Here’s a fun one for all the devoted numerologists in the comment section. Eagle-eyed readers might have noticed that vaporwave don George Clanton wore a 311 T-shirt at 100% ElectroniCON, his recent festival celebrating the subgenre he helped to pioneer. It turns out Clanton is a rabid 311 fan; they were his first concert, and he still calls them his favorite band. And now, he’s recorded a song with Nick Hexum himself.
According to Billboard, 311 got wind of Clanton’s passionate fandom and invited him backstage at a show in Charlotte in the summer of 2018. Hexum, who had never heard of vaporwave, checked out Clanton’s music and was supposedly so blown away by the “incredible electronic soundscapes” that he later emailed Clanton hoping to collaborate. So far the partnership has yielded two songs, one called “Crash Pad” that’s out now and another called “King For A Day” arriving later today.
Hexum told Billboard, “I enjoyed working with [Clanton] so much. There’s just a mad-scientist genius about him with the way he can manipulate and create vintage sounds that are also rhythmically and melodically interesting.” Clanton also enthused about the partnership: “The first time I sent [Hexum] a track, he sent me something back the next day. I played it in my car, and his guitar part was awesome, and then just unexpectedly, he started singing. I freaked out. It was crazy to hear his voice on my music and I just started crying in the car, tears of joy.”
Given vaporwave’s inherent ’80s qualities, Hexum wrote “Crash Pad” about his early days in Los Angeles at the tail end of that decade, when he was working at a Guitar Center on Sunset Boulevard and “there were all these crazy characters coming in and out and asking to sleep on the couch.” Hear it below.
UPDATE: “King For A Day” is out now as well via The Fader, so you can hear that one too.
“Crash Pad” and “King For A Day” are officially out at midnight on 100% Electronica.