Keywords: Indonesian Music; University of Richmond; gamelan
Subjects: Andy McGraw
Map Coordinates: University of Richmond
Keane: So, I'm gonna start off with a pretty basic question.
Keane: Why do you love music and why does it excite you?
Hamm: Hmmmm. That's a really big question. I love music, first off, because itis a way to experience emotion that's not necessarily clearly defined. I know there is all kinds of psychological studies of music and what it does to our brains and also as far as anthropology, why it was created. All I know from a personal instinct is that it's always been a part of my life. I grew up around hearing a lot of music as a kid with my father playing the record player and he 00:01:00used to play piano when I was a kid and I would sit next to him while he was playing. I also felt like from the beginning I was kind of myself just drawn to music for some reason. Some people maybe that happens more than others. Also, growing up, it was a way to explore, like I said earlier, emotions sometimes it was cathartic because I was a troubled kid like most people. Sometimes you get in family situations where you just kinda want to have outlets. So music was always my outlet, whether it was playing it or listening to it really loud. But it also was a way to explore the world as I later learned. I grew up with 00:02:00artists for parents, but one of my parents was very musical. Then, one of my best friend's parents both played in the Richmond Symphony and they would take us to concerts at the Richmond symphony anytime we wanted to go. We could just sit there and listen to his parents play. And then he and I listened to a bunch of music together. We started playing guitar and jamming in his basement. This was in High School. I would also say my big sister, and this probably happens a lot where a big brother or sister turns you on to music--my big sister made these punk rock mix tapes when I was like in 6th grade. And then she dropped in this weird world music that I had never heard. This was back in the 80s and people called it world music whatever. International. She put in a Pakistani 00:03:00singer, Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, she put Franco, one of these amazing guitarists from the Congo, Mexican Mariachi music and then back to back with that would be like Iggy and the Stooges, the Clash, a Reggae song, Patti Smith. I didn't even look at music as being this one specific style or type. It was always like explore, explore. Find out. What is this weird sound and what does it mean? So that was me as a kid.
Keane: What would you say was the main genre of music that you liked the mosteven with listening to all sorts of music?
Hamm: I was thinking about that earlier today. I mean my first record that Iever owned was Michael Jackson's "Thriller" but then I also borrowed a bunch of 00:04:00my sister's punk records. I also got into Hip Hop, back in the mid 80s, that's how old I am. Like UTFO, Houdini, Run DMC, all those early Hip Hop groups. And then my sister like I said was really into hard core punk rock scene in Richmond. She was living on her own when she was 16, so when I visited her she would sometimes sneak me into these shows downtown as like an 11 year old, I would go to these hard core punk rock shows. But at a certain point in my life, I really decided that "wow, man, I really hate American commercial pop radio music. It's like brainwashing." I mean they just play the same songs. You could 00:05:00set your watch to it. So, I started realizing there is so much more out there and I started to buy some weird like Cambodian cassette tapes way out near Jeff Davis highway from an Asian market, it really just grabbed me this Cambodian Wedding music. It was so beautiful and so strange to my ears and then from then on I just got in the habit of buying random cassettes and CDs from International markets and it just exploded from there.
Keane: Yeah, that's cool. I think my favorite is probably Hip Hop. I just like00:06:00that they sample of random samples. Have you ever been on the website "Whosampled.com?"
Hamm: Yeah, that webpage is amazing. And I'm a DJ too and I do a radio show andone thing that has always fascinated me is finding the original of the sample without the cuts or lyrics over it. There is another website, I don't think it's up there anymore but they would upload zip folders full of every sample that made up one Hip Hop album at a time and you could download the zip folders. 00:07:00Yeah, that's amazing stuff.
Keane: How did you break into the music scene at Richmond?
