Random Facts With… Carl Craig


On a balmy evening in June pre-We Love… gig, somewhere in Iberia, Wil sat down with Mr Carl Craig and a fair few jugs of Sangria to share a number of odd, unconnected, random facts gleaned from the font of knowledge that is Google Facts and the like… in turn it launched a new series on Ransom Note; Random Facts With… (see what we've done there). From Twiddle Diddles (Balls, in case you were wondering) to a fear of being watched by Ducks. We began reeling off facts from these rather handy things called iphones, here's how it went down…

Carl Craig: The google facts though, theyre not always true, right? Who is google facts? Because it cant not be from Google.

Wil: I dont know actually.

C: It has to be from Google.

W: But then youve got Wikipedia as well and that's all user generated isnt it.

C: Yeah but theyre actually using a logo and a name but you cant really do that unless it's from them surely.

W: So who's actually deciding what that fact is?

C: Where I get a bit confused about it, is the photos that they have when you look under tweets and stuff. Who actually picks the photos to go on there! Google fact, why do they have a photo of a guy thats like horrible and whatever

W: Who controls that basically.

C: Yeah, who controls that?

W: Did you know that cracking your knuckles doesnt actually give you arthritus? It's actually air bubbles in your fingers.

C: I didnt know that.

W: Did you know that anatidaephobia is the fear that there is a duck somewhere in the world watching you?

C: That theres a duck? Really!?

W: Yeah.

C: So what is it if you have a fetish of a duck watching you whilst youre having sex? (laughs)

W: (laughs) Im not sure, Im sure there is one! Ill have to look it up.

Anonymous 1: Not having friends has the same health risks as smoking a packet of cigarettes a day.

C: Wow.

W: How do you justify that?

C: I dunno, maybe people that dont have friends at some point commit suicide.

W: Right. At an earlier age than smoking kills you or whatever.  How about the fact that tattoo guns were originally used as a pen to write through multiple pieces of paper.

C: Wow. Wow. Now you see, I dont know anything about tattoos, Im not a tattoo person!

W: Me neither. Abraham Lincoln was in the wrestling hall of fame.

C: (Laughs) No!

W: He wrestled in 300 matches!

C: No! Really? (Laughs)

W: Apparently guide dogs know the difference of when theyre on and off duty as well.

C: I can believe that. Ive got one Ive gotta tell you. In 1898 Bayer, an aspirin company, introduced and marketed diacetylmorphine as a cure for morphine addiction and cough suppressing. The drug is now known as Heroin.

W: Fucking hell!

C: When I was a kid I used to be really obsessed with drugs. I never took them, I just used to be obsessed with the facts of drugs! I always watched these documentaries and growing up in the early 80s there was always documentaries about the effects of PCP or you know whatever but um, CNN did this thing on cocaine and how coke was used not only in coca cola but in wine. There was wine that had cocaine in it from, I cant remember what the region of France was, but anyway..  Freud was a big cocaine user and after a while he completely flipped out and he wrote something that basically said he had a monkey on his back and that he has a problem! (Laughs) I was reading this like, 'Freud just said hes got a monkey on his back!' (Laughs)

Anonymous 1: they use pharmaceutical cocaine now which is crazy compared to street cocaine.

C: It's because its not cut. They used to use cocaine as anaesthesia and also there were surgeons that were using cocaine before they went to go and do surgery and stuff. And one ended up doing a Miles Davis and he hid for like 6 months because he was so out on it!

W: Theres that thing called merrocaine, thats for throats. Its not cocaine but its a derivative of that that kinda numbs your throat when you get really bad sore throats and stuff.

C: And just thinking about it, if I remember correctly, the reason why it was used in coca-cola was because the guy who invented coca cola was a war veteran who got injured and they had him on morphine and the coke was supposedly used to get him off the morphine.

W: Fucking hell. They used coke to get people off morphine.

C: To get people off morphine! (laughs)

Anonymous 1: whats PCP?

W: Pretty nasty stuff.

Anonymous 2: A very common form of heroin and cocaine. It was a street drug

C: I thought PCP was more like acid? I thought it was more on that level.

Anonymous 1: Ive probably told you this before but did you know male horses are the only mammals without nipples?

W: That is interesting.

C: So male dogs have nipples?

Anonymous 1: Yeah!

C: I dont remember having a male dog that had nipples All I can remember is his pink lipstick! (Laughs)

Anonymous 1: My dog used to do that and when I as little Id ask my mum what he was doing and shed say Hes putting his lipstick on

C: (Laughs) Oh man thats bad! Shell find out later in life Im just not telling her. Thats fucked up. Right, PCP. It was developed as an intravenious surgical anaesthetic in the 50s so its actually a proper medical drug. Its not Dutch PCP, thats a cocktail of everything. Its sedative and anaesthetic effects are trance like and patients experience a feeling of out of body and deteched from their environment.

