STRAIGHT UP! – Australian Hip Hop Interviews

August 1, 2007

Trials Interview – Vents ‘Hard To Kill’ Production

Filed under: Trials on Vents Production — Force @ 8:45 am

 

G FORCE (G): Gotta give it up for the production on Vents new album man, shit is banging. Did you go into producing the album on a clean slate or did you have a lot of beats with Vents in mind already?

TRIALS (T): Cheers bro. When I was making the last Oars album me and V were still fucken about in the studio so I was mindful when digging to still go a bit deeper and get the evil darker psychedelic horn kinda records. Once I was done with “The Greatest Hits” I completely dropped the funk mode and went into every beat with Vents in mind. I would never have even looked at the record I sampled for “Silence Means death” for Oars but the vocals and stabs were stupid and I could hear V over the top of it already.

G: Between the two of you you have definitely captured a certain vibe across the album. Was this openly discussed or simply what happened? Any influences worthy of pointing out?

T: Nah man it’s not something we set out to do, me and V have always dug the same 90’s stinking crackly shit and I guess it kinda shows in the hooks like “Watch out” and “NBC”, the blasting repetitive horns and sneaky bass lines. I guess my production is influenced a lot by the greats, Easy Mo Bee, Large Professor, Lord Finesse, Primo, 45 King etc. Anyone that knew the difference between letting a loop ride or chopping it to bits to get the maximum bump.

G: Similarly to Funkoars production the beats are full of big bass lines, horns and just seem a lot fuller or louder than a lot of production. What do you look for when making a beat and any secrets to reveal?

T: I’m not one of those “diggers” that pays a million bucks for some record Dj Shadow sampled and shit, I hit every spot I can find from Salvos to Garage sales driving between Sydney and Canberra to fire damaged warehouses, i’ve done the lot looking for suspicious covers and a few of my favourite labels. I guess the only thing I do is make sure the sleeve reads between 1960-1979, fuck the 50’s, orchestra junk I can’t listen to and the 80’s were only good for slap bands and aids. Most of my shit is heavy, psych, jazz influenced shit because that’s what I listen to outside of rap so when a stab hits me I put on the white gloves and thievery is afoot.

G: Were there any beats you made for this album and thought, “Nah fuck him, I need to keep this one for myself”? If so, did these still eventually get through to Vents?

T: I made a lot of shit and just threw choruses over the top intending on doing tracks on them for Oars or myself and I’d show V and he’d either say ‘….’ or ‘yep, give me that’. Shit like “Fuckemup” and “First of may” were just a few beats I had laying around that we dug back up for the butchering.

G: We saw flashes of this style on tracks such as Blackout from The Greatest Hits but did you find it a challenge to switch up the style a bit from the quicker paced, more funked out Funkoars styled beats to doing a whole album in this style?

T: I make a lot of beats in a lot of styles but the majority of the production people have heard from me is the Oars gear so they assume it mostly sounds like that. If you listen to shit like “Audience with the devil” from the Hilltop “Hard Road” album you’ll notice i’ve been down this dark alley a few times before. Vesa sounds nuts over the moody more eerie cluttered drum pattern shit so the lyrics really get to scream at you so I went down that path again.

G: When it comes to Vents lyrics, some are quite opinionated and politically driven, do you share similar opinions and did this influence the soundscape you provided him with?

T: Not so much the sound but I know I learnt a lot from V’s Anarchist ideals that I definitely subscribe to. I guess in a way swapping books back and forth about dudes like Huey P. Newton who would police the cops to stop the amount of black deaths in the 80’s with nothing but a shotgun and support put me in the mind state that we bounced back and forth on. It’s a nice place to be.

G: On that sort of vibe, had you heard many lyrics and verses before making the beats or were you giving him beats and seeing what he would come back with?

T: A lot of times V would just come to the studio (my kitchen that currently stinks like cat shit), i’d play him something like “Full Metal” while Mortar was sleeping on the couch and we’d all just get pens and bang it out within the hour. For a well thought out lyricist Joe is nice with the on-the-spot spontaneous writing, same as Balboa, there were a thousand times when those two were working on their LP they would rock up with 4 bars and just wing the shit in the booth haha.

G: Most of the guest spots on the album seem to have switched up their writing style and flow a bit to almost match Vents punchy style. Being a guest emcee on there was this intentional or was it Vents influencing you without you even knowing it. Or do you simply disagree with me and believe me to be on crack?

T: Yes, Crack. Mortar is still talking about tanks and I’m yapping about genitals and gorillas. Every track we set some sort of tone wether it be the lyrics or production I guess but when you’re rhyming after someone who in my opinion is easily one of the best emcees Jesus Christ our savior gave us everyone had to bring their A game or it showed.

G: What’s next on the Trials agenda? More Funkoars, full length solo. Whats up?

T: Yeah I’m flat out working on the new Oars album we’re trying to get done for early mid next year, we’re a few tracks in and its very fucking suss haha. I think the hangovers have finally caught up with us. Besides that, Drapht and I have almost finished the LP we started working on a few moons ago.

G: Do you have any cover stickers for Mr Trials, cause mine just came in a blank sleeve and I am a bit upset?

T: What is this Mr Trials you speak of?, sleeves?, I know nothing of the sort, I suspect Briggs is some how behind this.

G: Last time I interviewed you, just before ‘Who’s ya step daddy?’ dropped you mentioned you like the internet and especially noted http://www.backroomfacials.com from the bang bros network. Since then I have seen this gentleman pop up on there from time to time (not that I check these sorid websites). Is it you with a longer beard?

T: I think he eventually got arrested. These days I just scan xtube.com trying to bust people I know putting up amateur movies of themselves, it’s a hoot.

G: Cool, well thank-you for your time Trials and I am sure we will have our speakers des troyed by you for a long time to come. Any last words, shouts etc you know the deal?

T: Thanks a lot man, and thanks to everyone thats bothered to check anything with my name on it and a quick fuck you to the Veronicas for denying my myspace friend request.

 Check out Trials, the Funkoars and Vents at these links below:  

Trials – www.myspace.com/triggathehutt 

Funkoars – www.myspace.com/themotherfuckingfunkoars 

 Vents – www.myspace.com/ventz   

Vents ‘Hard To Kill’ is out now and so are the Funkoars albums but if you haven’t got them yet I request you to fuck off my page because you are shit, cheers!

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July 26, 2007

BOLTZ INTERVIEW ‘The Wishlist’

Filed under: Boltz — Force @ 1:59 pm

G-FORCE: (G):  First off congrats on being the first artist exclusively interviewed for my new blog site thing.  That must make you feel pretty special? I was hoping for a Northside Crew Banger reunion interview but hey. 

BOLTZ (B):  Oh hell yeah man.  I feel real special!  As for the Northside Crew, you’re about 3 years too late my man! 

G:  Nah for real, congrats on the upcoming release, ‘The Wishlist’.  Let me kick it off by asking you about the progression from your group A-Diction with fellow emcee Breach to a solo release.  Was this always on the cards for you? 

B:  Nah man, it was never really on the cards- in fact the only reason I made a solo LP was because Breach went overseas for 9 months just after we dropped ‘To Be Announced’.  You see A-Diction are all about marketing, so we figured the best way to sell our debut EP was if one member went overseas for the best part of a year straight after the release.  We literally did one or two shows in between dropping the EP and Breach leaving the country.  The marketing team at Pepsi should come and speak to us for some tips on how to move product.  But yeah, Breach is back now so he’s helping me promote my album, we still perform together and he’s happy to hype me up at shows, but right now we’re already working on the A-Diction LP. 

G:  Did you find it any different to writing tracks for this than for A-Diction, was it more personal or introspective for example? 

B:  Yeah it was more personal, but it was a lot harder.  Breach and I have an amazing chemistry.  We’ll meet up, one of us will throw on a beat, we’ll pick a topic and just start writing and half an hour later we’ve both written sixteen’s and a hook.   It wasn’t like that with him away.  I’d really have to motivate myself to sit down and get in the zone coz I’m a real procrastinator.  It’s a lot harder writing rhymes and recording verses when you don’t have someone you respect to bounce ideas off and get criticism from.  But I think if you listen to a couple of the tracks on The Wishlist like ‘Dream’ or ‘Memoirs of a Blacktop’ they are very personal tracks.  Not the kind of tracks that would suit a duo or a posse.  They’re really written from the mind of a solo artist I guess. 

G:  Now a lot has happened since A-Diction dropped.  Marriage, the house, the almost finished picket fence and you signed with Soulmate records, all big moves for any artist, how have these affected your approach to your music? 

B:  You’re right man, when you list them all on paper like that it’s kind of hard to believe I had time to write a whole album!  My life has really taken shape the past few years.  Like you said; got married, bought my first house, signed a contract.  I’m lucky I’ve got a really supportive wife, family and group of friends.  It’s all good though because all of these things that have happened have made me a lot more accountable of what I do.  It’s also made me look at my music differently.  I mean, I’ve got a mortgage now you know?  So all these things like responsibility, money, time; they all take on new meaning when you start doing ‘grown man shit’.  Ha ha. 

G:  As the title implies there was an apparent wishlist for the album as far as emcees and producers go.  Did the list start of as the album has turned out or were some artists simply impossible to grab? 

