Inbox: Dntel

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Sure, we're always curious to know about an artist's upcoming release, most recent tour, or arsenal of analog gear, but XLR8R's also got a curiosity for quirk. Thus, each week, we email a different artist and find out what makes them tick, in the studio and in life. In less than two weeks, Jimmy Tamborello, under his Dntel guise, will release a three-CD set of remastered tracks he's entitled Early Works for Me if it Works for You II. He took a little time to write in about the release, his love of hoodies, and why one should never purchase an electronic trash can.

What are you listening to right now?

Jimmy Tamborello: Right this second? “Beetles” by Aphex Twin. In general, I’ve been going back to a lot of old stuff by The Orb, also lots of Durutti Column and the most recent Skull Disco comp.

What's the weirdest story you ever heard about yourself?

There’s a fake MySpace page for me that says “I’m a Taurus” and that “I like happy movies, mostly comedy, such as The Royal Tenenbaums.” Besides that, I can’t think of any weird rumors.

What band did you want to be in when you were 15?

Skinny Puppy

Worst live show experience?

In high school, my band played at a club the day after GG Allin. There [were] blood and unidentified stains everywhere. It really wasn’t that bad, nothing was still wet. Besides that, it would just be shows where the response was bad, but that’s boring to talk about.

Favorite city to play in?

Barcelona maybe? The people there have been really nice and enthusiastic the few times I’ve played there, and then when I’m done playing, I’m in Barcelona! Also, Los Angeles, because I’m home and I can bring more gear and have more friends play with me and can go to sleep in my own bed.

What initially kick-started the idea to re-master and re-release your earlier work as a single package? What can we expect to be different about these versions?

I think Dimitri from Phthalo needed to repress [the releases] and suggested we re-master them before he did. Then I was going through old DATs and found a bunch of unreleased stuff from that time, so I compiled that into Early Works II. I hate having to re-buy albums when they get re-mastered, so I figured if I put it all together and didn’t charge too much, it would [be] easier to justify [as a] purchase. As for what’s different, I think they mostly sound a little bigger and louder—you can hear some details you couldn’t before.

What is your favorite thing you own?

My house.

Name one item of clothing you can't live without.

Some sort of hoodie.

What do you think has changed about the Dntel sound since those earliest tracks from 1994?

The most obvious change has been the addition of vocals. I would have added vocals earlier, but didn’t have the technology when those records were made. Now, listening back makes me want to try more instrumental stuff again.

What did you always get in trouble for when you were little?

I was pretty afraid of being bad. I can’t remember getting yelled at or punished, barely at all. I was a nerd anyways. I wasn’t interested in drinking, cussing, girls, or anything else that could get you into trouble. I did my homework at recess.

What other artist would you most like to work with?

There are so many. Right now, the first name that popped into my mind was Martin Gore. He’s usually near the top of the list. Ian Masters and Neil Tennant are up there as well, but I’m not trying to work with any strangers any time soon. I get too nervous. It’s more fun working with friends.

What's the last thing you read?

A Fraction of the Whole by Steve Toltz

Complete this sentence: In the future...

Watch out!

Stupidest thing you've done in the last 12 months?

I bought an electronic trash can. You stick your foot between two sensors on the ground and the lid opens. It stopped working a couple months ago and I can’t believe I’ve put myself in a situation where I need to call a trashcan repairman.

What's next?

I just finished a new James Figurine record that’s all covers. I think it’ll be called Covers” I’m not really sure what I’m going to do with it though. Maybe just a digital release.. it’s pretty goofy. Working on some other stuff, but everything’s in the early stages, not worth talking about.

Photos By Robin Laananen.

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