Cody Wilson

Electronic musician Cody Wilson of Corduroi describes his sound as “experimental trip-hop infused with organic wit.” Wilson’s most current release is entitled Future Adventures and can be found on Itunes, Spotify and Bandcamp.

Photo Credit: Chelsea Purgahn | Daily Texan Staff

Electronic musician Cody Wilson, known onstage as Corduroi, has fared well in a city where indie music is king and the electronic scene is still gaining a foothold. The multi-talented artist (who also lends his skill to local favorites Sip Sip) has grown his fan base over the past three years playing shows both big and small around Austin and is gearing up to play the semester kickoff of “Local Live” on Sunday. The Daily Texan sat down with Wilson and talked composers, musical influences and playing in the Music Capital.

Daily Texan: You’re originally from San Antonio. At what point did you move to Austin and how did the more musically-minded culture influence you?
Cody Wilson: I was born in San Antonio and grew up in the suburbs there and got really tired of it, and I moved to Santa Fe, N.M. I had always wanted to live in Austin so I decided to come here. Being in Austin has been great. I’ve gotten to play at a lot of venues like Stubb’s and The Mohawk, bigger places I would have never had the opportunity to play at in San Antonio. I’m lucky to be involved with the people I’m involved with. I play in Sip Sip, and through that I know a lot of people in Mother Falcon, and it’s cool to be able to work with such talented people.

DT: What’s your background in music?
Wilson: Well, when I was a kid I’d listen to a lot of movie sound tracks, like the actual original motion picture scores. I’d really enjoy listening to John Williams, Jerry Goldsmith; the sound track to “The Fifth Element” was great.

DT: John Williams is my absolute hero. I loved that stuff growing up, too. That’s awesome.
Wilson: Yeah, I’d always get the sound tracks with the popular artists and then also get the scores for the movies. So I listened to a lot of that stuff early on. Then in middle school I was really into nu metal, Korn and Limp Bizkit and that stuff, and around then I started playing guitar, mostly in cover bands. Then one day my brother got Radiohead’s Kid A and that completely changed my perspective on music. In the midst of it all I started using Fruityloops, which is kind of old school at this point, but it’s an electronic music program. At first I just did it for fun. I’d make a song in a day and put it out online and be done with it. But over time I started to take it more seriously.

DT: Do you feel that in Austin, where there’s more of a tendency toward indie and rock music, that it’s more difficult to get on bills and gain a fan base as an electronic musician?
Wilson: Yeah, I think that it can be really hard, not in terms of finding shows to play with other bands, but hard in terms of entertaining that audience in the same way. When you get onstage and you have a laptop and all these controllers, [for] a lot of people it’s hard to make the connection. 

DT: What are your biggest musical influences? What’s your ideal collaboration?
Wilson: Oh man, I love everything on Warp Records: Aphex Twin, Flying Lotus, Squarepusher. My dream collaboration would probably be Flying Lotus just because he’s amazing. He has a sound that no one else really has right now. I feel like every time he releases a new album it totally tops everything he did last. When I listen to it, I think, “This is amazing, and I want to make something that, if not just on par with, exceeds my expectations for myself.” That’s what I strive for.

DT: What’s next for you? Any South By plans?
Wilson: Don’t really have any South By Southwest plans at the moment, I play a lot of shows for the Raw Paw zine parties. In the next two months I’m finishing up an EP that will be out in April that I’m releasing through a label in Utah, and I have a collaborative release coming out.

Printed on Friday, January 18, 2013 as: Electronic artist talks music genres, influence 

UT Law student Cody Wilson printed a plastic lower reciever of an AR-15 with a 3-D printer, attached it to a real gun and fired six rounds before the plastic piece broke.

Photo Credit: Marisa Vasquez | Daily Texan Staff

UT law student Cody Wilson said he is trying to decide between continuing with school and taking a break from UT and devoting more time to his increasingly successful efforts to revolutionize the gun industry.

