RANT Magazine interview with Todd & Crook of Team Sleep - Dec 2001
So I have been hearing about this project called TEAM SLEEP for some
time now but never really knew what was crackin' with it, Then all of a sudden I see tour dates and was like 'What'l?* They don't even have any music outi I know that CHINO is the mastermind behind it all, but also know that DJ CROOK and TODD play some role in what is going on. Being that CHINO is always the one everyone turns to for info, interviews, etc., I decided to be different and find out the dilly from DJ CROOK and TODD themselves, as they ready for the Team Sleep Inaugu- ral Tour in mid-December. I met up with them at DJ CROOK's crib. SURVIVOR was in full effect when I got there so I had to wait, then was like ummm .... I don't have a recorder to record the interview, but never fear because the Future WWF Women's Lightweight Chomp Robyn "N Stealin' Byrnes was at the Capitol Garage covering the HELLA show, where I found her fully strapped with the dopest recorder ever!
Anyways, once back at the crib, I proceeded to drill both DJ CROOK and TODD ... wait, that didn't sound good. Maybe I should use a different word. How about inquire about TEAM SLEEP with Mr. CROOK and Mr. TODD? Much better.
Who exactly is in Team Sleep? Is it basically DJ Crook, Todd and Chino?
C: That's the main deal, Zach is also .... what is Zach? ... (asking Todd) Is he like a guest or what?
I heard there was going to be other people on the album as guest stars?
C: Mary Timony from Helium, Mike Patton, and Zach as guest drummer.
Who come up with the name Team Sleep?
Todd and Crook In unison: Chino
Is there some sort of story behind that?
T: Laughing loudly .....
C: I don't know the story, Todd knows the story .....
Because to me you can read into It like you like to sloop really hard or like to sleep a lot together. Can you expand on that?
C: I have no idea.
T: We were gonna call it something else, then Chino said Team Sleep, then that's what we decided to call it.
C: Cuz Chino's the singer.
How did Team Sleep form, did Chino come to you guys?
T: A long time ago me and Chino were fucking around with guitar stuff, like 8 years ago, and said, 'yeah let's make some songs', That was a
looong time ago, then we lagged real hard, then Chino said something about hooking up with Crook. I met Crook through Frank, then me and Crook started working together. We were just doing shit to make music, then it just went from there. We wrote some songs together, Chino heard them and he liked them, that's how it came together.
So, from listening to Chino's music, you see his musical tastes are real diverse. What are your musical influences in general?
T: Well I think we kinda all listen to the some shit. Obviously Crook is more in the hip-hop, Chino is more Cure, a lot of metal ..... I am kindo similar to Chino. We all kinda listen to the same stuff with different angles on it, I don't know. I mean with every kind of music, 90% of it is crap and 10% is good, whether it's country ..... I really thought that I didn't like country music, but I work with this dude who listens to the country music station and it's the same percentage with music on there. Whether it's hip-hop or country or college, it doesn't matter. 90% of it is crap and 1O% of it is good!
So what are y'all bumpin' right now?
T: I just got my Phallucy CD so I've been rockin' that.
C: Actually, our shit. Besides that, the lost thing I was bumping was 'Amnesiac' (Radiohead) and Mogwai, except when I get on the turntables, I play the hip-hop shit. I think I was spinnin' The Time, Ice Cream Castles, all that shit.
T: I was just rockin' some old Dinosaur Jr. shit. I had to bring back some old shit, I don't wanna be too cynical. I'm just not trying to work for it, you know what I mean? Sometimes you just gotta start over again.
How long have you been doing music individually? I know you and Crook are up there in the age and all...
C: I started DeeJayin in 87' (Todd bursts out a loud 'FUUCKK!'), after I graduated from high school. Then I bought my drum machine, which I am using for this album, in '90 ..... my SP 1200. 1 have been maiking beats on that since then.
T: I have been playing guitar probably around 10 years. No wait, less than'that, probably around 7 years.
Is that all you play, you like a one trick pony?
T: I play bass too and I play key- boards but I don't really know what I'm doing. I put my fingers on it. I play keyboards on the record but
that doesn't mean I know what I am doing. I like it, Fuck it.
How long has the .... I guess you said 8 years ago ... how long has this project taken?
T: I just told you a second ago that I have been playing for 7 years and that me and Chino had been playing for 8 years (laughter .... hahah)
C: Caught you dudel You're a liar, a fucking liar!
C: When I went on the road with
them the first time, I think it was the House of Fur tour in '98, I think that's when Chino first blurted it out to me. It was him and Todd at that point and I guess he heard my shit and decided to put me on it.
How did it progress from there?
C: After that Chino would send me tapes, I would sample it and make beats. Chino would send me guitar licks of him and Todd and I would sample it into the drum machine. We would trade tapes back and forth.
You guys are going on tour here soon (nervous laughter by both). What can we expect? What is the set gonna be like?
T: It's gonna be as much of a surprise to us as it is to anybody. When we play live, Zach is going to be on the drums and Sonny from Phallucy will be on the guitar because most of the shit I write on guitar, I am really not technically able to play guitar very well. Everything I did was on a 4- track, so I just layered a bunch of real simple shit, to where it's like three guitar parts. Most of the songs I write are like that, so it's kind of hard to do on one guitar. So I am going to play guitar, Sonny will play some guitar and
Zach will be playing drums. Hopefully we might have some other people hangin' out, and Crook...
C: I will be runnin' the drum machine, turntables, and maybe some keyboards.
Is this a warm-up tour or test tour?
T: I think it's called a 'Wing lt tour', Trial by fire!