B: It’s hard to believe man, but honestly every artist you hear on the album is on my original wishlist.  I told Soulmate about the Wishlist concept and they were like ‘Hell yeah, sounds dope’.  So I drafted up a list of artists I’d love to work with such as M-Phazes, Trials, Weapon X, Styalz, Fergo One, etc. and every single one of them was down to jump on the release.  I did have one idea which didn’t come to fruition and that involved the track ‘Bringin’ Hursty Back’.  Originally I wanted to get a couple of certain Hurstbridge MC’s on the track with me and Fergo, but we were told they were too busy at the time.  They were cool about it you know; they wished us luck with the project and everything.  So in the end Fergo and I had done our verses about Hursty but we were missing a third person, so I thought ‘we should get Take it Easy Heezy to jump on the third verse and give us his perspective on the northern suburbs’.  He agreed and came through with one of the funniest verses I’ve ever heard.  I’m really happy with the result so it all turned out ok in the end. 

G:  On the Royce 5’ 9” guests spot, people who know you would attest you are a Royce freak so naturally people want to know how this all happened and if you choose to please address the $6000 question/rumour? 

B:  Ha ha!!  That $6000 thing literally had me laughing out loud!  I mean, my press release had been online for what, half a day, and some dude that I don’t even know jumps online and says so matter-of-factually ‘oh yeah, Boltz paid $6000 for Royce’.  The truth is I rang Royce and said to him ‘Dude, I’ll give you my Anfernee Hardaway rookie card collection and a burnt copy of the new Rihanna CD for a sixteen’ and he jumped at it!!  Nah seriously, I’ve spoken to Royce a number of times over the phone and I sparked a bit of a working relationship with his manager.  Soulmate spoke to them about doing a track together and they were down.  An interesting bit of trivia about The Wishlist is we sent Royce two beats and asked him to choose which one he would rather spit over.  He chose the M-Phazes beat that you hear on the album, but the one he didn’t choose was the Styalz beat which eventually became the A-Diction track ‘Austracism’, which you can also hear on the LP.  I actually thought he would have chosen the Styalz beat because it is a lot darker and when I heard it I just thought of Royce, but surprisingly he went for the Phazes one.  The track turned out amazing though.  Definitely my favourite track on the album.   

G:  So having pretty much a free reign over what style you wanted to take the album, were there any artists who influenced you, what you felt you wanted your album to be like, or not be like for that matter? 

B:  Yeah definitely.  I was listening to a lot of Lupe Fiasco last year and then I saw him live at the Prince and he really blew me away.  I love the honesty in Lupe’s music, and his storytelling ability.  Plus, he’s really creative and imaginative and you don’t really have to think too much to understand what he’s saying on a track.  His metaphors are really intelligent but they’re also quite obvious.  I also listened to a lot of Kanye.  The thing I love about Kanye is he’s never really made a pop album and yet he’s been so successful and innovative.  ‘The College Dropout’ was a straight hip hop album and you had all these high class music reviewers calling it the best album of the year!  That’s crazy.  I was also influenced a lot by Jay Z when he played Rod Laver.  The dude didn’t have any special effects, no dancers, he barely even moved on the stage.  But he taught me that you can capture a crowd simply by exuding confidence and speaking from the heart.  ‘The Black Album’ is probably my favourite album of all time because he works with so many producers and experiments with so many sounds, but you know that it’s Jay on every track.  The other things that influenced me during the making of the album were the people in my life, my surroundings such as my workplace, and also all of the heads in the local scene that I see spitting at The Evelyn or Revolver and places like that.  They’re all working so hard and making all this really creative music.  Everyone is trying to outdo the other guy and it’s just so competitive but I love it! 

G:  What tracks do you think really reached what you were going for, obviously you liked every track, but which ones do you listen to and are really proud of? 

B:  Definitely ‘The Best’.  I love everything about it.  I love Royce’s verse, I love the M-Phazes beat, I’m really happy with my verses and they way me and Royce gel on the track.  I got my wife to do the hook coz I wanted something really melodic and fun and I think that came out really well.  Other than that, I listen to ‘Start All Over Again’ a lot, probably because it was the last song I wrote so it’s the one song I haven’t played to death in my car yet!  All of the tracks Mules worked on came out really well too.  ‘Spitfire’ is one of my favourites- I love the energy and the beat on that one.  My other fave is probably ‘Memoirs of a Blacktop’.  Another Phazes beat; it’s about my memories of playing basketball as a youngster.  From primary school through to my teenage years, I think anyone that ever hung a Chicago Bulls poster on their wall in the 90’s can relate to this track. 

G:  Production.  Pretty diverse and pretty fucken dope line up as well.  You have worked with Weapon X in the past, were the others purely based on what you had heard and thought you could define a track or style with one of their beats?  Or did you let them know ideas of some of your tracks for beats to be styled around? 

B:  It was a bit of both.  Like I knew I wanted something with some really sharp horns and a bangin’ chorus so the first person I thought of was Trials.  When he sent me a beat CD, I was really surprised how diverse his sound was.  I just expected every beat to sound like a Funkoars album, but one of the beats I chose off him which I used for ‘Keep Ur Head’ sounds really different to his usual sound.  Same with the Styalz Fuego beat we used for ‘Austracism’.  I grabbed ‘The Wishlist’ beat off him coz I wanted something really dramatic like some ‘Lord of the Rings’ type shit, but then I heard the beat for ‘Austracism’ and I had to grab that too, even though it was really dark and haunting and not like anything else on his beat CD.  I had to grab a couple of Weapon X beats too because that dude was so helpful and inspiring during the process of recording ‘To Be Announced’ I just knew I had to X contribute to the album.  I was really glad that he mixed everything down too because he gives really good feedback on the sound and the nuances and has a really good ear for all that technical stuff.  The other producers were much the same.  I’ve always loved M-Phazes beats, same with Muneshine from Canada who I’ve loved since the Lightheaded days.  Mules was a last minute addition but as soon as I heard his stuff his beats just inspired me to write, write, write.  His beats are so easy to write to because they all tell a story even without lyrics.  I must admit it was a lot easier writing and thinking of ideas with so many great beats to start with. 

G:  So when can we expect a launch, live shows and the like for the wishlist and what should we expect? 

B:  That’s a good question man!  Haven’t organised a launch yet- but it’s definitely something we’ll do once the album actually drops.  Until then, I’m just hitting the interview circuit, doing a couple of radio shows, probably show up at Evelyn on a Monday at some stage.  At our live shows we tend to mix it up a bit; we perform a bunch of tracks off The Wishlist, I do a couple of solo sixteens, Breach kicks a few sixteens, we do our tracks off the Ground Up Mixtapes.  We like to play around with the beats once we’ve performed them a few times.  We do a mash-up of ‘The Best’ which combines the original beat, a Junior Mafia joint and a Mobb Deep classic.   We always try to have a bit of a laugh of stage and have some fun with the crowd.  Punters don’t go to shows with the hope of getting disrespected by the person on stage, so we like to keep it fun and hope that everyone has a good time. 

G:  Well thank-you for taking the time to answer some questions Mr Boltz, anything else you would like to add, plug, shoutout? 

B:  If all goes to plan I believe I’m appearing on RRR on Friday the 3rd of August, and I’ll be on Syn FM on Wednesday the 8th of August.  Stay tuned though incase the dates change.  The Wishlist drops on Saturday August 11th so go cop that from JB Hifi or an indie record store!  It’s also available online at various stores (Google it!) and if you buy it from iTunes you get a bonus track which is a Fame remix of ‘The Best’ featuring Spit Syndicate which is dope as all hell!  Oh, and check out the exclusive A-Diction track ‘Eight Eights’ on Ground Up Vol. 4 which you can download from grounduphiphop.com or cop from special people!   Oh, and we also do a track on the upcoming Syntax mixtape titled ‘I.O.U’s’ which I believe comes out pretty soon.  Check out Syntax from Trace Elements myspace page for updates! 

G:  And finally where can people catch a preview of the album and other things we have chatted about? 

B:  There’s 4 snippets from the album on my myspace page www.myspace.com/yaboyboltz and a bunch of A-Diction joints on www.myspace.com/adictionmusic Previous A-Diction/Boltz tracks can be heard on the Ground Up series (Vol. 1-4) and we do have a few copies of our debut EP from 2005 ‘To Be Announced’ floating around but if you want one of those you’ll have to make a special request through checkoutwax.com or come and twist my arm at a local show! 

G:  Cheers Boltz and good luck, I got a feeling this will be fiyah! 

B:  No, thank you Force!  Good luck with the website mate and with your upcoming release!  What I’ve heard is straight fire for real!  August 11th people- COP THE WISHLIST!! 

AETEACIX INTERVIEW – FIELD TRIP

Filed under: Aeteacix — Force @ 10:58 am

FIELD TRIP/AETEACIX INTERVIEW 

G Force (G):  Alright, first of the bat, a lot of people want to know.  Why Aeteacix? Explain the name to us? 

Aeteacix (86):  I was a big fan of Get Smart back in the day,  so it started off as Eighty Six, and kinda just evolved over the years, for various reasons, into what it is now.  I’ve tried to fuck it off in favour of other names a couple of times but it sticks like flies to shit. 

