WES COATS: THE GRANDMASTER FLASH DRIVE
Stream: Scotty Coats and Wes The Mes “Double Fisted”
Scotty Coats and Wes The Mes have fifty years of DJing and remixing experience between them but their first release together—as Wes Coats—is just coming out this month as the first California release on the newly merged DFA and Rong Music. Their remix of Free Blood is available now and their Wes Coats album is in the works.
Which have you used more often in your remixes—steak knives, pots and pans or bottlecaps?
Wes the Mes: A cheese grater.
Scotty Coats: A beer can.
For the famous beer-can breakdown?
W: It’s a toss-up between the cheese grater or the beer can.
What kind of diet do you guys have?
S: I’m an opportunivore.
How does it feel to sit down to do a remix as opposed to sit down to eat?
S: With the remixes you have the stuff already there to choose from.
W: The ingredients are already in the recipe.
S: When you’re eating you have to figure out what you want.
W: What you’re hungry for.
S: With remixes, you have to choose what you’re not hungry for.
W: It’s kind of like being on an island, and you just have bugs to eat. Sometimes it’s like that. Sometimes they give you all the ingredients imaginable—you could make a feast. And sometimes it’s like, ‘Wow, I hope there’s something underneath these roots I’m pulling up!’ Philosophically speaking.
Which remix has provided the most nourishing smorgasbord so far?
S: The Free Blood thing—the meal was always presented as a gourmet thing. ‘So you want me to make appetizers? And side dishes?’
W: It was almost like too many ingredients.
Who says ‘yes’ more often and who says ‘no’?
S: Wes definitely says ‘no’ more than I do.’ He says ‘We can’t do it!’ and I say ‘Follow me!’ I tend to quit on shit we worked on for weeks or months that’s due the next day. After we’ve sent two verses to the label—‘Scrap everything! We’re starting fresh!’
W: If I was in charge and we were in the jungle, we’d end up in quicksand with headhunters. And if we went Scotty’s way there’d be a bunch of fruits and tropical birds and girls dancing around half-naked.
So one of you offers… excitement and one offers… satisfaction?
S: We both share a little of the same. I think I just have an agenda—‘Get the music out for people to hear!’ I’m easily excited—I’m Neanderthal! He’s techie! I can bang on a french fry for hours and be cool. Wes makes it all make sense and I change it.
W: I can record it to where you’ll hear the salt.
How do you start? Mess with it or coat it?
S: We’re notorious for not using parts and building tracks around the little things we wanna use—rebuilding the track and making it our own. It’s almost like whoring yourself out a little bit. So we look at each other and be like, ‘We should make our own shit—that’s what we do!’
W: But I look at it as a language, too. Sometimes you’ll listen to the original song like, ‘yeah, yeah, yeah…’ and then one tiny thing will hit, and you’re instantly inspired from that. Whatever speaks to us in the mix is what we hear and communicate with.
What’s an example of that tiny accidental thing?
S: Free Blood—we used a vocal and they asked us where it came from. They gave us everything from the session, but they were so used to their mix that they forgot about all the other shit they did.
And now you are making your own shit.
S: ‘Double Fisted’—which is three years old.
A slow burn?
W: Scotty was going through a serious time in his life—dying! And after that—yeah, time to make music! That ended up being the first thing because that’s what was on the plate, and people responded to it.
S: That was the birth of us deciding we needing to get serious and make some shit.
What will your album be like? ‘Double Fisted’ times ten?
S: I hope not! There will never be another ‘Double Fisted.’ ‘Double Fisted’ was a night I did and I wanted to pay homage. Wes cleans up shit that I do. He’s the goddamn savior ace-in-the-hole! I told him—‘You know, this is the new marriage! We are the new marriage!’
Wes, is the Mars Volta remix you released on a flash drive the most expensive per-second track you’ve ever put out?
W: For sure. The Mars Volta USB.
S: Awesome. There’s gotta be something that follows up a flash drive. What would it be? The grandmaster flash drive?
What part of a song has to work before anything else can move forward?
W: The bass has to be solid.
S: We’re honored to play with an amazing bass player.
W: But we can’t give up his name because of legal issues.
S: We’re both bottom feeders. Not that fact that we are bottom feeders, but the fact that we both love bass.
What do you want to make sure you include on your album?
W: A few new genres. We’re heading toward alohop.
S: I’m going ranchechno.
When was the golden age of thrifting disco records?
S: I’d say ’97 to 2000, probably. It hasn’t ended. You can find good records in every genre.
W: Nothing ends.
What did you get then that you still have?
S: Vickie Sue Robinson ‘Hot Summer Night.’ It’s super-easy to find but a great song. Jeanette ‘Lady’ Day—‘Come Let Me Love You.’ And Geraldine Hunt—‘Can’t Fake The Feeling.’
So even though Woolfy is the first California guy signed to DFA, you’re the first guys to get a record out.
W: Woolfy rules. I only know one song from that cat but I was just like, ‘Oh my Lord.’
S: Woolfy is my hero. He’s a disco bowler, so he’s gonna have to come up disco bowling with his team. He’s got a great costume—a dead raccoon or something he wears.
Where do you fit in on the Rong roster?
S: They like good music and they love disco. They were the first U.S. label to do disco re-edits and to initiate disco back into the market probably like five years ago. Why? Because they loved it!
Do people like disco now?
S: No! Are people into it now? They might say they are but no!
What was the first record you bought with your own money that you got rid of?
W: I’m trying to forget that part of my life.
S: I kick myself in the ass for getting rid of them.
W: I still have nightmares. Actual nightmares. I wake up in a cold sweat—horrible! I had probably five or six thousand records—I sold them purely to live.
S: I let go of a lot of classic acid house. Four or five crates.
W: You mean a bunch of garbage?
S: One man’s trash is another man’s treasure. I love acid house. I think it’s great. But I kinda just wanna make music now. I guess every record has a price. I’ll let everything but my wife go!
I’m glad we got that in print.
S: Yeah—me too.
SCOTTY COATS AND WES THE MES’ ‘DOUBLE FISTED’ IS OUT TUE., NOV. 18, ON RONG/DFA. VISIT WES COATS AT WESCOATS.COM OR MYSPACE.COM/WESCOATS.