Wilson has been working to create digital files for guns that could be used with a 3-D printer, a piece of technology that converts digital designs into a solid, plastic form. On Saturday, his efforts materialized when he printed the lower receiver of an ArmaLite AR-15, a semiautomatic rifle. He then substituted it for the lower receiver on a real AR-15 and along with his partners from his company, Defense Distributed, managed to fire off six rounds before the gun broke.

Wilson said he plans to print an entire gun with a 3-D printer as soon as possible, and he will be working with other types of more durable plastic to make the guns more effective. He said while a license was not required to print just the lower receiver of the AR-15, he may need a federal firearms license to print an entire gun, and he has not yet received one after applying for it roughly a month ago.

Wilson said printing the lower receiver is very significant, as it showed people the seriousness of his efforts in a material way, and people may now access the file through his website to print a lower receiver themselves, allowing them to create an unregulated gun.

Printed on Wednesday, Dec. 5, 2012 as: Student aims for 3-D gun

Cody Wilson speaks to the Longhorn Libertarians his pursuit to create a gun using a 3-D printer in Garrison Hall Thursday.

Photo Credit: Zachary Strain | Daily Texan Staff

UT law student Cody Wilson claims he is roughly three weeks away from printing his first gun using a 3D printer, a machine that creates solid objects from digital designs.

“It was the most ridiculous, amazing, ambitious thing we could think of,” Wilson said.

At a public discussion hosted by Libertarian Longhorns on Thursday, Wilson said he and his friends endeavored to create a gun design called “Wiki Weapon” that could easily be shared online and physically recreated using a 3D printer. While printing a gun with a 3D printer is not a new idea, Wilson said his goal is to improve the process by continually making the designs more accessible and the product more functional.

This is the first time Wilson has spoken publicly about why he began the project.

Wilson said he wanted to undertake a difficult project, revolutionizing gun printing, to show people that they can take direct and creative actions to accomplish their goals. 

“Don’t just sit around like we have been doing for hundreds of years writing a thesis about the perfect utopia or something,” Wilson said. “Make it.”
A spokesperson for Stratasys, a 3D printer manufacturer, said the printers normally cost between $10,000 and $30,000.

Wilson said he has seen a backlash against his work from those who feel efforts to make such technology more mainstream could have negative side effects, and he claims he has even been labeled by some as a modern terrorist. Wilson said while he believes his efforts could create new problems, the technology he is creating is not something that could be controlled by the government because 3D printing will become too accessible to be regulated.

Within the last month, Wilson started three companies to further his work. He said he has been in talks with multiple companies interested in funding his endeavors, and his support has been growing, despite ideological objections to the work.

Hunter Cash, an entrepreneurship senior at St. Edward’s University, has recently been working with Wilson on the financial aspects of his project.

Cash said this growth and the controversial nature of the work is what prompted him to get involved. “It gets your name out there,” Cash said. 

George McHugh, supply chain management senior and vice president of Libertarian Longhorns, said it was important for Wilson to speak at the University because of the relevance of his work. McHugh said in the future people will depend on 3D printers the way they depend on iPhones and microwaves now.

McHugh said the main idea he took from Wilson’s work is that action is required to produce a result.

“If you want to see change, you have to be the change,” McHugh said. 

Printed on Friday, November 2, 2012 as: Student to uneil plans for innovative 3-D gun

 

UT law student Cody Wilson is in the process of advancing his “Wiki Weapon” project with various companies. 

Photo Credit: Marisa Vasquez | Daily Texan Staff

As he continues efforts to make building a gun as simple as pressing print, law student Cody Wilson’s life is getting more and more hectic.

Wilson has begun plans for three new companies, appeared in the New York Times and spoken with officials from the cable network HBO all within the last month. The recent attention Wilson has received focuses on the development of a project he calls “Wiki Weapon.” The project involves the development of digital designs for guns that can easily be shared and produced with a 3D printer, a generally plastic piece of machinery used for manufacturing solid objects from digital designs. Although the creation of such technology is not a new idea, Wilson’s efforts mark an attempt to advance it and make it mainstream and accessible.

Wilson said since he began making headlines with the project earlier this month, he has seen a tremendous response both nationally and within the University from people who want to be involved in the project.

