[Interview] Daily Bread Feeds the Crowd at Aisle 5
When the Aisle 5 crowd gathered for Artifakts and Daily Bread, I expected a heady crowd that looked like it could have been plucked from downtown Denver, and that’s exactly who I saw there. Artifakts kept things on an even keel for the most part, declaring himself to be a pretty chill guy, but he gave the crowd what it wanted with a few dips into bass-heavy trap and even took things into some really weird territory at times. I really enjoyed his performance, and, though I’ve only seen him a couple times before, felt like this was by far the best set I’ve ever heard from him. We sat down with Rhett Whatley, aka Daily Bread, and asked him about his recent release with Derlee and plans for the future.
I listened to your latest “Daily Basis Vol. 3” mix, and it was a lot more bluesy and soulful than I expected.
Yeah, it’s kind of got an organic vibe, but it’s also chill and existential. Those mixes are the outlet I use to release the newest type of music that I’ve been working on and the newest ideas that I’ve made. Often times what makes me tick is the more boom bap style of hip-hop. So, those mixes are often really saturated in the boom bap style of sound where you’re sampling drum breaks off records and keeping everything around that mid-90s bpm because, you know, they’re good driving mixes. The live show, sometimes depending on the energy, I’ll bring more of the future funk vibes in. This set will be solo, but sometimes I do rock with a drummer. I say solo, but my boy M.C. Obey will be on stage with me. He raps and will be doing some M.C. work. He was actually the M.C. who worked on “The Storm” from my last album Cloud Conductor. That was his vocal. I actually played my first show here at Aisle 5, almost two years ago. It was cool, I think we had like 40 people show up, and I was first of three. This is special for me because this is the first venue I’ve been able to come back to Atlanta and do.
You say “back to Atlanta," are you from here or do you live here?
Well, I’m from here, and I do live here, but this last year I’ve been getting a lot of opportunities to do a lot of festivals. I’ve gotten a lot of love in markets like Denver and a lot of Midwestern markets. I say “come back” because this is the first time I’ve had the opportunity to come back and do a good venue show. I’m excited.
What’s it like having a Christian band with the same name as you?
Yeah, that’s an issue that we’re definitely looking for solutions for. What we try to do is always associate the “music” part of it so it’s “/dailybreadmusic," because yeah, there is a Christian band named Daily Bread floating around there. It’s been kind of a battle, but the good thing about my fan-base is that a lot of them are pretty loyal and have been tracking everything since the beginning. They’re really vocal, so they’ve kind of put it in the ears it needs to go to by word of mouth. I’ve developed this cool little community. They call themselves “Breadheads." It’s dope.
Is your Daily Bread name inspired by Christianity or the Bible?
To be honest, no. It’s completely secular. I was attracted to it because of the metaphor. I started my record collection almost a decade ago now, and I was digging and spending a lot of time looking for different loops and stuff back in ‘08, ‘09 when I was just starting to produce. At first, “Daily Bread” was a metaphor for getting up every morning and going to the record shops, spending my damn breakfast money on the dollar bin records. After I got this big passionate collection I started making beats, and that became a focus on the music. It’s what gets my by. It’s my nourishment in a way. But, it is secular, and that has been a little bit of a battle distancing myself from… or, making it its own thing.
Philos Records has a name for encouraging a lot of collaboration among its artists. What was it like working with them versus working with a different label or versus a solo release given that they provide some structure around that collaboration?
I actually approached them first about releasing my first record with them about two years ago. Jordan Wengler, the guy who founded it, is really passionate about his group of guys and what we do. He encourages us a lot, like you said to collaborate, and makes it really easy to get something mastered. He definitely encourages collaboration more than individual releases. He’s a great guy. It was really easy, he had the cassettes ready to go the next day. That’s why it’s so easy to be loyal to a group of guys like that, because they’re all so passionate about their craft. It’s not a hype thing, it’s just a bunch of guys who really genuinely are passionate about flipping records and making that next sound of weird introspective organic trip-hop mixed with funk. Philos has been great, and I look forward to releasing more stuff with them in the future.
Speaking of cassettes, I know you had four-panel fold-outs in your latest release. Vinyl’s had a comeback recently. Why do you think the .mp3 generation want physical music at all, and especially why cassettes?
I actually work at a record store a lot of the time during the week. I put in some hours here and there when I can, shout out to Sweet Melissa Records in Marietta. I curate the selection. But it’s cool because 16, 17, and 18-year-old kids are coming in. Streaming is the number one format of music consumed, and so these kids are coming in and getting completely enamoured by different physical mediums that they’ve never seen before, whether it be an LP or tapes that are two bucks near the register. The reason we like to release our stuff on tapes, at least here recently, is because vinyl is still kind of expensive. It’s not as viable, and then cassettes also were very dominant in the mid-90s, which is a lot of the stuff that I was inspired by. They’re really fun to be creative with the packaging. We can do fold-out J-cards, and stuff like that. You know, do a photo session, kind of pack it in there, make it special for someone who wants to drop ten bucks.
They’re hard to play. Not many people have tape players. You can’t just jump in someone’s car and throw a tape in.
That’s true. We release them on a very restricted amount. We haven’t made a cassette run that was over 100 units, so they sell out really quickly. You could say they’re collectors items, but I actually have a car that was made in 2005, so I’ll run ‘em sometimes in my car, or sample off them. But you’re right, they typical person isn’t going home and sticking a cassette in a cassette player. But, having something that’s kind of a throwback… in a perfect world, in the future, I aspire to get some music on wax and put out 45s and stuff like that. But, right now, in order to do what we eventually want to get to, the cassettes have been a really cool thing to be creative with and get somebody something that they don’t see every day. There’s not a lot of people in the scene doing that. We try to keep it kinda cool. We bring them to different shows and sell them online, and try to make them just as special as we can.
Do you have any upcoming projects you want to tell people about?
We’ve got some dates we’ll be announcing here in the coming weeks. ’d encourage people to peep the socials and shit. But, I just want to say thanks to everybody who’s listened the past few years. All the people who identify as Breadheads. Thank you.
After our conversation, Daily Bread played a solid set of electro soul and hip-hop accompanied by M.C. Obey. I wasn’t particularly blown away by his rapping, so it didn’t add much for me, but the crowd seemed to be having a great time. I personally like things on more of the electro funk end of the spectrum he works in, and found his music to be much more like classic hip-hop and soul. It wasn’t my favorite, but anybody who can pack out Aisle 5 is doing something right, and he held the crowd’s attention all night. Breadheads stay alert for more new music from Daily Bread in the future. He sounds like he’s got big plans.
Photos by Megan Friddle for Bullet Music.