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Wallpaper’s Ricky Reed Gets Real

In Clubs, Music

Breaking Big

Everybody, it seems, took note. This month, Wallpaper moved to Epic Records, their first major label. With legendary exec L.A. Reid taking over the label last year, it seems to be back on the path toward its glory days of the ’80s, when it was the most successful record company on the planet.

Frederic has of course heard the doubters who wonder how Wallpaper’s weirdness will fare on a mainstream label. But he has no reservations, especially as Reid seems to be making a point right now to sign what he considers the most innovative bands of the 21st century.

“It shouldn’t affect what I do musically. I’ll have a little more budget so I can bring it some bigger elements,” he says. “But these people signed me because of what I do. They signed me for my brain, not for my 20-year-old fake tits. They want me because this is what I do, and they don’t want me to change what I do. Which is the reason I finally went with them—they have such a musical team there, and they really get it.”

Frederic has also been surprised at how well his music has fared at MTV, where Wallpaper has become a favorite band. They were chosen as one of MTV’s “Artists to Watch in 2012,” and when the channel revived their flagship show Liquid Television last year, they made Wallpaper’s “Fucking Best Song Everrr” their first animated video.

“MTV, I tell ya, I had the same perception of them as everybody else, watching them go from the cultural barometer on hot shit to what they’ve become with a lot of the programming,” says Frederic. “I gotta say though, the people at MTV, the things they’ve done for me, and how creative they are and hard-working they are, and passionate—there’s amazing people over there.”

Frederic has also been writing songs for other people, including co-writing Cee-Lo Green’s latest single, “Anyway,” with Rivers Cuomo of Weezer. He also produced the track, and while it sounds totally different than Wallpaper, the song is loaded with Frederic’s dry humor. What he’s most proud of is that the song was chosen based on the demo he submitted—no politics, no connections, no favors.

“That’s just ‘if the song’s got it, the song’s got it. If it doesn’t, it doesn’t,’” he says. “I pitched the song and it was good enough. It was a really fun process—Rivers is amazing and of course Cee-lo is amazing.”

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