David Lavallee Jr.
Do you have a nickname or what do your friends call you?
“DLJ” is one that’s been used most recently. “Bruce Leroy” was a nickname I had back in high school because of my involvement in the martial arts. My personal favorite though is “Special Needs”. I earned that moniker during a pickup game of basketball I got harassed into taking part in. At one point one of the players decided to refer to me as Special Needs because I played like I had some kind of disability. I haven’t touched a basketball since.
Basketball is over-rated anyhow.
East Providence, RI
Favorite city and why?
New York. It has everything I’m interested in and I just feel this strong attraction to that particular city. Miami comes in a close second because of the music scene and the weather but it’s ridiculously expensive. I want to explore more of the west coast though. I’ve been there a few times and the vibe is more laidback. I hear San Diego and Portland, OR are really cool. I’d like to check them out at some point in the not too distant future.
Birthday / Age:
How would you describe yourself physically?
How would someone else describe you physically?
Probably along the same lines- lean, slim, or athletic.
Don’t forget handsome!
Aw shucks. Haha.
The first thing people notice about you is…
My firm handshake, or my friendly demeanor.
Hair Color / Eye Color / Race?
Dark Brown/Brown/Mixed Race (African-American and Caucasian)
Religion, if any?
I was raised in the Baptist church but I don’t follow any particular religion. I’m open minded and more or less try to follow the golden rule of treating others the way I would like to be treated. I don’t believe in going out of my way to put down someone else’s beliefs either. I respect when people are willing to follow a religion. Everyone should have the freedom to live a life in the pursuit of happiness as long as it does not hurt anyone else. My only qualms with religion arise when I encounter overzealous religious people that are judgmental hypocrites or that aggressively proselytize to me. I don’t have anything against it otherwise.
Are you superstitious at all? Any phobias?
I don’t really consider myself to be superstitious. I honestly believe in the saying Luck is the intersection of preparation and opportunity. So most times my bad luck has to do with either lack of preparation or procrastination on my part. Or I might just be having a shitty day. As far as phobias, I have common fears everyone probably has subconsciously- fear of losing everything and being homeless. Fear of losing loved ones. Things like that.
I’ve been homeless a couple times. It’s really not that bad if you’ve got a vehicle to sleep in and a gym membership.
True, that may not be that awful, but I was referring to homelessness as in being completely down and out; no job, no car, nowhere to lay my head. If it was just a matter of not having a place to stay and I could still maintain a car and a gym membership to have access to showers I’d be able to get by.
Do you smoke/drink? If so, what? Any bad habits?
I’m a social drinker. I don’t smoke. I sometimes procrastinate and need to improve my time management. I’m getting better at that though.
Current occupation / Dream job:
Current occupation is personal trainer. I really enjoy that so I’d be content just doing that, but dream job is a tie between full time fight choreographer and/or actor.
How much do you charge for personal training? If I ever get rich and famous I think I’m going to need a trainer so that I’m not such a fat and lazy person.
Where I’m at now the training is included in the membership. So I’m hourly which is stable but I don’t make much. When I can find an opportunity to rent space at an affordable price I’m going to go on my own and set my own pricing.
I know it’s not the most ethical thing, but make sure you have a loyal client base first and take them with you when you go. I know they probably make you sign a contract saying you won’t do that, but fuck contracts. It won’t be worth the cost to bring a suit against you and they’ll just hire another trainer to fill your slot.
That has crossed my mind actually.
I won’t tell if you don’t tell.
What do you like to do when you’re not at work?
My favorite thing to do when not at my day job is choreograph fights for film and act. I love having the opportunity for that creative expression. In my down time I also love to train martial arts, watch films, listen to music, workout, and chill with my friends.
What is your zombie outbreak survival plan?
In all honesty I haven’t given a zombie outbreak scenario much serious thought. I tend to watch the movies and think about how I would try to deal with certain situations specific to what is going on at that point in time in the film, but I’ve never really sat down and planned out how to deal with a zombie attack. Fact of the matter is it could happen anytime. We’d like to think of ideal scenarios like a bunker under our homes, but what if the shit hits the fan when you’re at work or traveling abroad and you can’t get to the bunker or the ideal destination you had planned? Then you’re screwed. There are so many variables that you can’t predict. So I’m guessing I’d have to improvise. Ideally I’d like to try to get to some place out in the country or find an island. Maybe team up with a group.
Weapon of choice:
Either a handgun like “The Judge”, or a sawed off shotgun. That’s the ideal situation. It may be a lot harder to get access to things like that initially in this type of scenario, so my other thought would be to MacGyver up my own weapons out of tools. Fashion a spear out of a length or pipe or a stick and a knife, or make a makeshift mace out of a baseball bat with nails adhered to it like something out of Escape from New York.
