Last summer I interned with Macklemore & Ryan Lewis in Seattle. I have done a couple of AMAs in the past and they were pretty popular. I thought I would give some of you guys the opportunity to ask me anything and let me tell you about my experience.

Proof if it's necessary:

Backstage at Oregon State University: http://imgur.com/7Qi5S0D

Filming of the Thrift Shop video: http://imgur.com/FsJEWxq

Sound Check at Oregon State University: http://imgur.com/tzYBD1R

Ask away and I will answer to the best of my ability.

EDIT: Did not expect this many questions/comments. Very cool. I'm doing my best to answer every question that I've got. It's time consuming. Also - another picture of "Macklemore" that was requested: http://i.imgur.com/5IgWilr.jpg

EDIT 2: Just want to thank everyone so much for asking all of your questions. Still doing my best to answer them all but this has been a blast. For people inquiring about shows, merch, etc. Their website --> www.macklemore.com Thanks again, all!

Comments: 1058 • Responses: 84  • Date: 

evilkory711 karma

Were you paid in second hand clothing?

mister_pjm697 karma

No. I wish.

Legal-Eagle498 karma

Can you tell Macklemore to give my grandpa's coat back???

mister_pjm428 karma

Sure thing.

chiupacabra138 karma

Were you paid at all?

mister_pjm366 karma

I was not. I was paid in college credit.

Mc_douchebag354 karma

Not even trident layers?

mister_pjm33 karma

Not even Trident Layers.

greekeos57 karma

Even better!

mister_pjm110 karma

I like to think so!

gct1016572 karma

Is Macklemore's cock really pink, long, big, strong and been known to dance like all night long?

mister_pjm685 karma

Personally, I'm not sure. But why else would he refer to it as such?

VintageClassics562 karma

Over the time you spent with them as their individual fame developed, did their personalities change? Did they start acting differently to people like your self who were around them?

mister_pjm1055 karma

Absolutely not. They have been the same genuine guys that I met about a year ago. The fame has done nothing to their "egos" or the way they interact with people. If anything, they have just gotten nice.

seitgeist355 karma

What is Ryan's process of making beats? Does it take him forever to get everything right?

mister_pjm518 karma

It does take him a long time and that is why they all sound so great. The way that I witnessed him doing it (mixing) was playing about 4 -10 second sections of the beats over and over, and honing it every now and then to make sure it had all of the perfect sounds and elements.

adamroen203 karma

Can you describe what it was like being in the studio with them?

mister_pjm508 karma

Very cool. But pretty normal. Pretty chill. They did their stuff making music and being famous. I did my stuff being an intern and shipping clothes all over the motha fuckinn world.

ariiiiigold511 karma

You doin' it, man. Folding and packing t-shirts. Purchasing envelopes. Affixing postal stamps. Mailing that shit. That's what up, baby. You doin' it, man.

mister_pjm293 karma

Hellllllll yeah.

Oblivion_The_Legend72 karma

I'm not a big fan of his music, but one thing I have to say is he knows how to make some damn good beats.

mister_pjm156 karma

Ryan Lewis makes the beats, but yes, they are damn good.

zagzgal5 karma

Interesting! I've read that's one of the most efficient ways to practice anything- get all your pieces ironed out and then try to put it all together. Any other cool work habits you noticed?

mister_pjm9 karma

Ben was very concentrated. When they were making music or he was doing verses in the booth there was very little talking that went on. He was in the zone whenever they produced together.

da_meek278 karma

How did you get the opportunity for a job like that? Just curious, was it a family connection or something?

mister_pjm402 karma

I know people say this all the time but I was literally in the right place at the right time and happened to talk to the right people. A couple of interviews later I was working for them.

da_meek170 karma

Huh, who was it you happened to bump into?

mister_pjm392 karma

I don't want to reveal that just in case I shouldn't. All I can say is that if you ever get the opportunity, always ask questions because you never know where it could get you.

da_meek146 karma

Fair enough, thanks for the AMA.

mister_pjm153 karma

Of course. It's a blast to see all the questions!

