Who is Doc Delay? What do you do?
Doc Delay is my super-hero name. A branding from my graffiti days in the early 90s. I'm a producer, lifetime DJ, and fan of music.
How long have you been making music? What started it all for you?
I have been manipulating recorded music since I was a little kid. I played piano and guitar most of my life as well, but i didn't really start making songs until about 1994.
What is your production set up looking like these days?
I share a studio with a friend. It's pretty serious. We have a lot of outboard gear. Tube pre-amps, old mics, synths, transistor organs, vintage drums, ect.
From what I've seen you have a good amount of analogue gear, what are some of your favorite pieces?
I really like the old effects and combining them in different chains. I have a Maestro G-2 that I use almost too much, but my favorite piece of gear is a 1967 Gretsch Country Gentleman. The sounds i get out of that thing are amazing.
Are you sampling drums or them playing live?
Depends. Sometimes both. Sometimes I don't use drums at all. I'll just record a bunch of layers of percussion individually. Recording drums is tough. I have been getting pretty good at it, but every drummer plays different.
What does an average day look like for you? How often are you in the studio?
Since we opened the new spot last August, I've been in there about 3 days a week on average. I usually have a plan when i arrive and i hit the ground running. Sometimes it goes as planned, sometimes it takes a weird turn and ends up being something totally different, It's never a waste of time
The latest release "Morgan" is a bit hard to define musically. With spacey rock elements, synthesizers, vintage vocal samples and hip hop style drums. What was it like creating the project?
That record is something I have been trying to make since the 90s. I always wanted to make a sample based album but was never really given the opportunity until Morgan came out. By that point I had almost moved on from sampling altogether. Too many squandered opportunities due to the legal limitations of that medium.
This was your first "album" correct? How did you link with Piecelock 70?
I have a few earlier EPs, but yes, that is my first full length. I have and will always make pretty deep DJ mixes. Thes from People Under the Stairs was a fan of those mixes and he gave me the opportunity to make an album.
I read somewhere that your neighborhood in Brooklyn played a part in the creation of the album. How is that?
It was actually one street that was a corridor between my apartment and the studio where i mixed the record. The walk was where i listened to everything i was making, so i named the album after that street. The neighborhood got super expensive, and the studio closed as i was wrapping up the record. It was really a goodbye to that era, but my new studio is in the same neighborhood, so i still walk the same route. doh!
Where are you looking musically for inspiration? Is it important for a producer to be a DJ?
Being a dj has given me an interesting insight musically, but i wouldn't say it's important to production. If you make pop music i suppose it could be. if you are interested in producing a unique product, knowing whats out there could never hurt.
Are you still digging for records? Can you recommend something the people might not be up on?
When I think of "digging," I associate it with early mornings at flea markets and road trips. What I do now more closely resembles casual record shopping. Stuff still falls in my lap from time to time. I was just in Cape Cod, and stopped at a thrift store on my way home. There was a mint Village Callers LP in the bins for $2. I recommend that people get out and interact with folks in their community. Every town in the US has an old music legacy. Find the older generations and listen to their stories. If you do that, the records will find you.
Most ridiculous "in the field" record find?
I'm not sure how to quantify that. Is that a rarity thing, a crazy story, or value? I bought Skull Snaps from a homeless guy across the street from my apartment for $0.25 once. I found a really weird vietnamese bootleg of The Meters first LP that was brought back by a veteran of that war. I once bought a hip hop collection that required two trips completely filling every empty area of my Honda prelude. The muffler was dragging on the asphalt, it was so heavy. I bought a collection from a drug dealer's ex-girlfriend who failed to notice the $1400 in cash stashed in between album covers.
What's the worst thing to happen to you at a gig?
Getting dragged out of the club by a cop, and having my face smashed against a tree.
iTunes or Serato crates? How is your digital music organized?
I like to organize Serato crates by crowds who i affectionately name things like,"Fat Girls" or "Art School" or "Fraggle Rock"
Favorite love song?
Thats a tough one. My friends did a cover of James Brown's "Try Me" at my wedding.
Whats next for Doc Delay?
I'm working on a new album with my insanely talented friend and neighbor, Zack Martin. We never really set out to make it any particular style. We just started writing music and it's lead us in the direction it wants to go. It's a huge leap for me technically, stylistically, and musically. Some of the best stuff we're making is a result of compromise. That's something you never learn making beats.
Check out Doc Delay's latest record MORGAN here, follow him on Soundcloud, and Facebook.
The new book Son of the City: A Memoir by Dante Ross, is the first release by the new author. Preorder is in limited supply and available now
When Victrola introduced the Revolution Go turntable to me and asked if we would be interested in trying one out, I was game, but these days I spend more time at my desk than hunting for records in dusty basements.