Hamm: In Richmond, yeah, I never really did any public performance until I movedback from NYC and NYC was just this amazing place that I just explored, especially culturally. I was pretty broke when I was living up there, but there was always cool stuff to find that was going on something to explore, like free concerts in the park, Central Park or Prospect Park. Also, all the international neighborhoods, restaurants, markets and I just collected all these tapes and CDs and when I moved back home to Richmond, I was working in a coffee shop on Broad 00:08:00Street and I heard this guy, Bill Lupoletti who does a show, still does a show for WRIR, called Global A Go-Go and he was like there is this radio station we're trying to start up, it's a community, independent type station, not for profit. He was trying to get it on the air, raise funds, get some money to buy a transmitter, because it still wasn't up and running yet. So after serving him coffee, I asked him about "hey, what's that radio station, you're trying to start up and can I get involved and he was like 'sure and told me when the meeting was and I showed up to the meeting and long story short, I have been with them ever since 2004? I think was when I got involved until today and my 00:09:00first performance publicly was after that meeting I went to someone asked me if I wanted to raise funds on Sundays at a Farmer's market, down on 17th street. And all I had to do was is hand out stickers and maybe you know plays some music or something else. They gave me the banner for the station and I brought some old, beat up stereo and some speakers and a record player and would play all sorts of different types of international music, jazz, and reggae and people would stop and ask me what I was doing and I told them about trying to start the radio show and then from there, we got the radio station and I got a show and it 00:10:00was like a total miracle. It was a miracle for me and getting that show changed my life. From there, I had all this music from NY that I had collected and I wanted to share it with the people. I really didn't just want to like have it around my house. I wanted to share it. And then people starting hearing that there was this guy that plays all this cool Indian music and then there was a bunch of Indian folks working for an IT company and they hired me as a DJ. So, I ended up DJing for them and I was pretty horrible actually but they gave me a 00:11:00bunch of good songs that they actually wanted to hear because I was trying to play old Indian music from the 70s, from old Bollywood films and they were like, you've got it, but we've got to update you. You're doing fine but we've got to give you the latest stuff. So, I tried it again, like the next year, and at that point, I started to get the feel for like what modern Indian music really sounded like. And somehow, I just took off with this Bollywood thing for several years and developed a following in Richmond for not just Indian kids but for all kinds of people were showing up for Bollywood nights I was doing. So, I had my but they gave me better stuff and from there I developed a following in Richmond, not just for Indian kids but for a bunch of people. All kinds of people were showing up for these Bollywood nights, I had my radio show. The Bollywood nights stopped when the venue I was working at closed, but I still had my radio show and then I started doing this kind of weird dance party called 00:12:00nonstop "Kpop," not just for Korean kids and that was wildly successful as well. All of these things fed each other. Me having a radio show, exploring different types of music, people being interested and then me getting to DJ shows. It's amazing how much things have changed since I've moved back from NY. I will say though, I always had an aspiration to be an actual musician. I studied, I forgot to tell you, I studied classical guitar in HS with this Argentinian guy and I actually went to JMU and studied classical guitar for one year there and 00:13:00then switched to mass communication with an emphasis on digital production. So, I ended up switching to that major and minoring in music.
Keane: I play guitar too. I used to be super serious about it until HS. Fromlike 1st grade to 8th grade.
Hamm: Did you study under someone? Where did you take lessons?
Keane: I grew up in NY, so I went to...
Hamm: Then I wouldn't know them then. That's cool.
Keane: Yeah, I'm trying to get back into it recently. Kind of slowly.
Hamm: That's awesome. I have a friend who just recently moved back from NY00:14:00Yeah, my friend, that same friend whose parents played in the Richmond Symphony, I think he wants to start teaching guitar.
Keane: Yeah, I love classical.
Hamm: It's amazing really how many of the of the rock guitarists, started orwere influenced by the classical, Jimmy Page, Randy Rose, so many different people. But you know what I mean, there is a difference in my mind between playing music as a musician and then playing music as a DJ. I feel like lately, I just moved recently and got my amps set up again and can start playing and I feel like there is something really magical about playing my guitar. Much more meditative and sort of personal feeling, even though sometimes I will just sit 00:15:00and listen to music mixes from one of my shows and think wow that was really special mix.
