STRAIGHT UP! – Australian Hip Hop Interviews

July 26, 2007

MARK STRETCH (FOREIGN LEGION) – PLAYTIGHT INTERVIEW

Filed under: Mark Stretch (Foreign Legion) — Force @ 10:48 am

OK – SO HE IS AMERICAN, BUT WE LOVE FOREIGN LEGION OVER HERE 

G Force :  Mark, how are you, whats happening?

Mark Stretch : Oh not much man.

G:  Just listening to the new Release here, its pretty good stuff

M:  Yeah its not bad

G:  So are you pretty happy with eh?

M:  Yeah I am happy with it, I think it would be the kind of record I would have tried to make the first time if I was any good.

G:  So with the beats for the album did Design come to you guys with the beats first or what happened there?

M:  Yeah that’s how we always do it, cause you can’t have a beat that’s really mellow and then and then have some horror gore type rap on it or sumthin, you gotta fill the music out.  Cause that’s what gets people at the gate.  I mean I see people selling instrumentals album all the time but I don’t see anybody selling an accapella album.  I mean you gotta have a feel for the music, that’s it, the music.

G:  So with that is he pretty much 100% control of the track making process, in that he starts it off with beats or you got to him with lyrics, or is it an all in session?

M:  I reckon 90 to 95 Percent then every once in a while somebody will have a concept and Keith (DJ Design) will be like, oh well I gotta beat im working on that could fit that concept.  I used to be able to write without a beat but now I feel like I can still write without a beat but if I get a beat chances are I will write something new for that beat.

G:  You’re heading out to Australia pretty soon….

M:  Oh yeah man

G:  Looking forward to it?

M:  Oh yeah, im totally looking forward to it, I need to have someone order me like a XXXX or like a Victoria Bitter hoodie!  I want them to sponsor us or sumthin, we got banked on that shit last time.

G:  So what did you think of Australia the first time you were down here?

M:  Ozzies are out of their fucken mind.  You guys don’t give a shit, that was what I got more than anything else.  When you guys go out to the club, I don’t see no security in there, I see like two guys by the door maybe.  It don’t matter cause you guys are so busy having a good time, nothing stupid going on.  I mean we got in a little fight but nothing major.

G:  So what are you guys trying to do this time around, cause you are pretty well known for your live shows, are there any surprises this time round?

M:  Oh man, why you ask me that?!  I’ll get expelled from the Foreign Legion Society if I tell you what we gonna do for our shows.  You gotta wait and see man, I got nothing to say about that.  Its just so unplanned.  Nine times out of ten the wild shit we do on stage is planned like an hour before or just kinda happens then and there.

G:  With regards to Oz Hip hop did you check any out last time you were down and are you going to try to check some more this time?

M:  Yeah, I mean last time we was hanging round with that dude DJ FX and DJ J-Red and those two cats played me a lot of stuff, it was nice.  The last time we went we weren’t making a lot of money so we was hanging to get some records and we were over at whats that record store called? 

G:  Obese

M:  Yeah Obese, we were over at Obese and you know I was ehoping they would hit us up with like one or two promos but they didn’t really give us anything.  So I stole one of the shoes off the display.  I actually have it on tape.

G:  You gonna return it this time round?

M:  Hell no dog, I mean if they lace me with some records this time.

G:  Do a swap hey?

M:  Nah, like I mean after last time, I might leave with some shirts to, haha.  They gonna keep losing their stock if they don’t take care of me, hahaha.

G:  Haha, fair enough.  Well Prozack is dropping his solo soon is there anything in the works for Mark Stretch?

M:  As a matter of fact there is.  I’m in the process of doing a Children’s Record, I feel that the children are the future so ima help them with some of that subtract, adding and spelling. 

G:  Any collaborations on this childrens records?

M:  Yeah there is gonna be one with this kid, shit what’s his name?

G:  Barney the dinosaur?

M:  Nah man, this kid Abacus, there’s plans for one with Encore and um, Weird Al Yankovich.  I’m trying to get one with John Lennon but he kinda flaky, you know what I mean.

   G:  And production for the album, who you getting, any ideas yet?

M:  Yeah, mostly by Design, J Qwan, Oh No, and I am trying to get ahold of Yoko Ono, she got Hot beats!

G:  So with Prozak’s solo, is it a Foreign Legion sound, and is yours going to be the same or is it more a chance for you to express yourself only?

