I gotta say that Brock is probably one of the first (or the first) producer we've featured on Stereofox when we launched back in 2013 (thanks Alex!).
It's kind of funny being here nearly 3 years later and having this guy as a guest on our mini mix series. A lot has happened in those few years, but one thing has been a constant - that guy is an absolute beast when it comes to hunting samples and producing beats. I'm quite excited to share with you the interview we did with him as I think there are some awesome and funny stuff going in the brain of the person behind that chicken mask.
The tracklist of the mix can be found here.
Now time for the interview...
Hi Brock! Stoked for this interview. Can we start with just sharing something really random about yourself?
Cheers man! Glad to do this. Ummm, I toured the east coast in a punk band at the tender age of 13 (in 1999), and last year I almost died by falling off a mountain hiking in Zion National Park.
You've been producing for about 6 or 7 years now, but music has been in your life much longer, right? Do you think having background in playing an actual instrument is a must for a producer nowadays?
Yup, I picked up the guitar when I was about 10 years old. I'm 29 now and only really been focusing on producing beats for about 6 years now. Having a decade of experience with writing music before doing beats, I feel like I have an advantage on song structure and adding layers to the music. I would not say its a must these days for producers, but it definitely helps out the sound. Makes the music much more interesting than just a 4 bar loop.
You release tracks quite often, is music a full-time thing and how does your average day look like?
Yup I try to record or write something every single night. Normal day is I wake up around 11, get to work at noon. Work till 6, come home and just relax and listen to music/ look for samples for a few hours. Around 10 I'll crack open a beer, open up the laptop and get to work. 2 AM always seems to be the magical time for me , when there are no other distractions and the music just flows. That's when 90% of my music is done. I'll try to get to bed around 4-5 , depending on when I finish. Wake up, rinse and repeat.
Who around you has been the biggest support for you?
I have a close circle of friends and family who have helped and supported me with every step I have taken in music and in life in general. They have seen my passion grow and the dedication i put into this and are by far my biggest support. This community is also very supportive of each other. Every producer who I have ever talked to seemed to be nice , full of wisdom, and share the same passion for the craft. We all support each other.
Does someone help you with the visuals, creating the persona behind the music, photos etc - seems like a carefully planned and executed thing. Also, digging your tracks titles!
Yup, I have had the same photographer work with me since the beginning of Brock. His name is Bob. We have always had a similar idea on the Brock image, and have tried to push it as far as we could. Each album cover is a new challenge. We have spent months crafting those images. A lot of thought is put into every thing you see in each frame. I've known Bob since high school, so every time we hang out we just end up creating something new.
And for song titles, I just write down every idea into a notebook and when I am ready to release a song I just skim through and see what fits. These days, coming up with song titles for the albums has been harder than actually making the music.
I'm sure you get that a lot, but what's with the Chicken mask?
Bob threw a big Halloween party about 6-7 years ago, and the following morning he found the mask on the floor and just tossed it in his car. Soon after we did a random photo shoot with the mask, and the pictures came out dope.
Our first shoot we ever did was the main picture that everyone knows me by - the smoke rainbow. When i was starting up the sound cloud page and needed a picture, i just thought that would get peoples attention. It also just adds a whole mysterious aspect to the project in which we are now committed to. Little did we know what we started.
So, the chicken mask and a fake moniker. I imagine that people in your close circle know what you do, but is that as far as your persona recognition goes? Have you ever performed without the mask and so on?
Barely anyone knows who I am. Friends and family of course know, but besides that not many people know. I have played a few shows over the years, the first few I tried to keep the mask on but i can't see shit out of that mask. And it also gets extremely hot in the mask.
So, i just grow my hair out real long to semi cover my face. Here is a picture from the last one - I always have the mask on the table next to me while playing. I just keep my head low and hope no one posts pictures online.
I read that a hen in backyard settings lives anywhere between 8 to 10 years. That might be a bit of a stretch, but where do yourself in a decade or... what would you like to have happened to you by that time?
Oh man, if you had asked me that question 10 years ago, i would have never guessed I would be where i am now. In 10 years i hope to still be around kicking it, i will 100% be creating music. Whether it be hip hop oriented, jazz, metal, or scoring films. Not sure what style i will be focused on.
In the last 10 years music has changed so drastically with the new technology, i can only imagine where it will be in 10 years. There will probably be a chip that you can just hum a melody into and the music will just be made for you. and ill be almost 40, holy shit.
Any producers or collectives we should be checking out right now?
Check out the Rootnote Crew that I am a proud member of. Flamingosis in particular has been killing it lately. And basically any one that I follow on soundcloud or tracks that i have liked - there are too many to name. But what a time for music, so many talented people with the platforms so easily available to be heard. Great time to be alive .
What's your favourite food? Not fried chicken I hope.
Bacon, egg, and cheese on a sesame bagel with ketchup. I love that shit. If you are from the NJ/ NY area, you will understand. If only it was healthy, I would eat it every day.
I know you drink a lot of beer while producing. Which beer boosts your creativity the most?
I love most beers. Was going to say all beers, but there are some pretty awful beers out there. I tend to stick with Budweiser because you can drink them till sun rise and it's not too filling compared to most IPA's. Beer really gets me in the groove while recording. While making these songs, I can have the song on loop for hours at a time. So the beer keeps it entertaining and makes me think outside the box. It is also responsible for basically all of the glitches in the beats.
Some people get distracted while drinking, so if it gets in the way of productivity then don't do it. It is the staple to my style.
A video posted by Brock Berrigan (@brock.berrigan) on
Thanks for the interview, Brock! Any last words?
Live life, try to do good shit, be productive, help others when you can, don't sweat the small shit, but enjoy the little things in life... and thanks to everyone who listens, this is my life and i am happy to have so many people be apart of it. Excited to see what happens next.
As I said - have been super stoked for this interview and mini mix. Hope you enjoyed it because those vibes are srsly solid.