Fingers on Blast: Can you tell us a bit of your musical origin story? How did you get drawn to music? How did you first start out making music?
Blueprint: My initial entrance into music came from growing up in the church. My mother is a really good singer who sang in the choir and my older brother sang in a quartet with some of his friends. My church was very musical, and I joined the band around the age 10 or 11, learning how to play trombone. I learned all I could then by ear and never had any formal music training. I just understood harmonies and chords from playing them and hearing the notes in my head, as opposed to on sheet music. I had a keyboard back then but I wasn't really focused on music, and never thought about hip-hop as a career. I wasn't into hip-hop until I went to college and met a guy from the west coast who was into turntables and DJing. That was a big eye opener. Learning about DJing led me to learning about vinyl and how beats were made. I started dabbling in beatmaking right before I left college and that was the first thing that really got me heavily into hip-hop.
Fingers on Blast: Where did the name Printmatic come from?
Blueprint: Funny enough, a rapper in my crew named Plead the Ph5th actually gave me that name. He used to always call me "Printmatic" so I just kept it and ran with it.
Fingers on Blast: How did your collaborations with RJD2 come about?
Blueprint: RJD2 and I are both from Columbus and came up in the same hip-hop scene. His crew, The MHz, and my crew, Weightless were both big parts of our local hip-hop scene. He came out to one of our Greenhouse shows and asked me if I ever thought about doing any solo material and I said I hadn't. We decided to record some demos. The recordings came out so well that we formed a crew and chose the name Soul Position. This was before he was on Definitive Jux and I was on Rhymesayers. Back then we were just recording all types of music, hoping to be heard.
Fingers on Blast: The internet helped boost the audience for Weightless, do you think artists starting out now have an advantage in the internet era?
Blueprint: Definitely. I think the internet has changed music forever. Things spread faster and further than they ever could before. I think the new artists are in a great position if they're doing good music. The key is to create something that people spread for you. When the people really like your music, they will use the internet to do the heavy lifting for you. They will spread it faster and farther than any label could ever spread it, and that's ultimately a good thing. I think youtube by itself has revolutionized they way people find music. It's great.
Fingers on Blast: What inspired a Radiohead cover for 'Deleted Scenes'?
Blueprint: The idea of doing a cover song was actually suggested by the label Rhymesayers, as an idea for some video content to promote Adventures in Counter-Culture. I figured that if i were going to cover something, it would have to be one of my favorite bands. I'm a HUGE Radiohead fan, so it made sense to mess around with their music first. Unfortunately the timing didn't work out for me to release it along with the album, so I saved it for Deleted Scenes.
Fingers on Blast: 'Deleted Scenes' features Terry Troutman of Zapp. Can you tell us a bit about how that came about? How was the recording process with someone who's been around for a while and has made some unforgettable music?
Blueprint: A few years back I started to get away from sampling so much and started to explore the world of synthesizers. It seemed that all study of synths just led you to the talkbox and the theremin. I bought a talkbox but realized that it was really difficult, so I left it alone. Then I was on youtube and saw a video of Terry Troutman playing around on talkbox in his kitchen. I did a lot of detective work to find who posted the video and get in touch with him about a collaboration. Once we got in touch and worked everything out, I drove to Dayton, OH where he lives and sat in his studio with him while he recorded it. It was pretty surreal to be sitting in his garage and seeing all those platinum plaques on his wall. He was really awesome and kept asking me if i was happy with what he was doing. I told him it was amazing.
Fingers on Blast: Are there any artists out there you'd really like to work with?
Blueprint: Right now, I'd like to do a record with a female vocalist. I started writing a record for Angelica Lee, who has appeared on my last two albums. I think she's a great talent and want to make something special with her.
Fingers on Blast: What inspires you when you're making new music and traveling to perform it?
Blueprint: I think the best part of being an artist is creating something that moves people. There's nothing like going out and seeing responses to something that you created in the privacy of your own home. When people get it and respond well to it, you feel as though everything you went through to make it is worth it.
Fingers on Blast: What have you been reading/watching/listening to lately? Anything you'd recommend?
Blueprint: Lately I've been reading a lot about diet, trying to really understand food and health. The last great book I read about that topic was called "Sugar Blues" by William Duffy. That book is a game changer.
Fingers on Blast: Thank you for taking the time to talk with us, is there anyone you'd like to shout out?
Blueprint: I'd like to thank you guys for the time. And thanks to everybody who has supported me for the last 10 years and allowed me to do this. Fan support is so important nowadays and I'm so happy I have it. So I guess I'd like to shoutout my fans.
Buy the new Blueprint album "Deleted Scenes" on ITunes (http://bit.ly/Wx4qwx), Amazon (http://amzn.to/TucGIG), or Bandcamp (http://bit.ly/SfKsRl). For more information on Blueprint, visit http://printmatic.net.