G:  A little background on Field Trip first.  How did you guys hook up being that Thorts is originally from Brisbane then G-Town whilst you reside down Franga way? 

86: I met Thorts in Geelong while i was visiting mates sometime in ’99.  We were both familiar with each others raps from spittin’ on The Formula, and started hooking up regularly along with a gang of other dudes, just bustin’ raps and shit.  It was early 2000 that Thorts and I went on an incredible adventure together and decided to start a group. 

G:  Both yourself and Thorts have been around for a while and have been working on things for a while now, a lot of people have been waiting for a release.  Has it simply been getting something you are happy releasing or other constraints leading up to the release? 

86:  Yeh, we both kinda got caught up in other shit, Thorts moved to Shepparton and we weren’t in contact for about a year.  I had sold all my recording gear,  and was basically just running around doing stupid shit. so we didn’t actually get started on any tracks until late 2001.  After that, yeh, it was pretty much just putting something together that we were happy with.  Making it sound like a complete package rather than just a bunch of tracks. 

G:  From what I have heard from both of you seperatly and as Field Trip your lyrics are very introspective and often seem to take a third person look at yourself and the scene.  Deep and dark at the same time in a few cases, will this set the tone for the album? 

86: Pretty much, yeh,  but thats not to say that all our stuff is gonna be like that.  I wanna fuck with alot of different styles and sounds, which is kinda why i did the other 2 demos (see question 7), to show that we are a very diverse bunch of dudes, not limited to the stuff that you’ll hear on our debut’s. You can expect this release to be deep and sometimes dark as you’ve mentioned, but nothing i ever do in the future will be like it.  As for my lyrics, well, i don’t really think about them much, i just write down whatever comes into my head. 

G:  So as an overall package what can people expect from the Field Trip album? 

86: An honest look at ourselves, from our point of view.  Dope artwork by Touche, burner verses by Budsa & Raven.  Back to basics type shit, beats n rhymes straight up.  This is for the true heads we’ve known over the years, writers, emcees, whatever.  Dudes that we’ve chilled with or who have lived through similar shit. 

G:  You also handle the production on the album.  Your production is highly original and always seems on point.  When and how did you begin your production and where do you draw inspiration from? 

86:  I started making beats in about ’96 with a SR16 drum machine and a casio keyboard, just so i had something original to make tracks with.  I still only really make beats so that we have something to rap on, but i’m starting to take it more seriously now, I’m gonna step away from the mic a bit this year and concentrate more on production. Hopefully upgrade my setup as well, which currently consists of a stock standard pc and a home hifi system from the early 80’s.  As for inspiration, it can be anything from the weather to a movie i watch, I fancy myself as a bit of a horror flick connoisseur, so alot of it comes from there.  Usually i’ll come up with a song title or just feel a certain vibe i want to put across and take it from there.  It’s very rarely hip hop music that inspires me to make a track. 

G:  Again on production you have a few other projects that you are associated with, Hungry Humans and Fatty Phew amongst others, what are your involvements with these artists and what can we expect from them? 

86: Hungry Humans is my crew: Phew, Thorts, Raven, Budsa, Perplex, Autism and SeshOne.  The Hungry Humans release that i’ve been working on is one of two little demos i’ve put together while waiting for Field Trip to come out. It features stuff from all members of the crew, on beats that I produced.  The other one is called ‘The Fuck You EP’ which I made last week.  Six tracks of pretty much off tap battle type shit, all the songs on it were one take (that means the whole song) none of this punch-in shit :).  These will be released on cd-r and thrown at people from the stage.  Lost Souls (Raven, Budsa & DJ Perplex) are also putting the finishing touches on an LP that should be out very, very soon.  Theres plenty of other stuff in the works, but nothing solid enough to really comment on yet. 

G:  Through your tracks there are many references to past behaviour and lifestyles.  Has hip hop taken you from past problems and given you focus in life or is it simply putting down your progression through life into words? 

86:  For sure man, hip hop gave me purpose when i really didn’t have anything else goin’ on.  The references to the past that you speak of are probably due more to wanting to put life down on paper than anything else though.  We had some shit to get off our chests and did it.  Hip hop was definitely a major distraction from sittin on train stations, drinkin’ and rortin’ though, which was pretty much all that was going on a couple of years ago. So to answer your question; Yes, to both points. 

G:  It seems you work with a pretty tight knit crew of people.  Is there any chance of outside collaborations, production or any other work? 

86:  I’m not in any hurry to go out and collaborate with anyone outside the crew.  I’ve done some shit with Awakenings, and Raven is planning a collaborative project for this year, but i probably shouldn’t talk about that yet. There are a few people around the country i’d love to work with at some point, but all in good time.  I’m more interested in just working with the crew at the moment. 

G:  So can we have the exact date of the release and where people are going to be able to pick it up from? 

86:  ok, release date should be March 19th if all goes to plan.  It’s being distributed by Checkoutwax and will be available from anywhere you’d normally go to buy local hip hop. 

G:  Thank-you for your time, any further shout outs or anything you would like to add? 

86:  Cheers mate.  Big ups to all Hungry Humans, Touche, Dan Murphy, my girlie and all crew, crew of crew, and crew of crew’s crew.  Make sure to head down to The Tote on the 27th of March for City Under Siege, featuring The Hospice, Field Trip, Lost Souls, Autism & Phew,  Equills and more.   

WEAPON X INTERVIEW – NODFATHER

Filed under: Weapon X — Force @ 10:57 am

WEAPON X INTERVIEW 

G FORCE (G):  The Nod Father compilation is being pressed as we speak, or so I believe.  How did this come about, and how did you get so heavily involved, did you take the idea to Out For Fame (O4F) of did they come to you? 

WEAPON X (X): I’ve actually had plans to have a crack at a producer LP for a while however the format and general vision for what it would be didn’t come around until I started producing for those outside my crew. The O4F involvement came up when SYN FM, which play host to O4F Radio, expressed their interest in putting together a product – initially a mixtape – that would build off the O4F radio format and go from there. Andrew approached me to be involved in the production of the project and after some meetings with the SYN FM crew we decided to work on a compilation / production LP instead of a mixtape. We figured exclusives are what move mixtapes, so instead we’ve served up an exclusive album. 

G:  Did you have ideas of who you wanted on the album, it seems to be full of the younger fellas, the up and comers, is this what you set out to do? 

X: I wanted to have a mix of both rising stars and established artists. The plan was to work with people who I thought would gel with my style of beats, and for the most part, people I haven’t worked with before. In terms of the new talent, artists like Equills (Mantra & Whisper) and Fergo One are guys I put my heart and soul into. Their inclusion was assured well before it had a title. Artists like Downsyde and Solomon are people who I have wanted to work with but the opportunity hadn’t arisen. Bliss ‘N Eso are some crazy MoFos who I really work well with. There were a few people who I didn’t get to put tracks down with who I hope to catch in 2004, be it on another album like The Nodfather, or their own releases. The Chino XL thing was an eleventh hour opportunity which seemed too good to pass up on, even if it did push the release back a bit. 

G:  Working with a diverse range of people on the album, any interesting stories to tell? 

X: The strangest thing happened working on the Downsyde track. My initial beat CD had no track names, so when selecting a beat Optamus went by description (i.e. “Ya know that one with the horns that go da-da-daah..”). Of course, I think I know what he’s talking about, and cross that beat off the list – a little disappointed they didn’t choose the one I’d hoped they would. Sure enough, I’ve got the mix all ready to go, I drop in the vocals and they don’t match the tempo. Turns out they’d used the beat I wanted ‘em to, and luckily no-one else had taken it. I now name all beats and keep a record of who has what in fear of having an Alchemist / Jadakiss / Ras Kass incident. 

G:  When producing the albums beats did you have artists in mind for each one, or did they sort of select a beat from you?  What was the process for the compilation? 

X:  I would hand pick around five beats from a pool of around forty and give an artist a week or two to soak ‘em up. I chose beats which I felt they would sound right on, usually with one particular beat in mind. It’s different having an artist pick from 20 beats, this way I could leave out tracks which I didn’t feel would suit the album as a whole, or suit the artist full stop. The Bliss N Eso track was the one beat I wrote with the artist in mind. I got half way into writing that beat and its destination was apparent so I steered it toward them. 

G:  I ask most producers I interview this one, but it’s my interview and I will ask it again.  Where do you draw your inspiration from, what do you listen to get you in a beat making mood? 

X: Hearing another producer hit the mark with their sound really drives me mentally. Style wise I take inspiration from everything, all genres of music, from film, random noises etc.  However, I get the most inspiration from listening to Hip-Hop. It’d probably be the done thing to say I throw on some dusty old funk record and transform into Primo, but I just throw on the latest shit and lap it up. Lately The Black Album has been on high rotation, but it’s been a while since I’ve had time to sit down and listen to music, or write new beats for that matter. 

G:  I haven’t heard anything from the compilation as of yet.  Well, except for the snippet at Checkout Wax.  Did you try to offer a diverse range of beats, or simply production to suit the emcees? 

X: The first half of the album fell together, the remainder was a matter of juggling those two factors. Again, what I offered artists in terms of variety of beats dictated to a degree what would come back. 

G:  Onto yourself, we haven’t really seen a lot of spits from you since Battletown EP’s.  Calibur was shelved a few years back.  What can we expect to see from you in the future and who are you going to be working with? 

