This Friday May 18, Le Bain presents Discography with the return of No Regular Play, aka Greg Paulus and Nick DeBruyn. The two childhood friends from St Paul, Minnesota started experimenting with electronic music in the mid 2000’s in New York and now play a major role in the Wolf + Lamb family. Our friend Colin Rogister of Discography met the duo for a No Regular Standard Q&A.
No Regular Play aka Greg Paulus and Nick DeBruyn
Discography: So you guys grew up together in St. Paul, Minnesota. If you had boot one Minnesota professional sports team out of the state, who would it be? The Twins, Timberwolves or the Vikings?
Nick DeBruyn: Definitely the Vikings, they never fail to disappoint a good Minnesotan.
What do you miss about Minnesota other than listening to old timers reminisce about Kirby Puckett’s game winning home run in Game 6 of the 1991 World Series?
Nick: (Laughing) I was actually at game 6 to witness that home run, so I never get tired of talking about it, but I would have to say just driving lazily around the city in the summer, listening to whatever new music we were really into. And of course friends and family.
I think I’m supposed to be giving a music interview, so let’s talk about No Regular Play. How did you guys get started?
Nick: Greg had been going to college here at the Manhattan School of Music for jazz trumpet, and after I graduated from college in Colorado I decided to move out to New York and get a place with Greg. We had both just been introduced to electronic music from a good friend in Minnesota who convinced us to check out the Decibel Festival in Seattle. The whole experience really inspired us and we started to search out more underground dance events in New York, which eventually led us to the Wolf + Lamb parties. At some point we purchased Logic and Ableton and just started messing around, producing as much as we could together. Greg was sending demos to Zev and Gadi hoping to catch their attention, and I think around the time they were moving away from minimal techno and getting more into house and disco they got in touch with us. Once we started our relationship with them things really started to kick off and we got more and more focused on producing. The NRP project eventually came out of that.
No Regular Play Owe Me (Nicolas Jaar remix)
Back in 2011, you played in São Paulo at D-Edge with their resident DJ, Davis Genuino, who’ll be joining you on the decks at Le Bain Friday. I haven’t been able to make up my mind on this next question since playing down there with him back in February, so maybe you can help me out: Davis Genuino - great or greatest Brazilian DJ?
Nick: Nothing Compares to Davis.
On your D-Edge TV interview, you talk about putting together a classical piece with Greg’s dad, who is a classical composer, for the Minneapolis Orchestra. How did those performances go and how was that experience?
Greg Paulus: My dad and I came up with the idea to create a piece for orchestra and jazz soloists about 7 years ago and we pitched it to the Minnesota Orchestra and they loved the idea. as my musical ideas developed into more electronically based material, the idea of the piece changed and we decided to incorporate electronics as well. The first movement was based on the No Regular Play track Rain (All Day) and we transferred electronic composition ideas of repetition and delay into the the piece, mixed in with some traditional classical methods of composing and sections of improvisation based on the jazz idiom. The experience was truly the highlight of my life. To hear the ideas we’ve been working on in the studio over the last few years transformed by 100 players on stage, and jazz soloists blending the sounds of classical, jazz and modern house music was just breathtaking!
Wow. I wish I had gone to that performance. So unlike you guys, some of my friends and family that are fans of classical music aren’t that into electronic music. I think this has to do with both a lack of exposure and an under appreciation of some of the great electronic musical instruments. If you had to introduce one electronic instrument to someone like this, which one would you pick? And what are your dads thoughts on electronic music?
Greg: My dad actually loves and is fascinated by electronic music! He and my mom listen to all the Wolf + Lamb releases and basically anything else I give to them, in the house and the car all the time! It cracks me up to come home and hear that music playing in the kitchen. My favorite electronic instrument is probably the Juno 106 so maybe I’d introduce them to that? Or something really crazy, a buchla, those are pretty impressive!
Voices of Black Atom Bomb (No Regular Play feat. John Camp Remix)
Now we know that Greg kills it on the trumpet, but are there any non-electronic instruments that Nick plays?
Greg: Nick is a legend on the Glockenspiel.
So when you’re not recording a Glockenspiel-trumpet duet, you’ve been known to put together a solid remix - both individually and as No Regular Play. What remixes do you have in store for 2012?
Nick: Our remix of Voices of Blacks’ Atom Bomb just came out on Double Standard Records. That one features another close childhood friend, John Camp, aka, the human arpeggiator. We also have a remix of Soul Clap’s Trouble Trouble Trouble, which will be part of the next remix package for their Efunk album. We’ve also done a remix of one of the singles off of Deniz Kurtel’s upcoming album, and another of Bonar Bradberry for Under the Shade. And, last but not least, we have a remix of Davis Genuino’s new project, TDL, that is coming out on the D-Edge record label.
And what about new original material are you working on?
Nick: We just recently wrote a ton of new music that we’ve been playing out in our live set. We’re in the process of turning all these new ideas into finished tracks, and picking and choosing what we think will be best for an album. Hopefully that will be out by the end of the year. We also just had the release of Rain (All Day), a track which was adapted for the first movement of the Minnesota Orchestra piece. That one is out on Cut Mistake Music, a label founded by our good friend Connor Whiriskey, who also makes his debut on the A side with a beautiful ambient track.
The Marcy shot by Nick DeBruyn
What’s been your favorite DJ gig so far in 2012?
Nick: Pretty much every time we get to play at the Marcy Hotel, it’s amazing to be able to play for your friends in that environment. I think the last great one for us was the Scissor & Thread label showcase we threw with our good buds Francis Harris, Anthony Collins, and Jordan Lieb.
Your epic parties at the Marcy helped inspire Discography. How do you go about curating those parties and what’s in store for the next one?
Nick: I guess our main goal is just to find artists and DJ’s whose music inspires us. We also try to make a point of inviting people we’ve met personally, since the Marcy is such an intimate space it’s nice to feel comfortable with who’s playing.
Greg - You’ve been described by Nick as a prolific Instagram photographer. Do you have a favorite shot that you’d like to highlight?
Greg: This one of our good buddy Tim Sweeney is one of my fav’, it was his birthday and we were in Austin, Texas for SXSW. It was one of those times when a DJ just needs to get on the mic and sing his heart out. Hopefully victor from Washington Heights doesn’t get a hold of this one.
Tim Sweeney by Greg Paulus
Just like we started, we ended up off-topic. Thanks guys!