MichaelBoltonIsGod255 karma

Are you a cold ass honky?

No, but seriously, who's the bigger douchebag of the two? There has to be one..

mister_pjm534 karma

I am. I am an irish white boy that does not tan well at all.

Neither of them are douchebags. They are some of the nicest guys I've met and the entire team is extremely open and accepting of anyone.

MichaelBoltonIsGod169 karma

Well that's refreshing to hear. Usually people get a taste of fame and turn into the biggest divas alive.

And I feel you. My neck and head are burnt as fuck right now. I'm Italian, I shouldnt tan that poorly...

mister_pjm183 karma

If you ever get the chance, try to do a meet and greet or just say hey. They are super nice guys.

ojonttu91 karma

Don't they do some annual meet and greet pizza party?

e. t not d :/

mister_pjm133 karma

They do. It's usually based on art of some sort. I went to that last December.

Moppy668645 karma

Yay!

mister_pjm114 karma

Yay!

mother235 karma

this whole ama is so civil

mister_pjm25 karma

Thank you. Why do you say that?

sbrelvi207 karma

Did you ever touch his fluffy jacket?

mister_pjm427 karma

Confirmed. Did touch the fluffy jacket.

Apprex106 karma

Was the DeLorean a real DeLorean?

mister_pjm189 karma

Yes. It was very nicely taken care of over time and it was real. Confirmed.

Do_Work_Metapod184 karma

Was there ever a time where you felt like calling it quits? Anything that made you think, "Is this even worth it?"

mister_pjm292 karma

Never. It was one of the greatest experiences of my life in terms of seeing what it's like to do what they do and having them as friends to this day and hopefully for life.

mmmbreadsticks175 karma

Sounds like it was an incredible opportunity! Do you still get to keep in touch with them? Also what are you studying at school; did you always want to get into the business or was this just something you decided to try out?

mister_pjm281 karma

I do still keep in touch with them. I like to check in every now and then to see how their busy lives are treating them.

I am studying Public Relations. Never really thought about getting into the business, but now I am very interested. Thought it would be a cool opportunity to intern or work for them, that worked out, and I couldn't have asked for a cooler experience.

eelassirak126 karma

On a day-to-day basis, did you call him Ben or Macklemore or Mack or some other nickname?

mister_pjm324 karma

Ben. His name is Ben, so I called him Ben, as I still do.

eelassirak65 karma

Where did 'Macklemore' come from?

mister_pjm103 karma

Here is the story. Enjoy. It's very random.

mmmbreadsticks39 karma

Thanks for the answer. Best of luck to you!

mister_pjm55 karma

Right back at you. Be well!

HillelSlovak124 karma

What did you do as an intern, how big was the team you worked with and what went down in the interviews you had to get the job? Like what kinda questions, anything special etc

mister_pjm250 karma

The interviews were more like getting to know each other kind of things. Also with the job experience and what will you do with this, etc.

I ran errands for the guys, I shipped merch and filled orders, handled all of the customer service, picked up new merch and worked with the manufacturers.

The team was pretty small. Myself, Ben, Ryan, Tricia (their tour and operations manager) and Zach, their manager.

kittensfurdays111 karma

I don't have a question, but I was on the team that booked Macklemore at Oregon State. You and I probably walked by each other multiple times (I was a stage manager as well). Here's a couple pictures I took that night - http://imgur.com/a/bk1Gw

mister_pjm135 karma

I can see myself in a couple of those pictures. Very cool. We probably met. Haha. Small world.

kittensfurdays77 karma

Are you in the sweet vest? haha

mister_pjm163 karma

No. EDIT: Didn't realize what question this was in reference to, YES. I am in the vest.

Nosiege97 karma

Previous? What happened?

mister_pjm258 karma

I interned for them last summer and had to come back to school. Couldn't continue the internship unless I dropped out and became full time. Thus not an intern.

