Animal Collective Bandemonium Interview with DJ Jon Ver Steegh

Why did you choose Animal Collective?

Whenever I listen to music, I always (intentionally of not) try to deconstruct it into its parts, and find out how it was made and why it is so good. This helps me make music of my own, and helps me more deeply appreciate what I hear.

The bands I love are those that defy this decomposition. When I hear Animal Collective, I am usually left baffled without want for any reason why. Whatever mindset, skill set, or background they have, it is some thing that I know I can never attain, and that brings me the deepest satisfaction of all. Superficially, I could say that they cross through all of my favorite styles in their discography (experimental psychedelic, noise, math-rock, lo-fi acoustic, summer DJ grooves) and that this is why I love their music. But my connection goes back to specific ineffable moments in my life that naturally became associated with whatever AnCo record I was obsessed with at the time, and every time I hear them, I relive those moments. Indescribable moments need indescribable music, and that is why I chose Animal Collective.

What is your favorite story/tidbit about the band?

They once recorded an entire record on tape in a screen porch, before all the imitators. They played acoustic guitars, but in a way you’ve never heard them played before. As a guy who loves getting cool weird sounds out of electric guitars and electronics, it is wonderful to hear that there are still new sounds to get out of acoustic instruments. The album is Campfire Songs and I like listening to it in the sauna.

What is your favorite song and why?

No way in hell am I answering this.

Can you give a basic background story of the band?

Childhood friendship, talent, psychedelic drugs, masks, and life. You know the drill. Go to wikipedia for more, I won’t butcher their history for you. There have been between 2 and 4 members throughout their history: Avey Tare (primary), Panda Bear (primary), Geologist, and Deakin.

Tell us why you love DJing on KRLX!

KRLX is freeform and 24/7. Any time I listen in, I could hear anything someone might think to send up to the antenna. Any time I DJ, I can play and say whatever I want, and whether someone’s listening or not, I know it’s out in the air for all to hear. It’s a feeling you can only understand once you’ve sat in the studio.