M:  Well I dunno if you can necessarily say it is a Foreign Legion sound, I mean everyone is definitely Foreign Legion first but yeah it will have your own personal stamp on it.  You know mine isn’t going to sound like Prozaks and Prozaks isn’t gonna sound like mine.  I mean I have songs on it with him on it, so for part of the record you gonna get an F.L sound whether you like it or not.  There is no way around it, you gonna have to deal with the three of us.

G:  So you all work together pretty tightly on each others solo projects?

M:  Yeah I mean everyone likes to do their solo thing but it’s still cool to have your folks with you.  I mean in the future I can’t see me not making songs with these guys.  Unless like they fire me.

G:  On Playtight there seems to be a few stabs at the commercial based hip hop that is out there at the moment, what is your view on hip hop at the moment?

M:  I think its great, I mean there are some more people who are fortunate enough to have some more money behind them but shit to me personally good music to me is like having VD, you either got it or you don’t.  I don’t care where it came from or how much money you put in to get it.  I mean people like Just Blaze, he makes great music, I mean he has heaps of equipment and all kinds of money behind him then you got somebody like MadLib or Keith, they can’t even afford to go down the street and get a taco but they making mad shit with a four track recorder and a old casio keyboard.  I don’t care where it came from or how it was made, if it’s hot it’s hot.

G:  With the beats , does Design pretty much  just go off on his own and make beats or are you guys there inputting and helping him as well?

M:  Well I mean the music side is pretty much his section.  I mean he knows how to mix hi-hats where he wants them and to make a kick really snap.  I mean we put input into it like, hey maybe change that drum pattern or put this in here or a drop out here.  I mean in the formulation of it, it is still collaborative but everyone has their main responsibilities.

         G:  With the lyrics that you guys are writing, is it more sort of your upbringing with hip hop or what you are listening to at the moment is that influencing you a lot for the solo album and did it influence you for Playtight?

M:  I mean you are influenced by everything around you. I don’t think anyone can deny that and even if you isolate yourself you are a product of that isolation.  There’s No way around it, everyone observes what they observe and take it how they take it and in the end you get something that comes out sound like you, or at least it should.

I mean the first record I din’t drink a lot I was still playing a lot of sports and still working for a corporation so I sounded different.  I mean this album, I’m at the club half the time, half drunk dragging myself across town to get the train home at 3 oclock in the morning.  So this album sounds a little different, I mean we aren’t afraid to be ourselves when it comes to what we doing.  I mean I am influenced by the things I listen to but in the end its just me.

G:  Since Kidnapper Van came out in 2000 do you think your audience has changed between albums and are you trying to make music to this new audience or just trying to keep everybody happy?

M:  I mean I hope it has changed, as we progress but I hope that the people are still listening.  If you heard Bicycle Music it is just about having fun stealing bikes, now all we done is add a few shots of liquor to it.  I mean I know people change so we gotta make music for change, people change, we change.  I dunno if we aim at making music for a new group of people but we doing it.  I hope that the older fans still come along for the ride.

G:  With that the new album has picked up a lot of distribution in a lot of different countries.  Is there plans to tour all these countries and see them all?

M:  Are you kidding me?!  I mean, I am not over here getting 60 cents for every album to not go, I gotta go.  I’m still trying to get to Thailand and get my own Vanerial Disease named after me.  I mean, that’s what its about, music first the getting it out there.  I mean there is no point in making it then not getting out there to support it. 

G:  With that I thnk the album will give you some new segments of fans, are you looking forward to picking from the new categories of groupies?

M:  Hahaha.  How much of this you gonna print, cause people will get pissed off!  I’m definitely looking forward to seeing the people.  I mean girls have a good show, before it was all mainly a scene for guys but now we consider them but shit im doing it for the girls.  If they have a good time, everyone have a good time.

G:  So with the album doing well, what does the future look like for Foreign Legion, another album, a dvd, whats gonna happen?

M:  We working on a DVD now, but you guys aren’t ready.  It’s not gonna be pretty, if anyone out there still living with your moms, she aint gonna let you watch it.  Especially not with mixed company.

G:  So future tour plans, whats happening for you?

M:  We gonna tour, support Prozak.  Then I am going to finally get my hand made hair piece.  That’s my next thing, 100% mink style.

G:  With that design have you checked out the Mullets in Australia, whats up there?

M:  We started that shit, that gangsta shit, you guys alright with it but we got it on lock.

G:  You sport an O.G Mullet?

M:  Anyone from San Jose will take an Aussie Mullet any day of the week/

G:  You obviously haven’t been to Frankston, check that out when you over here.

M:  I will try to peep that cause I am like an actual mullet expert man.

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