I seriously thought you were going to reply with something like, “My hands and feet, since I had to register to be able to legally carry them as dangerous weapons.”
Hahaha! Honestly if I had to fight off a zombie horde I would definitely opt for a long range weapon. Although the thought of being badass enough to take them all out with kung fu is enticing, I don’t want to be in biting distance of a zombie. Going hand to hand would eventually tire me out. From what I’ve seen in movies zombies tend to swarm all at once, not attack one at a time like in the Bruce Lee movies, unfortunately.
Yeah, what’s up with that? In almost every martial arts movie, if a gang of guys try to gang up on the hero they all take their turn trying to attack. I love myself some martial arts movies, but that always bothered me and kind of ruined the reality for me. Like the gang never looked at each other and said, “Okay, guys, on three, we all rush this guy and dismantle him. One… Two… Three!”
Exactly! I think for the most part the Bruce Lee films had a huge influence on that phenomenon. For years after his demise most martial arts films have emulated aspects of his previous works. I’ve only seen a handful of films where more than one guy attacks at a time. My goal is to choreograph a scene that involves multiple people and they do just what you said - they attack all at once. It would be more realistic and more intense. I think a big problem with most action/martial arts films today is the lead character is invincible. If Jet Li or Tony Jaa walk into a roomful of fifty guys, you automatically assume he’s gonna just kick the shit out of every one of them and come out unscathed, flawless victory. There’s no suspense. The first film I’ve seen to reintroduce the suspense into the action is The Raid. If you haven’t seen it, I highly recommend you do. It has undertones of survival horror in it and just has an aura of dread about it. Even though the characters are badass, when the lead has to take on multiple opponents you get the feeling he may not make it out alive. It creates higher stakes and ultimately makes for much more gratifying action because you are more emotionally invested in the character. Sorry got off on a bit of a tangent there haha.
Tangents are what this interview format is really all about.
I also liked the hallway fight scene in Old Boy because it was so realistic.
Do you have any special skills?
Martial arts; been training for around 15 years. I know some basic parkour. I’m a pretty decent cook. I can draw pretty well, though I haven’t done it in a while. I’ve been meaning to get back to it.
Where is the line between doing parkour and just being a jackass?
It’s like with anything else, I suppose. It all comes down to training and experience. I’m still somewhat of a novice myself, but if you train consistently and you at least have the fundamentals, you’re not a jackass. You work on basics and when you feel ready you try it out in public. Yeah you make a mistake but that’s bound to happen. You learn from it. It’s the kids that just see it on TV and decide to go out to the city and jump around with no training that are the jackasses.
Well I’m looking forward to when you’re confident enough to start filming that shit and bring District 14 to the world.
You and me both. It will happen I’m just honing my skills.
Did you go to college and, if so, what for?
I originally went to Rhode Island College straight out of high school. In retrospect, I realize I did this mostly because it was expected of me from others around me to continue my education. I started as an art major, and quickly realized this was not what I wanted to do, so I switched to film studies, but found out this was merely the study and critique of film, not film making, which was what I had really wanted. I eventually dropped out and worked for several years until I came to the conclusion that I wanted to get into the fitness field, so I did an online college course for personal training certification and also got an associate’s degree.
Yeah, the RIC Film Studies department is definitely NOT a program for aspiring film-makers. The whole program is a huge waste of money and would only serve to train future film critics. Like the world needs more film critics.
If you went to college, did you manage to pay off your student loans?
Ha! Not even close. I’m going to be paying that off for a long time.
You and me both, brother. –raises fist for a bump-
Any pets? If so, what are they and what are their names?
What is your favorite animal?
Black panthers, tigers and wolves.
Speaking of pets, any pet peeves?
I absolutely despise when people talk during movies at the movie theater. If you’ve even attempted to watch a movie at Providence Place you know what I’m talking about. That place is the worst, but I’ve started to find this to be a common problem at other theaters lately too. Going to a movie is not cheap, so I’m very discerning about what movies I decide to spend my hard earned money to go see in a theater. I’m not dropping eleven bucks on a ticket to listen to a bunch of idiots. I also really, really hate when people don’t cover their mouths when coughing or sneezing.
Favorite / Least favorite Food:
Favorite food: One of my favorite foods are Chinese steamed pork buns. I can eat those like they’re going out of style. I love many types of Asian cuisine. Oh and Sriracha. Love Sriracha…there’s so many foods I love it’s hard to pick just one favorite. I love to eat.
