my brother coined back in the 80's. Partly because 'a' '2' and 'z' had a similar shape, but mostly `cause it covers the whole range of styles & influences . . & all of life to draw from.

My 3 brothers and I shared The Curse of Diversity: cartooning / acting / writing / and inhaling and exhaling music !
We've written actual songs all along. Recording started in the 80's.
But editing off the radio into abstract montages, or finding found-sounds was evolving from early on as well. Ah, to find the found !

Looping and linking a backing arrangement and placing phrases that worked and swung along to the beat. Spoken phrases . . bellowed phrases . . effects . . they all have a musicality when it comes together. Think of it — sung or spoken . . something like "reep-bahbop-badooh" has a phrasing that'll work Both ways !

When I could start recording all on my own in 1996, sample-pieces were the most adventurous and colorful. But it was another 10 years till I had any sort of computer.

I worked with a Fostex 4-track cassette / a MIni-Disc deck where cued samples were released by hand with a keyboard / and usually run thru an Effectron ( Google it — Delta Lab Effectron II ). And of course hitting >record< was by hand too . . I miss all that in this digital world.

It was the age I call "AtoZ – B.C." — AtoZ Before Computers.
Since 2006 it's been GarageBand . . and I began meeting mashers in 2010.
At first on the BeatlesRemixerGroup, and it's widened every year since.

I'll insert here how touched & honored I am that my digital-pal DJ Rudec saw fit to nominate me for an interview here . . . right after he'd finished his own !
Thanks bud !

I know a major thing that "sets me apart", for good or otherwise, is how I craft pieces that shift and open-up like a movie or cartoon: new characters bounce off each other as scenes unfold into new terrains, with the backing and a few recurring motifs keeping it from being too ungrounded.

I admire and respect when other bootleggers do a strict A+B = Mash, but part of me begins to yawn when I realize it's just gonna follow the same verse / verse / chorus structure as the original song that the vocal came from followed.
Gimme a multi-character parade of fun and cool moments and I'll go back to it a hundred times !


How would you describe your influences and how have they changed over the years?


Influences range, well . . from A to Z !

Yeah, I may have deep denial over age ( hush now ! ) but must admit to going back more than a few decades. So my influences growing-up, were early and mid-70's as I'm hitting mid and late teens . . the point when most of us are diving into the deep-end of who and what we love and go "THIS IS MY SHIT !!"

Thru the inventive pop-rock of Beatles, Bowie, Harry Nilsson, xTc — to crazed creators like The Art of Noise, The Residents, They Might Be Giants, Telex . . .
I wouldn't say influences "changed over the years" . . more like evolved, as life tends to.

As much influence comes also from personal relationships, all forms of media, scientific and esoteric beliefs. etc. etc — as comes from music.
Music may be among the brightest shades in the spectrum, but it ain't the whole rainbow.
( while being a pretty vast rainbow in itself )


What´s new right now?


Oh Lord ! . . so many pots bubbling on the stove.
Let me live to 320 ( please ?!? ) and I might just catch-up on all the ideas festering within me or already jotted down.
Of course . . I will likely have more ideas every other day, so better make it 562 years.

I just released 2 Compilations that, while having far too much me on `em, also featured a few mashy-pals.
Check the link below for the Elton John Mashed comp that an online discovery of 6ix prime albums of just the vocals inspired > "Mashmen Across The Waters".

And a Halloweening Mashacre was released just 2 weeks before I did this interview > "The Fright Album" ! But that don't seem so timely for another 48 weeks or so, ey ?
Check the blog if you haven't shaken that murky mood yet . . .

And just to make sure there's far too much for you to investigate, here's a tribute to Robin Williams I spent a year getting ready for the 1st anniversary of his departure. When one of his closest friends, Rick Overton, said it would've made Robin tear-up warmly, I could not have been more touched or gratified.

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Are you a superfan of anyone? How did you become a superfan? Do you remember how you become a fan and what turned you into super fan? Have you ever thought about why you´re such a fan?


Well, That's a multi-part question, ain't it !
The artists I'm biggest on, and have remained true to over years and decades probably have one major thing in common; the are unique and innovative without being pretentious and just too damn clever to be accessible.
As I rattled-off before: Beatles ( the Mt. Rushmore of modern music . . but there's so much more than music w/ them ), Bowie, Nilsson, T.Rex, Yello, Art of Noise, Telex . . etc x's 1,000.

