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Wednesday, 15 February 2012


Interview: Kristan J Caryl

Kristan Caryl is a freelance music journalist, staff reviewer at RA, regular contributor to DJ Mag, Mixmag, The Independent and most importantly of all, his own www.teshno.com blog. I caught up with him and gave him a taste of his own medicine.

For those who don't know you, introduce yourself…

I’m the sort of person who spends an hour thinking of a smart answer to this question, can’t, then spends an hour depressed at how thick they are: a stoner with time on his hands, basically.

Being that you’re a freelance writer, I imagine that means you can spend all your time working at home - are you a house husband? If so what’s your killer meal?

I am, or will be once I’ve gotten married in August. I literally do everything around the house. It’s fine though. I feel guilty that I basically have the best job ever and that my wife-to-be has to go out and manage a restaurant for a living. She does cook though. Fiercely well. Plus I have a touch of OCD about order and cleanliness and that, so I’m totally OK with the fact I ‘need’ to have a cupboard just filled with dust cloths and cleaning products.

To answer the second part of your question, my killer meal would probably be a steak with cyanide in, that way at least her last meal would be a good one. Weird question though, man.

At school were you good at English?

Yup! Didn’t do it past GCSE though. Didn’t want to be a journalist until about 5 years ago. Got jealous of a mate who had his name in the Uni paper next to a review. I didn’t even read music magazines at the time. Anyway, I penned a few Kerouac-style wordy wankfest which got into print, then emailed Mixmag saying “look, I did this, let me write for you”. Incredibly I got commissioned for a club review 3 months later then went round everywhere else saying “I'm a journalist, can I write for you?”

I didn’t have even a single day’s work experience, evening course, relevant degree, anything. On top of that I had only just got into electronic music... it’s quite incredible in the 21st Century there aren’t laws preventing people like me from doing things like this.

Tell me a bit more about your musical influences

This is the question I always wonder how I’d answer when I ask it. Unfortunately for you that still doesn’t mean I have a good one for you. I grew up happily listening to my parents’ Motown. Had a spell 16-19ish getting balls deep into System of a Down, Incubus, Chilis, Tool (fucking Tool!!) Deftones… that kinda shit. Then I grew up, met my now best mate who was older and into house music. It started when I fell in love with Renaissance’s Mix Collection Volume 1 by Sasha and Digweed, then got into fabric CDs and have been exploring the underground house, techno and bass scenes with childish excitement ever since. To surmise, I’d say I like deep, warm, imperfect grooves. Check teshno/teshcast for proof.

Tell me something funny…

Your mum’s so fat her blood type is ragù.

Outside music, what are your pleasures?

I’m an unapologetic food snob and am hesitant around anyone who isn’t. I need my 5 a day. We spend most of our money on food or eating out. I also love bongs. And our 5 cats (it’s fine, really). And vinyl. F1 and football also take up quite a bit of my schedule (watching, of course, not doing). I’m also now old enough (at 28?) to say, I think, that I get pleasure from tending our modest garden in the summer… grow your own kids, it not only smokes better, it’s cheaper, too!

[from left to right:arthur, zip, seth, elvis, daphni]

I’d imagine, like DJing, there are many wannabe scribes wanting to make a serious living out of writing, could you offer any tips to said aspirants?

Don’t fucking email me asking for my contacts you dick. If I can blag my way in, any idiot can. I will say if you’re struggling to get replies/work, though, soz, but you must be shit. Do summat else.

Could you tell me the best artist you have interviewed and why. And... if you dare… who is the worst....

Nico Jaar was good, plenty to say and not just stuff made up on the spot, stuff he’s clearly been thinking about for years with no punches pulled. Not many people are bad, really. Most people have something to say. Just like me in this interview. Pure bull shit. I mean, if someone is shy, they’re shy; that’s how they are, that’s how you have to write it up. You might just have to work a bit harder to get stuff out of them. Or make it up – that’ll show the inconsiderate bastards.

Have you got any tips for the next producer /DJ?

Next DJ/producer I interview? Bring a book, my questions can get quite long winded and, most of the time, I give so many sample answers to make sure the question has been understood that there’s nothing left for the interviewee to reply but ‘um, yes’.

Seriously though, it’s amazing how many people seem to think you’re just out to make a cunt of them… only you can make a cunt of yourself, buddy!

And finally, your guilty musical pleasure…

Michael Jackson was definitely guilty of something, and I don’t mean illegally good records…

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