The Statesman, “The Independent” and “The Press” were able to sit down with both The Cataracs and Mac Miller to talk about their careers, their personal life and their experience with the Stony Brook Concert. We chose some of our favorite questions to put in the issue. If you’re interested in hearing the full interview, it is available on our website, www. sbstatesman.com. All questions below, unless otherwise noted, were asked by The Statesman (Nicole Bansen or Basil John). Interview was edited for cursing.

Nicole Bansen: NB
Basil John: BJ
The Press: TP
The Independent: TI
Mac Miller: MM
The Cataracs: TC

Mac Miller performing at Staller. (PHOTO CREDIT: USG)
Mac Miller performing at Staller. (PHOTO CREDIT: USG)

MAC MILLER

NB: So I read that you were really into sports when you were younger. Would you have wanted to go into pro sports if you couldn’t do music?

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MM: I gave up on sports pretty early. I’m not good with people telling me what to do. When I was younger, I would fight with my coaches.

NB: You started music from a young age. Why did you get started?

MM: I’ve always loved music, and its funny because people always ask me, because I was white, about how I got into hip-hop, but it’s just music. (laughing)

BJ: How did you get into hip-hop?

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MM: I got into hip-hop at the same time I got into music. I was born in ‘92 so by the time I was old enough to listen to music, it was all coming from the same place.  I think The Beatles are one of the greatest bands in the world.

TP: Have you thought of collaborating with Lil B yet?

MM: A lot of people think that Lil B is a joke, but I really think he’s one of the best performers in the game right now.

TI: What was it like to collaborate with Earl Sweatshirt?

MM: We didn’t start out by making music. We kinda just hung out. I met him [Earl Sweatshirt] when I was getting a tattoo because that was the infamous tattoo shop is where they all hang out and we just started going to my house. And one day we just started making music. It was dope because we were both creating something.

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NB: You’ve worked with so many famous artists. Who was your favorite to work with?

MM: Me and Schoolboy Q probably have the most fun making music. We’re both really funny guys (laughter) and he gets really weird when he’s at my house. We’ve done some weird things that I can’t really talk about right now. (laughter)

TI: What made you switch from a party album to a more subtle, creepy sounding album?

MM: When I first got into making music I wanted to make chilled out music like I’m doing right now. The original “Best Day Ever” was actually supposed to be a huge psychedelic journey that comes out of children’s books and cartoons. What ended up happening though is you want to become successful, so your plan starts revolving around that. I eventually hit a point where I was like alright this s**t is mindless and easy.

TI: Goosebumps is a creepy, kind of schizophrenic song. How did you come up with that?

MM: I was on tour and I wanted to make this really nast song. Basically there are these imaginary women in my head that I write about all the time and Goosebumps is this re-occuring theme about characters that are the same from “Lucky A** B***h.” It’s like this nasty, freaky every kind of fancy chick. But not fancy like you want to be with- fancy like you just want to do things… like have sex with. (laughs)

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NB: Where did the style for the Larry Fisherman EP come from?

MM: It was you baby (laughter). I’ve been singing all this s**t for a long time and I was kinda always in it. So I was wrong on my album and stressing out, not sleeping for days starting to hate my track-list and all this bad, depressing s**t. So I made this jazz music and it was dope because I was like “F**k the album. I’m making a jazz album.” It let me escape from all this and it became my favorite album.

BJ: Did you ever see yourself becoming this big star?

MM: This is the thing. To me, I’ve really like always see everything as worse than it really is, but like what I want to happen and what I’m aiming for are so far away and prestigious. Before I do a show or drop an album I always to be in reality and not be weirded out about it.

NB: Our mascot is a Seawolf. If I were to ask you “What’s a Seawolf?” what comes to mind?

MM: S**t, I don’t know. Damn, a seawolf? A seawolf is a real thing? I was thinking this glorious, like, f**king unicorn type s**t. A seawolf looks more like Gollum.