Keane: Yeah, that's make sense, you're still creating with both.
Hamm: Yeah, it's the arrangement. You know what vibe that you're trying to getacross. My radio show is called "If Music Could Talk. That's named after a song by The Clash from their album send in east and it's an instrumental track that has one guy sort of babbling on one side of the stereo mix and some other person playing saxophone and more like weird snippets of poetry on the other side of the stereo mix and then right down the middle is a reggae track like reggae rhythm. But it's sort of like I took that as a name because music kind of expresses a feeling whether or not you can put it into words it doesn't matter. 00:16:00But every week I go into the station with kind of I might be feeling happy or maybe feeling sad I might be feeling playful but depending on what mood I'm in I'll I'll pick the records and songs and usually get a certain vibe across and that's why Yeah it's still creative. It's not creative like picking up a guitar or writing a song.
Keane:Yeah, you know I do understand. I kind of chose you because I feel like Itry to do some of the same stuff. Although, obviously, I'm not a professional--
Hamm: Well professional is a weird term because I mean a lot of times I enjoythings more when I'm not having to do it as a job. Like I started DJing for weddings and stuff and it was like 'man, why am I doing this, it isn't fun.' And now I had to pull back because it was starting to kill my enthusiasm for the whole DJing and yeah. 00:17:00
Keane: Yeah, that makes sense. So, what projects are you currently working on?
Hamm: Well I haven't even told you about this big project and I did. It startedin 2010. Out of my radio show grew this interest for Southeast Asian music. In particular partly because no one else was doing it at the station. No one else was playing it but also because just t something about the sound of like music from India. I had never heard stuff like it before and I was really curious. But I got into sort of and started working on playing music on my show from there. I went to buy a bunch of it on eBay, like original 60s records and I bought a bunch of them. What I didn't realize was half of the ones I bought were from 00:18:00Malaysia and Singapore which are very close to Indonesia. I sort of got hooked on this music from Singapore and Malaysia and it was something it was like 'man, there's no information about any of this these rock bands from the 60s. But someone should you know find out some of the info and like make a film or rerelease some of it on a compilation. So I wrote an email to these record label people called Sublime Frequencies. And pitch the idea that I could make an album of music from Singapore and Malaysia, like a compilation. It was like a thing. It was like late 90s, early 2000s. Everyone started making compilations of music from different parts of the world and like releasing stuff and I guess probably 00:19:00had some information or might have even worked with the artist and some of the artists that all didn't have any good information. It was just like a CD with a bunch of weird tracks from Vietnam or something. But my idea. I really wanted to get information about the artists and the people and learn about who they were and put with the music as much as possible. So anyway, I started a Kickstarter back when Kickstarter was still cool and it wasn't like played out as much. It's like people get tired of fundraisers these days but for a while it was really cool because it worked. It probably still works. I don't know if it would work for me if I tried it again but I successfully completed a Kickstarter that got me $3500 to buy a ticket to Singapore. And then from there I go to Malaysia and find all these musicians and talk to them and interview them and then ultimately 00:20:00ask them if I can re-release their music on a record. And all of that happened and I came back and I had a whole bunch of tracks that I was given permission to use and release them on that label. And then I released another album like four years later four years not 40 come of one of the particular artists that I met while I was over there the first time. It really helped me a lot. He had really cool music and a really cool story. So I actually released two records of music from Singapore Malaysia. They were pretty limited release is there were like 1000 records for the first release and then the second release was just a 1000 00:21:00records. We didn't do CDs but anyway I felt like I accomplished something. And I was able to introduce a bunch of people to this style of music from 60s rock bands from Singapore and Malaysia. I thought that that was cool. So now when I'm working on is like I just mentioned when I started playing guitar again and recording that I also need to finish this documentary about music from Singapore. So it was two times I went over there I recorded like days and days' worth of interviews and B-roll and scanned a bunch of photos and got a bunch of stuff written down about the history of that style of music. And now I just got to edit it. So yeah and I'm you know dragging my feel a little bit because I've been really distracted with work and stuff but it's still on the burner. And yeah music history but exciting like told in an exciting, personal way you know. 00:22:00
Keane: When is that going to be released or where?
