Currently Reading: XXYYXX: On a Highway Underwater

During the interview PDA supplied a small gift bag to the artist known as XXYYXX, or Marcel Everett if that makes you more comfortable. Just a friendly donation after business hours between like minded human beings.

“Well, I have a flight at 9:30 AM so I am going to smoke all of this,” Everett exclaims.

The young man from Florida, born on Halloween the year the Illmatic album was dropping, was 15 years old making his self-titled debut with rough compositions recorded in his bedroom. He keeps some label affiliations but mostly goes right to his 200,000 fans on SoundCloud to sell direct in all digital dimensions. He’s got the gift.

“I don’t like to start with an idea, because that’s when I fuck up. I just start doing shit and then I get an idea from that,” XXYYXX says slipping back into his alternate persona. “And if I do something I like, I come back to that. That’s why I never know if I like a song until it’s done.”

There’s no A&R man to approve the tracks, no review or marketing cycle, it just comes out when Marcel Everett decides it’s finished. No production plants or shipping and receiving. The internet just takes hold of his material and it seems jazzy somehow.

“Miles Davis with Kind of Blue — legendary,” Everett notes. “His shit with Coltrane and Bill Evans. Bill Evans is one of my favorite piano players. I wish I could go back in time and watch that album being recorded. I mean at that time, that record was so ahead of itself. It’s fucking crazy. Just pure instrumentation, the improvisation, it works. As time goes by the attention span musically of the listeners, it gets smaller and people want that hype shit. I love it. But I think it’s important to keep doing what you want to do completely regardless of temptation.”

On stage


He is candid that social media is exactly the temptation that worries him.

“Yeah it kind of pushes me forward, you know, impressing them and giving them what they want to hear,” XXYYXX points out. “But lately I’ve been learning how to filter that out. Especially for me, in high school I was a fucking nobody. So to get praised it’s kind of hard just to turn away from that.”

One of his old labels put out an oft-referenced release where XXYYXX described his style as being on a highway underwater. Marijuana has assisted him in reaching his transcendental state when composing.

“Yeah, I do enjoy it. It helps. Anyone who has played guitar can understand how fucking free it is. It’s so cheesy, but it really is true. For me at least, I don’t put boundaries on myself subconsciously like I do when I’m sober. When I am sober I stress myself out. But when I am high I am just having fun.”

As has become customary, XXYYXX congratulates all those locals present for legalizing the leafy foliage in our fair State of Washington. The quality of strains in the Northwest tempted him to move to Seattle a couple years ago, and although he wouldn’t say it, we have no doubt that the limited nightlife and absence of lucrative DJing gigs made him reconsider.

Since we are on the subject Everett takes a minute to recall his learning curve with cannabis.

“The third time I ever smoked weed, my fucking friend, um let’s called him ‘H’ cause I don’t want to put him on blast,” Everett recalls. “H has a fucking girlfriend named ‘C’, and C’s fucking parents do a lot of meth. And C’s got a stash of weed from her parents, so H got it from C, and he told me after I smoked 5 bowls that they laced their shit with meth. And that was the third time I ever smoked weed, so I didn’t know, but it was really fucking good! It was really cool, I enjoyed it. But eventually when I was coming down or something, it wasn’t fun anymore. I got really anxious. But yeah, don’t smoke meth!”

Interviewer Rose McAleese can’t help it, the most important question of all was begging to be asked.

“Which pokemon character would you want to be?” McAleese asks.

“There’s so many. It’s hard,” Everett ponders revealing his prior life as an outcast gamer. “I am taking forever…I would be Brock. Or something like Charizard because he’s a goofy lovable little guy.”

– Interview by Rose McAleese and Barry Joyner




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