The Cataracs performing at Staller. (PHOTO CREDIT : USG)
The Cataracs performing at Staller. (PHOTO CREDIT : USG)

THE CATARACS

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TI: Do you guys think there’s more freedom to play to college kids or a regular crowd? Is there something different about playing to college kids?

TC: Umm, yeah. I actually really enjoy playing to college kids because of the enthusiasm and the occasional intoxication. But, you know, it’s funny because people expect a lot of times that you want to play New York City, like Los Angeles. But a lot of times venues will kind of be occupied by people who fold their arms and they aren’t as engaged as a college crowd. They usually got in for a little cheaper and they just want to have fun. I mean when I was in college, I was enthusiastic about fucking anything I could do that wasn’t related to the school, especially when it was free.

NB: I read that you were actually in a fraternity?

TC: Yeah, I was.

NB: What was that like?

TC: Umm, well, I pledged and I crossed, which is fraternity speak for becoming a brother. And then I immediately dropped out of college so I suffered. That component of it, the suffering component and then I jumped ship so I never got to experience the other side: not being tortured.

NB: Did either of you have any crazy stories with your college experiences?

TC: It’s just me. He’s my tour manager. Just to fill you in, The Cataracs was comprised of two people. The Cataracs was also perceived to have a girl in it. Dev- she’s just a frequent collaborator. I found her because she was in the Bay and I found something she had put up on MySpace that she recorded onto her lap top.  The Cataracs became one person when David, the other guy, decided he wanted to travel. So he went to China and did some self discovery.

TI: Still in contact with him?

TC:   *inaudible*

TI: So you do still keep in contact?

TC: Yeah, we’re still really good friends… So yeah, it’s just me and that’s why I’m here.

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TP: Why did you keep the plurality in the name?

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TC: Well the thing is that The Cataracs gained a lot of notoriety for producing for people, for producing Dev, doing G6 and that was me. I’m the producer of the group. And it’s The Cataracs tag that popped for me and my career. So to drop what I’ve been using all along in situations where it might have just been me doing it in the first place seemed kind of silly because I mean I built up that brand a lot and I put a lot of heart and soul into that brand. You know, there are a couple of instances- like Boys Noise… the Head Hunters.

TP: I love the intros to your song.

TC: Literally, Dev was in her a pajamas, had just woke up and was like “We need something to put on our songs.” And she went and she did a bunch of them and one of them was like “Hey, it’s the Cataracs” or it was just like “You are listening to The Cataracs.” And I think we picked the right one.

NB: You’ve worked with so many different people, Dev just being one of them.  Who has been your favorite person to work with?

TC: Umm, I’ve been doing an Enrique Iglesias album so we’re almost done with it. And I think the perception of Enrique is that he is just this Latin heartthrob who is always looking slightly mystified at a sexual angle at the camera but he’s really just a normal cool ass guy. I think the first time we worked together I was slightly intimidated and then we drank a little bit, making some d**k jokes and his favorite jokes are gay jokes. Like if you didn’t know that, he’s like “I’m gay.” He was like that’s okay around me. Although he’s happily… but that was amazing. Robin Thicke. We’ve been working with him on his new album. He’s incredibly talented. He has the voice of, like, Baby Jesus.  I couldn’t be more happy for the success of “Blurred Lines” because…it’s kind of like he didn’t have anything for a little bit. But he’s like- never let it get to him. He really was just passionate about music.  And his mentality was just about making good music.  If it becomes a big hit, cool. If it doesn’t, whatever.  And then he has “Blurred Lines”. When they are just generally passionate about making good music.

TI: What’s the difference between collaborating with other artists and just doing it on your own?