A balance ( once again ) of inventive yet "appealing".
And that's what I strive for too.
To "take you somewhere" new, but you can still find yourself on the map.


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What was the biggest mistake you made when you started making music and what would be the number one tip you could give to a newcomer musician?


Hmm . . my biggest mistake may not have much relevance anymore.
Starting, as I did, with hooking up devices to the Fostex . . my first several pieces saw me using a tiny 80's Casio-keyboard for live mic-sampling, and once that was wired-in, there was a "live-mic pop" I didn't notice till after !
I also realized a couple years in that I wasn't cleaning the record-head enough, so I wasn't recording the high-end as well. Caught that after a track or two.

I suppose it still relates — make sure you're not overloading a track and such stuff.
Don't let your inspired zeal rush you past basic engineering.


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How do you get gigs? Can you share any tips?



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Do you have good promotion tips for other musicians?



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Do you have insights on how to grow your audience on soundcloud that you want to share with our audience?



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What has been your biggest challenge right now? Have you been able to overcome that challenge? If so, how?


Boy ! . . The biggest challenge just might be feeling you've still got a unique "voice" . . and once I'm reminded I certainly do, feeling you won't be lost in the non-stop landslide of "stuff" on the whirled-wild web !!

Cherish whatever little corner of the net you're in, and those who've found you there.
As I've jokingly wondered, we may be heading for a time when 50% of us are creating content, and the other 50% find someone to be a fan OF.
So enjoy a couple 100 downloads now . . soon enough it'll be one-to-one . . you . . and YOUR FOLLOWER !


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How do you personally discover new music?



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Once you discovered new music, do you tell others about the new music/artist you discovered? If yes, how exactly?



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What is your number one tip to improve your music production or songwriting skills?


Hmm . . my biggest mistake may not have much relevance anymore.
Starting, as I did, with hooking up devices to the Fostex . . my first several pieces saw me using a tiny 80's Casio-keyboard for live mic-sampling, and once that was wired-in, there was a "live-mic pop" I didn't notice till after !
I also realized a couple years in that I wasn't cleaning the record-head enough, so I wasn't recording the high-end as well. Caught that after a track or two.

I suppose it still relates — make sure you're not overloading a track and such stuff.
Don't let your inspired zeal rush you past basic engineering


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What is your best tip for those who struggle with finishing their tracks?


Best tip for those who struggle, and Number one tip for production. Hmm . . those are indeed distinctively different, yet closely related.

For production — learn your strengths and weak-areas over time.
Record things well, of course. If a track within the piece is distorted or hissy, Take 2 !
I've known awhile now, that I'm strong in the overall "sonic landscape".
Yeah, I don't have perfect-pitch and get used to dissonance too easily.
It's subjective a bit, too . . . one time it'll sound "ok", listen a week later and it's OMG !! "What was I thinking ? . . what was I DRINKING ?!?"

But I'm totally precise in levels, panning, timing, amount of reverb . . and adjust those things incrementally till they've "popped into place".

Creativity, just like life, is all about balance.
Yes, you're having ideas that are oh-so-clever, but if you overload it with too much on top, it'll be crushed.. . simply top-heavy.
Balance yer' nutty notions with "letting the work speak to you".

I generally see it like a Christmas tree: if one section's too sparse, you'll see that, but not overfill it.
I return to a piece over fairly long periods, and tweak tweak tweak till a little inner-bell goes off and I see that it's done.
For me, it's nearly unmistakeable . . it just FEELS done.


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We meet again in one year. What has changed?


You're asking where I will be in a year, and that's "flinging things I finally finished, or new items, out there and hoping more than 2 people click "Like""… but where will WE be ?

What new forum will surge to global preference ? … and what ridiculously intuitive app we 17% of us be using to Use it ??

Maybe I'll be chosen, after a digital mogul hears my hot new obscurity on iThink, to do the theme for an acclaimed new original show as part of the original programming on Google Maps !


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http://dmrofatoz.blogspot.com/

https://www.facebook.com/DmRofAtoZ/

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UChOykyBWh8iex1G_4sMHSSw

{Other Website(s) and Social Media Profiles 2:29}

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Enter your questions to the artist in the facebook comment section below.
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