W: A lot like Ketamine then, that realm of things.

C: Yeah, maybe it is like Ketamine. In pure form its a white crystalline form that dissolves in water or in alcohol and has a distinctive bitter chemical taste. This sounds like MDMA.

W: Yeah.

C: On the illicit drugs market the substance contains a number of  contaminants causing the colour to range from white to a light to darker brown from a powdery to a gummy mass consistency. Its available in a variety of tablets and capsules or powders which are either taken orally or by insufflation. Do you know what that is?

W: Might be something to do with breathing in. Maybe snorting?

C: Yeah something like that.

What else you got?

W: The top 100 brands in the world, there was quite an interesting one. Apple was right at the top, then Google was number 2 and IBM was the third, which was really surprising!

C: Yeah!

W: I guess they do a lot of business and have businesses. China Mobile is ninth. Prada are 95 on the list. Nike isnt in the top ten. Right. Having sex whilst sick can reduce your fever due to the sweat produced.

C: I can see that yeah.

W: Four is the only number that has the same amount letters as its value.

C: What do you think about the number 666? Does it bother you, does it not?

W: Not really.

C: A quarter note delay at 90 bpm comes to be 666. Or an 8 note delay is 666 if I remember correctly. I saw it in a magazine the other day, they didnt even say anything about it they just showed the value.

W: 90 bpm is quite a sinister sound.

C: So if you think about it, maybe the rhythms that could be sinister or dark rhythms that could equate to 666 in some way in milliseconds. So you take 90 and you double it to get 180, but you take 90 and you put a half onto it is 120. And 120 is disco. Frank Zappa has issues with 120, he hated 120. So if you take those numbers and you divide in milliseconds to whatever you need to youll probably always come out with 666.

W: Interesting! Thats a really interesting fact.

C: Did you know that Norma Jean Bell used to play with Frank Zappa?

Anonymous 1: A study at Harvard Uni shows that easily distracted people are the most creative.

C: I said to someone that most informers were diagnosed with having ADD

W: Yeah, or a mild form thereof.

C: Usually the ones with ADD are considered show offs.

W: In Tokyo, a bicycle is faster than a car for most trips of less than 50 minutes.

C: They did that on that car show from England, uhhh, Top Gear! They did something like that on there.

W: Can you hire bikes in Detroit?

Anonymous 1: they did in the 80s I think but they all got stolen by junkies

C: Yeah you have to get rid of all the Junkies first!

W: Yeah, you can hire bikes in London and Paris now.

Anonymous 1: And New York.

W: Boris did it the other way round. He put the bikes in first and now hes getting rid of the junkies and closing things down. Theres a lot of shit going on with all the licensing in London at the moment. Boris is like London's Giuliani almost. Hes really cracking down on late nights. OK popular wine in China is made with several dead baby mice fermenting in the bottle.

C: Wow. Thats pretty dull.  Do you know what is a fact? That Im very shy, on stage.

W: On stage youre very shy? Is that why you wear the masks and stuff?

C: no, but Im just shy on stage

W: In what way?

C: I dunno. I feel like I wanna hide behind my mother! (Laughs) My sons like this when girls come over and say Youre so cute! hes just like aahh. And Im like Whats wrong? and he just says hes shy and I say Well you better got out that shyness so you can get some pussy! (Laughs) But like this, or when theres a lot of people around I can be okay, but when it comes to

W: Yeah, Ive got a thing where it comes to standing up infront of a crowd or at the front of a room talking, like if Ive gotta do a presentation I have a huge thing where I just start shaking. But its fine when it's one on one or like one on ten people, but yeah Ive got a very similar thing like that.

C: Yeah yeah. I dont have a problem with Djing I just have a problem with DJing in front of people!

Anonymous 1: I reckon thats normal! Theres a whole thing about that where youre supposed to get like endorphins running through you youre so nervous and then you just go off like waahh!

W: You say that but people who have been doing this for a long time and you see people like Bicep playing and now theyve got it and theyre running with it I dont think they have that they just, I think some people relish it.

Anonymous 1: Its quite a big thing to go up there on your own though. You have to get into the zone for it dont you.

C: You have to be in the zone yeah! And acts like Sven, Sven you can just tell really loves it you know.

W: He really gets into it.

C: He loves it because of his personality but I think that he also loves it because thats his job to love it and he goes out to really make sure that people kind of know that hes loving it.

Anonymous 2: Youve got better though. You never used to move at all and now you move around!

