In Conversation with PISS-OFF!

“PISS-OFF! wants to wet your pants and blow your mind. They combine powers to create noisy, jumping, dancing, screaming, bouncing, rap, punk, electronic, hardcore music. PISS-OFF! is the anti-band. They rock rap shows and turn avante-garde dance performances into dirty raves.”
– from the band’s website

PISS-OFF! is the Brooklyn-based electro-hip-hop duo consisting of Anika Trujillo and Gumball Eyeball. They’ve just released their EP, Perfect is for Remixes, made up of exciting remixes from their already exciting debut EP, Perfect is for Amateurs, and will be busy touring New York this fall. Recently they took the time to answer our questions about their weird past, their bizarre present, and their loud future. (Ed. Note. Our sincere apologies to PISS-OFF! In our interview with them we stated that their EP had already been released, but in fact it won’t be available until August 9.)

Describe your musical backgrounds. What role did music play in your childhoods?
ANIKA: I used to remix and sing songs with my sisters, making up new words to any song on the radio; we would mostly sing about pee and farts.

DANIEL: I started banging on the piano at age six, then at age 12 I wanted to bang on the drums instead, but my parents were terrified of the noise. I’m still getting rid of that angst today.

Who had the most?and best?creative influence on you?
DANIEL: My DJ friends, who taught me that you can get a whole room to dance to the sound of cows mooing as long as there’s a hot beat under it.

ANIKA: I had a big homie in my hometown who made me freestyle all the time; I was a budding teen so I evolved to rapped about girls, butts, and farts.

What was the most mesmerizing musical experience of your life?
ANIKA: Every single time I see a room full of people dancing my mind explodes, my heart rumbles, and I’m entranced. It never gets old.

DANIEL: When we dropped the bass in Cyberfrog on New Years Eve and everyone did the frog-squat dance.

Has anything funny or bizarre ever happened to you in a performance?
DANIEL: There were some moments when I toppled over from screaming too long, and a few bathroom-related accidents. I once walked in on a sound guy on the toilet before we went on stage, and then he cut our set short to get back at us!

ANIKA: One time a person ran up during our set, grabbed the mic and started to scream “I fucking love your music!” over and over until Daniel took the mic back to spit his verse.

You manage to make hip-hop musically ingenious while keeping the fun. How do you manage that? And how many of your fans can appreciate the musical innovations?
ANIKA: Daniel and I are really goofy; our fans know when they put on a PISS-OFF! song they’re getting candy for their ears. You can’t fake the funk?you must feel the flow.

DANIEL: Our fans need release and we deliver. We all love hip-hop, electronica, and punk, so I think folks were just waiting for some mad scientists like us to mix these things up.

According to an interview I read online, you experience an almost magical power when you play. Where do you think that comes from? And what does it do for you?
DANIEL: You must mean the power of the Techno Viking. I shake my fluorescent maraca while chanting his name, then that power infects me and I begin to rap in triplets.

ANIKA: So before moving to New York I was in an open field during a lightning storm; I was struck then passed out. When I came to a drum machine and a clean pair of underwear were next to me. I cherish both to this day.

How do you inspire DJ’s to create such brilliant remixes of your music?
ANIKA: We bribed them with bottomless brunch mimosas and promises of fame.

DANIEL: We use a lot of dirty words so that they want to sample us. Plus, they know we’ll never complain that the bass is too loud.

Is Brooklyn a creativity-enhancing city for you?
DANIEL: Yes. Creative people come to Brooklyn then fall into the Gowanus Canal and come out weird like we did.

ANIKA: YES. Brooklyn speaks to me. It says: Go hard or go home to the city You’re from; You’re driving rent up, gentrifying, and ordering too much take-out.

So far, what do you love best about the new EP? And what will you be calling it?
ANIKA: I love how different this is from recording traditionally; each remix is so fun and original. It doesn’t get better than a dance remix of a dance song.

DANIEL: Collaborating with other DJs has been super fun. We eat pizza together and they do unexpected things to our recordings.

How did you come up with your band’s name?
ANIKA: I am a sucker for a good sneak diss. PISS-OFF! fit like a glove.

DANIEL: It was while talking in British accents. Our rule is any time we’re mad at each other we have to talk in an accent.

If your band’s life were a movie, what kinds of scenes would make you laugh? Or cry?
DANIEL: I would have to die in a hail of bullets, then come back to life a la RoboCop. I would have a computerized voice that was completely monotone but I could use it to rap at superhuman speed.

ANIKA: After Daniel sacrifices his life in a hail of bullets I become the leader of the new free world. I have THE BEST inaugural parade. I get attacked by a computer virus, Daniel comes back to life as Robocop and challenges it to a battle. He outraps the virus and codes a program to trap it. We both air guitar as the credits roll.

What conditions do you require in your life in order to go on being creative?
DANIEL: A steady stream of iced coffee, followed by a nearby bathroom.

ANIKA: All the feels.

What do you feed your muse? Are there any books, films, or albums that have deeply influenced your development as an artist?
ANIKA: I start with real life in large healthy doses, 100% unfiltered. I also make sure to laugh maniacally every time I’m making a beat. If I don’t go “Muwahahaha!” while making it, I don’t use it.

DANIEL: Non-stop electronic music. My headphones are basically a pacemaker.

If you had an artistic mission statement, what would it be?
DANIEL: We want to wet your pants and blow your mind.

ANIKA: Perfect is for amateurs.

Do you feel that artists have an obligation to straighten the world out?
ANIKA: Artists should relate to the world through their creative lens, be 100%. Creative entrepreneurs should make smart business decisions; they are different but similar.

DANIEL: We aim for inclusion and positive, loving energy, and if you like us on Facebook we can advise you on who to vote for.

Tell us about your upcoming projects.
DANIEL: More drums, more bass, more yelling in your face!

ANIKA: Dance off those pants; just shake it loose. I know you can.

Do you have anything else to add?
ANIKA: We have a Northeast tour this fall, we have music, and we always have a good time. Come get some.

DANIEL: Visit http://pissoff.nyc to watch nutty videos, hear our music, learn about shows and discover our secret kinky chatroom.

Wanda also writes the blog The Mindful Bard:The Care and Feeding of the Creative Self.

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