TC: The difference is, umm, well some of it is easier to do music for other people because sometimes it’s easier to tell people what they should be doing with their life and that their boyfriend sucks or their girlfriend sucks and it’s harder to make those assertions. And it’s hard to make those assertions about  what kind of music you want to make. You can kind of run your head in circles sometimes. And you can sit in front of a computer when it’s your song and you just don’t know what to do and you delete it. And you do something new and you delete that. Collaborating on music is such a human experience. It’s always better when you collaborate. I’ve started to even on my own music, have a couple of people that I trust in the room and bounce ideas off of.

TP: When you collaborate, do you usually start from scratch or do you bring stuff to the table right off the bat?

TC: Well I started to get good at strategically having something I thought was good for somebody. For The New Boys, they had the jerkin’ thing.  And it was a little bit hard to see how that was going to get any bigger. Like how are you going to beat the jerkin’ song? And so I came up with back seat for them. When they came into the room, I didn’t try to be like “Here’s what you’re going to do. This is what you’re going to do with your career right now. Here’s what it makes sense for you.

NB: Could you see yourself ever collaborating with Mac?

TC: Yeah, yeah definitely. I really respect him and think he’s one of the big innovators of the industry. I have a lot of respect for him since he made himself independently.

TI: What was it like working with Far East Movement?

TC: So we had the chorus for G6, so you know, we got in with these people and I’ve heard about them before. I made the beat in maybe 25 minutes and it just clicked, and we clicked, and I just sang my part (laughter).

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NB: What are you hoping to get out of the crowd today?

TC: Hopefully excitement (laughter) I really do like the college environment so I really hope there is some enthusiasm, maybe they can pre-game before the show.

TI: Besides Enrique Iglesias, what else do you have coming up?

TC: I did Shawn Paul’s new single, called “Other Side of Love,” I did Selena Gomez’s single called “Slow Down.” I’ve been working on “Big Dipper”, which is the new Cataracs album that we are about to release the music video for. Have you heard it?

(Discussion starts between students reactions towards Cataracs recent songs, and the change in dance music.)

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TC: You know what’s crazy? Nobody really knew about Daft Punk before they worked with Kanye on his one album, and that was really controversial at the time.

TP: Yeah, Kanye samples a lot of their music. They were on his album too.

The Independent/ Statesman: They did “Out on Sight.”

TC: Yeah they worked on that together (laughter).

TP: Do you wanna talk about Becky G a bit?

TC: Yeah, so Dr. Luke he discovered Katy Perry, Kesha, he’s worked on a few Britney Spears albums. So there is this new artist named Becky G., and we became friends due to a large part of writing with her. She just did Jesse‘s new single called “Excuse My Rude” and it, have you heard it?

TI: Was that song in “Kick-Ass 2”? Because I know she did a song for that movie.

TC: I don’t know, but I really like “Kick Ass” (laughter). I mean, I didn’t see the second one, but Chloe Moretz is so fucking cool in those movies.

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NB: You got to see the second one, man.

TI: She is about to blow up.

NB: Ok so I have to ask one last question. Our mascot is called a seawolf, and I have to ask what you think that is. (laughter) There is no wrong answer.

TI: Don’t worry there is no pressure here.

TC: What a seawolf is? It’s probably like a shewolf.

TI: Shewolf?

TC: But an aquatic shewolf, a marine shewolf. Umm seawolf sounds like you were running out of ideas for a mascot.

NB: DING DING DING. That’s the right answer.

TP: It looks like a scary eel thing with giant teeth, but if you ask anyone on our campus what a seawolf is they say what’s a seawolf?

Everyone: I’m a seawolf. (laughter)

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Nicole is a senior majoring in journalism at Stony Brook University. She joined The Statesman fall semester of her freshman year and expects to continue writing for them until she graduates later this year. She couldn’t be happier being the A&E editor and looks forward to expanding her writers' involvement with the paper. Her favorite experience in the arts section was covering the 2011 Tribeca Film Festival. While Nicole does enjoy the arts, she has a passion for international affairs. Currently, she can speak three different languages and doesn’t plan on stopping there. One day, she hopes to work for Al Jazeera or the BBC.

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