The Fixxers Interview
|Next Project:||The Midnite Life|
|Website:||The Fixxers's Website|
While artists across the country are trying to pronounce hip-hop dead and simultaneously attempting to bring it back to life, AMG and Quik of The Fixxers merely want to have fun. Both with storied musical backgrounds, the two long time solo artists decided to become a duo and work their material independently. After creating the ultra catchy tune “Can You Werk Wit Dat,” labels started calling and before long Interscope had inked them to a deal. Now, less than a year later the duo excitedly awaits the release of their collaborative effort, “The Midnite Life.” During an interview with DJBooth.net’s DJ “Z,” The Fixxers discuss why having fun is key but selling units is essential, what listeners can come to expect from their debut album and how easy it was for Quik to drop the ‘DJ’ from his name.
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The Fixxers Interview Transcription
DJ Booth: What’s goin’ on ya’ll? It’s your boy “Z,” doin’ it real big and joining me inside the DJ Booth are two West coast vets on a mission to fix this industry. Dropping their collective debut album later this summer or early fall, please welcome AMG and Quik of the Fixxers. How you doing, guys?
AMG: What up?
DJ Booth: Thank you for taking the time to speak with me today. Instead of asking what’s good, I wanna know, in your lives, right now, what’s really good?
Quik: Where do you start?
AMG: What’s good? Man, being able to do my job, do it well, be a part of something that’s gonna be very successful. People showin’ us the respect and love of the music we been doing forever, for years. You know, we got records older than people that are in love with us right now. Yeah, that’s about it, life is good man, we feeling good about it, havin’ fun, havin’ a ball really.
Quik: Yeah man, say that
AMG: This beats workin’ at any kind of job I know about.
Quik: Say that.
AMG: Yeah, man.
DJ Booth: Definitely. I read a quote, AMG, that says you guys feel like you’re known for making the girls wanna dance and the dudes bob their head. Is that going be enough to fix this music industry right now?
AMG: Pretty much. It’s all about a catchy tune. At the end of the day you can forget all the politics, the disses, the price wars, the digital versus the old school, the “this sound versus that sound.” It’s all about a catchy tune, and it’s about the people. I’m glad we only have male and female to deal with, ‘cause if we had to make dogs dance, animals clap, you talkin’ about some different type of stuff but yeah man, we just dealing with people, and people understand what’s real and what’s real is just a catchy tune, a beat, you know? Have some fun. Life is hard enough, man. It’s what this all about.
DJ Booth: I couldn’t agree more and speaking of catchy tunes, you guys dropped one, it’s called “Can You Werk Wit Dat.” You didn’t waste too much time letting everyone know that this is what is going to be offered by the both of you, when the album drops. Single after single, is that the sound that we can come to expect?
Quik: Yeah, and it’s not just the sound, it’s literally the sound. Expect the clarity of that shit, expect that shit to sound bangin’, whatever we sayin’, and then expect us to know that because we got that clarity, and we command that attention, expect us to know what the hell we talkin’ about, and having fun with it, ‘cause that’s really what music’s always been about, it’s always been about motherfuckers having fun. I mean, honestly, gangsta rap was the only shit that came and depressed everybody. Motherfucking the Dramatics and the Temptations wasn’t depressing anybody; they was singin about girls and partyin’ and shit and sometimes a little socio-political shit, but them niggas wasn’t talking about niggas shootin’ up the club, or beatin’ up these niggas, or gangbangin’, or gettin’ drunk till you get smashed and fight. That wasn’t the business, so that’s the bottom line, my nigga, we just tryin’ to take the depression out of that shit; motherfuckers wanna have fun again.
DJ Booth: That’s what’s most important. Now, if you’re having fun, does that mean, additionally, the project will only be successful if you sell units, or to you guys, fun is fun, collaborating, you’re doing what you love, you’re putting out good music. Will the units come with that, or if they don’t will you still be happy?
AMG: Well, essentially this business is built to sell. We in the sales business, we just happen to sell music, and we happen to be good at music. Yeah, we wanna be successful at it. If this album was to do anything less than exceptional then it would be a disappointment, because don’t take advantage of that we’re havin’ fun, and we can do it like this and like that, but we here to make money too. It’s a business, and we’d get kicked off the label and you won’t hear no more about the Fixxers.
DJ Booth: We don’t want that to happen…
AMG: Yeah, it’s always been about the dough. Never confuse this entertainment side, you know, people think about the art and they think, “Oh, you do it from the soul, and the spirit,” and yeah, that’s why Picassos are worth twelve million dollars. So get the fuck out of here with that one; this is about gettin’ dough.
Quik: The bottom line is, as far as the album goes – I’m gonna give you a simple analogy. You’re a jeweler, right? You know you got some hot ass, clean diamonds in your case, and ain’t nobody really runnin’ in there to buy them, they going to go buy cubic zirconium so they can get a lot of this fake look to go bling out, and probably some real gold and shit. Are you disappointed because somebody bought some cubic zirconium, or do you just know that the value of your diamonds is just going to go up, and up, and up, till people that slept on it ultimately have to pay more for it later?
