is The Brilliance?
Ben: THE BRILLIANCE is me and chuck.
And I’m that dude listening to this chopped & screwed slim
thug right now. Looking out the window of my loft here in downtown
GR. It’s a beautiful day here, wow. We just like writing about
things we like. I like to shine you know?
Chuck: Chuck X Ben X Interview X Website
X Typing X Posts + Good - Bad / Pi = THE BRILLIANCE
What are the “day-jobs” for such brilliant
B: Information Architecture…that’s
what they call me. I honestly don’t feel like going into it. Heavy
systems design for the supply chain industry. Big clients that are fun to
work with. Laid back but intense at the same time. I’m crazy young
in my industry.
C: I don't really know how to put this, but,
I'm kind of a big deal. People know me. I'm very important. I have many leather-bound
books. Ha. Sorry. I'll settle down now and answer your questions. My name
is Chuck Anderson and I freelance under the name NoPattern. It is more my
night-job than day-job, since I do most of my work late at night for whatever
reason. I freelance my work for magazines, record labels, ad agencies, fashion
labels, whoever. Whoever wants to hire me.
What informs and inspires your work?
B: I get a lot of my info just from the web
you know…I got a lot of daily visits for seeing what’s good with
the world. But magazines come in handy as well. We just filter out what we
feel fits our personal aesthetic. Everyday inspires me I guess…I love
juxtapositions that compliment each other. Is that called contrast? Anything
that is ‘smart’ is inspiring. People with finesse inspiring me
like crazy…you know. Like those people that ‘float’ thru
everything they do.
C: I'm pretty inspired by a good couple of
hours at Borders or Barnes and Noble with some magazines and friends just
hanging out. I get most inspired these days by my girlfriend Holly...She
just makes me want to work so hard for the future and motivates me quite
a bit to do well. My family and close friends as well of course...Staying
low-key and out of trouble...keeping my head on straight.
How have you developed such a coherently eclectic
sphere of interest?
B: I’m not going to lie. Having disposable
income and time helps. I’m not wealthy quite yet…but I aspire
for the finer things in life. While at the same time I have a huge love for
true ‘street culture’ as I got to grow up around it when I lived
in the South Chicago-land/suburb areas. Shout out to reduced one-ways on
the University Park Metra Line. That’s whats up. Either way, so the
two smashing together created that eclectic taste I suppose. They are coherent
because I think I have OCD and I feel more relaxed when everything in my
life is ‘lined’ up in some way shape or form. I would sum it
up with like… Levi’s and Louis Vuitton. Or maybe Chinese takeout
and Veuve Clicquot. That was kind of a confusing answer I gave…but
for real, thanks for the compliment saying that we are coherent.
C: THE BRILLIANCE : A COHERENTLY ECLECTIC SPHERE OF INTEREST. We should
put that on a shirt or something. Ben said it best though, it's really our lives
and upbringing that affect our tastes and interests. I was brought up in a conservative
Christian home and eventually got very involved in the art world and advertising
industry as well as getting very interested in both metal/hardcore music and
hip-hop at the same time...so all of those things stay very close to my heart
and spin off into what I post on The Brilliance. I also think Ben and I appreciate
and understand what it means to truly be smart and savvy in the way we think
and what we pay attention to. Never following anyone...
How do you choose the people you interview for the
B: Totally randomly really. Just people we
like. People that inspire us. People that are behind the scenes are always
super cool to work with. Like Alex Calderwood…he is behind the scenes
but is truly one of the people that defines our culture. He calls it ‘genre
now’ I believe. I like that.
C: We pick out of a hat and then go through
a long series of sexual favors and gift exchanges until they say yes. Or
we just decide who might make for a good interview, email or call them, and
carry on like Ben said. Seriously though, everyone we have interviewed so
far is someone who has done something new and innovative in their respective
field. Find one person(s) in our interview section who hasn't done something
fresh or worked with a truly respectable company and I'll give you this dollar
that is on my desk.
