Koans and cartoons- a Scoobert Doobert Banana Interview

Koans and cartoons- a Scoobert Doobert Banana Interview
6th October 2022 sandra
Scoobert Doobert

📢 Give us 5 emerging artists that you want to highlight for everyone to discover right now

CHAI, Maika Loubté, Kabanagu, Limón Limón, I Don’t Speak French

🎧 What is your current favorite / guilty pleasure / go-to playlist? ( no pressure, it doesn’t have to be Indiemono’s)

We see continuous references to Scooby Doo in your name, your outfits and even your songs. How is this character linked to you?

I don’t know what you’re talking about! 😉 I am Scoobert Doobert, and Scooby Doo’s real name is Scoobert Doo, so there’s really no resemblance. On a completely other separate and legally important note, I really resonate with animation. Saturday Morning Cartoons are a big part of who I am as a person, be they American cartoons (especially ones with marijuana undertones) or Japanese ones (especially ones that are really aesthetic like Yu Yu Hakusho). I like to think that my persona reflects that inner child. Chaotic, free, fun, curious, addicted to cartoons and the internet.

Scoobert Doobert

A koan is defined by “a paradoxical anecdote or riddle without a solution, used in Zen Buddhism to demonstrate the inadequacy of logical reasoning and provoke enlightenment.” Why did you decide to name your album after this word?  What’s your favorite koan?

There’s a tendency for things to be one thing or another. Gender is the most obvious example. I think we’re imposing a false, artificial logical binary onto naturally analogue things. Platonic Ideals can hide something’s true (confusing and chaotic and changing) nature. But like, I don’t presume to understand koans. Or myself. But I’m working on it (by working on it less).
Here’s my favorite koan. (Track 17 on KŌAN is about it. It comes from “The Gateless Gate.”): A monk asked Joshu, a Chinese Zen master: “Has a dog Buddha-nature or not?” Joshu answered: `Mu.’ (My note: Mu is like nothingness or void.)

You also work with the band CHAI as a producer. Which are the challenges that you have to face when you work with someone else instead of creating everything by yourself and for yourself?

The beginning is the biggest challenge. Getting past that first song is the biggest hurdle. I think it’s because you’re navigating someone else’s creative vision that’s just a sparkle in their eye, and trying to merge that ever-evolving vision with your own concept of what their art could be. There’s also the aspect of working cross-culturally. Luckily, I speak Japanese and am doing this interview from the window seat of the Hayabusa Shinkansen as it accelerates out of Tokyo. If you want to hear more about cross-cultural work (and the beauty of it), I have a whole podcast episode on it

Your work is also characterized by really original song titles and highly creative lyrics. How do you come up with these ideas?

Well, gee, I really appreciate that! Every song is its own journey, and that helps me be creative. Some start with a lyric, and some end with one. I write down little ideas every day, with the goal of having one bad idea a day. (The worse the idea, the better.) Because sometimes the worst and most chaotic ideas can lead to the best ones. (Like my band name lol.) I also spend a lot of time on the internet and talking with people. I think finding universal ideas is more about zooming in than zooming out.

You have also written some songs in Japanese. What is your next challenge regarding writing lyrics in other languages?

I want to get better at Japanese, really. That’s why I’m in Japan right now. It’s awesome that I’ll get to hang with some other artists and some people at Sony (CHAI’s label), but mostly, I’m here to have normal, everyday conversations. I think the next stage of writing in Japanese is cultural, really. I need to hear the cadence of how people actually speak as they transit life, rather than the internet learning I’ve been doing for the past few years. I’d like to sing a song in Spanish one day. I know a bit but lack the confidence. That might be years down the road, but it would be fun. I also want to work with other artists from around the world, in their language or not. Most of my collaborations with LA musicians are over the internet anyway. Why not work with people from all around the world?

If you were a…fantasy creature?

A hobbit. I love beer, nature, mushrooms, and have hairy feet. I’m tall, but I would sacrifice my height for a longer life with my homies in the Shire. And second breakfast sounds nice.

What’s your favorite alcoholic drink?

Did I mention I love beer? I’m a San Diegan, after all. I homebrew my own beer (it’s not great), but have a dream of collaborating on a really really good beer someday. Lots of local musicians do it, and I want to too! Ideally a fresh hop Cold IPA or Czech Pils. Something crushable, with an incredible fruity aroma, a bite of bitterness but not too much. Not vegetal. Clean lager yeast esters. Alight, is there a beer cart on this shinkansen?! Yum.


What are your plans for seducing Elon Musk?

1. Live on a boat with chickens and only eat potatoes

2. Put ants in my granola

3. Stop eating granola and potatoes. Only spaghetti. 2 years.

3. Scream therapy

4. Legally put part of my soul up for sale.

5. Get an eye surgery only available to the rich.

6. Tweet at him

7. Profit (Probably via crypto fraud)

How would you explain your profession to your great-great-grandmother?

(First of all, the shinkansen beer cart just arrived. 助けた!) My great-great-grandmother was Polish, so here we go:

Cześć Babciu’s Babci, Jestem Scoobert Doobert. Doobert to nazwisko rodowe ze strony mojego taty. Jestem muzykiem, trubadurem, pisarzem i artystą. Pracuję głównie na instrumentach smyczkowych, ale umieszczam je w magicznym pudełku, które sprawia, że wszystko brzmi dla ciebie okropnie, a dla mnie świetnie. Wtedy inni ludzie na swoich magicznych pudełkach mogą słuchać mojej muzyki w dowolnym momencie za darmo. Kiedy wystarczająco dużo ludzi to robi, zarabiam pensa. Wiem, że brzmi to jak strasznie dużo pieniędzy, ale w dzisiejszych czasach jest to warte tyle, co palec u kurczaka lub coś takiego. Ale jak mówią, z wystarczającą ilością kurzych palców, możesz kupić kurczaka! W każdym razie mam nadzieję, że życie pozagrobowe jest dobre i istnieje, jeśli jest dobre. Ale mam nadzieję, że nie istnieje, jeśli nie jest dobre. Kiedy mówisz o mnie swoim przyjaciołom, upewnij się, że mówisz, że jestem bussin.

Anything you want to add before we finish?

Thanks for having me, and thanks for reading, dear reader (doomscroller). You can find all of my links at scoobertdoobert.pizza (.com is so 1999).

Check out Scoobert Doobert’s music right here:

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