Well, with your metabolism and work-out routine you can afford to.
Least favorite food:
Mayonnaise. Hate everything about it.
What is your favorite quotation / motto / saying?
I believe in positive thinking, to the extent that your perception and thought process can dictate your success in whatever field you’re striving to succeed in. I’m not talking about fluffy mumbo jumbo clichés, I’m referring to the simple fact when you really want something you will make it happen you will find a way by sheer force of will. This year in particular has been real tough and has taught me a lot about perseverance and about myself. There are a few quotes that really stick with me. The first two are from Sun Tzu’s Art of War-
“Opportunities multiply when they are seized”
“Know your enemy, know yourself, and you need not fear the result of a hundred battles” (I want to get this tattooed on myself. )
“A man doing his true will has the inertia of the universe to assist him” –from Aleister Crowley.
I’m not a follower of Crowley, but this one quote stuck with me, and I find it to be true.
Have you ever read The Hagakure?
I have not, but you’ve now piqued my interest. What is that?
Okay, in simple, pop culture reference-ology, it’s the film that Jim Jarmusch used as his inspiration for the movie Ghost Dog.
Now that we’ve got that bullshit out of the way, The Hagakure is pretty much the definitive resource for Bushido philosophy, which is, simply put, the warrior code of the samurai.
It compliments the work of Sun Tzu and Minamoto Musashi well and is the one book that I always carry with me, as I have found it to be an inexhaustible well of knowledge and enlightenment.
It even transcends the Tao Te Ching as a source of insight for me, because I copied out the Tao Te Ching by hand four or five times so I’m well familiar with it and have incorporated it into my worldview. Whereas I am still assimilating The Hagakure after having read it at least a dozen times.
I’m partial to the William Scott Wilson translation as it is the one I am most familiar with, but you can download similar translations of it as PDFs of it for free here:
Thank you for the recommendations, I’ll definitely be looking into those.
What is the best thing that ever happened to you?
The best thing that ever happened to me was getting involved in the martial arts. That was when I truly found my niche. I’ve learned so much (and continue to learn) about myself through the training. It’s through the skills I’ve attained from my training that I’ve been able to take advantage of some great opportunities, get involved in film and meet so many of the great people I’ve met and had the pleasure to work with.
What is the worst thing that ever happened to you?
In 1997 I had a horrible bout of food poisoning that caused me to make several trips to the hospital. For about two weeks I was in excruciating pain. It was the worst pain I’ve ever been in. They didn’t know what exactly had caused it but I was admitted to the hospital for a few days and then it finally cleared up. After that experience I started getting into eating healthier and got really serious about working out, so I guess everything happens for a reason. It was awful though.
Ever had your heart broken? Is there a story worth telling behind your answer?
Yes I have. Nothing worth telling though.
Ever broken someone’s heart? Is there a story worth telling behind your answer?
I have and still feel bad about it. I hate the feeling of hurting someone in that way.
What is the best thing you’ve ever done?
That’s a tough one. I got to perform a martial arts fight I choreographed in front of Gordon Liu( from the 36th Chamber of Shaolin and the Kill Bill movies). That was awesome.
What is the worst thing you’ve ever done?
I’m sure I’ve made some bad moves, but I must’ve blocked them from my memory because nothing comes to mind.
Any and everyone involved in the Illuminati or trying to bring about the “New World Order”
Okay, in your words, what do you think The Illuminati is and what is The New World Order?
To put it simply and as briefly as possible, I’m referring to a secret society made up of the elite that conspire to bring about what is commonly referred to as a “New World Order” a globalized totalitarian government through mind control, population control, RFID chipping, surveillance, police states, disarming citizens, etc. I probably sound like a crazy person but I don’t care. I wasn’t trying to make this my soap box either, though. To get back to the original question the only person or persons I would want to kill are the very people that want to suppress my civil liberties and ultimately kill me and my loved ones.
This is your interview. This is your chance to build a pyramid out of soap boxes and then climb on top and scream as loud and long as you want. I don’t think you’re crazy, but you probably already knew that.
If the government wanted to bring about what is commonly referred to as a “New World Order” a globalized totalitarian government through mind control, population control, RFID chipping, surveillance, police states, disarming citizens, etc., then why don’t they just do it? What’s stopping “them”?
