Background Noise, Episode 20: Wizard Skull / by Matt Bomarr

The "Background Noise" podcast series focuses on the music that artists listen to when they work, what music inspires them, or just music they like. This week, in Episode 20, the focus is on Brooklyn's Wizard Skull.

The "Background Noise" podcast series focuses on the music that artists listen to when they work, what music inspires them, or just music they like. This week, in Episode 20, the focus is on Brooklyn's Wizard Skull.

There's no concept or juxtaposition of two pop culture icons that is too weird for Brooklyn-based artist Wizard Skull. Not only does the man also known as Alex Duke have one of the most epic beards in Brooklyn, he has an incredible knack for making you laugh and feel uncomfortable with his drawings.

Some of these concepts include: Kanye West as a duck, Rick Ross as Robocop, Slimer and the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man as muscle men, rappers holding their cats (the subject of his handmade "Pussy" zine), or even 2Pac and Biggie in a shirtless embrace (for his "Sex Daze" trading card series for MIshka). Not only have these images been wheatpasted all over the city, shown in galleries, or sold as prints, they've also shown up on a series of skateboards he designed for Death Skateboards. He's quite prolific, and always up on his current events.

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He was yet another one of the great artists who contributed to the recent Surplus Candy show, one of the pieces, pasted to the inside of a toilet seat, featured Charlie Brown with a squiggly penis to match his squiggly shirt. And most recently, he and our mutual friend Killer Acid organized Zine Friends, a zine fair that took place at Brooklyn's Cotton Candy Machine.

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I feel like I can't even keep up with the number of zines that he produces. If I could afford it, I'd buy them all. If you think YOU can keep up, you should keep an eye on his online shop, or follow him on Instagram.

What was your first concert?

My first concert was Conor Oberst and The Mystic Valley Band. Other than that, I never had much interest in going to see bands live, but I went to a lot of local band shows with friends just for something to do.
 
What was the last concert you went to?

The last concert I went to was at Bowery Ballroom. I don't know the name of the band. I only went because friends wanted to.

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What was the first album you bought?

I forget what the first music I bought was, but it was probably something I wouldn't be interested in listening to now.

What was the last album you bought?

The last album I bought was Devendra Banhart's Mala. It was alright.

Is there one album that made a significant impression on you?

The album that made a significant impression on me would be Wu Tang's new album. I haven't heard it and have little interest in hearing it,but they are releasing only one copy, which significantly impresses me.

Who is your musical hero?

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There's no way someone could be my hero for playing music. I don't know anything about the people who make the music I like, I just enjoy their music. Aren't hero's supposed to do something heroic? I guess I'd pick the people who sang the "We are the world" song, I forget what that was for, but I think it was a benefit or to bring awareness to something. So I guess that's heroic..

How important is music to your creative process?

Music is important to my creative process because I draw a lot in coffee shops and there are always really annoying conversations happening near me, so if there is music on, it helps drown out the sound of those conversations, and keeps them from distracting me.


Check out Wizard Skull's mix below, download it here, or subscribe to the Background Noise podcast on iTunes.

Be sure to check out Wizard Skull on Facebook, and don't forget to like Background Noise on Facebook as well, for updates on future episodes.