C: We don't know what's gonna go down the first show.
I've heard some of the songs on the web and the ones you played for me, 'Kool Aid', 'King Diamond' and 'Ligeia' are some of the titles. Are those just working titles?
C: Most are just working titles.
T: 'Kool Aid' Is pretty much decided unless we get sued.
You could just call it 'Cool Ade'. How do you come up with the song titles? Is it the lyrics, the mood?
T: 'Kool Aid', I remember exactly how that came up, When we made that song we were in the studio and it just sounded real dark and suicidal, like some Jonestown shit, real dark. We were like, 'Damn that's some suicidal shit! That's not just suicidal that's some straight Jonestown shit.' and that's how we named it 'Kool Aid'. The 'Ligeia' one, it's the name of a story, an Edgar Allen Poe story. 'King Diamond', that was some drug shit.
C: We're pretty sure that won't be the final name.
I sit In front of a computer all day and peep the message boards and web sites. What do you think of the Internet and how it can help with exposure?
C: We both go on the message boards every once in awhile. It's a good way to get your music out there and the information you want to share.
How do you guys take the comments from the haters and the crazy shit people say, especially on the message boards? Do you guys get pissed off and say 'fuck it'and go on there and start your own shit?
C: At first I was trippin', then I was like 'You can't please everyone, that's the bottom line'. It's funny that some people talk shit when they've never even heard our shit yet!
T: I go on the message boards, it's cool. I'm stoked about the web sites that the fans make about our band. There's a
lot of kids on that message board, I'm stoked that people want to hear our music, but I don't really go on the Internet that much, I got real hyped about it at first, but now I'm kinda burnt on it. It has a lot of potential.
Do you have any Particular sites that you go to frequently, like Team Sleep sites? Do you work with those people on spreading the word?
T: Well, sometimes they ask us for shit, they will have some questions here and there. We are not working with them to try to promote our shit, but if they want anything we will give it to them. All they're doing is totally hookin' us up.
We don't have any control over what they do.
Now tall are you guys? (Laughter)
C: 2.4 meters, 5ft 5, that's an even number right there.
T: Stop lying motherf ucker! 5'5 with some 2 inch heels on!
C: How tall are you bitch!? ... (to Todd)
T: 5'11 and 3 Quarters ..... 4 ft 23?
C: You're a stallion.
Do you guys have any nicknames for each other?
C: That's T- Love.
T: He's DJ Crook.
C: Chino calls Todd 'Pookie Bear'.
T: We call Chino 'Bilbo Baggins' cause if you've ever seen the Hobbit he's got some hairy-ass feet.
What about Crook?
C: That's it, Crook. That's my nickname.
Have you guys recorded anything yet in the studio?
T: We went to a studio in Seattle in
May, and in September we recorded some more songs here in Sacto at Retrofit. Seattle was a totally rad experience, rad people, beautiful
place. Here was Sac was cool too, It was right down the street from home. My friends own it, so it was family all the way around. We did 4 tracks in Sacto and around 10 or so in Seattle, They are not all done though.
How many tracks will be on the album?
C: Not too many, Not too little.
T: Probably around ten.
Do you guys have any funny stories?
Anything weird happen while recording?
T: Not really except Crook peeing on a dead squirrel.
C: That's true, except it didn't happen while we were recording.
C: That was after we left the studio.
C: That was a long piss. I walked for two blocks and didn't stop pissing. I wrote my name on a squirrel in piss.
T: He wrote the Preamble to Declaration of Independence!
Do you have any plans after the December tour, any other bands?
T: We don't know what we are going to do.
When is the projected date for the release of the album?
C: March is what I hear.
T: You heard that? I was just guessing.
Is it going through Maverick or Chino's own label?
Is it true that there is no 'I' in the word 'team'?
T: No, but team spelled backwards is ....
Out of all you guys, which one of you gets the most sleep at night?
T: I sleep the most, but I called Crook today at noon and I had been at work for 4 hours and he still wasn't up.
Crook might sleep the most at night but I sleep the most during the day.
C: Yeah. You don't really sleep a lot during the night
T: That's cuz I was keeping it real....
You guys are a team, right? So what's your record?
T: We're zero and zero. No wins, no losses.
Is anyone else In your league?
T: At this point were still in spring training. We made the cut.
Do you guys pee in your bed?
T: I can't remember the last time I peed in my bed.
C: It's been awhile...
T: I peed in Crook's bed last week.
C: Yeah, he left me a nice yellow rose.
So now that things are a little clearer, go check them out at the Colonial Theatre on December 23rd to see what big and bad things TEAM SLEEP is about to unleash on the music world. Also be on the lookout for some other projects that DJ Crook is involved in. He is currently working on the CO-DEFENDANTS turntable/ beat project with Deftones' DJ Frank and Verbatum's DJ Epik. You can check out the Co- Defendants web page at www.decibeldevils.com for more info on that project soon. I also understand that Crook has been working on remixes (with Todd) for Linkin Park (to be released on their remix album) as well as Tinfed. I am excited to hear all these projects, as both Crook and Todd seem to have a creative grasp on innovative new sounds and classic music. I want to thank DJ Crook and Todd (T-Love) for taking time out of their busy schedules to sit down with Senor All-Too for the 411. I would like to give shouts out to the following folks/things .... Jolly Ranchers, La Placita Restaurant, Heineken Beer, Bloody Mary's, RANT Magazine (Can I get a XXL shirt?), www.sactoca.com (good Deftones news web site), Dallas, and NFL Football and NBA Basketball (Kings baby!!)
Thanks to RANT Magazine