“I’ve met quite a bit of UT students through the Libertarian Longhorns and through emails people have sent me,” Wilson said. “There is a lot of volunteer talent. There are a couple [of UT students] I have been talking to that just want to do anything [to get involved].”

He said he has been discussing his project with major companies that want to be involved in his project and was recently contacted by HBO representatives about a movie deal. 

Jose Nino, history senior and president of Libertarian Longhorns, an organization that promotes decreased government regulation, said he sees opportunities with the project and has been talking to Wilson about speaking at UT.

“I think it’s a great form of technology,” Nino said.

Wilson said he recently began planning three separate companies to work around the project.

He said the first company, Defense Distributed, will be a nonprofit organization that will be used to share the research with the rest of the world, with the aim of advancing this type of research. Nonprofit organizations are exempt from some federal income taxes.

The second company, Liberty Laboratories, will be a limited liability corporation that will focus on the manufacturing of products once development is advanced further, Wilson said. The third company, which has not yet been named, will be a private asset organization meant to protect the progress of the project.

Wilson said although he sees issues with the development of his technology, he doesn’t believe that it could or should be regulated, and he hopes there are not attempts to do so. He said he believes some technology cannot be controlled by the government. 

“I think at some point, if we have any measure of success, we are going to be painted as bogeymen,” Wilson said.

He said he expects to print his first gun in five to six weeks.

Printed on Tuesday, October 23, 2012 as: Law student markets gun plans

UT alumnus Cody Wilson developed software that would offer a design to make firearms through 3D printers.

Photo Credit: Marisa Vasquez | Daily Texan Staff

UT law student Cody Wilson is making headlines as he continues to develop software that would allow anyone with the funding to easily build a gun from the comfort of their own home.

Wilson has been working with several other researchers and financial backers to create a design for a gun that could be shared through the internet and printed using a 3D printer, a piece of machinery used for manufacturing solid objects from digital designs. Although the printers cost between $10,000 and $30,000 on average, there is no permit required to purchase or lease one. As a result, some are raising concerns that current gun laws have not kept up with changing technology.

Wilson said the software is near completion, and he is facing increasing opposition to it. The company he leased a 3D printer from, Stratasys, took back procession of it earlier this week, citing legal concerns about what Wilson could do with it.

In a press release issued Wednesday, the company wrote, “We believe Mr. Wilson intended to use Stratasys property to produce a weapon that is illegal according to the Undetectable Firearms Act of 1988 (a.k.a. “the plastic guns” law) which prohibits the manufacturing or possession of a gun undetectable by airport metal detectors.”

Wilson said he has no intentions to break any laws with his project, and he has been carefully examining the legalities of the software throughout its development.

He said he is upset with Stratasys for making accusations about his intent.

“They make it seem like we were about to go break the law or something, which I think hurts us, and Stratasys just doesn’t care,” Wilson said. “They want to keep their name clean, so they are happy to just throw us under the bus.”

Wilson said he recently got the project’s fund up to $20,000, and hopes recent opposition to the project won’t affect its support base, which has also been growing.

There are legal licenses required to build a gun in some circumstances, and Wilson said he will be obtaining the proper licenses to ensure his efforts are legal before he creates any weapons.

Wilson said he sees potential hazards with his new technology, as it could allow anyone with the funds to more easily build a gun, but he doesn’t think it would be possible to control the sharing of these files under constitutional freedoms.

“How do you stop that, and should you?” he said. “I think the answer is ‘no.’”

Michael Reyes, the resident agent in charge at the Austin branch of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, said he spoke with Wilson about the project earlier this week and he has no concerns that Wilson is attempting to do anything illegal.

“[Wilson’s] done his research into the firearm regulations,” he said.

Reyes said Wilson even went into his office to inquire about the legalities of the project.

“[Wilson’s] obviously got his ideas, and he just wants to be careful of what he is doing,” Reyes said.

Wilson said after obtaining any gun licenses that he feels may be applicable to his project, he plans to obtain another printer and continue with his efforts.

“This thing is really growing,” he said.