X: My hiatus was calculated to say the least. I’ve done a bunch of collabs with artists overseas and have been plotting my return for some time.  I am just putting the icing on the Weapon X & Ken Hell LP which will see a release real soon.  

G:  Alright, time to hear from the other side of the fence.  Accents, most people know you spit with one.  What is your take on the whole situation? 

X: It’s funny, It’s like when Lisa Simpson breaks Ralph Wiggum’s heart. I’m like Bart, because I’m able to replay the videotape in my head and actually see the moment the debate was born. To say most people I know spit with an adopted accent is untrue these days.  I’m kind of an anomaly now with no firm allegiance, except to good music and mic skills. I don’t take the accent debate seriously.  Anyone who takes that shit to the point of trying to persuade others to share their views, or draws conclusions about me as a person based on my accent is a joke. I stood in the crowd at the Looptroop gig and saw the same people who hate on accents throw their fist in the air for Promoe, whose speaking voice is more like Stefan Edberg. It’s all in what you’re programmed to love/hate. The same goes for unskilled artists with a solid following. Said programming however has no effect when one travels outside the region it originates – whether good or bad propaganda. My favorite emcees in the country are and Ken Hell (Naps) and Mantra (Equills). You do the math, I’ll just keep making music I’d listen to. 

G: Production wise you have been working with a lot of people as of late.  J Wess, 1200 Techniques and Bias B.  Do you find it odd to be doing work for what seems like two different scenes at times? 

X: I find it a challenge more than anything. For artists like Bias B the process is quite simple as he’ll pick from the same pool of beats I’d pick from for the Weapon X & Ken Hell LP. That said, I do keep a lot of shit for myself but I often choose tracks others wouldn’t tackle. With the remixes I’ve been doing, most people don’t understand how little time you are given. At most you get a week to do it. I turned in the last one from scratch with only four hours including mixing. Opinions are like assholes when it comes to the success of The J-Wess Project and to a lesser extent 1200 Techniques. I want the industry to take notice of the local scene and all its parts. They are beginning to pay attention, and like it or not, it’s due in part to the success of the aforementioned artists.  

G:  Back to the NodFather, will there be future volumes instaled into the series? 

X: I hope so, I’ve got a few other projects penciled in which take me through to the end of 2004. We’ll have to see what happens.  

G:  The Anniversary gig that is coming up for the launch.  You are performing, will we be seeing some new material then? 

X: For sure.  I’m amped about this gig. The line up has to be the best all local one I’ve even seen.    

G:  You are also known as a bit of a Sneaker Pimp.  What would be your favourite all time shoe for the fellow footwear enthusiasts out there? 

X: Too hard. Top Three – Air Jordan IV, Air Revolution and Air Force 1. 

G:  Any further shout outs or additional info you wanna add? 

X: Nodfather in stores Mid-January. Thanks to yourself , OzHipHop.com, Out 4 Fame, SYN FM 90.7. 

G:  Thanks for your time X, good luck with the compilation. 

X: Thanks for the chance to rant. Peace Bro! 

TERNTABLE JEDIZ INTERVIEW – ALL OUT WAR

Filed under: Terntable Jediz — Force @ 10:56 am

TERNTABLE JEDIZ – INTERVIEW

DJ Sheep, Finatik, Damage by: G-Force – March 2004   

G-FORCE [G]:  Alright for those who do not know, who are the Terntable Jediz, where are you from, and what is your cause? 

SHEEP [S]: The Terntable Jediz are a crew consisting of DJs Finatik, Damage, Sheep, Kenny and Krypton. We are all from Brisbane with the exception of Finatik, who hails from Perth. Our cause is to slaughter wack Australian DJs in battles, stay dope on the cut and keep our fingers dusty. 

G:  How did you guys form the crew and how long have you been together? 

S: Krypton & I formed the crew in January 1998, when we each bought our first set of decks. Damage was always an inspiration to us and a good mate, so he naturally became a part of the crew the following year. I’ve known Kenny since the late-90s, and I didn’t even know he cut, then I seen him at local battle I won in 2001, he was killing it on the cut, so we asked him to be down. We witnessed Finatik’s amazing scratching skills at the DMC Studio’s in Melbourne before the Australian Finals in 2002. We made sure he was cool and he joined the night before the finals, he went into that battle as a Jedi, at 15 years of age! So, that’s the final line-up, no more members. We’re all good mates, the crew is secondary, it’s helped guarantee our longevity. 

G: To be an avid DJ, one would expect a very passionate love for hip-hop and the art of DJing itself, how and when did your passions develop? 

S: I grew up during the first wave of breakdancing, in primary school throughout the early-80s. I attended high school with Lazy Grey, he and his brother exposed me to the true hip-hop culture between 1988-1990. Magazines like Vapours and Hype. Books like Subway Art and Spraycan Art. Hip-Hop groups like Def Wish Cast, EPMD, N.W.A., Public Enemy, Ice-T, Too $hort, Run DMC, Big Daddy Kane, etc. I used to spin out on DJs like Jam Master Jay, Jazzy Jeff and Terminator X (even though I later found out that it was Johnny Juice cuttin’ on their first 2 albums!). I remember hiring Krush Groove out at the local video store and the cover was all tagged up by some of Brissie’s finest writers…. ahhhh, the memories…. Anyhow, shit just cruised along for a few years, and then through an advertisement in the Source Magazine in 1994, I got in contact with the Bomb Hip-Hop Magazine outta San Francisco. I started writing for the magazine and ran their hip-hop mail-order at my house; we even did an Australian special in that magazine in the mid-90s! The editor, David Paul put me up on a lot of scratch/mixtapes from DJs like the Invisibl Skratch Piklz, Babu, Roc Raida, etc. I was instantly a huge fan of scratching & battle DJing (later referred to as “turntablism”).  It was also that year that I started buying ALL my hip-hop music on vinyl (no turntable, just a component system). Bomb eventually turned into a record label, which released the Return of the DJ albums. From 1996-1999 I flew out DJ Q-Bert, Disk, Craze and A-Trak to do shows around Australia. Before that point, I honestly didn’t think that I would become a DJ, but witnessing all those incredible DJs first hand and inspired me! So yeah, as I said before, I got my first set of decks and mixer in 1988, learned how to DJ myself, practiced, started the website turntablism.com, sold it to 75ark Records, travelled the world, jammed, won local battles/DMCs, and the rest is history… I used to love H.E.R. 

FINATIK [F]: I got interested back in ‘99 when Mixmaster Mike came out with the Beastie Boys, and being exposed to the skills of someone like Mixmaster Mike just spun me out. But I was into hip-hop before then but I never really knew anything about DJing, so then I worked at my mums café during the school holidays and saved up to get some cheap Citronic turntables and a Citronic mixer and then I started practicing. I entered my first DMC battle back in 2001 and ended up placing 3rd. I finally bought a Vestax mixer and 2 x Technics 1200’s and kept going with the battles. Then I finally saved up and bought myself an MPC2000 last year which has led me to bang out beats, dig for my samples and work hard on my production. 

DAMAGE [D]: I first got into hip hop culture back in ‘83 through breaking and started buying wax around the same time. My best friend had two belt drives and a mixer which I'd be on every chance i got. Back in those days you didn't have battle videos and instructional DVD’s or whatever so I never really learnt shit. I was hooked from the first time I used them though and ended up dropping out of uni ten years later to get a job so i could buy a pair. I quit that job about a year and half ago to DJ full time even though there were limited opportunities to play in clubs. Personally, I don't care whether I'm successful at it as long as I can get up and scratch every day and drop beats for a crowd every now and then. I think that's been the attitude of a lot of the crew I've hung with over the years no matter what element they've pursued. 

G: Do you find that having a crew of DJ’s you guys are exposed to a large and varying amount of music that a lot of people may not hear?

D: I think that's true anywhere cause most hip hop DJ's are beat diggers and any half serious beat digger can tell you that there's some pretty good sounds, loops and drum breaks to be found in all sorts of obscure styles of music. I think it's especially true living in a smaller city like
Brisbane where you have to be musically versatile if you want regular work. S: My collection’s about 6,000 records deep. The ratio would be about 70% hip-hop and 30% jazz/funk/samples. I carry 1-2 bags per gig, which is about 50-80 records. So yeah, there’s another 99% of my collection that people will never hearL. It used to piss me off that DJing became such a dancefloor orientated thing. There’s a lot of DJs out there that don’t know shit about music, just the dancefloor. No individuality, these robots buy records based on what the radio or TV feeds them. I never have been like that, and I’ve always been more interested in paying to see someone spin a unique set, so I can appreciate their selection of music. It’s better than hearing some robot spinnin’ the same shit every other Tom, Dick & Harry is. That’s why touring international hip-hop DJs are getting boring, 7/10 of them play the same ‘ol shit, the same way. One of the more memorable local sets that I can remember was at Dedlee’s launch in Melbourne. Dedlee himself stepped up and just played classic after classic: O.C., Lord Finesse, Organized Konfusion, etc. And he ain’t even a full-time DJ! I’d pay $50 to see Dedlee on the decks over these other ROBOTS… 

G:  On the search for music, Sheep, combined with your work for CheckoutWax and personal digging, how often do you head out and just what exactly do you look for?  Also on that, Finatik, being a young cat, do you search for the same or varying things? 

