Credit: Darrow Montgomery

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How does D.C. influence your current style, sound, and writing of music? —Matthias Ochs, Darmstadt, Germany

People and places are key to my writing process. When I lived in New York City, my social life was more varied, due to the 24-hour nature of the city. Since the work force continues around the clock, I had acquaintances in different “shifts.” I tended to work in the late afternoon and into the evenings. D.C. is more 9-to-5 than most places I’ve lived, and I find myself spending most of my social time with others in the evening. Because of that, my work patterns have changed: I work during the mornings and afternoons. It’s not the kind of difference that would seem drastic, but it is, and in ways I don’t fully understand or recognize. Creating in sunlight hours is quite different from working in the dark.

In terms of sound, my once-monthly DJ night, Blowoff, at the 9:30 Club has had a big impact on my work. In 2002, people were suspicious of my newfound affection for club music. Five years later, I see the benefits of the gig. In order to keep the freshness of the event, I spend time every day searching for new music. It’s turned me back into the huge fan I was in my early days. The selection and sequencing of club music is a different way to create a mood and tell a story, which informs my own work. It’s not always the obvious that makes an impact. The sum total of all events is what shapes the work. —Bob Mould

Bob Mould blogs at Send questions to