They are doing it, but in a methodical way. By way of false flag attacks and propaganda, they get control of the collective consciousness of the people so they will embrace the very changes that will inhibit their freedoms. David Icke refers to the phenomenon as “Problem, Reaction, Solution”. If they outright just took our civil liberties, established martial law for no reason and put people in camps they would have a fight on their hands. So by means of Problem Reaction Solution they introduce a “Problem”; they fabricate a situation that will arouse and manipulate people’s fears on a grand enough scale that it elicits a large reaction, the reaction they desire in order to bring about their next step in their agenda, disguised as a “Solution”. By manipulating the minds of the people through fear, the people ultimately clamor for the agenda of the elite without knowing or fully understanding it. Through distraction, propaganda, and manipulation they want to withhold truth to keep us uninformed and create a situation where the people will willingly surrender their freedom and their privacy. There’s more to it but that’s my quick answer.
Yes, but David Icke also says that most of the people in power are reptilian shape-shifters descended from aliens. That’s my problem with guys like David Icke and Alex Jones. I fully agree with some of the things that they say. And then they go and say something preposterous and it makes me embarrassed that I agreed with them when they were making sense.
What do you do?
I’m primarily involved in fight choreography and stunts for indie film. I also act, but this past year most of my work has come from choreographing fight sequences.
How did you get started doing what you do?
I always loved old school Shaw Brothers kung fu flicks and HK action movies. One of the guys I trained with in Kung Fu shared that same love of martial arts film and we began to play around with choreographing and filming fight scenes. We would perform these fights at demos and people loved it. I talked to an actress who was taking classes at the kung fu school at the time and she told me about some sites online to find acting gigs in indie film. From there I landed my first fight choreography gig for a student film. From there it was all networking, I met other people that were involved in film and landed other roles or positions doing stunts. In the midst of this I took acting classes to step my game up, and got some training in stunts as well, which led to networking and meeting more people. It was just a snowball effect from networking and making connections that would lead to other opportunities. I, of course, was still proactive and auditioned for a lot of things too, but because it’s such a small scene everyone pretty much knows everyone else and word eventually gets around.
What is your advice to other people that want to get started doing what you do?
I’m still learning a lot myself, but I’d advise that you learn as much as possible. This applies to the fight choreography and the acting. It sounds like a “duh” kind of statement but it’s true. I think especially in film in this area people can get caught up in a “big fish, little pond” mentality and feel like they know it all. It’s best to stay humble, stay focused and try to constantly perfect what you do. This happens from staying open minded and learning. Learn multiple martial arts, or at least familiarize yourself with them. Youtube is an invaluable learning tool. There are so many tutorials and bits of information available on there. Try to find open gyms in your area- gymnastics gyms will usually have one or two open gym sessions a week nowadays with the increasing popularity of tricking and parkour. Take advantage of these if you can, and network with the people that train in these arts. You can learn a lot and maybe get some of these people to work with you doing stunts. Get hands on and try things out. Film test fights. It’ll help you to understand how certain angles work in relation to selling hits and how to make fights more dynamic. Study your favorite fights and try to understand what makes them work. Use social media and get involved with different projects to get connected to other people with more experience in this field to learn from them and network.
What are some of the projects you’ve worked on/finished in the past? Give us a little history if you will.
I had three short films I got to act and do fight and stunt coordination for- Sons of Lemuria, Five Minutes Flat, and American Chop Suey. I starred in a couple features for Scorpio Film Releasing- Atomic Brain Invasion and Nun of That. I co-produced and starred in the web series Working Title, written directed and also starring my friend Rick Laprade. I did fight coordination for his first feature Villanelle as well. Most recently I did choreography and trained the lead actress for a short film titled Watcher which should be showing soon. I also directed and am in the process of editing an action short I did over the summer.
You totally didn’t mention Death Force. How do you not mention Death Force?
My bad! I assure you it was not intentional and I am remiss for not mentioning it. Good catch. That was actually a great project in that I was able to make some excellent connections and began my friendship and collaboration with Rick Laprade. I worked so much more in depth on projects like Working Title and Villanelle that Death Force just kind of faded into the background I guess.
I just choreographed a fight scene for a music video that should be out in the next month or so, and I just got a contacted about a contract offer for a huge performance opportunity that would keep me occupied for the next year. I can’t divulge too many details until I’ve officially signed off on it, but it’s a marvelous gig.
What are you watching?
I recently watched V/H/S/2 and the Maniac remake on Netflix, both of which I really enjoyed. I watch The Walking Dead every week as well.
What are you listening to?
Lazerhawk’s new album Skull & Shark is awesome. If you like the synth based scores of 80’s horror/sci fi movies you should listen to Lazerhawk. Kavinsky and Carpenter Brut are along those same lines and they are both great in their own ways as well. Disclosure’s new album Settle is excellent. Geseffalstein’s mix I Love Techno 2013 is great. I mostly listen to various styles of electronic music, ranging from retro, 80s inspired synthwave stuff to more dance oriented techno, deep house and trance. Of course I listen to other stuff too but these are the genres that are most often played on my mp3 player.