What do you think of the interview format?(Can it be limiting? Is it better through
e-mail or in person?)
B: Honestly…I like email. It gives
the person time to really answer the questions thoughtfully. But candid face-to-face
is cool too man. We did Alex’s I person. Chuck did the transcribing
on that. Which took forever. It’s no joke doing that! Email is easier…and
the whole idea of doing everything over the internet really lends itself
to the whole image of what we represent. It’s all very instant and
C: Email is nice because it lets us take
time writing questions, sending them, and then having the interviewee take
their time and answer when they can. In person we have only done once,
like Ben said, with Alex...but that was just a great overall experience
for us, not just the interview portion, but the whole trip to Seattle and
Describe the best interview you’ve done for
B: I can’t say I have a favorite.
I like Jest’s from Alife quite a bit. He has seen so much in the
scene you know? I hate calling it ‘the scene.’ Alex Calderwood’s
was inspiring…he showed us around his whole empire in Seattle and
put us up in suites at the Ace Hotel which was incredible. His insight
and stories where pretty incredible. Who else…Mark The Cobra Snake…funny
interview. I don’t think he’d done a lot of interviews at that
point which was cool. I mean, doing the futura and 13thwitness one was
too wild. It’s funny, cause mad people didn’t know futura was
his dad. They are both very cool people. Chuck was more involved with that
one than I was. A-ron from aNYthing is really someone to watch man. Something
about that dude…he has very focused vision. I didn’t answer
your question very well.
C: Alex Calderwood's interview has a headstart
on everyone else's because we did it in person and got to travel for it.
Besides his though, I really did enjoy A-ron's interview...my man Kareem
Black's of course too. They're all perfect actually.
How do THE BRILLIANCE authors stay up when their
work is getting daunting or stressful?
B: It really isn’t stressful. Only
a couple of times. But nothing intense. I wouldn’t do it if it was
stressful. THE BRILLIANCE is something Chuck and I started strictly to
have fun. And it’s lived up to that so far.
C: Red Bull, online poker, online Scrabble,
a drive, going to the gym, the bookstore, buying groceries, eating the
groceries, getting checks in the mail, being with my girlfriend, getting
a new job, traveling...lots of things. No time to get stressed.
After rubbing your eyes and shutting down the computer,
what’s the drink of choice for THE BRILLIANCE gentleman?
B: Chuck is really into Capri Sun’s
right now. He pops pouches like it’s new years eve everyday man.
That’s balling. Lately I have been sipping on that Effen Black-Berry
vodka on the rocks…my man Scott put me on to it. I like beer quite
a bit as well. Beer and hot wings. When I’m trying to look important
I drink Ephemere beer…other than that, give me a Coors Light or a
Miller Light. And lots of Diet Coke when the computer is turned on.
C: I was into Capri Sun, but I think I
might be getting more into Juicy Juice now. I'm not sure though because
Welch's 100% Grape Juice is always tasty but I can't say no to a dixie
cup full of apple juice sided by a couple of animal crackers. Perhaps YooHoo
would do the trick, or just some warm skim milk. All of the above.
I just heard you bought a private jet(almost),
congratulations. Where will(would) you be headed for the next month and
who are you taking with you?
B: Yeah...we bought it on eBay man.
It’s crazy. It goes like 9,000 mph I think. I haven’t floored
it yet though. It’s gas mileage is okayish. If I was G4 status I
would be in NYC, London, and Micronesia all the time man. For real. I’m
sure a zillion other places as well. Switzerland has a cool vibe it seems.
But I’m all about little hidden islands and all that. I think our
jet can go into space as well, so I would spend some time in space eating
that space food man. Who would be with me? Chuck, Chris would be on every
damn flight with me, family, my GR crew for sure, old friends, some girls,
I’ve never traveled with Jackie, that would be cool. I liked this
C: After Ben gets back from Pluto and KY
Cygni, that supergiant star, I think I'll take the jet to Antarctica since
that's kind of my dream travel destination. My Uncle Leith took a cruise
to Antarctica once.
