Friday, December 10, 2004



I first heard Bill Ding on John Peel, and they (not he) stood out for not only the ribtickling name but strong

Hi how are you and where are you?
Doing great. Currently, I'm in front of the computer in the Hefty office and I'm finally getting around to your questions. 10:30pm

Why have Bill Ding called it quits?
It's not easy to come up with a simple answer to that, but maybe I can sum it up. Dan and I had always been different from each other (backrounds in music, lifestyle, etc.), but our enthuisiasm for music held us together. Our differences also added an interesting variable for collaboration. We started the group in high school (although we didn't realease a record for some time after) and I think it was a nice break from school, which we both had a lack of interest in. After time (2 to 3 years later) our lifestyles began to clash more and more. I felt that our differences also began to affect our music. Dan was thriving to be the rock star and I was striving to be the family man behind the controls. I eventually decided that I wanted to focus on a new solo project (Slicker) and discussed it with Dan. Although there were some bad feelings to begin with, it has since resolved itself. Dan and I talk to each other from time to time and there has been no need for animosity.

What did you release during Bill's lifetime?
In chronological order...
"Just a Nick in the Car Door" b/w "Wash" 7" (HEFTY RECORDS)
"And the Sound of Adventure" full-length (HEFTY RECORDS)
"Make It Pretty" b/w "Know It Right" 7" (HEFTY RECORDS)
"Trust in God, but Tie Up Your Camel" full-length (HEFTY RECORDS)
"Horrendously Named" EP (SMILEX RECORDS)
We also contributed tracks to four separate compilations.

Who are your influences?
Well, I have many, but I'm not sure how they reflect on the music. Jimmy Giuffre, Grant Green, Idris Muhammed, Eric B. and Rakim, The Bomb Squad, Public Enemy, James Brown, King Tubby, Scientist, Derrick Harriot, Kraftwerk. More recently Autechre, Aphex Twin, John McEntire.

What kind of following did/do you get?
I don't think our following was/is too large, but as far as what kind of following it is, it's hard to gauge since we never went on the road. We never had the chance to get feedback from people who were listening to our records. Touring was another sore spot between Dan and I. He wanted to tour, I didn't. I didn't think it would make sense. First, I don't think I'm much of an entertainer and second, we wrote all of our songs in the studio, never practiced. I thought it would be a step backwards for the quality of the music. He wanted to rock and I can't blame him.

How would you pigeonhole Bill Ding's music?
Using the word pigeonhole makes it sound like a trick question. We do what we can to avoid a catagory. I mean, in simple terms it's a rock group. It's not jazz, hip hop, lo-fi or funk although critics have found that it has qualities of all. I like that our sound was hard to grasp, but at the
same time its lack of bearing can turn people off.

Do you run/work for Hefty?
I run Hefty out of Chicago and have just opened an office in the UK.

Describe what kind of label Hefty is
A label that take things seriosly and doesn't limit itself. I will put out just about anything that is interesting enough for me to get excited about and get behind. I do try to unify the label with its graphic design, quality and feel. I hope to keep growing.

What have you planned for the future?
We have five records set for release:

Euphone "Breaking Parole" EP - follow up to the self-titled release on
Hefty. One-man band (Ryan Rapsys) from Chicago. This record features some
help from Bill Dolan of 5ive Style/Heroic Doses.

Slicker "Confidence in Duber" Full-length - My solo project.

Chisel Drill Hammer Self-titled EP - Debut record.

Ghosts & Vodka 7" - features member of Cap n Jazz, Joan of Arc and Tetsuo.

"Reach the Rock" soundtrack full-length - Soundtrack that features original
score by John McEntire with band tracks from Dianogah, The Sea and Cake,
Bundy K. Brown, Polvo and Tortoise.

What's the scene in Chicago like?
It's hard for me to say because I live here. Sometimes I'm surprised to hear that Chicago has a scene. When you are in the middle of a scene you don't think of it in the grand sense. There is no doubt that great music comes from this city, some of the best in the world. Chicago has a rich
history in many styles (dance, blues, jazz, rock) and I think the younger musicians feed off it. I often take all of the our great music for granted.
More recently Tortoise has had a huge impact on Chicago and the rest of the rock world. Although their success has caused a slew of copy cats, there impact has opened the minds of many people. They brought a lot of influences to their music and I think it could have opened the palette that many other bands draw from. It also gave people a reason to look at some of
the other great music coming from Chicago.

Did you like Slint?

Are you seductive people? Still?
Not particularly. Does in come through in our music? I think bizarre is a better description.

Why did you mean by the term Trust In God But Tie Up Your Camel?
It's an old middle eastern saying. Things haven't changed much. The only difference now is that we use Master Locks and Clubs instead of tying knots.

Do you own camels?
No, but I like to hump.

Are you a fan of John Hughes' films and if so which ones?
I'm too close to the movies to be a fan of any in particular.

This is going to sound really dumb but regarding the John Hughes' films Q. Are you actually related to him? Sorry to intrude.
Yup, very related... my dad.

Who's your favourite metal band?
Metal is not up my alley and never really has been. I'm actually of a hip-hop decent.

Anything else?
Hawks' in 99. Take good care and thanks for the interest

1658 N. Milwaukee Suite 287
Chicago, IL 60647

(originally appeared in NO PICTURES issue 10)


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