Stickybuds – “Shambhala is everything to me”
The Funk fanatic in me has been a huge fan of Stickybuds for a long time. His clever production combines Jazz Funk sounds with Reggae resonating throughout. Add some Hip Hop influence and intricate, banging Electronic delivery and we have a recipe for a robust, flawlessly executed live show that every one should experience at some point. I was lucky enough to be able to catch up with him at Shambhala this year where we talked Chewbacca, American politics, spirit animals and of course Shambhala. Keep you on your toes! Without further adieu…
Shontelle Reyna – First off thank you for sitting down with me for this interview
Stickybuds – My pleasure for sure.
SR – In another interview you are asked what your Spirit animal is and you talk about spinning the wheel, you didn’t like what saw so you didn’t remember. Have you spun it this year so far? What was the result this year?!
Stickybuds – I gotta spin it again this year. I spun it twice before and I actually can’t remember what I got. I think I got a muskrat. I don’t know I can’t remember, but I am never happy. I always want the moose or the beaver and I never get it but you don’t get to choose your spirit animal. If I did get to choose it would be a manatee. I’m gonna get them to put a manatee on the board for next year and I’ll land on it for sure.
SR – You have a history and close relationship I would say with Chewbacca in Fractal Forest here at Shambs. Any new additions to the collection? What are your thoughts on the most recent Star Wars release?
Stickybuds – Yeah it’s a long story. Ages ago I repainted the big Chewbacca that’s in the Fractal up on the big tree stump and then I started putting Chewbacca samples in my set. I named one of my mixes the wookie shuffle like 7 years ago probably. People started to associate me with Chewbacca and would give me Chewbacca things at my shows and then it got to the point where everyday I was getting Chewbacca memes on my wall and it was getting a little overwhelming so I stepped back from the whole Chewbacca stuff. I still love his guts.
New additions? Actually, the guy who played Chewbacca, his name is Peter Mayhew, played Chewbacca in the original Star Wars. He is a giant. He’s like 7’ 2” or something. There was a kickstarter for him to get him this surgery and make a documentary about it, and his life. I donated $150 to the kickstarter and I was supposed to get a custom Chewbacca print but they didn’t send it to me. So I am still waiting for that. I tweet Peter every now and again asking him if I am going to get my print but I think whoever ran the Kickstarter just got swamped because it got a lot of support. There’s many people who love Chewbacca. I did get a copy of the documentary.
He’s a great man. He’s an amazing guy. He had to go through insane surgery and go through recovery and was in a wheelchair. Props to him man. Hopefully one day my Kickstarter Chewbacca painting that was part of this Kickstarter is gonna come.
SR – What are your thoughts on the most recent Star Wars movie?
Stickybuds – Because of this whole Chewbacca thing people think that I am some adamant Star Wars fan and I am really not. I like it. It’s cool but I am not a Star Wars buff by any means but I went and watched it. I was on tour in Australia when it came out. My friend and I went to see it and walked into the theater and it was packed and we were like, “can’t deal with this,” so we didn’t watch it then. Then I was in Cannes in Australia. I had the night off. It was like 2 months since the movie came out and I went to the theater and there were literally like 4 of us in there and I watched it by myself. It was great. I really enjoyed it. I love going to movies. I thought it was dope.
SR – In a question in another interview you responded saying that the world needs less government not more of it. – What are your thoughts on the current chaos in America and around the world in general.
Stickybuds – We are at the end of this system that has completely gotten out of control. The rich and the people who have the money to influence policy and government, which ties in with the banks which decide who can control what, is crumbling.
People have gotten so fucked over by the system and there is so much inequality and so much complete blatant corruption that people see, but nothing is being done about it.
A lot of the stuff that’s been going on with American politics, like all of the wikileaks stuff that is coming out about Hillary, the FBI investigation into all of her emails and that scandal. It has been proven that she has broken the law but she has not been charged because she is part of a system of corruption. If that one card falls it’s all gonna fall. When that house of cards starts crumbling it’s going to be a complete shock to the world.
There are just so many horrible things going on. When people can’t ignore it anymore and there is some real civil unrest that’s when it will start to change, but it probably has to get way worse. We are going to have to see the monetary system collapse. Actually see banks fail and people lose their money, for people to really give a fuck enough to take to the streets. Even though shit is fucked up, if you live in North America, your life is probably pretty good still compared to war torn countries.
We are all pretty complacent.
We can see that it is fucked but I’m not gonna go, and I say ‘I’ as the mindset of most people. We’re not gonna go take to the streets with pitchforks and try and oust our politicians because we are gonna go to jail. It is not until everyone stands up that things are going to change. It is interesting watching it. I am definitely not a fan of government or policy. I am a fan of people doing whatever they want and as long as they don’t hurt anyone it’s fine by me.