S: I dig at least once or twice a week, mainly for sample material, breaks, funk, soundtracks, etc. I get a lot of my hip-hop at work. I hit up Rocking Horse Records when I’m in the city. I also go on eBay and get things I can’t find in stores, plus I trade a lot of records to overseas and interstate beat heads. I know what I’m looking out for, but occasionally someone puts me onto some shit. 

F: I like to dig for a lot of Soul and Jazz, mainly 70s shit, it’s my favourite shit to sample.  

G:  Finatik, being 16 years old, have you found it hard at times to do what you do whilst continuing to lead the life of a 16 year old, school, lack of cash etc? 

F: I think back to when I was about 13, it was harder as I just started out (DJing) and I was spending all my money on wax, but now I work more so I have enough money to feed my vinyl addiction! (laughs) but you can never have enough money for vinyl! When I started out I wasn’t really getting as much as support as I do now. Dudes would give me shit for being a DJ!. These days those same guys come up to and are like “Hey can you teach me how to DJ?” 

G:  Onto battling, Sheep you have taken out the Queensland DMC twice now, not to mention a swag of other titles and Finatik the WA ITF’s, however you have taken some time away from the circuit.  Is this purely to focus on the new album or other reasons? 

S: Honestly, I feel that a huge part of turntablism is dead. I personally don’t feel the same enthusiasm that I once did for it back in the mid-late 90s. Maybe I’m just getting old, but the current battle scene bores me. There’s no dude like Craze, A-Trak or even Dexta, just killin’ it, CLEARLY taking titles, getting’ me hyped and enthusiastic… There are some underrated DJs that I really dig from Australia: Jizz, Prowla and Devist8. See, there are three ill DJs that didn’t win titles or even enter battles!!! Finatik and I have retired from battling as of last year. I think we proved our point. If I wanted to take out the local DMC, I would, but it doesn’t interest me anymore. That’s not saying I don’t have any new routines, I’ve just defended the title from wack DJs for too long 😉 if another wack dude wins it, I’m coming outta retirement ;). Maybe you can still catch me at the battle on the judging panel, or doing a showcase or something. Before I bounce, I have gotta give props to Stewart at DMC for getting shit straight for these past two years I’ve entered, he takes care of business well. F: Most definitely, battling takes up soooo much time and it’s a good experience but it got to the point were I was like ok I want to settle down and make music. Battling is definitely a nice way to make a little name for yourself and have fun but then there’s some drama between DJs, etc. It’s just like, O.K. it’s a battle, we’re here to have fun, and at the end of the day whoever wins, wins – Don’t cry about it… 

G:  Onto the album, the line up is looking quite impressive from the listings on your site (www.djsheep.com).  How did this all come about and what role are each of the Jediz playing on the album? 

S: The album’s been a work-in-progress for two years (way too long). It was originally going to be a “turntablism” album, but those are boring to make and usually end up sounding like crap. So we decided to do a dope hip-hop album with us scratching on there and co-ordinating the tracks. More like a compilation. Finatik submitted some beats, Lazy Grey seemed interested, who knows, we’ll see what happens. 

G:  Any more names you would like to add to the list or anything else you can reveal about the album? 

S: This is the final line-up of artists: Lyrical Commission, Trem, 360, Delta, Lazy Grey, J-Zone, Celph Titled, Arks, Bias B, Jon Doe, The Optimen. All tracks are recorded specifically for the album and conducted by the Terntable Jediz. 

G:  The album sounds like it is going to be a pretty top notch release, what are your aims for the release, any goals perhaps? 

S: I think the line-up speaks for itself. 

F: We always got goals, with this project our goal is just to feed the listeners and give them a good taste of that real shit! 

G: Finatik, to be part of something as large as this at some a young age, must be pretty exciting.  Have there been any sacrifices you have had to make to continue doing what you love? 

F: I’d say not going out as much as I did before, but I can deal with that. I think if you want to get better at what you do, your gonna work so hard and it will get to the point where your learning some new shit and your gonna be like DAMN! I wanna learn more! So it’s an ongoing hunger. 

G: Sheep, I believe you are heading to Japan to live for a while, is this business, personal or simply to track down Selekt and drag him back to our shores? 

S: I’ve travelled to Japan numerous times before and I’ve always loved it. The opportunity arose for me to work out there, so I took it. I’ll be enjoying the culture and hip-hop scene out there. Not to mention diggin’ up some ill ass shit, and lettin’ the Japanese scene know what GOOD Australian hip-hop sounds like… 

G:  Speaking of travelling, Finatik, being from WA and reppin a Queensland based crew, how has it been travel wise, in making of the album, lots of stamps and phone calls? 

F: It hasn’t been as hard as I expected, but it hasn’t been easy at the same time, especially with mailing shit over back and forth, but its definitely worth it. If you love what you do then your going to go out of your way just to do it. 

G:  So, what can people expect from the album as a package, what are you hoping to highlight to the people? 

S: A SOLID ALBUM. We’ve assembled the cream-of-the-crop Australian hip-hop artists alongside some of the dopest US producers and MCs. Pick it up – you won’t need to filter through the album to pick 1 or 2 favourite tracks out of 26. It will be short, about 10 tracks and 100% quality. All killer, no filler. It’s coming out on “CLASS A RECORDS”, a local Brisbane label that everyone should be checking for in the future. 

F: Expect a solid release with some top notch producers and MCs, a lot of variety in the tracks – there will be battle tracks and also tracks revolving around subjects. Expect dope cuts from all the crew! 

G:  Alright, any shout outs, thank-yous etc or additional info for the kiddies of oz hip hop land? 

S: Thanks to anyone who has supported/supports me in the past, present and future. Peace to everyone who made noise at the DJ battles. Thanks to Caine and Ecko for sponsoring the me. Thanks in advance to everyone who buys this album. Thanks to my girlfriend for her patience. Thanks to the promoters that book me for shows. Thanks to everyone who’s helped me along this journey. Thanks to Class A Records for believing in our album. e-mail: bevan@checkoutwax.com for bookings. Check www.djsheep.com for updates. 

F: Thanks to everyone who has supported me from day one and thanks to the people who didn’t believe in me because that shit just makes me work harder! Check out my release not too long after the Jediz album, it’s a remix album showcasing all my production and beats with some dope hip-hop accapellas over the top! 

D: Big shout out to Lyrical Commission for holdin' the torch, Brothers Stoney, Optimen, my brother Snax, DJ's Bribe and Freestyle. G

:   Thanks for your time and good luck with the album. 

S, F, D: Thanks for your support mate…

ANDY STRUKSHA Interview

Filed under: Andy Struksha — Force @ 10:55 am

ANDY STRUKSHA INTERVIEW 

G Force (G):  It has been a rather big few months for you Andy.  The release of you solo album Andy Social and now featuring on the Culture Of Kings Three compilation.  Is it a relief to have it all out there now? 

Andy Struksha (A): Absolutely. Big learning experience, and it’s good to have it out the way so I can focus on  new projects. 

G:  The Andy Social album, how long had it been in the works for? 

A:started the first track around 98 

G:  The album has a very relaxed vibe to it, both musically and lyrically.  Where do you draw your inspirations from as both an emcee and a producer? 

A:  lotta jazz joints… 

G:  The artists that you have worked with on the album, Scarz on 45 in particular Troy, Delta, J-Red, Pegz, DJ FX.  How did these collaborations come about, simply friends or other means? 

A:simply friends….I’ve been blessed with having good friends. 

G:  How did the Culture of Kings track come about?  In particular working with Jolz, as a producer is he someone you admired and wanted to work with? 

A:jolz is a thorough professional..pleasure to work with…knows his way round the lab… 

G:  Back to your solo album, a few people have critisced the length.  Why didn’t you go for a longer release? 

A:ahh..debut..i’d rather release somethin short and i’m happy with than some long winded ish that drags on bottom line 

G:  You also featured on the classic album Obesecity.  How did your relation with the Obese family come about?  

A:when i moved from adelaide Shazlik 1 was one of the first heads I met he introduced me to some lads and made me feel at home. 

G:  You are in Adelaide and Melbourne regularly, are there many differences between the scene in the two cities? 

A: These days it’s like a $60 virgin blue ticket. 

G:  Seeing two of the largest states for Australian Hip Hop regularly, who are you feeling at the moment, be it up and comers or established artists both production and emcee wise? 

A:  Most hip hop stuff I’m hearing.. it’s just from my circle of friends. To be straight with ya.. im listening to a lot of jazz\funk type stuff at the moment and a lot earlier 90’s OZ hip hop type stuff. 

G:  You recently opened for Kool Keith as well, what was that like and is Keith an odd fella? A

: Yeah.. something nice to have on the resume I guess.. And.. “is he odd” no comment. 

G:  What can people look forward to from yourself, more touring, future collaborations etc? 

A: Have a 12 inch due out this year with Delta, Lazy Grey and Jolz. Couple of other projects i will keep dark for the time being… but expect to hear some more hypertype flavours. 

G:  Thank-you for your time, any final words for the people? 

A: Pleasure.. Easy

FUNKOARS – Whos ya step daddy first interview

Filed under: Funkoars — Force @ 10:54 am

 G Force (G):  Who are Funkoars, how did you meet and what part do each of you play in the group? 

