« Reply All

#39 Reply All Exploder


This week, one of our favorite podcasts, Song Exploder, takes over Reply All. Host Hrishikesh Hirway interviews the mysterious Breakmaster Cylinder about coming up with our theme song. Then, we air one of our very favorite episodes of Song Exploder, an interview with Phil Elverum of the Microphones about his song "I Want Wind to Blow"

You can find our theme song here:


You can find Song Exploder here:


Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
This episode is brought to you by better for him a new podcast from eighty people. In each episode Francesca Ramsay talks to visionaries in business leaders about mistakes. They ve made how they work their way through them and came out better for listen on Spotify or wherever you get. Your pot casts. from gimlet. This is reply all I'm Alex Golden MPG about and we're doing some never this week, is a pub cast that we are both huge fans of that. Called song explode her and went away, Does the host rakish her way he takes one song and he sort of tears it down to its component parts. He interviews the person who made it and talk about exactly what was made and why was made yet that's all it's cool, I feel usually when musicians get interview there. Like I don't know you just keep me somewhere dream or whatever, but because he talked about the mechanics, somehow
I'm so black. Ok, here's exactly with the summit and like when it was referring to you and it's really satisfying. So this reply all is to episodes of song explode her the first. It is our theme song which was incredibly informative for because, even though we listen that theme song every week, there is a lot. We don't really know about it. We knew think about. It, turns out it's crazy and then the second epoch. It is an interview with Phil over the microphones. It is the explosion, his song. I want wind blow this was this: he's better episode that turn me into his eyes: butterfat garlic, I sort of new that song. I like that song. I didn't think I had a lot of questions about the song and instead, it's your answer just being about how getting to see all the tiny little creative decisions they go into, making anything even something that sounds bill. You came to the world completely formed. It's really good our enjoy the show my name's is away, and special reply, all edition of my podcast song exploiter on site,
splutter ass musicians, to take apart there recordings to let listeners here the inner workings of a song and learn how the whole thing was made one of the things I love about reply, or is the interim music by break master cylinder by the way? I'm not sure how many of you know this, but before reply all Alex in Fiji had another podcast about the internet called tell the art out of aspects of reply all first manifest in that show, including here a theme song by break master cylinder, so they ve all working together since September. Two thousand thirteen. When I to find out how the reply all theme was put together. I discovered a few surprising things like the fact that P Jane Alex have never actually spoken to break master cylinder, who prefer to remain anonymous. They ve only for email, so the guys the mysterious break master cylinder in the credits. They really mean it, they don't even break masters a he or she I
You break master cylinder, but out of respect for his or her privacy and mystery, I hadn't replace break master cylinders voice or did I am sworn to. Secrecy who discovered that before there is a theme for apply all before there is in a theme for tell the R p Jane Alex tat to agree on whether or not their podcast should have a theme at all. Here's Peter! Ex wanted one, and I didn't want one either I remember like feeling like it was not a good idea because cause. You would end up having up. They didn't totally fit the themes. I remember that argument. Yes, I do that I had a pretty early? on counter argument. So why did you in that question, I never written any documents I wanted some kind of in sea make and break BT and dislike really heavy. Isn't an aunt em. Getting anthem and seven end theme. So many years ago, probably two thousand eight or ten thousand nine
I somehow stumbled upon a video Break master cylinder made, which has a re mix of Mr Sandman by the quartet's. It was this video that was just the most gruesome moments from every horror movie strung together to the this sort of creepy destroy did remixes, Mr Santer and Ashley, Well, this is someone I want to keep an eye on. So looking through break MR cylinders, other videos and I started following their music. What came time to do a theme song I was like who is just weird enough to wear with us and make this thing My name is bright master, cylinder and
I first heard a theme song for Pe Jane, Alex Fertility. Are the first theme was received relatively well and what sort of the sound of the show in retrospect it feels more childish. I guess it serve guph. Here I think. Initially we were enamoured of the idea of doing a show about the internet. There was very internet in our first theme, song was all synthesizers and it was all synthesized one of the things that we really real. Making tell the hour. Is yes it to show what the internet, but it's mostly a show about just dear invite, went and where you are and who you're talking to and how you're talking to them, so they wanted to do something a little more refined. Maybe
the tone of the new show was going to distance themselves from what that theme sounded like, which was too little kid like I am reading, an old email from Alex Goldman to myself. In November, two thousand fourteen, and he says, if I had to describe what I wanted in terms of emotion, I try to describe our show, which It's best moments is both irreverence in earnest. I have some weird thing where I was just as obsessed with Bach prelude in C is basically what the reply all theme is, yeah follows the same cord structure and its first for measures, but instead of playing each individual sixteenth note you bring it all into one cord. So
you can do- is you can take one measure and you can block it into one cord. So it's this and the second measures this and third and forth, and then It goes the first four measures so it goes measures twelve or fifteen cell and you are back on the tonic and it's nice you can possibly do a better. The bar could have done it. So to those nice diminish, seven's thriller good as piano in this room is not really good enough to record most of the time