Hamm: Well, it's hard to say. It's really hard to edit, especially when you haveway too much of it. But piece by piece I'm breaking it down. I've been doing editing like one interview at a time and just editing those into like standalone pieces and that process has helped me figure out what the best quotes and soundbites are in each of those interviews with each artist or deejays. I met some great radio DJ over there too from the 60s. It was pretty cool. And then I take the best of all those different interviews and try to squish it together 00:23:00into one thing that tells a story -sort of in a coherent way hopefully but as far as when I have no idea. But some day. And I guess it's important to note that the radio station that I volunteer for I don't get paid. It's a volunteer radio station. We do it because we love it. And everyone sort of gives what they can as far as their time. But then also there's this give what you can philosophy as far as how we are funded. So we ask our listeners twice a year to donate and somehow we're still on the air 12 years later so people must like what we do. And I think part of that is that we're so different from the commercial stations. We don't play commercial. We play really weird, crazy music 00:24:00and awesome alternative music and it's just it's one of those rare things in this world of commercial media that we have an independent station here in Richmond.
Keane:That is so true. I know I know.
Hamm: WDC he's pretty cool too. Back when I was in high school and I went tohear the latest track by Fill in the Blank band that was a punk or metal band I would tune into the WDC and I would call them up and ask them to play it.
Keane: I mean it's hard to find, I mean it's work. You have to look really hardto find like new music.
Hamm: Yeah. I mean you know I don't know how old you are but these days, it'schanged a lot. For obvious reasons. We didn't have the Internet. And when I was in high school or college, we started to have it in college, but now you just 00:25:00got so much you got Spotify and everything. It's crazy but I still think you know, it's great for people who are interested in old music like exploring music of the past too because people like me or you who might have a cool record collection can just sort of like make a mix and throw it up in the cloud in their spare time on lunch break and share that with the world back in the day. You'd have hoarders like me with these great record collections with no way to share with anyone. And I've noticed that like a lot of pop music these days, it does at least incorporate some international sounds much more. Yeah.
Keane:Yeah, definitely. I hear that. So, like are any downsides to the musicscene in Richmond in particular? 00:26:00
Hamm: Yeah if that's it that's something that your professor wants to focus on?I know I said often when we grow up somewhere, we don't necessarily view it with the same sort of unbiased critical eye that someone from outside you know? So leaving Richmond to go to New York, I was thinking to find all these like great opportunities in music there. And it was actually like, it was very competitive. 00:27:00It was very hard to survive on the paychecks I was receiving. And also, it was oversaturated. Even then like there are way too many DJs and musicians already trying to make it up there. So when I moved back to Richmond and I got this radio show unbelievably and Richmond really started to kind of like I don't know to me it felt like it was kind of having a rebirth back in 2004 2005 and I would say that I think that the radio station has played a big part in sort of pushing the culture forward. Because a lot of the independent musicians, arts groups whatever have gotten the word out through that station and it's built sort of a network of musicians and arts organizations and that sort of thing. Also, I know 00:28:00in the past I guess 15 years since I've been back from New York, but the amount of musical venues has definitely increased. The National gets you know the National's acts--
Keane:Yeah, the National is really good, it gets really great artists.
