Chaz Bundick: I did, for a while—then I realized she couldn't relate to me because she's white. ( Laughs) I realized that maybe I need a therapist who's a person of color. A lot of people are quick to put you in a box like, "Oh, you're black you make this kind of music." But we're in a age of culture where it's okay to like all genres of music—it doesn't matter if you're black or white.
It's a new wave for sure—the post-Lil B generation. If I had pick one person that really made people not care about how a certain genre of music sounds, it was Lil B. He made hip-hop look at itself in the best way possible, and that's a great model for all genres of music. I really admire his positivity, in that sense. What I've noticed is that you either like the subculture, the mainstream, or both. Rappers embracing indie rock is definitely a new thing—it's so cool though.
I do. The internet is definitely bringing it at a fast pace. Instagram, too, because the visual aesthetic is the first thing you notice with a musician—it completes the picture. When you see a rapper who dresses like Mac DeMarco, it's like, "OK! Cool! I wanna see more, show me what you got." Technology is blending a lot of cultures.
I've been wanting to cut back on touring to make more records, and that's something I started doing last year. I really admire The Beatles for quitting touring and just making records that are better and better. That's the model I want to follow.The last time we talked, you expressed ambivalence about making music as a long-term career option—that you wanted to focus more on design in the future.
I'm still feeling the same way. I'm not married to the music career, but I love making music. The visual arts are still a passion, so I'm going to be juggling those two—one as a hobby, the other as a career.What do you like about living in Oakland?
Coming from the South, California's always been a symbol of progressive thinking. The sun is so abundant, too—it draws you in and it's really good for emotional support too. I go on hiking trails or to the beach three times a week to take a step back from the studio and calm down. The like-minded people and the nature really makes me want to stay there.Do you find yourself taking on more work in times of emotional turmoil?
In a way. It's definitely cathartic to zone out and get the creative process started. At the same time, it's my career and it's very overwhelming, so a lot of the time I was just listening to ambient music and thinking, "Do I want to go bigger? Do I want to stay the same? Now that I'm doing this for myself and not for someone else, where do I go from here?" But for the most part, I enjoy working. It's what humans are built to do. We think too much, so we gotta do something.
After your breakup, how did you adjust to being alone again?
"Do I want to go bigger? Do I want to stay the same? Now that I'm doing this for myself and not for someone else, where do I go from here?"
I got into body work and yoga and giving myself five minutes of silence in the morning. Once I have my cup of coffee, I'm on the computer, emailing, and making music for 12 to 14 hours. I've been really into going out and getting meals and seeing movies by myself—giving myself alone time as opposed to feeling like I'm just alone. Really, I'm surrounded by people all the time, so I've just been trying to appreciate being alone.The stigma of being alone is something that's dissipated with our generation.
Thank you Steve Jobs. ( Laughs) It's okay to be alone. You got a phone! When you wanna feel good, just post a selfie, and then everyone will be like, "Yeah, you're so funny."You don't really use social media all that much, though—at a time when many musicians use it constantly.
I think mystique is cool when it comes to a public figure. Also, I'm working all the time, and I'm drawn to aesthetic. That's why I'm on Instagram the most. It's the only platform I feel comfortable expressing myself through, because it's so easy to curate. For most artists, it's almost become a mood board to have on your phone so you can get inspired. It's funny that most of what we're looking at on our phones is pictures.It took a second for me to even get comfortable with attaching my face to my music. If you look at my album covers, it's been a slow zoom-out. On Causers of This there's nothing, Underneath the Pine features my mouth, Anything in Return features my face, What For? features me sitting down, and this new album cover has my whole body on it. I didn't even notice that until recently. The next album cover's just gonna be a dick pic. (Laughs)Larry Fitzmaurice is VICE's senior culture editor. Follow him on Twitter.