Sesta: The Funkoars consist of trials, sesta, hons and we drag dj reflux along for rideHons:  I rap, trials and sesta rap and produce, and reflux dj’s.

Trials: correct. We met somewhere.  

G:  Where did the name Funkoars come from? 

Sesta: To be honest,  it came out of brainstorming while drunk  

G:  What are you trying to bring to the table with Funkoars? 

Sesta: we didn’t set out to try and bring anything, what we do represents who we are so listen to it and do the math god

Trials: correct, we are on some nasty piss on speaker shit. We like slamming beats and filthy raps so that’s pretty much what we do.

Hons: shitty cunt.  

G:  How did you get involved with Certified Wise crew and all the other artists representing Certified? 

Sesta: We’ve all pretty much got the same interests and shit

Trials: yeah, its basically a crew of dudes all working towards the same shit collaborating with each other.

Hons: bunch of sick cunts  

G:  Who are your favourite Australian Hip Hop artists at the moment? 

Hons: Hunter, Pegasus and Dazastah just to name a few

Sesta: Definitely Hilltop Hoods, they are setting the standard and shit these days, and I’m really feeling Coxsters shit too

Trials: I’m digging the Hospice & Art of War a lot at the moment, their crew’s going to make a lot of heads turn when they drop shit  

G:  Who are your favourite up and coming Australian artists? 

Trials: As for dudes who haven’t released anything yet, 360 from Melbourne’s got some killer raps  

 G:  Any particular releases that you think people should peep? 

Sesta: The Funkoars – Who is your step daddy

Hons: Ian McDermot – Happy Harmonica

Trials: George Forman just dropped a new grill, shit is hot  

G:  Alright, lets talk producers, who do you think is making heads knock in AUS at the moment? 

Sesta: Charles Aznavour, Dazastah and Suffa for sure

Hons: Ciecmate of the Hospice, Kris from After Hours and Simplex from Terra Firma

Trials: Coxster has some of the funkiest shit, I’m feelin Dj Bonez and all the stuff I’ve heard from Burna so far too  

G:  Who would you like to work with in Australia at the moment? 

Trials: Sophie Monk

Hons: Kylie Minogue

Sesta: I have trouble working with myself most the time. I’m not at that point in my life where I feel I am comfortable enough to answer that question 

 G:  The Adeliade scene seems to be pretty big at the moment and only getting bigger.  Full of talent and a fairly focused purpose of helping everyone out, what can you tell us about the Adelaide scene? 

Hons: Its good, there are a lot of good Pullingstrings shows being put on lately at good venues since a few new ones have been found

Sesta: The Adelaide scene is very supportive, good vibe at shows, definitely still growing.  

G:  The Certified Wise crew surely would be wielding a lot of power at the moment, bringing a lot of talented crews to the hip hop industry.  Where do you see Certified and Funkoars in the future? 

Hons: world domination, from there who knows?

Trials: I want a butler and French maid

Sesta: I still can’t believe its not butter

Trials: But on a serious note, I think Certified will keep supporting the local scene and giving back to the Adelaide community as much as they have giving us. 

 G:  So when will we be seeing a release from Funkoars and what should we expect? 

Sesta: Shit is recorded, shit is mastered, shit is on its way any moment now

Trials: expect lots of head nodding beats from Sesta and myself as well as a few from FG. We got some wild guests on it rocking along with us, Pressure, Headlock, Suffa and Hunter featuring on a few tracks with Flux owning the decks.  

 G:  Trials, being a part aboriginal emcee what is your view on the ABC documentary that showed a lot of other Aboriginal emcees who were rocking accents and seemed to be just imitating a lot of what they had heard? 

Trials: I think I missed it. Its the same as anywhere else really, a lot of these kids are just imitating 2pac and shit because that’s all they are interested in or have access too. We’ve all got to start somewhere though.  

 G:  Do you see yourself as a role model for young indigenous kids who are starting to rap? 

Trials: Nah, not at all, there are a few cats around representing at the moment. Brother Black who’s down with Morganics from Sydney does a lot of stuff for the indigenous communities like workshops and shows, they a bringing a really positive aspect to the scene. 

  G:  Also Trials, on the Out 4 Fame battle, what did it feel like to know that everyone wanted you to win? 

Trials: fuckin wicked, I was mad pleased people even considered me for it. Maybe next time.  

G:  Alrighty, Hons.  I believe you are looking at dropping a VCD of some sort, what does that entail, when will it be available and will there be nudity? 

Hons: Yeah, called ‘The Full Honsy’, heaps of live footage from some dope crews. It’s gonna be out through Peepshow Entertainment, no nudity due to legal reasons. It should be out next week available through me (admin@funkoars.com)  aswell as a few select stores around Adelaide and hopefully interstate.  Go to Funkoars.com for more info. 

 G:  How important is freestyling and battling to Funkoars? 

Sesta: Its not just important to the Funkoars, its important to the scene itself, with one comes the other but yeah, battling and shit is a major element of our rhymes

Trials: Yeah it’s a good way for cats who are eager to be heard to get their name out and to piss on weak mc’s  

G:  Ok, off hip hop for a question quickly.  What item would each of you take into the Big Brother house as your luxury item?

 Sesta: A crowbar to get the fuck out of there, I hate the shit. They are a bunch of homos.

Trials: See above

Hons: Four porno mags and some hand cream, it comes in a pack 

 G:  Beer of choice? 

Sesta: Corona

Hons: Geelong Draught

Trials: Vodka  

G:  You guys seem pretty switched on with the internet side of promotions with the Certified Wise Web Ring. Who came up with the idea and what do you think in general about the internet for Oz hip Hop? 

Hons: Well First, Suffa made the interenet, and he made the web ring that shortly followed

Sesta: and then there was light

Trials: Internet is good – www.backroomfacials.com is a favourite of mine.

 Sesta: and yeah, it does play a big part in keeping heads in touch with whats going onTrials: It’s a good place for cunts to get shit out and about. Especially with dudes like MassMC making a lot of moves and giving a lot of support for the scene at the moment by sponsoring jams and running Ozhiphop.com 


G:   You guys stopped over in Melbourne a few weekends back , what did you do, how much did you drink and did you have fun? 
Sesta: We just went over to catch up with a lot of our Victorian mates and stayed at the Hospice mansion, drank a lot, remembered little.

Hons: $12 got me 6 minutes of a chick penetrating herself with a closed fist in a booth with a wet floor

Trials: I was warned not to touch the walls  

G:  Just finally, anyone you would like to thank or anything to say to your fans or fans of Oz hip Hop in general? 

Trials: Big up, keep supporting, buy me beer and give us lifts. What up to my associate Vents1 who just scored a deal with Leeds United

Sesta: Yeah we always need lifts of the weekend

Hons: Props to all the cunts who go to shows and buy albums, sick cunts 

G: Well Spank you Funkoars, now cmon Barbie, lets go party.

MARK 1 INTERVIEW – Audiosyncracies release

Filed under: Mark 1 — Force @ 10:53 am

[b]MARK 1 INTERVIEW by G Force[/b] 

[i]G Force(G):  Congratulations on the new album Mark.  The themes and subjects addressed are quite varied, where do you draw your inspiration for writing songs from?[/i]

 Mark 1(M): Thanks mate, much appreciated.  My inspiration is just my life and observations. What I’ve been through or seen friends go through, the things I see, my family, as well as the things I enjoy, fun times with friends… it all influences me and hence my writing in some way. 

[i]G:  How does this solo album differ to what you will be bringing with the soon to be released Mindfield album?[/i]

M:  This album is quite different to the Mindfield album. With this album I was able to choose topics that were personal to me, experiment with things stylistically, express some things I’d wanted to, and do it in a way the meant a lot to me.

The similarity to the Mindfield album is that both Bdeps and Biz gave a lot of valuable input to my album. If you think the Bdeps beats on my album are bangers, or their guest verses were ill, well we have a whole album of them coming soon. Mindfield is just straight up hiphop, it allows me to unleash the other side of my emceeing ability, the battle, punchline, straight up flow side.

Banging beats, dope raps. The  Mindfield album is gonna be heat, trust me.

[i]G:  The track ‘Spotless Crucifixion’ stood out to me as a powerful religious tale.  How did this track come about, was it something you felt you wanted to do for yourself as a religious man or other reasons?[/i]

M:  I actually wrote this track a couple of years ago. A friend I went to high school with became a pastor and I went to hear him do a service one time. He spoke about how the whole crucifixion has been watered down over the years, to the point it’s almost like a kids fairytale. People wear crosses and have paintings of a calm looking Christ gazing up at the heavens from the cross, when the reality was nothing like that. It was brutal torture. Anyway, this kind of caught in my mind so I ended up doing a bit of research on crucifixion and punishment at the time, and Christ in particular and tried to paint the story with words.

When “Passion” came out, I felt it kind of displayed the same images I saw in my mind years before, writing the song. Even if you don’t believe, it’s a powerful story and image, and that’s what I was trying to show.