HoneyIAteTheCat133 karma

why did you not do this? actual question, sounds like a dream job to me

mister_pjm235 karma

Actual question. I appreciate it. I had always been a fan of the guys and I honestly was just hoping for the opportunity and really did not think it would pan out. I did it because it sounded like a dream opportunity. It was. And I certainly hope to work for them when I graduate. That is my actual answer.

the-grifter81 karma

Since no one has asked yet, what kind of people are Macklemore and Ryan like? Also best/funniest memory from interning?

mister_pjm160 karma

They are both extremely nice guys. Very funny. Great senses of humor and just so genuine. They are both very real and tells it like it is. Very cool about them.

Not sure of a best/funniest memory - one day as I was leaving the studio I went to say bye to them and I reached out for a handshake. Intended awkwardness occurred on Ryan's part and Ben proceeded to do the same. A very genuine and friendly "fuck you" ensued and the awkward daps will live on in infamy.

Every_Damn_Day184 karma

I don't understand what you just said.

But I like it.

mister_pjm109 karma

What don't you understand? Help me help you.

Every_Damn_Day48 karma

What I'm guessing is that you're more comfortable with handshakes than you are with knuckle bumps, while they prefer the latter - that's what's awkward right?

Pleaseberight.

mister_pjm67 karma

They do the usual like gangster handshake, but they just weren't doing it that day. It's very hard to demonstrate via text.

td2772 karma

Are you as tired of Thrift Shop as I am?

mister_pjm156 karma

Kind of. It's a great song. It's a great message. But it is definitely overplayed. I am in the Thrift Shop music video though. Can't get tired of that.

td2742 karma

What do you do in the video?

mister_pjm79 karma

I was just an extra int he back of one of the scenes. The amount of fans that were wooing over everything going on was very weird so I didn't want to be one of them...

GeekyPunky32 karma

Which person are you in the video?

mister_pjm80 karma

I'm between Ben and Ryan from 1:25 to 1:29 in the red shirt. It's not a huge appearance.

adrilldelson11 karma

where!

mister_pjm35 karma

I don't make a huge appearance, but I am between Ryan and Ben in the red shirt between 1:25 and 1:29. Check it.

kdemento172 karma

What was the most inspirational thing that you witnessed? What did you learn about the business that you did not know before?

mister_pjm202 karma

Most inspirational thing I witnessed was hearing the sample of Same Love that Ryan played me. Having known that he put that entire thing together and hearing it played for the first time gave me the chills.

I had no idea that the business was so busy. It may be a dumb thing to say but damn, that shit is crazy. There is so much that goes on behind the studio doors and the traveling/shipping merch/customer service is just insane.

baklaweez63 karma

Was there anything that Macklemore didn't like about the job? Also, how much interaction would you have with the Macklemore and Ryan?

mister_pjm132 karma

Didn't like about HIS job? Or mine? He loves what he does. It's what he has always dreamt of in a music career. As for mine, I don't know. They both seemed to enjoy my company and appreciated what I did.

I saw Ryan usually everyday, but Ben it was more scattered. They were at the studio at different times than I usually was and I just saw them whenever they were there. Usually daily. It was like any enjoyable coworker that you might have. We talked. We laughed. We enjoyed each other's company.

otiswrath56 karma

What is your favorite memory of your internship?

mister_pjm156 karma

Probably being present for the filming of the Thrift Shop video. Very cool to see how all of that was done.

That or being in the studio while The Heist was being produced. As loud as it was, the beats never sounded bad.

SpaZticHero42 karma

Did you get a smug sense of accomplishment whenever you saw that video on TV? I have a friend who was involved in the taping of "Breakeven" by The Script, and he never shut up about it for about 3 months.

mister_pjm67 karma

I don't brag about it or get smug, but I just find it absolutely mind-boggling that they went from somewhat nationally recognized musicians to worldwide superstars. My friends, family, and peers at school had never heard of them and now they all want autographs and phone numbers.