that is a figure piano sound, which is little unfortunate, but I can try to dirty it out any use. I I totally cannot play drum. So I just recorded every drumhead individually. I bought some brushes because there are some that is layered with a trap. Kit theme song is just like layering all my favorite shit ever I. Yes, it coin, being spun on a table. Bud pitched up like
financially along a curved line, so it starts and it gets higher quickly. So hopefully it sounds like it warps into whatever sound comes next, We therefore that a Mason jar being rolled across the table and then the other sound is a small glass being shattered with a hammer. In addition to these organic elements, break Masterson There also made parts of the music digitally programming. Out with many software on a laptop this baseline, I wrote a mini line and man exported it to five different base noises and throughout the track. I have them all layered at the same time and the night mute all them, except for one and just so
between them when it sounded right, it switches between them quickly. So you get some sort of bee boobs and some rum layer, Dubstep bases answers, are warm mid range of all the same bays malady. few rounds of drafts and revisions went back and forth between break master and p Jane Alex the theme. Settle to its final form. I asked Peter Alex. If the theme song had a title, it doesn't really. But reply all intro for Frank and FUCK, one in three beat boobs lower down that wave. It's called Frank in fact, because we bind the beginning of one and the end of another, and then it says
booths lower down, because I said I wanted lower down be boot because we have turned down the thieves and improves from a tell the The great show by reply all has onward death, then tell the ardent they'll be talking about one just general branch of the internet, and then they suddenly zoom in on one human story, and I don't know does that exactly, but I think it does balance the organic with the electorate. You know Bach. Machine base like that when component and the internet, which their showed us really well. Think our show feels a lot like of our personalities, which is like cheerful with, like into breast streak and legality, it manic, but I think that mostly it's a pretty optimistic show, and I think that theme song is an optimistic theme song and I like this It starts us out with every week normally reply, all episodes. What we hear is a condensed version of the theme song, but it
actually a longer piece of music. So here's the fully assembled full length version of the reply. All theme bye, bye,
Master cylinder coming back
break risque takes apart another song this time I want window blow by the ban, the microphones it's one of our every episode. Exploiter soap, stick around this episode brought. You buy better for it. A new podcast from eighty p hosted by Francesca Ramsay. We all make mistakes
better, for it looks at how mistakes have shaped the lives and careers of visionaries and business leaders and helps them think differently about what their working forty you'll hear from an entrepreneur who ventured out on his and so I went out. I took seven hundred dollars. I had in the bank, but my own pickup truck took some flyers business cards. In a week later I had a business and in each hour, rule breaker, whose learned why we all care about work in the first place. You wanted to proud of the work that you do. You want to be able to tell your friends about. You ought to be able to feel like you're, making a difference. You'll hear how they work their way through their mistakes and came out better for listen on Spotify or wherever you get. Your PA casts a now back to a shout.
You listening to song exploder. My name is Rishi case your way in the fall of two thousand and one Phil Elverum released the album. The glow part two on K records, pitchfork names of the best album of the year. In this episode, filler accounts are we created the first song on the record at Dub narcotic studio. He spoke with me from his home in Anacortes Washington, about his love of being alone in the studio, is open nature through music and where the name of the microphones comes from plus will hear from Calvin Johnson founder of the legendary record label. K records money
Phil L from, and I made a bunch of records under the name, the microphones and now I make records under the name now Erie. The song is called. I won't wind blow in its first saw my record, the glow part to which came out and two thousand one. I recorded end of narcotic studio and Olympia Washington on January first, two thousand one. I just noticed that when I dug out the track sheet, I just Then I lived time out my life back, then. I lived a block from the studio and I had a key, so I will just kind of in there whenever it was available soda our studio is sort of the in House duty of care records in Olympia, and I move till MP it sensibly for college, but I only lasted two quarters their cause. I just got so involved in all the other cool music confront stuff. There was going on downtown, and Johnson invited me in to work in the studio and gave me a key for some reason. I still don't know why, but I had
says to this amazing studio and I would just be in there at all hours doing. Experiments as obsessed meal is great, that he was able to work with all the stuff and make them for himself my name is governed Johnson. I work UK did you just their people, do in all kinds of things in it according there's people, doing silk screening. You noticed it a room full of stuff happening. I said to fill the key to the democratic video I just If you didn't know what he was doing, he was figured it out and he's good at it. S kind of how I can new to work to this days. Just me making mistakes and discovering crazy accidents? What's the record with done like low?
good. I remember writing this song in Philadelphia, MID tour and my friend mirrors parents upstairs bedroom. I just have a distinct memory of waking up doodling around in the morning and coming up with a melody of acclaimed Blank Lang, it just happened. Sometimes it just comes out. This song is kind of an exception because customarily I dont have a song. When I start reporting, you know it's based on experimentation in the studio. I have probably had played a version of it a few times on that tour. I came home with this pre formed thing when, accorded it, I decided to break it down into just the
