As I started purchasing the old Roland machines from the 80s and other similar machines, I became obsessed with reading manuals and learned how to program these things. I’d been making electronic music in my spare time for about eight years, but had been using the wrong instruments for me. Now I had a clear vision of the path I wanted to follow and I had found the instruments I wanted to use. In the midst of this, I resolved to quit my band and devote myself entirely to becoming the musician I had wanted to be since before I rejoined. As soon as we got off our last tour, in 2007, I recorded the music on this Trickfinger LP. I’d been learning the machines in hotel rooms, planes, buses for about a year, and so when I got off tour, I was ready to go. I was also in the middle of recording The Empyrean, which I knew would be the last rock album I would make, but the acid stuff was my priority, and I was really tired of working with other people.
I made this music strictly to learn, with no intention whatsoever of it being released. I wanted to make music like I’ve made since then, such as the stuff I did on PBX and Enclosure, but I had no idea how to do that, and was afraid of computers. I felt that acid house was the place to start my new musical education. I was listening to a lot of 80s Chicago acid, and English acid, but I was obsessed with Venetian Snares, Squarepusher and so on, and was just taking what I felt were the proper steps towards learning the basic musical vocabulary of these people who I considered to be the highest form of musician existent in the world. Step programming is a way of thinking which I think would benefit any musician, of any type.
Stream: John Frusciante – PBX Funicular Intaglio Zone
The music on the Trickfinger album was recorded in the last four months of 2007, and I continued in that direction for several months after that, a period which gradually phased out as I went through a PCP phase as well as a lot of other distractions (like finishing The Empyrean). Around summertime of 2008, I met Aaron Funk [also known as Venetian Snares, ed.] and we started making music together. We’ve made something like 60 hours of recorded music together up to the present time. Our approach has usually been recording music live, so I guess you could say the Trickfinger stuff led to my doing ‘Speed Dealer Moms’. But when I made Trickfinger, I was alone, feeling disconnected from my rock friends and still had no electronic friends. Right around the time the music on Trickfinger was finished I made a lot of hip hop friends, but I had absolutely no interest in making hip hop. House music was my thing at that time, and I was aiming to one day make abstract electronic music, such as I eventually made on my ‘Outsides’ EP, ‘Sect In Sgt’, and in abundance with ‘Speed Dealer Moms’. I had a lot of musical goals at that time, none of which involved public receptivity. Generally speaking, Aaron and I made a lot of odd time signature acid when we started, and gradually our music got more free and abstract.