Girl Talk has already created a bit of post-millennial tension with his new album, Feed the Animals, and now he’s looking to take things to the next level: post-apocalyptic.
When we caught up with him backstage at Lollapalooza — while we were in the midst of his so-called “Party Patrol,” no less — he spilled the beans on plans for his final show, firmly scheduled to take place on December 21, 2012: the end of the Mayan calendar and the date when many are predicting the world might very well explode.
So, you know, it should be a relatively killer show.
“I want this to end when I’m on top. So I’m planning my final show on December 21, 2012. It’s when the Mayan calendar ends. It’s the day when solids become liquids and liquids become plasmas,” GT — a.k.a. mild-mannered Gregg Gillis — laughed. “So I’m building up to that — we’ve got four years — so maybe there’s going to be a couple other small releases in the works. The album just came out, so I have no plans for another release, but I’m constantly starting to work on new stuff, just for the live shows.”
And while Gillis is still keeping details of his apocalyptic farewell close to the vest — er, sleeveless T-shirt — he did let us know that he’s planning on making it a marathon, not a sprint. After all, this is the End of Days we’re talking about here — it’s gotta be epic.
“I used to play very short sets, and now I kinda play a standard 45-minute to one-hour set, so I think I wanna do a 24-hour set, [and] I want it to be a stage production, but one where the lines become blurry between reality and complete stage me. I want it to be an endurance test, and I want it to be miserable and equally fantastic. I want the best of both worlds,” he explained. “I think [in] too many shows, people are too aimed at pleasing the audience. If you want to do a really great show — which I haven’t fully done yet — you have to really make it bad for them for like 20 hours and then you can kill it for four hours, and everyone will be really excited. I think people ignore the dynamics of how you can work with an audience.”
Sounds exhausting. But since his farewell gig is still more than four years away, Gillis is focusing most of his time and energy on the business at hand: promoting Animals, which he rush-released to the Net via a “pay what you feel” scheme back in June. While he claims that he and his label, Illegal Art, “don’t know” the actual number of people who downloaded the album (“I honestly am not lying … I wish I knew. I’m sure we’ll release a figure at some point. I’ve literally spoken to the guy who runs the label once since the album came out”), Gillis is already convinced that the plan was a success. After all, the guest list for each show keeps getting more and more surreal.
“Feed the Animals had helped make it a bit bigger, so as the music spreads in general, it’s bound to attract a wider variety of people. People from an underground world, people from a more mainstream world. It’s just more vague, which is cool to me — I love vague stuff,” he smirked. “I had Big Boi from Outkast come out to a show last year. And I talked to Thurston Moore, who was totally unaware of anything I did, but I told him I sampled music on my album, and he was cool with it. So, from there, the only place left to go is retirement, you know?”