The last time THE BRILLIANCE was in NYC they...
B: That was last weekend for Semi Perm.
We stayed pretty busy man. We stayed at The Dream Hotel on like 55th street
I think. We did lots of flips on the beds. Jumped from the dresser and
the window sill onto the beds which is really far, learned the subway a
bit, went to SoHo, went Duane’s constantly for candy, lots of parties,
lunches and dinners. Didn’t shop much. But I threw it down at the
closing night party. That was a good time for real.
C: Well, I was speaking at the Semi-Permanent
design conference at the Lincoln Center, Ben was sitting in front taking
pictures of me and making me laugh, we met a ton of great people and had
a bunch of really great food. Also I remember Ben and I would skip taking
the elevator at our hotel and use the stairs. There was this one part of
the stairwell that got suddenly very tiny...like the hallway ceiling was
getting lower. So I shouted out "The schnozberries taste like schnozberries..." Get
it? Because in Willy Wonka's factory that one hallway...Nevermind.
The next time THE BRILLIANCE comes to NYC they
B: Shop more maybe? I want to go to MoMa for real! Spends some more time in Brooklyn
maybe. I don’t know. I haven’t thought about it much. Eat at more
restaurants! For real, we always go to like McDonalds and Subway when we’re
there. We went to TGI Friday’s this last time…in Time Square. Kind
C: Not ask the concierge at the front desk "Are there any normal restaurants
around here like Applebee's or Friday's?" He laughed. We're definitely from
the midwest. Who the hell goes to TGI Friday's in Times Square when A) you have
some time to kill, B) you have money to spend on food, and C) can go anywhere
besides TGI Fridays, where we paid a sadly large amount of money for some hot
wings and tortilla chips and had an ugly waitress. Also I'd like to go to a few
more boutique bookstores/magazine shops.
Your interest in branding makes itself evident
through your choice of interviews and products. What do you see in the
branding game right now that is positive/negative?
B: Branding with a lifestyle behind
it is always cool. I don’t wear Supreme, but that brand was built
from the lifestyle first rather than creating a label aimed at a lifestyle.
Supreme is inspiring. The exact same thing goes with aNYthing. Any product
that is super quality…Apple. Apple pays such close attention to detail.
It’s so evident. That is why they are the brand they are. Blackberry
is also pretty insane. They own that market but most people don’t
even use the differentiating features such as ‘push’ email...I
have always found that interesting. Also, big one, MUJI. I’ll be
honest I don’t know everything about them but I am very excited to
see what comes of their new presence here in the states. I like really
inexpensive but ‘cool’ brands right now…I love the idea
of money not being associated with ‘cool’ brands. I don’t
feel like answering the negative part. Sorry man.
C: We talk about this often, but one of
the most positive things I can see right now in branding is the model that
Ikea and H&M both embrace. Fashionable items at reasonable prices.
You might not get the world's best quality, but if you want something to
look good, stay in one piece, and not kill your wallet, these two brands
just really hit the nail on the head. Just my opinion. I really like Ralph
Lauren Polo, it's just one of those brands to me that can never, ever go
out of style. Punk, prep, hip-hop, indie, art fag...whatever your style
is, you can probably rock a good Polo with it and make it work. Just the
whole RL brand has something special about it to me, a good heritage. After
using Kiehl's bodycare stuff, I now know they're a beautiful brand...If
Ben doesn't want to touch on negatives, I will. Pontiac needs to give it
a rest, Oprah does not equal young and hip. Scion is getting so diluted
too. I forget they even make cars anymore, always advertising DJ's and
events more than their product. It just feels novelty to me. I don't know.
