Interview by Alan Ng & Jenkin Au
Words by Alan Ng
Photography by Jenkin Au
Goons From The Moon is about Paul’s view of space and how it is reflected upon his creative work. Whether it is through his Almighty creative designs or sounds created in the studio with his partner Mike MSA. The improvision of sounds made by these two goons coincidently fits in an almost indefinable genre of music, which is well exemplified as sounds from space. As Paul outlines that everything just simply came to be and was not intentionally, we explored Paul’s inner child and deepest memories and found a connection to this connection he has with space. We returned to his childhood and discussed about the objects that has made an impact to his imaginative world that were passed along from his father. Paul’s fondest memories as a child played a role to the foundations of the construction of his personality along with his creativity. Paul’s parents’ strange obsession of sci-fi genre films eventually led him to the introduction of the observation of aliens seen in films at a young age. The bonding of father and son in Paul’s world was about Star Wars and guns. His father was a gun collector and he would bring him to the shooting range. Paul’s obsession with turntablism, space, aliens, and Star Wars could be labelled to some as a marketing strategy, but he discusses about his view upon how the whole hip-hop industry’s depiction of space could somewhat be a fad. Compared to others, it seems like Paul’s utilization with space subjects is innocent and intentional which leads to the authenticity of his designs. An outsider can definitely see a lot of space related concepts and ideologies throughout his artwork, but perhaps you will never hear about the story of Paul’s stumble upon a strange light form back when he was in grade six…
Tell us about your insight about space, the universe, and martians.
They do exist. I’ve told this story a couple times only and not many people believe it and they think I’m an idiot for saying this. When I first moved to Surrey, I was around 12 years old and our house was like the only house in the area. It was like an undeveloped subdivision. There might have been three houses on the block then. We didn’t have our beds yet because we were waiting for the moving company to move our stuff. My bro and I slept in my parent’s room and we were all camping on the floor. There were no blinds yet. My parents had this giant window. The whole wall was a window and you could see nothing outside but night. At the time, our area was known to have bears, coyotes and shit like that. The funniest thing was that I think I got up because I couldn’t sleep, being a new place and all. I saw this freaking light outside. It’s funny, because people won’t believe this shit. There was this light beam, and it was hovering up top for a bit. It looked like a headlight but there’s no streets out there. It went straight up in the air for a couple of seconds. It drops, stages for a bit, goes back up, gone. I woke up my dad and told him what I saw. He told me to go back to sleep. Who would be out there that late? There was no street, and there’s no way a car could be driven there. It could be a crazy dude with a flashlight, but why? Why shine it up for a bit and then vanish in thin air? So what else? I don’t believe in aliens, but what if? That’s it for my alien story. That didn’t spark anything but it made me realize that there can be life out there. Outside.
All my inspirations and the whole space thing are all based from my childhood. One of my fondest memories with my dad back then was that he’d bring me back toys after work. Starwars figures. My biggest Christmas gift I ever got was an AT-AT Walker. I still have it in my room. That’s the reason why I use Starwars in my designs a lot, because that was one of my fondest memories as a child. My dad took me to the theatre to watch Return of The Jedi. I didn’t know anything about Jedi’s or Sith’s. All I knew was that my dad took me to these things and these were things that he introduced me to. I guess that’s why most of my designs are based off sci-fi shit. I know he doesn’t admit it, but I know deep inside he’s a sci-fi nerd. Have you seen that show, V? V The Final Battle. It’s an old sc-fi 80’s TV series. I was in grade 2 when this came out. My dad and I would watch this together. It’s not something you would want your kid to watch. It’s a thing that I had with my dad. You know?
I mean, most parents out there played sports with their kids. My dad didn’t. He drew stuff. He loves military stuff, he used to draw battle ships and used to draw guys jumping out of planes and parachutes. He used to draw stick figures and showed me how to draw that stuff so that’s my relationship with him. Anything with military and sci-fi and if you see any of it coming from my designs, I got it from my dad and from the things that he showed me growing up.
Which character was your favorite while growing up? Was there a connection with that character’s image and your life?