jeez on one track and then the higher melody on another track. So I was kind of figuring out. It would sound, unnatural and away but interesting. So that's kind of what I was doing with this guitar part. I've always been really into utilizing the stereo spectra. Music comes out and stereo people's listen to music and stereo. There's a lot of opportunity, air to play with special stuff and two speakers to speakers everywhere. It's amazing: I used to have a music group with girlfriend called the thunderclouds women. Like a beach boys cover band, and we would just figure out each boy sounds recommend a two part harmonies, and you know it
a couple of issues around Olympians, very fun, so that First words in this: are the thunderclouds broke up which about us breaking as a couple and Also about changing whether a you know it's multiple levels of meaning about, whether and being a metaphor for my emotions. That kind of what all my songs were about back then and arguably still are fund class spruce range. The class king shudders just shut up and then there's three their vocal tracks, which only come in on these like few words that make this kind of
elongated cord here. I've always recorded analogue, and I still do so in preparation for this interview I had planned to go down to dump narcotic and make digital backups of the real switch. I have never done there still just sitting there, but because their twelve there in past years old that the reels of tape deteriorating that there's a thing that happens with certainty said of a certain generation. I guess where the adhesive starts to break down and when you reminded or fast forward or play it on a tape machine doesn't play properly, but there's a work around where a few bake them at a low temperature for like two days, then you get
there two more passes out of them on the machine. So we were. Well, to salvage the tracks for this interview I'm playing all instruments here. I guess I prefer that way. I get kind of crazy. When I'm deepen, recording project, where I do not really communicating in words or anything and on so immersed in this sound idea that I had to talk bout it to someone else or tell them what I am trying to do that it would throw me off, I think, which leads to a lot of logistical complications, running back and forth, to hit the record button, and the sound you can hear me walking giving the headphones on and walking back after. I finish the piano The alternative is me going back and erasing of the sounds of me walking over the piano walking backed breast. Stop. I, like the sound of human life going on in between
The quiet parts between performances- you know, there's just two piano tracks, but I put the MIKE like fifty feet away and just like slammed. Notes down, let em resonate in the room, so they feel huge The song is about tumultuously feelings, the sort of builds and morphs into this explosion, and I feel like that's, maybe where the power of the song comes from is this tension that is building for the whole thing. This is like pulse and finally, there's this release. I had this huh Body Electric Qatar, this care guitar. I was for a the sound of water. You can hear that pick sound almost
the strings as well as an app to different delay, raids on the right side of the left side, sort of create this disorienting watery waves hitting each other effect. There's no shit, man see as the last line, I sang and say to see the instruments, this recording is me alone in the studio, scraping the bottom of a snare drum ahead. That- sound first in my head and those who need this like Weird Kenneth scrape without thinking about snare or thinking about whatever it was that could make it and then I'll look around the studio. Where the song of new characters appearing all the time and then vanish thing for the song of new care.
There's appearing all the time and then vanishing. I want there to be people poking their heads, not people instrument. Poking their heads in the door I remember discovering that I loved recording that break through and I was in high school getting to record for the first time we had a simple, a track, studio set up and the record store where I worked and Staying after workin experimenting realising what was possible, recording and us realizing that so much of orthodox according ideology, is about capturing a thing perfectly and I just never interested by that because it seems like
The other ways around that perfect, sounder much more there's a vast world of possibilities so I guess I may be developed a tendency. Who work in the opposite direction of trying to do it. The right way, in fact every time I've ever recorded a drum set, probably put the mixing place, just because they're gonna salmon sound enough like drums and why not have them sound, characteristic and a new if possible. That's why my project was the microphones at first was because wasn't even songs really was just sound and recording in the early were literally about recording about gear sort of in a metaphorical away like my heart is the pre, hamper whatever you know, I was in high school, so lay off man, I loved recording and that
was how I got into doing this. Not because I wanted to write sounds of course, have developed for writing song since then. But yet was that break through self recording which changed everything? For me, now here, I want went to blow by the microphones in its entirety
range, clacking, shudders, just change. This arrest me ass three days at sea.
Thanks to reciprocate her way, the hostess spider. You can support the song explode on Itunes or whenever pod catcher use and sighing exploded. A net and they master cylinder for giving us a tiny peak behind the curtain. Provide me Pga vote, our common, reproduced Three by TIM Howard, through the determination, the abandon production systems from colleagues the whole special thanks as we too Mickey Carter Chris, goons and fair young Matt labors of book you stay up and read in one night, our theme because from the mysterious break, master, cylinder and add music is by build buildings by more episodes at Itunes, dot com, Slash reply: all our website whereby all doubt rodeo things hover, oh we're on the think again podcast this week. Think again as part of that, think, video series on you too, if you ve ever watched them think video on Youtube and you like those they also have a packet called think again. We are on this week talk about stuff that we know very little about
I'm trying are eligible- can find that it big think dotcom thanks, ruining, will soon actually piston.
Transcript generated on 2020-02-13.