Oh, on one more positive note...Geico. Every ad agency should be taking
notes from Geico commercials. I'll have the roast duck with the mango salsa.
Who are some people that you view as champions
of branding/marketing and what is it they do that allows for their success?
B: Steve Jobs is Willy Wonka. I coined that
by the way. But everyone knows Steve is super serious with it. Not very
interesting for this interview. From a marketing perspective Levi’s
is doing their thing even though I am frustrated daily that I can’t
obtain their Japanese stuff easier! For real, it really bugs me out. But
yeah, Levi’s has the consumer’s attention in a lot of different
demographics. Young, old and everything in-between. They have a very function
minded consumer which in turn inspires the more fashion conscious consumer
because it’s viewed as ‘real.’ They have a great circle
happening. I was just reading some report the other day...something like
the top 5 brands that ‘young’ people identify with and trust,
and Levi’s was in there. I found that really interesting. Google.
C: The Google guys - do you really need
an explaination for this one? Alex Bogusky from CP+B Miami - I haven't
spoken with him personally but I've had the opportunity to work with Crispin
Porter + Bogusky Miami and as far as I know, Alex Bogusky is a genius of
a man. Steve Jobs, obviously...Jay-Z, big time - what he has done for black
culture is monumental. I just think he's really raised the bar for classiness,
determination, and success and turned more than a few heads by this point...Mick
Jagger and all of the Rolling Stones. What can I say. If you can keep going
after decades like these guys have, you have created a perfectly successful
brand. The Rolling Stones are a brand. The tongue logo is so famous and
they've never really changed the essence of it. I think their consistency
is very inspiring.
What is THE BRILLIANCE going to become in the future?
B: No specific path right now. The site
is VERY young and I love natural progression. But I’ll be real honest
here…I would love to offer consulting services. You see a lot of
these trend spotting firms that do heavy brainstorming sessions with clients
to grasp their target demographic and everything related to them…I
would like to do that. Maybe for a living some day. I feel like I can ‘see’ things
like that. I ‘get it.’ Was that boastful? I’m sorry.
C: Only God, Ben, and I know that and we
all pinky swore we wouldn't talk about it.
How many shots of Jager does THE BRILLIANCE need
to get loose?
B: Jager doesn’t touch my mouth man.
No way. I have done it a few times but I am in no-way-shape-or-form a fan
of that stuff. That’s straight pond scum right there. Plus it always
reminds me of like hemp necklaces and hacky-sacks for some reason, which
is…just not my cut. If I’m sipping anything besides beer it
is clear man. And I prefer the actual liquor to not be flavored…keep
that for the mixer. But that Effen Black-Berry is something else man. Cloud
nine status with that sutff.
C: Ben didn't need any to spell "stuff" wrong.
See? Look at the last word of his last answer. Sutff. We're already loose
and relaxed. Neither of us went to college and we're doing well and having
fun. Plus I don't know what Jager tastes like and I bet I wouldn't like
it anyways. Hey thanks for the interview, it was a fun one.
B: Yes. Thanks for this interview…
Interview with The Brilliance
By Thomas Bradley
Photos: The Brilliance
THE BRILLIANCE exists to serve as a resource for people of all interests around
the world. When we launched in the spring of 2005, we started out with interviews
from the likes of photographer Kareem Black, internet-fashion-superstore-Japan-based
ConceptShop, and Henry Lee, art director of ESPN Magazine. The content is as
varied as the tastes of the creators, which span from high-end fashion to cars
to islands to art directors and more. We are simply here to share our likes,
dislikes, interests, hobbies, and thoughts.
THE BRILLIANCE was started and is run by artist Chuck Anderson of NoPattern and
Benjamin Gott of Benjamin Edgar.
Words and images are copyrighted. Please do not use without written permission.
[著作權所有 Freshness Creative Corp. |文字與圖片未經正式授權請勿任意轉載]
© 2005 Freshness Creative Corp. Freshnessmag.com