C: It depends. You have to catch me at the moment I feel that I can kind of, like no set is the same. Its like, I might play some music and records that Ive played for a long time and then the rest of the shit is like, Im constantly not playing the same fucking records! I mean you might know a bunch of records I played yesterday but its kinda my thing, you know, that Im making for the day. So if you love it then great, if you hate it then great too. You know? But Im not gonna go up there like liberacci or cirque du soleil where its exactly the same show 5 years ago as today. And I mean, Id probably be richer if I did that but my history is known for me being, I mean I do all kinds of fucking shit (laughs) so you know, I think maybe I need some dancers, sex acts! Live sex show featuring Carl Craig on Turntables!! (laughs)

Anonymous 1: Nicolas Cage says he once woke up in the middle of the night to find a naked man eating a fudgesicle next to his bed.

C: Johnny Depp has to have some worse ones. Hes got to! Johnny Depp and Brad Pitt theyve gotta have the weirdest shit happen to them.

W: Did you know the worlds most expensive photo sold for 4.3 million dollars. It was of a river and also Photoshopped.

C: (Laughs) Thats brilliant!

Anonymous 1: The average 4 year old asks 437 questions a day.

C: (Laughs)

W: 437! Fucking Hell!

Anonymous 1: Whats the first record you ever bought?

C: Ohio Players Honey. It has this photo of this woman, beautiful woman, pouring honey on her body and my dad said What record do you want? I picked it out and he bought it for me, I was like 8! (Laughs) Hold on, the story hasnt finished yet. I got home and my mother freaked out and she took newspaper and covered the whole thing in newspaper and dared me, she DARED me to take the newspaper off! But she still let me keep the record. Most parents would just take the record and hide it! But she let me play it! I love roller coaster. Dun dun dun dun dun! Sweet sexy thing. Bad album!

Anonymous 1: Mine was Tiffany – I Think Were Alone Now! (sings)

C: (Laughs) It would be interesting to find out what Kenny Dixon's first record was.

Anonymous 2: He used to bang jacks up records, like really loud Chicago stuff. He used to play super hard.

C: Kenny Dixon? But Kenny used to play it slow.

Person 2: Right, but still banging.

C: He used to play the stuff from Thomas Bowingers label, he used to play that like slow as hell! It was sweeet! He used to play at like 119 or something, with disco. Was more into the heavy shit. He was the one that told me, and this was in like 1988, 808 is the future. This was a drum machine thats been out since 1981! (laughs) And sure enough, that motherfucker was right. Because all trap shit, all the Lil Wayne, all that stuff you hear on the radio is 808. Its just an 808 with them talking shit on top of it. And I told him recently, Youre a prophet to come out with that!

W: The stubborn child act of 1654 allowed parents to put stubborn children to death for misbehaving.

Anonymous 1: To death?!

C: (Laughs)

W: Yeah, to death! 1654.

Anonymous 1: Where was that?

C: Probably England.

W: Probably was!

Anonymous 1: That just reminded me of something my mother used to say when we were children Be seen but not heard

C: My mumma never said that.

Anonymous 2: How were you raised? With a soft touch or a strong hand?

C: I was raised, I dont know if youve even seen comedians talk about this, you see it more with black comedians, like how a mother can be so evil that she punishes you by telling you to go to a tree and to pick out a switch, like a flexible branch, to get beaten with! And what was even more fucked up is youd always come back with the smallest one you could find! And shed freak out and make you go back to get a bigger one. And shed run it through her hand because it had leaves on it and whooosh and then blam blam blam (Laughs) My mum grew up in the south so that was typical.

Anonymous 1: The faster your walking speed the longer you are likely to live. I walk really fast!

W: I walk really fast.

Anonymous 1: Im gonna live to like a thousand and seventy!

C: I wanna be like Paul? I wanna be the guy thats never on the phone, and you have to whisper in his ear to tell him what you need and he dont do nothing that he dont have to do.

W: On the same subject of speed. Scientists say that your brain perceives people that annoy you as moving slower than they actually are.

C: That must be because it lingers. Like when someone says something that you dont like and it just goes to your head like a million times.

W: Yeah!

C: And then youre like, I hate that motherfucker! (Laughs)

W: (laughs)

C: And youre saying a million and one times and youre like I hate that mother fucker.

W: What are they saying?

C: (whispers) I hate that mother fucker  I was a at a friends house the other night after the party at Plastic People and Mark came down and we went and had tea at his place and some other people came back and we were having it out and talking and whatever and he says Ive gotta go use the toilet. So he goes to the toilet and were at Mark's place, 3 of us, wed been there about an hour, he comes back out the toilet and was like Where did everybody go?

W: A heavy metal band exists with a parrot named Hate Beak as its front vocalist.

C: What?!

W: Saudi Prince, Al Waleed, owns a diamond encrusted $4.8million Mercedes and he charges $1,000 just to touch it. What a prick!

C: Thats great shit! I wish I could do that.