People would probably think it’s Star Wars but it’s not. It’s this other movie called The Last Starfighter. It’s an ’80s movie about a teenage kid who lived in the trailer park. It seems that he doesn’t really have any ambition in life. He’d play this one arcade game, that’s outside the park office. I think his parents were giving him shit for not perusing life properly, like having a proper career. He likes this girl but she think he’s like whatever because he’s just a gamer or what not. I forget the story, it’s been a long time. Anyways, his goal was to beat the high score. One day, he finally beats it and then this futuristic car pulls up. The driver tells him that his planet “needs him” and to become a Starfighter. What hit me was the, “I need you. I really need your talent and it would save the universe” part. I wanted to be that kid. I wanted to use all my talent in life or whatever knowledge I have to make a big impact on this planet. Anyways, that kid, flies up to space, meets other aliens whom apparently all have high scores at the same video game on their planets, and all got recruited to fight this giant boss. He happened to be The Last Starfighter because all the others who were recruited died. They all got blown up but since he’s so good at this video game, he saved the universe. For me, I was like, “Damn, that’s me. I want to be that.”
Have you done anything related to that?
In terms of your design work and life?
Every artwork, every design, every thing I put my mind into is all about trying to be the best I can be in anything I do. And I know I have multiple hustles but I think I am successful in every single thing that I have done. If I get into something, I would try to be the best I can be. Considering that I am not the greatest designer and I can’t draw for shit, I got heads turning, and I got people talking to me. I am not the greatest scratch DJ, but some people think I’m among that, and have won competitions. I am not the biggest marketing dude when it comes to t-shirts, but I got people asking and wanting to wear my designs. At least I am doing something that is making people notice. Making an impact.
If you could travel to any planet, which one would it be and why?
Mars, for real. There’s life there. I have been following that. I want to check that out. The problem with me is that I hate flying.
People would definitely want to meet life outside Earth. If you do get a chance to meet one of these aliens or outer space life, what would you try to communicate with them?
I think music is like a universal language, no matter for what race. I want to figure out what they do for entertainment. I wonder if they have music. If they have music, I would want to jam out with them. I might not be able to understand them, but I hope to work with them on music. Make the greatest selling album in the world, or just some random shit.
How have your spaces inspirations get reflected upon your music?
It’s funny because although these instruments have been around for so many years, it’s never been utilized together properly. It’s either experimental or rock & jazz based. I’m just trying to fuse all these different instruments together. I know there are a lot of turntablists out there that actually uses guitar pedals to make effects with their equipment but not many people know. That’s what I am trying to initiate. Whatever live instruments people use, I am going to try to use with my turntables. For some reason, Mike and I are just really drawn into making things sound spacey, like 80’s retro sci-fi music. It builds a whole different texture to what you are watching when you hear it played with sci-fi films. To me, it’s just adding those subtle sounds and bringing that into the forefront.
For yourself, it was your dad who introduced you to sci-fi, but when you were introduced to hip-hop, you see space themes all over, describe this connection between hip-hop and space.
It’s a different sound. Nowadays, I could see why Cudi and Kanye went to that route. It’s so different and it’s been there. Personally, I think that the whole turntablism thing was a coincidence. Everyone has been connecting that relationship to scratching. Mix Master Mike was saying it’s a way to communicate with space aliens. I don’t believe in that, that’s his belief between space and scratching. If aliens came through – What? Am I going to laser scratch? I can’t relate to that.
For some odd reasons, we just landed our music and it just sounds like that. We are not trying to make it sound like that, we just do. That wasn’t the thing. Goons from The Moon weren’t even derived for us to become spacey guys. it was just a funny name. I don’t know, maybe it’s a trend that Cudi and Kanye had adopted for marketing. It comes in waves, for some reason and I can’t explain it. For me, it’s just what I feel in the moment and that’s what you are going to get. Right now, it’s space. I don’t know, maybe next year maybe it’ll be Western.
Out of all the designs, music and products that you have created in relation to space. Which final product is most directly related to space out of everything you have produced so far?
It’s the freestyle live sessions that Mike and I do. All those are non-rehearsed. Not even played in front of each other. We just assign jobs I guess. I would handle the rhythm and all the drums. Mike would do the scratching and leads. It’s so funny because he just busted out that Theremin – out of nowhere. I was mixing beats and then I see him pull out this weird looking box. I have heard about it but I didn’t know what it was. He hooked it up to the effect box and he started doing some wavy shit. When he busted it out, we didn’t even talk and we just started playing off that. It just ended up being spacey. Everything was improvised. It was a two-hour freestyle session and we recorded. I took the best parts from it and made it into a track called The Live Sessions From The Moon. After that, we tried mimicking it and another one we did was Barbarella’s Revenge. That’s was the beginning.