Speaking of musical friends, the RZA makes an appearance on the most recent thenewno2 album, and you’ve worked with the Wu-Tang Clan before. How’d that relationship come about?

We became friends through a mutual friend. And then they [the Wu-Tang Clan] wanted permission to use a cover version of a riff for 8 Diagrams. I gave them permission, and they said, “Well, okay, will you come down and play the guitar in it?” So I ended up playing guitar on a couple tracks, and one of them RZA saved for his solo album that last came out, Digisnacks. And it was basically a song called “Can’t Stop Me Now.” So once we got that done, I was on 8 Diagrams and Digisnacks. And then I said to him ‘Well, you’ve got to come and do the same on my record.” So he brought the Black Knights down, and we kind of mashed up a bunch of tunes. And there’s still some that we’ve got in the can. I hope to do more with him, but he’s so busy now that he’s a director! He hasn’t had much time to come and collaborate recently.


Did he offer up any tips on movie soundtracks, given that he recently helmed one for The Man With the Iron Fists?

Nah — he’s a man of mystery, the RZA. He works in his mysterious RZA way. We all come from very different styles of music-making, but we listen to the same things and we watch the same films. And he’s just to eager to learn. He’s one of those people where he can learn anything at any point, his mind is just open. It’s an interesting way — because when I’m around him, you watch him do his thing, but you never really see what he’s doing. He’s kind of a magician.