Hamm: Yeah, and I don't know when they opened but it wasn't like 10 years ago orsomething, you know, those are good things. Some of the downsides I see is likes there's a lot of music history and cultural history in Richmond that is sort of getting paved over and erased by a lot of really rapid development. Like I know 00:29:00Grey Street was eventually going to change you know because of VCU and its proximity but you know the history of just Grey Street as far as like the punk scene and hardcore scene in Richmond is incredible. It's still there. The street is there and actually a lot of the buildings are still there. And I think a lot of people are actually trying to like preserve a lot of that history. As far as like African-American music in Richmond, on Second Street there used to be all kinds of amazing jazz clubs, with Duke Ellington and James Brown and different people performing. I just wish we had more documentation of the history of music in Richmond in particular. But yeah personally going back to that again as far as Richmond is concerned I think we're doing much better than ever. And I hope 00:30:00that you know I think one of the concerns that's always been what we talked about a lot with Andy and that group about the music scene in Richmond is that music venues tend to be bars also. But you can't be a bar without being a restaurant in Richmond. So, there is this struggle to be a venue and not be all these other things you know and it's also like as a DJ or any performing artist, a lot of times it's hard to get a good paycheck right. You know so if you're going to do an event like on a regular basis you'd want to make enough to make it worthwhile. But it's hard to do that here at home.
Keane: Yeah, Dr. McGraw said not to ask about the pay.00:31:00
Hamm: Well I'll tell you. It ranges from you know a good wedding can be athousand or so and a bad DJ gig could be 50 bucks and few free drinks. And in both cases you've got to bring in a whole car load of equipment.
Keane:I think it sounds super fun, to deejay at a club or something like that.
Hamm: Yeah I mean I used to do it for like almost for free.
Keane:Yeah, I would do it for free (laughter)
Hamm: (laughter). Yeah, I used to do it almost for free, it was like 'hey giveme give me a few free drinks and let me play my records. That's awesome.' But after a while especially when people start coming up to you and they're like 'hey man keep playing Dubstep! I mean do you have any dubstep?' and you're like no, it's not dubstep night. Like I'm sorry did you just hear me playing Al 00:32:00Green? You know the Motown sound? And of course usually I'll try to play something they want or whatever but people can be really rude. If you're that DJ or it's like if you've ever bartended it's that same thing like snapping their fingers. They look at me like 'I need this. I need this I need this.' Wait a minute wait wait. I am not a jukebox. I am a deejay. If you want a jukebox go and listen to your iPod at the parking lot. It's frustrating.
But on a good night it can be really fun because when you see people out theredancing and just going crazy it energizes me and you know I don't want the party to stop it. It's 2 am still want to stop. It can be really fun.
Keane: Do you think I am asking enough direct questions and the right questions?00:33:00
Hamm: Yeah I think you are. I'm trying to think. Yeah. I mean I struggle with aquestion of like how you could improve the music scene here. I think it just takes time.
Keane:What kind of music is up and coming here?
Hamm: It's hard to say. We've got a lot of good groups here these days. And youknow as long as there's a radio station to play the music there's venues that will pay them to play the music. I mean I'm surprised that there's also the Broadberry. They seem to do a lot of hip hop and metal and other rock bands. Which is cool. The Camel seems to be doing a lot of like jam bands, folk music, 00:34:00indie rock sometimes and then reggae and hip hop. They're right downstairs from WRIR actually. I don't know what other venues are there. There's Black Iris. I don't know if you've heard about them but they do like sort of weird shows with like very cool underground avant garde artists. And it's almost like a speakeasy, you kind of have to know about the show through some weird Facebook thread or something because they don't advertise really. But they're down across from Steady Sounds on Broad Street like they're just right across the block. I think Richmond is definitely headed somewhere better as far as or you know anything is better than what it felt like in the late 90s. It just fell dead. But I just think you know culture things happen in cycles and in phases. 00:35:00Richmond definitely has diversified and grown a lot.
Keane: What do you think about the new generation of music?
Hamm: I like a lot of the rock bands I'm hearing these days. There's just abunch of bands, especially in Richmond. Like I really like this band called Fat Spirit. They used to be called Heavy Midgets but that wasn't PC. But they kind of sound a little bit like the Smiths but then they sound a little bit like something else. It's just really like cool, emotional, deep bass notes. It's 00:36:00hard to describe them. But I like them a lot. I also like this all girl band called Chastity Belt.