What are you reading?
At the moment, I’m getting back into reading comic books after a bit of a hiatus. I just picked up a couple Marvel trades and started re-reading some of the comics already in my collection. I just read The Shining for the first time recently, which was excellent. I’d like to get into Doctor Sleep next.
Dude, you definitely have to get a decent CBR viewer and start downloading some CBRs. It totally changes your comic book reading life.
I certainly will now, thanks for the suggestion. It’s been about a decade since I’ve had any consistent subscription or reading of comics so I’ve got a lot of catching up to do.
Once I figured out how to use a CBR viewer and download CBRs I download all of the comics. ALL OF THEM. Initially I just wanted to be able to download a few specific series and use the CBR viewer to be able to export and save images for digital manipulation, but then when I realized I could get all of the comics ever for free, I did. Now if I can only find time to read them all!
That’s awesome. I definitely need to get me one of those. There’s a few storylines I’d like to revisit and don’t own all of the issues of, and some titles I’d like to get better acquainted with. I’m sure I’ll probably still pick up trades but this seems like it’ll be a great asset. Thanks for the heads up.
Yeah, it’s a great “try before you buy” tool.
Favorite author / book?
1984 by George Orwell. Favorite non-fiction would be Tao of Jeet Kune Do by Bruce Lee, and The Power of the Actor by Ivana Chubbuck is an excellent book as well.
Favorite band / song?
Above and Beyond- Air for Life.
Least favorite band / song?
I hate Justin Bieber, not just for his music, but for his conduct. I also can’t stand Kanye West, he’s an arrogant jerk. I can’t stand Pink. And I’m not a fan of Drake. All of the bubblegum, cookie-cutter top 40 pop/rap/emo garbage out now is horrible but that goes without saying.
Desert Island Music / Movies / Books: You know the deal. Five of each.
Anjunadeep Vol. 4 Mixed by Jaytech & James Grant,
Depeche Mode- Violator
Above & Beyond-Group Therapy
Lazerhawk –Skull & Shark
Conan the Barbarian
Surviving on a Desert Island for Dummies (or something comparable)
Tao of Jeet Kune Do
The Art of War
The Dark Tower series; I haven’t read these yet, but they’re on my to read list, and to be honest if I’m stuck on an island I’m gonna want to dig in to some material I’ve never read before to keep things interesting.
If you could do anything other than what you do now, what would you do?
Who would you want to meet that you haven’t met? You get three choices:
Alive. Dead. Fictional.
Alive- Donnie Yen or Jason Statham
Fictional- Blade. Or Spider-Man.
What’s the best and worst job you’ve ever had?
Best job-Personal trainer
Worst job- I’ve actually had quite a few. I worked as a car prep for Enterprise Rent a Car. That was awful, I got paid next to nothing and had to be outside in the freezing cold hosing off cars with a leaky hose so my hands would freeze. I also had to pick up and drop off customers, one of which turned to his little son who was riding in the back seat and said (in regards to my position) “This is why you need to go to college, son.” Good times.
Other worst job was call center customer service for Citizens Bank. It was eight hours of getting cussed out by people.
Final bad job was as a driver for a laundry delivery service. I had a late night route in the Boston area. There was a bad snowstorm one night and unbeknownst to me the tires on the truck were pretty bald. So I ended up getting stuck in the snow several times while still trying to make deliveries on time and dealing with pissed off customers. That job sucked.
Got any questions for me?
I would have had you answer the same questions you asked me but you beat me to the punch about a month ago.
I kind of did. I knew it was coming so I figured I’d get it out of the way.
I know I talk a fair amount about myself in these interviews, but, well, that’s kind of the point of these interviews as far as I’m concerned. To have a conversation.
Touche. Actually I do have a question. I noticed you’ve gotten into producing electronic music. What made you decide to get into producing that particular type of music and what artists would you consider to be influences on the style of music you make?
Wow. That’s actually an awesome question and I’m glad you asked it.
First off, I’m glad you noticed that I’ve gotten into producing electronic music.
The answer is a bit complicated, so bear with me as I’ve never had to answer it before.
