How did you end up working with producer Danger Mouse?
When I was in college I’d call my brother [Jorma] who lived in LA and play him my terrible little demos and he said he had a friend here you should play it for him, and “he” was Danger Mouse. He became my mentor for a longtime and still is. He told me what music to buy to inspire me, listened to my demos over the phone, and when I graduated I ended up moving into his old room. After five years of me writing stuff we finally decided to sit down and make an album.
You moved to L.A. form the Bay Area before you started recording. But did your experiences up here help inspire your music?
Definitely. The bay was a pretty integral part of the album. When we first started out [on the album], we were bumping heads pretty hard. It was time to share creatively and that was hard for me. It was all written in my bedroom and extremely personal. He said: “You’ve got to loosen up and let me in. You’ve got to breathe with me.” So we should take a trip to the Bay Area. I took him to the parent’s house, parties in SF, listened to a bunch of 60s California music, and when we got back the album just flowed out.
You just performed at Outside Lands this past August. What was it like playing at your hometown festival?
Oh my God. When I was on stage it was like “you people have no idea what this means to me!” Anything I get to do in the Bay area I get so pumped on. The first time I had an interview with Live105 I was giddy. I cannot wait to move back, whenever I can, I will.
Your brother, Jorma (of the Lonely Island trio), directed the music video for “American Daydream”. What was it like working with your sibling?
Super fun because it was just so relaxed. We did it for no money, and I had done him so many favors that he just owed me. So everyone did it for free as a favor to him for a favor for him. It was kind of a DIY thing. [With siblings,] you can argue and laugh and do it all very comfortably. That was probably the most fun I’ve had creatively in the past six months.
You released Mondo back in May, and just released your Holiday EP last week. Are you going to go the multiple-releases-a-year route?
I hope it comes organically. “Holiday” was really unfinished to me [when we released Mondo] so we didn’t want to put it on the album. Overall, I’m a slow burner. I’ll probably put another album out hopefully in the next year but I don’t want to rush it.
A fox. It’s just this enigmatic, mysterious creature. There’s something about that animal’s private life that reminds me of myself.
Catch Electric Guest at the Independent this Friday, Nov. 2.