Frontman Jimmy Urine of Mindless Self Indulgence known for heart pounding electro-punk has been busy working on multiple projects. With MSI currently on hiatus, Jimmy, now part of the Marvel Universe has scored an acting role in upcoming sci-fi blockbuster ‘Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2’ as space criminal Half-Nut. In addition we are happy to share that his electronic experimental album has a number of Synthwave tracks that are sure to make their way onto the playlist of DJs across the globe. His talents and creativity are undeniably out of this world from a galaxy far, far away…
Interview Meikee Magnetic
Where were you born and where are you living now?
I am the only person actually born on Manhattan Island in New York City. New York is not the New York I grew up in the late 70’s and early 80’s — Taxi Driver-style, Mean Streets-style, The Hunger-style. That is all gone. It got stupid expensive and turned into a Euro-mall. So I moved to Los Angeles so I could swim in a pool and eat sushi à la To Live And Die In L.A.-style.
Tell us about The Secret Cinematic Sounds of Jimmy Urine:
The Secret Cinematic Sounds of me is a compilation soundtrack record made up of some of the jobs I’ve had composing for film, video games, television etc. Half of it is released material that you can find on such games as Metronomicon or the horror movie The Hive, and half of it is unreleased tracks from a variety of projects that never saw the light of day, or tracks I had laying around since I was a kid from the 1980’s.
We’d love to hear how you landed your role in the ‘Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. II movie, very exciting:
Well I’m a friend of the director James Gunn. He rang me up and asked me if I wanted to be in the movie. I thought it was a small, small walk-on role but it turned out it was more of a character acting role with seven other guys and friends who play Ravagers who are the space pirates of the Guardians Of The Galaxy universe. I just want to say a big thank you to James Gunn and Simon for making me part of the Marvel Universe that’s every kid’s fucking dream.
Are you going to a big premiere for the movie, tell us some of your plans:
I actually did go to the premiere and that was super fucking cool. I got to see a lot of people I worked with on the movie like Chris Sullivan who plays Taser Face and my homies Stevie Blackheart and Steve Agee, Evan Jones, Michael Rosenbaum and a bunch of the other Ravagers. I talked to interviewers on the purple carpet and got shot by paparazzi which is very different for me. Oh also, the movie is fucking amazing so go see it.
Your tracks ‘Patty Hearst’, ‘Not For Me’ and ‘Available On Betamax’ goes ever so nicely into the Synth Wave genre, are you a fan of this genre and what artists have caught the attention of your ears?
I think I was inspired by the same things that people in that genre are inspired by which is John Carpenter, Vangelis, Jean-Michel Jarre, Ryuichi Sakamoto etc. If you pull from those people you will say it sounds like Synthwave. I like Synthwave or Vaporwave or any of the other waves I think they’re all cool. I love retro shit. I think for people who like the old stuff and people who love Synthwave the thing that really brought it to the attention of the public was Stranger Things. If you tell a little kid my music sounds like Vangelis or Synthwave they are going to be like “what the fuck are you talking about?” But if you tell a little kid my music sounds like Stranger Things they’re like “oh cool!”
Do you find it more fulfilling as an artist working on a solo project?
No, I love Mindless Self Indulgence and that’s a great band to be in. I find it fulfilling to show people that I can do a totally different style then MSI and being that it is all instrumental, has no guitars, no real drums and no lyrics it is so different. I find it very fulfilling that fans, friends and press have all said very nice things about the record. People could’ve easily just been polite and been like ‘cool man that’s nice that you’re doing that synth stuff’ but they have actually come out and said a lot of very, very awesome things. Everyone seems very surprised like “I didn’t know you did that type of shit.”
Mindless Self Indulgence
The big question, can we see you perform this new project live?
That question has actually been coming up a lot recently. I never ever planned to go on the road with this record and do a synth-style show in any regards. Plus I’m pretty fucking lazy. I really like to tour with MSI and I don’t really feel an urge to tour with a different project, but it’s not out of the realm of possibility.
We partner with San Francisco’s Synth Wave party Turbo Drive, would you like to come to SF and perform?
Ah ha, I see where that last question was leading. That’s very nice of you, thank you. I love San Francisco and I go there all the time. I usually hang out at the Japanese mall all day eating sushi and buying Anime products.
What tools are you using in the studio for this project?
I broke out a lot of synthesizers I grew up with that I had in storage, or stuff I had to re-buy off of eBay. Like an Akai AX60 and a Sequential Circuits Six-Trak and Prophet-5. I run them with the sequencer off of an Atari 1040ST computer, which is the Atari that I’ve used on 90% of Mindless tracks. It’s a great machine and it really helped me get Mindless sounding very different than any other band. I love that computer.
You have a great love for Synths, Comics and video games, what are some of your favorites?
I love a good looking analog synth — it has to have that wood paneling on the sides. I tend to like synths that are old MIDI ’79 – ’86, pre-FM digital. I hate all that FM synth stuff. I love good Sequential Circuits, KORGs, Casio’s, old school drum machines and modded stuff. I love a modded Speak and Spell or a modded Atari cartridge or Nintendo cartridge any day of the week.
If you could go back in time to score a Horror movie soundtrack name the top 3 movies of your choice:
That’s a really difficult question because most of the stuff that myself and other people who like synthesizers and make Synthwave style music like this are pulling from a love of those old movies and the soundtracks that they already have. So I think I would not go back and change those soundtracks, I would go back and make synth soundtracks for other movies that I feel should have had synth soundtracks. Like I feel Stanley Kubrick’s Barry Lyndon would’ve been awesome if it had a straight up John Carpenter synth soundtrack. I would re-score Taxi Driver to have a synth soundtrack and I would score Carrie to have a synth soundtrack. That fucking movie should have a synth soundtrack and it doesn’t at all which is crazy pants.
Jimmy as space criminal Half-Nut in Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2
What’s next for Jimmy Urine?
Well I got a couple things coming up that I can’t talk about which is always the case. I guess the next thing is more composing work and more video game work. I’d love to do some more acting which I’m assuming I’m probably going to get some people coming out of the woodwork once Guardians comes out. We’ll see what happens next. Until then you can catch me in the pool eating a baked salmon roll.
What does Dark Beauty mean to you?
To me it means the scene in Lord Of The Rings when Frodo freely offers the one ring to Galadriel and she says “You will give me the one ring freely? And in place of the Dark Lord you will set up a queen! And I shall not be dark but beautiful and terrible as the morning and the night all shall love me and despair!!!!!!!” Now that lady is fucking dope!
Photo credit Steve Agee