They say time flies when you’re having fun but the last few months haven’t necessarily been fun with what has been going on both socially and politically and of course with the pandemic. The last time I caught up with the good brother Skeme was back in April to discuss how he was maintaining during the start of what has become a long quarantine and social distancing process. It’s now 4 months later and I wanted to catch up with the Nostalgia King to first and foremost to make sure that he is healthy, both mentally and physically as well as creatively and to find out how he’s spent his time over the last few months. If you’ve been following his social media feeds then you’ll see that he’s still very much active but has anything else changed for him?
Massimo Chao – My mellow, Skeme! What’s good, how have you been since the last time we caught up?
Skeme – Well you know me, I’m always good even when things aren’t flying on a high note. I just try to keep it moving and surround myself with things that make me, people who make me smile and nature.
Massimo Chao – The last time we chatted, I asked about your daily routine and how your day starts and flows along which you obviously have down to a science. Has anything changed in the way of how you spend your days since the beginning of the quarantine?
Skeme – With the exception of me sleeping until 830am these days versus my usual 7am, not much has really changed. I still wake up early, scroll through social media to get my morning fix so that I don’t have to interrupt my work flow later to see whats going on. Have breakfast, tend to the dogs and then it’s time to get serious with responding to emails, writing for the site or finishing articles for other publications. Around Noon or so I have lunch, check the mail for any promos from labels, then head into the music room to listen to those promos so that I can start to pull records from my streaming channel on NerveFM. After that it’s dinner time and things can go multiple ways with how I continue the night. It’s either sit and catch up on some TV, read or watch a documentary or go back into the music room until about 2am or so.
Massimo Chao – For most people, that type of constant routine would seems like it would get boring after a while and would need to change it up some but you seem to stick to it and love it.
Skeme Richards – The routine just works for me. There are certain days during the weeks that I’ll just be lazy and not stick to the routine but that’s usually because of being a little burned out from constantly thinking about something new to do or create. Days like that I’ll just wing it and if something hit’s me, then I’ll tackle it.
Massimo Chao – Let’s talk about some of the things creatively that you’ve done that represents who you are and your brand. I know that you’ve done some writing for print magazines, released a 45 with RBMB00ts and have some other stuff in the works.
Skeme – Oh I’ve definitely been the most productive as far as projects are concerned that I have been in quite sometime. Not being able to travel and to DJ has made it so that I can actually focus on releases, writing and doing plenty of mixes for my Nerve streaming app. The first thing that I was extremely excited about was the release of my debut 45 on RBMB00ts which sold out in just about a week. It’s great to work with a label that’s as excited about a project as you are and are ready to hit the ground running as soon as the product comes in. I kept my public DJ’ing down to a minimum. While most DJ’s flooded Instagram going live 5 times a week, I kept it pretty low key with only doing a handful of live mixes, and all were for actual FM radio. The latest that I did was for The Room Radio / InterFM897 in Tokyo which was this past Sunday. I also released a CD with Diggers Dozen with a mix of all Japanese records for their on going series featuring some heavy collectors. I did a few IG Live talks discussing collecting, DJ’ing, traveling and just kinda nerding out in general which was fun. Those connected me to a bunch of other likeminded people that I may not have met otherwise. I’ve also done a bit for print media as well which I love because to me, print is still king. I wrote a new article for Disco Patrick’s Hot Stuff Magazine which this time I covered digging for kiddie records and was most recently interviewed in Holy Mountain Printings WDW3 magazine discussing the often forgotten toy / comic franchise of ROM The Space Knight. And to add onto that as If I couldn’t be any busier, I have another new 45 which should be dropping early September with 4 cassette tape releases ready to drop at some point between October and early 2021.
So yes, I’ve definitely been busy and taking full advantage of this down time of not being able to fly the friendly skies.
Massimo Chao – Wow, you’ve been non stop and you seem to be feeling great about all that’s going on and sounding young and energetic with excitement. Has there been any downside to being at home during this time which can obvisously be overwhelming for someone who is always on the go?
Skeme – The only downside has is that I’m not racking up frequent flyer miles, can’t catch up with friends in other countries and of course, can’t get hefty digging in while on the road. I know it’s easy to just shop online but I need to be out and about to browse and talk with shop owners.
Massimo Chao – So how are you getting your digging fix in to sustain that urge of wanting to obtain new things for the collection?
Skeme – Well for the first two months I took on the task of just revisiting what was already in my collection and enjoying that which brought a lot of renewed love and fun going through everything. It brought back memories and stories of how and where I obtained things so essentially, I was digging in my own stash which is better than any store anyway. But for the last few weeks as shops have started to open again, I’ve been hitting the streets with my neighbor and homie Ron who is also a collector and co-owned a toy and collectibles shop out in L.A. prior to COVID. He’s probably the source of my hunger to go heavy on digging again. We’re out a couple times of week catching flea markets, record shops, vintage toy spots and most definitely the comic shops. We’ve been coming up on so much stuff lately that it feels just like it did when I was a kid buying things as well as digging in the early 90’s for all of this stuff.
It feels good to build relationships with shop owners which in returns helps us to get the good stuff which obviously wouldn’t really happen over the internet and it also helps to keep those shops in business. Many of them are used to selling at conventions and since San Diego Comic Con didn’t happen this year, many are sitting on so much inventory and trying to move product to pay the bills.
Massimo Chao – So what’s next?
Skeme – Just going to ride the wave and see where it takes us. It’s pretty obvious that things will be exactly as they are now going into next year so I’m not expecting to travel or anything so I’ll just keep stacking up projects and releases to keep the brand out there until I can jump on a flight. But health is wealth so that’s the main thing that I’m always going to focus on.