Hamm: Another funny name seemed like all the bands have ridiculous names.Seriously just scroll through the new releases on Spotify. But yeah, Chastity Belt is really cool. And they also sound kind of like the Smiths. I don't know I think I think I need to figure out why I'm always drawn to bands that sound like the Smiths. But also because it's really an atmospheric sound you know. It seems 00:37:00like there's more of retro exploration like bands that sound like they could've grow up in the 60s and then there's a lot of bands these days that are incorporating a lot of electronic music into their rock n roll or whatever. And then, you know as far as strictly like dance music and electronic music- that stuff's off the charts these days. You know the people that I know that actually know about the up and coming stuff in that electronic genre, blow my mind because all of the artists they play are artists that I've never heard of and you know I mean you know I feel like this is why it's easy to kind of go up now or just especially with sound.
Keane:Yeah, I feel like it's easier to really blow up now as an artist,especially because of Sound Cloud. I don't know if you know this whole Southern Florida rap scene. That's like, I mean, it's brand new but like there's like 00:38:00four or five rappers that are like blowing up these past three years just from Sound Cloud.
Hamm: I got to check that out.
Keane:Just South Florida. Yeah. You know specifically Broward County, Florida.
Hamm: You know I mix in like Kpop, I mix in a lot of trap music and I guessthere might be some Asian influence on hip hop too. But it's crazy how much trap 00:39:00you can hear in Kpop. But the one thing, there's this: I'm sick of hearing mandolins in advertising and foot stomping and hand clapping, like The Lumineers kind of stuff.
Keane:Yeah, it's the most generic sounding thing. I hear on those facebookcooking videos all the time
Hamm: But I feel like there's a formula for a lot of like new artists that aresupposedly daring, cool cutting-edge artists even. Yeah. There's a lot of 00:40:00copycatting. I love Florence and the Machine. But you could find ten other female singers that sound like Florence and I feel like it's yours truly. They
Keane:Yeah, I feel like every artist, even if they have a unique sound, theystill trying to push the same sound sometimes.
Hamm: Yeah like that that group alt J. I thought they were cool for like aminute. And they started out like you said. They started out in their bedroom, recording and then they blew up. That's what's cool to me about modern music. It's like everyone has access. You know it used to be, you would have to save up and book a recording studio or that you know somebody. Today, you could just throw it up and see if it goes. So there is you know the formulaic stuff like 00:41:00there's also like a crazy common tendency to have these like sped up chipmunk voices as samples I'm trying to think of a specific example but it's like there's a little chipmunk.
Keane:Yeah I know. I know a lot of them. You know there's one like Justin Biebersong that was super popular. I don't listen to Justin Bieber, but there was one where he collabed with like Skrillex I think. And they sampled his voice and they made it into the beat. 00:42:00
Hamm: Yeah, so I've been catching up on my podcasts, like ending them andpublishing them. I started this blog called Turquoisekid.blogspot.com. I've been 00:43:00podcasting every radio show since 2005. So, you can listen to all of my radio shows pretty much except for the last few weeks. I've been going through, like a little personal drama and I fell behind. Something I like doing, after my show I'm like oh it's herbals and I don't tell anyone like that but you know when you're live on the air it's different so if you if you misspeak or whatever, I just clip it out so that what I upload sounds perfect. My sister runs this blog 00:44:00called Boingboing which is really I guess a pretty big tech culture blog. And I did a remix of "Get Lucky' mixed with a bum rap song and she published it and then it got like 40,000 hits or something on Sound Cloud.And it wasn't even, I mean it was pretty good but I think I got lucky.
