Once again we are on the high seas of Boston’s finest. It is around 8pm on August 8th, 2016 and after dodging some stormy skies, the sun is blazing and we’re ready for a night full of dirty beats and booty bumping. To carry us into our celebration, I’m here with Barclay Crenshaw, more formally known as Claude VonStroke who is prepared to throw it down in just a matter of minutes. But until then, we’re discussing some of his inspirations, future plans and BBQ obsession.
ASHLEY FELDMAN: What’s going on for you as of late in your career? Any exciting endeavors to report?
CLAUDE VONSTROKE: I’m almost done making an album under my real name: Barclay Crenshaw, more hip hop instrumental type stuff. I’ll probably have some new Claude VonStroke stuff out in the winter.
AF: It sounds like doing a rendition EP will provide you with the space to explore some other sounds. But, what inspired Dirtybird in the first place?
CVS: I had moved from Detroit to San Francisco and met some guys that were into the same vibe as me. But, none of us were very happy with some of the music we were hearing in nightclubs. We all agreed on Drum n Bass but girls weren’t heading out to those kind of shows anymore. So, we wanted to combine hip-hop, Drum n Bass and gritty techno into regular San Fran house music and disco that we saw trending.
AF: So, what are you trying to accomplish or share with the world through this unique blend?
CVS: I’m trying to have really great production and some unexpected elements, without taking it too seriously.
AF: Your Brooklyn edition of the Dirtybird BBQ series is coming up on September 11th. For those of us who have missed out up until this point, what can we expect in attending?
CVS: The BBQ is a little bit different this year. It’ll look a little bit like a county fair with games and best in shows contests for things like most creative outfit. Before we were just giving away free cheeseburgers, but this time around we are having it catered from authentic BBQ vendors. The only catch is it’s not free anymore, haha but it’ll be way better.
AF: Your Youtube channel features production tips amongst other tutorials often based off the arrangement of your own tracks. I can imagine there being potential vulnerability in this kind of exposure.
CVS: You know I thought about the risk, but these days you can find out whatever you need to, to sound like anyone. Everything is online and there’s all kinds of tips everywhere. But you can’t copy someone’s brain. It doesn’t scare me to put out techniques, because at the end of the day we all see things differently. I interpret things in ways no one else can and vice versa.
AF: It’s clear you have the bandwidth to help others. What is your motivation in doing this?
CVS:That kind of goes back to my childhood, I was big on the internet but I couldn’t find out anything about how to produce EDM or hip-hop and I really struggled. I didn’t know what I was doing for like 10 years. Needless to say, it took me a long time to get into the industry because I had no mentor. So, I don’t have any problem helping people out.
AF: With that being said, always smiling in pictures, you’re notoriously known for your positive attitude and friendly demur as a professional. How do you view success that you think has shaped your humility?
CVS: I think the best thing that has happened for me and my whole label is that we are all friends who came up together. It’s not just an individual project, we’re a team and that’s really awesome. I can see how it would be lonely to just be all on your own and get famous and nobody knows what the f**k you’re talking about, haha. I’m glad that it didn’t happen that way for me. Even my family understands what I’m doing and they are supportive about it.
AF: Who were your favorite producers growing up? What got you interested in this, in the first place?
CVS: It was mostly just old 80′s and 90′s hip hop stuff growing up. But I was also influenced by Green Velvet and some Detroit techno. So that’s even crazier that I’m working with him now. I didn’t get influenced by that much house, even though I produce house, it’s weird how that worked out.
AF: What makes being here in Boston special for you tonight?
CVS: I’m just happy that we’re out on the water! It’s beautiful weather haha, I’ve never played a boat cruise in this city before. It’s not necessarily the first thing you’d think about when you picture being here.
AF: Anything else you want your fans to know about you?
CVS: I think the BBQs will be awesome and the Campout is going to a whole other level, that’s our festival outside of LA. So if you feel like making the trip, it’ll be worth it.
AF: How can we best keep up with ya in the meantime?
CVS: I use twitter the most @vonstroke and if you want to follow my new alias its @BarclayCrenshaw.
AF: Great we’ll definitely look out for that one. That’s all I have for you, thanks Barclay!