I started making electronic music when I downloaded a program to cut the silence out of those self-indulgent “Hidden Tracks” that bands sometimes put at the end of their records. I hate listening to music and then it goes silent and you have to wait ten minutes for some shitty cover or joke song to startle the shit out of you. I looked up “MP3 Editor” on Cnet.com, which, for those of you that don’t know, is an awesome place to get free software if you don’t know how to pirate software, and, for that matter, even if you do. Most of the software I downloaded and use every day I downloaded from that site. Someone recommended Audacity, but I couldn’t get past the learning curve so I downloaded WavePad from NCH Software. It plays like Adobe Premiere and Rick Laprade taught me how to dabble with Premiere when I wanted him to cut together a little student project he had me act in and then decided he didn’t have a movie when he was finished and I wanted him to cut together my parts so I could show people. So he just said, “Fine, motherfucker. Here’s how you do it. Now do it yourself and quit nagging me.” Using WavePad I taught myself how to edit out the silent/blank spaces in the “secret track” MP3s and recognize what the sine wave looks like and how to split tracks and save the two parts as different files. While playing with the program, I noticed it offered to combine samples. I played with that a bit, ruining some MP3s and having to download new versions of those songs, but then I learned how to save my edits as a new file as opposed to fucking up the original track. I started trying to cut little cool parts out of songs I liked and put them together, going through my whole music library alphabetically, but I didn’t even get five bands into the letter A before I realized it was going to be a monumental task. I downloaded every sample pack I could get my greedy little piratical hands on from Pirate Bay and spent months listening to samples and deleting stuff that I didn’t like the sound of that I intuitively knew I would never use.
I remember last year, I would regularly post my progress and at one time I had, like 100,000 samples, but it’s impossible to be familiar enough with 100,000 samples to be able to know them and find the sound you’re looking for when making a song. I’ve got it down to just under 20,000 samples, but a lot of those I created myself. I taught myself how to decouple the audio track from a film as an MP3 and edited cool dialogue samples and soundtrack sounds from about a hundred movies. I was working as a security officer so I’d pretend I was using my laptop like a radio and got through about four film audio tracks a night. I was working at a hospice, and it was pretty funny to me that I was editing dialogue out of serial killer documentaries and vile horror movies while keeping a place where people came to die safe. As a result, I have a ton of samples that I made custom that no one else has, but I always offer to share all of my samples with anyone that wants them but no one has ever taken me up on my offer. At the same time, I was going through musical phases and asking people for their musical recommendations and I’d download whatever they recommended unless I already knew that it sucked and I didn’t want it. I would also do huge music trades with all of my friends whose musical tastes I shared and I’d give them everything I had in exchange for everything they had using external hard drives to store it all. As a result, at one time I easily had over 100,000 “songs” not counting my samples. I spend a lot of my free time while multi-tasking trying to get through it all with headphones on while working on other stuff. It’s gotten to the point that I’m more comfortable with my headphones on than not. As of now, I’ve got around 60,000 songs weighing in at around 255 Gigs. So I’m not doing that badly, considering I’ve deleted around 40,000 full-length songs. I’d love to just edit out the good parts from my favorite songs and use those samples, and I will someday. But mostly what I do, almost out of self-preservation, is try to find something I DON’T like so I can just listen to it and delete it. As I delete tracks, if there’s any little bit, a verse, a chorus, a beat, a guitar riff, that I like I cut it out and save it as a sample in my sample folder. One of the first things I did was an instrumental remix of Slayer’s Antichrist that only 74 people ever bothered to listen to on YouTube.
Josh Gravel recommended that I check out Agoraphobic Nosebleed and I did, but I didn’t like any of their songs enough to keep them, but at the end, I had enough samples to put together a song so I did.
The image is a picture of a girl I met on the convention circuit whose permission I asked and then she dropped me as an imaginary friend without telling me first.
Only 90 people ever listened to that video on YouTube.
I was learning how to use MixPad, a mixing upgrade of Wave Pad and starting to incorporate stereo pan tricks.
I decided to go through my Melt Banana discography because a lot of their music annoyed me, but I really liked one or two songs.
By the end I had enough samples to make a song, so I did.
And only 135 people listened to that on YouTube, but it’s got 196 plays, five Favorites and five downloads on SoundCloud.
I made the YouTube video for that as a tribute to the title sequence from Gaspar Noe’s Enter the Void.
I was also teaching myself how to make videos using VideoPad.
Jimmy Screamerclauz said he was looking for submissions for a Christmas themed speedcore album so I contacted him about submitting.
I made three little songs/videos, although none of them are exactly speedcore.
I have a lot of speedcore samples, but I haven’t figure out how to make that kind of music yet, but I do know I have a few speedcore albums in me.
Jimmy got deleted from Facebook and when he got back on, he told me that nobody else had submitted tracks, so he wasn’t going to bother putting out the album.
This is one of the three tracks. http://youtu.be/qeisb0EpqwI [23 views]
Some sadist recommend that I check out Merzbow, and I did.
