"Can I Ask What the Tampon Hat Is About?": A Talk With JD Samson

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JD Samson
[Editor's note: In "Tweets Is Watching," Phillip Mlynar asks local artists questions based solely on the contents of their Twitter timeline.]

JD Samson and her MEN ensemble will release a new album titled Labor on October 22nd. It's a project that Samson says is an "experience of self-discovery and self-release." Handily, there will be a release show at Union Pool on October 26th. Ahead of that shindig, we asked Samson about her Twitter talk--winning lottery scratch cards, the dynamics of hearing your music remixed, and the trials of crafting tampon hats.

See also: Nitty Scott MC Talks Psychedelic Pizza and Meditating Weed Rappers

What's the Bushmaster?
It was a shot that the bar-tenders at my weekly Sunday party dreamt up yesterday. We always have like a $2 shot and they usually have some sort of sexual innuendo tied to it.

What's in the Bushmaster?
I think it had blackcurrant vodka and cranberry. But I did not drink it!

What's the strangest shot they've created for the party?
Well my girlfriend's name is Ariel and it was her birthday a couple of weeks ago and they had a shot that was the Ariel-a, so like areola, like a play on her name. I think the drink involved something that was pink or that involved peach.

So what would the JD Samson shot be?
Oh, gosh, it would probably include like Welch's grape juice and lemon zest or something!

You've been posting up remixes to the song "Making Art." Is it strange to hear other people reinterpret your music? I love it actually. With this record it was interesting 'cause we worked with outside producers for the first time so it was really awesome to have someone else's take on it. There's something really precious about keeping your demo and there's that whole thing called demo-itis which is when artists are beholden to the first version of the song. I think part of it is you can't get it out of your head and it becomes this catchy thing and then that's what it is and you're loathe to move out of it. I've had demo-itis in the past but now I'm super into taking a new journey and seeing different elements and takes of the track so it's been cool to hear the remixes.

How do you get over demo-itis? Does it just come with experience?
I think that's part of it, yeah. I'm also kinda like a self-conscious person and that's part of it for me, being unsure of my take on something and appreciating someone else's take on it. Sometimes I trust other people more than myself.

Do you give the remixers much in the way of direction?
It's totally in their hands. Generally we pick people based on other remixes and try and get a different range. It's interesting to see what they all come up with and to see what people come up with while not knowing what the others are doing.

So for the remixes of "Making Art" did anyone do anything that totally surprised you?
Yeah, there's actually a couple left that haven't been put out so far. I think XXXChange did one that I really like a lot. I wouldn't say it was super surprising but more exciting 'cause he took one little part of the vocal and the rest of it was just a whole other journey. I thought that was incredible, creating something new by taking such a small part of the song.

Do remixes make you think about your own song in a different way?
For sure, it's really interesting to see what people think is the most catchy part of the song. In the process of remixing "Making Art," most people chose a certain part of the verse to work with instead of the chorus. That was interesting to realize for me 'cause of course I thought the chorus was naturally the most catchy part.


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Union Pool

484 Union Ave., Brooklyn, NY

Category: Music

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