Keane:Yeah, with Sound Cloud, a lot of artists like exclusive and only put theirstuff on Spotify. I know a loophole with Soundcloud, if you like put the song in a mix, that it doesn't count as copyrighted. 00:45:00
Hamm: Well I think of Sound Cloud as more of like for tracks that people haveactually produced with MixCloud, it's just a bunch of mixes. But yeah I did try to mix Ring my Bell. I think it's Gloria Gaynor. It's an old disco song with For Whom the Bell Tolls by Metallica and I mashed them together and they wouldn't let me upload it because, I guess, probably it was probably Metallica because they've been always jerks about copyright.
Keane:All that stuff, it's interesting.
Hamm: This whole modern music scene. I like how you like how there are still00:46:00record stores. Yeah. I'm glad that I'm Richmond has at least has four or five good record stores because I still buy records. Although I do subscribe to Spotify pro because there's a lot of songs I don't want to purchase for like that one-off wedding song. I'd rather have it digitally. You know to get rid of it.
Keane:I mean you know I know there's also not there's also not a lot like GuitarCenters. Where I live, it closed down because really, you might order it on Amazon. The one thing though is that was nice to be able to go in and pick up a guitar and play. And you know there's definitely a group of people would just go to Guitar Centers. It's fun. I do I do sometimes, just bang on the drums, play the guitar.
Hamm: There's one on Broad Street here, right next to a Sam Ashe. It's awesome.00:47:00So are you still playing?
Hamm: Cool. Do you have a guitar here?
Keane:Yeah, and I brought a few books here too. Yeah. I also have a midicontroller too.
Hamm: Oh cool. What do you use that for?
Keane:I use this application. I don't have the pro version though so it turnsoff after like 10 minutes.
Hamm: Well I've seen that before. I think it's pretty awesome. That's basicallyexactly the same program as Traktor. The one I use I bought a copy of Traktor and the controller from somebody for like 50 bucks on Craigslist.
Hamm: Keep your eye on Craigslist. A DJ is born and a DJ dies every day.00:48:00
I mean metaphorically because like there's always that guy that wanted to be adeejay that decides he doesn't want to be a deejay anymore and then he'll sell you all his stuff.
Keane: There's another program too, Serato? But I don't like it as much.
Hamm: Yeah, Serato is definitely popular. It takes a lot of memory. I'm tryingto think of anything else. Richmond is cool. I also think it's cool, like we're starting to get more activity here. People it seems like they used to skip 00:49:00Richmond on their tours but now they're getting bigger.
Keane:I know the musicians and the rappers like they if they go on tour. Theyusually play in Richmond or like Virginia Beach, but it's definitely a region.
Hamm: Yeah it makes sense to me. I mean they can go from D.C. to Richmond toCharlotte to Atlanta. All right, I'm going to try and get back to some of your questions. I like working at a University. I love the fact that you're taking this course with Dr. McGraw because it was really cool to meet him because I had no idea that there was someone who was like so tuned into the Indonesian music. 00:50:00When like right across campus I was like all deep into Malaysian and Singaporean music so it was funny. We had lunch one time he was like man I had been hearing about this guy from Richmond that was doing this project on Malaysian music and I had no idea you were working here. I was like well I had no idea that you had this Indonesian Gamelan orchestra. And we were on the same campus. So, when we met he was really cool to like put me in touch with all the different people on campus that were doing interesting music projects. He also invited me to speak to his class one time about my whole trip to Malaysia the documentary stuff. And now I've had both of his bands the Gamelan and the Rumput band both of them are sort of different style of Indonesian music but I've had them both on my radio show and he even brought the whole music class to my radio show one time. 00:51:00
Keane:Cool. Do you interview people on your show?
Hamm: Sometimes, when I have the energy interviews and that's why, I'm reallytrying to be conscious of how long, we talk because the longer your interview goes the harder it is to hear it. Yeah. And so you probably like I would bet that you're only going to use that first 20 minutes of it. You know what's been amazing too is having a radio show gives you the excuse to call your favorite guitarist rapper singer or whatever. Hey I got a radio show can I interview you. Whereas normally it would be like oh can I get your autograph?But like they 00:52:00would have no reason to have a whole, hour long conversation with you but I have interviewed so many cool people and played them in the interviews on my show and then mixed in the music, you know and I'll promote them. So why not. But it's mind blowing like yeah yeah radio is fun.