SR – On that note, as far as standing up and voicing your opinion, as an artist with a platform do you feel like that is a responsibility of yours to voice those opinions?
Stickybuds – Yeah, that’s definitely a personal choice for every artist. Lots of people don’t feel the need or want to bring politics or social issues into their music but if you’re a person who cares about that maybe you do. For me, every now and then I will write a big Facebook post on my page if I have had enough and feel like voicing my opinion. If I have something to say I will say it every now and then but I don’t push it too much.
What I like doing is including it in lyrics of the music. Probably the most socially conscious song I have worked on is Clean Air Clean Country. ‘Birds and the bees and the fishes in the seas’ is the chorus and definitely a lot of people know that. My friend Mista Savona, an amazing reggae producer from Australia, made that song and when I heard it I had to make my own version.
Every year I play that in my own sets and this year in my Shambhala set my friend DJ Vadim, who is another amazing reggae producer, who just came out with a new album…
Whoa! Hello snake.
(A snake very literally slithered by us we were talking, very beautiful… and a welcome surprise. The serpent… the original giver of knowledge. Haha)
So my friend Vadim has some really amazing lyrics. In my set this year towards the end there are some really amazing lyricists talking about what is going on in the world. I am really stoked on these. There are some new messages this year. I just like influencing it through the music. In the future the plan is to make more music that is not a rant but talking about the issues, talking about solutions. Talking about it, instead of making cookie cutter put your hands up shit.
At least talking about it because knowledge is the first step in any kind of solution. If we all ignore it it will continue.
We are the next generation. Everyone who is at this festival. Whether you are in your 40’s or 19. We are the people who are going to change it. All of those over 40, all the entrenched politicians and people at the top are never going to change it. We have to find the solutions. Things like crypto-currency and all these apps that are coming out. So this app for one example if you have too much food you go on this app and say “Hey I grew like 800 cucumbers. If you all need cucumbers come here.” You can trade, sell or give it away for free. It’s peer to peer.
One really great website to check out is called the Corbette report. They have weekly videos. One of their series is called, New World Next Week. They talk about a lot of stuff like this. It’s people connecting with each other instead of looking to centralized solutions. These old systems that are completely ruining the world are going to get washed away by the changes in technology.
SR – As a resident Shambhala artist and veteran, how would you describe the progression of festival and how do you think Shambhala has affected your progression as well? How did you get started with at Shambhala in the first place?
Stickybuds – Shambhala has been everything to me, honestly. This is the 12th year I have DJ’d here. I started DJing here the very first year I started DJing. I taught myself how to spin and had some great influences. Rich-e Rich (creator of Fractal Forest stage and director of Fractal Media) heard me play, he had this impromptu audition in Kelowna. He was working in Kelowna and I had been living there my whole life. He had a spot at the festival, he liked what I did and he gave me a chance. They’ve had me back every year.
This is everything for me. I work so hard on this set. I really put hundreds of hours of work into the preparation of it.
It’s the only set I release every year for people to listen to. It’s like January first. It is the start of the year for me basically. It’s like Christmas or something. This is what I work for all year. When I play here my set is going to be the best combos that I figured out during the year, a whole bunch of new stuff that I worked really hard on and I am always trying to out do what I did last year, play music I love and find cool ways to do stuff.
I have been here for 16 years and it gets better every year. I love the people here so much. There are so many friends. Whether they are musicians or party goers or staff or the check in people or the vendors, so many great people make up this place. It’s a reunion every year. Everyone tries to make it better.
SR – If you had to, what would you say has been your favorite experience in all your years here at Shambhala?
Stickybuds – One of my best memories is playing that Clean Air Clean Country Remix in 2011. That was the year that I opened up my set with that and that was always the first Stickybuds Shambhala set that I released. I worked so hard on that tune. It had actually taken me almost two years talking to Jake (Mista Savona) to get him to trust me with those stems.
To get a producer to send you his pieces of music, individual pieces, there is a trust there. We became friends and he trusted me and I made a really rad remix with it and now I remix his stuff all the time. I stay with him in Australia when I go there on tour. We are really good buddies and we make good music together and it’s amazing. I have grown lots of those relationships.
I couldn’t do my Shambhala sets without those relationships. Almost every single song I have played in my set have all the pieces. I have all the vocals and the acapellas and the stems and the horn sections separated. I can mix everything harmonically in key. It’s really quite complicated but I couldn’t do it without all of my friends who make amazing music and trust me with all of their stems to do cool stuff with. Did that answer your question?
SR – Yes! Thank you and thanks again for sitting down with EE.
Stickybugs aka Tyler Martens was a real pleasure to sit down and talk to. A lot of artists are weary about answering questions that might raise some eyebrows or create any controversy. Meeting those that are not only wonderful musicians but just as wonderful people who live with conviction is the most rewarding.
I understand that this interview is pretty long. I will be adding the audio version here as well. Check back soon!