I listened to about 80 hours of that crazy Japanese motherfuckers “music” and ended up with enough samples to make a three-and-a-half-minute song.
http://youtu.be/ZHgcOBpt0Ko [38 views]
I did two remixes of the track which I called “MERZBASTARD” using the dialogue sample I cut out of the film soundtracks.
One called “Satanic Human Sacrifice”: http://youtu.be/NFPLMbfFqBQ [87 views]
The other called “Sex Is Violent”: http://youtu.be/PhVPMB-tt6k [220 views / 1 Like]
I decided to set up a SoundCloud to host my music now that I had a few tracks.
I got put onto Die Antwoord by an ex and started playing with their stuff.
I downloaded Virtual DJ exclusively to tag all of my music with BPM tags.
I know the program has a lot more to offer and someday I’ll look into it, but all I wanted it for was the BPM tagging.
I noticed “I Fink You Freeky” and “Baby’s On Fire” had the same BPM so I remixed them in mash-up style.
This is my “hit” with 441 views, 5 likes, one dislike, and no comments on YouTube, and 473 plays, 4 favorites, and 6 downloads on Soundcloud.
Ironically, the girl that put me onto Die Antwoord doesn’t like it.
I put a bunch of creepy sounding samples aside and starting making tracks.
My intention was to make an alternative score to the Elias Merhege film Begotten (1990) as a proof of concept, which would have required about an hour and thirteen minutes of music.
I finished seven tracks and about 20 minutes of music before my interest waned due to universal disinterested response to the tracks I had made.
I still like them, and I want to revisit the project at some point, but I’m busy doing other stuff.
I did a quick remix/mash-up of Pretty Girls Make Graves that nobody likes.
And then, inspired by the Drive  soundtrack I decided to do an electro-clash project.
Originally I wanted to do something really dance-y and I made a Facebook page for a project called LOVECRAFTWORK that Josh Gravel was supposed to help me produce.
Which has a whopping 11 Likes.
I designed an album cover but we never found the time to work on it because I still need to get the right samples.
Instead, I decided to do a solo electro-trance project called Rumble Strip.
I finished six tracks, and they’re the best stuff I’ve done so far.
I didn’t bother loading them up to YouTube because I was having problems with the program I was using to make videos.
On SoundCloud, they have about 30 listens and ten favorites for all six tracks… combined.
And, again, I lost interest because no one seemed to give a fuck about what I was doing.
So pretty much I spent two whole years of my life and countless hours to make music that nobody appreciates or bothers to listen to and I haven’t even come close to making any money for my time and effort, so, in a nutshell, fuck making music, and this is why we can’t have nice things.
The topspin is that I have seven EPs and I enjoyed doing what I was doing and I like the music so fuck everyone else.
Have fun fucking yourself to the weak new NIN album because people only listen to stuff from artists they’re already familiar with and would rather listen to stale music from a washed up wanker than anything that I make.
So what made me decide to get into producing that particular type of music?
I liked what I had heard in electronic music but didn’t hear what I wanted to hear so I decided to try to make it myself which is my inspiration for most of what I do artistically.
What artists would I consider to be influences on the style of music I make?
Another complicated question that I’ll hopefully be able to answer more briefly.
I’m always inspired by everything I like and I like a little bit of everything.
The only things I don’t like are anything that has been released in the past ten years.
Because it all just feels like a weak, stale imitation of music I already know and love.
I’ve got my music broken up into about 30 Genre tags and I won’t bore you or anyone else that’s read this far by listing them all. I also won’t try to make the old “I listen to everything from ________ to ________” analogy because my musical tastes are so diverse.
My primary influences outside of every-fucking-thing else I listen to I would say are: Bong-Ra, Drumcorps, The Berseker, Kid 606, Bonde Do Rolê, Bikini Kill, Mindless Self Indulgence, Milemarker, Depeche Mode, Lustmord, Bohren & Der Club Of Gore, Angelo Badalamenti, Dead Can Dance, Lycia, Love Spirals Downward, Bjork, Portishead, Dutch, Black Box Recorder, Babylon Disco, Neurosis, Isis, Slayer, Ministry, Nine Inch Nails, Pigface, Public Enemy, P.O.S., Sheer Terror, Dillinger Escape Plan, Fall Of Troy, Psyopus, Pig Destroyer, Eyehategod, Grief, Mötley Crüe, Motörhead, Turbonegro, The Stooges, Black Flag, Diamond Head, Aphex Twin, Balls Deep In The Dead, Kavinsky, Desire’s “Under Your Spell” although I don’t really dig the rest of their album, and “Who Are You?” by Void.