[i]G:  Being a religious man, I am unsure of how devout you are, does hip hop for you contradict some teachings and does it conflict with your involvement, song writing, activities in anyway?[/i]

M:  Sure, good question. I don’t really consider myself a ‘religious man’. To me ‘religion’, as most perceive it, is hollow, outdated, man made rules and regulations that bear little resemblance to the Christianity of the Bible. I’m a Christian, and maybe by many religious peoples standards not a very good one. But I believe that it’s all about my personal beliefs and walk with God, and I’ll let him judge me.

I don’t find that my involvement in hiphop has conflicted with my personal beliefs. I don’t judge my friends, they respect my choices, and I theirs. I’m down to have a beer and hang out and have fun with the boys. The only difference is probably that there’s some subject matter I wouldn’t broach on record, things I wouldn’t personally say or do, but others will. That’s what makes hiphop dope.

[i]G:  Back to the album, the decision to collaborate with American artists, how did it come about and how did it go from this idea to reality?[/i]

M:  I was chatting often to a good friend of mine Elected Official, years ago when I was DJing and he was just starting to make beats.

He lives in the US and we would chat online or over the phone. He read some of my verses, old ones, or new ones I’d write for my own interest and really liked them and encouraged me to record them. We started working on stuff together, and shortly after he got a job interning at Uprok Records when artists like Mars ill, Deepspace 5, Playdough etc where on the label. His beats improved leaps and bounds and he found himself producing beats for these guys. We played our stuff to them and was telling me they dug it and I should hit them up. So I owe a lot to E. I would bounce emails back and forth and run up huge phone bills working out tracks with these guys but its been worth it. Theyre all great, really supportive guys. I wanted to do some work with like-minded artists and at the time I wasn’t really aware of anyone in ozhiphop who were on the same kind of page. I’m equally glad since that point that I have. Shorty was a different story. When he was down here, I picked him up from the airport and as we were driving around he went thru my CD’s in the car, pulled out mine and asked to listen to it. He really dug Myths, and it had no cuts on it and he offered to cut on it. No way I was turning that down, so we went down to my place the next day and layed it all down.

[i]G:  Through these overseas collaborations are you hoping or planning to shift some units overseas?[/i]

M:  Not really. Its not an issue to me. I didn’t collab with those guys with any intention of ever moving units. When I first started working with them I didn’t even have a set plan to do album. I just wanted to make some dope hiphop with dudes that had the same kind of mindset as I did and it all kind of progressed from there.

[i]G:  Your own delivery is quite unique, is it a style you have knowingly developed or is it all natural?[/i]

M:  Its all natural. I don’t even consciously have a style, I just jump in the booth and rap my verse. I wasn’t even really aware that I had a particular style until people listened to the album and have started saying that. Hopefully it’s a good thing, but its not something I’m going to try and actively develop. I just spit verses.

  [i]G:  The production on the album is high quality and very diverse.  How did you hook up with the producers and what did you take into mind when choosing the beats?[/i]

M:  Well E.O. I’ve explained, the rest is produced by Bdeps and SammyB. They’re both local Adelaide dudes, great mates and very talented. Muneshine from Lightheaded laced me a beat I think before Lightheaded existed. It was one of those things where I would talk to Braille, Ohmega and Othello often and I think Braille told me about Muneshines beats. I hit him up, he liked my stuff, I liked his, so we did a track.

When I chose beats it was simply a case of ‘is the beat dope?’ If I felt like it was something I’d consider really hot if I heard it on someone else’s album, then it made the cut for mine. From there I selected beats that I felt really fit the vibe of the lyrics and what I was trying to express. Bdeps is ridiculous on the beats and his new stuff is off tap, and I also really wanted to work with Suffa, he laced me with some beats but unfortunately I ran out of time and he was hectic so it didn’t happen, but we’ll definitely do something at some stage.

[i]G:  You also contributed cuts to a couple of tracks, any other plans to delve into this further or perhaps try your hand at production?[/i]

M:  Word, yeah I been DJing for a long while now and I love it. I layed the scratches on the collab with Inf too, I do all the cuts for Mindfield, and I’m slated to cut on a some stuff from Adelaide dudes in progress. I also layed some scratches down for US artists Elias, and Kaboose on their new albums. Its definitely something I’ll keep doing for anyone I dig, who wants me to.

As for production, I would love to get into it in the future, I might sit and learn off Bdeps for a while and see how things pan out.

[i]G:  Through your lyrics, what do you try to express and hope that the listener will take away from the album?[/i]

M:  I don’t even really think of it like that. I didn’t try and make the listener take a specific from listening. I just hope they listen to it, enjoy it and rate it as a dope album, feel the honesty, appreciate the skills, and then take away whatever it means to them. I know that some songs have taken on a new meaning for a couple guys, as there experiences may reflect my own in some way, but it takes on its own significance for them.

I just want cats to enjoy it.

[i]G:  Throughout the album we learn that you are a married man with four children, how did you find time to make the album in the first place!?[/i]

M:  Hahaha word! Yeah I’m lucky that I have a very supportive wife and family who know how much making hiphop means to me and understand the time needed to do it. It’s a struggle at times and it’s a constant juggling of priorities, but I try and make sure they always come first and in return they try and understand the time I need.

  [i]G:  How did your distribution hook up with Obese Records come about?[/i]

M:  Pegz. He is a king. I was looking for someone to distro it, looked at a few opportunities but Pegz had a listen, really liked it and was really supportive and positive.

He offered to distro it, and really went above and beyond in some of the help he gave me to get it out. He’s a champ and I appreciate his support.

[i]G:  Future plans for Mark 1?  Album launches, releasing Audiosyncracies on wax?  What should we look out for?[/i]

M:  Both. Album launch in Adelaide, August 20 at Traffic Nightclub with Mindfield, Funkoars, Reflux, DavidL and hosted by Headlock, with other states to be announced.

Hopefully the CD gets enough support to warrant putting wax out, its definitely something we have planned for the near future.

Definitely don’t sleep on Mindfield either. We got stuff in the pipeline that will be ill.

[i]G:  Well, thank you for your time Mark, I wish you all the best with the album and good luck in the future.  Any one you would like to thank or anything else you would like to add?[/i]

M: No problem boss, thanks. Quick shout to Bdeps, Biz, all the Crackhouse and Certified boys, and you heads around the country that have been supportive and picked up copy of the album. Hope you feel it.  Peace.

[i]G:  Cheers[/i]

  

LOST SOULS INTERVIEW – Conveyor Belt

Filed under: Lost soulz — Force @ 10:52 am

LOST SOULS INTERVIEW – By G Force 

[i]G Force (G): Let’s firstly have some introductions for those not in the know.  Who are the Lost Souls, where are your from and how did you hook up to make the dope release that is ‘Conveyor Belt’ happen?[/i]

Budsa (B): First and foremost bro Myself and Raven are from Chelsea and Edithvale about 15 minutes out of frankston. The Lost Soulz as a crew formed back in 98 when we were in yr 10 and it was your typical bunch of dudes getting wasted on all sorts of shit and rappin

Myself, Raven and Reid took it seriously and began working on tracks and concepts, reid ended up lashin on us for jiggy shit and eventually wound up serving the country in the armed forces cos he wanted a gun. By about 2001 we worked with 86 and made a little ditty called Toxic drops which is still floatin around somewhere, In 2002 we met DJ Perplex at Frankston street science recruited that cat and the end product became Conveyor Belt.

[i]G:  There seems to be a whole heap of dark lyrical emcees and producers coming from down your way including Field Trip, Phatty Phew and Autism.  What is it down there that is brewing?[/i]

Raven (R): It’s a combination of smack and the finest peyote! Nah it’s not like we purposely try to be evil or anything like that its just that we prefer to have lyrics with an impact instead of floating around the beat, and always start a track with a concept instead of just spinnin shit or whinging. As a whole Hungry Humans just wanna do some shit that has never been done before and make sure that heads hear the noise we make.

[i]G:  The release was pre-empted with lot of hype from people who had heard you both before.  What was that like and did it intimidate you at all?[/i]

B: Hype is something we try steer clear of but it helps .. I suppose the fact Myself and Raven hit shows up pretty heavy for the last couple of years let the name be known to people and the mp3.com shit let people hear what we were capable of without totally letting the cat out of the bag…

Intimidation is non existant the only time ive ever been intimidated was on a train one night when some smack fiend stuck a knife in my face and requested I gave him my jacket. Franga represent biatch!

All in all I think hype if there was any came about because people recognized that we had something to offer the scene.

[i]G:  I have spoke to you before Budsa about how I had thoughts that Raven may have come a little harder than you.  When the album dropped I was pleasantly proved wrong, very wrong.  Does having two of you does that drive you both to push it that little further lyrically?[/i]

B: Yeah we basically feed off each other whether that be criticism of one another or we get inspired by each other..

Im a realist and I was fully aware I had big shoes to fill to be up to the standard of my comrade but if anything hes been my guide through the years and ive had my eyes wide open the whole time and really been able to develop my own style, if anything I got a fucken long way to go still and ive really only found my groove in the last 12 months .

R: Quicker than any other mc ive seen!

[i]G:  Raven handled all the production on the album and did a dark fine job with it.  How was the process of putting tracks together, were they written to the beats, vice versa, both, how did it all come together?[/i]

R: A dark fine job? Hmmm? Well I guess majority of tracks were written over the beats they were meant for. Speaking for both of us its always better this way because you can figure out the flow of the drum pattern and how to work with it lyrically. As for the dark part, I just dig that shit!