Hamm: One interesting little series of interviews I did where I guess I feelpretty proud that I got to talk to all these different reggae, dancehall artists like the Yellow Man, Lone Ranger, Dennis Al Capone, Lady Ann, Carlton Livingston. All these different artists from Jamaica who were really awesome and 00:53:00it was so cool to talk to them because like the whole history of reggae is so interesting. The way it sort of influenced hip hop later on especially the dance hall from the 80s where like the 70s and 80s were like they were just sort of rapping over reggae rhythms.
Keane:And I know, electronic music is definitely heavily influenced by reggae music.
Hamm: Yeah it's cool. They just basically used to roll a flatbed truck out tosome big wide-open space with a bunch of speakers on it and play the latest records really loud and then from that develop this thing where they have sound clashes where like two different sound systems would show up and have face offs. 00:54:00It's funny because they what they call DJ was actually MCing. When I was interviewing these reggae leaders, it took me a while to figure out that Skype 00:55:00was the way to go because a few times I used calling cards to call like Jamaica or call Ghana. I interviewed this legendary African band leader named Nona Kwami and Badoo from Ghana and I called them all one of those Africa phone cards are $5 cards that I got. You know like I ended up with four or five different calling cards. So the quality of those interviews could have been better but the fact that I made it happen by any means necessary. Yeah. It's crazy. I 00:56:00interviewed the keyboardist for the doors once before he died Ray Manzarek. He was a total jerk to me but I probably didn't ask the best questions either which you would think like OK look this guy is taking the time to interview you. He wants to know about your history but I think that's another level. Like once you're like mega legendary rock star you just can't deal with the amateur radio host guy anymore. So I ended up getting 15 minutes of a pretty good interview. 00:57:00Anything else that has really been a rewarding part of having a radio show. I think one of the first people I interviewed was Ladybug Mecca of the Digable Planets. Check them out.
Keane:Yeah, I probably only know like the most popular, so like Biggie. I shouldknow more. 00:58:00
Hamm: And this is one of the Vietnamese cassettes of those weird tapes I boughtin markets in New York. I got this in Chinatown. But this is from the 70s like probably right after the Vietnam War.
Keane:There's a lot old school hip hop acapellas on the internet and you canmake like weird mixes but unique sounds. Like Biggie Smalls over the Thomas the Tank Engine theme song.
Hamm: No way. Wow, it's cool. Like, you know over time, just seeing how thingsevolve is amazing. So anything else you want to ask. 00:59:00
Keane:I mean I think we covered a lot. Know those are all the questions.
Hamm: So I guess one more thing. Somehow. I guess sometimes if you're reallyinto music you end up collecting and over the years. You become kind of like a collector. So like I've spent a lot of time trying get these old formats into digital formats. So like sometimes on a weekend I'll just like throw a Duke 01:00:00Ellington tape on and upload it over to my laptop. And then eventually I plan on like maybe uploading notes somewhere or these old Vietnamese tapes, like I transferred one of these to digital the other day and it is really cool. I wanna play it on the radio show.
Keane:So this was actually made in the 1970s?
Hamm: Yeah. Yeah. Well actually this was made in California, but that's where alot of refugees. Lot of Vietnamese folks ended up after the war. It's just it's interesting, like these old formats, you can't find stuff like this yet ton the web. So, it goes back to the original thing. Why I got into music. It's 01:01:00exploration. It's my curiosity. You can never run out of things to discover. It's really cool. It's a running stream the stream keeps running flowing and changing. It was beautiful but like all the different styles of music we have these days is like it all comes from somewhere. You know, it keeps changing.
Keane:Thank you, that was so good.
Hamm and Keane: It's great to meet you, man.01:02:00