Not an Album Review : Death Grips - Interview 2016
I'm not going to review this album. Interview 2016 is an official Death Grips EP, but it's barely a record. I've reviewed their previous instrumental project Fashion Week a couple weeks ago and this is a similar endeavor. It dropped out of nowhere several weeks before their latest LP Bottomless Pit and it served more or less the same purpose: making their fans wait.
But I want to talk about Interview 2016 because it's interesting and it differs from its predecessors in non-musical ways. It's also a lot weirder. Interview 2016 is an audiovisual project everybody thought was an actual interview at first, but it's a thirty minutes video of Death Grips performing and getting interviewed by a Max Headroom-looking guy over exclusive beats. And the beats playing are not the beats performed.
By any means, see for yourselves.
You won't be able to look away.
The beats are a lot more contained and aerial than on Fashion Week. The luxuriant synth lines have been replaced by quiet electronic drum and bass and that bizarre industrial filter sound omnipresent on every track. Sometimes it's louder and glitchier, but there's an even stronger sense of having no beginning or ending on Interview 2016. Not sure who contributed to it, but it seems to be all Flatlander's doing.
So, what were Death Grips trying to say with Interview 2016? It was probably just a gift to their fans. They had beats ready that foretold their eventual foray in a more electronic sound, but didn't quite fit MC Ride's delivery so they got them out there with a cryptic video that reaffirms their disdain for interviews. The weirdo, manicured host is just as much a creation of Death Grips as is the music of the aesthetic of the video.
That's why it's so much better to watch Interview 2016 rather than simply listen to it. It's a meta-interview. They're not answering questions, but they're making statements about their future in their own way: this is where we are musically, we're getting into this electronic thing and this is as much of an interview as you're going to get. Gotta love that. Gotta love guys who are 100% about the art and make something badass enough to be successful at it.