From where they were to where they are now is just an amazing thing.

prittykitty54 karma

[deleted]

mister_pjm95 karma

I'm not sure if Ryan is into the whole "fan" thing when he doesn't have to be. Not from the experience that I had with them. He is an extremely nice guy when it comes to road tripping, studio time, or just being in the green room.

YahNasty51 karma

Do you think Macklemore wouldn't be were he is today if it wasn't for the Youtube community specifically the CoD montages that used his music?

mister_pjm75 karma

The CoD montages are the majority of his fame. Definitely. The Youtube community has certainly had an affect on his (and Ryan's) fame. The fact that Thrift Shop, Same Love, Can't Hold Us and many of their other music videos have been so popular is a big reason for their being known across the globe.

churc2245 karma

Were you with them/interning with them when they realized they were going to be big? What was that like?

mister_pjm82 karma

I wasn't really. I was with them when they released Same Love and when they were going to put on their huge show in Seattle before tour. They got a lot more attention that they were expecting but I knew it was long overdue having known people that were so interested in their stuff.

They weren't expecting it. They were expecting the same fan base if not a little more people, but nothing like what they got.

beastlyrussell37 karma

Does it annoy him when people call him Mackle-more, instead of Mack-le-more?

mister_pjm28 karma

I don't mind. It was destined to happen with this much exposure.

sbrelvi34 karma

Good guy mister_pjm answering every question.

mister_pjm44 karma

Trying my hardest...

femmefabulus34 karma

What are your thoughts on Same Love? What were Ben's intentions on writing and putting out the song? It's so uplifting to hear this message out of this genre go public. An absolute anthem....

mister_pjm74 karma

I love that song. It is absolutely beautiful.

From what I know, Ben wanted to be one of the first rappers to be in support of same-sex marriage and the legalization of such. He wanted to open people's eyes and he wanted to make a change in the way that society operates.

brew_my_odd_ilk29 karma

Any more candid shots of Ben? For science.

mister_pjm34 karma

Will add. Check the top.

bvde8512 karma

What about candid shots of you doing interny stuff?

mister_pjm48 karma

I don't know why I would have taken those or why anyone else would have taken those. They are non-existent.

Hyperblast200927 karma

How long did you get to work with them? What are you majoring in? Do you think you'll go back after you graduate?

mister_pjm44 karma

I worked with them last summer (from about May - August).

I am majoring in Strategic Communication, Emphasis in Public Relations.

I am very much hoping to go back and work with them. We will just have to see where they are at when I get back.

reluk_tent24 karma

Nifty, you were actually working with them when thrift shop came out. Did you get to hear the song before anyone else when it was released on YouTube?

mister_pjm50 karma

I was. I heard it one of the first days I was in the studio. Ryan played me the whole album to see what I though.

Thepimpandthepriest22 karma

What sort of music was generally being listened to by and around them?

Also, any interesting quirks or habits they've got that we may not suspect?

mister_pjm38 karma

They listened to all kinds of other music. Ryan more so than Ben, but it was all over the map. No one genre in particular.

I can't think of any quirks...Ryan smokes. Ben doesn't.

orangepineapplez21 karma

Are you still in contact with them? Like, if you talked to him, do you think he'd talk to you?

mister_pjm80 karma

I am still in contact with them. I reach out to them here and there and they do talk to me. lol. They are extremely busy though and I am not the first person on their priority list to talk to.

They came and did a show at my school back in February or March though and we went to the mall to get Ray Dalton's ears pierced and we got dinner. So yes. I am still in contact with them.

