Not-So-Fresh Prince

How did Diplo, a dinosaur-loving, crunk-spinning white kid from Florida, become the hottest party DJ in Philadelphia (if not the world)? It sure as hell isn't through answering questions with complete sentences. You can't blame the superstar producer/remixer/label head/indie music darling for being busy, especially during his current tour with Bonde do Role and Cansei de Ser Sexy. Still, in lieu of in-depth responses to an e-mail interview, Outtakes is forced to translate what we can only assume he meant by his brief answers. This is what you get for being too busy, Diplodocus:

Outtakes: What role has the mixtape culture played in your come-up? Where do you see the scene heading in the future?

Diplo wrote: only the way to make money, be poor without it

What he probably meant: "Suck it, ASCAP and BMI. I'm rich, bitch!"

Your Piracy Funds Terrorism mixtape caused quite a stir in the music community. Do you currently have anything else like that in the works?

Diplo wrote: new record, working on it here and there, most amazing record ever, it's crazy, gonna change everything

What he probably meant: "I'm experimenting with a new form of meta-sampling in which I sample other DJs' samples. On my next mixtape, Stole Your Jamz, I just record a Kid Koala cassette playing out of a boom box for about 40 minutes. It's dope."

What's up with M.I.A. not being able to come to the States anymore?

Diplo wrote: she can come now

What he probably meant: "After a preposterous and completely unwarranted investigation by several federal government agencies, my little sugar bunny was absolved of any wrongdoing and can roam within the borders of this wonderful country. Which is cool, cuz otherwise she couldn't pick up her checks from those Honda Civic commercials and pay me back for giving her a goddamned career."

Your Hollertronix party series in Philadelphia has become almost mythical at this point. How did that come about?

Diplo wrote: came out of the city needing something, it's a mean city, everybody hates each other, hates the music, people in philly needed an alternative, hollertronix gave it to them, something that everyone loves.

What he probably meant: "Was sick of Fresh Prince reruns."

I read that you wanted to be a paleontologist as a child. Do you find any parallels between your childhood dream and what you have become?

Diplo wrote: no, i want to be a fireman too

What he probably meant: "Why even bother recognizing the parallel between digging through fossils and digging through record crates? I've got groupies to attend to. If you need anything else, don't hesitate to e-mail!" — Drexel Faris

Diplo joins Bonde Do Role on Monday, August 14, at Studio A, 60 NE 11th St., Miami. Doors open at 10 p.m. Tickets cost $5. Call 305-358-7625, or visit

Regular Joe

The late John Mellor's nom de rock, Joe Strummer, wasn't so much a pseudonym as it was a description of an ordinary, regular, guitar-playing Joe. Of course, this particular guitar-playing Joe was anything but ordinary or regular — as anyone with even a casual knowledge of rock 'n' roll will tell you, Strummer was one of the greats. But Strummer himself didn't seem to think so. Even though his old band, the Clash, was keen on describing itself as "the only band that matters," in the last years before his 2002 death from a congenital heart defect, Strummer thought of himself simply as a hard-working musician with a job to do. He just wanted to sell his record and keep the crowd happy. That's the gist of producer/director (and Clash confidant) Dick Rude's recently released DVD, Let's Rock Again!

The film is a document of Strummer and his band, the Mescaleros, as they embark on a promotional tour for their album Global a Go-Go. Over the course of an hour and ten minutes, Rude and his cameras follow Strummer from gig to gig (and interview to interview), depicting him as a humble soul who has one goal — to do his job well. One of the more telling scenes involves Strummer's trying to get a radio station to promote an Atlantic City gig. He shows up at the front door, a copy of Global a Go-Go in hand, and tells the employees he used to be in the Clash. The DJ recognizes him, puts Strummer on the air, but seems most excited to be playing "Should I Stay or Should I Go?" — the band's lightest, most commercial hit. This would bug the hell out of some artists, but not the always eloquent Strummer. He's just happy to be back in the game and get those few moments of precious airtime.

Another poignant moment is a clip of Strummer's quietly chatting with a few young punk rock kids. They're as eager to hear his stories as he is to share them. But it's not a passing of the punk rock baton-type moment — it's more like a group of students hanging on to a favorite professor's every word.

There are a couple of Clash songs on the disc, but the best stuff is saved for the bonus features — covers of reggae standards like Jimmy Cliff's "The Harder They Come" and Toots Hibbert's "Pressure Drop." Also included are some interesting bonus interviews and a Q&A session with the filmmaker. When it comes down to it, the heart of this film is the music. After all, it is called Let's Rock Again! And the Mescaleros do rock, mixing Strummer's classic Dylanesque storytelling with the world beat and reggae influence that always informed Strummer's most enduring work. — Lewis Goldberg

Back on the Bus

Things were looking up for All That Remains, the Massachusetts-based metal-core group fronted by Phil Labonte, formerly of Shadows Fall. With lavish praise for ATR's sophomore album, The Fall of Ideals, and a spot on this year's Ozzfest, it seemed like there was no slowing 'em down... until the guys got stood up by a bus company. Shortly before joining Ozzfest, ATR planned to do some shows in Canada, just as soon as its tour bus arrived. It didn't. However, now that Ozzfest is under way, such transportation problems are just a bad memory. At least, that's how it seemed to Labonte when he phoned Outtakes after the band's show in Detroit.

Outtakes: So how's Ozzfest been so far?

Labonte: The people coming out are awesome. I'd be standing by the side of the stage, watching bands, and invariably some kid in the crowd would start pointing and hollering and throwing me the horns, screaming, "All That Remains!" or something. It's been huge for us.

How was today's show? Was it weird playing in the morning?

There was an assload of people in line before they even opened the doors. We didn't play to fewer people than we would if we'd played later. The crowd was pretty much the same. For us, the show was awesome... or the kids were awesome. The show was terrible. But we felt like we were awful. You know, we're our own worst critic.

The Fall of Ideals shows a wider musical range than your first album. Is that because you listen to a lot of nonmetal bands?

It's a direct result of what we listen to. I listen to a lot of pop music. Our entire band is like that. People can say what they want, but I genuinely do have Panic! In the Disco in my iPod; I do listen to that band. I genuinely do listen to country music. If it bums you out, I'm sorry, but that's just the way it is. I don't have a problem saying that I want people to buy our record or that I want to do this for a living. But we're not writing to please other people.

Has Ozzy played many shows this year?

Initially, he was only going to do a handful, but now he's doing half the tour. He's doing shows on the second stage, which he never did before. I can actually say I shared the stage with Ozzy.

Have you gotten to hang out with him at all?

I haven't even met him [laughs]. Nobody's gonna meet him either. He definitely rolls up in a van before the show. In L.A., he left in a chopper. He was probably going home. — Jason Budjinski

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Drexel Faris