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With festival season approaching and artists embarking on tours that will take them through the summer and beyond, we thought it would be fun to play a round of a classic road-trip game with some of our favorite musicians. This is 20 Questions, Festival Tracker style.
For our inaugural column, we talk with Providence, Rhode Island-based producer The Range (a.k.a. James Hinton), who released one of last year's best electronic records. Filled with jungle homages and R&B-inspired hooks, Nonfiction was one of our favorite debuts in ages. But, aside from his skills as a killer producer, Hinton happens to be a very funny guy. Read on for The Range's quirky, illuminating, and occasionally hilarious answers to our burning queries.
Go-to fast food on tour:
"Kabob — always a default for me, especially in Europe."
Favorite karaoke song:
"Was gonna say 'Crazy' by Seal but I think I’ll go with 'Stingray Affliction.'"
Worst on-tour sleep situation:
"Anytime before security opens at the airport."
Go-to outfit for the stage:
"Hahaha — the same as always, my black jacket with whatever clothes I have on that day."
Best random on-the-road purchase:
"I usually don't have time to shop for records when I’m traveling but I recently had an extra day off in Copenhagen and found this one swing band record with a completely abnormal amount of really slow and patient solos that is basically a sampling dream — almost every instrument gets a solo and the rhythm section will just completely drop out during the solo section, which is so, so, so weird. I have a clarinet-and-trumpet-combination keyboard that I’ve been using pretty heavily from it already but there are loads more."
Favorite phone game:
"iPhone Tetris starting from Level 16: 810732."
Venue you're most excited to play:
"Pitchfork showcase at French Legation on 3/12. It will be the first time I’ve ever seen DJ Rashad live — very excited for that!"
Energy drink of choice:
Best set you've seen lately:
"Would have to be Laurel Halo in Belgium by a long shot."
Favorite album for a long drive:
"Dubna by Vtgnike."
Click on for the rest of the interview.
The thing you're most looking forward to at SXSW:
"Staying at the house with all of the Astro Nautico guys! First time I’ve gotten to hang out with all of them in a few months."
Most important item to pack before going on tour (besides instruments):
"My external sound card. It’s so much easier to use a pair of speakers when I get the chance. I like to play songs out pretty much as soon as I make them, and it’s really helpful to check what I’ve been making outside of my headphones."
Best gift from a fan:
"The craziest was definitely someone who had me sign everything I’ve ever put out after a show, which meant they had burned albums to CDs that I only released digitally. That was really amazing to me. I never thought anyone would ever find those songs!"
Most days without showering:
"Only three, fortunately. I’ve heard stories about way worse!"
Favorite road-trip game:
"I like 20 questions. It's fun for me to start with random physics things even though I know it's totally the worst for everyone else playing."
One thing you miss most about being home:
"My desktop computer."
Fantasy musician you'd open for:
Favorite on-the-road tradition:
"Easily Pepe’s Pizza in New Haven."
Least favorite place to drive through:
"Driving west through Pennsylvania is one of the most tedious. I did it a lot as a kid and now I always think about my Gameboy dying when I have to drive that route. When I was a kid, [my Gameboy died] about a third of the way through every trip."
If you had a band name (that wasn't yours), what would it be:
"Black Metal band called True Detective."