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Z-Trip: Gridiron Beatdown

With massive club tours, headlining spots at Coachella, and an opening gig for the Rolling Stones, DJ Z-Trip has had one hell of a ride since hitting it big with the now infamous mash-up classic Uneasy Listening Vol. 1 in 2001.

Now, the busy DJ and producer talks to XLR8R about his involvement with 2K Sports' All-Pro Football 2K8 (Xbox 360, PlayStation 3), which not only features classic players like Dan Marino, Barry Sanders, and Mike Singletary but also an album's worth of tracks produced and mixed by Z-Trip himself.

Z-Trip On How All-Pro Football 2K8 Came Together
Tim Rosa over at 2K Sports was a fan and used to check me out back in the day. Originally they just wanted me to do more mixing stuff, like when I play live, but we ran into some sample issues so I ended up doing a hybrid of everything–mixing, remixing, and producing some original stuff. They are bringing back all the old players, and to be involved in a game that is on a revolutionary tip is kinda dope. They could have gotten whomever the fuck they wanted, so it's very maverick-like for them to use someone like me instead of someone that might have been more 'expected.'

On Choosing Guest Artists and Styles
It's a football game, so I had to approach it from the angle of wanting to tackle somebody, which is a little more aggressive than I would normally do. At the same time I wanted something you could nod your head to, that's why I have counterparts to all the MCs, like Deftones, Clutch, and Dub Trio. But as far as the MCs go, I really wanted to work with MCs that I'm a fan of and respect so having people like Gift of Gab, Rakim, and Dead Prez on the record is a bonus for me. Rock riffs with MCs–Rick Rubin-style.

On Gaming Habits
I'm the guy that used to roll around with a pocket full of quarters, trying to get my Moon Patrol or Galaga on. With trying to bang shit out in the studio, if I have any off-time chances are I'm trying to grab food or a couple hours' sleep. But there are some games I just have to take the time for–like The Warriors. As a guy who knows all the words to the movie, I almost took a couple weeks of vacation time to finish the fucker. But on tour is where I'll have a lot of catch-up time to play a lot of the newer games.

On Touring a Videogame Soundtrack
We're going on tour for the soundtrack to All-Pro Football 2K8 and we'll be out a little over a month. It's going to be me, Gift of Gab, Aceyalone, my old homie Tricky T from Arizona, as well as a live drummer and a visual crew–the whole thing.

On Future Surprise Collaborations
Eventually I'll start working with some bands and produce one or two. Maybe try and reinvent an old cat. UB40. Tool. Whoever. As long as I have a connection with them musically or can take them down a road they've never been. That's when really good music is made, when you're doing something that isn't tried-and-true. That's when you come up with Dark Side of the Moon.

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