Monday, January 22, 2007

The Freelance Hellraiser

The Freelance Hellraiser

The Freelance Hellraiser is London's Roy Kerr. I was quite pleased to feature a phone interview with The Freelance Hellraiser on Some Assembly Required in November of 2006 (episode 147). Read on for the Q&A he submitted around that same time.

Best known for his mashup, "A Stroke of Genius" (I've also seen it spelled "Genie-us," a reference, of course, to the fact that he'd mashed "Genie in a Bottle" by Christina Aguilera with The Stroke's "Hard to Explain"), The Freelance Hellraiser has created dozens of mashups and starred as the house DJ for Paul McCartney in 2004, and 2005, re-mixing exclusive McCartney/Wings material before his shows. Since making a name for himself as an influential mashup artist, he's gone on to form a live band, under the same name, and has (at this writing) released one album of pop music, called "Waiting For Clearance."

It's interesting to note that many of the mashups attributed to The Freelance Hellraiser are not in fact his. He's actually taken to introducing himself this way in interviews. One popular mashup which many people think is by The Freelance Hellraiser, is really by 2 Many DJ's. Their mashup, "Smells like Booty" (mashing Nirvana's "Smells like teen spirit" with "Bootylicious" by Destiny's Child), was miscredited on an early, widely circulated mashups compilation called "The Best Bootlegs in the World Ever." For every great mashup incorrectly attributed to him though, I'm sure there are dozens of truly terrible ones as well, so in addition to wanting to give credit where credit is due, I can see why he'd be wanting to get the word out...

Whether you know him as a mashup artist, Club DJ or pop music producer, here's the SAR Q&A with The Freelance Hellraiser...

*Name: The Freelance Hellraiser

*Are there any additional names used to describe this project: No

*Members: When I play with my live band, 4 of us.

*Founding Member: Me

*Tape manipulations, digital deconstructions or turntable creations: None of the above.

*Another genre descriptor: I don't call myself anything, even when I was doing bootlegs/mash-ups/whatever. I referred to myself as a DJ, musician and producer. I still am.

*Location: London

*Original Location: Essex

*What is your creative/artistic background: I don't have one.

*History: About 3 years. (From Wikipedia: He gained fame with a mash-up called "A Stroke of Genius" ...Although originally greeted by a cease and desist order by RCA, the combination was subsequently a top ten UK hit for Scottish band Speedway, and The Freelance Hellraiser went on to remix Aguilera's single "Fighter," as well as tracks for Placebo and ex-The Verve frontman Richard Ashcroft. In 2004 he was commissioned by Paul McCartney to remix some lesser-known McCartney tracks as preshow entertainment for his tour of that year. Those tracks, and several more, have now been released as Twin Freaks.)

*Born: (circa 1974)

*Motivations: I can't think of anything else I'd rather do more.

*Philosophy: There isn't one.

*How would you like to be remembered: As the creator of the world's greatest ever mash-up.