CFenwick45118 karma

In the song castle what is the whole part about eating a coyote about? My wife and I love that song and the whole album but eating a coyote throws me off.

mister_pjm22 karma

It was a completely random song. Very much just crazy and no real story line. Very similar to And We Danced. Basically an And We Danced 2 for the most part.

becbecbecbecbec17 karma

any sex/drugs/rock n roll stories ? groupies??

mister_pjm39 karma

Not particularly. They don't really have "groupies" like many other major artists. The people that are with them are usually photographer friends or other musicians, everyone of which is very talented.

sowisegius16 karma

Do they have fans that follow them to every show?

mister_pjm29 karma

I'm sure they do. Every band/group/singer has crazy superfans and these guys probably have the same.

satanicwaffles17 karma

In your opinion, what do you think has has the greatest contribution to their success? Also, what would you consider to be your favourite song of theirs?

mister_pjm45 karma

Dropping their album at the time that they did with so many people wanting more music was what did it. Certain songs (Thrift Shop, Same Love) took off and that's what has put them where they are.

I'm a fan of everything that Ben and Ryan have done together. Ben's earlier stuff is great as well.

Irish Celebration. Otherside. The Town. Same Love. Can't Hold Us.

StinkyTuna2614 karma

How tall are they?

mister_pjm36 karma

Not sure on exact heights. For reference, I am about 6'1" and I am taller than both of them. Ben is almost as tall as me. Probably 6 foot or 6'1" and Ryan is not as tall as Ben.

ohforgodssake12 karma

Were you paid a living wage?

mister_pjm34 karma

I was paid in school credit. That is all.

fuzzycuffs12 karma

Did you work with (or at least meet) any other Seattle hip hop groups? Blue Scholars? Common Market?

mister_pjm6 karma

I didn't. I was really hoping to, but the time frame of the internship was so small that I was really not able to do anything but work work work. I'm hoping to get into the scene when I get done with school and make my way into meeting most of the peeps.

Seefutjay11 karma

What are your top favorite 3 songs from them?

mister_pjm45 karma

VERY hard question.

Otherside. The Town. Can't Hold Us.

gagnonca10 karma

How long have you been a fan?

mister_pjm28 karma

I was a fan probably 8 years ago, if not more. I listened to Language of My World. VS. Can't Hold Us originally.

suddenlydysentary10 karma

[deleted]

mister_pjm16 karma

Not at all. If anything, I think it will make the music better because they know that they have a larger audience that they will be affecting (which is very cool). Their personalities are the same, if not nicer than before.

I do try to keep in touch with them and see how their very busy lives are treating them. They just don't seem like international superstars to me..

FelverFelv9 karma

Did you get to drive the DeLorean from the thrift shop video? Was it well taken care of?

mister_pjm15 karma

I wasn't there on the filming of the DeLorean or the intro scenes. It was a beautiful car though. Very well-manicured.

Thebaldeagle8 karma

Does he really have a big cock, or is he just pumped to buy something's from a thrift shop?

mister_pjm17 karma

Probably both. Can't say from personal experience.

wk20127 karma

Thanks for doing this AMA!

What was the job itself like? You said you worked merch and got school credits for it. What were the hours like? How many days per week?

mister_pjm12 karma

I worked every day of the work week for about 6-7 hours. It was so fun and so busy.

I was in the studio when I filled orders on the computer, got the actual merch into their packages, post office runs, south seattle runs for more clothing. VERY BUSY.

gameofthronesian6 karma

Do they use gay slurs? Is Same Love just a publicity stunt?

mister_pjm18 karma

Hell no. Hell. No. They are all for same-sex marriage and its legalization.

xDARTYx6 karma

Did he think it was cool that people were using his music to make CoD videos? Did he ever watch any?

mister_pjm8 karma

I'm sure he has watched a few, but I don't think he is up on his CoD gameplay watching.

RedRouge5 karma

Do you ever get mad that one of your more serious songs didn't get as popular as thrift shop or do you like that one of your fun comical songs got extremely popular

mister_pjm10 karma

I don't think mad is the right way to put it, but it's just upsetting. The impact and change that some of their songs could have on society would just be monumental. Any publicity is good publicity though. These guys more than deserve all of the attention they are getting and I am so glad they are all over the news. It is so well-deserved.

PurpleHooloovoo7 karma

It seems to me that Thrift Shop and Can't Hold Us are gateway songs - expose people to the album and get people to find their other stuff. And Same Love is getting more and more popular!

