Gregg Gillis went to sleep at around 7 a.m. Monday (November 15) and awoke several hours later to discover he had broken the Internet.
“I was up all night helping to get everything ready for the album, and eventually, I had to turn my phone off and ignore it so I could actually go to sleep,” he laughed. “And when I woke up at 3 p.m., it was, like, complete chaos. It was kind of like the Internet had erupted Girl Talk everywhere.”
Gillis — who you know as Girl Talk, the mastermind behind no-samples-cleared party starters like 2006’s Night Ripper and ’08’s Feed the Animals — is, of course, talking about All Day, the brand-new GT album he released out of nowhere (and for free) on Monday. You know, the one you’ve probably spent most of the day attempting (unsuccessfully) to download.
And yes, it’s been a pretty hectic day for him and his label, Illegal Art.
“It was already staring to bubble when I went to sleep. … It went up at around 5:30 a.m. Eastern Time. I actually posted a link on my personal Facebook first, and people on there were like, ’Whoa, this is really it?’ ” he laughed. “I think the few kids who had been up all night or the people who don’t have day jobs who happen to be up at 5 in the morning were all kind of stunned by it a little bit.
“And then I announced it on the Twitter … and it started blowing up a little bit. You know, the Wikipedia page started, and people started listing samples,” he continued. “And again, since I woke up, it’s been insane … just endless messages and so-and-so person wants to talk to you today. … And then, people haven’t been able to download it, because the site has been down — which I’m sorry for — so, yeah, it’s been a crazy-ass day.”
Gillis began working on All Day in earnest back in 2008, almost immediately after wrapping up production on Feed the Animals. The goal, he said, was to create even more music to work into his live sets — “People are always eager to hear new stuff,” he sighed — and so he began crafting and grafting what would eventually become the biggest album of his career: 70-plus minutes of rapidly shifting party tracks, built almost exclusively on samples of music by everyone from Katy Perry and Lady Gaga to the Steve Miller Band and Depeche Mode (to name four artists he managed to work into one song on the album). It’s what Gillis has been known for ever since he broke onto the scene (and out of his day job) back in 2006 with Night Ripper, only pushed to the nth degree. On purpose
“The big feature of this album is giving samples a little bit more breathing room. … There are segments on the new record that are extremely detailed and cut-up and, you know, 10 samples will go by in 10 seconds, but I feel there’s less of a focus on that compared to previous albums,” he said. “I’m really interested in the rate of change but sticking with the same source material for a bit longer. It’s a little bit more patient, mostly because I’ve spent just about every day working on it, editing it, going over each segment. It’s been a full-time commitment.”
And, for the most part, Gillis had been working on the album in total secrecy, which is part of the reason he just decided to release it without any notice (or price tag) on Monday. It seemed somewhat fitting. And, to be honest, it was just about the only way he was going to stop tinkering with the thing.
“There are some things, like, [a sample of Willow Smith’s] ’Whip My Hair,’ that I added, like, a week ago,” Gillis laughed. “The first edit was on October 26, my birthday, and then I spent, like, a week fine-tuning. And there was one part on the album that I was hung up on, which is why we didn’t release it on Friday, and then we worked on it over the weekend and kind of finished up yesterday, to be honest. It definitely feels like Christmas morning or something, because I’ve been working on this thing for so long and going crazy trying to wrap it up.”
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