DJ Booth: Exactly. I couldn’t agree more, you’re driving up your value right about now.
AMG: We hope so.
DJ Booth: Well, you’re on the phone with me so you’ve already started that…
AMG: Thank you, man.
DJ Booth: No, thank you. Originally, though, I heard you guys signed an Interscope deal for ringtones only. What changed between that and the actual album deal?
Quik: It wasn’t just the ringtones, it was actually a singles deal. We signed it for “Can You Werk Wit Dat,” and the ringtone deal was kinda packaged. I think that, it’s because we’re just doin’ what we say, we’re not sayin’ one thing and doing another. I mean, the record companies are lookin’ at us, of all people, because of what age group we in, they lookin’ at us even under a brighter, a bigger microscope. Do you think they would’ve pulled the trigger on an album or potentially a label deal if they saw that we were being inconsistent? What we did first, we put the record out ourselves first, and we wasn’t jockeying for none of these companies to come, and we know that’s what happens but we were just going for it anyway. The response we got when we first played it and started everyone gettin’ in our faces, runnin’ up, was great. You can’t beat that.
DJ Booth: The title of the album, “The Midnight Life,” what goes on past midnight that isn’t started until after the clock strikes twelve, that allows you guys to record and have as much fun as you do?
Quik: There’s something quiet about the land, and that shit is good for creativity. Simple as that. All day, you got the hustle and bustle, the traffic, people, you know, influx, outflux-
AMG: Phone ringing.
Quik: Phone ringing, all day. It’s just that you get a little peace and quiet at night. It’s as simple as that, man; it’s always been like that.
AMG: And I like to work when everybody’s sleepin’.
Quik: Same thing, same thing to me.
DJ Booth: More productive huh?
AMG: Yeah, it means they sleepin’, they sleepin’. Go ahead beddy-bye, go to sleep while we make magic.
Quik: And then think about this: “The Midnight Life” to me now, in the big scheme of things, it looks like it might even limit the album, because, “Can You Werk Wit Dat,” sounds good at seven in the morning, at noon, four o’ clock in the afternoon. I mean all day. So the whole album is going to be like that. Some of the songs you probably just wanna play at a club, but most of them, you can just let the album roll. It’s just a new, bright look, especially for L.A. music.
DJ Booth: So it’s going to be used on alarm clocks, and cell phone ringtones, and heard at the office, and then at dinner, and then at the club all night long?
AMG: Man, that thing is gonna be muzak one day. [Singing]
DJ Booth: Well, it sounds like you guys are havin’ fun with me right now, which should lead to the ultimate success once the album does drop. Seeing you guys collaborate, it reminds me of Danger Mouse and Cee-Lo, and of course they formed Gnarls Barkley. Do you think that you could duplicate, and then elevate, that level of success as a collective?
Quik: That record’s hot. Gnarls Barkley, “St. Elsewhere”? I was on that before motherfuckers was on that, I think that gives me my DJ credibility back. Maybe I should put that shit back in my name, G, ‘cause I still know what records are hot. Actually, I think that I’m like Danger Mouse, G is like Cee-Lo, and vice-versa too, ‘cause he can be like Danger Mouse and I can be like Cee-Lo, so the fact that we’re steppin’ it up from there, creatively, I think that we could do something like that. I dunno, I loved the effect they had on it, the whole, you know, Kevin Weaver and all the guys over there, at Atlantic. It’s a smart deal that they did with that company. And Danger Mouse is like, he’s on top of his game visually and sale-wise. Hopefully we can have that kind of success too, in our genre.
DJ Booth: Definitely. Quik, you mentioned there, for a second, you dropped the DJ name out of Quik, and you didn’t waste much time letting people know, because in one of your verses on “Can You Werk Wit Dat,” you mention it. What was responsible, behind the change?
Quik: Just watchin’ all the the young DJs come up, and just feeling that that part of me might be gone, you know, due to age. Just like, certain people like Grandmaster D and them get up there like some Houdini, and rock a crowd. He can still and forever and always rock a crowd, but because I’m more about engineering and more about the technical side of the shit. I’m not really an onstage DJ, so I figure, why keep using that, why be known, and sometimes it’s like, huh? Why am I called DJ, I’m gonna have to think about it. I’m DJ Quik but I’m not really a DJ.
DJ Booth: Yeah. Well, listen Quik and AMG, wherever he’s gone off to, I wish you guys both nothing but the best of luck on your new album, “The Midnight Life.” Go ahead and give everybody a website, a Myspace address, so they can find out more about what you guys got goin’ on.
Quik: Oh, shit; http://www.myspace.com/thefixxers, http://www.myspace.com/djquik, http://www.myspace.com/hudentertainment.
AMG: No no no, Dirty West.
Quik: Aw, you came back, huh?
AMG: Yeah, yeah. Now I just clicked over; pop dumbasses called me.
DJBooth: All right guys, I wish you both the best of luck on this project and sincerely, make sure that you don’t ever stop havin’ that fun, ‘cause that’s what is comin’ out of this music.
AMG: Yeah, man!
Quik: DJ Z, that’s what it is.