If I could pretty much just pull the samples I want to pull from all of those artists and use them, combined with my pre-existing library of beat and synth samples and film dialogue to make the music that I want to hear, I would be perfectly fucking happy.
But nobody’s going to pay me to do that and even if I did it on my own dime, no one would fucking listen to any of it, and I just made $500 crowd-funding a post-apocalyptic zombie-epidemic novel-length book project so the fates have spoken through the wallets of the public, so instead of making music I’m going to write another book.
By the way, thanks for suggesting that I try to crowd-fund the book.
Ahh I see, so you’re essentially doing mash ups and remixes or re-edits. I listened to a couple of the links you put up. I can see why the Die Antwoord mash up went over so well with people, that one in particular was pretty seamless. One thing to think about though is that so many bands you mentioned spend years trying and failing before they hit their stride and eventually find fame. It doesn’t happen overnight, which I’m sure you’re aware. Ultimately it depends on what you want to do most, though. It seems like you have a stronger passion for writing. Oh, and in regards to the suggestion of crowdfunding the book- you’re welcome I’m glad you decided to do so. I wish I could have provided financial support rather than just moral support but I’m broke as hell right now.
Essentially, yes, kind of.
Although my ultimate goal is to have a strong enough sample library where I’m not doing mash-ups and instead using the samples to create original music.
The earlier work was just proof-of-concept stuff I made along the way until I managed to get my sample archive fully stocked, which is a work in progress and probably always will be.
I think I finally hit my stride with the Music For Horror Films and Rumble Strip projects, but, like I said, they don’t pay the bills so in the scheme of prioritizing that stuff usually gets kicked down the list most times to focus on more potentially remunerative projects.
I know it takes time to build a fan base, but it would be nice to have the financial background to make more music because I could easily produce an album a month if I didn’t have to work on other people’s projects to try to cover my rent note each month.
Don't worry about not kicking in towards the book project.
I'll be looking for some interesting characters as the arc of the book progresses so I might tap you as a character anyway.
Thanks for letting me subject you to being interviewed!
Give me all of your links for things you want to promote. All of them.
Website: (none yet, working on it)
About the Interviewee:
David Lavallee Jr. is a martial artist, stuntman, fight choreographer and actor. Obsessed with the 80s. Connoisseur of action & horror movies and electronic music. Never skips leg day.
About the Interviewer:
Scott Lefebvre has probably read everything you've read and can write about whatever you want him to write about.
Mostly because when he was grounded for his outlandish behavior as a hyperactive school child, the only place he was allowed to go was the public library.
His literary tastes were forged by the works of Helen Hoke, Alvin Schwartz and Stephen Gammell, Ray Bradbury, Richard Matheson, Stephen King, Clive Barker, Edgar Allan Poe, and H. P. Lovecraft.
He is the author of Spooky Creepy Long Island and a contributing author to Forrest J. Ackerman’s Anthology of the Living Dead, Fracas: A Collection of Short Friction, The Call of Lovecraft, and Cashiers du Cinemart.
His reviews have been published by a variety of in print and online media including Scars Magazine, Icons of Fright, Fatally Yours and Screams of Terror, and he has appeared in Fangoria, Rue Morgue and HorrorHound Magazine.
He is the Assistant Program Director for The Arkham Film Society and produces Electronic Music under the names Master Control and LOVECRAFTWORK.
He is currently working on a novel-length expansion of a short-story titled, "The End Of The World Is Nigh", a crowd-funded, crowd-sourced, post-apocalyptic, zombie epidemic project.
Check out the blog for the book here: theendoftheworldisnighbook.blogspot.com
Check out the Facebook Fan Page for the project here: www.facebook.com/TheEndOfTheWorldIsNighBook
Check his author profile at: www.amazon.com/Scott-Lefebvre/e/B001TQ2W9G
Follow him at GoodReads here:
Check out his publishing imprint Burnt Offerings Books here:
And here: http://burntofferingsbooks.blogspot.com/
Check out his electronic music here: soundcloud.com/master_control
And here: master-control.bandcamp.com
Check out his videos at: www.youtube.com/user/doctornapoleon
Check out his IMDB profile here: www.imdb.com/name/nm3678959
Follow his Twitter here: twitter.com/TheLefebvre or @TheLefebvre
Follow his Tumblr here: thelefebvre.tumblr.com
Check out his Etsy here: www.etsy.com/shop/ScottLefebvreArt
Join the group for The Arkham Film Society here:
Stalk his Facebook at: www.facebook.com/TheLefebvre
E-mail him at: Scott_Lefebvre@hotmail.com