Spotify’s newish Discover Weekly feature has led me to loads of derivative trash, but a few gems. Among these include D. Gookin’s sunny synth ditty “Glad I Met You.” I couldn’t find much about him on the Internet, so I decided to hit up Mr. Gookin and see what he’s about. It turns out he’s trill, funny, and – inexplicably – a hardcore Blink 182 fan. Read our conversation below.
Labeling Men: How old are you?
D. Gookin: Straight up 30.
Labeling Men: Where did you get the name "D. Gookin?"
D. Gookin: It's from the short story Young Goodman Brown [by Nathanial Hawthorne] and is short for Deacon Gookin. I abbreviated it to not be confused with another solo electronic musician. Basically it's a weird and foreboding name I enjoyed the sound of.
Labeling Men: Your Facebook page lists a number of genres, among which are "post-len" and "unconscious reggae." Can you elaborate?
D. Gookin: How I usually work is I fixate on really specific things and I made that music to reflect a time in my life I felt like I was living in that Len “Steal My Sunshine” music video with my friends, or at least that's what I was striving for but actually it was only in my head and yeah, eternal summer of the spotless mind.
Unconscious Reggae is a play on Conscious Reggae, which is the strain of reggae I love the most. Artists like Super Cat, Half Pint, Alborosie, Sizzla, Buju Banton. It's conscious in that it's not ignorant party music but uplifting with a social or emotionally confrontational message. Again, I was fixating and wanted to emulate that style and not think about it too much, just go for it so thus unconscious.
Labeling Men: When and how did you start making music?
D. Gookin: As D. Gookin in 2007, but before that I was in bands in HS, with drums being my main thing, and made music on a 4 track for myself.
Labeling Men: If you could only listen to one album for the rest of your life, what would it be?
D. Gookin: Toss up between Music Has The Right to Children by Boards of Canada and Mer De Noms by A Perfect Circle
Labeling Men: Who is your dream collaboration, dead or alive?
D. Gookin: Dead - gotta go with Brad Nowell. Alive - gotta go with the Education Connection Girl.
Labeling Men: What is your favorite thing about Brooklyn?
D. Gookin: Coffee shops, juicing on EBT, the extreme blend of extreme people, friends amped to support and boost each other, rooftops, the dancehall DJ I saw in the T-Mobile store the other day.
Labeling Men: What music is on current rotation for you right now?
D. Gookin: My favorite Blink 182 album: Blink 182's Greatest Hits, N.E.R.D.'s Greatest Hits, Grimes, Arthur Russell, Lil Ugly Mane, Fizzle Fry by Primus, Odwalla88, Operation Ivy, Kruder and Dorfmeister, Pink Floyd, Turnstile, Death Grips, Deep Forrest, Autechre.
Labeling Men: What is your favorite song you've made?
D. Gookin: “Doesn't Matter” [the song].
Labeling Men: Best live show you've played?
D. Gookin: Probably at Arbor Vitae in Ann Arbor around 2010. It’s a loft above a record store and a head shop and it was a very hype set in which things were getting burned and everything felt very synchronous and beautiful.
Labeling Men: Attended?
D. Gookin: NIN and A Perfect Circle The Fragile Tour. Probably 2001. My dad took me and my friends and I got in trouble for smoking a cigarette and I decided music was more important than life.
Labeling Men: What inspires you?
D. Gookin: Good friends, skate vids, logos, trespassing, lyric vids, iced coffee, Pogs, open spaces, drum production, silence, messages in the music I grew up on now making sense to me, the smell of burning cement, road trips, struggling.
Labeling Men: What is the coolest thing that has happened to you in the past year?
D. Gookin: Professionally - playing drums with Juiceboxxx and helping produce the new Pictureplane.
Personally - I got heel flips consistent and backside 180s pretty much down.
Labeling Men: What are you working on right now?
D. Gookin: Releasing a new album on Schwarz's new label, Nina Pop Records, starting a DIY space with some friends, Blink 182 cover band, working for myself, flossing everyday, meditating everyday, my communication skills, keeping it under five McCafe coffees a day, my attention span.
Follow D. Gookin on Instagram @bvgleboi , Twitter @dgookin, Soundcloud, and Facebook
By Anna Dorn
Photographs provided by D. Gookin