[i]G:  For those wondering out there Raven.  What did you use to produce your beats and the processes you went through, being that there are a couple of instrumentals on the track, they are obviously of high importance to you both?[/i]

R: For this release and this will be the last I used reason for mixing, not saying that it’s a bad program cos its sick, but I now have an mpc2000 and make love to it every night. I did all the sampling from wax except for the drums which when you listen to the album can tell are from the program. Recorded all the vocals in acid through a Rhodes nt1-a. As for the instro’s I get a lot of inspiration from dudes like rjd2 and dj shadow so I thought I’d give it a go.

If anyone wants / needs beats write to Darkwing Productions po. Box 517 Glenhuntly Vic 3163

[i]G:  I must say also that I was impressed with the albums artwork.  The cover is dope.  Who was responsible for this and what inputs were involved from you guys?[/i]

B: Yeah the art was very impressive in my opinion! Exactly what we where looking for without telling our man too much. Wuz from the CI crew designed and executed the art and did a fucken mad job, Perplex is a budding photographer and took most of the shots

I went to school with Phlues and Wuz and originally had Phlues on the job but he went overseas and left it with Wuzlo and as you can see the dudes got a fucken head on those shoulders

We basically just rocked down to his studio and really didn’t have a lot of input cos everything was as we had visioned and there was no complaints or issues with anything he put in front of us. He was a pleasure to work with! Big ups WUZ

[i]G:  Why did John have to die in the end, he was doing so well?[/i]

R: I thought I’d get a bit Shakespeare and shit!

B: its his stupid fuckin Tutors fault dumb slut deserves to be hung who hands there keys over to a drunken reformed junkie,, john was cool I would hang with him and steal his shoes

[i]G:  Seriously, ‘John Doe’ is one hell of a tale, probably one of the dopest story tracks I have heard.  Where was the inspiration for this from and where do you draw inspiration for the rest of your works?[/i]

R: Just drawing from all kinds of shit that I’ve seen growin up and too much t.v. Not based on any particular one person that was I didn’t give him a real name. Im surprised that everyone is surprised that he died, I thought the name of the track would give it away.

B: I cant front in my raps I would be beaten down if I talked shit I like sluts beer drugs and violence its hiphop and I like it that way!

[i]G:  5 Gentleman, insane posse cut with Field Trip and Autism.  What was the vibe while recording this, was it like a ‘better than each other’ sort of thing to a just go all fucken out?[/i]

B: Yeah going all out is the right way to put it, we don’t think where better than anyone it was basically time that all of us combined and introduced ourselves as a crew, I wrote my verse on the train goin to perplexs joint in hawthorn and if you know where Chelsea is you would know that you can get a lot written on that train ride.

[i]G:  Being relative new comers when it comes to actual releases, what are you hoping to achieve and what drives you to get your product out there?[/i]

B: I only want respect and recognition that im getting better and improving as an artist it does help to hear that people enjoy our product I suppose that drives me and the fact that we can do shows now, the only thing I like doin more than rappin to strangers is fuckin hot horny red blooded teenagers. Underage ones at that

R: Even though we just released this album a lot of the crew have been rhyming for almost ten years, so we don’t feel like new comers. Im inspired by hip hop itself, the prospect of being able to leave my dead-end job and make a living doin what I love.

[i]G:  So what are the future plans for Lost Souls, Hungry Humans and the rest of the fellas, upcoming gigs etc?[/i]

B: A launch is on the cards, im fuckin of to Prague for three months in july but the music wont stop we keep the ball rolling and if I happen to slow down im guaranteed to get a swift kick in the ass.

R: we cannot disclose anymore information at this point in time.

[i]G:  Well once again, congrats on bringing a high quality release to the market and good luck for the future and thanks for your time fellas. Any last words?[/i]

B: my cats breath smells like catfood

R: All hail to the pigmy mastermind

LAYLA INTERVIEW – Heretik release

Filed under: Layla — Force @ 10:51 am

LAYLA INTERVIEW – G Force [i]G Force (G):  Firstly, thanks for your time Layla.  You have appeared on a few albums now, Done DL, Drapht, Straight From The Art, Hilltop Hoods Vinyl.  When are we going to see a solo from you?[/i] 

Layla (L): Im actually off to the UK beginning of June so im polishing the shit off now and droppin as soon if not just before I get back at the start of November. (finally!)

 [i]G:  With this solo release what directions will you be taking.  You are predominantly known for aggressive styles, be it battling or serious, there is always aggressiveness when you step to the mic, will this be consistent across the album?[/i] 

L: Yeh I suppose to some extent. I think ide describe it as passion, heated passion. Ive had alot of shit Ive wanted to get off my chest and mind, and other shit has just carried through from an angry adolescence. If your gona say something and you mean it and really feel it then, well in my case its gona come out like that!

 [i]G:  Being that you differ greatly in style from most female Aus emcees who have releases albums in the past, Mya Jupiter, Trey and so forth, do you think you will have a broader cross over appeal to fans of the harder style?[/i] 

L: Man I dont know, everyone likes their different styles, if ive appealed to fans of the harder style then I may have lost fans of the softer style? I dont really think about that shit I just do it.

 [i]G:  Do you think you will ever do a come back to some of the more sexual fuelled tracks within our scene such as ‘Nut Busta’, ‘Sex Fiend’ etc.  Are we going to see a female take on it all one day?[/i] 

L: Haha…No. I got no pent up feminist nut busting action brewing inside of me, I’ll leave that one to other chickees, and as far as battling that goes, Im sure the fellas can stick up for themselves, people might start thinking Im a hermaphodite or some shit!Arhh.

 [i]G:  Production wise on the album, who can we be expecting beats from and what sort of beats are you feeling for the album?[/i] 

L: The one and only Lord Dazastah! and one from another SBX king Morter..and you know i love the dark shit. The beats are pretty diverse since its a full length 17 track Lp and as for the rest; your just gonna have to wait and find out!!

 [i]G:  Collaborations on the album, will they be predominantly Syllabolliks or interstate heads as well?[/i] 

L: yeh got most my sbx brothers dropping on it (except unfortunately for Matty B and Figure 8 as they’re not in Perth) then I got Knowledge and also Ciecmate and Newsense put down some dope shit when they were here. The final tracks im finishing are the collabs so hopefully we’ll get it together before i have to bail!

 [i]G:  It has been bought up before that some people may be getting female emcees on their tracks simply to have one there.  What are your thoughts on this and have you encountered anything similar?[/i] 

L: Arh I dunno bout that one?  Ive never encountered it and ide laugh if some cunt wanted me for that reason, its another bitch issue lets move on…..

 [i]G:  Syllaboliks, how did you get involved and any plans you can let us in on for the crew in the future?[/i] 

L: At the moment were sorta doin collabs here and there but mainly focused on our own albums. I know my next album im gonna do more shit with the boys (plus interstate) and we’re also tryna organise ourselves to drop a fresh SBX album, but you know how it goes, it’l happen one day it just takes abit of organising! Right now i got so much on my head before i go i aint even gonna attempt that too.

 [i]G:  Oz Hip hop as a scene is predominantly male dominated, was it hard for you to get recognition at first, or was it the reverse?[/i] 

L: Ah this one again. I just did it and went with it and didnt let it bother me, I expressed it in Its Only Me, I was recognised in some ways and judged in others, but have fucked it off as something that wasnt worth wasting brain space over,(or else i was just too ripped to notice)

 [i]G:  How do you find it now, as the scene has progressed and developed as of late, have you found any change in attitudes?[/i] 

L: I’ll just kill it and if heads wanna listen then thats dope too. I dont get into the politics or talk enough to analyse progression in certain areas or whatever.

  [i]G:  You performed down here in Melbourne at Underground Sound and many people were impressed with the stage presence.  Are live performances something you work on as an artist or is it simply a case of getting up there and doing it?[/i] 

L: Yeh bit of both, Ive been a bit slack in the past. I think now Im finally finishing off tracks and have more to play with I can put together a tighter set. Its always better when you got your Dj with ya too.

 [i]G:  A track you performed referred to a traveling story with some of your friends.  I am sure many young oz hip hop fans imagined a few pillow fights however the trip to an outback rural town seemed a little different, what can you tell us about that?[/i] 

L: Oh that was fucked up. I really cant explain that  trip, I couldve written another 8 verses bout that shit and would never have captured the weekends true form. Im sure others who here the track wont get it but it was an experience I just had to put down.

 [i]G:  Are you noticing different responses to your tracks, shows etc from state to state and if so how do the states seem to differ from an emcees perspective?[/i] 

L: Well ive only been to Adelaide and Melbourne and I suppose the melbs audiences are a little more analytical but probably cos they get so many acts. All in all the crowds are rocking, dont know how ide go down at a kiddys show but…….

 [i]G:  Well, good luck with everything.  I have a feeling the album will switch a lot of minds on female emcees and once again thank-you for your time.  Any shout outs or thank-yous you would like the people to know about, reel em off.[/i] 

L: Firstly Ide like to thank God for making this all happen..haha

nah just shouts to my man Daza, all my fam and mates, Sbx, Obese, to the true heads and all the cunts who listen to me babble over beats.

PREPARE TO BE CHIPPED.

 [i]G:  Cheers.[/i]

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