A few weeks back we had a great time with Sammy Bananas from Fool’s Gold family. After days of smashing through the city with street BBQ and french food on the bund, we hangover talked some interesting facts out of Mr. Flex:
First off, let’s settle this – as a New Yorker, which is the best pizza place in town?
Sammy: Yes! Let’s just stop the interview right here, this is an excellent question and you’ve asked the right guy! Pizza happens to be a specialty of mine, but that means I could go on for a while… There’s no way I could pick a flat out “best” place, because to me there are so many different kind of pies. My favorite slice is from this spot called DiFara in south Brooklyn. This one old guy makes all the pizza himself. His son works there and he won’t even let him put the pies in the oven! I think my favorite whole pie is a neapolitan (small 10″ pizza) spot called Motorino. Although Roberta’s is a very close second.
What’s it like to be a part of the Fool’s Gold family?
Sammy: It’s such a supportive and dynamic group of artists. I’ve been lucky enough to be around from the beginning in ’07, and it’s been so incredible to see the label grow. From the first Kid Cudi track, to Duck Sauce, to Danny Brown and onwards. They love what I do but are always pushing me to do more. A-Trak and Nick Catchdubs know have great ears, know what they like and have used that to create a truly one-of-a-kind label. Because they span everything from the darkest rap to the heaviest dance, they don’t have a signature sound, but somehow there is a consistency and a commonality between the releases. I kind of take the same approach with my own music; I feel like I hardly ever make the same thing twice, but all my music has a common thread.
Between A-Trak and Armand Van Helden, who’s the duck and who’s the sauce?
Sammy: Armand is definitely the Sauce. The special sauce.
We love your tagline: Little. Yellow. Different. (From Wayne’s World), so we gotta ask – Wayne or Garth? On that note, what’s your favorite movie?
Sammy: Sorry to correct you, but that’s actually the slogan for Nuprin, which was a headache medication in the 90s! But yes, it became world famous when referenced in Wayne’s World. I really empathize with the scene in the movie where Garth had the daydream of going HAM on the drum set in the music store, so Garth. I think my favorite movie might be Terminator 2 just because I could never ever get tired of watching it.
How’s your experience been with RBMA going from student to teacher?
Sammy: Well, I’m not a bonafide teacher, but I have done some sessions for them. Still, as someone who’s becomes a professional and visible artist from the Academy, I do end up talking about it with people a lot. It was without a doubt the experience that gave me the confidence to try and make a career in music. It’s one of the institutions I respect the most because they care so much about creating a unique environment that fosters creativity and learning in music.
Name the top 3 DJ/producers who you are dying to see? Or, if you’ve already seen them, which ones have put on the best shows?
Sammy: 3 people I’ve seen in the past year who blew me away were MK, Pantha du Prince with his “bells” show and I also got to see Girogio Moroder.
Name 3 bands or non-electronic artists who you would love to see.
Sammy: Bjork, never seen her live and I’m a massive fan. Sky Ferreira, who put out my favorite album of last year. Tortoise, I think I missed their best years but always wanted to see them.
Where are your favorite places to play? Any funny stories?
Sammy: Hi-Fi Club in Calgary, Canada. It might seem like a random place to mention, but this is one of the best clubs in an extremely receptive music town. I’ve played here many many times and it’s always so fun. Shout out Pete and Mike aka Smalltown DJs and Sarmad, the manager of the spot.
Looking at the self-indulgent “carrots and organic hummus” (and no other food) on your rider, and knowing that you are the founder of DJs Against Climate Change (www.djacc.info), would you consider yourself to be a hippie at heart? Do you participate in any other environmental/eco-friendly causes?
Sammy: Hahaha, I’m not a hippie, I’m just not an asshole! What do you want me to have on there, 3 bottles of Cristal? No judgements at other artists riders, I’m just pretty easy to please in that department. I was actually just thinking today that on this tour I should have had “your local speciality” on there, and have people bring me something really weird to eat :)
As far as caring about the environment, I have organizing in my blood (after college my parents along with a group of friends tried to re-build the economy of a depressed town in the 70s. THAT’s some hippie shit.) With DJs Against Climate Change I think that touring DJs are both an increasingly vocal group in culture and have a part their job (flying so much) that helps to explain the issues and effects of Climate Change. In addition to raising money and awareness, I’m actually hoping that building this coalition of DJs who are themselves interested in “the better good” could turn into something pretty important.
Lastly, as always, what’s your favorite ice cream flavor?
Sammy: Ben & Jerry’s Chubby Hubby. It’s the one with chocolate covered peanut butter filled pretzels in it.