Electric Brooklyn duo Tyler Thacker and Zak Mering make up Greatest Hits, an electronic outfit known for massively catchy, early 80s-vibe “schizophrenic pop” tunes – like ‘L-Train Girl’, an ironically-hipsterfied track shouting out the qualities that make a Williamsburg/Bushwick gal stand out from the crowd. Preparing to mix their first official full-length album in December, Tyler Thacker gives Sex!&Fashion the lowdown on stewing in his sexiness, skyping in a live performance and how his new album sounds ike a “bad ecstasy trip”….
Indigo Clarke: How did Greatest Hits meet and get together?
Tyler Thacker: Greatest Hits was birthed roughly two years ago after it’s founding members, Zak Mering and myself finished a recording project under the name Half Nelson 3x Removed (slightly less catchy name). It continues to be a semi anonymous outlet for a wide array of musicians. Zak and I have been it’s ambassadors for the sake of live shows, traveling, and interviews.
Indigo Clarke: How would you describe your sound to someone who hasn’t heard it?
Tyler Thacker: I like to think of the catalogue that has been formally released as schizophrenic pop music. While the next record sounds like a bad ecstasy trip, we are excited to share a wider palate of recordings in the future from a catalogue of over 1000 songs that pastiche together our own brand of industrial, hip hop, funk, punk, and psychedelia.
Indigo Clarke: Who writes the songs – is it a collaborative process? Is there anything in particular that inspires you to create or influences your music?
Tyler Thacker: In terms of musical movements, we get inspiration from the school of
music concrete, early electronic exploration of the BBC Radiophonic Workshop, and Dadaism. Our music is often over-intellectualized and dense.
Indigo Clarke: Have you always been involved with music?
Tyler Thacker: Zak and I were both born into musical and artistic families. I’m not sure what has drawn me to music as my primary outlet in recent years. I’d say my current highlight with GH was playing a show in London where Zak had to Skype in his vocal and dance performance from Paris because he was refused at border patrol.
Indigo Clarke: What are your live shows like – do you enjoy playing in front of an audience?
Tyler Thacker: The live shows have been consistently evolving, whether it be a
rotating cast of musicians, technology/ instruments, or group of songs. Playing live can be extremely painful and/or liberating, but it is always exciting.
Indigo Clarke: Fashion and music have a complex, often symbiotic, relationship – what are your thoughts on how they interact/influence each other?
Tyler Thacker: I’d agree that fashion and music as people perceive it are inextricably linked. I like fashion like I like the sky, or breathing.
Indigo Clarke: What’s the sexiest outfit you’ve ever worn – and the unsexiest?
Tyler Thacker: I have a Japanese flight suit from WWII I like a lot. I think sexy is largely in the eyes of whomever might be trying to fuck you, but I probably feel most sexy in something I’ve been wearing for a week. I like to stew in my sexiness. I also think it’s sexy and fashionable when one dramatically shifts their physical look on a routine basis.
Indigo Clarke: Exciting upcoming events or projects?
Tyler Thacker: Going to mix the first (official) full length Greatest Hits album in Los Angeles come December.
Indigo Clarke: What do you get up to when you’re not doing music?
Tyler Thacker: I work on music everyday, but I always make a cup of coffee, have a cigarette and take my dog, Precious, out first.
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