Besides, I think Thrift Shop definitely has some social commentary. People who DID pay $50 for a t-shirt are listening to the song and hopefully thinking about and questioning their consumerism/brand loyalty/all that.

mister_pjm6 karma

That's the point of the majority of their songs. To change the way that society looks at some shit. It's dope.

beastlyrussell5 karma

What did you spend most of your time doing as an intern?

mister_pjm10 karma

Answered this previously but it was mainly shipping merch and organizing merch pickup/manufacturer stuff. Customer service. Filling orders. Seems like nothing, but very tedious and busy work.

pnkrock19845 karma

Question..as a fellow intern in the music industry working in Nashville at a studio. How exactly were your living conditions like (especially touring around (if you did)) I am finding trouble right now and maybe could use advice and such cause as fun as the internship is in this industry, the financial aspect side blows :/

mister_pjm7 karma

We are not in the same boat at all...and I hate saying that. I lived at my house in Seattle when I did the internship and I didn't tour with them. They often provided lunch if they could, but that was about it. The finances were tight, but the experience is what I was in it for.

Ranch__Yummy4 karma

Assuming you attend a university or college, what school do you go to? And how did you make the proper connections to land yourself this amazing opportunity?

mister_pjm11 karma

I go to Northern Arizona University and I was in the right place at the right time and talked to the right person. That's literally all that happened. Keep in mind they were not worldwide superstars when I interned.

mathbender994 karma

How did you come to work for them, and what sort of things did you do?

mister_pjm9 karma

I ran into the right people at the right time. I can't say names, but just never let anything stop you. Ask questions and always strive for what you want to do. Seriously. I just tried and it happened.

I shipped merch, filled orders, did customer service, worked with clothing manufacturers, watered plants here and there. The usual.

2_D3 karma

Did you get paid as an intern?

mister_pjm5 karma

In school credits, yes,

jshanthonymayne3 karma

Can you shed some light on how they keep everything together? As in them doing the independent thing and having to book your own shows, handling money, etc. and how exactly did you help them? What were your duties?

mister_pjm3 karma

I'm not sure how they keep everything together in terms of handling money. I know that it is a lot more work for them to make sure everything is done right and in an orderly fashion, but I don't think there are really any tricks to the trade. They are just (moderately) smart with their money and they know how to run the business. Zach Quillen, their manager is also extremely good at what he does (booking, etc.)

I shipped merch out, filled orders, maintained customer service and emails, worked with clothin manufacturers, watered plants.

BuddyKnox3 karma

Did you guys know Thrift Shop/ The Heist would be such a big break for Ben and Ryan?

mister_pjm4 karma

I don't think anyone knew it would be a break at the caliber that it was. Nobody was expecting it, that's for sure.

the_swimsuit_edition2 karma

I had a meet and greet with both of them at my college and the people running it said they really enjoy making the experience personal and intimate but they said Ryan is "really weird with people". Is this true? Based on the experience Macklemore couldn't have been more warm and welcoming and Ryan was very quiet and kind of hovered my shoulder with his hand in the picture, so i'm guessing there's some truth to this. How is he in person?

mister_pjm6 karma

He is very smart. He is great at what he does. He knows a lot about a lot of things.

In the studio, Ben tended to be more quiet and concentrated on the art of the music. Ryan was loud. Always making jokes and laughing and just being a riot.

I have noticed that he tends to be more drawn back and quiet when doing meet and greets though.

VT_phonehome2 karma

Did you tour with them full time then? Also, did you get to meet some other artists while interning? Sounds like a really awesome experience!

mister_pjm3 karma

I did not tour with them, I just went to OSU at the beginning of the summer because it was during the internship and we road tripped down to Oregon.

Unfortunately I didn't meet many of the artists on the album, although I did meet a few.

chemicalwire2 karma

Who are they?

mister_pjm2 karma

Okay. Google.

CarbonChiral2 karma

Did they actually buy a broken keyboard?

mister_pjm5 karma

Yes.