RUMTUM, GEO NEO Exclusives and Interview
RUMTUM, aka John Hastings, is an enigma to some, a great dude to others and a wonderful producer to everyone who hears his works. The fact that he’s been featured on the blog more than once (HERE and HERE) is testament to not only his prowess but his being one of the great people in the industry. It was always a pleasure to see him get up on virtual stage in our Turntable.fm rooms and see him impress the other producers we had in there as well. That’s one thing about Rumtum’s productions. The fire he breathes from his DAW might be surprising given his low-key, and laid back demeanor.
RUMTUM (Soundcloud, Facebook) had been a little quiet in 2013, but he’s got a lot ready to fire off and hopefully you’re all ready because it’s going to be greatness. He was great enough to answer a few questions for us and give us a few tunes off of his newest release off of Chill Mega Chill (HERE). Because the beat tape, two 20 minute tracks sold out in a matter of a few days we either have to wait for a reissue (let’s all let C-M-C know on their FB page!)or we have to be friends with one of the lucky few who copped a tape. But here, exclusively on Waxhole, are a few tunes rinsed from the beat tape for your enjoyment.
Waxhole: You mention that this album is highly personal. In what way? A new direction, new inspiration? Self-discovery?
RUMTUM: I was in the process of recording this album and moving away from family and friends so it became more of a two part project, I recorded half of the tracks in Columbus and finished it a few months later in Seattle. This created a really hard contrast and allowed me to dig into the importance of close relationships. My main goal was to record an album that reminded me of the people I love and hopefully they would feel that in return. This is also why the whole album is a lot softer and more analog sounding. I started resourcing anything that could give me an older recording quality, I really wanted to simulate some of my early work.
There is also a lot hidden meaning and conceptual ideas behind all the tracks and the art work. One that might stand out would be the first track on Geo-Neo. Finding Friends Finding Geodes is comparing good relationships to finding a geode rock, it’s not a easy thing to obtain. This track actually opens up with a few samples of my friends talking while on a hike, so there’s is a lot of little hidden things like that in every track.
I wouldn’t say this album is a new direction, I actually tried to recreate a lot of my early tones and patterns. My sister really enjoys the first three albums I recorded that never got released, so I enjoy making music inspired by her support and love for my early work.
My first LP under rumtum is titled Mystic Wonders and will be coming out sometime later this year, but that’s where all the new inspiration and self-discovery comes into play! Geo-Neo was all about straight love and friendship, Al Green style.
Waxhole: Your music always seem to convey feeling and soul in a genre that can often times be bland and cookie-cutter. How do you keep a part of yourself in every beat you make?
RUMTUM: Honestly, everything I record is normally from scratch. I will use samples in my work and you can hear them, but I mostly record everything myself. I also spend the time to make my keyboards and guitar resemble record samples and hits, that way it’s hard to tell what is actually going on.
My main focus is having fun and not locking myself into a style a production, take risks and record different styles of music.
I can’t really worry about anything else but making new art all the time.
Waxhole: You’re starting to delve into the visual aspect of art more and more. When will we see this enter into your musical side of things and how do you envision this being?
RUMTUM: That’s a great question,,, hahaha. Monster Rally just kills my album covers so hard that I can’t even think about making my own art these days. My sister just made the newest video for geo-neo as well, she actually just made one right after she made the new lands video.. “http://vimeo.com/62137659”
I’ve also been talking with Chris Golden “thegoldenrobot.com” we have some pretty rad ideas in the works.
Waxhole: Your live sets incorporate guitar, which you have a background in. When will guitar start showing itself in production or is it solely for the live shows?
RUMTUM: Geo-Neo has a lot of classical style guitar work all played with my hundred dollar guitar. I’ve owned some nice guitars in my day but this little cheap classical sounds the best through my mics. The New Mystic Wonders LP is full of funky guitar work as well, it keeps me on my toes at shows.
Waxhole: You chose a tape release for this tape. What was the inspiration behind that?
RUMTUM: Ian Stanley over at Chill Mega Chill was totally supportive and great to work with from the get go, that’s the main reason this album even got released. All my friends have been releasing tapes for years and I figured it would be really cool to do a rare limited run for this album, just kind of made sense to me. I can also trade tapes with my buddies now, that’s the fun part.. Kind of like some deadhead shit.. Mr. Real Cosby and I just traded tapes the other day, it’s a cool bounding experience for us musician nerds.
Waxhole: What’s next for RUMTUM?
RUMTUM: Mystic Wonders- This will be my first LP release… Can’t talk about this to much right now… but good things are happening 🙂
I would love to release another tape with Chill mega Chill, I’ve already started working on a new album for that. This one will be different as well, kind of a indie beach rock vibe but with my style drums and bass. Might actually be the first record with some vocals.
Noel brass Jr & rumtum-
is a super cool space funk projection I’m working on with the great Noel Brass Jr from Seattle. Noel kills it on the keyboards, synths, anything with keys. We will be releasing our first LP this year as well. This is first batch of songs we released. http://noelbrassjr.bandcamp.com/album/soulgazer-reworked
Monster Rally and Rumtum LP-
This is a time bomb right now…. Teddy just sent me his new album the other day and it’s mind blowing, I’m really hyped for him right now. we both have a lot going on this year so we plan on push the MR&RT release til later this year.
This Winter I’m trying to record an album in Hawaii for two weeks, trying my best to get down there to visit a friend and record. I plan on recording in different countries more often, I need the state of mind to physically be changed in every way possible.
Posted By: Hypo-Luxa