An Interview with Curtis Godino
"WHO MADE THAT VINYL?" we asked ourselves, after seeing Mondo's ALIENS liquid-filled, Xenomorph blood record. One way or another, we tracked down Curtis Godino, a Brooklyn-based artist who specializes in oil wheels and liquid-filled records. You may have also seen Curtis's work for Waxwork Records, when he created the label's Friday the 13th blood-filled record release last year.
We wanted to learn a little bit more about Curtis's design process—not only his oil-wheels, but designing playable, liquid-filled LPs. The artist was kind enough to chat over an e-mail exchange. You can read the full interview below...
Curtis Godino | Photo by Lily Rogers
Gramovox: Where are you from? Which came first, your music or your art?
Curtis Godino: I am from South Florida and I think both came around the same time.
G: You have an unusual profession. How would you describe your job to someone like...your grandmother?
CG: Well, usually I try to explain that I do odd jobs and try to keep it around that but sometimes I go into explaining and when I do I usually explain everything and I'm not sure if anyone understands what I'm saying but I think they're happy.
Photo by Lissette Emma
G: You recently finished up a run of ALIENS vinyl for Mondo. A lot of us are huge fans of the film, and were very excited when we saw your records. Which soundtrack would you tackle next, if you had the choice?
CG: Oh man this is a hard one, probably Fantastic Planet or Wendy Carlos' A Clockwork Orange. I'm a huge fan of the Morricone scores but Im not sure how fitting that would be.
G: What sort of music do you listen to to keep those creative juices flowing?
CG: I usually try to keep it fresh but the groups that are always in rotation no matter what new records I have are the Mothers of Invention and The Residents or my boy Roy Orbison.
G: Admittedly, we don’t know much about oil wheels. How are they usually used, and how did that lead you to working on liquid-filled records?
CG: This is something that in the past few months that has gotten bad. I usually remember that no one has any idea what I'm talking about but for some reason recently just started thinking everyone knows what I'm talking about so I don't explain. But an oil wheel is a liquid filled disc that mounts on a motor and is placed in a projector that projects the spinning liquids. I was just making a ton of oil wheels and it was kind of eating up my life and its all I could think about. So as I was preparing for my band Worthless' first vinyl release I noticed they were pretty much the same size and that I could probably do the same process that I do with my oil wheels with records.
G: Did anyone tell you it was impossible? What are some of the challenges?
CG: Not really, I got a slow down type of feeling from some people but I think thats just because I was working on a few different things at the time. But at the time there we not many challenges as for I was already pretty proficient at sealing liquid inside discs. But as I started making them I would come into problem after problem. It was funny the first 15 were a piece of cake then I started coming into issues that I never had and had to figure out ways around all of them.
G: These don’t seem like easy projects. Did building liquid-filled vinyl take a lot of research, or just a lot experimentation?
CG: Both, I was and still am obsessed with my light show, mainly because it's a medium that can connect so many different things in my life. It's something that i could take a little I've learned form every corner of art and just being someone who makes things and put it back into the light show. This big melting pot of mediums and ideas. So that was a lot of researching, like different liquids and how they react and different way I could be manipulating them. But it was just as much research as it was experimentation. I think I started a little over 5 years ago.
G: Your color scheme is a whirlwind of psychedelic funk—are there any artists that inspire you?
CG: Thank you. I enjoy people like Victor Moscoso and most of the poster artists from the 1960s, I really like Karl Wirsum and Jim Nut. But I think my main inspiration has to be growing up in south Florida with very little exposure to, hmm maybe culture is the word? But it was the most boring place to grow up so if you or a friend found something weird and interesting you would just find out all you could about it. I also think that it was such a boring place it cultivated a lot of artist with the same kind of view.
Waxwork Records: Friday the 13th | Video provided by Curtis Godino
G: Do you ever fill your color wheels with anything unusual? Any unconventional methods?
CG: There are some unusual things in some color wheels but a good magician never reveals his secrets.
G: Cats or dogs? Daryl Hall or John Oates? The Wings or The Beatles?
CG: I have this unhealthy love for my cat so I would have to say cats. I don't know who those are. The Beatles, not too into their solo stuff. Ram was alright.
G: Where can we find you next?
CG: I have another liquid record job that I am working on right now but besides that I am trying to finish up an album for my band Worthless and I have some other musical projects in the works. Also check out my light show, Drippy Eye Projections, we perform pretty often in the New York area so if you have any interest in seeing an analog light show in action find us on social media.
Thanks again for your time, Curtis. We're a huge fan of your work, and are really looking forward to seeing what kind of wax you're working on next. For more on Curtis Godino, check out Drippy Eye Projections, his band Worthless, or head over to his website.