W: During the prohibition the US government actually poisoned alcohol and actually killed as many as 10 thousand people.

C: Oh my god. That is fucked up. Wow.

Anonymous 1: What was the deal with prohibition? They didnt want anyone to drink alcohol so everyone just started eating potatoes.

C: I think prohibition happened because of when people go to work. Wow, but thats crazy.

W: Yeah man. Here's a great one: Until the early 1800s the slang term for balls was twiddle diddles.

C: Twiddle diddles! (laughs) You guys still use that though right? Diddle?

W: Diddle me out. If youre sort of swindling. Its like Youre diddling me out of some money or something like that.

C: Because I thought with kids, you guys used that?

W: Diddums.

C: Oh okay! Twiddle Diddles haha!

W: Its so British.

Anonymous 1: Darling get your twiddle diddles out of my face, how many times must I tell you?

C: do you have a build up in your twiddle diddles? I might be able to help you.

W: (Laughs)

C: Hey you, it looks like your twiddle diddles need some love. Give me 10 shillings and Ive got a girl in the back that can help you.

Anonymous 1: We should bring that back.

W: Yeah, bring back twiddle diddles!

Anonymous 2: We should do a night called twiddle diddles. Lets go to the twiddle diddle tonight and get fucked!

W: Theres one more thing I need to ask you about. Tinnitus and Meditiation.

C: Tinnitus and meditation. I really believe that tinnitus is something that is the system noise of your body. So its like an amplifier like anything that you have or hear and you turn it up load enough and the shit is there. The hmm is there or whatever. And with tinnitus there are things that cause it a bit more, like caffeine like any type of stimulant that is strong can cause your ears to ring.

W: So its not primarily being in rooms with loud music?

C: Well of course,  you developing tinnitus is from being exposed to loud music and loud sounds but you cant cure tinnitus. Its not possible. They already know that your ear hair, Ive forgotten the actual name for it, by your ear drums, it curls and that causes the problem. But my belief is that through re-training your brain to hear through the tinnitus you dont pay any attention to it. You hear it, it happens but you can not. I mean, Ive had tinnitus since I was I mean, Ive been listening to a lot of loud music since I was a kid you know, so Ive had tinnitus for a long time. And I use foam ear plugs and I just try to have conversations with foam ear plugs in, like anywhere. On the aeroplane, in the shopping mall. Any situation. Its not just based around club life and stuff. And with the meditation disc, the objective is that, I would relate this to tinnitus, most musical arrangements have so much activity in them, even if you try to completely zone out theres too many changes that are happening. You know? Whether those changes are happening in equalisation or in musical arrangement or in key, it makes your brain say, something just changed. Well with meditation your brain is supposed to cut off.

W: Yeah, cut all of it out.

C: Cut everything off. When you sleep your eyes are closed but your ears are always on. Always. Thats something thats normal for our self defence mechanism to just make sure someone isnt gonna come kill you or whatever. Its good where you can have situations where you can try to cut everything off, or cut as much off as you possibly can do. You know like a hard reset.

W: Yeah yeah!

C: so with the disk that I did thats called mediation. Its sounds that move slowly and its designed to be an arrangement that moves slowly and its house music that supposed to help you turn off in 10 minute segments. And when I listen to things now, my favourite listening experiences now are to listen to these Tibetan bowls and you know its just a tone.

W: Yeah sure.

C: And that tone, I love it. I think its great to hear when theyre doing chords or doing what ever because its just a constant state that you can be in. And when you can not have to think about anything it just puts me in the right place. So I consider that my meditation.

W: And you feel that alleviates your tinnitus?

C: Well it helps because I really believe that natural sounds are necessary, you know? So whether its the wind we hear in the trees or when I was in Bali after New Years and its rainy season and you just hear the ocean and you hear the rain and you hear the trees and even the leaves are so big and heavy that they make these thudding sounds. Those are the things you really need because as a human were used to this kinda stuff. But our lives are built around electronic sounds and everything is to do with electricity so its really necessary to have these times when you can walk away from the typical, youre walking down the street and every clothing store is playing different music and the shitty speakers on our phones, you need to have these natural things. And I wanted to bring that into the electronic element with my pieces and, it might not be natural, but in the way that it moves a bit more naturally.

W: Yeah yeah, cool! That makes a lot of sense.

Anonymous 2: I might have something of interest to you actually. My therapist has developed a system, I think its for tinnitus, you have to make sounds like Ohhhm, its like a 5 minute thing you have to do every day and your ears are making a certain vibration and it can help cure it.

And with that, the Sangria's done and Carl disappears off to play what was a mighty fine We Love… opening set on the Terraza…

Twiddle Diddles indeed! 

Carl Craig's Masterpiece is out now.

Carl plays We Love… again this year.  Check here for all the rest of the We Love… goings on  this year.